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  • How do you fake out an opponent in Judo? Learn to take advantage of their reactions

Faking out your opponent in Judo involves creating a deceptive movement or feint to make them think you are going to execute a particular technique, only to execute a different one. Here are some ways to fake out your opponent in Judo:

Judo Fakes

Step 1: Use your footwork

Let's get right to it.

Using footwork to fake out your opponent is a key skill. The idea is to move your feet in a way that makes your opponent believe you will attack in one direction, but you end up attacking in another.

You would use this same strategy in striking. Start punching on one direction then change to a completely different punch.

The goal is to become unpredictable.

To do this, you can try a feint with your lead foot by taking a small step as if you're about to attack in one direction, then quickly switching to attack in the COMPLETE opposite direction. Alternatively, you can use a "shuffle step" by quickly shuffling your feet in one direction, then switching to attack in the opposite direction.

But be careful not to over-commit with your hips, as this will give away your true intentions and make it easier for your opponent to defend the throw. Instead, you should focus on using your footwork to create an opening for your attack and move DECISIVELY when the time is right.

Step 2: Create a reaction

Reality is…

To fake a throw, you can begin by setting up for a specific throw, such as an Osoto Gari or Uchi Mata. As you approach your opponent, you can initiate the motion of the throw, but then suddenly stop or change direction, causing your opponent to react by shifting their weight or moving in a certain way.

Let me explain…

Once your opponent has reacted, you can use their movement or positioning to your advantage to execute a different throw or technique.

They have to react somehow. If they don't react at all, just throw them. 

For example, if your opponent has shifted their weight to defend against your initial fake throw, you may be able to quickly transition to a different throw that takes advantage of their off-balance position.

Faking a throw can be an effective technique for both offensive and defensive purposes. If you are on the defensive and your opponent is pressuring you with attacks, you can use a fake throw to create space and force them to reset their attack.

Fake outs

Step 3: Capitlilize on their reaction

Bottom line is…

To capitalize on your opponent's reaction, you need to be quick on your feet and watch their movement. As soon as your opponent reacts to your fake, be ready to throw quickly and decisively to execute your technique.

You have to read your opponent's movements and adjust your strategy accordingly. Pay attention to their footwork, body positioning, and balance, so that you can execute your technique at the right moment.

Listen, once you've committed to executing your technique, do so with full commitment and focus. Use your whole body to generate power and momentum, and follow through with your technique until your opponent is fully immobilized or thrown.

How can you use your opponent's reaction to your advantage? What are some different techniques you can use to take advantage of openings in Judo? 

Here is a short list of throws that change directions:

  • Switching from Seoi Nage to Seoi Otoshi
  • Transitioning from Ippon Seoi Nage to Seoi Otoshi
  • Following up Ko Uchi Gari with Seoi Nage
  • Switching from Ko Uchi Gari to O Uchi Gari
  • Combining O Uchi Gari with Tai Otoshi
  • Combining O Uchi Gari with Ko Uchi Gari
  • Combining O Uchi Gari with Uchi Mata
  • Following up Uchi Mata with O Uchi Gari or Ko Uchi Gari
  • Combining Tai Otoshi with O Uchi Gari
  • Combining Ko Soto Gari with Tai Otoshi
  • Following up Hiza Guruma with O Soto Gari or De Ashi Harai
  • Combining O Soto Gari with Ko Soto Gari
  • Following up Hiza Guruma with Harai Goshi
  • Combining Hane Goshi with O Soto Gari
  • Combining Tsuri Komi Goshi with Sukui Nage or O Uchi Gari
  • Feinting

    Bonus Tip:

    Here's something you probably don't know about...Use timing and rhythm: You can fake out your opponent by changing the timing and rhythm of your movements. For example, if you have been executing techniques with a certain rhythm, you can suddenly change the rhythm to throw your opponent off balance. 

    What are some other ways you can use your feet to deceive your opponent in Judo? How can you improve your footwork to become a more unpredictable fighter? With practice and determination, you can master this fundamental skill and become a force to be reckoned with on the mat.