Learn 16 judo throws to use for self-defense or in competition
Judo for beginners can be a bit challenging, but this article will help you learn the basic judo throws that are both effective in street fights and in a competition setting. You will also learn about the basics of the judo competition system in case you want to pursue Judo as a sport.
Judo is one of the best martial arts to learn for self-defense, mainly because of its effectiveness in a street fight. The meaning of Judo in English is “gentle way”. We can attribute this to the judo throwing techniques being reliant upon the momentum of the opponent and using it against them.
Judo techniques can be split into three main categories:
This article focuses on throwing techniques useful for self-defense as well as in competition.
The English meaning of Osoto Gari is large outer reap. This move is one of the oldest throws in Judo and is commonly used against a larger opponent by utilizing your lower center of gravity. To do the Osoto Gari:
The English meaning of Ouchi Gari is inner reap, which is the opposite of the Osoto Gari. These moves along with the Osoto Gari are simple but help open the enemy up to more advanced techniques. The best time to use this is when the enemy takes their attention off their footing, even if it just for a bit. To do the Ouchi Gari:
Deashi Harai is also one of the oldest techniques created. It is a type of sideways judo throw usually executed when the attacker is trying to pull you by force. To do the Deashi Harai:
The Uki Goshi is a hip toss technique that is most effective when used against someone stronger than you. You must execute this move quickly so it’s easier to toss your opponent over your hip. Your opponent might counter your technique so watch out for him climbing on your back while executing it. The following steps are for an Uki Goshi done to throw the opponent to the left.
The Seoi Nage uses both hands to pull your attacker off balance. It is a type of forward judo throw that relies heavily on hip rotation and arm placement to work. Seoi Nage is not only one of the most effective moves in a street fight, but it also one of the most popular throws used in Judo competitions. The following steps are for throwing by your opponent’s right hand.
The O Goshi is a classic judo move and is one of the favorite moves of the founder of judo, Jigoro Kano. This forward-throw move is commonly used under a left stance vs right stance situation. This means that you should align your lead foot (right foot, for example) with the opponent’s lead foot (left foot, for example). To do the O Goshi:
Uchi Mata is a type of inner thigh throw and is one of the most popular moves practiced in Judo. In a competition setting, it is the most-used technique at the international level. To perform the Uchi Mata:
This move is a hip throw technique that is like Uki Goshi but the difference is that you are tossing the opponent over your hips. To do the Tsuri Goshi:
Koshi Guruma is another forward hip throw but is most useful when used against someone around your own height. This move is like most forward throws but involves pulling in your opponent's head. To perform the Koshi Guruma:
Ura Nage is a rear throw technique that is commonly used to counter hip throws. This move is a sacrifice throw because it involves throwing yourself along with the opponent. Only use this as a counter-attack when throwing techniques are being executed on you by the attacker.
There are several ways to execute Ura Nage. This one is a front Ura Nage throw.
Ushiro Goshi is a back-hip throw technique. It uses a bear hug to throw the opponent to the ground. This move is a counter used against an attacker attempting to throw you forward.
Ushiro Goshi is only done when the attacker is facing away from you. To perform the Ushiro Goshi:
The Utsuri Goshi is a hip-shift throw technique that is also used as a counter-attack against someone trying to grab your neck. To do Utsuri Goshi:
Hane Goshi or hip spring is like Harai Goshi but it involves the use of your foot to aid the throw. To do Hane Goshi:
Tai Otoshi or body drop is a hand throw technique that heavily relies on timing rather than lifting your opponent. This technique is like Hane Goshi because it uses the right foot like a lever but does not require a sweeping motion to start the throw. To execute the Tai Otoshi:
Okuri Ashi Barai or sliding foot sweep is a technique used to take down an opponent moving sideways. For this technique, we will use an opponent moving to your right. To execute the Okuri Ashi Barai:
Harai Tsurikomi Ashi or lift-pull foot sweep is like Okuri Ashi Barai but is executed while the opponent is moving backward. To perfectly execute this move requires great timing. Like other foot sweeps, you must be able to read your opponent’s weight shift from one leg to the other. To perform Okuri Ashi Barai:
For those who are interested in pursuing it as a sport, it is encouraging to know that Judo is included in the Olympic Games. The martial art first appeared in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. Although Judo and BJJ are closely related in terms of techniques, the rules by which Judo is played in the Olympics are different.
Leg-grabs are forbidden judo techniques in competitions which has resulted in the decrease of schools teaching them. This is because they cause common judo injuries.
Those who are practicing judo as a sport must wear a gi. A gi is a traditional uniform that originated from the kimono and was adopted by the martial art discipline as its uniform. The gi should be durable and its length should not be more than 5 cm above the wrists and ankles. Practitioners are also expected to wear their belts, and it must be tied using the traditional knot.
Judo matches are done on mats that are called tatami. These mats measure 14 meters x 14 meters in which the combat area within the mat is measured 10 meters x 10 meters. Practitioners during competition or practice must bow before entering the mat.
Usual competitions such as international ones last for five minutes. A judoka (judo practitioner) wins if the judges award him an ippon. If the judges has not awarded any ippon, the player that has the highest score at the end of the match will win the match.
Techniques such as leg-grabs and joint-attacks have been deemed too dangerous in competition and are therefore banned. It is also illegal to punch or kick your opponent, touch their face, and intentionally injure them. Doing so will result in your disqualification.
Practicing judo for self-defense will not only teach you how to protect yourself, but will also help you learn self-discipline and have a healthier lifestyle. This list of judo techniques will enhance your street fighting IQ and will equip you with techniques that will come in handy during specific situations. If you are interested in learning SDHjudo, there are some schools that allow free judo lessons in the first few sessions.
Did you find this article about Judo for self-defense useful? If so, please share it with your friends.
Sam Fury is the creator and owner of the Survival Fitness Plan.
He has had a passion for martial arts and outdoor pursuits since he was a young boy growing up in Australia.
As a young adult he joined the military and studied outdoor leadership in college. After that, to further his skills, Sam started traveling to learn from the best in the world in various fields related to the Survival Fitness Plan including various martial arts in China, SE Asia and Brazil, Parkour in Singapore, Surf Life Saving in Australia, and others.
These days, he still enjoys learning new things, traveling and sharing what he has learned via the Survival Fitness Plan.
The information on this website is made public for reference only. Only you are responsible for how you choose to use the information or the result of your actions. Consult a physician before undertaking any new form of physical activity.
© Survival Fitness Plan