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Osoto Gari & Ashi Harai (Barai): Judo Uchi Komi Solo Practice

Solo Practice Osoto Gari, Ashi Harai (Barai) is a Must

Osoto Gari and Ashi Harai (Barai) can not only be done as a solo practice but it is something that should be done as part of normal training through Uchi Komi. This is because the need for full leg extension as one executes either of these throws, is all too often poorly understood and the best way to practice such extension is solo Uchi Komi.
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If your leg is not fully extended when you execute either Osoto Gari or Ashi Harai, you are losing power and thus minimising the effectiveness of the throw. This is particularly true in Randori (Practice competition with no scoring) or Shiai (full competition with scoring). I have over the years watched a large number of competing Judoka trying to execute one or other of these throws only to fail and they don't seem to know that it is because they have not fully extended their leg when executing the throw.

The video below gives a number of examples of methods you can use to practice these two throws using a variety of items. Not in order of appearance, there is a ball, a folded piece of paper and a segment of an old belt the I have cut up but any piece of material will do.

Each of these items has various advantages and disadvantages:

  • The ball insists on rolling freely and is very hard to control. This is good practice for random foot placement but is of no use for learning leg extension without hurting yourself.

  • The paper provides no resistance on a wooden floor and you will have to chase after it a lot. mind you this is also good fun as well as good exercise. On the carpeted floor the paper you may get carpet burn because the carpet provides too much resistance.

  • The belt segment is perfect on a wooded polished floor but has the same problems on a carpeted floor.

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My advice then is if you should practice on any kind of polished floor, wooded or otherwise or tiled floors if you can. Though any kind of floor will do as long as you don't press down on the floor with your foot when you sweep. The most important thing is that you fully extend your leg when you sweep.

Of course, you can do the practice without any kind of item just as long as you fully extend your leg when you do it.

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