Leg Grabs In Judo

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Leg grabs are a fundamental part of Judo, but over the years, the rules governing leg grabs have been a subject of controversy. The International Judo Federation (IJF) banned direct leg grabs in 2010, citing safety concerns, but the decision was not popular among many judokas.

Although the ban on direct leg grabs has been relaxed in recent years, many judokas still don’t understand the rules, which can result in penalties during competition. This article will explore the Judo rules for leg grabs, including the different types of leg grabs allowed, when they are permitted, and how to perform them correctly.

 

What are leg grabs in Judo?

Leg grabs in Judo involve grabbing the opponent’s leg during a technique or transition. Leg grabs are typically used to disrupt the opponent’s balance or to perform a takedown. There are two types of leg grabs in Judo: direct leg grabs and indirect leg grabs.

Direct leg grabs involve grabbing the opponent’s leg below the waist, while indirect leg grabs involve any technique that involves grabbing both legs simultaneously or one leg above the waist. Indirect leg grabs are permitted under the current IJF rules, but direct leg grabs are still banned.

 

When are leg grabs permitted in Judo?

Leg grabs are only permitted during the transition from the standing position to groundwork. Leg grabs are not allowed during the initial exchange, and they cannot be used to counter an opponent’s attack or to perform a throw.

Judo rules state that when an opponent has two feet on the ground, a judoka cannot grab their leg. However, if one of the opponent’s feet is off the ground, a judoka can grab their leg to perform a throw or transition to groundwork.

 

How to perform an indirect leg grab in Judo?

An indirect leg grab involves grabbing both legs or one leg above the waist. To perform an indirect leg grab, position yourself close to your opponent and use your arms to secure a grip around their legs. You can then use your body to take them down to the ground or transition to groundwork.

A common indirect leg grab is the morote gari, which involves grabbing both legs and sweeping them away from the opponent. Another technique is the sasae tsurikomi ashi, which involves grabbing one leg above the waist and using your body to pull the opponent towards you.

 

How to perform a permitted direct leg grab in Judo?

Direct leg grabs are currently banned in Judo, but the IJF has relaxed the ban to allow some indirect leg grabs that involve grabbing below the waist. The permitted direct leg grabs in Judo include kata guruma, which involves grabbing the opponent’s thigh and lifting them onto your shoulders, and sumi gaeshi, which involves grabbing the back of the opponent’s knee and sweeping them off their feet.

To perform a permitted direct leg grab, position yourself close to your opponent and use your arms to secure a grip below the waist. You can then use your body to perform the technique.

 

How to avoid penalties for illegal leg grabs in Judo?

To avoid penalties for illegal leg grabs in Judo, it is important to understand the rules and only use leg grabs during the permitted transitions. If you attempt a leg grab during the initial exchange or to counter an opponent’s attack, you risk receiving a penalty from the referee.

It is also important to ensure that your leg grab is not a direct grab below the waist, which is currently banned in Judo. If you are unsure about the rules or whether a technique is legal, you can ask your coach or the referee for guidance.

 

What are the benefits of practicing leg grabs in Judo?

Leg grabs are a fundamental part of Judo and offer several benefits to judokas. Leg grabs can be used to break an opponent’s posture, disrupt their balance, and set up a throw or transition to groundwork.

By practicing leg grabs, judokas can become proficient in takedowns and transitions, which are essential skills in Judo. Leg grabs also offer a range of techniques that can be used to surprise opponents who are not expecting them.

 

Conclusion

Leg grabs are an important part of Judo, but understanding the rules can be challenging. By following the guidelines outlined in this article, judokas can perform leg grabs correctly and legally, without the risk of penalties. Practicing leg grabs can also improve your overall Judo skills, making you a more well-rounded and effective judoka.

Maxim Tzfenko

Maxim Tzfenko

"I live and breath Martial Arts"

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