Can You Do Judo Throws in BJJ?


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BJJ and Judo both grew out of Jiu-Jitsu, and there are a lot of similarities. So, it makes sense to ask: can you do Judo throws in BJJ?

Here’s what I found out:

Judo throws are employed in BJJ, even in tournaments. But there are some throws that are banned in Judo that are legal in BJJ, and there are some that are banned in both. But because they are different, what’s a foul in one could be allowed in the other.

It is vital to be aware of the rules for a clear delineation.

While I’ve practiced both Judo and BJJ, most of my experience is in BJJ. In this article, we’ll check out some riveting info around how Judo throws can be used in BJJ.

Let the fun begin…

What Judo throws does BJJ teach?

Most Judo throws are also taught in BJJ, including Uchi Mata, Kouchi Gari, and Ouchi Gari. The ones frowned upon are slams or those too close to slams. Takedowns are not considered slams as long as an opponent is safely delivered to the ground.

There are 67 Judo throws in total, and there are several variations of these. But BJJ players are not taught all 67 throws!

Oh, no. It’s impractical and ineffective. After mastering maybe 10 or 20, most might focus on 5.

In truth, that’s what you need.

5 that suits your personality, body type, and fighting style. It’s their favorite throws that most BJJ fighters practice over and over again.

They’ve also extended these faves such that they’ve got one they’d swiftly use if you were to counter the first one. They’re smart and swift that way.

The following are some of the best Judo throws that are taught in BJJ:

  1. Uchi Mata (the king of throws)
  2. Kouchi Gari
  3. Ouchi Gari
  4. Sasae
  5. Sumi Gaeshi
  6. Tomoe nage
  7. Ogoshi (with belt control)
  8. Fireman’s carry

How many throws are there in Judo and BJJ?

There are 67 throws in Judo and BJJ and several variations of these, perhaps in the hundreds. However, it is impractical and inefficient to try and employ 67 throws. Therefore, most grapplers focus on a handful which they try to perfect through practice.

The following are 14 hand techniques relating to Judo throws. There are several others. Being an offshoot of Jiu-Jitsu, BJJ and Judo throws all come from the same place.

Te Waza – Judo Throws (Hand Techniques)

  • Ippon Seoi Nage – One Hand Shoulder Throw. Also known as Seoi Nage.
  • Kata Guruma – Shoulder Wheel
  • Kibisu Gaeshi – One Hand Reversal
  • Kouchi Gaeshi – Minor Inner Reap Reversal
  • Kuchiki Taoshi – Single Leg Takedown
  • Morote Gari – Two-Hand Reap
  • Morote Seoi Nage – Two-Hand Shoulder Throw
  • Obi Otoshi – Belt Drop
  • Sukui Nage – Scoop Throw
  • Sumi Otoshi – Corner Drop
  • Tai Otoshi – Body Drop
  • Uchi Mata Sukashi – Inner Thigh Void Throw
  • Uki Otoshi – Floating Drop
  • Yama Arashi – Mountain Storm

Are double leg takedowns allowed in Judo?

Double leg takedowns are not allowed in Judo. They used to be legal in Judo but were banned by the IJF in 2014. Some people believe that they were banned because of safety concerns, but others believe it is because it is more prevalent in wrestling and BJJ, and they wanted to differentiate Judo.

The double leg takedown is known as Morote Gari in Judo.

It’s a simple and effective move that involves grabbing both legs of your opponent, reaping them out so that he falls flat on his back.

While it is simple and effective, it’s a risky move to execute in a real fight. Why?

If your opponent is hip to what you’re about to do, they could quickly connect a knee to your face! This is why those who argue that it was banned because of safety concerns seem to have a point.

The double leg takedown is also used in wrestling and BJJ.

In fact, there are those who believe that the IJF (International Judo Federation) banned the move in order to preserve Judo’s integrity.

They claim that some folks with a wrestling background were using Morote Gari to beat Judokas at their own game.

It’s only banned in competitions. So, there could still be many dojos where it’s taught, not as prep for the Olympics (where it’s illegal), but for self-defense, in real fights.

But can Judo help you build strength?

Check out a recent article of mine where I showed that Judo does help with strength building. In it, I also explained that it’s highly physically demanding.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

What are the rules on throws in BJJ competitions?

The BJJ rules on throws in a competition are as long as the move is continuous and flows into a 2nd move and is not fixated on dumping an opponent on their head or neck, it is legal. As such, most throws would be legal, as long as there is no intent to injure the other.

Takedowns are not regarded as slams (slams are illegal).

A slam is when you lift an opponent off of the ground and then dash them to the ground with the intent of harming them.

Spiking someone on their head and employing the Kani basami are the two main illegal throws; virtually all other throws are okay.

In other words, avoid slams and avoid whatever throw that’s likely to have your opponent landing on their head!

Two guidelines that’d help you are:

  • Don’t apply unnecessary force by running, lifting up the other party, or jumping
  • Don’t intentionally harm your opponent.

But can you learn Judo at home?

In a recent article of mine, I showed you that you can and also offered actionable, cost-effective strategies that’ll help you, including 1 sure-fire way you can even earn a black belt at home!

Just click the link to read the article on my site.

Should I learn Judo or BJJ first?

If competing in the Olympics is the objective, learn Judo prior to practicing BJJ. But, if self-defense is the goal, learn BJJ prior to starting Judo. BJJ can also be easier to learn and grasp as it is more streamlined than Judo.

If one has to choose between both, BJJ is ideal.

It offers some techniques on throwing at its advanced stages, while Judo does not offer skills for mastering the “ground game.”

First off, Judo is also great for self-defense, but time and resources are limited. You might want to get started with BJJ because it’s more effective for self-defense.

Judo is awesome for throwing your opponent to the ground.

It’s hard to resist takedowns by skilled Judokas. In some fights, that might be all you’ll need: how to execute effective takedowns.

Especially if you were to have the upper hand from the get-go and the opponent doesn’t know how to fall! They’d probably break a body part once they land.

But, let’s face it, most fights don’t happen that way.

If you were to meet a really tough opponent, both of you might be on the ground. This is where BJJ comes to the rescue.

One of the ‘worst’ things an opponent could do to a BJJ fighter is kicking, pushing, or wrestling them to the ground because that’s their element.

And, truth be told, most fights eventually get to the ground.

Even when an opponent is on top of them, BJJ equips its practitioners with skills that’d make them the winner in a ground game.

Judo, on the other hand, is not known for its techniques for mastering fights on the ground! So, learn BJJ first, then learn Judo.

What if you had to choose one?

Check out a recent article of mine, where I shared a deep-dive on both Judo and BJJ and showed that BJJ is better.

To find out why just click the link to read it on my site.

Conclusion

Both Judo and BJJ are an offshoot of the original Japanese version of Jiu-Jitsu.

Naturally, there are loads of similarities. In the article, we looked at Judo throws that are taught in BJJ and how many throws are there in Judo and BJJ.

We found out that double-leg takedowns are banned in Judo.

We checked out the rules relating to throws in BJJ, and we concluded by looking at which one to learn first: Judo or BJJ.

Wonder how Judo compares to Taekwondo?

I compare both of those in a recent article. Both are Olympic sports, but do the similarities stop there? Are there any techniques that overlap? Which one is better?

Just click that link to read it on my site.

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell was Academy Director for a large martial arts school for over 7 years, and has trained extensively in a variety of martial arts including Brazilian Jiujitsu, different styles of Karate, the Russian Martial Art of Systema, Aikido, and much more.

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