5 Of The Best Judo Techniques For BJJ

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art that emphasizes using leverage on all planes of combat. Most people think that BJJ matches are all fought with competitors sitting on their butts – this is incorrect. While it is true that groundwork takes up a large chunk of BJJ, all matches start standing up. 

It is therefore important to know at least a couple of throws and takedowns so that you can effectively work on your offense regardless of where a match goes. Today we’ll discuss some of the best Judo throws to add to your Jiu-Jitsu game.


Two Parts Of A Whole

Judo and Jiu-Jitsu come from the same origin. Both martial arts came from the premise of grappling with a gi on. Let’s start with Judo. Judo began in 1882 and was founded by a Japanese gentleman named Jigoro Kano. Kano practiced Tenjin Shinyo-ryu and Kito-ryu Jujutsu for many years and came up with an approach to martial arts that emphasizes using physical and mental energy to maximum effect. This maxim is what Judo became known as from its inception up until today. 

The objective of Judo relies on using throwing and grappling techniques. In competitive situations, you can score a win by either throwing, pinning, or submitting your opponent. There have been changes to what’s allowed and not allowed over the decades, but the spirit of Judo is still relatively unchanged.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or BJJ is a martial art that has its origins in Judo. BJJ came to be in the 1920s when Judoka Mitsuyo Maeda taught the Gracie brothers Kodokan Judo. It slowly came into its own as variations of techniques were modified by its earlier practitioners. Today, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a world-renowned grappling style practiced by athletes and hobbyists alike.

If you think about it, Judo and BJJ complement each other very well. Like two sides of a coin, these amazing martial arts share common traits yet differ in approach and focus. BJJ is mostly geared towards ground fighting, while Judo is mainly fought standing up. Of course, there’s a lot of overlap between the two, but it only strengthens the argument that training in both can make anyone very dangerous.

That said, here are our top Judo techniques to learn so you can level up your Jiu-Jitsu quickly.

In this video, Shintaro Higashi teaches five high-percentage Judo throws to add to your game. These techniques are relatively easy to pull off and will not greatly compromise your position if unsuccessful.


1) Ouchi Gari

The Ouchi Gari, or the major inner reaping throw, is an effective foot sweep against opponents who like to stand with their legs a little far apart. It is also useful against those who love to lean back. The premise of this sweep is simple: get your grips and hook against a leg from the inside position as you create kuzushi by pushing the opponent over. Once you complete the throw, you are in a prime spot to pass the guard.


2) Osoto Gari

The Osoto Gari, or the major outer reaping throw, is another excellent foot sweep you can execute. Instead of hooking the leg from the inside position, you now go towards the side as you unbalance the opponent for the finish. The Ouchi Gari and Osoto Gari are some of the best techniques to teach an absolute beginner as they are very straightforward and can be used in combination. 


3) Koshi Guruma

The Koshi Guruma is a nice counter once your opponent gets an underhook. Step through as you wrap around the head, raise the sleeves as you extend, and use your hips to flip them over. The key to a good Koshi Guruma is controlling the opponent’s sleeve, as it negates a potential back take from your opponent. 


4) O Goshi

This is similar to the Koshi Guruma, but you use it when your opponent has the overhook. From the initial tie, transition to grabbing the belt as you step through. Use your hips to elevate the opponent and complete the throw. You can also apply the O Goshi in no-gi, but you hug the torso instead. This inherent flexibility makes the O Goshi very useful for most grappling situations, both gi, and no-gi.

The O Goshi and Koshi Guruma are both hip throws. Ensure that you fully understand the difference between these two techniques so that you can apply the right one once you spot an opening. Remember that the key to a good hip throw is the entry. Always be mindful of where your hips are in relation to your opponent’s. You cannot perform a proper hip throw if you are not in the correct position.


5) Sasae Tsurikomi Ashi 

The last technique that we’ll learn today is the Sasae Tsurikomi Ashi. This throw requires more practice as it is technically more complex. You use the Sasae Tsurikomi Ashi when the opponent stays on the defensive to counter your O Goshi. Instead of using your hip to flip them over, you trip them to the other side using the same penetration step. The Sasae Tsurikomi Ashi is a strong throw guaranteed to turn a lot of heads in training.


Final Thoughts

These techniques are just a sample of what’s available if you explore other grappling martial arts. The great thing about grappling is that you have many styles to choose from, and you can pick and choose whatever suits your game best. Judo techniques are battle-tested as they were used before Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu’s inception. If you want to improve your game, learning a few Judo techniques will surely jump your grappling level several notches. 

Try to drill these techniques with little resistance in the early stages of your learning so that you can understand the underlying principles as best as possible. Once you get the hang of the techniques, slowly add resistance and train them on both sides if you can. 

Thank you for reading today’s post. Stay safe and keep on training!


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