Fundamentals Class

Overview of Judo Techniques

Ukemi-Waza (Breakfall Techniques)

Learning to execute good breakfalls is mandatory to your success in judo. If you cannot learn to fall properly without hurting yourself, you will not be able to be successful in applying the techniques and may seriously injure yourself.

While there is no substitute for the physical practice of ukemi, some fundamental ideas are:

  1. Relax your body when you fall
  2. Tuck your chin to your chest to avoid hitting your head
  3. Strike the mat with force to absorb part of the fall
  4. Spread the impact over as large a portion of your body as possible (e.g. do not land on a single point such as an elbow or knee and don’t reach for the mat)

Students will learn front falls, side falls, back falls, and front rolling falls.

Tachi-Waza (Standing Techniques)

Judo matches begin in a standing position, so all students must develop a grasp of standing techniques, or tachi-waza. Fluid action and co-ordination of legs, arms, and hip movements are essential to achieving success in throwing. Students must learn to identify and attack points of balance and their opponents’ weak points.

Throws have three components: kuzushi (breaking balance), tsukuri (fitting into position), and kake (completing the throw).

Tachi-waza techniques are separated into the following categories:

Ne-Waza (Ground Techniques)

Ground techniques are divided into three main categories – pinning techniques, choking techniques, and joint locking techniques.

Contact and control are essential to success. While entering into holding techniques, it helps if you think how a constrictor snake catches its prey with a lightning fast move and then slowly and steadily increases the pressure.

Most pinning techniques have both a standard version and multiple variations, which is shown by the word kuzure in front of the name of the pin.