Judo throw techniques:
How many throws exists?
It’s hard to
get Judo throw count. Different sources on different Judo styles,
grappling martial arts, and combat sports stating count of their
techniques anywhere from a dozen (Aikido
basic techniques or Georgian
Chidaoba) to “ten thousands” (Michael Lukashov’s very
influential small book on SAMBO history titled “Ten
Thousands Ways to Victory”; it has been published in Russia
in 1982 and I’m not aware of any English translations; well, “Ten Thousands” should cover all
techniques, not just throws).
As of year
canon includes 67
throws. Is it all it gets? Aikido is listing about 12 basic
techniques (and uncounted variations). What number we should take: low
it’s not worth to count at all? Just “take” what is matching you and be
happy. What benefit we can get from all this counting?
Judo throws in particular) are human-only
technique. You can’t use it in defense against wild beasts, even apes
(if you’ll get into trouble with gorilla family in African wildness),
as all throwing techniques based on human-unique anatomical
throws can be performed only on flat (more or less) surface while under
normal gravity. No throws can be used in zero-gravity conditions
(underwater, in ski-dive, or on a Moon-walk).
So, as it is
only that many ways to throw a ball on a ball field, that is only that
many ways to throw a man too.
Uke can be
attacked from four directions and tori
can attack only from four directions. Tori
and uke can throw each other onto
four directions only.
- Strong side
- Weak side
direction defines the fundamental constraints for throwing technique.
performing throw in each direction you can face your opponent with your
front or your back
(anything in-between is or front or back with very clear separation by
position of your arm: front if you can touch torso of your opponent
with your biceps
and back if you can touch him with triceps).
combination of four directions with two positions defines eight fundamental throws.
All throwing techniques are variations of one of this fundamental
throw techniques are much more nuanced and even coarse classification
will define more then eight basic throws. In fact, I never saw formal
classification that defines only eight throws (in any throwing system,
I’m aware about). So, the question is: what we’re gaining by defining
this entirely new classification based on eight loosely defined
One of core
differences between different Judo styles (and, at times, between
schools within single style) is how multitude of throwing techniques
presented to, how it’s learned, and how it enhanced and further
developed by style practitioners.
with a system that stating to have “ten thousands” techniques can be
mentally intimidating: it will take 10 years of every-day
training (no breaks for weekend and no vacations) learning on
new techniques a day to cover the “basics” of “ten
thousands”. This is indeed
On the other
hand, if each technique defined to the last detail it leaves no room
for development and customization and will impose stagnation on the
system and its inevitable decline. Not ones in my career I met,
otherwise capable judokas, who was unable to learn new techniques,
unless they have formal name in place in Judo canon.
formal multitude of throws to the small manageable number facilitates
learning of core technical elements and their adaptation into
individual sets of crown
As for the
question “How many throws exists?”, I once counted my own arsenal by
taking all my functional techniques with all possible grips in all
basic combinations and indeed got to the number around 10 thousands…
Judo throw techniques