O Soto Gari

O Soto Gari

Today let’s see another throw, taught to beginners in Judo, it is a very important and useful one in BJJ, because you do not give your back : O Soto Gari (Large Outer Reap). It is a leg throw, so you don’t charge your partner on your back, arms or hips.

O Soto Gari

In judo the most important thing to do before any technique is to unbalance correctly your opponent. In this case, your opponent needs to be unbalanced backward.


O soto gari

On a fundamental guard (one hand on the sleeve and the other on the opposite collar), tori needs to go towards uke (on the side he grips the sleeve), pulling both grips towards him. Tori needs to go slightly diagonal, so uke will be unbalanced with all his weight on one leg, with his posture broken. It’s on this only leg in contact with the ground you need to apply the technique. Tori reaps uke’s leg and uke falls backward. Here a video.

Important technical aspects:

You need :
– A good backward and lateral unbalance, in order to have a wide enough space for the throw (it is the “O” form “o soto gari”)
– A reaping (gari) of your partner’s leg, who moves back.
– Passing from the outer part of his legs (soto)

O soto gari

as well:
– You need to unbalance uke enough, so he will be on only one of his legs.
– Tori’s action with his arms is important, to provide the direction of the throw. If you have a classical right grip (so left hand on the sleeve) you basically need to lift and push his collar, while pulling and bringing down his sleeve.
– You need to go down with your arm and chest while doing the technique, to give power and let your leg go upper, your body needs to look like a T.

O soto gari

“T” position

– You need to find a maximum of contact with your partner.
– It can be considered as a sweep, Tori tries to reap the leg on a good timing.

To avoid:
– Bending the body forward, meaning, both legs stays on the ground. This will break the abdominal sheathing and break the synergy of your muscles.
– Raising your elbow (on the side of the collar grip), it will make you lose the contact with uke. You need to leave this elbow down and push on your partner chest.
– Bending your leg when you are doing the reap. Leave it straight.

Even if this throw is one the of first you learn in judo, O soto gari is used a lot in high-level competitions. For example one noticeable judoka who uses it, is the 10 times World and twice Olympic champion Teddy Riner here and here.

Few techniques you can link with O Soto Gari :

In this technique, you reap both legs instead of one.

Hips throw, i will give you some details about it on a further article, but you basically need to charge uke on your hips, using them to do a rotation and kick his legs to accentuate his throw.

On this you block uke’s leg, around his knee, with your foot. You use it when uke’s defense is moving forward.

It’s more or less forcing when uke is resisting, you need to continue your movement much more.


On of my favorite counter of o soto gari is… O soto gari. It might sounds silly, but it can be very efficient.  You can see on this video how it can be useful. Mostly this counter is used when your opponent’s attacks have a weak contact.

So as usual, I recommend you to train standing part, it is, in my opinion, not worked enough in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. But all competitions start standing. As well, if you are just a BJJ hobbyist, some judo skills will make your art feel better and comfier.



Article written by Around the JU


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