Judo Grappling Techniques

There are 3 main forms of Judo Grappling Techniques that are used in MMA and other martial arts to help subdue, hold down or make an opponent cry for mercy until their arm snaps or they tapout.

The basic 3 grappling techniques used by a Judo student are strangles, hold-downs, and locks/twists... although knowing how to defend these judo techniques are just as important as knowing how to use them, so defense is the fourth and probably most important of the grappling techniques.

Shime-waza - Strangles/Chokes

judo choke, judo strangle in competition

Strangles are vicious techniques used to subdue or force your opponent to tap during a competition of any kind, whether it be MMA, judo or any other martial arts. Although the rules may be different in the various martial arts, in Judo your able to use both hands to press against the windpipe or the carotid arteries to halt the flow of blood flowing to the brain.

Some of the best judo grappling techniques for strangling your opponent consist of:

  • Hada-ka-jime (bare-hand strangle)
  • Ryote-jime (two-handed strangle)
  • Navni-juji-jime (normal cross strangle)
  • Kata-juji-jime (half cross strangle)
  • Gyaku-juju-jime (reverse cross strangle)
  • Okuri-eri-jime (sliding collar strangle)
  • Kata-ha-jime (single wing strangle)

Osaekomi-Waza - Hold-Downs

Judo hold, holddowns grappling techniques

Once your able to takedown your opponent and you have the superior position on the ground, grappling hold or hold-downs are very helpful in controlling your opponent and immobilizing him so there can be no damage dealt to you.

Common and effective Osaekomi-Waza grappling holds or techniques used are:

  • kata-gatame (single shoulder holddown)
  • kami-shiho-gatame (four-quarter holddown)
  • kuzure-kami-shiho-gatame (modified four-quarter holddown)
  • yoko-shiho-gatame (side four-quarter holddown)
  • kesagatame (collar hold)

Kansetsu-Waza - Elbow Locks/Twists

judo grappling technique elbow lock

These are probably the best grappling techniques to induce pain on your opponent due to the fact that your bending, twisting or locking the elbow joint of your opponents arm to force them to either tap or deal with having a messed up arm for at least a couple months.

Although ankle, wrist and knee locks are affective in other martial arts like MMA and jiu jitsu, they are not allowed in Judo competition... therefore making elbow locks the most practiced and used of the judo grappling techniques.

The most used out of the elbow locks are:

  • Ude-gatame (straight armlock)
  • Ude-garami (entangled armlock)
  • Hiza-gatame (knee-elbow lock)
  • Juji-gatame (cross armlock)

Defensive Grappling Techniques

Judo defensive grappling techniques are somewhat similar to other defensive techniques like in jiu jitsu, wrestling or MMA. The main concept is that you don’t want to give your opponent the chance to choke or put you into a inferior position where you can’t defend yourself at all.... that being said:

- Wrist control is important to keep your opponent from locking in a hold or choke - it’s very hard to put on a submission technique with just one arm or hand, so controlling one of his arms will help in defending the submission attempt.

- Make sure your never flat on your stomach or back after your taking down. Using your hips to escape or just to keep your opponent off balance is key so it makes it that much more difficult to apply a hold or choke.

- Condition yourself by training your flexibility, mental strength and awareness so your able to escape certain grappling holds, see certain techniques coming from your opponent and know what to do to reverse or apply a hold yourself.

Overall nothing is a better learning tool than practicing on the mat or in competitions. Mat time is essential to knowing how your body and mind reacts to certain techniques, not to mention you can read everything there is about Judo or other martial arts but it will lead to nothing without applying it in the physical aspect of the sport.


Judo Grappling Techniques to Judo Home

Judo Techniques to MMA Home

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