Kubi-nage appears to have been coined by Mikinosuke Kawaishi, as the earliest references to judo throws by this name appear in his works.2 3 He describes it as a hip-throw with the arm wrapped around uke's neck.
This is in contrast to his description of koshi-guruma, which uses a standard collar grip without the arm wrapped around the neck. He does note the similarity of the two techniques however, mentioning the grip and exact position of legs as a distinguishing point:
Note that the technique described here seems more akin to the modern tai-otoshi than modern koshi-guruma.
Due to Kawaishi's influence in the early spread of judo in Europe, a distinction has remained in some organisations between koshi-guruma and kubi-nage, but the point of distinction is inconsistent e.g. the BJA describes kubi-nage as:5
... any form of hip throw with the arm of tori (inside of elbow joint) around the back of Uke's neck and throwing Uke without the separation of tori’s arm and uke's neck before impact on the tatami.
Whereas other groups describe it as similar to modern koshi-guruma but with an outstretched leg.
However the Kodokan does not recognise kubi-nage as a waza name, and explicitly describes koshi-guruma as involving holding uke's neck, in all variations.
- Some organisations have historically banned techniques similar to koshi-guruma/kubi-nage in junior competitions.5 6 7
- Kubi-nage is used in sumo to describe a similar technique to koshi-guruma.4
1. Techniques of Judo, Shinzo Takagaki, Harold E. Sharp, 1998
2. My Method of Judo, Mikinosuke Kawaishi, 1955
3. Standing Judo: The Combinations and Counter-attacks, Mikinosuke Kawaishi, 1963
4. Sumo: the sport and the tradition, 1959
5. BJA Refereeing Rules 2014
6. JFA Referee Committee Policy 2018
7. Judo Canada Sanctioning Policy & Tournament Standards, 2017