The Ultimate List of Judo Techniques: A Detailed Walkthrough

Judo, which means "gentle way," is a Japanese martial art and combat sport. Jigoro Kano founded it in the late 1800s, and it is defined by its emphasis on throws and grappling techniques used to control and force opponents into submission. Judo focuses on exploiting an opponent's energy and movement, allowing a smaller combatant to defeat a larger one through skill and technique.

Judo is founded on the principles of maximum efficiency and mutual benefit, offering a wide range of techniques, such as throws, pins, joint locks, and chokeholds. Each category represents a unique set of nuanced movements and techniques aimed at off-balancing, controlling, or submitting an opponent. Judo is a problematic martial art form that can be learnt from skilful professionals. In this article, we will be exploring all these techniques in a detailed manner. 

Throwing Techniques: Nage-Waza

Throws are techniques used to knock an opponent off balance and propel them to the ground. These moves take advantage of the opponent's momentum and balance, frequently involving hip or shoulder movements to execute the throw.

  • Seoi Nage: A shoulder throw in which you throw your opponent over your shoulder.
  • Ogoshi: A hip throw that involves pivoting your hip to throw your opponent over your hip.
  • Osoto Gari: A major outside reap in which you sweep your opponent's leg from behind.
  • Deashi Barai: A forward foot sweep that throws the opponent off balance and causes them to fall.
  • Uchi Mata: An inner thigh throw that involves lifting and spinning your opponent.

Standing Techniques: Tachi-Waza

These include throws that are made while both fighters are on their feet. This category includes techniques like Tai Otoshi, Ouchi Gari, and Seoi Nage, which concentrate on off-balancing an opponent and projecting them to the ground.

  • Seoi Nage: A shoulder throw in which you throw your opponent over your shoulder.
  • Ouchi Gari: A powerful inner reap in which the leg of the opponent is swept from the inside out.
  • Tai Otoshi: A body drop in which you use your body to throw your opponent off-balance.
  • Ko Uchi Gari: A minor inner reaping throw that entails a quick reap of the opponent's leg.
  • Harai Goshi: A sweeping hip throw that throws the opponent over the hip.

Hand Techniques: Te-Waza

In Judo, hand techniques are movements that primarily use the hands to perform throws or other manoeuvres. Techniques like Morote Seoi Nage, which involves throwing with both hands and Kuchiki Taoshi, which uses a hand motion to take down the opponent, might be examples of these.

  • Morote Seoi Nage: A shoulder throw that requires both hands and throws the opponent with both arms.
  • Kuchiki Taoshi: A forceful hand technique that uses a hand movement to defeat the opponent.
  • Sde Tsurikomi Goshi: A hip throw that is pulled with the sleeve grip lifted.
  • Kata Guruma: An opponent is thrown over the shoulder in this shoulder wheel technique.
  • Hiza Guruma: Knee wheel technique in which the opponent is thrown using the knee.

Foot Techniques: Ashi-Waza

Foot techniques emphasise throwing with the feet or legs. This includes techniques like Sasae Tsurikomi Ashi (lifting or propping with the foot) and Okuri Ashi Harai (sweeping with the foot).

  • Deashi Harai: A forward foot sweep that throws the opponent off-balance by sweeping their leg.
  • O Soto Gari: A powerful outside reap that cleans the outside of the opponent's leg.
  • Ko Soto Gari: A light outer reap in which you sweep the leg of the adversary.
  • Uchi Mata: A throw-in in which the opponent is thrown by lifting and rotating the inner thigh.
  • Harai Tsurikomi Ashi: Throwing the opponent with a lifting, pulling foot sweep that uses a sweeping motion.

Hip Techniques: Koshi-Waza

This category includes techniques that throw an opponent primarily with the hips. The execution of throws like Uki Goshi and Tsuri Goshi requires hip movements.

  • Uki Goshi: A hip-throw technique that projects the opponent by using hip motions.
  • Tsuri Goshi: A hip-lifting throw in which the opponent is thrown and lifted using your hips.
  • Harai Goshi: A sweeping hip throw in which the opponent is thrown over the hip.
  • Hane Goshi: A hip-spring throw that tosses the opponent by lifting them.
  • Tsurikomi Goshi: A hip-thrusting technique that involves lifting and pulling the opponent.

Sacrifice Techniques: Sutemi-Waza

In order to throw an opponent, one must sacrifice their position. Techniques like Tomoe Nage and Tani Otoshi fall into this category because they require the fighter to purposefully lose their balance in order to throw their opponent off-balance.

  • Tomoe Nage: A circular throw in which the performer tosses the opponent while falling backwards.
  • Tani Otoshi: A valley drop in which the rival is pushed through the opening they make.
  • Hikikomi Gaeshi: A pulling-in reversal in which the opponent is thrown by force exerted on them.
  • Ura Nage: A rear throw in which the opponent is thrown over the back while turning.
  • Sumi Gaeshi: A corner reversal in which a cornering motion is used to throw the opponent.

Back Sacrifice: Ma-Sutemi-Waza

  • Tomoe Nage: A throwing technique in which the opponent is thrown by landing squarely on their back and spinning around.

Side Sacrifice: Yoko-Sutemi-Waza

  • Yoko Otoshi: A side drop in which the competitor is hurled in a sideways motion.

Grappling Techniques: Katame-Waza

This category includes ground techniques with a focus on joint locks, chokeholds, and immobilisation. This category includes pins like Tate Shiho Gatame, arm locks like Ude-Hishigi-Juji-Gatame, and chokeholds like Okuri Eri Jime.

  • Kesa Gatame: A scarf that paralyses the upper body of the rival.
  • Ude-Hishigi-Juji-Gatame: This is a cross-arm lock used to control the arm of the opponent in order to submit.
  • Hadaka Jime: A rear-naked choke in which the arms restrain the victim.
  • Kata Gatame: Controlling the opponent's head with a shoulder hold.
  • Sankaku Jime: A triangle choke in which the opponent is restrained by their legs.

Pinning Techniques: Osaekomi-Waza

Pins and holds are techniques used to immobilise an opponent on the ground for a set period in order to control and restrict their movement.

  • Kesa Gatame: Scarf hold, where you immobilise your opponent's upper body.
  • Yoko Shiho Gatame: Four-quarter hold on the opponent's back.
  • Kuzure Kesa Gatame: A modified scarf with varying grips and pressures.

Choking Techniques: Shime-Waza

  • Hadaka Jime: Restricting blood flow with a rear-naked choke.
  • Kataha Jime: a single-wing choke that targets the neck on one side.
  • Giaku Juji Jime: Pressing down on the neck while performing a reverse cross choke.
  • Nami Juji Jime: A standard cross choke that obstructs the passage of air and blood.
  • Sde Guruma Jime: Gripping a choke with sleeve wheel choke and tightening the gi.
  • Variation of Okuri Eri Jime: Sliding lapel choke, holding the lapel to compress.

Joint Locking Techniques: Kansetsu-Waza

Joint locks are submission techniques that control or manipulate an opponent's joints, usually the elbow in Judo, to force them to surrender.

  • Ude-Hishigi-Juji-Gatame: Control and lock the opponent's arm at the elbow joint to apply pressure and force a submission.
  • Ude-Hishigi-Ude-Gatame: Application of pressure to the opponent's arm at the elbow, controlling and restricting movement in preparation for submission.
  • Ude-Hishigi-Hiza-Gatame: Manipulates the opponent's arm at the elbow to apply pressure and force a submission.
  • Ude-Hishigi-Waki-Gatame: Locks the arm at the elbow and armpit, restricting movement and applying pressure in preparation for submission.
  • Ude-Hishigi-Ashi-Gatame: Manipulates the arm while controlling the opponent's leg, applying pressure to the arm in preparation for submission.


The variety of throws, locks, chokes, and controlled movements found in the extensive realm of Judo techniques combine to create a vast tapestry of martial skill. Each category captures a multitude of subtle techniques and controlled movements. Judo is defined by a complex dance between leverage, timing, and controlled force, which is revealed by the depth and breadth of these techniques. In addition to technical skill, mastery of this complex discipline calls for a profound comprehension of body mechanics, self-control, and the fundamental ideas of efficiency and harmony. 


What are the four steps of Judo?

The four steps of Judo entail initiating a firm grip (Kumi Kata), then getting your opponent off-balance (Kuzushi), followed by getting into position (Tsukuri), and finally executing the throw (Kake).

What is throwing in Judo called?

Naga-Waze is the throwing technique in Judo. 

What are standing techniques called in Judo?

Standing techniques are known as Tachi-Waze. 

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