• Home
  • /
  • Blog
  • /
  • Judo Terminology A-Z With Translations
Judo TechniqueEnglish Translation
Ashi GurumaLeg wheel
Ashi Hishigi Ashi GatameLeg lock
Ashi Hishigi JimeLeg choke
Ashi Hishigi Juji GatameLeg cross lock
Ashi Hishigi Kote GaeshiWrist turning foot lock
Ashi-wazaFoot/leg techniques
Deashi HaraiForward foot sweep
Do JimeTrunk choke
Eri SeoiCollar shoulder throw
Gyaku Juji JimeReverse cross choke
Hadaka JimeNaked choke
Harai-goshiSweeping hip throw
Hikikomi GaeshiPulling-in reversal
Hiza GurumaKnee wheel
Hon Kesa GatameBasic scarf hold
Kata GurumaShoulder wheel
Kata Juji JimeSingle wing choke
Kani BasamiScissors throw
Koshi GurumaHip wheel
Ko Uchi GariMinor inner reap
Kouchi-gariMinor inner reap
Kubi NageNeck throw
Kuzure Eri JimeModified sliding collar choke
Kuzure Kesa GatameModified scarf hold
Kuzure Kami Shiho GatameModified upper four quarters hold
Kuzure Yoko Shiho GatameModified side four quarters hold
Morote Seoi NageTwo hand shoulder throw
Nami Juji JimeNormal cross choke
Okuri Eri JimeSliding collar choke
Osoto-gariMajor outer reap
Ouchi-gariMajor inner reap
Sankaku JimeTriangle choke
Sasae Tsurikomi AshiPropping drawing ankle throw
Seoi NageShoulder throw
Sode Tsurikomi GoshiSleeve lifting pulling hip throw
Sumi GaeshiCorner counter
Sutemi WazaSacrifice techniques
Tate Shiho GatameVertical four quarters hold
Tani OtoshiValley drop
Tomoe NageCircular throw
Tsuri GoshiLifting hip throw
Uchi MataInner thigh throw
Ude GaramiArm entanglement
Ude Hishigi Ashi GatameLeg arm lock
Ude Hishigi Hiza GatameKnee arm lock
Ude Hishigi Juji GatameCross arm lock
Ude Hishigi Ude GatameArm lock
Uki OtoshiFloating drop
Uki WazaFloating technique
Ura NageRear throw
Ushiro GoshiRear hip throw
Ushiro GurumaRear wheel
Ushiro Koshi GurumaRear hip wheel
Utsuri GoshiChanging hip throw
Yoko GakeSide hook
Yoko GurumaSide wheel
Yoko OtoshiSide drop
Yoko WakareSide separation

Have you ever wanted to learn more about judo? If so, you’ve come to the right place! Judo terminology is an essential part of understanding and mastering this martial art. We’ll provide you with a comprehensive guide that covers all aspects of the language of judo – from A-Z. You’ll find detailed translations and explanations, so you can learn all the words and phrases used in judo. So, if you’re ready to take your knowledge of judo to the next level, keep reading!

Judo Terminology

We know learning a new language can be overwhelming at times. That’s why we created this easy-to-follow guide that breaks down all the jargon used in judo. We’ll explain everything from basic commands for beginners to technical terms for experts. With our help, you’ll feel like a judo pro in no time!

From ukemi (breakfall) to yudansha (black belt), we have it all covered. Ready to get started? Let's dive into the world of judo terminology!

Atemi Waza

In Atemi Waza, martial artists utilize an array of techniques such as punches, strikes, slaps, thrusts, and kicks to disrupt the adversary's posture and create strategic opportunities for throws or other maneuvers. Nevertheless, it is imperative to execute these techniques with precision, as they possess the capability to cause severe physical harm.

Seasoned practitioners often employ punches and strikes to destabilize their opponents, whereas thrusts and kicks are utilized to induce pain and obstruct their posture. The efficacy of Atemi Waza hinges on its proper application by those who possess a thorough comprehension of the judicious and prudent utilization of judo techniques.

Furthermore, one must bear in mind that judo serves as a self-defense martial art and not one of aggression. Therefore, practitioners must exercise discretion and treat their opponents with care and respect, safeguarding their safety above all else.

Atemi Waza

Gokyo no Waza

The Gokyo no Waza is a set of forty throws authorized by the Kodokan, the Japanese governing body for judo. O-soto-gari, ouchi-gari, seoi-nage, kouchi-gari, and uchi-mata, the five most important throws in judo, are included in this set. All these throws use the legs to execute the technique on the opponent.

Gokyo no Waza is a systematic approach to learning judo, offering a wide range of throwing options for any given situation. It serves as a crucial reference for competitions, with judges requiring familiarity with the Gokyo no Waza set for accurate judgment calls. It also encourages practitioners to concentrate on mastering one or two techniques from the set instead of attempting to learn them all at once.

Gokyo no Waza promotes mental discipline and physical agility as practitioners strive to master each throw from the set. Practicing these techniques frequently will allow them to comprehend the optimal application of these techniques against an opponent in competition or even during everyday practice sessions with a partner or coach. Through regular practice, practitioners gain confidence and effectiveness in real-life situations when applying these techniques.

Gokyo no Waza


Kaeshi, a term in Judo, refers to the technique of countering and reversing an opponent's move, a skill vital for any judoka to acquire. This technique allows fighters to swiftly gain the upper hand in any exchange, making it both an offensive and defensive asset. With kaeshi, fighters can execute effective throws even after being thrown themselves, a true sign of mastery.

Kaeshi, when executed precisely, can be devastatingly effective. By utilizing the opponent's momentum against them, a judoka can throw them off balance and counter with their technique, displaying their prowess and skill. This technique is especially useful for smaller fighters who can use leverage rather than strength to defeat larger, stronger opponents.

In addition to its offensive capabilities, kaeshi provides several defensive options as well. A judoka can block an incoming attack while simultaneously positioning themselves better on the mat by employing kaeshi. This technique enables them to escape from dangerous situations or create a more advantageous position for the next exchange. Therefore, kaeshi is a critical component of a judoka's skill set, requiring regular practice to remain competitive at all levels of competition.


Kansetsu Waza

Kansetsu Waza is a technique in Judo that focuses on joint manipulation, using leverage to create pain and force an opponent to submit. This group of techniques is called "joint techniques" in Japanese, and can be executed both when standing or when one combatant has the other in a submission hold.

Ude-Garami, commonly known as armbar, is the most frequently employed form of Kansetsu Waza, immobilizing the arm by twisting it. Other forms include Nage-Waza, throwing techniques, and Katame-Waza, grappling techniques. All of these techniques utilize joint manipulation to gain control over an opponent and force them to submit.

Executing Kansetsu Waza requires a deep understanding of leverage and the application of pressure at the right angle against the opponent's joint. Timing is also crucial for successful execution. It is vital to practice this technique safely as improper use can lead to severe injuries. Practicing with an experienced Judo partner can ensure proper form and safe execution.

Kansetsu Waza

Katame Waza

Katame Waza is a type of Judo technique that involves holding and controlling an opponent. It is also referred to as grappling techniques or ground techniques. Katame Waza can be divided into three categories: osae-waza (holding techniques), shime-waza (strangling techniques) and kansetsu-waza (joint locking techniques).

Osae-waza are typically used to maintain control of an opponent while on the ground. This is usually done by using pressure from the body to pin the opponent down, or by using leverage against a joint in order to lock it in place. These techniques are used to prevent an opponent from attacking.

Shime-waza involve strangling an opponent with the arms, legs, or other parts of their body such as their neck or abdomen. This can be used to both control and restrain an opponent. Kansetsu-waza are joint locking techniques which involve putting pressure on a joint in order to cause pain and restrict movement. These techniques can be used to disable an opponent's limbs temporarily, allowing for a submission hold or a takedown.

These three types of Katame Waza are essential tools for any judoka looking to gain control of their opponents during a match. While each technique must be practiced and perfected separately, they all work together to form a comprehensive approach for controlling one's opponents on the mat.

Katame Waza


Next is Nage, the Japanese term for throw, and a vital technique in the art of Judo. Nage involves seizing the opponent's body or clothing with both hands, utilizing leverage and speed to unbalance them and land them on their back. It is an important part of Judo, as it enables the practitioner to score points or gain control of the situation at hand.

In Judo, there are two varieties of Nage - te-waza, or hand techniques, and koshi-waza, which employs the hips, torso, and legs to lift the opponent off the ground. Both types require considerable skill and practice to perfect. There are also several variations within each category, such as ouchi-gari, a hip technique that involves entering the opponent's space to bring them down onto their back.

Nage demands a great deal of skill and practice, but when executed correctly, it is quite impressive. Proper timing and technique enable the judoka to dominate their opponent on the mat with speed and efficiency. Nage is an essential component of Judo and a display of true mastery of the art.


Osae Komi Waza

Next is Osae Komi Waza, let's discuss the details of this form of judo. Osae Komi Waza is a pinning technique that can be used to immobilize an opponent and win the match. It involves pressing against the opponent's body with your own in order to control them and prevent them from moving. The goal is to keep the opponent on their back for a period of 25 seconds or more in order to earn a victory.

This type of judo requires strength, balance, timing and technique in order to be effective. Strength is needed to hold down opponents and keep them from moving. Balance is also important because it allows you to remain in position while keeping your opponent pinned down. Timing is crucial for this technique as it allows you to make quick movements in order to gain control over your opponent before they have time to react. Finally, proper technique is necessary in order for Osae Komi Waza to be effective; incorrect posture or grip can result in your opponent escaping or even counter-attacking you.

Osae Komi Waza can be used both offensively and defensively depending on the situation. Offensively, it can be used as a surprise attack when your opponent least expects it. Defensively, it can be used as a way to protect yourself from being thrown or taken down by an opponent who has gained control of you. Learning how and when to use this technique effectively will help improve your overall judo skills and increase your chances of success on the mat!

Osae Komi Waza

Shime Waza

Shime Waza is a category of Judo techniques involving choking or strangling. It is one of the three categories of Katame-waza, which are techniques used to control an opponent. There are two variations of this technique, which are either performed with the hands or with the legs.

When performing shime waza with the hands, the attacker grabs their opponent's lapels and applies pressure to the neck area. This technique can be used to render opponents unconscious within a few seconds if applied correctly. The application must be done in a controlled manner so that it does not cause any permanent physical damage to the opponent.

When performing shime waza with the legs, the attacker wraps their legs around their opponents neck and locks them into place using pressure from their thighs and feet. This technique is often used when trying to pin an opponent down and can also be effective for taking an opponent off balance and onto their back for further control or submission holds.

Shime waza requires a great deal of skill and precision as mistakes can easily lead to injury or worse. It is important that practitioners practice these techniques in a safe environment under close supervision until they have mastered them properly.

Shime Waza

Te Waza

Te Waza, a vast category of judo techniques, involves throwing one's opponent. It encompasses all throws, from simple to complex, divided into two main groups: Ashi-waza, or leg techniques, and Koshi-waza, or hip techniques. Each category is further classified according to type and target.

Ashi-waza, including Ouchi-gari, Uchi-mata, Harai-goshi, Osoto-gari, Okuriashi-harai, Sasae-tsurikomi-ashi, and more, require quick footwork and a balanced posture. The objective is to unbalance the opponent while executing the throw.

Koshi-waza, on the other hand, are typically more powerful, as they utilize the hips to force the opponent off balance. They include Uki Goshi, Sumi Gaeshi, Seoi Nage, and others. Unlike Ashi-waza, which rely heavily on timing and footwork accuracy, Koshi-waza demand strong hips and good balance, allowing the practitioner to use their body weight effectively when executing the technique.

Te Waza is essential for every judoka due to its ability to quickly and decisively throw an opponent off balance. Proper understanding of each technique is crucial for application in any given situation during a match.

Te Waza


Ukemi, which means "receiving body," is a vital skill for Judo practitioners to master in order to fall or roll without causing injury.

There are two types of Ukemi that one must pay close attention to. The first is forward Ukemi, which involves rolling forwards over the shoulder. The second is backward Ukemi, which involves rolling backwards over the hips. It is of utmost importance to ensure that one's head does not hit the ground, and that their arms remain close to the body for protection during both types of Ukemi.

Ukemi is not a skill that can be acquired overnight, my friends. It requires time, dedication, and practice to master. However, once the basics are understood, one can begin to experiment with different ways of rolling and falling, aiming to become proficient in executing a safe and effective Ukemi technique.


I hope this article has given you a good overview of Judo and its terminology. After reading it, I'm sure you have a better understanding of the sport and what it entails. You now know how often to practice, the best way to learn, the rules, benefits, and how to become a certified instructor.

Quick Guide

Overall, Judo is an amazing martial art that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. It's important to remember that learning a new language can be difficult at first; however with dedication and focus, it will become easier over time.

My advice is to take your time with learning Judo and its terminology. Be patient with yourself as you learn and don't be afraid to ask for help if needed. With dedication and hard work, you can easily become an expert in judo terminology!


Common Questions About Judo

Question: How Often Should I Practice Judo?

How much should one practice judo? A vital inquiry for all practitioners to ponder. The response is reliant on several factors, including the individual's skill level, physical condition, and available time. However, generally speaking, practicing at least two to three times per week is advisable for those seeking proficiency in the art of judo.

Beginners may require more frequent training sessions to develop their skills and build up their strength and endurance. An ideal practice schedule for a novice would be four times a week, each session lasting between one and two hours. As their technique and conditioning improve, the frequency of their training sessions can decrease.

Judo practitioners must take regular breaks from training to give their body and mind some rest. Scheduled rest days or weeks throughout the year, along with taking brief breaks during regular weekly training sessions, are vital. Short breaks during training permit the body and mind time to recuperate, resulting in optimal performance during each session.

Judo is a thrilling martial art that demands dedication and commitment to progress through its ranks. Practicing regularly hones skills while increasing strength and flexibility. However, pushing oneself too hard or too frequently without sufficient rest time can lead to overexertion. A balance of practice time, rest days or weeks, and appropriate breaks during each session will enable steady progress towards becoming an accomplished judoka!

Question: What Is The Best Way To Learn Judo?

Learning judo is an exciting journey, and understanding the best way to do it can help you progress faster. From understanding the basics of the sport, to learning more complex techniques, there are a few ways that you can learn judo.

One way to learn judo is by studying its fundamentals. Learning the basics of the sport can help develop a strong foundation for mastering more advanced techniques. Investing in instructional videos or attending classes with experienced instructors can be helpful in this regard. Researching different concepts and terms related to judo can also be beneficial in expanding your knowledge base.

Another way to learn judo is through sparring with other practitioners. Sparring allows you to practice techniques and gain valuable experience in a real-world setting. It's important to ensure that both parties are wearing protective gear and following proper safety protocols when sparring with someone else. Additionally, finding an experienced partner who is willing to provide feedback on your technique can be invaluable in furthering your development as a practitioner.

Finally, proper nutrition and rest are crucial for any athlete—including judokas—to perform at their best during training sessions or competitions. Eating healthy foods and getting adequate sleep will help keep you energized and ready for action on the mats. Additionally, having an effective warm-up routine prior to each practice session will help avoid injury and improve overall performance.

These methods can help you learn judo effectively while staying safe at all times. With dedication and hard work, you'll be able to master the art of judo in no time!

Question: What Are The Rules Of Judo?

When it comes to learning the martial art of judo, understanding the rules is essential for mastering the discipline. Judo is a Japanese martial art that emphasizes body movements and leverage over strength. It has become popular in recent decades due to its effectiveness in self-defense and its use as an Olympic sport. Knowing the rules of judo not only helps you learn how to properly practice the martial art, but also how to compete in tournaments.

The main rule of judo is known as Seiryoku Zenyo, which translates to “maximum efficiency with minimum effort.” This means that judokas should strive to use their opponent's strength against them while using minimal effort themselves. This rule also applies when defending against an attack, as a judoka should look for ways to use an attacker's momentum against them without having to directly resist it.

Another important rule of judo is Kuzushi, or unbalancing your opponent. By using throws, sweeps, and other techniques, a judoka can create an imbalance in their opponent's posture that makes it easier for them to move or throw them. Additionally, they must be aware of their own balance during any technique or movement, as falling out of balance can put them at risk of being thrown or swept themselves.

Judo can be both physically and mentally demanding and requires precise technique and control from those who practice it. Understanding these two core rules will help beginners gain a better understanding of judo fundamentals and allow more experienced practitioners refine their technique for competition-level performance. Taking the time to understand these principles will benefit anyone looking to master this dynamic martial art form.