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About judo

Judo history



Mixed Martial Arts

Judo for self defence

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

What is Judo?

An adult judo contest takes place between two fighters on a mat for up to five minutes, and is scored by a referee and two corner judges. During a judo match, the aim is to score an ippon (10 points), which is the equivalent to a knockout. When an ippon is scored, a match is terminated. There are three ways to gain an ippon:

WGC Judo Club Juniors
  • Throw your opponent hard onto his back
  • Pin your opponent on his back (this is known as a hold down);
  • Make your opponent submit by applying a strangle hold or armlock.

There are many different types of throws and every individual finds the techniques that best suits their physique and style. There are hand throws, leg throws, foot sweeps, hip throws and sacrifice throws. Some throws are designed to land your opponent flat on their back and other throws are used to trip or stumble your opponent. The ideal finish is to throw your opponent square onto their shoulders for an ippon win.

If a throw does not result in an ippon win, then the fight carries onto the ground where you can pin, strangle, choke or arm lock your opponent.

Note that children are not taught, strangles, chokes or arm locks and their contests generally last only 3 minutes. As always, safety is paramount.

Judo throw

To pin an opponent, a fighter has to hold their opponent down for 25 seconds, controlling the shoulders and an arm so that the opponent's back is on the mat. If your opponent is unable to escape from the hold within the 25 seconds, then it is an ippon win.

Although strangles chokes and armlocks may seem dangerous, the players are trained to know when they are in danger and will submit by tapping either the mat or the opponent twice, before any damage is done. Referees are alert to any danger when a choke, strangle or arm lock is applied. If the referee thinks the technique is about to cause serious injury, he can stop the match and declare a winner.

Three referees supervise a contest. The main referee who controls the fight in the centre of the mat and the other two sit on opposite edges of the mat (contest area) supervising and giving advice to the main referee.

The referee judges the quality of the throw and calls and indicates the score. The higher the arm is raised the better the score. The referee will call the score and signal simultaneously, as follows:

  • Ippon (10 points): arm straight up
  • Waza-ari (7 points): arm out at shoulder level
  • Yuko (5 points): arm 45 degrees out from the side

The contest area is a yellow square of eight metres surrounded by a blue “safety area” in which a player can be thrown as long as the thrower remains inside the contest area.

Judo is an Olympic sport that is constantly evolving. Its worldwide governing body is keen to make judo appealing to spectators and to increase its television coverage. As such its rules encourage fast moving attacking judo with dynamic throws. In addition in recent years the time limits have reduced for the less visually exciting groundwork and submission techniques.

About Judo

Blue judo suits have also been introduced; one fighter wears blue the other wears white so that spectators can easily distinguish between the two competitors.

At WGC Judo club, we try to teach all aspects of judo and encourage people to follow what interests them whether that be competition or just a weekly workout! Judo is training for life and all areas should be studied.




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Welwyn Garden City Judo Club

Based at Gosling Stadium, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire.