Judo Referee Signals Poster by Koka Kids
Help young competitors learn the Judo referee signals with this Koka Kids poster.
Do your judoka know the referee hand signals for competition commands and scores? This poster can help them learn.
Print it up as a poster for your dojo wall, or as a smaller A5 postcard and hand out at your next club tournament. Good for parents too!
What are the hand signals for a judo referee?
As the referee shouts the commands in Japanese, s/he will accompany them with a hand signal or gesture making it easy for spectators to also understand what is going on.
For example if you look at the poster above you can see that the hand signal for matte is an outstretched arm with the palm facing outwards – very much like a typical “Stop” command.
The USJF have some great online learning tools that can help you learn the hand signals.
What does a referee do in judo?
A judo match will have one central referee and two corner judges. The central referee controls the contest with commands and hand signals.
Some of the common commands a judo referee will give the competitors is to start (Hajime!) and stop (Matte!).
The referee will also award scores and penalties for rule infringements, and there are more hand signals to learn for these penalties.
At the end of the contest the referee will award the match to the winner, with an outstretched arm above his or her head, signalling to the side of the victor.
What are the calls shouted by a referee?
You will hear the referee shout the scores as they mark them with a hand gesture; yuko, waza-ari, ippon.
When you apply a hold down the referee will shout Osaekomi (holding). If your opponents escapes then the referee will shout Toketa (hold broken).
If you hear the command Sono-Mama then you must freeze and stay absolutely still until you hear the second command Yoshi.
The final call you will hear is Sore-Made meaning the match has finished.
For more Japanese Judo commands download the free book.