The Easy & Reliable Ouchi Gari Takedown
As a BJJ practitioner, I have an affinity for Judo takedowns. Not that I do not enjoy or see the usefulness of Wrestling takedowns, but I have more experience with takedowns from the Judo arsenal. With all of the big and crowd pleasing throws, one of the takedowns I enjoy most is the ouchi gari. Ouchi gari, which is translated to inner reap, is an easy and reliable takedown that will put your opponent down, and you right into his guard. There are two main set ups for the ouchi gari which can be an applicable takedown for anyone.
Let’s talk about the specifics of the ouchi gari. First, the grips are important. With your dominant hand, grab high up on the collar. Your other hand will grab the opponent’s sleeve, just slightly above the elbow. These grips will come into play regardless of which set up that you choose to use. Also for either set up, you need to pull his collar down to that side, and lift the sleeve to the collar side as well. This will help put the weight on the leg that you will be attacking. Now for the first set up.
This is arguably the easier set up of the two. For sake of example, let’s say that you’re right handed. Step in with your left foot, closer to the opponent’s left foot and use your right leg to sweep the opponent’s right leg in the knee pocket. Your opponent will fall and you will end up in his guard.
The next set up for the ouchi gari is a bit more intricate, and also is deceptive. The foot work make it look like that you are going for a harai goshi or an uchi mata, when really you are going after the ouchi gari. With this particular set up, you’ll first use your right foot to step to the opponent’s left foot, then cross step behind your right leg with your left leg, and then finally using your right leg to get the same reaping sweep to get him down.
Really, you should learn both, but pick which one you prefer and drill the hell out of it. Drill it, and use it whenever you can in sparring. That way, you’re takedown will be totally on point, and you’ll be able to get anyone down at will. If you are interested in getting better at the ouchi gari, and other effective Judo takedowns, then checkout The Takedown Blueprint by Judo stars, Travis Stevens and Jimmy Pedro.