Learning any martial art can be a struggle, and judo is no exception. Since it was first created by Jigoro Kano, judo has traveled far and wide. From the Olympics to the modern MMA competition, judo is a popular sport.
Judo continues to impress with its technique and speed. It was even from judo that modern Brazilian jiu-jitsu evolved, focusing on the ground techniques.
But throws are the most exciting part of judo!
9 Judo Throws to Get You Started
Traditionally, judo throws are separated into classes.
These are taught to students in sequence. Here are some basic judo throws and judo moves that will help you master your art while having a lot of fun.
One of the oldest throws in judo, this move is also called the large outer reap. It is an excellent way to throw a larger, stronger opponent. You benefit from having a lower center of gravity here more than most throws, so make sure you use this against your taller opponents.
In this move, you reap your opponent’s opposite leg with yours by placing your leg at the back of their thigh and rotating very quickly. If you don’t, you will get countered. If you do, they will end up on their back.
This throw is another original throw created long ago. It is one of the simplest as well.
Move your foot to the outside, so your right foot would go outside of your opponent’s left leg. Then generate power by twisting your hips. With a firm grip on your opponent, you will sweep their legs out from under them.
With any simple sweeps, trips, and throws, you must practice a lot. If a move seems easy to accomplish then it is also easy to defend or avoid. Prepare yourself by mastering all the basic sweeps and trips and you will win more than lose.
The first hip throw on our list and a favorite of Jigoro Kano, the father of Judo. This move is classic judo in both look and execution.
To accomplish it, you must pull your opponent’s arm up and forward. Once they are off-balance turn in and wrap around their back. Keep close contact. You will be beside your opponent when you use your back and hip as floating points to toss your opponent off their feet.
Using both hands you must pull your opponent off balance. Once this is done, use your grip to spin on your heel, then straighten your knees and pull your opponent over you throwing them to the ground. This is one of the most attractive and popular throws seen in competition.
Another technique, Ippon Seoi Nage, is also very popular.
That move is similar but uses a single hand while the other hooks under your opponent’s armpit. Mastering the traditional Seoi Nage is well worth the effort before expanding it to other moves.
In this technique, you force your opponent to bend down slightly.
Hooking their head with your right arm you turn into them. Putting your hip a little past their hip, you merely bend down and lift them off their feet.
This technique has been banned in some countries due to the risk of a neck injury but is still a must for any beginning Judoka.
While this move looks intricate, it is quite simple.
Known as the Inner Reap, you simply sidestep towards your opponent. If you can get your right leg behind their left leg you “reap” the leg sweeping them off their feet. This technique is especially effective against taller opposition as with the Osoto Gari.
These techniques are excellent sweeps. Sometimes it is easy to forget that sweeps and throws are essentially the same. The best example of this is our next move.
While not the easiest throw to learn, this one is a keeper. Consistently scoring in modern competition, this move requires great technique. It is all centered around stepping between an off-balance opponent’s feet.
Instead of sweeping to either side you merely sweep straight up and turn. A well-executed Uchi Mata will result in a beautiful throw.
This technique is so interesting to learn because there are a lot of ways to accomplish it. Many instructors have specific ways to enter or use this throw. Learning these, you can gain a lot of knowledge about judo in general, as well as body mechanics so important to it.
A favorite of many in competition, this throw is especially good against someone stronger than you. Utilizing a faster technique, this move is a cornerstone of judo.
Sliding against your opponent sideways, you toss them over your hip. Be careful they don’t climb up your back during this step. Next, you end the move with your opponent on the ground.
For those who have wrestled before, this move will be very familiar.
Any martial art or sport in which you need to bring someone to the mat will use a hip toss. Moves like hip throws are centered around speed and fluidity of technique. Take the time to master it properly and it will serve you wherever you need it.
Very similar to the Uki Goshi, this throw is even more impressive. A must-have for any Judoka, this is a hip toss like its counterpart.
Instead of tossing your opponent over your hip, you lift them. This results in a more impressive throw that is popular with Judoka of all skill levels.
Learning Martial Arts Is a Life-Changing Experience
Learning judo is not easy, but it can be extremely fun. As with any martial art that involves throwing and grappling, be prepared to work very hard.
Find a gym that is close to you and has an experienced coach. Judo will teach you many basic body mechanics that will aid you in almost every sport. Fundamentals like balance, shifting weight, and learning how to fall are cornerstones of judo.
Many schools, such as the Las Vegas Kung Fu Academy, teach judo in addition to other arts. There are dozens of judo throws and mastering the throws on this list is just a beginning. Contact our academy today to get signed up for a class and start your journey to learning judo!