Mastering Judo Submissions: Essential Techniques

Finn Mitoma
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judo submissions

Judo submissions are a crucial aspect of mastering the art of judo. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced practitioner, it is essential to understand and execute effective submission techniques. In this article, we will explore the best and most popular judo submissions, from basic to advanced, that can elevate your judo game and help you achieve victory on the mats.

Key Takeaways

  • Judo submissions are essential for success in judo and require understanding and execution of effective techniques.
  • Both beginners and advanced practitioners can benefit from learning and practicing a variety of judo submissions.
  • Fundamental skills such as takedowns, gripping techniques, and mat work are crucial for mastering judo submissions.
  • Combinations, timing, and setups play a significant role in executing successful judo submissions.
  • Timing escapes and counters are essential defensive techniques that can be used in judo submissions.

Fundamental Judo Mastery by Yarden Gerbi

Yarden Gerbi, a world-class judoka and Olympic medalist, is renowned for her expertise in fundamental judo techniques. In her instructional series, Gerbi imparts her secrets to mastering the basics of judo, providing valuable insights for both beginners and experienced practitioners. By studying Gerbi’s teachings, judokas can enhance their skills in takedowns, gripping techniques, and mat work, establishing a strong foundation for success in every match.

Gerbi’s emphasis on fundamental judo techniques allows practitioners to develop a comprehensive understanding of the sport’s basics. Whether you are a beginner looking to build a solid skill set or an experienced judoka aiming to refine your techniques, Gerbi’s guidance is invaluable. Her instructional series covers a wide range of essential techniques, including:

  • Takedowns: Master the art of taking your opponent to the ground with precise and effective takedowns.
  • Gripping Techniques: Learn the importance of grip control and the strategic utilization of grips to gain an advantage.
  • Mat Work: Explore the intricacies of groundwork, including pins, escapes, and submissions.

Gerbi’s instructional series is designed to equip judokas with the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in the sport. By adhering to the principles and techniques outlined by Gerbi, practitioners can elevate their judo game and unlock their full potential on the mat.

With the guidance of Yarden Gerbi, fundamental judo mastery becomes attainable for aspiring judokas. Embracing the basics is essential for building a strong foundation and progressing to more advanced techniques. By incorporating Gerbi’s teachings into your training regimen, you can enhance your understanding and execution of fundamental judo, paving the way for greater success in every aspect of the sport.

Mastering Judo Combination Concepts by Shintaro Higashi

judo combinations

In his instructional series, renowned judoka Shintaro Higashi delves into the art of combining different judo techniques to create powerful and effective attacks. By understanding the interplay between positioning, setups, sweeps, and submissions, practitioners can catch their opponents off guard and maintain control throughout the match.

Higashi’s teachings encompass a wide range of techniques, including the utilization of sasae into turning throws, ouchi gari into foot sweeps, and kouchi combinations. These combinations offer an array of strategic options for judokas to employ, enhancing their ability to dictate the flow of the match.

Positioning plays a crucial role in executing successful combinations. By mastering the art of positioning, judokas can create advantageous situations that set the stage for seamless transitions between techniques. This ability to seamlessly flow from one technique to another keeps opponents guessing and maintains the element of surprise.

Setups are another essential aspect of mastering judo combinations. Effective setups allow judokas to create the necessary openings and vulnerabilities in their opponents’ defenses, ensuring a higher success rate for their attacks. Through careful manipulation of grips, footwork, and angles, judokas can set the stage for their combination attacks, increasing their chances of achieving victory.

Sweeps form an integral part of judo combinations, as they provide the necessary disruption to off-balance and immobilize opponents. By chaining together sweeps with other techniques, judokas can create a web of attacks that make it difficult for opponents to anticipate and defend against.

Example: Sasae into Turning Throws

“Sasae” refers to a sweeping technique where the attacking judoka steps in and lifts their opponent’s leg, destabilizing them. By utilizing this technique as a setup, judokas can create an opening for executing turning throws, such as tai otoshi or uchi mata, to complete the combination attack.

Overall, mastering judo combination concepts allows practitioners to maximize their efficiency and effectiveness on the mat. By integrating positioning, setups, sweeps, and submissions into a harmonious blend of techniques, judokas can elevate their performance and outmaneuver their opponents.

Key Aspects Benefits
Positioning – Creates advantageous situations
– Enables smooth transitions between techniques
Setups – Provides openings and vulnerabilities in the opponent’s defense
– Increases the success rate of attacks
Sweeps – Off-balance opponents
– Sets the stage for combination attacks

Understanding the Basics of Judo Submissions

Before diving into advanced judo submissions, it is crucial to have a solid foundation in the basics. Mastering fundamental sweeps such as the scissor sweep, flower sweep, and hip bump sweep is essential, as well as familiarizing yourself with core submissions like armbars, triangles, and chokes. These techniques provide a solid framework for building more advanced submission skills.

To begin, let’s take a closer look at the scissor sweep. This versatile sweep involves using your legs to off-balance your opponent, allowing you to transition into a dominant position. By trapping your opponent’s leg and extending your hips, you can sweep them off balance and take control.

Another effective sweep to master is the flower sweep. This sweep relies on timing and leverage to unbalance your opponent. By controlling their arm and using your legs to create a sweeping motion, you can quickly reverse the position and gain an advantageous position.

The hip bump sweep is a powerful technique that allows you to use your opponent’s forward pressure against them. By utilizing a strong bridge and explosive hip movement, you can topple your opponent over and swiftly transition into a dominant position.

In addition to sweeps, understanding core submissions is vital for successful judo practice. The armbar, also known as ude-garami, targets your opponent’s elbow joint, applying pressure to force a submission. Triangles, or sankaku-jime, utilize your legs and angles to constrict your opponent’s neck and cut off their blood supply, causing them to submit.

Chokes are common submission techniques in judo, such as gyaku-juji-jime or cross choke, which utilizes lapel grips to strangle your opponent. It’s essential to study and practice these techniques under the guidance of a knowledgeable instructor to ensure proper execution and avoid injury.

Understanding these fundamental sweeps and submissions will lay the groundwork for more advanced judo submissions. Let’s explore further techniques and concepts in the following sections.

The accompanying table highlights the fundamental sweeps and submissions discussed in this section, as well as their key features and applications.

Technique Description Application
Scissor Sweep A sweep that involves trapping and off-balancing the opponent using your legs. Reversing the position and gaining the dominant position.
Flower Sweep A sweep that utilizes timing and leverage to reverse the position. Creating a quick and effective transition to a dominant position.
Hip Bump Sweep A sweep that capitalizes on your opponent’s forward pressure. Quickly toppling your opponent and transitioning to a dominant position.
Armbars Submissions that target the elbow joint to force a submission. Applying pressure to cause your opponent to submit.
Triangles Submissions that constrict the opponent’s neck using your legs and angles. Cutting off blood supply and causing your opponent to submit.
Chokes Submissions that strangle the opponent using various grips and techniques. Restricting the opponent’s airway and forcing them to submit.

Timing and Setups in Judo Submissions

Timing and setups play a crucial role in executing successful judo submissions. By observing your opponent’s movements and anticipating their reactions, you can identify openings and create opportunities for submissions. Effective setups involve off-balancing your opponent through strategic grips, foot placement, and posture control, ensuring you have the advantage needed to execute submissions.

Understanding the timing of your attacks is essential. By waiting for the perfect moment when your opponent is off-balance or transitioning between movements, you can catch them off guard and increase the chances of a successful submission. Timing requires patience, awareness, and a deep understanding of the techniques you are executing.

To set up a submission, grips are of utmost importance. By gaining a strong and strategic grip on your opponent’s gi or body, you can manipulate their movements and create openings for submissions. For example, securing a high collar grip can control your opponent’s posture, making it easier to execute armbars or chokes.

In addition to grips, foot placement is a key element in setting up judo submissions. By positioning your feet correctly, you can disrupt your opponent’s balance and create opportunities for sweeps, throws, and submissions. Understanding the proper foot placement for each technique is crucial for maximizing your chances of success.

Controlling your opponent’s posture is another vital aspect of setups in judo submissions. By maintaining proper posture control, you can restrict your opponent’s movement and limit their options for defense. This allows you to execute your techniques with greater ease and efficiency, increasing the likelihood of a successful submission.

Mastering timing and setups in judo submissions requires practice, experience, and a deep understanding of the techniques involved. By consistently honing these skills, you can become a formidable judoka capable of executing submissions with precision and effectiveness.

Combinations and Transitions in Judo Submissions

To excel in judo submissions, it is important to develop a diverse arsenal of techniques and understand how they complement each other. By combining different sweeps and submissions, you can create a web of attacks that forces your opponent to constantly defend.

Seamless transitions from failed sweeps into submissions or other sweeps can maintain control and increase your chances of success. Chaining your techniques together keeps your opponent guessing and allows for smooth transitions between attacks.

Transitions play a crucial role in judo submissions. When executing a sweep, such as a hip bump sweep or a scissor sweep, your opponent may naturally resist or attempt to counter your move. Instead of abandoning the sweep altogether, you can transition smoothly into a submission by capitalizing on your opponent’s reactions.

“Combining different techniques in judo is like solving a puzzle. Each move sets up the next, creating submission chains that can overwhelm your opponent.”

H3: Chain Attacks

In the context of judo submissions, chain attacks refer to a series of consecutive techniques that flow seamlessly from one to another. By chaining your techniques together, you create constant pressure and establish an offensive rhythm that leaves your opponent little time to react or recover.

The key to effective chain attacks lies in the precision and timing of each move. Practice fluidly transitioning from one submission attempt to another, constantly adapting to your opponent’s positioning and reactions.

Table: Example Judo Submission Chains

Submission Chain Description
Sasae Tsurikomi Ashi (Lifting Pulling Ankle Block) into Uchi Mata (Inner Thigh Throw) into Juji Gatame (Cross Armlock) A chain attack that starts with a foot block, transitions into a powerful throw, and finishes with an armlock submission
Ouchi Gari (Inner Reap) into Osoto Gari (Major Outer Reap) into Kesa Gatame (Scarf Hold) A combination that combines two reaping throws and ends with a dominant pinning position
Ko Uchi Gari (Minor Inner Reap) into O Goshi (Large Hip Throw) into Kata Gatame (Shoulder Hold) A sequence that begins with a quick reap, transitions into a powerful hip throw, and culminates in a shoulder hold submission

By practicing and mastering various submission chains, you enhance your ability to smoothly transition from one attack to another, keeping your opponent off balance and increasing your chances of securing a submission.

Remember, combinations and transitions in judo submissions require practice, timing, and adaptability. By developing a diverse set of techniques and chains, you can greatly enhance your effectiveness on the mat and elevate your judo game to new heights.

Timing Escapes and Counters in Judo Submissions

Sweeps and submissions in judo are not only effective offensive techniques but can also be utilized defensively. To maintain a strong defense and turn the tables on your opponent, it is crucial to understand the timing and execution of escapes and counters. By recognizing moments when your opponent is vulnerable or off-balance, you can seize the opportunity to escape from unfavorable positions or initiate your own attacks.

Defensive Techniques:

Defensive techniques in judo play a vital role in protecting oneself from opponent’s attacks and regaining control of the match. Timing is key in executing these techniques effectively.

“Timing is everything in judo. A well-timed escape or counter can completely change the course of a match.” – Yarden Gerbi

When your opponent attempts a submission or a sweep, it is essential to remain calm and composed. By staying focused and analyzing their movements, you can identify the right moment to execute your defensive technique.


Escapes are defensive maneuvers aimed at freeing yourself from your opponent’s control and gaining a more advantageous position. There are various escape techniques in judo, each designed for specific situations.

Common escapes in judo include bridging and rolling to escape pins, utilizing hip movement to escape holds, and breaking grips to create openings for escapes. Mastering these escapes requires practice and an understanding of your opponent’s control.


Counters, on the other hand, involve using your opponent’s attack against them. By anticipating their movements and positioning yourself strategically, you can redirect their energy and create an opportunity to counterattack.

Counters in judo can involve utilizing leverage to reverse your opponent’s throws, destabilizing their balance to nullify their attacks, or exploiting their vulnerabilities to initiate your own throws or submissions.

Turning the Tables:

Timing escapes and counters effectively not only allows you to defend against your opponent’s attacks but also offers the opportunity to turn the tables on them. By seizing the right moment to execute a well-timed escape or counter, you can shift the momentum of the match in your favor and take control.

Recognizing your opponent’s vulnerability and capitalizing on it requires precise timing and an understanding of their techniques. Through consistent practice and experience, you can develop the instincts necessary to anticipate and exploit these moments.

Example Escape Technique: Bridging and Rolling

A popular escape technique in judo is bridging and rolling, which is effective against pins and holds on the ground. When executed correctly, this technique allows you to create space between you and your opponent, enabling you to escape their control and regain a more advantageous position.

Steps for Bridging and Rolling
Lie on your back with your opponent pinning you down.
Bridge by lifting your hips off the ground and rolling onto your side.
Continue rolling until you are on top of your opponent or in a position where you can escape their control.


Mastering judo submissions is an ongoing journey that requires a strong foundation, continuous learning, and dedicated practice. By focusing on fundamentals, refining timing and setups, exploring combinations and transitions, and studying techniques from expert instructors, you can enhance your ability to execute effective judo submissions.

Consistent practice is key to becoming proficient in judo submissions. By dedicating yourself to regular training and drilling, you can develop muscle memory and improve your execution of different submission techniques. Remember, mastering judo is a continuous process that requires time and effort.

Additionally, staying open-minded and receptive to new ideas and techniques is crucial. The world of judo is constantly evolving, and there is always something new to learn. By seeking out continuous learning opportunities, such as attending seminars, watching instructional videos, and training with various partners, you can broaden your knowledge and skill in judo submissions.

Ultimately, the journey to mastering judo submissions is a rewarding one. By committing to continuous learning, refining your techniques, and embracing the challenges along the way, you can reach new levels of skill and success in the art of judo.

Finn Mitoma

Founder @ The Combative

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