Are Judo Throws Allowed In BJJ Competitions?

Are Judo Throws Allowed In BJJ?

If you are new to BJJ it can be quite difficult to understand all of the rules when competing. This is true whether you are new to martial arts or have a background in another grappling style such as judo. One of the areas of confusion is the rules on takedowns and throws. This begs the question:  Are judo throws allowed in BJJ competitions?

Most judo throws are legal in IBJJF-sanctioned Brazilian jiu-jitsu competitions. However, Judo throws that cause your opponent to land on their neck or head are not allowed. That said, most judo throws are done in continuous motion and would not be considered illegal slams. 

In BJJ competitions some takedowns and throws are not allowed. Specifically, any takedown that causes your opponent to land on their head or neck is illegal. In addition, anything that is considered a slam is not allowed in IBJJF competitions.

What Judo Throws Are Not Allowed In BJJ

Throws that cause your opponent to land on their head or neck are not allowed in BJJ competitions. That said, the typical judo throw would not be considered a slam. A move is considered a slam if you pick someone off of the floor and slam them onto their back.

This would be when your opponent was in the guard position or back control. A good example would be if you were locking in a triangle choke from the guard and your opponent lifted you off the floor and slammed you back to the ground.

Slams Are Not Allowed In BJJ

It would also be considered a slam if you picked someone up, paused and held them up in the air, and then slammed them to the floor. Slams can be very dangerous and have even been known to paralyze people.

Because of this, the IBJJF has banned slams at all levels of BJJ competition. The vast majority of judo throws would be considered legal in IBJJF competition. This is because judo throws start when you are standing of two feet and you throw your opponent in one fluid continuous motion.

What you would not want to do is a modified version of a judo throw where you pick someone up, pause, and then slam them to the ground. You also would not want to do a throw that you did not have control of and there is a chance of dropping your opponent on their head or neck.

Why Judo Goes So Well With BJJ

Though takedowns are not as heavily rewarded in BJJ as they are in judo, it is still an important aspect of BJJ competition. Because takedowns in BJJ are only worth 2 points they are often a neglected aspect of training. This is especially true because in BJJ you can also just pull guard.

This makes some people feel that they do not need to spend much time working on their judo throws or wrestling takedowns. Honestly, I think it is kind of sad that takedowns are not rewarded with higher points.

It is hard for me to understand why you get the same number of points for knee on belly as you do for taking an opponent to the floor. But I don’t make the rules.

Even if you only achieve two points from a takedown, executing the right takedowns can help to get you into a superior position. If you can take your opponent to their backs you can start earning more points by getting to knee on belly, then to mount.

Or from getting from side control to taking their backs. Either way, the takedowns are the first step to your game unless you choose to pull guard.

Pulling Guard Vs Throws And Takedowns In Competition

Instead of spending time learning judo throws, why not just pull guard instead? After all, takedowns are not rewarded many points and they can suck up a lot of your energy. Pulling guard is certainly more energy-efficient than performing a takedown or throw most of the time.

At the end of the day, I think it is best to have a good understanding of both the takedown and guard-pulling game. After all, many people choose to pull guard or execute a takedown or throw for the wrong reasons.

When you pull guard you should have a plan in place to either sweep your opponent or of executing a submission from the guard. The point is whether you pull guard or go for a throw have a plan on where you will go next.

That said, understanding both aspects of the game is an important skill to learn. Whether you want to take your opponent to the ground or pull guard has a lot to do with who you fighting.

That said, the best practice is to learn how to play both games. Understandably, there might be one that you are better at and more suited for but that does not mean you should neglect the other altogether.

3 Great Judo Throws Allowed In BJJ Competition

When it comes to the judo throws that you should learn for BJJ competition there are a few things you are going to want to consider. The main thing is that there are different rules between BJJ and judo.

Because of this, there are some judo throws that might be great for sport judo but are not so great for BJJ. So just because most judo throws are allowed in BJJ competition does not mean you want to use just any of them.

You might want to be careful with judo throws that give too much exposure to your back. This applies to both during the takedowns as well as how you land.

The goal of judo is either by the throw itself, by a pin, or a quick judo submission. That said, they might be less concerned about exposing their backs than a BJJ player.

That said, let’s cover at least a few of the better judo throws to learn for BJJ competition. Though there are many other great judo throws to learn, these three are some of my favorites.

They are however more situational rather than in order from best to worst. All of them are great throws to practice for BJJ competitions.

#1 Ouchi-gari 

The Ouchi-gari is a great low-risk judo throw for BJJ when applied at the proper time. This throw is especially useful when your opponent is postured up with most of their weight back on their heels.

Unlike many judo throws the Ouchi-gari does not expose your back to your opponent making it a lower risk throw for BJJ.

#2 Tomoe Nage

Another great judo technique for BJJ is the Tomoe Nage. This is especially good because it is effective against the most common stance that a BJJ player will take.

This can also be a more exciting option to choose over pulling guard. Since BJJ players are so used to pulling guard this move might take them by surprise.

#3 Sumi Gaeshi

Another great judo throw for BJJ is the Sumi Gaeshi. This throw is effective against many of the basic stances that BJJ players take. It is relatively low risk compared to many other throws and will likely land you in a great position.

In Summary

So are judo throws allowed in BJJ competitions? For the most part, judo throws are allowed in BJJ competitions.

Just make sure the throw does not cause your opponent to land on their neck or head. Though judo throws are allowed in BJJ completion, some are certainly better than others.

Judo has a different rule set than BJJ, so naturally, not all the same techniques would be as applicable. That said, there are some great judo throws that you need to learn to improve your BJJ game.

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