By Joshua Hagen
I believe O-Soto-Gari to be surprisingly under-utilized at the International level. It is such an effective technique which boasts not only a high success rate, but also an incredibly high ippon rate, as I wrote in a previous blog. Successfully using this throw against opponents of the opposite stance can present some difficulty, however. It can definitely be used in this scenario, but it will require a far different entry than the classic O-Soto-Gari.
It may at first glance seem difficult to do this technique given the angle, but the key to its success is to control your opponent's head. As the old expression goes, if you control the head, you control the body.
First, you want to anchor your opponent into place. This is achieved by pressing their chin back while utilizing a strong sleeve pull, akin to pulling a bow and arrow. The footwork is to hop your back foot in close, and hook your opponent’s far leg behind the knee, so they can’t move it. Next, we hop our support leg nice and close to the hooked knee. Finally, we drive the sweeping leg through, much as in a classic O-Soto-Gari.
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