Judo Throws in BJJ: Unlock Your Grappling Potential

Imagine this: you’re on the mats, getting ready for a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) roll. Your opponent looks confident, but you’ve got a secret weapon up your sleeve: your background in Judo. As you engage, you execute a perfect osoto gari (a major outer reap), and your opponent goes flying. But is this move even allowed in BJJ? Can you do Judo throws in BJJ? The answer is a resounding yes, and here’s why.

The Connection Between Judo and BJJ

Judo and BJJ may seem like entirely different martial arts, but they share a common root: the ancient Japanese art of Jiu-Jitsu. In the late 19th century, Jigoro Kano, the founder of Judo, sought to refine and modernize Jiu-Jitsu by focusing on throws and groundwork. Later on, the Gracie family in Brazil adapted Judo techniques to develop BJJ, which emphasizes groundwork and submissions even more. Given their intertwined history, it’s no surprise that Judo throws can be a powerful addition to your BJJ game.

Incorporating Judo Throws in BJJ: Pros and Cons


  • Surprise factor: Many BJJ practitioners don’t have a strong background in Judo, which means they may not be familiar with Judo throws. Executing a well-timed throw can catch your opponent off guard and give you a significant advantage.
  • Dominant positions: A successful Judo throw can put you directly into a dominant position, such as side control or mount. From there, you can work on securing a submission or improving your position even further.
  • Energy conservation: When executed correctly, Judo throws require less energy than trying to force your opponent to the ground with brute strength. This can help you conserve energy for the rest of the match.


  • Risk of counters: Going for a Judo throw can expose you to potential counters, such as submissions or sweeps. If you don’t commit fully to the throw or fail to maintain control, your opponent may capitalize on your vulnerability.
  • Difficulty in no-gi: Judo throws often rely on the use of the gi (the traditional martial arts uniform) for grip and leverage. In no-gi BJJ, where competitors don’t wear a gi, executing Judo throws can be more challenging.
  • Time investment: Mastering Judo throws requires time and dedication. If you’re new to BJJ, it may be more beneficial to focus on core BJJ techniques first before branching out into Judo.

Choosing the Right Judo Throws for BJJ

Not all Judo throws are equally effective in BJJ. When incorporating Judo throws into your BJJ game, consider the following:

  • Simplicity: Choose throws that are easy to execute and don’t require excessive set-ups. Examples include osoto gari (major outer reap), ouchi gari (major inner reap), and kouchi gari (minor inner reap).
  • Versatility: Opt for throws that work well in both gi and no-gi settings. The uki goshi (floating hip throw) and koshi guruma (hip wheel) are both good options.
  • Safety: Some Judo throws can be dangerous in BJJ, especially when executed with poor technique. Avoid throws that may cause injury, such as the kani basami (scissors throw), which is banned in many BJJ competitions.

See: What Are The Best Martial Arts For Improving Flexibility

FAQ: Judo Throws in BJJ

Title and Description

Are Judo throws allowed in BJJ competitions?

Yes, Judo throws are generally allowed in BJJ competitions, as long as they adhere to the competition’s rules and safety guidelines. It’s essential to familiarize yourself with the specific rules of each tournament, as some throws may be prohibited or restricted depending on the organization.

Which Judo throws work best in BJJ?

Some Judo throws that work well in BJJ include osoto gari (major outer reap), ouchi gari (major inner reap), kouchi gari (minor inner reap), uki goshi (floating hip throw), and koshi guruma (hip wheel). These throws are relatively simple, versatile, and safe for use in BJJ.

Can I use Judo throws effectively in no-gi BJJ?

Although Judo throws can be more challenging to execute in no-gi BJJ due to the lack of a traditional gi for grips, many throws can still be effective. Focus on throws that rely less on grips and more on body positioning and leverage, such as uki goshi (floating hip throw) and koshi guruma (hip wheel).

Should I train Judo to improve my BJJ game?

Training Judo can be beneficial for BJJ practitioners, as it can help improve your stand-up game, takedowns, and overall understanding of grappling. However, it’s essential to prioritize BJJ-specific techniques first and then incorporate Judo throws as a supplement to your BJJ training.

Final Thoughts: Embrace the Synergy

Incorporating Judo throws into your BJJ game can give you a unique edge over your opponents. The key is to select the right throws, practice them diligently, and understand when and how to use them effectively. Embrace the synergy between Judo and BJJ, and you’ll find yourself becoming a more versatile and formidable martial artist.

Remember that BJJ and Judo are both about leveraging your opponent’s movements and using technique over strength. When you start blending Judo throws into your BJJ game, you’ll likely experience some trial and error. Don’t be discouraged. Instead, learn from each experience and keep refining your skills.

So, can you do Judo throws in BJJ? Absolutely. By understanding the history, advantages, and challenges of integrating Judo throws into your BJJ game, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a more well-rounded grappler. Be prepared to surprise your opponents, conserve energy, and secure dominant positions, all thanks to the power of Judo throws in BJJ.

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