Self-defense Judo

Judo from its very beginning has been self-defense and combat discipline. In the Old Day’s martial arts it is very difficult to distinguish between those two functions. Self-defense Judo is, effectively, application of Combat Judo in civilian life under legal limitations of necessary use of force in self-defense vs. excessive.

As modes of military hand-to-hand combat changed, role of self-defense aspect of Judo has been overshadow (justifiably) by its pure combat application.

In the modern Judo (even its pure sport, Olympic Judo, version) “combat only” elements still present and, at times, can be applied incorrectly in self-defense. The most obvious case is strangulation techniques: they are purely offensive lethal and not applicable outside of very special battlefield circumstances. Use of diverse strangulation techniques as permitted sport moves may looks them legitimate for self-defense, but it’s wrong and very dangerous impression (I’m addressing it here).

All in all, Judo is an effective tool of self-defense. With prevalence of a sport Judo training, using “80/20” rule in specialized Judo training for self-defense became critically important. Also worth to note that different Judo styles ( Olympic Judo , SAMBO , BJJ , Kosen Judo ) have different “original” self-defense value (“original” – is before applying specialized training by “80/20” rule ). The difference lays in emphasis on standing vs. ground fighting techniques. While ground fighting skills are critical for sporting success (even in the throws favoring Olympic Judo) they are supplementary in self-defense . Absolute majority of self-defense situations starts in standing or, mach less often, sitting position (yes, ground fighting skills need to be taught in self-defense classes with the emphasis on “be prepared if, God forbid, you got here”).


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