Glossary of Judo waza (techniques) terms

De-ashi-barai (-harai) (Forward foot sweep)

De-ashi-barai (-harai) (Forward foot sweep)


This Ashi waza (Foot / leg techniques) is a high-level foot technique which requires perfect timing.

Features of this Waza

The De-ashi-barai (-harai) (Forward foot sweep) Waza consists of sweeping the opponent's feet out from under him, and then throwing him down on his side.

Waza details

From the natural posture, Tori (Player executing technique) moves forward as if to attack, and at the moment when Uke (Player receiving opponent's attack) begins to raise his foot to retreat, Tori (Player executing technique) executes this foot sweep.
The sweep must be executed at the moment Uke (Player receiving opponent's attack) foot leaves the floor.
Because the sweep must be executed with considerable force, Tori (Player executing technique) straightens his posture to maintain good balance during the sweep.
To facilitate the sweep, Tori (Player executing technique) pulls Uke (Player receiving opponent's attack) Tsurite (Lifting hand) downward to destabilize him.
As Uke (Player receiving opponent's attack) balance is destabilized to the side, Tori (Player executing technique) executes the sweep in one quick motion.
In some cases, after hooking Uke (Player receiving opponent's attack) foot in the sweep, Tori (Player executing technique) may hop for several steps on one foot before completing the sweep.
This Waza is best suited for combatants with coordinated foot skills, for lightweight division combatants, and for small-statured women.
Timing is crucial to the success of the De-ashi-barai (-harai) (Forward foot sweep) Waza, and it is therefore difficult to execute without considerable experience.
Due to its difficulty and the "Judo sense" which it requires, this Waza is often awarded an Ippon gachi (Win by ippon).
Even when unsuccessful, this Waza will often destabilize the opponent, offering the opportunity to transition to another Waza.

Waza usage tip

  • The sweeping kick must be performed swiftly from the Grappling stance.
  • In order to facilitate the sweep, the arch of Tori (Player executing technique) sweeping foot should strike Uke (Player receiving opponent's attack) just below the ankle. Striking with the arch of the foot ensures better contact.