Judo Groundwork (ne-waza) is as important to learn as judo throws (tachi-waza.)
At some point in every contest you will end up on the ground – so it makes sense to become good at it. Remember judoka don’t float!
If you want to become a newaza ninja, and take your groundwork judo game to the next level you’re in the right place!
To up your ground game we have animated all the turnovers in the book “20 Turnovers, Learn Groundwork.”
This means you can watch the animations as you read the tutorials in the books.
Want to know more Japanese Judo words? Get this free book:
85 Japanese Judo Words and their English meanings.
Scroll down to watch animations of different judo turnovers!
????? Review by Georgina Bevan: Clear instructions and pictures which show the different steps to osaekomi-waza. The escape examples are also really helpful as young judoka don’t know how to get out! Challenges support the development of clear transition from tachi-waza to osaekomi-waza. Highly recommended!
????? Review by Deryn Allen: A really clever book. Brilliant for children and young adults of all abilities to help aid their learning and skills. Great to be able to take away from the club and revise at home. Brilliant illustrations ideal for younger learners as they can associate with the little characters. Loved the idea of being able to connect the book to the working aids online. Think adults especially parents and coaches could also benefit from using these books in their clubs with the children/young people and also adaptive/additional needs players as well.
To become good at newaza you need to master two areas:
First up – you need to learn as many hold downs (Osaekomi) as you can.
Because to win at judo you must hold your partner down for 20 seconds.
And the more Osaekomi you know the better.
But before you can hold your partner down you need to be able to get them onto their back.
You need to learn how to turn your partner over.
This isn’t easy, as your partner will defend. But don’t worry we have the answer to breaking through all types of defences.
Turnovers are the key to becoming a newaza ninja.
Scroll on to see more animations…
You partner will try to stop you turning them onto their back by defending.
Common defences include blocking from all fours, laying flat, and grabbing a leg.
What do you do when your partner does this?
You turn them over!
You need to have a variety of turnovers at your finger tips or up your judo jacket sleeve so you get your partner into a hold down.
You will find the all-fours defence a lot! Your opponent blocks you by going all fours. But don’t worry – this is an easy defence to break through once you learn a few tricks.
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:
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.
But what do you do if uke blocks you?
See the answer by clicking here.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
You can turn uke over from many defences, like begin on all four or even begin on your own back.
Here are two more turnovers to try out:
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.
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.
Groundwork is called newaza in Japanese.
Osaekomi means hold-downs and holding! You can find out more about hold downs in this judo book: 10 Holds and 10 Groundwork Challenges.
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.
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.
Yes, but only for seniors. Armlocks are called kansetsu-waza.
No, this is illegal in judo. No leg locks are allowed.
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.
Next learn how to throw by watching these animations.