Why Judo Is One Of The Most Effective Martial Arts For Self-Defence

Judo is one of the most well know Martial Arts in the world, but lately, it has been in a bit of battle.

After the success of BJJ in the UFC, many believe that Judo is no longer an effective martial art for self-defence.

Some people believe that the lack of focus on groundwork has reduced the effectiveness of the sport as a fighting system.

And many believe internal rule changes to the sport, such as the removal of leg grabs (you are banned from grabbing legs now in Judo) has caused the sport to lose a great deal of its effectiveness in real combat.

Well, in this article we are going to challenge that viewpoint and give 7 reasons why Judo is one of the most vicious forms of fighting around!

1. You Get To Hit Your Attacker With A Planet

Some martial arts use knives in training; others use kicks and punches and some use sticks.

Judo uses a great big planet to hit people with.

This small but crucial point is often forgotten. In Judo you are taught to throw people with force and control onto a nice and soft mat.

Today’s Judo mats are engineered to be a safe and soft area to fall on.

Concrete isn’t soft, and most people whine if they graze their knees a little.

Now imagine being thrown onto the floor with such force that the Judoka wanted to put your body through the concrete and into the sewers below!

Suddenly changes your views a little.

2. A Judoka Has Another Weapon (Gravity)

That thing that stops us all floating off into space is called gravity.

It is simple, what goes up must come down.

A Judo player can pick you up and team up with Mr Gravity and all of a sudden you drop a lot faster.

This could be a simple trip or foot sweep (This is called Ashiwaza).

Gravity is a powerful weapon and helps a Judoka in any self-defence situation.

3. Gripping: If You Can’t Swing A Punch You Can’t Fight

It is a simple fact; if you can’t swing a punch, you can’t fight.

Sure you can try and kick or headbutt but let’s face it, punches are the number 1 tool used in a street attack.

A Judo player is trained to grip.

Be it the clothing or a body part. A judo player comes with a vice-like grip, forged through the constant grabbing of Judo Gi.

So the attacker might be thinking ‘Ill hit them in the face’ the Judo player has already set on the mission to grab the arm that the fist is attached to.

And once they grip you, the next stage is booking a flight on Air Judo.

4. Something Worse Than Being Hit By A Planet

Ok so while being hit by a planet is scary enough it could get worse!

Sure the ground is really unforgiving but then so are walls, tables, car windscreens, glass windows.

You get the point.

Just because a Judo player can throw you to the ground doesn’t mean they are going to.

A Judo player can project a person where they want.

So if you are attacking a Judo player inside a pub, expect to be thrown through a table, regardless of if there are 6-pint glasses on there.

Judo is all about pushing and pulling.

A Judo player can turn any object into his friend by merely introducing an attacker to it, with force and speed.

So when an attacker jumps out on a Judoka in a park, they can expect to be violently introduced to that park bench.

For the Judoka, weapons are everywhere.

5. A Judoka Can Rip Arms Out Of Sockets And Put You To Sleep

Judo has a small ground game, a handful of techniques and very little time to apply them.

The result is a laser focus on either locking arms or choking people out.

(Yes they pin people too).

Yes, other martial arts like BJJ are more specialised on the ground, they have more techniques.

But that is to the Judo players benefit.

They are hunters for a few techniques; this is not stealth, this is like a Great White Shark hunting for prey.

They choose and boom.

Simple and efficient.

6. Fitness, Strength and Determination

Judo is a demanding sport, far more demanding than people know.

So when it comes to ‘scrapping’ with a Judoka, don’t expect them to be gassing out anytime soon.

Expect them to be there, hanging on for dear life, expect them to take your punches and still be right there.

Because with Judo training a person goes through the trenches. They have been pinned and couldn’t get up.

They have been tapped out, thrown and in some cases even thrown up due to the sheer high levels of fitness the sport requires.

But the process of becoming a Judoka is that same process that will give them the internal strength to keep fighting back, along with the physical fitness to make this a battle.

So if a person attacks a Judo player, they just signed up for a nightmare!

7. A Judo Player Doesn’t Have To Throw You On Your Back

While being thrown on your back hurts like hell and can often finish a fight in an instant, a Judoka doesn’t have to do this.

That is them being nice!

It is just a minor adjustment that will allow for a Judo player to send you face first into an object or the ground.

So yes, being hit with a planet is bad.

Being hit with a planet in your face is another level of pain.


Judo gets a bad rap.

People say it is for kids.

People say that when they banned leg grabs the sport became less efficient for self-defence.

That is not the case; Judo is a devastating fighting system. It is just understated because the goal of Judo is not fighting, it is a sport.

But also it is so much more.

Thanks for reading

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