Ouchi gaeshi is a throwing technique in judo classified under Ashi waza, which is the foot throws category.
Ouchi gaeshi has been designed specifically to be a counter-attack to Ouchi gari.
There are 3 variations of Ouchi gaeshi:
In this article, you will learn how to do Ouchi gaeshi (all three variations) in a step-by-step guide.
Before starting to learn Ouchi gaeshi, you should first master Ouchi gari. If you don’t know how to do Ouchi gari here is a full guide that will walk you into every step of it, check it here.
How to do Ouchi gaeshi (1st variation)
1. Time it right
Since Ouchi gaeshi is a counter-attacking throw, it relies heavily on perfect time. You have to time your counter at the exact time your opponent engages in their Ouchi gari.
If you apply it before the opponent engages in their attack, you won’t be able to catch them with anything, and if you wait until they execute their Ouchi gari, it will be too late and you will be already on the ground.
You have to intercept them in the middle of the action where they have already committed to their attack and they can’t draw back.
2. How to detect an Ouchi gari coming your way?
A judoka who wants to execute an Ouchi gari has a very clear pattern of footwork.
In order to go with your tripping leg deep behind the opponent’s leg for Ouchi gari, you have to take a side step and turn sideways. This is the main pattern that all judokas follow for Ouchi gari.
Detecting a throw coming your way is a skill that you can sharpen if you spend enough time sparring against partners who have Ouchi gari as a primary technique in their arsenal.
Every judoka has a number of 3-5 techniques that their judo game revolves around, even the best judokas adhere to this rule.
Find sparring partners who like to use Ouchi gari in their game and spar with them. With time, you will start sensing it coming a mile away. High-level judokas are known for building that skill.
Now that we have explained the principles of the throw, let’s get to the practical steps.
3. Step to the side
1. Once your opponent initiates their Ouchi gari and they establish the leg hook, take a step to the side.
2. The step has to be to the opposite side of the hooked leg, so if your opponent hooks your left leg, step to your right side and vice versa.
3. Your step to the side should not be a big one, just move out of the way.
4. Sweep the supporting foot
Now that you have slightly moved out of the way, you are safe from getting thrown by your opponent’s Ouchi gari.
Assuming that the opponent has attacked your left leg, sweep your opponent’s supporting foot which is their left foot.
Don’t worry! Your opponent’s left foot won’t be that far from you because as we explained in step 2, in order to execute Ouchi gari, your opponent will have to turn sideways, which will bring their supporting foot (their left foot in this case) right into your leg reach.
5. What part of your foot should you use for the sweep?
- Use the arch of the sole of your foot.
- Make contact with the heel of your opponent.
- Sometimes things may get chaotic in competition and you may not reach the heel, in that case, just go as low as you can on the leg, the lower the sweep is the better your counter will be.
6. Twist the upper body
Now that you have swept your opponent’s supporting leg forward, twist their upper body backward and force it to the ground.
How to do the 2nd variation of Ouchi gaeshi
While most of the aforementioned principles of the first variation of Ouchi gaeshi apply to this variation, there is one small difference.
When you step to the side (step 3), don’t sweep the supporting leg (step 4). Instead, make a hook of your own around the hook your opponent has made around your left leg, then step to the side and pull their leg towards you. Pulling their leg towards you will put your opponent off-balance.
Finish your counter by twisting their upper body in the opposite direction and force it to the ground.
How to do the 3rd variation of Ouchi gaeshi
This variation of Ouchi gaeshi consists of dodging the opponent’s hook and not letting it make contact with your leg.
Once you dodge the opponent’s hook, get out of their way by stepping to the side, then use your opponent’s momentum forward to twist their upper body and toss them to the ground.
When dodging the hook, you can step either to the left or to the right, the most important thing is to avoid making contact.