Judo's Newaza

Was wondering about what Judo's newaza was like. I am starting Judo in a few weeks and looking forward to it complementing my minimal BJJ game. Just wondering what the emphasis is on as far as pinning, escapes, turtle position, etc. I think I have a good idea what to expect with the throws but am not sure what to expect with the groundwork. Thanks a bunch!


youll see a lot of turtling. it is a solid defensive position in competitive judo-- good people from the turtle wil shock you becuase they can attack from there if you mess up.

the reason they do it is 2 fold... 1. when they twist out of throws we land face-down to avoid a score and with an opponent coming down on top of you in a very dangerous/aggressive way the turtle is the easiest way to provide instant defence (people will debate this all day long.. but thats how it stands in the end). and 2. in judo all the defender has to do is stall the aggressor out and they get stood up. if you can lock-up into a really tight turtle that takes more than a few seconds to be cracked then no progress has been made and youll get stood up.

otherwise judo's newaza is nowhere near as technically taught as bjj's. it is very fast paced becuase of the "make progress or else" idea and in judo the pin is generally the first rule of order--from the pin all other finishes come. if you are good at side control, mount, north-south in bjj then your pin will be good in judo.

rule to be aware of...

  1. you CAN pistol grip in newaza, but not in tachiwaza.
  2. NO fingers inside the sleeve or pant ends.
  3. NO hands or feet within the mask area of the face (from forehead to chin and ear to ear)
  4. NO bending of the spine (if you have a back mount and bend his back to arch him youll be DQ'd instantly from the entire tournament).
  5. armlocks and chokes are the only submissions.
  6. you cannot squeeze your legs around the ribcage--you can hold guard, but not squeeze the ribs.
  7. you cannot lock a triangle withough having the arm at any time.
  8. you must fully pass the guard and not be in a triangle for a pin to begin (most hooks are not recognized in judo and the pin will start anyways). 9.jumping to guard is illegal--youll get penalized instantly.

other than that.. just enjoy the ride and dont worry about comparing one to the other. judo's newaza does have a lot to offer--it will improve your side-mount and other pin positions drastically, it will show you a variety of ways to attack a turtle that are rarely seen in bjj and youll practice them a lot.


Thanks a million for the details, I appreciate it. I am not looking to compare Judo newaza and BJJ, just do one to complement the other! I don't like to think of 'style vs. style', I just study them to see what I can get from each one.


good attitude.

JoshuaResnick: Great explanation.


3 Ts

odd... my bjj is the same as my judo--only with leg attacks. that means its a lot like my sambo too.. odd how that all works out.

hey josh, it's all judo to me too.


that was great josh!