How To Do Daki Wakare: Throw & Ground Transition

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Daki wakare is a throwing technique and at the same time a ground transition, it is one of the oldest techniques in judo.

Daki wakare (The throw)

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Daki wakare (The ground transition)

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It is worth mentioning that Daki wakare (the throw) is a very useful technique in no-gi grappling, it can be a very effective throw in a grappler’s arsenal.

In this article, you will learn:

  1. How to do Daki wakare (the throw) in a step-by-step guide
  2. How to do Daki wakare (the ground transition) in a step-by-step guide

How to do Daki wakare (the throw): Step-by-step guide

1. Use it as a counter-attack

Daki wakare is a throw designed to be specifically a counter-attacking technique, it is true that in demonstration sometimes it is shown as an offensive technique, but that is just for the sake of demonstration.

Here is an example of a demonstration of Daki wakare as an offensive throw

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Daki wakare has a high success rate against Koshi waza, which means hip throwing techniques, it has also a high success rate against some Ashi waza throws such as Uchi mata.

Here is an example of how to use Daki wakare as a counter to Uchi mata

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Here is a modified version of Daki wakare used as a counter to Ippon seoi nage

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2. What grip to use


Daki wakari has to be executed with a bear hug from behind. You should wait until your opponent initiates his throw, once their hips make contact with yours, wrap both your arms around your opponent’s waist.

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Sometimes in competition things go fast and chaotic and you don’t manage to get both arms around your opponent’s waist. In that case, it is okay to wrap only one arm around the waist while your other hand is gripping some part of the gi like the lapel.

3. Adopt a wide stance

Once your opponent’s hips make contact with yours, widen your stance and bend your knees slightly as if you want to squat, your stance must be wider than your opponent’s stance and you must have their legs between your legs.

4. Control your opponent’s side

Now that your opponent has given you their backside and that you have adopted a wide stance, it is time to rotate slightly around your opponent and control their side.

Your goal would be to have your groin area placed against the side of your opponent’s hip or upper thigh.

5. Take a step and start generating momentum

This stip is simultaneous with the previous step.

After you rotate around your opponent, take a step to have both their legs between your legs. This step is going to serve for two things:

  1. It will make you take control of your opponent’s side.
  2. It will generate momentum for the throw. Daki wakare relies on good momentum for flipping the opponent in the air.
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6. Do a gator roll

Have you ever seen an alligator doing its death roll with a prey between its jaws? That is exactly what you have to do, you must do a roll around your opponent to take them down on their back.

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Judo masters have created this roll to avoid spending too much energy in lifting then slamming the opponent. The gator roll uses a minimum amount of energy and it doesn’t require any lifting at all, that is why Daki wakare is an excellent throw against bigger and heavier opponents.

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7. Keep control

Once you take your opponent to the ground, don’t release your bear hug. Releasing and tossing the opponent in the air is tempting because of its cinematic and spectacular effect, but that’s not what we are looking for, we are looking for effectiveness and getting the W.

The right tactic to do after a successful Daki wakare is to keep gripping the opponent, once you are on the ground, turn towards them and get on top, chest on chest.

Now that you know how to do Daki wakare as a throw, let’s get to understand Daki wakare as a ground transition technique.


How to do Daki wakare (Ground transition): Step-by-step guide

Daki wakare is a judo technique used against an opponent who is in a high par terre position, which means they are on their knees and hands.

When an opponent is thrown on the ground, their first defense is to not fall on their back, so they do their best to fall on their knees and hands like a cat.

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That is when Daki wakare comes in handy, it can be used against an opponent to flip them on their back. This is old judo, now this flip is not rewarded with points anymore under the International Judo Federation rules.

But still, it is very useful in other grappling arts such as sambo, BJJ, etc.

It is worth mentioning that Daki wakare in judo is the equivalent of what is called in wrestling the “gut wrench”, these two techniques are very close to each other with small differences.

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1. What grip to use?


Daki wakare ca be executed with several grips, here are two variations to use:

A. Lapel and hip

  • Get your right arm under the nearest armpit and grip the nearest lapel
  • Wrap your left arm around the far hip of your opponent. You can also wrap your arm around the hip and grab the belt from the stomach if you have long arms.
  • For this grip, you shouldn’t be getting on your knees, keep standing.
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B. Gut wrench grip

This is the grip used in wrestling, as the name suggests, it consists of wrapping both arms around the lower part of the stomach:

  • Get on your knees and go as far behind your opponent as you can while still controlling one side
  • Lock your hands at the lower part of the stomach
  • Duck your head and stick it under your opponent’s near armpit to avoid hitting it against the ground when doing the roll
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2. Do a gator roll

Now that you have established a solid grip, get your right foot under your opponent’s stomach, and start a gator roll, your right foot will generate the momentum for your roll.

The goal would be to finish the gator roll with your opponent’s back pinned against the ground and you on top.

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Your foot should go first under your opponent’s stomach. If you are a tall person with long legs, you can bend your knee and get your leg under your opponent’s stomach, knee first.

Shoelace on shoelace variation of the roll

This variation of the gator roll is used often in sambo:

  • This variation is better used with the lapel and hip grip (as demonstrated in step 1)
  • Place your left foot under your opponent’s near foot (shoelace on shoelace)
  • Initiate the roll with your right leg under the opponent’s stomach
  • Use the left foot you have placed under your opponent’s near foot as a lifting mechanism: lift it up and roll. This will cause your opponent to lose balance as you will be taking one of their four pillars.
  • Finish the roll exactly like the standard roll.
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