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Okuri-Ashi-Barai: More Useful Than First Thought Judo Throw

Okuri-Ashi-Barai: Not a very useful throw, or is it?

Part of the Negi-No-Kata as well as number 13 in the Go-Kyo (or the 5th throw in the 2nd Kyo), Okuri-Ashi-Barai is often maligned as not very useful. Against seasoned Judoka(Judo students), that may be true. After all who would be silly enough to follow you doing a sideways movement. But the principles of the throw can be applied in a variety of different set ups.

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For example: whilst all but the inexperienced will tend not to move in a straight line sideways, let alone follow their opponent, there is nothing stopping you from doing Okuri-Ashi-Barai (or Okuri-Ashi-Harai depending on who pronounces it) in a circular motion.

I know that most people would use Hiza-Guruma or Sasae-tsurikomi-Ashi for such a motion but both of those throws are blocking motions in their circular form. Perhaps to their determent players don't consider a throw that goes with the motion rather than against. It's worth considering don't you think?

Now the thing to remember with Okuri-Ashi-Barai is that it is more of a timing throw than most Judo throws. To the point that I now teach it to my students with a rhyme. "One two three, one two three, capture foot throw". The idea being to help the Judoka to understand that they have to capture the outside foot of their Uke just as Uke begins to move it. Thus gaining the entire sweep from beginning to end.

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If the foot is captured too late then there is little chance of Uke being swept into the air as seen in this video.

Unfortunately the video only show the standard Okuri-Ashi-Barai and not the circular one. But does show it does show it in slow motion and it should be easy to adapt from there.

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