T Nation

Does Judo Work in a Street Fight


Hey i've been checking out some judo vids lately on youtube and am starting to get into the sport, just want to know though if it works in a street fight, and also how much stand-up grappling and groundwork are you taught when u compare it to throws, since it seems like its more of a takedown-oriented sport from the vids i've seen.


Judo is great, one of the most underrated MA's in this world that focuses now on BJJ.

Judo is one of the best grappling arts for the street because of it's focus on takedowns instead of groundfighting- and those throws can end a fight in one shot. A couple of my favorite chokes come from judo as well. If you've got te oppurtunity to take some classes, go for it.


I only have a limited experience with Judo. There are more serious players here who would be able to give you a full rundown.

I will say that the coaches at our MMA gym do a "streetfighting" class that, while being kind of bullshit in a way, is also a lot of fun. A lot of the focus is on what to do if somebody grabs you from behind or grabs you by the collar or two guys attack you, etc.

One of the coaches has a strong background in Judo and I will say that some of the moves are ruthless in those situations. Part of it is that he is a good athlete with awesome technique. But if somebody comes up behind you and grabs you, it's not a bad thing to be able to twist and throw them to the ground and run away.

Also, since so much of the sport involves grabbing, throwing, etc., I think it would eliminate the "freeze" instinct that some people have when they get grabbed.


Probably one of the best arts for the street. Gi's are easily replaced by shirts, jackets, etc, so gripping is not that much of a problem. Throws are devestating on any surface, most people dont know how to breakfall. Footsweeps are easy to get and efficient, not as lethal.

My friend wrestled in college. In wrestling he beats me bad. however if hes wearing a hoodie, I can stuff him and take down pretty easy.

It is a very position oriented sport so once you get TD you can pound the shit out of someone. Thats why i prefer it to BJJ.

Watch a top judo guy throw someone and you will see how awsome this sport is. The tall Korean guy in my avatar was one of the founders of Judo in the US. He threw Jon Bluming around...if you know who that is. Look it up. Kyu Ha Kim is the name.


Yep, Judo's very legit.
Since it's very popular in Germany, we have a lot of wussy dojos, more suited to children.
But real Judo is fantastic for the clinch & beyond.

Big strengths: throws, ukemi, explosivness & power, establishing top control after both guys go to the floor, also: some nice locks (never a bad thing to pin assholes without the need to crush them with your weight).

Bonus excursion: what is realism
We had, not long ago here on this board, a conversation about how realistic (boxing) body shots are. And that trying to liverhook a guy with a thick leather jacket is different then doing that in the ring.
Essentially, it's a similar discussion to BJJ with gi/no gi.
What is suited to MMA doesn't have to be realistic per se.
Now a good Judo player is one of the few TMA guys who constantly train in an extremely realistic environment, throwing wise, BECAUSE of the dogi.
And that doesn't stop at throws. For example, most people, even streetfighters, have little knowledge or respect for gi-chokes.

That might be different if you hang out and work at a sunny beach 90% of your time.
Then turkish oil wrestling might be just the thing for you.


Wrestling is good, MMA, Grappling, etc is good -- and Judo is also good. I have seen two street fights with two different Judo practitioners against two different rough looking "street fighters" and they lasted but a few seconds. Getting thrown on to cement hurts - a lot. So in my limited experience, Judo worked great.


i love this vid

i watched a guy grab another guys jacked with both hands, pull him in for a headbutt, and then do a hip throw while holding the guys jacket.

i'd say it was pretty effective


Judo is pretty effective in the 'streetz' for most of the reasons every one has mentioned

Training Judo can really help with doing stuff for you.
Like giving you a great grip, developing some really good ways to deal with people who grab you
or are close enough to be grabed, and for developing some great balance

Ive played judo for a long time so maybe I can help you a little bit, Most Judo schools do put an emphasis on the throws, the Nagewaza.
You want to find a place that puts a good balance on that and Newazza the 'ground work' that we do.

With all MA's they can help- but don't go picking fights :slightly_smiling:
and with all MA's go see the school in person , they are happy to let you watch a class or classes.


If it's a cold weather scenario (opponent is wearing a jacket or hoodie) Judo works very well for throwing/takedowns. If it's a hot weather scenario (guy is in wife beater or shirtless), then you're probably better off with wrestling. Sure, some Judo schools address methods of adapting judo to "no gi" scenarios, but a lot don't. Both will complement each other though.

One of the advantages that Judo has over say BJJ IMO (as far as street combat) is that many Judo throws allow you to remain standing (which is good in a street fight as it allows you to escape the situation easier) while most of the takedowns in BJJ that I've seen result in your going to the ground with the opponent.

On the flip side though, BJJ (as a whole) tends to be more proficient in terms of finishing once it does hit the ground.

So all 3 arts (Judo, wrestling, and BJJ) can all be beneficial arts if you're looking to be able to defend yourself in a real fight.


In one word....YES! Judo can end a find in one toss! Why don't you also look into a martial art that I do if your interested. It combines throws and striking. Its called Sanshou.


Yes. I've seen a fight ended with one sweet ass shoulder throw that had the instigator on his ass before he knew what he had gotten in to.

I've always maintained that Boxing + Judo would be a potent combination for self defence.

My thoughts on the matter echo much of what Fightin already said. Also, assholes in bars love to escalate by shoving or grabbing clothing before they actually strike you, and judo comes in handy in a tight space like that.


Are we talking different in the sense that his leather jacket would perhaps hinder the penetration needed to strike the liver? Or just in the sense that it's for some reason harder to perform in a "real" fight? If it's the latter, I fail to see how. I am interested in the discussion though, got a link by any chance?


Boxing + judo coming right up, this guys a beast

And for what its worth, i PREFER body shots in a street fight. No lawsuits, and people stay down longer.


This thread should be good! To answer the Q: YESSSS! emphatically yes any kind of submission grappling or ground game is an excellent advantage! Street fighting was my thing b4 my wife convinced me 2 go ligit and it is always true that blunt force trauma will be your best friend,

there isn't a mat in a parking lot back alley so when you get slammed on your head on concrete,gravel, even dirt there is a major difference along with being on the pavement and working in submissions it of hurts just as much for you as your opponent so throws and mountings are the way to go! As for body shots i dont see why theres an issue if you got the opportunity to strike your opponent you fuckn do it!


to bad she didn't convince you to finish high school

to legit to quit!!!!


Falling down hurts :frowning:


great....now i got that MC Hammer song stuck in my head


while i have little formal training in judo, we do throws similar to it in jujitsu where i train, and when i was growing up and studied karate we trained in them as well.

as a police officer, judo-type throws are really all i use...occasionally i use an akido wrist lock thingy (yeah, that's not the technical term, i'm sure), but otherwise i use a hip toss, or hip toss with a leg sweep. about half the time i've used these, i've knocked people out, or close enough where i was able to handcuff them with no resistance.

obviously striking is important for self-defense, but i think basic judo is a great start.


Oh, the IRON-KNEE.