Martial Art Sessions: Judo

The popularity of MMA or martial in the recent years lead droves of people into practice or martial many of which were interested in the striking prowess of Muay Thai and Karate and the subtle yet deadly moves of Judo and Jiujitsu. However, this article will focus on the art of Judo.


judoBoth Judo and Jiujitsu (or Brazilian Jiujitsu) came from Japanese Jujutsu. “Ju” meaning “subtle” or “gentle”, and “Jutsu” meaning “technique”. Japanese Jujutsu had seen action during the feudal period of Japan as it was the curriculum of close quarter fighting that the samurai use against their enemies. Jujutsu focuses more on the close quarter combat involving throw, gouging and bone breaking techniques. Jujutsu did not focus on empty-handed strikes and kicks because it will be useless against a fully armored opponent. When the Tokugawa era ended and was followed by the Meiji restoration, the samurais and their fighting methods fell out of favor to be replaced by the modernized Western-trained armies. This point was brutally pointed out during the Satsuma rebellion when an entire army of a samurai was killed by western trained troops. This is where the schism started.

Tachi Waza and ne waza

Judo was founded by a Jujutsu expert named Jigoro Kano. He deleted all the weapons and gouging techniques as well as the techniques that only use weight advantage and focused only in the core of jujutsu. Emphasizing dominant body positioning technique and timing over sheer body strength gave Judo fighters the ability to take on heavier opponents. A man weighing 120 pounds could easily throw a man weigh 200 pounds or more using judo techniques. Judo fight has two phases, the first is tachi waza or the standing phase wherein two competitors try to throw or slam each other on the mat. The second is ne waza or katame waza wherein this part starts when the first part ends – when the enemy is thrown into the ground, the judoka moves in and uses grappling techniques like choke and pin holds to end the match. No striking is allowed throughout the phases, and points are awarded by the effectiveness of throw execution, length of pin hold or by the enemy tapping out during a chokehold. For the ne waza part, a judo player is only allowed a 10 seconds window to effectively employ either a pin hold or a choke hold if after the allotted time the judoka fails then the referee will stop the fight and will make them stand back up again to reset the match in tachi waza.

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