Balaban’s unique hara-zutsumi

Check out the unusual grips on uke's jacket skirt and lapel

Anastasiia Balaban (BUL) did a very unusual osaekomi turnover in her first match at the European Championships in Sofia.

The turnover is essentially a hara-zutsumi (gut wrench) turnover which involves using uke’s jacket skirt, pulled across uke’s belly, to get the leverage to turn uke over.

Many Japanese players like to do this technique, the most famous of which is Haruka Funakubo. In Japan, this type of hara-zutsumi turnover is popularly referred to as Funakubo-Gatame. In the West, some call it a gut wrench or a Funakubo Roll.

The crucial difference in Balaban’s version is a lapel choke which she concurrently applies while using the hara-zutsumi.

The twin action of the choke and the gut wrench makes it impossible for uke to resist the rotating action.

Balaban finishes by climbing on top of uke in a kind of modified tate-shiho-gatame with her right hand still holding on to uke’s jacket skirt and left hand gripping uke’s left lapel.

This high-unusual turnover is an impressive newaza move by the19-year old Balaban, who used to fight for Ukraine.

Below is a detailed breakdown of the turnover.

Watch a video of Balaban’s unique turnover, from two different angles.


And here is the move from a different angle: