Judo Grappling Tips and Tricks

The term grappling is often inaccurately called ne-ivaza, which refers only to techniques of grappling performed in a sitting or lying position. The correct word is katame-waza, which refers to the execution of grappling techniques in a standing position (that is, locks and strangles) as well as in a lying position. Grappling is classified into three forms: osaekomi-tvaza (holddowns), shime-waza (strangles), and kansetsu-waza (elbow locks and twists).

The relation between grappling and throwing

If you master both grappling and throwing, you will be confident enough during a tournament to proceed into grappling after you have executed an incomplete throw. After an incomplete throw, your opponent lies unbalanced on the mat. You are now conveniently set for attacking him by grappling. Without delay, you must seize this opportunity, which will enable you to win with little effort. Therefore both throwing and grappling techniques must be used in a contest.

Attack methods in grappling

In grappling, the fundamental posture is a modification of the natural posture, which is the fundamental posture in throwing techniques. When you attack in accordance with the principle of this posture, you can produce the largest momentum possible and apply it at will.

1. Force must precede speed and lightness of motion in grappling.

Generally, in grappling, force must precede speed and lightness of motion more than in throwing. In throwing, as in boxing, quick and large motions can be made freely, since the competitors face each other in a standing posture. In grappling, however, motions are restricted, since the competitors are close together in a lying position on the mat. Therefore you must attack your opponent with as large a force as possible, at the same time making as much use as you can of quick and light movements.

Among the forces used, the most important is momentum. You are advancing against your opponent as he lies on his back. You press against his chest region with your chest by grasping his trousers at the knees with your hands. What keeps your opponent down is the momentum produced when you press your body forward by pushing the mat with your legs.

By shifting your chest to the right, you press against your opponent’s lower extremities with the right part of your chest as he tries to resist you by pushing up. When you shift your chest to the left, you press his chest down with the left part of your chest by means of the momentum produced when you shift your upper body sideways.

2. First consider how to produce the largest momentum possible and how to apply it effectively.

You will note that two methods enable you to produce the largest momentum possible and induce it most effectively in your opponent. One of these methods is to shift your body forward; the other is to shift your chest sideways.

3. Immobilize the force of your opponent’s lower extremities.

A man can walk and run easily when supported by his lower extremities, which he naturally takes for granted. In fact, the supporting force of the lower extremities is very great, as can be seen in their ability to kick or to push an object. It is plain that if your opponent makes use of his lower extremities to defend himself from your attack, he will be able to push you off easily when you press your chest against his. Therefore you should naturally try to prevent the use of the defending force of his lower extremities. This is necessary in order for you to make free use of the momentum that is produced when you press your body against his.

Practice both grappling and throwing techniques and you will be off on the right foot to succeed in judo.

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