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Judo Throws: Rare & Unorthodox. Just Grip & Throw

Judo Throws: Rare and Unorthodox. Just Grip and Throw

I was enormously pleased with the last competition I attended, that there was virtually no grip fighting. There was still little grip and throw technique but it is to my mind a huge step that grip fighting has been relegated to the back burner.

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I am a lowly Ni Dan and my opinion is therefore never going to carry the weight of Olympic coaches. But I have for a long time argued that Grip fighting is nonsense. Whereas many Olympic coaches argue very strenuously in favour of it.

Such coaches maintain that it is the person that gets their preferred grip first that is most likely to win the fight. In contrast, I have never seen any evidence of that.

Now I have read technical articles that have maintained that they have watched hundreds of hours of video and the conclusion to all that watching was categorical that the first Judo player to get their preferred grip is most likely to win the contest. But I still say it's nonsense

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How can I dare to make such a claim in the face of such huge evidence?

Simple! I only need to ask, "Where was the control?

I am a mere Telecommes technician and not a researcher. But I have been in enough science studies and done enough market research to know that, if you don't have a control your results are meaningless. Your results are at best anecdotal. They are prone to produce the results you set out to prove. In contrast to posing a hypothesis and testing it with proper controls, To see if it is true.

Having said that, Clearly, I am in no better position to prove my argument than those who claim to have put in hundreds of hours of study but I am in a position to say their opinion is no better than mine. To that end, I encourage all my students to avoid grip fighting and instead attempt to grab and throw.

What Do I mean by Grab and Throw?

I mean that a Judo competitor should, in the first instance, go for their preferred grip but accept whatever grip they can get, preferred or not and just go for a throw.

It is my contention that a good Judoka should be able to throw some sort of throw from any grip.

Grip fighting is not only, in my opinion useless, but it is also boring, bad Judo and in a very real sense kinda insulting to the tradition. It's like two warriors standing on a battlefield and playing, patter cake, patter cake, bakers man. It's stupid! Aside from probably not doing any good.

My Point of The Video

To the point of throwing from whatever grip you can the video below give some excellent anecdotal evidence to support my point.

The video calls these throws rare and unorthodox and many of them are. I would not have, however, thought that they were all rare and unorthodox though many are. Some are now illegal in competition. Particularly those that grab the leg. But they are certainly all spectacular, often very gymnastic and if nothing else, show that it is possible to throw from some of the most unusual positions and grips.

Watch the video and enjoy the spectacle. But most of all pay attention to the wide variety of grips.

Some of you who are reading this may be champions one day and like I said I am a lowly Ni Dan so I have no doubt that you can and probably will get there without any of my advice. Yet wouldn't it be nice to have champions who are not only fantastic athletes but are also known for being creative in their Judo as well?