There are a few common mistakes that Judoka/BJJ players make that give their opponent an opportunity to throw them. If you can minimize these mistakes then you will last a lot longer in competition and maybe even win the match.
You let your opponent grip you
Your opponent will throw you if he has his grip. Therefore it is very important that you don’t let him have his grip. Practicing breaking grips from double sleeve, top grip, traditional, Russian, double lapel, and cross guard is the best way to be confident in your grip breaks. A good drill to do is to have your opponent grip you differently and each time your break his grip and either attack directly afterwards or throw from the starting grip.
You don’t have a game plan:
If you don’t have a game plan your opponent will throw you. It is important that you have a game plan and stick to it. For example if your opponent prefers the left hand on your collar and right hand on your sleeve, you must not let him grip you in those positions. Although this may seem like grip fighting it is still a strategy. A more basic form of strategy may be that your opponent likes drop Seoi nage. If this is the case then if you stop walking forwards it will make it a lot harder for your opponent to throw you.
Whenever you attack with a poor attack your opponent has an opportunity to counter you. Never enter with fifty percent attacks, either attack at one hundred percent or not at all. Fifty percent attacks will only leave you vulnerable for counters, a quick Ne Waza transition or a penalty.
You are not fit or strong enough:
It does matter how good your technique is if you are not fitter or stronger than your opponent it is going to be a lot harder to beat them. The Judo greats like Inoue and Yamshita had amazing judo techniques but they still had awesome strength and fitness. I remember Rhadi Ferguson commenting on seeing Inoue lift huge weights in the gym. Inoue had awesome judo but by the size of his chest and arms he clearly did some strength training. I have a workouts eBook that has workouts that will seriously help you so that you will never gas out half way through a fight.
You don’t want to win:
Your opponent can throw you if you don’t want to win. This is why it is important to write down your goals and think about what you want out of Judo. I believe the point of competition is to get the most out of yourself. Competition allows you to demonstrate all the hard work you put into judo training but in the end it comes down to how much you want it. Olympic gold medalist in taekwondoe Lauren burns says that “it is not the most talented that succeed – it’s the most determined.”
In the end if you want to win you number one goal is to make sure your opponent cannot throw you for ippon. By minimizing the amount of times your opponent throws you will greatly increase your chance of winning.
Author: Matt D’Aquino
Matt is the founder of Beyond Grappling fitness and conditioning. He is a 2008 Beijing Judo Olympian as well as nationally ranked freestyle wrestler and National Champion in Brazilian Jujitsu. Matt has a passion for teaching all aspects of grappling especially the fitness and conditioning aspect. Recently he has been traveling the world aiming to qualify for his second Olympic Games. To learn more about Matt and his fitness and conditioning training visit http://www.workoutsforjudo.com
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