Whether you are a fan of martial arts movies and have always wanted to learn a couple of moves as a party trick, or perhaps you have a genuine interest in how you can defend yourself in case you ever need to, flipping someone over your shoulder can be a good move to learn. This article will explore the step-by-step process for flipping someone over your shoulder as well as the important safety measures to consider when practicing or employing this move. How to flip someone over your shoulder


In order to practice this move safely, there are a few steps of preparation to take before you get started. Firstly, ensure that the person you have recruited to help you practice is of roughly the same height and weight as you are. This is important to ensure that the move is not too difficult to perform. Secondly, it is important to ensure that you have created a safe surface on which your partner will land. This move, if done correctly, is designed to cause some amount of pain to the party being flipped, therefore, having a soft landing can make practicing a lot safer. A crash mat of some sort would be ideal, but couch cushions could also work. A trampoline is also a good surface provided that it is big enough.

Safety Warnings

There are a few safety tips that you should keep in mind when you are practicing this move. These warnings are important in keeping both you and your practice partner safe and free of injury. The most important thing to remember to avoid injuring either yourself or your partner is to never let go of their arm during the move. If you do let go, both of you are at risk of causing injury to each other. To avoid letting go, take breaks if you are starting to feel fatigued. As mentioned above, a mat or other soft landing surface is required to safely practice this move, make sure it is big enough to create a soft landing even if you do not throw the person straight. As with any sporting activity, it is important that both you and your throwing partner adequately warm up your joints and muscles before you begin practicing. If you fail to warm up properly you are at risk of tearing or pulling a muscle. Dislocating the shoulder of your partner is also a risk here. In a similar vein, make sure that your maneuvering of your partner is strong and controlled, this is to avoid causing injury to either you or them and also mitigates the risk of any of their limbs smacking you in the head during a throw.


Now that we have gotten the safety warnings out of the way, let’s get into the step-by-step process of throwing someone over your shoulder. How to flip someone over your shoulder (1)

Step 1: Assume A Fighting Stance

The first step in initiating this move is to make sure that you are in a combat or fighting stance with your opponent. Make sure that your hands are firmly placed on their shoulders and their hands are placed on your shoulders. As the person doing the flipping, your hands should be on the inside, or closer to your partner’s neck. Their hands should be closer to your shoulder joint. This is a general rule of thumb that makes practice easier, in a real fight situation it will need to be modified.

Step 2: Throw Them Off Balance

From your initial combat stance, turn around and step away from your partner while grabbing their arm. If you turn counterclockwise, you will grab their right arm. If you turn clockwise, grab their left arm. With your back to your partner and their arm pulled over your shoulder, push your butt against their hips as you tilt your torso forward and bend your legs. Make sure you have a wide stance to create a stable base. Pull their arm forward to lift their feet off the ground. You should be able to hold them on your hips. Their body should be positioned diagonally across your back. Practice this step a few times if you are new to flipping or throwing combat opponents. Start slow to ensure correct form and placement. Gradually increase the speed of this step until you both feel comfortable incorporating the actual flip.

Step 3: Roll Them Off Your Hip

With your opponent’s feet raised off the ground as you hold them on your hip, lean further forward and pull on their arm. The momentum and gravity should be enough to flip them over your back, landing on their back on the floor. Make sure not to try to flip them straight over your back, or to get them too high in the air. Not only can this increase the risk of injury to both of you, but in a fight situation, your opponent may be able to land on their feet, rendering the move pointless. The goal is to let the impact with the floor knock the wind out of an assailant to give you a chance to subdue them or flee.

Step 4: Make Sure They Stay Down

Once your opponent is on the floor on their back, pin them down with your preferred method. In a real fight situation, do not let go of your opponent until safe to do so. In a practice scenario, make sure to pin your practice partner for at least 2 seconds to finish the move properly.


Flipping someone over your shoulder is a physical move that requires strength and control to avoid injury. Here are some tips to help you practice and execute safely.

  • Make sure that your practice partner is of a similar height and weight to you when you start out. This will make learning the move easier and safer.
  • Make sure that the person you are practicing with is willing and understands not to try and struggle or resist until you are comfortable that you have mastered the technique.
  • Do not encourage your practice partner to jump as you try to flip them. This will significantly increase the risk of injury to both of you. The rolling off the hip technique is much safer and more useful.

Remember that safety is paramount when practicing any martial arts moves, you never want to harm yourself or your partner. If you enjoyed this post, you might enjoy our article on ‘Best MMA Gloves‘ or ‘Best MMA Shin Guards‘.

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Christopher Anderson Hi, my name is Christopher Anderson and I’ve been boxing and training in other martial arts for over 20 years. They’ve totally transformed my life. By educating beginners and advanced practitioners alike, I’m hoping to increase public awareness of martial arts, and prevent people from making the most common mistakes. If you’re considering taking up martial arts, then take this post you’re reading as your sign to do just that. Use my website as a source of inspiration and get out there! Learning how to protect yourself and get fit is never a waste of time. Christopher Anderson

Nage-waza (Throwing techniques)

Te-waza (Hand Techniques)

Seoi-nage (Shoulder Throw)

The most popular technique in judo. There are two types: seoi-nage (the shoulder throw) and ippon-seoi-nage (the one-armed shoulder throw). The shoulder throw involves a competitor turning and lifting their opponent on their back while keeping both hands on the opponent’s judogi and throwing the opponent over their shoulder. In the one-armed shoulder throw, a competitor throws their opponent over their shoulder with their hands on one of the opponent’s arms. If a competitor drops one or both knees onto the mat before throwing their opponent, the technique is called seoi-otoshi (the dropping shoulder throw). Seoi nage (shoulder throw)

Ashi-waza (Foot Techniques)

O-soto-gari (Large Outer Reap)

This is one way of a competitor throwing their opponent using their legs. A competitor pushes their opponent off balance backwards and sweeps the leg supporting the opponent’s body weight out with their dominant leg. It’s a dynamic technique when executed. There are many variations similar to the large outer reap, including o-soto-otoshi (the large outer drop), o-soto-makikomi (the large outside wrap-around throw), and o-soto-guruma (the large outer wheel). O-soto-gari (Large Outer Reap)

Uchi-mata (Inner Thigh Reaping Throw)

Classified as a foot technique among the throw techniques, in this throw, a competitor pulls their opponent toward them, slides their dominant leg between the opponent’s legs, and kicks one of them up from inside while turning the body. The competitor plants their dominant leg firmly on the mat, then lifts the opponent’s inner thigh area with their dominant leg. Uchi-mata (Inner Thigh Reaping Throw)

Ma-sutemi-waza (Sacrifice Techniques)

Tomoe-nage (Circular Throw)

This is one of the sacrifice techniques among the throw techniques. Sacrifice techniques involve deliberately taking a dive to pull the opponent down. In tomoe-nage, a competitor falls on their back, places their foot on the opponent’s stomach, and throws the opponent over their head. Tomoe-nage (Circular Throw)

Koshi-waza (Hip Techniques)

Harai-goshi (Hip Sweep)

This is one of the hip techniques among the throw techniques. In this throw, a competitor puts their opponent off balance by pushing the opponent forward and to the side, and pulls the opponent towards them, drawing the opponent onto their hip and sweeping the opponent’s legs away with one of their legs. If a competitor holds the opponent’s arm at their side when sweeping, it becomes harai-makikomi (the hip sweep wrap-around throw), in which the competitor throws the opponent while wrapped around the body. Harai-goshi (Hip Sweep)

Katame-waza (Grappling techniques)

Osaekomi-waza (Hold-down Techniques)

Yoko-shiho-gatame (Side-locking Four Corner Hold)

This form is the hold-down technique that wins most often among the gripping techniques. This typical pinning technique involves holding down the opponent on their back by wrapping one arm around the opponent’s shoulder and the other between the opponent’s legs. By the competitor pinning their chest against the opponent’s, the opponent is hemmed in from four directions. Yoko-shiho-gatame (Side-locking Four Corner Hold)

Kansetsu-waza (Locks)

Ude-hishigi-juji-gatame (Cross Lock)

This is the most frequently used joint lock of the grappling techniques. A competitor sits beside their opponent while their opponent is lying on their back and hold one of the opponent’s arms with both hands, pinning the opponent’s upper arm down with their thighs, and bending the opponent’s elbow in the reverse direction. If a competitor endures being held like this, it could result in a broken arm or damaged ligaments, so this technique forces competitors to submit. Other pinning techniques involve the use of the competitor’s legs as well as thier neck and shoulders in holding the opponent’s arm. Ude-hishigi-juji-gatame (Cross Lock) Unless you’ve invested years of practice, over-the-shoulder throws and flips usually aren’t the best way of defending yourself against a bigger opponent. Most over-the-shoulder throws require you to get your body very close to your opponents — the exact opposite of your ultimate goal during a self-defense situation. Still, you can still practice a basic over-the-shoulder throw for in preparation for a martial arts tournament, or to build strength, body confidence and a better understanding of leverage. Stand facing your opponent in a comfortable, relaxed stance, feet hip width apart and arms by your side. Once you feel comfortable with the basic technique of the throw, you can practice doing it from various positions — for example from a clinch or while defending against a strike. Grasp your opponent’s left hand with your right, and pull him slightly toward you. Getting him off-balance now makes him much easier to throw. You could also arrive at this position from a clinch or while defending against a strike. Step forward and right with your left foot at the same time as you pull, then pivot on that foot, swinging your body so that you face roughly the same direction as your opponent and your hips are very close to his. The key to performing a clean, effective throw on someone bigger than you is getting your center of balance — for general purposes, consider that your hips — directly below his. Swing your left arm around your opponent’s torso if possible. You’ll use it to guide the position of his upper body, but not to force it. Squat slightly, to get your hips below your opponent’s, and continue pulling on your opponent’s left hand with your right. His hips should end up over your hips and his left armpit should end up over your left shoulder. Straighten your legs, lifting your hips — and thus your opponent’s — straight up. At the same time pull his left arm down and to the right, as if you were pulling a towel over your left shoulder. If you combine these two movements properly, he will go flying over your left shoulder.


Only practice this technique with a partner that knows how to fall without being hurt — otherwise you might seriously injure your friend. Even with a trained partner, stick to soft flooring — ideally padded mats — and make sure the area is clear of obstacles. If you end up standing there with your opponent’s arm draped over your shoulder, do a quick spot check: Are your hips right up against his? Did you pull him off-balance over your shoulder and then straighten your legs all the way? If the answer to both questions is yes and he didn’t deliberately do anything to foil your throw, the size disparity between you is simply too great. This usually only happens if you pair extremely tall and extremely short training partners together. Most opponents can resist a throw if they see it coming. Assuming you’re in a self-defense situation, one of the best ways to distract your opponent is with a hard blow to the knee, groin, throat or other vulnerable area. If you’re in a martial arts bout, that type of techniques is prohibited for good reason — it can cause serious, permanent damage.


Here’s another reason why throws aren’t always the best for use in a self-defense situation: It’s possible for a larger opponent to «pancake» on top of you and let his superior weight bear you down to the ground. You’ll sometimes see this done in mixed martial arts bouts as a simple, effective defense against being thrown. Martial Arts No matter which gender you are or which place you belong to, there are a few things in self defence that you should know about. Slipping over somebody over shoulder is a technique, when perfected causes a lot of damage to the oppressor. Martial arts generally requires a lot of patience and practice, but flipping somebody over is not that difficult of a task. Just stick to the basics and you will be fine.


    • 1Stand in an aggressive posture Put your hands on the shoulders of your opponent. Make sure you have a good grip around his shoulders. Lean towards him to put some body weight on the oppressor. You hands should be inwards as they would be more effective and consequently do more damage to your opponent.
    • 2Step away, turn around, and pull the aggressor towards you Bend over slightly and squat the opponent to lift him and get him unbalanced. This way you will have complete control over the opponents body and he/she will have no way to break free from you move. Just remember that you should grab your opponent by the arm and pull him close in order to lift him from your hips a little more.
    • 3Use your hips to roll
      Do not give your opponent the time to recover. If you push him/her a little too high or are a little too slow in making your move, then your opponent will get back on his/her feet and might counter react. Make sure that you have your own body in control. Be fierce with your actions and make it quick in order to knock the wind out of the other person.
    • 4Lay them on the floor and strike Lay your opponent on the ground and strike him in order to stay away from harm’s way. The best way is to sit on top of him/her and restrict all movements. If the opponent breaks free from your lock then you might land yourself in trouble. The best thing to do in a situation like these is to run away.

Posted by lennox in Martial Arts Download Article Download Article Have you ever wanted to flip someone over your shoulder? Well you’ve come to the right place. This article has instructions on how to perform this maneuver in martial art type training.


    1. Image titled Flip Someone over Your Shoulder Step 1 1 Be in a fighting position with this person. Have your hands on their shoulders and their hands on your shoulders. Make sure that your hands are inside. This is a general description and will need to be adapted in any real fight situation.
    2. Image titled Flip Someone over Your Shoulder Step 2 2 Turn around, stepping away from them, pulling them towards you — this throws off their balance. Grab their arm. Place your bottom into their hips, bend over, squat, and lift, while pulling their arm forward. You should be able to hold them on your hips.[1]
    3. Image titled Flip Someone over Your Shoulder Step 3 3 Roll them off of your hip. Flipping them straight over your back or high into the air gives them a chance to recover and land or their feet or in some other stabilized position. It also has a great chance of straining your back if done improperly. You want to drop them from hip height, before they can right themselves. The goal is to let the ground knock the wind out of them.[2]
      • Trained people can counteract this by releasing a kiai and knowing how to break their fall.
    4. Image titled Flip Someone over Your Shoulder Step 4 4 Make sure they stay down. Once they are on the ground make sure they slap the floor as they hit to prevent friction. Do Not Let Go of them until they have been on the floor for about two seconds.

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  • QuestionWhat will happen if the other person does not catch my shoulders?Community Answer An alternate method is to grab his/her wrists and flip the person; however, this method requires much more strength, and isn’t used quite as often.
  • QuestionWhat if the opponent is taller or heavier?Mueez ul Haq Mueez ul Haq Community Answer Grab his arm with force, get in the position and get your knees flexed in the air. In this case, the gravity can really help to flip him over your shoulder.
  • QuestionDoes it cause the person pain?Community Answer If completed properly, then yes. Flipping people over your shoulder will send a shock through their nerves into their brain. It’s hard to flip someone over your shoulder and not hurt them.

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  • Start out practicing on a good mat or on a trampoline.[3]
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  • If you can grab their arm, there is another way to «take them down» or put them on their back. This decreases risk of injury. Once you have their hand/arm in hand take it and put it diagonally behind them. So if you have their right hand, put it behind their left foot, or vice versa.As a small thank you, we’d like to offer you a $30 gift card (valid at GoNift.com). Use it to try out great new products and services nationwide without paying full price—wine, food delivery, clothing and more. Enjoy!
  • Make sure they are around your height it’s a little difficult to flip someone too short or tall your first time.As a small thank you, we’d like to offer you a $30 gift card (valid at GoNift.com). Use it to try out great new products and services nationwide without paying full price—wine, food delivery, clothing and more. Enjoy!

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  • Do not let go of their arm, if you do, you both are in danger of injury.As a small thank you, we’d like to offer you a $30 gift card (valid at GoNift.com). Use it to try out great new products and services nationwide without paying full price—wine, food delivery, clothing and more. Enjoy!
  • Use a mat to start out to avoid injury.As a small thank you, we’d like to offer you a $30 gift card (valid at GoNift.com). Use it to try out great new products and services nationwide without paying full price—wine, food delivery, clothing and more. Enjoy!
  • Don’t make them smack you in the head.As a small thank you, we’d like to offer you a $30 gift card (valid at GoNift.com). Use it to try out great new products and services nationwide without paying full price—wine, food delivery, clothing and more. Enjoy!
  • As a small thank you, we’d like to offer you a $30 gift card (valid at GoNift.com). Use it to try out great new products and services nationwide without paying full price—wine, food delivery, clothing and more. Enjoy!
  • Do not dislocate their shoulder.As a small thank you, we’d like to offer you a $30 gift card (valid at GoNift.com). Use it to try out great new products and services nationwide without paying full price—wine, food delivery, clothing and more. Enjoy!
  • As a small thank you, we’d like to offer you a $30 gift card (valid at GoNift.com). Use it to try out great new products and services nationwide without paying full price—wine, food delivery, clothing and more. Enjoy!


Things You’ll Need

  • A soft surface to flip someone on e.g a trampoline.
  • A person to flip.


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