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Essential Judo Techniques

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Judo is a Japanese martial art that is practised all over the world by people of all ages. As well as being an effect form of self defence it is also an Olympic recognised sport with competitors that compete on all levels around the globe. Judo was founded by Professor Jigoro Kano, he established the art as a form of physical fitness and self defence, he modified the techniques from jiu jitsu, the ancient fighting art of the samurai.

Judo’s techniques include throwing techniques, that a judoka will use to take their opponent down to the ground and also grappling techniques, that are used to pin or control an opponent on the ground. Lastly, there are finishing techniques like arm locks and chokes.

Throwing Techniques (Nagewaza)

It is judo’s throwing techniques that it is probably most famous for. There are numerous different throws and trips that a judoka will use to take their opponent down. Among the throws there is the Tsuri Goshi and the Uki Goshi that are both throws that use the hips in the throwing action. Then there is the Tomoe Nage where the judoka rolls back and throws his opponent over their head. These are the sort of techniques that people usually associate with judo, but there are many more.

As well as the throws there are also numerous sweeps or reaping techniques that are used to take an opponent’s legs from underneath them. If you watch a judo match you will see the competitors trying to control each other until they see a chance to launch an attack.

Grappling Techniques (Katamewaza)

Once on the mat, the judoka has a chance to pin or submit their opponent. In competition, a judoka must pin his opponent to the mat for as long as possible. If they manage to control them for twenty-five seconds they will score an Ippon (a full point) and win the contest. Shime Waza are the choking techniques that a judo player can use on their opponent. These chokes are usually held across the windpipe, so as to reduce the flow of oxygen to the lungs, or “blood” chokes that are applied to the arteries either side of the neck, so stop the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain. The last group of techniques that are used on the ground are the joint locks. The majority of joint locks are attacks on the arms, as they can be attacked from a variety of positions. There are also joint locks that can be applied to the legs, attacking the knees and ankles.

Another important part of judo is grip fighting. Judo practitioners where a gi uniform when training or competing. The gi allows a fighter to grip their opponent’s gi, on places like the collar or sleeve, they use their grips to push and pull their opponent off balance until they see an opportunity for an attack. Judo gis are made to specific measurements so that neither judokas get an unfair advantage. Like many traditional martial arts, judo has a rank system that is shown by a coloured belt. The coloured belts in judo include, white, yellow, orange, green, blue, purple, brown and then black. Then once a judoka has reached the rank of black belt, they are awarded black belt Dan grades as their training progresses further.