Jimmy Pedro teaches two takedowns: the tai-otoshi and the de-ashi-barai

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[First published in 2014.]

Start with a collar-and-sleeve grip. Off-balance your
opponent by pulling them toward you with both arms
and locking your opponent’s head to your chest, and
then immediately step toward them with your left foot,
bringing it about 6 inches in front of their right foot. Continue to
pull with your arms, pivot on your left foot, and swing your right
leg around so it is outside your opponent’s right leg. Then, drop
your body weight low and bring your left foot all the way across
and in front of your opponent’s left leg. Notice that both of your
legs should be outside both of your opponent’s legs, and your
weight evenly distributed. Trip and throw your opponent over
your left leg as you continue to extend them by pulling with your
arms and twisting your body toward your right knee.

Attack and trap your opponent’s front foot by stepping with your toe behind their heel and touching your shin to theirs. Put all your weight on your left foot and embarrass your opponent by approaching them with a step of your right foot and bringing your upper body forward with your back straight. While your opponent starts retreating and getting their weight off the right foot, sweep their right ankle by stretching your left leg and kicking it toward your right hand. While your start raising your opponent’s leg, take them to the ground by pulling down with your left hand and raising the right one, as if steering a car to the left. Follow your opponent to the ground and end in side control, bringing your left hand under their head and the right one under the armpit.


Black-belt Jimmy Pedro is a judo world champion and two-time Olympic medalist,
having won bronze at the 1996 and 2004 Olympics. Pedro is also coach to Kayla
Harrison, the first American judoka to win Olympic gold, in London 2012.

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