Judo – Techniques, History and Rules

For its practitioners, called judokas, Judo is a martial art, a sport, a means of self-defense, but above all it is a lifestyle that gives them a broad mental discipline and physical dexterity, which they employ through different techniques of body strength that will allow them to unbalance and throw the opponent to the ground, to achieve their surrender.

The word “Judo” comes from the word “Jujitsu”, which means that it is an art of attack or defense of others, using as the only means of protecting the body. This sport is practiced on a mat called “tatami” and its main foundation is to make a sequence of casts called “nage-waza” and fight by hand.

It contains a great diversity of techniques of hanging, immobilization and levers that will allow the judoca to subdue the rival. The battle will also be won if some blockages and blows are included in the opponent’s joints. Another of the skills developed in Judo are moral, mental and personality skills, as well as adequate physical preparation of the athletes.



Judo history

Judo was created in Japan in 1882 by the master of martial arts Jigorō Kanō, after mixing techniques and tactics of Tenjun Shin, yō-ryū and Kitō-ryū, combat modalities of the oldest Japanese Jiujitso. These characteristics are based on melee fighting, which was put into practice by the ancient samurai during battles in the 13th and 19th centuries.

The International Judo Federation was founded in 1951. In 1956 the first world championship was held in Tokyo and in 1964 the martial art was admitted as an Olympic sport.

Today Judo is the second most practiced discipline in the world, only surpassed by football, can be practiced by children and adults of both sexes.

Judo is a physical activity with a high level of education, which serves as a strategy to socialize, emphasizes the learning of values, respect between all and their peers, strengthens self-control, effort and desire to overcome.

Judo Techniques

Inside Judo we are going to find several keys called projection techniques (Nage Waza). With a total of 74 movements these are classified depending on their function, parts of the body that are used, purpose and way of executing them. Some of these keys are:

Te Waza (Shoulder-Arm Techniques)

In this type of keys are based on making a lever with your body helping your hands, arms or shoulders to bring down the opponent:

Seoi-nage: This is the classic Judo key we’ve all seen in any movie and would all like to know how to do. It’s about grabbing your opponent’s arm and putting your back on him to carry his weight on your shoulder, lift him up and throw him forward doing a somersault in the air that hits his back hard against the ground.

Tai-otoshi: Similar to the previous one, this time the opponent is not lifted over your shoulder but rather a movement is made around your hip and the leg is used to perform the tripping that makes the opponent lose balance.

Kata-guruma(Wheel by the shoulders): This key is very famous because it is one of the most used in Wrestling. With one hand you hold the opponent’s arm and with the other you pass it through the crotch to raise it over your shoulders. Then you only have to throw it, causing it to turn like a wheel so that it hits the ground with its side.

Sukui-nage: In this complicated move the fighter must try to surprise his opponent by standing behind him and looking both in the same direction for each hand to grab one of his legs by the thighs and raise them to fall backwards.

Uki-ostoshi(Floating Throw): The fighter grabs with both hands the chest of the opponent and separating his legs to decrease the height of his position exerts force downward to bring down his opponent.

Sumi-otoshi: Hold his body with both hands and take a step forward that leaves one of your feet more forward than his to push with the weight of your body making him lose his balance. Then you only have to finish the push with the strength of your arms to throw it to the ground.

Morote-gari (Mowing with two hands): You have to bend over and grab the rival’s leg with both hands. One by passing it between the leg and the other on the outside to pull with force, destabilize it and knock it down.

Kuchiki Taoshi: In this technique you grasp the outside of the leg with one hand and the other holding its neck. The hand that goes to the neck pushes and that of the leg stretches to reduce it without losing the grip when it is on the ground.

Tip: A great way to practice Judo techniques is to buy a grappling dummy

Koshi Waza (Hip Techniques)

If in the previous type of techniques we used the hands, arms and shoulders to knock down the opponent, on this occasion we will use the hip, normally to elevate him or make him lose contact with the ground and thus leave him in a total situation of vulnerability:

Uki Ghosi(Floating Hip): Very similar to Tai-otoshi only this time instead of tripping the other wrestler with the leg, we use our hip to be able to bring him down.

O-Goshi(Big Hip): This key is similar to the previous one but this time we don’t grab the arm but the body with both hands, causing a faster movement and therefore a more forceful blow.

Koshi-guruma(Wheel for the hip): We could say that this is a mixture of the two previous ones. If you look at the type of key and the objective is the same but what varies is the type of grip. In the Koshi-guruma one of our hands holds an arm and the other arm grabs its neck.

Utshuri Goshi (Change of hip): One of the most spectacular movements. You have to hug your opponent by the hip with both arms and use your own hip to elevate his, making him lose the contact of his feet with the ground. Once you get this as you have grabbed it you throw it into the ground.

Ushiro Goshi(Hip back): Similar to the previous one but with an extra difficulty since you must have the rival in front of you and the objective after raising it is to throw it behind you.

Harai goshi (Sweep with the hip): it takes place the moment the attacker stands in front of the defender, resting one arm on one of his shoulders while the other supports him under the arm.

At that moment the attacker places the first arm behind the neck of the defender and in turn pulls the arm with the second to incline it towards itself. The attacker continues the technique by extending the leg to truncate it and turns it sideways back to the ground.

Ashi Waza (Standing Techniques)

Foot techniques are those that use the movement of the legs (we had seen some that used the legs for tripping but this was static) to perform the demolition. Do not confuse the meaning of the name, does not mean that these techniques are performed standing (upright, bipedal position), but refers to the use of the legs:

O-soto-gari (Great exterior mowing): it is a key that is taught at the beginning of the learning in Judo, when the students are white and yellow belt. It consists of a sweep hooked to the leg that is done tripping behind the opponent to make him lose his balance and knock him down.

De-ashi-harai (Forward Foot Sweep): Holding his two arms with your hands, we make a sweep with our leg forward to his forward leg to push him simultaneously in the opposite direction with the arms looking for him to fall to the ground.

Sasae Tsuri Komi Ashi (Action of pulling and lifting blocking the support foot): With a normal grip you have to cause an imbalance with the weight of your body so that just when you go to rectify the position of his feet to regain stability, place your foot on his ankle preventing him from moving and causing his fall.

Hiza Guruma(Wheel for the knee): Very similar to the previous one but instead of using the weight of your body to move the rival in his direction, this time we pull it to block with our foot this time his knee and get the same result.

O Uchi Gari(Great inner mowing): Complicated movement, it is done in two beats. In the first one we move towards our rival grabbing him to put a foot behind his on the inside. In the second half, we block the leg we have placed behind him, to advance again with the other leg and this time pushing him with the arms and cause his fall.

Sutemi Waza (Sacrificial Techniques)

The techniques of sacrifice are so called because to apply them, it is necessary that we also fall to the ground for what is considered a sacrifice (since we fall down and hit the ground) to get to perform the attack.

Tomoe Nage: It is the mythical key of Judo that we all imagine we can achieve. When they advance towards us you grab it by the shoulders, put the sole of your foot in its stomach and let yourself fall towards your back by lifting it up and throwing it backwards.

Tani Otoshi(Derribo en el Valle): One arm catches the rival’s neck, the other grabs the body surrounding his arm, you put your leg to provoke a tripping and you drop the weight of your body to drag it with you falling your side and the rival with your back full.

Uki Waza(Floating Technique): Another movement for when they are thrown on top of you. You grab their shoulders with both hands and let yourself fall backwards at the same time that with your two legs you trap and block their leg. It is then when you make a lateral movement to fall sideways during the fall that causes the opponent has no choice but to go to the ground.

Ura Nage: Another famous technique appropriated by Wrestling wrestlers. No wonder it looks spectacular. You grab your opponent at the waist, lift him up and let him fall backwards by turning him over and throwing him squarely into the ground.

Katame Waza (Control Techniques)

In the control techniques the objective is to immobilize the enemy when he is lying on the ground so that he cannot make any movement that implies a response on his part in the form of counter-attack.

Yoko Shio Gatame (lateral control over 4 points of support): In this technique of Judo the attacker is placed on his knees on the right side of the opponent to hold his right shoulder and head with his left arm, the latter passing behind his head. In this position, the attacker controls the defender’s hip and passes the right arm between the legs.
Kon Kesa Gatame: When he is on the ground you must position yourself perpendicularly towards him with your side above his chest, trapping his neck with one arm and his arm with the other.

Kuzure Yoko Shiho Gatame: Again on the perpendicularly but this time not sideways, if not chest to chest. With one arm passing through his crotch you must catch his leg and with the other shoulder. As his arm is also “crushed” by your weight, he will not be able to move.

Kansetsu Waza (Luxation Techniques)

In this type of techniques you seek to dislocate and injure your enemy to finish him off:

Ude-hishigui-hiza-gatame(Luxation of the knee): the technique is achieved at the moment that the left hand takes the right heel of the opponent by the outer edge and the right instep of the opponent is placed in the hole that is in his own left knee. Immediately the right hand should grasp the enemy’s leg at the top of the thigh to tighten tightly the heel, and force the joint.

Ude Garami (Elbow Luxation): If you find yourself on the enemy, you must place his arm at a 90 degree angle with his elbow up. If you have done it on his left arm, you must place your right arm under his elbow as a point of support for the lever. With your left hand you hold his wrist and your right hand (the one below the elbow) you put it on your left wrist to make force together with the two down.

Ashi Gatame(Shoulder Luxation): With the rival on his knees, his hands in contact with the ground and you kneeling, you have to grab his wrist with both hands, pass your leg over his shoulder as a point of support for the lever and stretch with both hands of his wrist towards you.

Judo Rules

Judocas must wear kimono clothing, called judo-gui with their respective judo belt.

The hip and two shoulders of one of the opponents must touch the ground for the defeat to be checked.

If you immobilize for more than two seconds or knock out your opponent, you win.

One of the judocas may surrender if it is overtaken by a key. It must be indicated by hitting the ground or the opponent’s body with the sole of the foot or palm of the hand.

Neither of the two participants will assume any responsibility for injuries during the bout.

While the battle is taking place, four witnesses must be present to certify that the Judo rules are correctly complied with.