Tachiwaza & Newaza Integration…


Brazilian Jiu-jitsuka - when they remark on Judo’s Newaza, will often comment on the explosive and fast nature of it, in comparison to the slow, deliberate, and patient nature of BJJ’s technique.

This came about because Judo sees newaza as merely an extension of tachiwaza, and not an area apart.  In Judo, we take our opponent’s balance, convert it into a throw, and then continue that domination with newaza.  Whereas, in BJJ, how they get to the ground doesn’t matter to them, but is the beginning point for their technique.  There’s nothing wrong with either approach, they are merely different from each other.

Unfortunately, due to factors at play in Judo dojo’s… we sometimes don’t train this connection between tachiwaza and newaza as often as we should.  Mats are often crowded, and it’s difficult to allow everyone doing randori to follow up a successful throw with proper newaza.  So the connection becomes lost - and rather than emphasizing the connection of proper matwork with the throwing effort, we tend to break it up into separate parts of the class…  Naturally, with limited mat area, it’s safer to not have some Judoka engaging in matwork while others nearby are throwing their uke.

But when there are few Judoka, and plenty of mat space - be sure to practice your randori in a complete manner - ending each and every throw with control on the ground.  If you fail to connect each throw with a pin, armbar, or choke - be assured that your opponent at your next shiai will not fail to do so!

A problem that frequently crops up with Judoka who don’t train to connect their newaza with their throws is the situation where you throw an opponent, and because of your failure to immediately shift into newaza, your opponent takes the advantage … and converts your wazaari, yuko, or koka - into successful newaza - turning your initial advantage into a loss.

This is actually quite common when Judoka meet Brazilian Jiu-jitsuka - the Judoka throws, and doesn’t get the full point, and the BJJ’er takes advantage of the Judoka’s failure to convert the throw into successful newaza… Don’t ever let it be said that we can’t learn from other arts - this is a good example…  If Judo were being performed the way it should be - it would be far more difficult for BJJ’ers to do this to Judoka!

This naturally leads to the thought of how to transition your tachiwaza into newaza.  I hold a natural advantage, because I like to use a collar grip - so I often land uke into an almost perfect Kesa Gatame.  But what happens if your favorite throw is O Uchi Gari?  Tis more difficult to convert to a successful pin/armbar/choke than a throw such as Tai Otoshi, for example… but it can be done if you practice it…

So even if you don’t have the room to shift into matwork - at least you should keep it in the back of your mind how you would continue each throw.  When there is enough room, be sure to transition each successful throw into some sort of ground control, whether it be a pin, choke, or armbar.