Glossary of Judo waza (techniques) terms

Okuri-ashi-barai (-harai) (Foot sweep)

Okuri-ashi-barai (-harai) (Foot sweep)


This is a dynamic Ashi waza (Foot / leg techniques) which requires precise timing.

Features of this Waza

The Okuri-ashi-barai (-harai) (Foot sweep) is performed from a Grappling stance, and consists of sweeping the opponent's leg out from under him as he moves laterally.

Waza details

When the opponent attempts rapid lateral movement from a Grappling stance, Tori (Player executing technique) sweeps Uke (Player receiving opponent's attack) legs in the lateral direction in which Uke (Player receiving opponent's attack) is moving. Tori (Player executing technique) executes this sweep at the precise moment when Uke (Player receiving opponent's attack) is raised onto his toes, just before the lateral motion begins.
Tori (Player executing technique) performs the sweep by turning his ankle inward, and then sweeping the arch of his foot against Uke (Player receiving opponent's attack) ankle.
If the timing is right and the speed sufficient, the Okuri-ashi-barai (-harai) (Foot sweep) Waza can be used to throw Uke (Player receiving opponent's attack) in a dynamic throw which requires little power.
Relatively weak combatants often use this Waza to throw a stronger combatant by waiting for a face-to-face stance and the right timing, and this Waza often results in an upset win.

Waza usage tip

  • A skillful opponent may fall onto his stomach at the moment this leg sweep Waza is attempted, thereby preventing Tori (Player executing technique) from being awarded any points. To prevent this, Tori (Player executing technique) must grasp Uke (Player receiving opponent's attack) firmly with his Hiki-te (Pulling hand).