Judo Throws Verses Traditional Karate Throws

judo throw

Judo Throws Verses Traditional Karate Throws

Throws are a part of traditional martial arts and grappling.  They can be used in sport as in Judo and Jiu Jitsu or for self defense as seen in traditional martial arts.  Often times the same throw can be used in a sporting contest or in a self defense situation.  The difference is in the details of how you perform the technique and how you finish the throw.  In a self defense situation, it is important to take your attacker down to the ground but to not go to the ground with them but instead remain standing.  This puts you in a much better position to defend yourself and escape unharmed.  If you throw your attacker to the ground but go down with them, you may be vulnerable to an attack from a third person while on the ground.  Sometimes this is unavoidable and the reason to study ground fighting.

In Judo, the idea is to go to the ground with your opponent.    With that goal in mind, your throw becomes much more powerful because you are able to complete the throw to its fullest extent. Judo throws have much more force behind them then a throw for self defense would.  When practicing throws in class it is important to use correct form to avoid injury especially to the Uke.  As the Uke, it is important to be relaxed and let the throw just happen.  Don’t fight it.

Iain Abernethy does a great job in the video below breaking down the differences between what you would do in a self defense throw verses a judo style throw.  Jiu Jitsu throws are basically Judo throws in this context.


If your karate instruction does not include throws and locks and the study of bunkai then you may want to ask why not.  More bunkai here and here.


The below video is what I call Japanese Jiu Jitsu.  It is self defense based so most finishes are with strikes and locks.



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