Judo Randori: 5 Biggest Mistakes Stopping Maximum Efficiency

5 Biggest Mistakes In Judo Randori & How To Avoid Them

Here are the 5 biggest mistakes that I regularly see people make when doing Judo Randori. These mistakes can stop you from winning contest. If you are a non contest player then these mistakes will stop maximum efficiency in your Judo

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Mistake #1 Being Defensive

There is no referee in Randori so you can afford to try stuff that you would never try in competition. I don't mean illegal or dangerous stuff. I mean trying something new. It is no big deal if you lose because there is no scoring. You just get up and try again.

Randori is the perfect place to try that throw that you think will be really useful but you have never perfected in competition. Since there is no scoring what does it matter if you mess it up and get thrown instead of being the thrower.

If you are defensive you miss a great opportunity to learn in a contest environment. Even if you lose, the worst that can happen is you get thrown or you just fails. You have learned what works and what doesn't and hence you win.

Mistake #2 Only Playing To Win

Only doing Randori to win is fine as long as it is not at the expense of trying something new from time to time. You have to be prepared to lose sometimes if you want to learn and grow. Sure you have to practice what you know and perfect it but if you don't allow for change you will eventually lose to those who do.

Mistake #3 Fighting For The Perfect Grip

Grip fighting is boring, non productive and looks really stupid on the competition mat. Learn to fight from whatever grip you can get instead of playing patter cake, patter cake, bakers man on the mat.

Grip fighting is a pure defensive play. In Randori you just look like an idiot form the side of the mat and you lose to those who couldn't care less what grip they get as long as they have a grip.

I have never been an Olympian and I know that there are coaches who have, that insist that you get your optimal grip. So you have no reason to take my advice in this. But head my word on this: one day the rules on grip fighting will change; there are already moves in that direction and you will be forced to change or be penalized out of the contest.


I know this because the pendulum always returns to centre and because there was no grip fighting in the beginnings of judo it will return to that. That also means it is unnecessary.

Picture of woman Judoka throwing partner to the ground in Judo Randori
Randori Learn From Mistakes
You could argue that it is in contest at the moment and therefore you need to practice it. I would counter that, if you have practices throwing form what ever grip you can get you will almost always beat the person who is still fighting for there grip whist you are throwing them.

Randori is the perfect palace to practice non grip fighting. Practice grip and throw without delay using whatever grip you can get.

Mistake #4 Not Taking Time To Contemplate Your Mistakes

After every Randori session, STOP and think about what happened. Thinking about what you did wrong and right helps you next time.

Mistake #5 Only Practising One Off Attacks

Combinations always work better. Practice them as well as individual throws

Randori is a fantastic tool for developing your Judo. It is one of the primary forms of training. Don't wast it.


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