“The techniques of judo are limitless and the spirit of judo is sublime” – Isao Inokuma-sensei
Even though there are only about 100 recognized techniques in judo, many of those techniques have numerous variations and combinations. A good example would be tai-otoshi. It can be executed directly to the front or to the side. It can be entered with a classic 3-step entry, a 2-step entry, or a 1-step spin in. The position of the right lifting arm (tsuri-te) can be a classic 90 degree pushing arm, or it can fold under as in seoi-otoshi.
Kumi-kata (gripping) can also change the appearance, bio-mechanics, and execution of a throwing technique. Tai-otoshi can be executed from a traditional right lapel grip, a left lapel “eri” cross grip, a double lapel grip, or with a yama-arashi grip. All of the above can also be done left or right-handed making for several dozen variations.
Isao Inokuma-sensei was the 1959 All Japan Champion, at age 21, and took Gold in the 1964 Olympics in the Open division. The book he co-authored with Nobuyuki Sato is well worth purchasing. Sato was 1973 World Champion and 1974 All Japan Champion.