Friday, November 28, 2008

What is the objective of the judo game?

In football we win by moving the ball across the goal line or between the goal posts. In baseball we win by hitting the ball and running safely around the bases. In judo we are wrestling - sorta - but what is the goal?
  • The overall goal of the judo game is to throw your opponent to the ground and hold him on his back for several seconds.
  • Sometimes a throw is so spectacular, so technically perfect, that the referree ends the match and awards the victory to the thrower. This is called 'ippon.' This is done to award spectacular proficiency in the throwing part of the game.
  • Sometimes while grappling on the ground you may bend the opponent's elbow or apply a choking technique sufficient to make the opponent submit.  For this you win instantly.  This is done to award spectacular proficiency at the ground grappling part of the game.
There...That's all there is to it. Sounds pretty simple, huh? Well, there turns out to be a lot to it and it can provide a lifetime of exercise and diversion. If this sounds fun to you, send me an email at and I'll get you set up for classes or try to help you however I can.


  1. The objective of the Judo "game" is to acheive a decisive result that would end a real fight. That is what ippon represents, a fight ending technique. Throwing them to the ground with sufficient force, dislocating the elbow, holding them on their back until a weapon could be brought into play or they are tied up. That is what these represent. The Judo "game" is properly known as shiai, which literally translated means to "face death". It is not an objective unto itself, but a phase of Judo training. It is a test of ones physical and mental skills. Can you apply your Judo under stressful conditions, against a fully aware and resisting opponent. Most of the technical changes that Kano sensei made to jujutsu were so that you could safely achieve a decisive result in free practice.

  2. Hi, Blane, Good to hear from you. I don't disagree with you at all, but I think my explanation is easier to explain to beginners. You have to tell the first-day newbie something to get them started into randori and that was sorta what I was getting at there.


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