Olympics Summer

What the words mean

Words defined to better understand lingo used during judo matches.

Armlock: The legitimate application of pressure to an opponent's elbow joint to force a submission. 

Awasewaza: Ippon by two waza-ari – in other words, a full win consisting of two half-wins. 

Bout: A contest between two judo competitors. 

Chokehold: Any legitimate judo hold where the main component is locking an opponent by encircling the neck with an arm, the legs or the lapels; also called a "stranglehold."

Circular throw: Another common throw in which the judoka uses an opponent's momentum to his or her advantage; also called tomoe-nage. 

Contest area: The eight-metre-square mat area where the competition occurs. 

Dan: A grade of black belt – first dan, second dan, etc. Visible as black stripes at the end of a judoka's belt: one stripe equals first dan and so forth.

Hajime: A referee's command to begin fighting. 

Hansokumake: The disqualification of a judoka for an offence, giving the opponent an "ippon," or automatic victory. 

Harai goshi: Sweeping hip throw. 

Ippon: One point scored in a single manoeuvre to win a bout, either by throwing the opponent onto his or her back, by holding an opponent for 25 seconds or by gaining submission to a strangle hold or armlock. Equal to a pin-down in wrestling or a knockout in boxing. 

Ju-jitsu: An ancient Japanese martial art, based primarily on the principle of ju, or gentleness. Sometimes spelled as one word. 

Judo: "The gentle way" – "ju" from the Japanese character meaning "gentleness, softness, yielding or flexibility" and "do" from the Japanese character meaning "way, road, path or teaching." 

Judogi: A competitor's judo uniform, consisting of loose-fitting pants and jacket and a belt tied at the waist. 

Judoka: One or more judo competitors. 

Juji-gatame: Arm lock. 

Katsu: A method of resuscitation to revive a judoka incapacitated by a chokehold. 

Kinsa: Slight superiority or close decision. 

Kochiki-taoshi: A leg-grab shoulder throw. 

Koka: Almost yuko, which is a score given to a judoka for either completing a throw or holding an opponent for 15 to 20 seconds.

Matae: The referee's command to stop a bout temporarily. In informal competition or practise, the equivalent of saying "uncle." 

Morote-seoi-nage: Two-arm shoulder throw. 

Obi: The belt worn by judoka. 

Osaekomi: The referee's command to begin timing a hold. 

Osaekomi-toketa: The referee's command to stop timing a hold. 

Reap: To sweep an opponent's legs from under him or her to gain the advantage. 

Safety zone: The three-metre-wide outer area of the competition area, which is out of bounds. 

Seoi-nage: Shoulder throw. A common technique in which a judoka uses his or her back to throw an opponent over his or her shoulder. 

Shido: Minor penalty given to a judoka, equal to a koka. 

Shime-waza: Strangulation or choking techniques. 

Shoulder throw: One of the most commonly used techniques. The judoka uses his or her legs and back to throw an opponent over his or her shoulder. Also called a "seoi-nage." 

Sono-mama: The referee's command to freeze, with the judoka stopping all action and holding their positions. 

Soremade: The referee's command to end a bout. 

Strangle hold: Any legitimate judo hold where the main component is strangling or choking an opponent by encircling the neck with an arm, the legs or the lapels; also called a "choke hold." 

Tai-otoshi: Body drop. 

Tatami: The vinyl-covered foam mats that make up the competition area in judo. 

Throws: One of two ways to attempt to score points, along with "holds." There are five forms of throwing an opponent: hand technique (tewaza), hip method (koshiwaza), foot-and-leg system (ashiwaza), throwing one's back on the mat (masutemi waza), or throwing one's side on the mat (yokosutemi waza). 

Tomoe-nage: Whirl throw or circle throw. Another common throw where the judoka uses an opponent's momentum to his or her advantage. 

Uchi-mata: Inner thigh throw. 

Waza: Technique 

Waza-ari: A half-point, or "almost ippon," awarded for either a throw meeting three scoring criteria or holding the opponent for 20 seconds. Included in the scoring criteria are the speed of the throw, how the opponent lands (e.g., on what part of his or her back), and technique. 

Yuko: Meaning "almost waza-ari," a score given to a judoka for either completing a throw or holding an opponent for 15 to 20 seconds. Yuko is lacking in speed and usually is scored when an opponent is thrown on his or her side. 

Yusei-gachi: Win by superiority scores or officials' decision.

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