Deru Pon! Defeating a Higher Ranked Judoka in Shiai…

Have you ever faced a higher ranked Judoka in tournament - and wondered how you can beat him?  There is a way of doing so… it even has a name in Japanese - it’s a tactic known as Deru Pon.

The literal meaning is “To come out - to advance….  Ippon!”  This simply means that when you first take your grip - you immediately attack with your strongest technique.  Now, to do it best, you also have to give up the grip war… the way I’ve done it in the past is after the rei, walk up slowly with your arms out, offering the grip… completely relaxed… and the moment you get your grip - turn into King Kong!

The idea is that your opponent will be underestimating you - after all, he outranks you… and to make your attack before your opponent has a chance to get into his fighting tempo.  Most Judo matches begin with a sort of ‘feeling out’ of your opponent, so the idea of Deru Pon is to bypass this initial test of skill/strength, and immediately commit your entire body to a terminal attack.

Be sure that you utilize a terminal technique!!  By ‘terminal’, I mean that either you, or you and your opponent, go to the ground.  Obviously, it’s to be hoped for that both of you go down … with you on top.  But the attack must be made with total commitment, and if it fails, you must end up on the ground … for if you don’t - this merely proves that your attack wasn’t made with the most complete commitment that it could have been.

(Another advantage of making the attack terminal - is if you fail in your initial attack, your opponent no longer has his favorite grip that you just gave him for free.  Now he’ll have to work for it.)

Give this a try next time in randori… prep yourself to do this so that when you’re next at shiai, you can give it a try.