Kids Judo Books by Koka Kids
Judo Books by Koka Kids

Judo Groundwork – Watch the animations!

Scroll down to see the animations and learn six judo turnovers

Judo Groundwork

Judo Groundwork – The Basics

Judo Groundwork (ne-waza) is as important to learn as judo throws (tachi-waza.)

Best Groundwork Judo Books

If you want to take your groundwork judo game to the next level you’re in the right place!

Up your ground game with these two books:

Learn how to hold you partner down in “10 Osaekomi and 10 Groundwork Challenges”

Master all the turnovers in the book “20 Turnovers, Learn Groundwork.”

Judo Groundwork Book
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Free Book

Want to know more Japanese Judo words? Get this free book:

85 Japanese Judo Words and their English meanings

Groundwork Basics

To become good at newaza you need to master two areas:

Hold Downs


Hold on!

First up – learn as many hold downs (Osaekomi) as you can.

To win at judo you must hold your partner down for 20 seconds.

The more Osaekomi you know the better.

But before you can hold your partner down you first need to know how to …

Turn over!

You need to learn how to turn your partner over.

Your partner will defend. But don’t worry we have the answers to breaking through all types of defences.

Turnovers are the key to becoming a newaza ninja.

Learn Six Turnovers

Scroll on to see more animations…

Learning Judo Turnovers

How to turn your partner over from all fours?

You will find the all-fours defence a lot!

Here is how to break through:

First – create an opening to get your hands in.

Do this by sharply pushing or pulling uke off balance.

Once your hands are in position, try one of these turnovers:

1: The Shoulder Roll

How to do the Turnover

Reach under your partner’s body with one hand and over the top of the shoulder with your other hand.

Next cup the shoulder with both hands and pull uke’s shoulder towards. This will make uke over onto their back.

Finish in either of these two hold downs: Mune-Gatame or Yoko Shiho-Gatame.

Groundwork Judo Turnover
Shoulder Roll

2: The Crush

An advanced groundwork turnover

Reach between uke’s leg and over their head. Join your hands underneath uke’s body.

Now make uke do a forward roll. Lift them up and roll them over the near shoulder, diagonally.

As you do this do a backward roll yourself and follow up into the Osae-komi.

The Crush

Groundwork Judo Defences

How to turn your partner over from laying flat?

Another defence you will need to overcome is when uke blocks you by laying flat on their stomach.

What can you do from this position?

Here are two turnovers to learn:

3: The Belt Flip

A turnover into Tate-Shiho-Gatame

Kneel to uke’s side. Grab their belt and the back of their collar. Lift uke’s head and rest it ontop of your own knee.

Stick your leg out and pull uke over onto their back.

Follow up quickly into Tate-Shiho-Gatame.

Belt Flip

4: Reach Over

Groundwork for Beginners

This next judo move is a great one to learn when you partner blocks you by laying flat on their stomach, too.

Pull their far arm up to create a gap. Slip your other arm through the gap. Now move around uke’s head to the other side of the body.

As you move lever uke onto their back.

How to turn you partner over from underneath?

Sometimes it will be you who is defending.

But don’t let that stop you turning your partner over.

Always look to turn defence into attack.

From underneath try these two turnovers:

5: Double Arm Roll

Turn Newaza Defence into Attack

When you are defending on all fours, always be ready and waiting.

As uke reaches in to try to turn you over, grab their arms. Reach backwards, grabbing above their elbows.

Now roll sideways, with uke clamped to you back.

Double Arm roll

6: Inside Leg Roll

Judo Groundwork requires Leg Work

From a sitting position, reach around your partner’s back and grab uke’s belt with both of your hands.

Place your legs against uke’s inner thighs. Roll back. As you roll lift uke clear of the mat using your legs.

Once you have uke off the ground it is easy to topple him over onto his back

Follow into the hold down Tate-Shiho-Gatame.

Your groundwork judo questions, answered!

What is groundwork called in Japanese?

Groundwork is called newaza in Japanese.

What does osaekomi mean?

Osaekomi means hold-downs and holding! You can find out more about hold downs in this judo book: 10 Holds and 10 Groundwork Challenges.

What are judo newaza rules?

To win at junior judo newaza you must turn your partner onto their back and hold them down for 20 seconds to score an ippon.

In senior newaza you can also apply shime-waza and kansetsu-waza to win, but these are forbidden in junior judo.

What are the names of the judo hold downs?

There are many types of judo hold downs (Osaekomi). Three of the first you will learn are Kesa-Gatame, Yoko-Shio-Gatame and Tate-Shiho-Gatame. More advanced judo holds include Mune-Gatame, Ushiro Kesa-Gatame and Sangaku Juji Jime.

Are there armlocks in judo?

Yes, but only for seniors. Armlocks are called kansetsu-waza.

Are there leglocks in judo?

No, this is illegal in judo. No leg locks are allowed.

Who is the best newaza judo player?

There are many champions who specialise in groundwork judo. Some of the all time greats include Anton Geesink who won an Olympic gold medal with a Kesa-Gatame and Katsuhiro Kashiwazaki from Japan.

British groundwork champions include: Neil Adams, Steve Gawthorpe, Karen Briggs, Craig Fallon, Diane Bell, Joyce Heron, Kate Howey, Karen Roberts and Georgina Singleton.

Judo Throws

Next learn how to throw by watching these animations.