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Judo is a japanese martial art based on using your opponent’s strength and balance to apply movements, techniques and immobilizations.

There are more than 100 judo techniques, but some are more widely used and effective than others. In this text, we’ll present the 20 main ones.

This way, you’ll be able to follow the fights at the World Championships and Olympic Games without getting lost!

Oh, and we’ve brought videos to illustrate each blow. We’ve used content from the excellent Projeto Budô Judo and Kodokan channels. Click here to follow them!

Check them out 👇

Main judo techniques

  • Osoto Gari
  • Ouchi Gari
  • Harai Goshi
  • Hane Goshi
  • Utsuri Goshi
  • Sode Tsurikomi Goshi
  • Uchi Mata
  • Morote Seoi Nage
  • Ippon Seoi Nage
  • Tai Otoshi
  • Tani Otoshi
  • Sukui Nage
  • Tomoe Nage
  • Yoko Tomoe Nage
  • Sumi Gaeshi
  • Juji Gatame
  • Sankaku Jime
  • Ude Garami
  • Katagatame
  • Yoko Shiho Gatame

Osoto Gari

The Osoto Gari is one of the most basic strikes in judo. In this technique, the judoka grabs his opponent’s collar and sleeve. They then use their foot in a “hook” shape to sweep from the outside in, knocking their opponent off balance and forcing them to the ground.

Ouchi Gari

The Ouchi Gari is a throwing technique very similar to the Osoto Gari. The big difference is that the judoka sweeps the opponent with an inside-out movement – and not the other way around. The movement is accompanied by a tug on the arm to increase the imbalance and ensure that the opponent falls.

Harai Goshi

The Harai Goshi is one of the most commonly used judo strikes. It is a sweeping movement similar to the Osoto Gari and the Ouchi Gari. However, the judoka uses his hips to apply force. He then uses his foot in a “hook” shape to sweep from the outside in.

Hane Goshi

The Hane Goshi is another technique that uses the hips to lift the opponent. In this move, the judoka is thrown upwards with a “kick”. Unlike the Harai Goshi, the sweeping movement is applied with the foot positioned between the opponent’s legs – and not grabbing from the outside.

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Utsuri Goshi

The Utsuri Goshi is one of the most complex judo moves to execute, as it requires a lot of strength. It is a counter-attacking movement in which the judoka throws the opponent upwards and uses their hips to throw them backwards onto the ground. The technique is characterized by a sudden change of position by the practitioner, who uses their hips as a point of support to perform the throw.

Sode Tsurikomi Goshi

To perform the Sode Tsurikomi Goshi, the judoka uses both hands to hold the opponent’s sleeve. They then use their hips to throw their opponent over their waist. The movement involves a rotation of the body and a lift, resulting in the competitor becoming unbalanced and falling to the ground.

Uchi Mata

In Uchi Mata, the judoka pulls their opponent towards them and at the same time rotates their body, lifting their inside leg and using their thigh to sweep their opponent inside, knocking them off balance and onto the ground.

Morote Seoi Nage

The Morote Seoi Nage is one of the most plastic judo moves in existence. In this move, the judoka uses both hands (one on the collar and one on the sleeve). He then lunges forward, turns his back to his opponent, drives his elbow into his opponent’s armpit and throws him to the ground.

Ippon Seoi Nage

The Ippon Seoi Nage is a technique very similar to the Morote Seoi Nage. The only difference is that the judoka leaves one of his hands free to grab his opponent’s armpit in a “hook” shape and throw him to the ground.

Tai Otoshi

In Tai Otoshi, the judoka uses both hands to pull the opponent and make him trip over the leg that, in this technique, acts as a kind of obstacle. It is one of the most popular judo moves in the sport.

Tani Otoshi

The Tani Otoshi is one of judo’s most effective strikes. In this counter-attack, the judoka pretends to knock his opponent forward, but actually pulls him back using his outstretched leg as a wedge.

Sukui Nage

In the Sukui Nage, the judoka grabs his opponent’s sleeve and collar in order to throw himself onto his side. He then crouches down and, with both hands on his thighs, throws him backwards.

Tomoe Nage

Tomoe Nage is a sacrificial technique. In it, the judoka throws himself on the mat with his back on the ground and projects his legs towards his opponent’s belly in order to knock him down as well, in a frontal movement.

Yoko Tomoe Nage

The Yoko Tomoe Nage is nothing more than a Tomoe Nage, but knocking the opponent sideways – rather than head-on.

Sumi Gaeshi

The Sumi Gaeshi is also on the list of judo strikes in the “sacrificial” category. Just like the Tomoe Nage, the judoka falls to the ground with his back on the mat, but this time with his foot on his opponent’s groin – and not on his stomach. The movement resembles a football “bicycle”.

Juji Gatame

The Juji Gatame is an arm lock that causes strangulation and immobilization. In this move, the judoka traps the opponent’s arm using both legs and falls backwards in order to stretch it out.

Sankaku Jime

The Sankaku Jime is also one of the judo strikes that cause strangulation. When applying it, the judoka clamps both legs around the opponent’s head and neck, causing suffocation.

Ude Garami

The Ude Garami is another powerful armlock in judo. In this move, the judoka grabs his opponent’s arm, bends his elbow at a 90° angle and holds his fist against the ground, leaving his palm facing upwards. Force is then applied to cause pain and discomfort.


The Katagatame is one of the most difficult judo moves to execute. In it, the judoka passes one of his arms behind his opponent’s neck and, with the other arm on the outside, completes the lock by applying pressure with his chest.

Yoko Shiho Gatame

We finish the list of the main judo strikes with the famous Yoko Shiho Gatame. This is a very complex immobilization technique that involves several steps and, above all, physical strength.

First, the judoka stands over his opponent in a chest-to-chest position. Then, one of their arms must go under their head and grab the belt or collar. The other must pass between the opponent’s legs, under the buttocks, and grab the bottom of the pants.

That’s it! Now you know the main judo blows used in professional matches. Did you like this content? Let us know in the comments 👊

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