|Image source: judoinfo.com|
Many grappling-based martial arts have their own preferred methods of taking hold and throwing opponents. Judo, arguably the most famous of these sports, relies on gripping and throwing their opponent to end the match quickly once the opponent is pinned down in a submission hold.
Judo is a passive discipline, relying on using the opponent’s force and momentum against them. This makes every grapple and grip an excellent defense against an active, charging opponent. The art also emphasizes heavily on chokes and joint locks, all vital to the all-important need to bring the opponent down.
This does have the disadvantage of making judoka less resilient in the face of strikes because judo’s opening offensive moves are heavily dependent on grabbing an opponent.
A competitive contemporary judo match begins with a contest of grips, which aim to grab hold of the opponent’s body or clothing to bring them to a position where they can be properly thrown and pinned. Besides their innate limitations, grabs are among the most neglected moves by amateur judoka. A mastery of an excellent grab can turn the tides in a judoka’s favor rather quickly.
|Image source: flograpplingcom|
This emphasis on countering charging force and being largely reactive contributes to judo’s popularity as a means of self-defense. Judo grabs and tackles are an excellent way to defend oneself from assailants, designed as it was to incapacitate armed opponents. Here, judoka has at their side the element of surprise, also a vital tool when sparring against non-judoka martial artists.
Peter Spennato is a martial artist and an NRA and DOJ-certified instructor who has had years of training in judo and Korean Tang Soo Doo behind him. Visit this blog for more updates on martial arts training and practice.