Beginners Guide To Judo

By: Jimmy Cox

The origin of Judo can be traced back to the original art of Jiu Jitsu. In actuality, the word Judo was adopted by the late Professor Jigoro Kano, founder of Kodokan Judo, for his special methods. During his youth, Professor Kano made a careful study of the art of Jiu Jitsu and developed from it his Kodokan Judo, which is the one universally recognized throughout Japan today.

Judo is taught by Kodokan instructors to the army, navy, police and college students throughout Japan. Members of the older schools of Jiu Jitsu which still survive in Japan frequently join the Kodokan to gain greater proficiency and higher standing in their own art.

Falling (Ukemi)

The technique of falling should be mastered in order to avoid injury from violent shock or impact when being thrown on the ground. The art of falling should be practiced on a mat. However, falls may be taken on hard surfaces once you have fully mastered the art of falling. But as a beginner never attempt this practice except on a mat or soft ground.

In taking a fall, the impact should be absorbed by the slap of the hand and foot upon the ground, which will prevent injury and unpleasant jarring.

In executing the back fall from a sitting position both hands and forearms must hit the mat the instant your back touches it, with the arms at a 45 degree angle from the body. Be sure to raise your head so that it does not hit the mat at any time.

In falling from the standing position start by trying to sit down close to your left heel. When you are as close to the ground as you can get, roll back with your arm raised. At the moment your back touches the mat, slap the mat in the same manner as you did the sitting position.

In falling to the side and backward bring your arms level with your shoulders and across your chest, and as you fall back twist your body slightly, then slap the mat with your hand and forearm as your back touches. This can be done from the standing position.


One of the most potent Judo throws is known as O-soto-gari. Break the attacker's balance by pulling him to his right. Then, place your left foot in back and to the left of his right foot. Instantaneously move your right leg forward and past his right leg. Then, sweep backwards and outwards near the middle of his thigh as forcibly as you can with the same part of your thigh.

At the same time pull down his right arm with your left hand, and push back his left shoulder blade with your right hand. The attacker will fall directly backwards. A variation of this may be executed by thrusting the heel of your right hand under the attacker's nose at the moment of throwing.

Another very useful Judo throw is known as Tomoe-nage. Gripping your adversary by his left lapel with your right hand, and his right elbow sleeve with your left hand, pull him forward and off balance. At the same time, raise your right knee so that you can place your right foot in your attacker's mid section.

Continuing to pull him forward with both hands, start to sit down close to your left heel and roll back. Pull your attacker onto your right foot, swinging your foot so that the antagonist passes over and away from your body, completing the throw. Note that if the throw is done correctly the leg is not straightened out, but instead moves in a bent position and in a circular motion.

These are the very beginning techniques in judo necessary for you to know.

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