The [11] Best Judo Throws to Get You Started

When learning Judo throws, Shuai Chiao throws, Wrestling, or any kind of throwing arts, Ukemi or break falling is one of the first skills you learn. The ability to fall gracefully and with control is a daunting task but achievable with constant practice.

When learning Judo throws, you want to be very comfortable being thrown. Without this confidence in their ability to fall, you will not try to take offense in a competitive situation.

Instead, you might hesitate and most often get defeated in competition. Judo throws are extremely common in mixed martial arts and for good reason. But that reason isn’t necessarily clear.

We see the highest level athletes still use them consistently, and former champions like Ronda Rousey made them a trademark of her game.

In our opinion, the following judo throws are great for BJJ. They are easy to learn with simple mechanics.  They also have a (relatively) low risk and high reward application in BJJ. 

Best Judo Throw

11 Judo Throws to Get You Started

Traditionally, judo throws are separated into classes.

These are taught to students in sequence. Here are some basic judo throws and judo moves that will help you master your art while having a lot of fun.

11 Judo Throws to Get You Started

Backward Judo Throws

O-Soto-Gari (Major Outer Reap)

Often, this is the first throw you will learn in a judo club. And rightfully so. After all, it’s easy to do regardless of body type and is especially effective if someone is just standing there without defending themselves against it.

How is it done?

  • Essentially, you grab the person at the collar and sleeve and then make them lean towards the leg on the same side as the sleeve grip.
  • You do this by leaning heavily on them. Then you step past them and swing your foot up like you’re kicking a field goal in the NFL.
  • As your leg swings back down, your calf connects with theirs and they are thrown hard onto their backs.

In judo, that would be an ippon or full score and you’d be the winner. In BJJ – the IBJJF at least – you would score 2 points and land in either a headlock or knee-on-belly.

And in a streetfight on concrete and an opponent unfamiliar with how to land on the ground, well let’s just say that a throw like this can often end the fight entirely.

Ko Soto Gake (Minor Outer Hook)

The minor outer hook, or Ko Soto Gake, has played a big part in the growth of Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

Early on, it was a go-to throw in mixed martial arts. When used against an opponent with a striking background, it allowed a jiujitsu fighter to get a fight to the ground without suffering any damage in the process.

How is it done?

  • Well, it begins off an upper-body clinch. You’re hugging them with both arms around their torso and you’ve moved slightly to the side so one of their legs is between yours.
  • From there, you hook their calf with your own in order to lift their outermost leg. Then lean them in that direction, so they have no choice but to fall into their butt.
  • Is it the heaviest impact throw in the world? Absolutely not. But being able to gently put your opponent down is a sign of great skill.
  • Plus, when done properly, you land in either a mount position on your opponent or, at worst, half guard from the top; very close to the mount.
  • In a real fight, you have just put your opponent in a very bad spot.

Ouchi Gari (Major Inner Reap)

Often, people in jiu-jitsu matches stand bent over with their legs wide apart. You see it a lot because people plan to pull guard, but it leaves you wide open for many different throws.

O-Ouchi-Gari, or the major inner reap, might be one of the most effective throws to use against an opponent in this position.

How is it done?

  • Generally, it’s done from a collar-and-sleeve grip.
  • Then you collide with your enemy and drive them back. But you’ve hooked your leg behind one of theirs, so they can’t keep their balance and have to sit down.
  • Yes, you land in their guard much of the time. But that is not always bad. After all, if they wanted to be there, they could’ve pulled guard.
  • Now they’re on their backs under your terms, and you have already begun to pass to get a better position.

Sideways Judo Throws

Sideways Judo Throws

Uki Goshi

A favorite of many in competition, this throw is especially good against someone stronger than you. Utilizing a faster technique, this move is a cornerstone of judo.

How is it done?

  • Sliding against your opponent sideways, you toss them over your hip. Be careful they don’t climb up your back during this step.
  • Next, you end the move with your opponent on the ground.
  • For those who have wrestled before, this move will be very familiar.
  • Any martial art or sport in which you need to bring someone to the mat will use a hip toss.
  • Moves like hip throws are centered around speed and fluidity of technique.
  • Take the time to master it properly and it will serve you wherever you need it.

Tsuri Goshi

Very similar to the Uki Goshi, this throw is even more impressive. A must-have for any Judoka, this is a hip toss like its counterpart.

How is it done?

  • Instead of tossing your opponent over your hip, you lift them.
  • This results in a more impressive throw that is popular with Judoka of all skill levels.

Koshi Guruma

This technique has been banned in some countries due to the risk of a neck injury but is still a must for any beginning Judoka.

How is it done?

  • In this technique, you force your opponent to bend down slightly.
  • Hooking their head with your right arm you turn into them.
  • Putting your hip a little past their hip, you merely bend down and lift them off their feet.

De Ashi Barai (Advanced Foot Sweep)

Doing De Ashi Barai, or the advanced foot sweep is all about proper timing. When is the best time? When your opponent is standing upright and has not bent over.

How is it done?

  • In terms of your grip, you want to get their sleeve near the elbow on one side and the lapel on the other side.
  • Once you have this grip, you use your foot under the elbow grip to sweep their foot across their body, and simultaneously pull down on their elbow while lifting their lapel.
  • Think about turning a big wheel with your hands while your foot brushes a feather off the floor.
  • Ideally, you do this when your opponent is light on their feet and taking a step.
  • If done properly, they will fall to the floor and you will land in a knee-on-belly position.

Circle Judo Throws

Tomoe Nage

In case you haven’t noticed, pulling guard has become very popular in sport jiu-jitsu; so much so, you can see entire divisions go by without anyone doing a throw.

After all, throwing can be a risky business, and sometimes it’s better to play it safe, sit down and go straight to your guard; where you’re very comfortable.

But imagine if there was a way to pull guard and throw your opponent immediately. Now imagine no more. It’s called Tomoe Nage, and it works very well in jiu-jitsu (as long as you do it before your opponent pulls guard).

How is it done?

  • First, you get a grip on the other person at their lapel and tricep.
  • Then, with a sudden tug, you sit down, put your foot on their stomach and haul them up over you.
  • Continuing the motion, they’ve got no choice but to somersault over and land on their backs.
  • If you are spry enough, you can ride right up to the mount.

And here’s why it’s a good move for BJJ. Even if you don’t get the throw, you’ve landed in your open guard which, as we said earlier, is somewhere you feel very comfortable anyway.

Corner Reversal Judo Throw

Corner Reversal Judo Throw

Sumi Gaeshi

In some ways, Sumi Gaeshi is like Tomoe Nage. It’s a sacrifice throw that has you sitting down and doing a backward roll to come up on top of your opponent who’s just done a forward roll against their will and to their dismay. But that’s about where the similarities end.

How is it done?

  • Tomoe Nage has you suddenly sinking under your opponent’s center of gravity while Sumi Gaeshi is done when they’ve shot under your arms to attack you with either a double or single leg takedown.
  • From there, you grab their belt, quickly sit down with your shin between their legs and hoist them over.
  • Usually, you’ll come up on top in either half-guard or, even better, the mount.
  • Since both single leg and double leg takedowns are now illegal in judo, you don’t see Sumi Gaeshi quite as much in that sport.
  • But it is still prevalent in jiu-jitsu, where it works wonderfully as a defense against most lower body takedowns.

This is one of my very favorite throws, and here’s a video of me teaching it as a safe and effective way to get the match to the ground in a BJJ context:

Hip Judo Throw


The hip throw, or O Goshi, isn’t seen so much in sport jiu-jitsu, as it’s fairly easy to defend against by just keeping your own hips away from those of your opponent.

How is it done?

  • That being said, you see it in mixed martial arts quite a bit, as you can force your opponent up against the cage and get your hips close to those of your adversary. Who did this the best? Look no further than Ronda Rousey.
  • To tell the truth, Rousey did a few different hip throws in the UFC. There was O Goshi, as well as its counterparts Koshi Guruma (Hip Wheel) and Harai Goshi (Hip Sweep).
  • But these throws have one thing in common. Namely, you get ahold of your opponent’s upper body, turn to get hip to hip against them, and then bend them over to see them go flying. Rousey and, before her, fellow judoka Karo Parisyan did exactly this many times.
  • Hip tosses also work great in any self-defense situation when your opponent is hugging you. Rather than trying to fight your way free, you hug them back, twist to your side, and send them sailing to the ground.

Shoulder Throw

Seoi Nage

The shoulder throw has only recently begun making an appearance in sport jiu-jitsu. For years, no one did it so much as it involves turning your back to your opponent.

These days, though, we’re starting to see it. Especially among heavier black belts who are less likely to start a match by pulling guard.

Saulo Ribeiro has recently made the shoulder throw his takedown of choice. Or, at least, he’s doing it to all his opponents.

How is it done?

  • There are many ways to do this judo throw, but the most typical is to hold your opponent’s lapel and suddenly twist to get your bicep into their armpit.
  • Then, you just scoop them up with your hips, and over they go. Since it’s a very “up and over” movement, you might land in a north/south position.
  • At the very least, you’ll get side control on a very surprised opponent.

While Seoi Nage takes time to perfect, it’s a throw worth knowing. Even if you have no plans to use it, you’re best off knowing it just so you can defend against being thrown into orbit

To Sum Up

Like BJJ, Judo throws will rarely work in isolation so they should be chained with other moves to make them work. It is a fairly low percentage having only one move and being overly reliant on it. With this said, it’s good to learn at least a couple of moves from this list to make them work more successfully.
It should also be added that with Judo, grips are vitally important.

There’s no point trying throws without establishing dominant grips, to begin with. Your grips should be used to control and isolate your opponent, so being aggressive is often advised too.


What is the hardest judo throw?
Tai otoshi is a hand throw that should generate a lot of power with very little contact. It can create one of the hardest falls in judo, yet it relies on timing and kuzushi rather than lifting. The power comes from a fast rotating action that drives uke right into the mat.
What is the throw-in player known in judo?
Before explaining Judo’s basics, you need to learn two things. Tori is the person who performs the throw, and uke is the person who is being thrown.
Which martial art has the best throws?
There are several major types of throws, among Asian martial arts, Judo has the most developed throwing techniques and throws are considered its specialty.
Can I teach myself judo?
Teaching yourself judo is not recommended, and it is likely that you will not learn it well. Judo is a martial art, and if you try to learn it with a partner, who is also a beginner, chances are high that one of you can get badly injured.


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