Kids Judo Books by Koka Kids
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Tips on Scoring Ippon by 5 Olympians


Tips on Scoring Ippon

Tips on scoring Ippon are always worth listening to, but even more so when they come from five of Great Britain’s London 2012 Olympians.

Gemma Gibbons, Karina Bryant, Winston Gordon, Euan Burton and Ashley McKenzie reveal what it takes to score the perfect throw in judo.

Once you’ve read these champion tips, see which are the best judo techniques at an Olympics Games to score with.

Update – Find Olympic Activities for Kids the Tokyo 2020 Judo – download the Be Inspired pack and inspired the next generation of Olympic medal winners.

Tips on Scoring Ippon

Tips on Scoring Ippon

To score an ippon various factors need to come together at the same time. Timing. Reaction. Power. Speed. Skill.

They all need to be spot on, and when they are the result is one of the most spectacular sights in judo – the ippon throw!

Champion Advice

We asked five of Great Britain’s London 2012 judo team to reveal their secrets tips on scoring Ippon.

Here is what they said:

Gemma Gibbons Tips on Scoring Ippon

Gemma Gibbons’ tips on scoring Ippon

Olympic Silver Medallist 2012

“I do lots of Nage-komi and spend hours improving any small errors in technique.”

“My most memorable ippon ever has to be the ippon I scored on the world champion, Tscheumeo in the semi-final of the 2012 Olympic Games. It certainly meant the most!”

For me, the most important tip on scoring ippon is the timing of the attack and the speed I attack at.


Karina Bryant’s tips on scoring ippon

Olympic Bronze Medallist 2012, 7 X World Medallist see Karina’s interview after winning the Olympic bronze medal in London 2012.

“The key to scoring ippon for me is knowing your throwing potential and believing you can throw for ippon. Then the other parts, like being strong with your grips, controlling direction and being strong with your posture all are important as well.

“My advice is to practice and practise, do lots of uchikomi – it doesn’t happen overnight, and everyone reacts differently so you need to practise against different people.”

Tips on Scoring Ippon
Tips on Scoring Ippon

Winston Gordon

Four time Olympian

“My favourite technique to use to score ippon is my bear-hug Kosoto-Gari. The grip is very important. You need to make your opponent move and make them believe they are going to be thrown in one direction and then unexpectedly change direction. Action-reaction and speed – that’s what its all about.”


Euan Burton’s Tips on Scoring Ippon

Double World Medallist, Two time Olympian

“The key for me is knowing I have dominated and set up the attack, so I’m confident the throw will work. So I know I am going to throw, rather than hope I will. I practise by using lots of Nage Komi, with a partner that allows themselves to be thrown at first then we add in other variables, like changing angles or grips, or getting your partner to block or counter you.”

Tips on Scoring Ippon by Ashley McKenzie

Ashley McKenzie

London 2012 Olympian

“To score ippon, you must drive through. You’ve got to have that driving force, and keep going no matter what. For example with Tai-Otoshi keep pulling the sleeve, all the way through.

See this video of Ashley throwing for ippon with Tai-Otoshi in London 2012.

Be totally committed and go for it. My most memorable ippon was when I threw the double world champion, Georgii Zantaraia for ippon with Uchi-Mata.

For extra throwing tips see this post on how to score ippon more often and see how Olympic champion, Ilias Iliadis scores ippon with Yamarashi.