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The original martial art of Judo did have striking techniques as part of the curriculum.

Kodokan Judo and Olympic Sport Judo differ in regards to striking techniques. Olympic Sport Judo does not allow striking of any kind. Kodokan Judo, on the other hand, does have striking techniques as part of its self-defense curriculum. Striking compliments the grappling aspect of the sport.

Many Olympic Sport Judoka may not even be aware that Judo even has striking unless they have trained in Japan. Most only train in the limited techniques allowed in the IJJF Olympic Sport Judo.

The Importance of Judo's Striking Techniques in Self-Defense Situations

The Purpose of Striking in Judo

Why is striking included in this grappling art? Striking in Judo is not like striking in boxing, Savate, or Muay Thai. In these arts striking is the mainstay or bulk of the strategy of self defense. Striking techniques in Judo are used to complement grappling techniques.

Let me explain...

The purpose of striking in judo is to help you complete your grappling techniques and maintain control of an opponent.

These techniques include striking vital points using the hammer fist to the temple, strikes to the groin, or heel of the foot on the lower abdomen.

The parts of your body you will use as weapons are the outside edge of the hand, the fist, the elbow, the foot, the ball of the foot, and the knee.

Striking Techniques in Self-Defense

One example could be using a double collar or double lapel grip to execute a takedown like Tomoe Nage, then finishing them off with a hammer fist to the temple or face. This is an excellent way to make Judo into a more well-rounded martial art.

Striking techniques are also useful in self-defense situations. Suppose someone grabs your clothes or tries to strike back while you are trying to throw them using Judo. In that case, a hammer fists to the side of the face will stun them for a few seconds. This gives you time to execute a monster throw.

You can also use striking to neutralize a weapon. Techniques such as the wrist twist (Kote Gaeshi) or locking the elbow of the weapon hand all work 200% better if you strike the enemy in the face first.

Final Thoughts

In Judo, striking is a secondary aspect of grappling. It definitely complements Judo by making it a very well-rounded martial art.

Striking techniques in Judo target vital points of the human body. These techniques are essential if you ever have to use Judo in a self-defense situation. This is especially true in situations where someone is holding a weapon.

Judo is not meant to make you into Mike Tyson or Muhammad Ali. It is an essential aspect of Judo that complements your grappling techniques. 

If you are a Judoka who takes self-defense seriously, it is important to practice Judo's striking techniques.