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If you're looking to start learning judo, there are some judo throws you should learn first. We look at 9 judo throws for beginners.

9 Major

Throws of Judo

Here are 9 throws to get started

  1. 1
    Osoto Gari
  2. 2
    Ouchi Gari
  3. 3
    Deashi Harai
  4. 4
    Uki Goshi
  5. 5
    Seoi Nage
  6. 6
    O Goshi
  7. 7
    Uchi Mata
  8. 8
    Tsuri Goshi
  9. 9
    Koshi Guruma

9 Judo Throws to Get You Started

Traditionally, judo throws are separated into classes. 

These are taught to students in sequence. Here are some basic judo throws and judo moves that will help you master your art while having a lot of fun. 

Osoto Gari

One of the oldest throws in judo, this move is also called the major outside reap. It is an excellent way to throw a larger, stronger opponent.

You benefit from having a lower center of gravity here more than most throws, so make sure you use this against your taller opponents.

In this move, you reap your opponent’s opposite leg with yours by placing your leg at the back of their thigh then simultaneously lean forward and lifting your leg into the air.

If you don’t, you will get countered. If you do, they will end up on their back.

Osoto Gari

Ouchi Gari

While this judo throw looks intricate, it is quite simple. 

Known as the Inner Reap, you shuffle towards your opponent to attack. If you can get your attack leg behind their target leg you “reap” the leg, thus sweeping them off their feet. This technique is especially effective against taller opposition as with the Osoto Gari.

The key is pull down on you opponent to get them "stuck" on the leg you are trying to sweep out. The leg that you are targeting should remain stationary. If you can get the majority of your opponent's weight on to the target leg then you are set up for success 

Ouchi Gari

Deashi Harai

Here is something most beginners don't know. De Ashi Harai or De Ashi Barai is the throw taught to beginners at most Dojos across the world.

So I can see why people would think that it is a beginner/easy throw. 

Actually this throw is one of the harder throws to actually pull off in Randori.

Why? This throw requires the use of exceptional timing to get on a resisting opponent. 

However, sensei's teach this throw first because the fall is easy. Falling from bveing thrown with De Ashi Harai, is very different than falling fro being throw with Seo Nage

Move your foot to the outside, so your right foot would go outside of your opponent’s left leg. Then 

De Ashi Harai

Uki Goshi

A favorite of many in competition, this throw is especially good against someone stronger than you. Utilizing a faster technique, this move is a cornerstone of judo. 

Sliding against your opponent sideways, you toss them over your hip. Be careful they don’t climb up your back during this step. 

The best way to think about Uki Goshi is to think about where you want the person to fall at the end of the throw. With most forward throws, your opponent lands in front of you. With Uki Goshi your opponent land somewhat on the side of you.

Uki Goshi

Seoi Nage

Here are some finer points to incorporate into you Seo Nage. 

First, you cannot throw with Seo Nage, unless the center point of your opponents chest is above the height of the base of your neck. In other words, you want your opponent to be positioned high up on your back when being thrown.

Think of when you were a kid and you were piggybacking your friend.

Height differences can make this throw challenging for taller people vs. shorter people

 This is one of the most spectacular  and popular throws seen in competition. 

Seo Nage

O Goshi

The first hip throw on our list and a favorite of Jigoro Kano, the father of Judo. 

O Goshi should not be the first throw you learn, because it is actually quite complex compared to other forward throws. The biggest mistake that beginner Judokas make is to lean forward to early.

In Ogoshi, you pull your opponent in first and load him up on your hip before making the turn with your hips

As with most forward throws your opponents feet must leave the ground BEFORE leaning forward and rotating.


Tsuri Goshi

Tsuri Goshi and Ogoshi may be indistinguishable to the beginner's eye. However there are subtle differences. Instead of loading  your opponent over your hip, you lift them. Use your hands and arms to pull your opponent up onto and then over your hip. 

In this case, your opponent straddles or "floats" over your hip

This results in a more impressive throw that is popular with Judoka of all skill levels.

Tsuri Goshi

Uchi Mata

While not the easiest Judo throw to learn, this one is spectacular. Consistently scoring in modern competition, this move requires both great technique and timing. It is all centered around stepping between an off-balance opponent’s feet. 

Instead of sweeping to either side you merely sweep straight up and turn. A well-executed Uchi Mata will result in a beautiful throw. 

There is some debate as to whether this is Ashi waza or Koshi waza. In other words do you lift the opponents leg up in order to sweep or is this more of a hip throw where the opponent is loaded on to your hip to be thrown.

Every instructor has their own take. What is your opinion?

Uchi Mata

Koshi Guruma

So Koshi-guruma can look basically the same as O-goshi except that the your dominant hand goes behind the the opponents neck instead of his hips. Be careful as to not headlock your opponent as it is illegal in mot tournaments.

However, that is at the surface level, there is a subtle difference in the actual action of the throw, the wheeling action is the key difference.  O-goshi requires that you lift first the throw with the hips.

In Koshi-guruma, you wheel them over your hips WITHOUT a lifting action. Its a subtle difference but an important distinction.

Koshi Guruma

Interested In Learning Judo?

Learning judo is not easy, but it can be extremely fun. As with any martial art that involves throwing and grappling, be prepared to work very hard. 

Find a gym that is close to you and has an experienced coach. Judo will teach you many basic body mechanics that will aid you in almost every sport. Fundamentals like balance, shifting weight, and learning how to fall are cornerstones of judo

Many schools, teach judo in addition to other arts. There are dozens of judo throws and mastering the throws on this list is just a beginning.