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Ground techniques in Judo

Judo Singapore 4

image credit: Aundry Gan/SportSG

Learning how to grapple is of value as it will teach you what to do after you have thrown your opponent to the ground. There are three main ground techniques you can use against an opponent after you have succeeded in throwing him to the mat. If you can now hold him helpless for 25 seconds, you will win the point.


Pinning (Osaekomi-Waza)
Considered the most basic, pinning is usually the first ground technique taught to a student. When your opponent is down on the ground, it is the perfect time to apply a pinning technique to take control or prevent him from picking himself back up.

You can opt to exhaust your opponent by holding him down or apply a more advanced choke or joint lock technique to force him into submission and win the point. Besides controlling your opponent, pinning techniques are also ideal for protecting yourself, as you should be in a superior position in order to subdue your adversary.

For a pinning technique to be counted in competition, you must keep your opponent on his back, with a move applied from the top.

Choking (Shime-Waza)
Since choking techniques can be potentially dangerous, you should only learn such skills from a qualified instructor. However, when a choking technique is executed properly, it can temporarily incapacitate your opponent in a harmless way.

Judo matches are rarely won by choking techniques due to the existence of various defences against them. Additionally, most competitive judokas have been trained to withstand choking attacks.

Joint Locking (Kanetsu-Waza)

Designed to push another’s joints past its normal range of flexibility and motion, joint locking will cause your opponent some degree of pain. If done suddenly and too forcefully, such techniques can result in serious injury and even a bone fracture. As such, joint locks are carried out in controlled environments and the hold is released once it has been effectively applied.

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