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General Knowledge and Principles

Judo History


Judo is derived from Jujutsu. It was created by Professor Jigoro Kano who was born in Japan on October 28, 1860. 

Philosophy and Principles

The aim of judo is to utilize physical and mental strength most effectively. 

The basic principles of judo are easy to grasp and are essential for the person studying the technique of judo. More about principles here and here.

Dojo (Judo Club)

The word Dojo has many meanings, such as exercise hall, practice hall or place of learning the way. 

Judogi, Uniforms, Kimono

Judogi is the formal Japanese name for the traditional uniform used for Judo practice and competition. Here is some info about competition Judogi and places to buy it. Part of the judogi is the belt, here is how you can tie your belt and video. Also learn how you can fold you gi here.

Belts and Ranks

Achievement in Judo is recognized by a series of ranks. Learn more about traditional Judo ranks here and what does black belt really mean.

Sansei (teacher), Bowing and Sitting

Sansei. The term sensei includes several levels of meaning. Some martial artists equate it with “master”, but this is a meaning that is not used much in Judo circles. 10 things you should know about your Sansei.

Bowing. One of the very first items of etiquette which the Deshi (student) must learn is when they enter or leave any Dojo, they must perform a Ritsu Rei (standing bow) in and out of the Dojo.

Sitting. When in any Dojo you are to remain seated in the correct Seiza (kneeling seated) unless the Sensei tells you to sit some other way.

Judo Rules

Find original Kodokan rules here, official International Judo Federation rules here and article about evolution of rules in Judo. Also here is a simple Competition guide and info about what to expect at a tournament.

Referee and Penalties

Find all Referee signals here. And list of main competition penalties here.

FAQ and Vocabulary

Questions and answers about Martial arts, Judo, Kodokan, and more.


Judo Basics – Beginner’s Lessons

Posture (Shisei)

The ideal posture to freely apply judo throws is an upright natural posture. Shisei is classified in Shizen-tai and Jigo-tai. Dowload PDF file with postures or watch this video.

Footwork (Suri ashi)

Suri ashi (Footwork) used when moving during a contest or Randori. Other basic Judo stepping methods include the Ayumi-ashi (Walking step) and the Tsugi-ashi (Following step). There are more steps techniques, watch this video for details.

Body Movement (Tai sabaki)

Tai sabaki means changing the position and direction of your body while maintaining a stable posture. The basis of nage waza (throwing techniques) lies in keeping your opponent off balance by executing excellent tai sabaki. There are three major types of tai sabaki (watch video):

Falling Techniques (Ukemi)

Ukemi is a series of techniques that enable you to fall or be thrown down in relative safety, avoiding shock or injury from a violent impact against the mat. For more information see The Study of Falling or Understanding Ukemi. Or watch these videos: Forward falling (Mae ukemi), Sideways falling (Yoko ukemi), Backward falling (Ushiro ukemi), and Forward rolling falling (Mae mawari ukemi).

Gripping Techniques (Kumi kate)

The basic grips (Kumi kate) in judo are taken from shizentai (natural posture) and jigotai (defensive posture) by grasping the lapel of the opponent’s jacket with one hand and the sleeve with the other. Learn basics on gripping (PDF file), case study on grip domination, and how to develop grip strangth. Also watch this video.

Kuzushi, Tsukuri, and Applying a Throw (Kake)

Kuzushi in Judo means forcing the opponent into an unbalanced position. Find more info about role and study of kuzushi.

Tsukuri is the entry and proper fitting of your body into the position taken just before the moment required for completion of your throwing technique.

Kake is the completing movement of your technique. Tsukuri and Kake can also be called technical principles of Judo.

Judo techniques work best when these three elements work together (Watch video).




All Judo Techniques – Intermediate Lessons

Throwing Techniques (Nege Waza)

Standing Techniques (Tachi Waza)

Hand Techniques (Te Waza) Foot Techniques (Ashi Waza) Hip Techniques (Koshi Waza)
?Kata Guruma (Shoulder Wheel)Morote Seoinage (Two Hand Shoulder Throw)Tai Otoshi (Body Drop)Morote Gari (Double Leg Reaping)Ippon Seoinage (One Arm Shoulder) ThrowSukuinage (Scoop Throw)Obi Otoshi (Belt Drop)Kibisu Gaeshi (Heel Reversal)Kuchiki Taoshi (Dead Tree Drop)Morote Gari (Two Hand Reap)Sumi Otoshi (Corner Drop)

Uki Otoshi (Floating Drop)

Uchimata Sukashi (Inner Thigh Throw Slip)

Yama Arashi (Mountain Storm)

Seoi Otoshi (Shoulder Drop)

Obi Tori Gaeshi (Belt Grab Reversal)

Hiza Guruma (Knee Wheel)Kosoto Gake (Small Outside Hook)Kosoto Gari (Small Outside Hook)Kouchi Gari (Minor Inner Reaping)O Guruma (Large Wheel)Okuriashi Harai (Following Foot Sweep)Ouchi Gari (Major Inner Reaping)Ouchi Gaeshi (Major Inner Reversal)Osoto Gari (Major Outer Reaping)Osoto Gaeshi (Osotogari Counter)

Osoto Guruma (Larger Outer Wheel)

Osoto Otoshi (Larger Outer Drop)

Sasae Tsurikomi Ashi (Lifting Pulling Ankle Prop)

Tsubame Gaeshi (Flight Reversal)

Uchimata (Inner Thigh Throw)

Ashi Guruma (Leg Wheel)

Deashi Harai (Forward Foot Sweep)

Hane Goshi Gaeshi ( Hip Spring Counter)

Harai Goshi Gaeshi (Hip Sweep Counter)

Harai Tsurikomi Ashi (Lifting Pulling Foot Sweep)

Hane Goshi (Spring Hip Throw)Harai Goshi (Sweeping Hip Throw)Koshi Guruma (Hip Wheel)O Goshi (Large Hip Throw)Sode Tsurikomi Goshi (Sleeve Lifting Pulling Hip)Tsuri Goshi (Lifting Hip)Tsurikomi Goshi (Lifting Pulling Hip Throw)Uki Goshi (Floating Hip)Ushiro Goshi (Rear Hip Throw)Utsuri Goshi (Changing Hip Throw)


Sacrifice Techniques (Sutemi Waza)

Back Sacrifice (Ma Sutemi Waza) Side Sacrifice (Yoko Sutemi Waza)
Hikikomi Gaeshi (Pulling-in Reversal)Sumi Gaeshi (Corner Reversal)Tawara Gaeshi (Rice Bale Reversal)Tamoe Nage (Circle Throw)Ura Nage (Rear Throw)Tani Otoshi (Valley Drop)Uchi Makikomi (Inner Wraparound Throw)Uchi Mata Makikomi (Inner Thigh Wraparound) Yoko Wakare (Side Separation)Yoko Otoshi (Side Drop)Yoko Guruma (Side Wheel)Yoko Gake (Side Drop)Uki Waza (Floating Technique)Kouchi Makikomi (Inside Leg Trip)Daki Wakare (High Lift and Separate)Hane Makikomi (Spring Wraparound Throw)Harai Makikomi (Sweeping Wraparound)Osoto Makikomi (Major Outer Wraparound)Soto Makikomi (Outer Wraparound)


Grappling Techniques (Katame Waza)

Holding Techniques (Osae Komi Waza) Choking Techniques (Shime Waza) Joint Loking (Kansetsu Waza)
Kami Shiho Gatame (Top Four Corner Hold)Kata Gatame (Shoulder Hold)Kese Gatame (Scarf Hold)Kuzure Kami Shiho Gatame (Modified Four Corner Hold)Kuzure Kesa Gatame (Modified Scarf Hold)Tate Shiho Gatame (Straight Four Corner Hold)Uki Gatame (Floating Hold)Ushiro Kesa Gatame (Reverse Scarf Hold)Yoko Shiho Gatame (Side Four Corner Hold) Gyaku Juji Jime (Reverse Cross Choke)Nami Juji Jime (Normal Cross Choke)Kata Juji Jime (Half Cross Choke)Hadaka Jime (Rare Naked Choke)Kata Ha Jime (Single Wing Choke)Kata Te Jime (One hand Choke)Okuri Eri Jime (Sliding Lapel Choke)Ryo Te Jime (Two Handed Choke)Sankaku Jime (Triangle Choke)Sode Guruma Jime (Sleev Wheel Choke)

Tsukkomi Jime (Thrust Choke)

Ude Hishigi Ashi Gatame (Leg Lock)Ude Hishigi Hara Gatame (Stomak Lock)Ude Hishigi Hiza Gatame (Knee Lock)Ude Hishigi Juji Gatame (Cross Lock)Ude Hishigi Te Gatame (Hand Lock)Ude Hishigi Waki Gatame (Armpit Lock)Ude Hishigi Ude Gatame (Straight Arm Lock)Ude Hishigi Sankaku Gatame (Triangular Lock)Ude Garami (Bent Arm Lock)
Kinshi Waza (Forbidden Techniques)
Ashi Garami (Leg Lock)          Do Jime (Trunk Lock)          Kani Basami (Flying Scissors)          Kawazu Gake (One Leg Drop)