What Is Nikyu In Judo?

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As a popular and highly respected combat sport, Judo is known for its intricate and diverse set of techniques, each classified by its level of difficulty and skill requirement. One of the techniques that stand out is Nikyu, which is widely considered to be a fine art in Judo.

This article will delve deeper into the topic of Nikyu in Judo, exploring its origin, significance, and how to execute it correctly. We will also look at the different sub-questions related to Nikyu in Judo, making it an informative read for beginners and experienced martial artists alike.


What is the Nikyu Technique in Judo?

Nikyu refers to the second-ranking technique in Judo’s grading system, just below Sankyu and above Ikkyu. Nikyu has its roots in the Japanese martial arts discipline of Jujitsu, which later evolved into Judo in the late 19th century.

The Nikyu technique primarily targets the elbow joint, with the wrist being used as a lever to manipulate the opponent’s arm, causing discomfort and possibly submission.


How to execute Nikyu in Judo?

Nikyu mainly involves a combination of wrist and elbow locks, and like most Judo techniques, it requires fluid and efficient execution for optimal results. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to execute Nikyu in Judo correctly:

1. Begin by standing in front of your opponent, preferably in a parallel stance, with both your feet aligned.

2. Take hold of your opponent’s arm with your hand, preferably above the elbow joint.

3. Use your other hand to take hold of your opponent’s wrist delicately.

4. Slowly twist your opponent’s wrist towards the inside of their arm, while simultaneously applying pressure on the elbow joint by pulling it towards your body.

5. Your opponent’s natural reflex should be to resist the lock by pushing against your hold instead of pulling.

6. Use this moment of weakness to apply pressure on the elbow joint further, causing discomfort, and eventually submission.

7. Release the hold once your opponent taps out or shows any sign of discomfort.


What are the different variations of Nikyu in Judo?

Like most techniques in Judo, Nikyu has several variations, each with a unique set of features and execution techniques. Here are some of the different types of Nikyu in Judo:

1. Kote Gaeshi – This variation of Nikyu involves using your opponent’s energy and momentum to execute a wrist lock, leading to submission.

2. Hiji Jime – This variation focuses on applying pressure on the elbow joint, causing dislocation and ultimately submission.

3. Juji Gatame – This variation involves trapping your opponent’s arm between your legs, then twisting your opponent’s wrist and elbow simultaneously, leading to submission.

What are the benefits of mastering Nikyu in Judo?

Mastering Nikyu in Judo comes with a wide range of benefits, chief of which being its potential to improve your overall martial arts skills. Here are some of the other benefits of mastering Nikyu in Judo:

1. Enhanced control in grappling situations – Nikyu involves manipulating your opponent’s arm and body, ultimately leading to submission. As such, mastering Nikyu allows you to gain more control in grappling situations, giving you an advantage over your opponent.

2. Potentially devastating impact – Executing Nikyu correctly can cause an intense and sharp pain in the targeted elbow joint, causing a good deal of discomfort and possibly leading to submission.

3. Increased flexibility and creativity – As mentioned earlier, Nikyu has several variations, each with its unique set of execution techniques, giving you the flexibility to switch tactics depending on your opponent’s moves.

4. Minimizes the possibility of injury – By submitting an opponent with minimal physical force, Nikyu greatly minimizes the likelihood of an injury, keeping you and your opponent safe.


What are some common mistakes to avoid when executing Nikyu in Judo?

While Nikyu is an excellent defensive technique, it requires proper execution to be effective. Here are some common mistakes to avoid when executing Nikyu in Judo:

1. Using too much force – The essence of Nikyu lies in its subtlety, using more force than necessary leads to a counterintuitive outcome.

2. Focusing too much on one arm – Nikyu requires the manipulation of both the wrist and the elbow joint. Therefore, it’s essential not to focus too much on one arm and overlook the other.

3. Poor timing execution – Nikyu requires proper timing and execution for optimal results. Poor timing execution leads to resistance, making the technique ineffective.

4. Poor posture – Proper posture and alignment are essential in Judo. Poor posture leads to a weak hold on the opponent’s arm, making the technique ineffective.



Nikyu is a vital technique in Judo and one that every martial artist should master. With its various execution techniques and potential to improve your overall martial arts skills, mastering Nikyu is a valuable asset in both offensive and defensive situations. Moreover, Nikyu’s efficiency and subtlety make it a practical technique, keeping both you and your opponent safe from injury.

Maxim Tzfenko

Maxim Tzfenko

"I live and breath Martial Arts"

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