Waza-Ari In Judo

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Judo, a dynamic martial art and Olympic sport, is renowned for its techniques, precision, and scoring system. Waza-Ari, an integral aspect of Judo, can lead to significant point accumulation during matches. In this comprehensive article, we will delve into the concept of Waza-Ari, its significance, scoring rules, common techniques, and its application in competitive Judo. By understanding Waza-Ari, practitioners and enthusiasts can gain deeper insights into the sport and appreciate the skill and strategy involved.


What is Waza-Ari in Judo?

Waza-Ari is a scoring term used in Judo to denote a half-point or a near full-point score awarded for a successful technique executed with control, power, and precision. In Japanese, “Waza” translates to technique, while “Ari” means to have. Waza-Ari signifies that a dominant technique has been employed but does not meet the criteria for a full-point score, known as “Ippon.” It is an important step towards achieving an Ippon.


How is Waza-Ari Scored in Judo?

To score a Waza-Ari, specific criteria must be met. The execution of a Waza-Ari involves throwing or immobilizing the opponent, resulting in the opponent’s back touching the mat for a brief moment, or applying a well-controlled technique that almost achieves an Ippon but lacks full impact or duration. The referees, judges, or the scoring system determine whether the criteria for a Waza-Ari have been met. Factors such as technique execution, control, and the impact of the throw are taken into account during the scoring process.


What are the Common Techniques to Score Waza-Ari?

Judo offers a wide array of techniques that can result in a Waza-Ari score. These techniques require a combination of speed, precision, timing, and control to effectively score a Waza-Ari. Some commonly used techniques include Osoto-Gari (major outer reap), Uchi-Mata (inner thigh throw), Seoi-Nage (shoulder throw), Harai-Goshi (sweeping hip throw), and Sode-Tsurikomi-Goshi (sleeve lifting pulling hip throw). Each technique has its own unique mechanics and requires hours of practice to master.


What is the Difference Between Waza-Ari and Ippon?

While Waza-Ari represents a half-point or a near full-point score, Ippon is the highest achievable score in Judo. The key difference lies in the impact, control, and duration of the technique. To earn an Ippon, the throw must demonstrate maximum control, power, and result in the opponent landing flat on their back with considerable impact and for a duration that indicates clear dominance. Waza-Ari, on the other hand, reflects a technique that falls slightly short of the full impact required for an Ippon. Both Waza-Ari and Ippon contribute to the final score in a Judo match.


How Does Waza-Ari Impact Judo Matches?

Waza-Ari plays a crucial role in Judo matches, as it contributes significantly to a player’s overall score. In a contest, accumulating two Waza-Aris equates to an Ippon, leading to an immediate victory. Additionally, Waza-Ari influences the strategies and tactics employed by Judo competitors. Players aim to score Waza-Aris strategically to secure a winning position or create opportunities for follow-up techniques that can lead to an Ippon. It adds a dynamic and tactical dimension to Judo matches, keeping the athletes engaged and the spectators on the edge of their seats.


The Importance of Waza-Ari in Judo Training

Waza-Ari holds great significance in Judo training. Practicing techniques that can score Waza-Ari helps athletes refine their skills, improve their timing, develop control, and enhance their overall performance. By striving to execute techniques that meet the criteria for Waza-Ari, Judokas become more proficient in their throws and gain a deeper understanding of the mechanics and principles behind successful Judo techniques. Training specifically for Waza-Ari not only sharpens a practitioner’s abilities but also prepares them for higher-level competitions where precise execution and scoring are crucial.



In conclusion, “Hiki Te” is a Japanese term that carries profound meaning and significance. Derived from the martial arts discipline of Aikido, it represents the concept of blending and harmonizing with one’s opponent or situation. Translated as “being able to,” Hiki Te embodies the ability to respond skillfully and adaptively in the face of adversity.

The essence of Hiki Te lies in its philosophy of non-resistance and non-aggression. It teaches us to let go of our preconceived notions of conflict and instead embrace a mindset of cooperation and unity. By blending with our opponents, we can redirect their energy and neutralize potential harm, transforming conflict into an opportunity for growth and understanding.

Through the practice of Hiki Te, individuals cultivate not only physical techniques but also mental resilience and emotional intelligence. It serves as a reminder that true strength lies not in overpowering others but in finding common ground and working towards mutually beneficial outcomes. Hiki Te encourages us to approach challenges with an open mind and a compassionate heart, fostering a sense of empathy and interconnectedness.

Maxim Tzfenko

Maxim Tzfenko

"I live and breath Martial Arts"

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