Throws and Takedowns

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Note:  There are very limited techniques in this section. 

This is not a Judo web site.  If you want more information an excellent site is

Throws allow you to use gravity as your partner and to crash your attacker into the ground, a post, a coffee table, etc.

While this is not one of the throws shown below it does show what can be done with an unbalanced attacker since any throw given the right environment can be used to crash an attacker into either a horizontal or vertical surface.


A small collection of trips,takedowns, and throws are what is needed for the average person to defend themselves  versus the higher more technical and aggressive throws that a better trained person could execute.

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can be used to stun an attacker by slamming him into the ground, a tree, a wall or any other hard object.


These techniques work well for a small frame defender versus a larger attacker




Gravity is our partner, it is working all the time


Let’s Knock him Out by introducing him to the planet!...or ground or floor, or a tree or a fence post, etc.

Standup grappling type of encounter

All throws depend on unbalancing your attacker.


Let’s talk about balance a little bit

Stationary position

Standing up straight we all have our balance.  Here is a view from above of only our feet

What are those “x” marks?


The "X" marks



When we examine the overhead view a bit more closely of this stationary position, we can see that since we are balanced on only two legs, we can lose our balance in at least two directions


It is as if we are missing a leg to hold us up when pushed pulled or turned downward into one of those two points.   The actual point is about two feet in front or behind the middle of his feet.  When both feet are even it will be right in front or behind.  When one foot is forward or back it moves to the side.


Judo uses 8 Points of Unbalance. To keep it simple, we will use only 2.



Any action that moves the head, shoulders, hips, and legs will cause some unbalance.  If you have a grasp of the attacker at that point, you can cause him to fall.   Thus strikes to the head can drive it either way, head control could twist it either way.  Locks can rotate the shoulder either way, as can pushes or pulls on hips or knees. Kicks or sweeps can also move his legs either way to set up the takedown. 

Missing Leg 

Since we don’t have more than 2 legs, we are like a milking stool with a “Missing Leg”

“Missing Leg”

If we manipulate our attacker so that he is pushed or pulled down  to a

 Point of Unbalance

Where the “Missing Leg” would be, he will fall!

Move Head Shoulder Forward, Push Hips Back, Drive Legs Back


Move Head, Shoulders, Hips, Legs out of line

See “Body Drop”

By Tripping, Push/Pull,  Strikes, Kicks, Head Control or Locks to move him

Move Head Shoulder Back, Pull Hips or Legs Forward


Move Head, Shoulders, Hips, Legs out of line

see “Judo Slam”

By Tripping, Push/Pull,  Strikes, Kicks, Head Control or Locks to move him


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Body Drop 

Body Drop Details

Starting with a grab

Execute a “Body Drop” Throw

Pull him forward. Hold close!

Push your hip against his body

Turn around - move left foot first,

Turn your hips and shoulders also

Trip him over your thigh or calf, pull with your arm(s) and push with your leg

Slide your right foot across in front of his leg so you can trip him

It may not be this dramatic, but he will go down or collide with wall!

Animations below from    



Judo Slam

Size Doesn't matter!


Judo Slam Details

Starting with a grab whether you grab him or he grabs you...the throw works either way!

Execute a “Judo Slam” Throw

Spin his head 

and shoulders closer to you as you push back with your close leg

Step along side him with your close leg

He will end up on the ground hard!

Kick or push back against his leg with your thigh, get your hip close and pressed into his.

Be sure to keep your head forward to maintain your balance

If you lift your close leg as you throw him he will go higher and land harder – but it’s more difficult to execute well!

Animation from



 Judo Slam Another Example

Strike inbound, condition red

Here is another version of a  “Judo Slam”

Used in a dynamic fashion (not from a grab)


Same mechanics, lower level throw.

Move inside arc of blow

Apply separation of halves

Counter strike, step in for throw

Take him down!


Drop and Roll Throw 


Drop and Roll Throw Details 

As you are grabbed, attach to your attacker, pull him close to you, push your hip back into him, rotate your hips and shoulders.  Step as shown.

Roll onto your right side, more…

As you are attacked (Start) your feet are likely to be in a normal stance.

Take a short step forward and pivot your shoulders, hips and other foot as you hold on to him (Step/Turn)

There is a whole set of throws that involve turning your back or reacting to a grab from behind by moving closer to your attacker and rotating him around you.

This throw shown here is done as a reaction to a rear choke.  It can be used in bear hugs, or any other grab from behind, including side headlocks. 

It can be done to either side.  Strike him with whichever hand or elbow is available as you land.

Kneel down,  continue to roll over

As you land, strike him, repeat!


Here's some more information on Shearing


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More Action Sequences

Body Drop from Another Angle


Body Drop from Rear Grab


Drop and Roll Throw


Head Control and Takedown


Headlock Escape with a Throw from a Leg Sweep


Outside Wrist Lock Used to get a Takedown


Kick Defense Followed by a Judo Slam



Head Control from a Seated Position


Gryoscoping Shoulders into Judo Slam


"Size Doesn't Matter" Judo Slam


"Size Doesn't Matter" Body Drop


Turn and Strike from a rear grab flows into Judo Slam


Head Control from a Front Grab = Slam Head into door!

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