Online Dojo - Judo Lessons and Training
General Knowledge and Principles
1. Judo History
Judo is derived from Jujutsu. It was created by Professor Jigoro Kano who was born in Japan on October 28, 1860 and who died May 4, 1938 after a lifetime of promoting Judo. Mastering several styles of jujutsu including Kito-Ryu and Tenjin-shinyo Ryu in his youth he began to develop his own system based on modern sports principles. In 1882 he founded the Kodokan Judo Institute in Tokyo where he began teaching and which still is the international authority for Judo. The photo below shows Jigoro Kano with a gathering of jujutsu leaders in 1921. The name Judo was chosen because it means the gentle or yielding way. America's first introduction to Judo was in the late 1800's. In 1904, Yoshitsugu (Yoshiaki) Yamashita, one of Kano's students, traveled to the US and taught this Japanese sport to Theodore Roosevelt and West Point cadets. Although many local clubs and regional associations developed, attempts to organize Judo on a national basis were not successful. During the early 1930's Judo was taught at several colleges in California. In 1932 Kano lectured on Judo at the University of Southern California. In this same year four US Judo associations were formed and later became recognized by the Kodokan as representatives of American Judo. You can find more information about Judo history here or here.
2. Philosophy and Principles
The aim of judo is to utilize physical and mental strength most effectively. Its training is to understand the true meaning of life through the mental and physical training of attack and defense. You must develop yourself as a person and become a useful citizen to society. More about philosophy here.
The basic principles of judo are easy to grasp and are essential for the person studying the technique of judo. Judo techniques enable a weak and small man to overcome a large and strong man because they are based on scientific principles such as leverage and balance. More about principles here and here.
3. Dojo (Club)
The word Dojo has many meanings, such as exercise hall, practice hall or place of learning the way. It formally was used by Buddhist monks in reference to worship, it also could be a meditation hall or club. As you can see it can mean a great many things to the martial arts that you are studying. Our sport being Judo, we refer to it as a Judo Dojo. Learn more about the Traditional Japanese Dojo here. Find Judo Clubs Worldwide here.
4. Judogi, Uniforms, Kimono
Judogi is the formal Japanese name for the traditional uniform used for Judo practice and competition. It is actually derived from traditional articles of Japanese clothing. Jigoro Kano derived the original Judogi from the Kimono and other Japanese garments around the turn of the 20th century, and, as such, the judogi was the first modern martial-arts-training uniform. Over the years, the sleeves and pants have been lengthened, the material and fit have changed, the traditional unbleached cotton is now a bleached white, and blue Judogi have become available; nevertheless, the uniform is still very close to that used 100 years ago. Info about competition Judogi and places to buy it. Part of the judogi is the belt, here is how you can tie your belt and video. Also learn how you can fold you gi here.
5. Belts and Ranks
Achievement in Judo is recognized by a series of ranks. The student ranks are called kyu and are usually differentiated by colored belts (obi). Different colors may be used around the world and in some countries there are more than 6 kyu ranks. The ten black belt, or expert, ranks are called dan. Learn more about traditional Judo ranks here and what does black belt really mean.
6. Sansei (teacher), Bowing and Sitting
Sansei. The term sensei includes several levels of meaning. Some martial artists equate it with "master", but this is a meaning that is not used much in Judo circles. As you advance in Judo it becomes very apparent that there are so many techniques and aspects of Judo that it would take a lifetime to learn them all. Mastery seems to stay just out of reach, and it is not something that can easily be achieved or claimed. There are moments of mastery, like when a competitor achieves the elusive effortless ippon (win), but they are fleeting. There is always more to learn, and Judo teachers are usually the first to admit that they are more like beginners than masters. 10 things you should know about your Sansei.
Bowing. Through very specific customs an orderly, functional and efficient method of conduct has been laid down for use in all Dojo. One of the very first items of etiquette which the Deshi (student) must learn is when they enter or leave any Dojo, they must perform a Ritsu Rei (standing bow) in and out of the Dojo. This Rei is not just a physical thing to do, but is also mentally done.
Sitting. When in any Dojo you are to remain seated in the correct Seiza (kneeling seated) unless the Sensei tells you to sit some other way. The properwayto sit is ether the Seiza, or Anza (cross legged). At no time is anyone below the rank of Black Belt rank is ever allowed to sit in the Kamiza area of the Dojo.
When you are seated in a Dojo it is improper to sit with your feet and legs stretched out in front of you, or to lay back on the mat in any manner, unless you are engaged in some kind of special training, or doing a special type of Taiso. It is also improper to lean back with one or both hands on the mat behind you.
7. Judo Rules
Judo competition rules have evolved gradually over the past century, but especially since the formation of the International Judo Federation in 1951. The earliest recorded rules dealt with individual matches, and it was only later when Judo tournaments were organized with large numbers of competitors that methods had to be created to determine who was the winner among a group of people. Find original Kodokan rules here, official International Judo Federation rules here and article about evolution of rules in Judo. Also here is a simple Competition guide and info about what to expect at a tournament.
8. Referee and Penalties
9. FAQ and Vocabulary
Questions and answers about Martial arts, Judo, Kodokan, and more.
Judo Basics - Beginner's Lessons
1. Posture (Shisei)
The ideal posture to freely apply judo throws is an upright natural posture, with knees slightly bent, head centered over the hips, feet directly below the hips and about shoulder width apart. Position your head so you look not down at your feet, but up around your opponent’s waist or above. Movement of the hips will usually signal your opponent’s real intentions better than his or her feet or hands, which often are used deceptively. The ideal judo posture allows for free movement, and is inherently stable and balanced. Shisei is classified in Shizen-tai and Jigo-tai. Dowload PDF file with postures or ► watch this video.
Shizen-tai (Natural Standing Posture) is composed of: a. Shizen-hontai (Basic Natural Standing Posture) the posture standing naturally and mildly, b. Migi-shizen-tai (Right Natural Standing Posture) the posture standing with right foot advanced a bit rightward and forward from basic natural standing posture, and c. Hidari-shizen-tai (Left Natural Standing Posture) the posture standing with left foot advanced a bit leftward and forward from basic natural standing posture.
Jigo-tai (Defensive Posture) is composed of: a. Jigo-hontai (Basic Defensive Posture) the posture lowering loins and opening both feet widely from Shizen-hontai, b. Migi-jigo-tai (Right Defensive Posture) the posture lowering loins and opening both feet widely from Migi-shizen-tai, and c. Hidari-jigo-tai (Left Defensive Posture) the posture lowering loins and opening both feet widely from Hidari-shizen-tai.
2. Footwork (Suri ashi)
Suri ashi (Footwork) used when moving during a contest or Randori (Free sparring, and its purpose is to move while maintaining one's balance. Because an opponent can easily destabilize a contestant who places his body weight disproportionately on one leg, the contestant moves by using this Suri ashi (Footwork) stepping method in order to avoid lifting the leg too far from the floor. Other basic Judo stepping methods include the Ayumi-ashi (Walking step) and the Tsugi-ashi (Following step). There are more steps techniques, ► watch this video for details.
3. Body Movement (Tai sabaki)
Tai sabaki means changing the position and direction of your body while maintaining a stable posture. The basis of nage waza (throwing techniques) lies in keeping your opponent off balance by executing excellent tai sabaki. There are three major types of tai sabaki (► watch video):
Mae sabaki (front movement control): Shift your position by advancing one foot and withdrawing the other at a right angle to your opponent.
Ushiro sabaki (back movement control): Shift your position by retreating one foot and pivoting on the other at a right angle to your opponent.
Mae-mawari sabaki (front turn movement control): shift your position, advancing one foot diagonally in front of your opponent, pivot on that foot and withdraw the other until you have made a complete 180 degree turn.
4. Falling Techniques (Ukemi)
Ukemi is a series of techniques that enable you to fall or be thrown down in relative safety, avoiding shock or injury from a violent impact against the mat. The important points in ukemi are striking the mat strongly with your entire arm and curling up your body when you hit the mat to lessen the impact. Doing this will prevent injury to your head and neck and other vital parts of your body. For more information see The Study of Falling or Understanding Ukemi. Or watch these videos: ► Forward falling (Mae ukemi), ► Sideways falling (Yoko ukemi), ► Backward falling (Ushiro ukemi), and ► Forward rolling falling (Mae mawari ukemi).
5. Gripping Techniques (Kumi kate)
The basic grips (Kumi kate) in judo are taken from shizentai (natural posture) and jigotai (defensive posture) by grasping the lapel of the opponent's jacket with one hand and the sleeve with the other. There are many variations of the basic holds, such as a double lapel grip or a double sleeve grip. When gripping the opponent, put strength in your ring and little fingers, and let your thumb rest lightly on the fabric of the jacket. Learn basics on gripping (PDF file), case study on grip domination, and how to develop grip strangth. Also ► watch this video.
6. Unbalancing an Opponent (Kuzushi), Making an Opening (Tsukuri), and Applying a Throw (Kake)
Kuzushi in Judo means forcing the opponent into an unbalanced position. This is an important factor in executing effective nage waza (throwing techniques), for when the opponent is off balance and unable to use their strength aggressively and is virtually under your control. Kuzushi can be performed in eight different directions (happo no kuzushi). Find more info about role and study of kuzushi.
Tsukuri is the entry and proper fitting of your body into the position taken just before the moment required for completion of your throwing technique. Necessarily, the off balancing (kuzushi) of your opponent takes place at the same time as tsukuri so that they are helpless and easily controlled.
Kake is the completing movement of your technique. Tsukuri and Kake can also be called technical principles of Judo.
Judo techniques work best when these three elements work together almost instantaneously to become a single entity. If any one of them is inadequate or late in coming, your attempt to throw the opponent will most likely fail (► Watch video).
All Judo Techniques - Intermediate Lessons
Throwing Techniques (Nege Waza)
Standing Techniques (Tachi Waza)
|Hand Techniques (Te Waza)||Foot Techniques (Ashi Waza)||Hip Techniques (Koshi Waza)|
Kata Guruma (Shoulder Wheel)
Morote Seoinage (Two Hand Shoulder Throw)
Tai Otoshi (Body Drop)
Morote Gari (Double Leg Reaping)
Ippon Seoinage (One Arm Shoulder) Throw
Sukuinage (Scoop Throw)
Obi Otoshi (Belt Drop)
Kibisu Gaeshi (Heel Reversal)
Kuchiki Taoshi (Dead Tree Drop)
Morote Gari (Two Hand Reap)
Sumi Otoshi (Corner Drop)
Uki Otoshi (Floating Drop)
Uchimata Sukashi (Inner Thigh Throw Slip)
Yama Arashi (Mountain Storm)
Seoi Otoshi (Shoulder Drop)
Obi Tori Gaeshi (Belt Grab Reversal)
Hiza Guruma (Knee Wheel)
Kosoto Gake (Small Outside Hook)
Kosoto Gari (Small Outside Hook)
Kouchi Gari (Minor Inner Reaping)
O Guruma (Large Wheel)
Okuriashi Harai (Following Foot Sweep)
Ouchi Gari (Major Inner Reaping
Ouchi Gari (Major Inner Reaping)
Ouchi Gaeshi (Major Inner Reversal)
Osoto Gari (Major Outer Reaping)
Osoto Gaeshi (Osotogari Counter)
Osoto Guruma (Larger Outer Wheel)
Osoto Otoshi (Larger Outer Drop)
Sasae Tsurikomi Ashi (Lifting Pulling Ankle Prop)
Tsubame Gaeshi (Flight Reversal)
Uchimata (Inner Thigh Throw)
Ashi Guruma (Leg Wheel)
Deashi Harai (Forward Foot Sweep)
Hane Goshi Gaeshi ( Hip Spring Counter)
Harai Goshi Gaeshi (Hip Sweep Counter)
Harai Tsurikomi Ashi (Lifting Pulling Foot Sweep)
Hane Goshi (Spring Hip Throw)
Harai Goshi (Sweeping Hip Throw)
Koshi Guruma (Hip Wheel)
O Goshi (Large Hip Throw)
Sode Tsurikomi Goshi (Sleeve Lifting Pulling Hip)
Tsuri Goshi (Lifting Hip)
Tsurikomi Goshi (Lifting Pulling Hip Throw)
Uki Goshi (Floating Hip)
Ushiro Goshi (Rear Hip Throw)
Utsuri Goshi (Changing Hip Throw)
Sacrifice Techniques (Sutemi Waza)
|Back Sacrifice (Ma Sutemi Waza)||Side Sacrifice (Yoko Sutemi Waza)|
Hikikomi Gaeshi (Pulling-in Reversal)
Sumi Gaeshi (Corner Reversal)
Tawara Gaeshi (Rice Bale Reversal)
Tamoe Nage (Circle Throw)
Ura Nage (Rear Throw)
Tani Otoshi (Valley Drop)
Uchi Makikomi (Inner Wraparound Throw)
Uchi Mata Makikomi (Inner Thigh Wraparound)
Yoko Wakare (Side Separation)
Yoko Otoshi (Side Drop)
Yoko Guruma (Side Wheel)
Yoko Gake (Side Drop)
Uki Waza (Floating Technique)
Kouchi Makikomi (Inside Leg Trip)
Daki Wakare (High Lift and Separate)
Hane Makikomi (Spring Wraparound Throw)
Harai Makikomi (Sweeping Wraparound)
Osoto Makikomi (Major Outer Wraparound)
Soto Makikomi (Outer Wraparound)
Grappling Techniques (Katame Waza)
|Holding Techniques (Osae Komi Waza)||Choking Techniques (Shime Waza)||Joint Loking (Kansetsu Waza)|
Kami Shiho Gatame (Top Four Corner Hold)
Kata Gatame (Shoulder Hold)
Kese Gatame (Scarf Hold)
Kuzure Kami Shiho Gatame (Modified Four Corner Hold)
Kuzure Kesa Gatame (Modified Scarf Hold)
Tate Shiho Gatame (Straight Four Corner Hold)
Uki Gatame (Floating Hold)
Ushiro Kesa Gatame (Reverse Scarf Hold)
Yoko Shiho Gatame (Side Four Corner Hold)
Gyaku Juji Jime (Reverse Cross Choke)
Nami Juji Jime (Normal Cross Choke)
Kata Juji Jime (Half Cross Choke)
Hadaka Jime (Rare Naked Choke)
Kata Ha Jime (Single Wing Choke)
Kata Te Jime (One hand Choke)
Okuri Eri Jime (Sliding Lapel Choke)
Ryo Te Jime (Two Handed Choke)
Sankaku Jime (Triangle Choke)
Sode Guruma Jime (Sleev Wheel Choke)
Tsukkomi Jime (Thrust Choke)
Ude Hishigi Ashi Gatame (Leg Lock)
Ude Hishigi Hara Gatame (Stomak Lock)
Ude Hishigi Hiza Gatame (Knee Lock)
Ude Hishigi Juji Gatame (Cross Lock)
Ude Hishigi Te Gatame (Hand Lock)
Ude Hishigi Waki Gatame (Armpit Lock)
Ude Hishigi Ude Gatame (Straight Arm Lock)
Ude Hishigi Sankaku Gatame (Triangular Lock)
Ude Garami (Bent Arm Lock)
|Kinshi Waza (Forbidden Techniques)|
|Ashi Garami (Leg Lock) Do Jime (Trunk Lock) Kani Basami (Flying Scissors) Kawazu Gake (One Leg Drop)|