Kata-Guruma (Shoulder Wheel a.k.a Fireman’s Carry)

The Kata Guruma, also known as the Fireman’s Carry is an excellent throw for many grapplers. With a little adaptation, this throw has been perfect for wrestlers and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Competitors. What make’s this throw great is the use of lapel and level drop, which creates numerous opportunities. This throw is an excellent option for anyone looking to compete in Jiu-Jitsu.

There are some judo throws that Jiu-Jitsu practitioners say won’t work, either because of positioning or worrying they will expose their back. However, if done correctly, nearly every judo throw can be adapted for Jiu-Jitsu, especially if they have a strong background in the sport. While it is an excellent and versatile technique, the Kata Guruma down get looked down upon by BJJ practitioners, this is because the drop down exposes the back. But if the practitioner commits to the throw, this can be a devastating throw that will put anyone on their back.

How to Setup The Kata Guruma

To set up the Kata Guruma, you can start with the standard lapel and sleeve grip. This grip gives you excellent control over your opponent and will also mask your intent. With the sleeve grip, pull your opponent towards you, ideally, you need to make them step towards you. 

When your opponent steps towards you, drop down onto one knee and let go of the sleeve grip. With the free arm, you will want to look at connecting your bicep with their inside hip and wrap the arm around the thigh for control. With the arm holding the lapel, drag down on the lapel to break their posture and force them to base their weight on your back. Release the lapel and overwrap the arm, gripping the tricep. This prevents your opponent from basing out upon landing

Once their weight is on your back, drop to both knees and start to guide your opponent toward the floor by pulling on the lapel and hoisting the weight up off your back by guiding the leg that is controlled.

Straighten your back to keep the throw stable and take your opponent to the floor. Follow them down into side control an establish position.

Standing Kata Guruma

For more of a devastating throw, the Kata Guruma can be used in combination with a cartwheel for a high impact throw. You will regularly see this pulled off in high-level judo competition as it allows the thrower to control the ascent and secure the Ippon, however, the high-impact Kata Guruma is also considered a slam under many IBJJF referees, so make sure you control their ascent correctly to continue the fight.

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Richard Presley

A purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Richard is the owner and primary writer of Attack The back. Check out my About Me Page to learn more!