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Osoto Gari - A Basic Judo Throw

judo | 09/18/2018

My guess is you read the headline and immediately recognized and imagined your favorite version of Osoto Gari. Something everyone can agree on is Osoto Gari is a very common judo throw at all levels of judo. From the local grassroots judo, all the way to the Olympic stage. It is so versatile and familiar in the world of judo, it's almost comforting to think about it!

There are a lot of different ways to do throws like Osoto Gari. But if you want any of them to work you should have a strong understanding of the basics before attempting to learn some of the more advanced techniques that are seen in this video and a lot of other videos you will find on the internet.

Angie Delgado and Osoto Gari

Angie Delgado is the top performing athlete in the United States for Judo currently in the year of 2018. The Osoto Gari that Angie Delgado displays in this video is a great variation of the basic version that hopefully, we all know already. When your first starting out learning judo things can seem difficult. Once you get the hang of it you will start to see some success when doing Randori.

Once you have started to have some success with your basic throws the real struggle will begin with your judo training. With success in the way of throwing people, your training partners will start to make some adjustments. It’s when people are adjusting the basic throws that you want to start getting into the different types of Osoto Gari’s you could learn. Here is a little breakdown and key points of Angie Delgado’s Osoto Gari. 

"Basics win championships" 

Key Points of Osoto Gari:
Osoto Gari Step 1:

Angie likes to start off the throw by being in the same stance as her opponents. Here she can control her opponent's sleeve and neck. When she does this, she's in the ultimate position of power. Take note.

Osoto Gari Step 2:

Angie likes to make sure that she pulls her opponents head down hard and traps it in her elbow. She makes a major effort to, and emphasizes her ability to control her opponent's head. This is often an overlooked detail with Osoto Gari.

Osoto Gari Step 3:

The pull is one of the most important parts of doing Osoto Gari. This still shot may seem mundane and basic, but there are a lot of details in this photo that are important to pay attention to. 

  • Angie's foot placement – She has stepped past her opponents’ foot.
  • Angie is ear to ear with the person she is trying to throw
  • Angie has a strong pull because of her opponent's left foot coming off the ground.
  • Watch how upright Angie is here. That's impressive!
Osoto Gari Step 4:

The leg sweep is extremely important when doing Osoto regardless of the variation you are looking to execute. More importantly, one of the most overlooked points of reference in an Osoto Gari is eye placement. Where we look is extremely important. Check out Angie's eye placement. She is looking right where she should be which is where she wants to throw her partner. Where we look dictates where we move and how, don't underestimate the importance of it.

We can see in the photo Angie is looking toward the mat over her opponent’s shoulder. This, in turn, will help her off balance her opponent and raise the percentage of scores tori will have.

Osoto Gari Step 5:

Angie Delgado makes a strong point in the video to plant her foot on the ground when doing her Osoto Gari. This is something that most instructors never teach or strongly tell you not to do. Angie, however, makes a point to put her foot down when doing the throw. This is awesome and innate with her and true competitors and athletes. While not the focus of the throw, this is a super important detail to incorporate as you become proficient in the technique!

Osoto Gari Step 7:

Here is a great shot showing how Angie likes to keep her foot on the floor when powering throw her throw. 

Final Thoughts

Remember the most important key to getting this technique to work is having a firm understanding of the basics! The advanced techniques are very pretty and sometimes elusive, but you have to make sure you have a solid foundation first. Angie is a high-level judo player who is training to make the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. She's an exceptional example. Definitely take her cues and learn from her, but make sure you're a master of the basics first!

Once you start drilling Osoto Gari and become more and more proficient in it, let us know how these tips and tricks have worked for you. It is also a great idea to come back to this post as you become a more advanced athlete to see how it can continue to help you further your training.

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