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Throwing techniques in Judo

 Judo Singapore 3

image credit: Aundry Gan/SportSG

There are many different types of throwing techniques (nage waza) and grappling techniques (katame waza). The International Judo Federation, the parent organisation of all national federations of judo in the world, officially lists 66 different nage waza, and 29 different katame waza.


In actual judo practice, however, it is unrealistic for anyone to master all of these various techniques. In reality, most judo students only master a few techniques, training diligently enough so that their techniques are effective against opponents of different sizes, strengths, and styles.

Of the many different techniques of throwing, a few have become very popular in recent years. This article will introduce you to some of the most common judo throwing techniques.



Shoulder throw (Ippon Seoi - Nage)
When attacking with a shoulder throw, you pull your opponent forward to break their balance. Inserting your elbow underneath his armpit and clamping it tight, you pivot on one leg and turn your entire body around, such that you're facing the same direction as your opponent with both your feet balanced on the ground.  Pull your opponent onto your back, then lift their body with your legs. While he or she is in mid-air, lunge your shoulder forward while your arms guide him to the ground.

Major Outer Reaping (Osoto Gari)

When attacking with a sweep throw, you force your opponent lean backwards by pulling down the gi at his right elbow ensuring that his right elbow is kept as close to your hip as possible. Raise your left leg as high as possible and swing it past your opponent’s right leg, clipping his thigh with the back of your own. At the same time,  pull his right elbow down hard and push down his left shoulder. His legs will fly upwards and he will  fall directly backwards.

Major Hip Throw (Ogoshi)
Ogoshi, also commonly known as big hip, is a throw that uses one's hip as leverage to throw one's opponent. First from a natural posture, you pull your opponent forward to break his balance. Release your right hand and extend it below and under your opponent’s armpit to his back. Then, you quickly grab the back of your opponent, pivot on one leg and turn your entire body around such that you’re facing the same direction as your opponent, ensuring that your opponent’s waist is against your back. Bend your knees such that your waist is lower than your opponent, then pull him onto your hip and lift their body with your legs while rotating such that the opponent is lifted and thrown over your hips.

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