Every judo player has to have off the grip attacks in order to win national and international competitions. Here is one I use that helps me get some offense going and ones that I personally feel is safe to use. It’s important to make sure that we take the time to focus on our “situational” judo as well as our bread and butter. A great training program for developing situation drills is one we refer to as combinations. The idea being you do a situation for 1 min (can be longer, we have gone up to 2 min in the past when we’re in very good shape) with a 5 to 10-second

rest. Then your partner would go and repeat the process.

One of the workouts we use would look like this: 1 min each

  • 2 sets any combination
  • 2 sets off the grip attacks
  • 2 sets only development techniques
  • 2 sets your favorite best technique

This workout would be roughly 18 mins of your standard hour and a half workout.

However, I spend the most time on the development of fundamental strength of judo. Making sure that my three to four key points are getting hit every time I perform an action. In the technique listed above all I try and focus on:

  • Not losing my grip
  • Make sure I get to the end of the wrist
  • Only do it after trying to establish my right hand on the gi
  • Make sure my opponent falls to the floor

When I am able to hit those four areas of focus I consider it a win for me. Remember this type of technique is not to ensure scores but allows me to be offensive. So if I can make a solid attacks that knocks my opponent to the mat in a way that is legal it’s great for me because I can win on the ground. It hopefully gets my opponent thinking that if he doesn’t let me put two hands on the gi he can be thrown and gives me the opportunity to get a stalling call against my opponent.

Taking the time to focus in on situations like not being able to put a second hand on the gi, or an athlete that gip fights a little too much is important. Remember that in training and in competition we have to score on athletes like this and you can not just complain about it while working out. These situations come up all the time and when you’re down by a score you’re going to need to make sure something happens.


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  • I agree, grabbing at the wrist is a crucial point. I used to constantly fight to get the right grip. However, I learned a trick from a 3rd Dan in England (Sensi Sid Lawry). He would bow and with his right hand grab his lapel and stick it out for the opponent to grab — and they immediately did so. Without realizing it Sid grabbed the opponent’s right hand at the wrist and would pull it straight down; anchoring, the opponent’s right leg to the mat; and, keep it anchored until he followed up with a throw. The first time I tried this it worked. I’ve never seen anyone since that offers up the lapel — psychologically — it would throw an opponent off enough not to realize his right are at the wrist was vulnerable. Try it!