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Five Judo Drills that Teach Movement

judo drills

Five Judo Drills: That Teach Movement

Judo drills can help us improve our judo throws. Here are five exercises that teach movement, timing, speed and entry. They are also a lot of fun to do.

For more inspiration take a look these 32 judo games for juniors, and here is the Ultimate Guide to Every Judo Technique.

5 Drills to Improve your Judo


Our number one drill for creating movement is Kakari-Geiko. Here’s how to do this drill:

  1. Move with your partner in all directions, all over the mat.
  2. Turn in for an uchi-komi of a judo technique, then turn out and continue moving and attacking.
  3. Repeat, either focusing on one technique, or a combination of throws.

Tori should help uke providing situations and allowing uke to turn in.


Aim to move from one ashi-waza to the next. Make uke react to each attack, but without throwing.

Try this circle.

  1. Start with an ouchi-gari, allow uke to step off
  2. Follow up into kouchi-gari, let uke evade
  3. Chase back into an osoto-gari, force uke to block with their hips
  4. Follow up into a de-ashi-barai
  5. Repeat the circle as many times as you can.

How many times can you do the full circle in one minute?


Judo drills can be used to speed up the entry and improve timing. Try this exercise.

  1. Uke does a forward roll.
  2. Tori, anticipates the movement, and allows uke to stand up
  3. As uke stands up, tori turns in for a forward throw like morote-seoi-nage.

Try with other forward judo techniques like ippon seoi-nage.


This is a harder version of the previous drill. Use with harai-goshi.

  1. This time uke does a cartwheel.
  2. Tori should keep their distance, and anticipate the movement.
  3. Once the cartwheel is finished, tori can move closer, take a grip and attack with harai-goshi.

The cartwheel creates the circular movement needed for throws like harai-goshi and osoto-gari.


Want to get more confident at falling and rolling? This drill will help you do that and to build up towards sutemi-waza like sumi-gaeshi and tomoe-nage.

  1. Uke and tori hold each other ankles
  2. Tori makes a small jump forward into a forward roll.
  3. As both judoka rolls, uke will naturally stand up.
  4. Keep rolling!

For more skills take a look at  Top Ten Throws and Advanced Judo; two resources that will help the judo coach teach technique, movement and combinations.


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