Judo is called the gentle way but it is far from gentle, it is actually a high impact sport. That is why I feel sorry for those Judo clubs who do judo with mats that are laid down directly onto concrete opposed to a nice sprung floor.
When I was growing up we did Judo with mats that were laid down straight onto a gymnasium floor and when I first went to japan and trained on a sprung floor I thought all my christmases had come at once – it was incredible.
But Judo is definitely far from being the gentle way. When Kano first started out creating Judo he looked at many of the traditional techniques and deleted or modified many of them so that we can train at 100% without getting injured. All martial arts do this. Kyoukishin Karate modified their rules to include no punches to the head, by doing so they can train at 100% without getting injured. Imagine if they trained with hitting the head, there would be broken noses every night at TKD and Karate clubs all over the world.
The sport of Judo is the same. Kano removed many dangerous throwing techniques so we can train as close to 100% as possible.
Probably the first throw to ever be removed from competition Judo was Kani Basami or leg scissors. Stephen Kesting from Grapplearts.com posted a video of it here:
I agree with Stephen saying it is a dangerous technique but I argue that every Judo throw can be BOTH dangerous and NON dangerous – it all depends on whether your execution is done correctly, with the intent to hurt or opponent error.
Here is a video done demonstrating a number of Kani basami entries done correctly (and with a co-operating Uke). I loved the Harai goshi into Kani Basami setup.
1 – Incorrect timing or poor technique results in injury
Here is the Kani Basami attack that got the technique banned. It was back in 1980 at the ALl Japan Championships. The technique was performed in such a way that Yamashitas fibula was broken in half. This is the throw Stephan was talking about in his video above.
Once again this throw ended badly because of incorrect timing etc, and this happens in competition. There are probably plenty of Kani Basamis that happened in the 60’s,70’s and early 80’s that resulted in a nice, clean ippon score, with no injury.
Here is a Kani basami that resulted in a leg break back at the 1987 Texas Championships:
Check out the video below, it is of a perfectly timed flying Kani Basami into heel hook in a Pride fight a few years ago. You may notice that there was no torn ACL, broken fibula or broken leg. Just a nice smooth taken down into a heel hook (which is gross anyway).
2 – Techniques done with the intent to injure
In the end all Judo throws can be done to injure or hurt our opponents. Heck, check out Ronda Rousey’s throw on an innocent reporter here. In this video Ronda deliberately throws her opponent as hard as possible and the poor bloke ends up getting broken ribs. It’s a great example of a Judo throw being performed in way that intends to hurt can really hurt someone.
Here is another technique (not in Judo) of when an opponent performs a move with an intent to injure. I have seen this often in Judo but cannot seem to find a video online displaying this exact technique.
3 – Injury occurs because of opponent error
Most injuries happen in Judo because the opponent does the wrong thing. Maybe they don’t tap, maybe they stick their arm out and get it broken off. How about Toshida breaking his arm, This happened because Yoshida tried to evade the technique and placed his hand on the at wrong angle.
How about this guy getting choked unconscious from a cuff choke. This happened because he didn’t tap.
Look at Shinya Aoki breaking this guys arm because the guy doesn’t tap out:
OR how about Sakuraba’s arm break on Renzo gracie, this happened because Renzo failed to tap when the submission was on:
Here are a few sickening Judo throws for you in competition:
How about this Ura nage in French Competition
So are there such things as dangerous throws or techniques in Judo?? I don’t think so. Techniques only hurt people if:
– they are performed incorrectly (kani basami timed wrong, osoto gari timed wrong etc)
– they are performed with the intent to hurt (Ronda rousey hip throw example)
– opponent tries to evade the throw and hurts themselves (not tapping out, sticking their arm out, etc)
Judo for BJJ is coming soon. For more details (and get a sneak peek) head to http://www.bjjtakedowns.com