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Are You an Annoying Grip Fighter on the Judo Mat?



A month or so ago I did a short 1 hour seminar on the importance of having your grip and how important it is for your opponent NOT to grab it.

In the coming weeks I saw many beginners and intermediate Judokas fighting in Randori. They didn’t want to throw, they just wanted to make sure their opponent didn’t have a bite.

I then realized that I didn’t stress enough that it is during Randori that we allow our competitors to have the best grip, because if we are constantly fighting against training we have to lose our ability to throw.

The principle of “use it, or lose it” is to say that it is not too far from the truth. If what you are doing in Randori is fighting against a grip you will soon lose the ‘feeling’ of being a cast during Randori. Randori was difficult and less fun.

Over the next few weeks think about how much grip fighting you are doing raining. Challenge yourself not to get into that fight too often and see how you balance during Randori. You may find another technique to work on as long as your opponent has the best grip.

There are many great Judo videos, DVDs and books on Tachi waza and Ne Waza but there are almost no resources (other than Grips by Neil Adams) that talk about gripping and competition tactics.

American Judokas Rhadi Ferguson and former World Champion Jimmy Pedro teamed up a few years ago to develop Grip to Win, a product that helps beginners and intermediate Judoka implement a system for the enticing aspect of Judo competition. .

If you have any questions about grips and grip strategy and are looking for a deeper understanding of grips then I highly recommend you check out Grip to Win by Rhadi and Jimmy Pedro.

There is also a very good video released in March 2012 entitled The Grip Fighting Workshop. It is a really good video that includes many great tips on how to not only get a hold of your opponent but also how to stay out of trouble during randori.

If your opponent’s attacks are ever in trouble, I advise you to try to control your opponent’s power arm and keep you moving. As soon as you stop moving you will be thrown on Ippon.

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