Osoto Gari: Judo Technique

Osoto Gari

The osoto gari is one of the most effective techniques within the grappling art of Judo. For anyone that practices any form of grappling or MMA, it’s a must know trip to get your opponent down.

Here is just about everything that you need to know about osoto gari. Giving you details about how to do the basic version of the technique to various setups to hit the move.

What is Osoto Gari? 

The osoto gari is a trip that was created within the grappling art of Judo. The name of the move translates to “major outer reap” and is classified as an ash-waza or foot technique.

It is one of the core techniques within the martial art, which is also one of the simplest to execute. The technique involves knocking your opponent off balance and forcing their weight on their outside leg.

Once you’ve compromised your opponent’s, you hook your heel behind your opponent’s leg. At the same time, you’re hooking the leg, you’re also pulling your opponent into you. Forcing them to the mat.

Osoto gari is so effective that it is taught within all of the major grappling arts. Numerous setups have been created for this technique and it’s one you must know to evolve your takedown abilities.

Osoto Gari vs. Ouchi-Gari

One technique that beginners always confuse osoto gari with is the ouchi-gari. Their movements are very similar, but there’s one main difference,

In the osoto gari, you hook your opponent’s outside leg and in ouchi-gari, you hook the inside leg. Completely different, but play off of each other well. You can easily fake one technique and go to the other. 

READ MORE:  Military Martial Arts From Around The World

Basic Osoto Gari

We’ll go into a few of the various setups later and start with the basic mechanics of how to osoto gari. In the Gi, we’ll start with a basic collar and high sleeve grip like you would in most Judo techniques.

You’re going to pull with your opponent’s arm as you push them the same with your collar/lapel grip. At the same time you do this, you’re going to step forward with your outside foot.

Putting it directly in-line with the leg that you’re targeting. From there, your inside leg is going to kick up and hook behind your opponent’s leg. 

As your foot hooks your opponent’s leg, you’re going to make a punching motion with your lapel grip forward with force. Putting these motions together, takes your opponent off their feet and to the mat.

No-Gi Osoto Gari

Osoto gari is very effective in no-gi with a variety of setups like in the Gi. Here’s a simple set up that you should consider trying with an underhook.

Get your underhook by grabbing a collar tie. When you pull your opponent’s head down with the collar tie, they will try to posture and you take an underhook.

Keep your head against the side of your opponent’s head and take wrist control on their far arm. From here, you’re going to go foot to foot and hook behind your opponent’s leg with your inside foot.

At the same time, you lift them up with the underhook to further knock their base off and complete the technique.

A Common Osoto Gari Mistake

Osoto gari is easy to execute, but there is one mistake that a lot of people make with this throw. Here is how to correct this error that you might be making.

The mistake that many make is pulling their opponent in the wrong direction. Pushing them away, instead of pulling them with you in the same direction.

If you push your opponent away from you, you’re basically stuffing your own throw. They are leaning their weight on the leg that you’re hooking for osoto gari to work.

READ MORE:  Military Martial Arts From Around The World

Ouchi Gari to Osoto Gari

As mentioned in the previous section, you can set up an osoto with your ouchi gari. Start the setup like you’re doing an ouchi-gari.

Pull your opponent forward and fake like you’re hooking their inner leg. They will naturally respond by stepping out, which puts you in-line for the osoto gari.

Just push/pull your opponent off balance and go right into the technique.

Deashi-Harai to Osoto Gari

If your opponent is not taking the bait, you can do a deashi-harai to osoto gari combo. When your opponent is keeping their leg too far away from osoto, you can set it up with desashi-gari.

Pull your opponent forward and place your foot on the outside of their inside foot. When they do this, your opponent will react by stepping back and bringing their back foot forward.

That is your moment to go right into osoto gari.

Sasae Tsurikomi Ashi to Osoto Gari

The fake sasae tsurikomo ashi is a great fake to set up osoto, because you’re moving in the same direction. When you step in for your sasae, your opponent will circle out.

When finishing circling, they make the mistake of staying heavy on their outside leg. Making it rather easy for you to step into an easy osoto.

Harai Goshi to Osoto Gari

Another great set up to hit an osoto is to fake an harai goshi attempt. When you hook your opponent’s leg for a harai goshi, they will defend by dropping their weight and bending their knees.

When they do this, you’re going to staple your plant foot behind your opponent’s foot. Change your direction and go right into a powerful throw.

All three of three of the previous setups are demonstrated in this video below. 

Self Defense Osoto Gari

Osoto gari is quite practical for a self defense situation. Here is how you can use this throw as a counter against an overhand punch.

READ MORE:  Military Martial Arts From Around The World

When your attacker is coming forward with their punch, you’re going to quickly react by doing two movements. Use your forearm to connect at your attacker’s bicep and open your palm to grab their throat.

Use your palm to strike at the throat and go right into a nasty osoto gari.

Important Tips For Hitting the Osoto Gari

Osoto gari is a really easy technique to pull off, but the details have to be exact. Here are the important tips and details you must know for hitting the osoto gari takedown.

  • Shift Opponent’s Weight: For the technique to work, you will have to force your opponent to shift their weight to the leg you’re targeting. If you don’t compromise their balance, you will not get the takedown.
  • Push and Pull: Remember to get your opponent off balance, you must push and pull with your grips towards the leg you’re targeting. Pull on the sleeve grip and push with the lapel/collar grip.
  • Angle Your Opponent: As you push/pull your opponent it should be at a slight angle to the side. Your goal should be to shift their weight and get their heels off the mat.
  • Penetration Step: Your outside leg needs to make a penetration step in-line with the leg you’re targeting. If you step too shallow or too far it could compromise your attack.
  • Hooking Leg: Your inside leg is the hooking leg and you kick it straight up and hook behind your opponent’s leg.
  • Punching Motion: At the same time you hook your opponent’s leg, you should be doing a punching motion with your collar/lapel grip.
  • Everything In Motion: Remember that the movements of the osoto gari are done all in one motion. When you do all the movements correctly and quickly, your opponent should go down with ease.