Self Defense: Best Judo KO of the year wasn't on the mats

The best Judo throw into a knockout may not have come on an Olympic mat but on an African street.

Woman lands mighty Judo throw knockout

In the video clip below, a woman in a skirt lands an absolutely brutal variation on the Ippon Seoi Nage, also known as Drop Seoi Nage. She drops to her knees and uses her momentum to launch her foe over her shoulders and onto the unyielding ground below, face first.

The initial interaction between the two seems heated, but also potentially playful to some degree, when all of a sudden the female Judoka turns her body, and uses a flawless and fluid technique to drop the man directly onto his face, immediately rendering him unconscious and unable to continue. What happens next makes it seem as if there had been no real animosity, as children can be heard laughing as the woman helps the man to a sitting position, then tries unsuccessfully to help him stand.


Technical Breakdown

This is a textbook example of using Judo for self-defense. The concept of off balancing (Kuzushi in Japanese) is so central to the art that founder Dr. Jigoro Kano said Kuzushi is Judo and without it your Judo is not Judo. The woman first off balanced her assailant by pushing him backwards.

When he overcompensates and drives forward, she employs another central aspect of the art - using an opponent’s weight against him. She drops, and the man topples over her, until he is hit in the face with the planet Earth.

And that was the end of that.

How to do Drop Seoi Nage

Coach Travis Stevens is an Olympic silver medalist in Judo, a black belt in jiu-jitsu under John Danaher and Renzo Gracie (the fastest promotion in BJJ history, at 18 months), and a force of nature.


What is Judo?

This Japanese martial art is also known as “the gentle way.” For many, it is simply a gentle way of brutalizing an attacker that seeks to do them harm. Responsible for the development of fighting styles such as Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Russia’s Sambo, Judo is an effective fighting style that often allows those who are small in stature to toss and throw larger opponents in flashy, spectacular ways that would be impossible without a solid grasp of the techniques involved.

Although judo may be known as “the gentle way,” what occurs in this clip leaves little doubt in the mind of the viewer that there is simply no gentle way of propelling someone over your shoulder and onto the hard ground with nothing to break their fall but their face.