Tournament Grade

Shiai, or contest, is judo done as a combat sport in which players fight together, trying to defeat one another within a clearly defined set of rules. There are two basic kinds of shiai: grading contests and tournaments. Gradings are always individual contests. A player going to grade will usually have three contests and, depending upon his performance, will be promoted accordingly, or not as the case may be. He must also fulfill the theory requirement for a particular grade which involves recognizing the Japanese terminology used to describe techniques and demonstrating the techniques with a partner as the examiner requests.

Dan gradings usually require that one player win two individual contests against players of the same grade by ippon and then take on a line-up of three. To earn the dan grade 'on the day' he must defeat each member of the line by ippon, no mean feat when they have all turned up with the aim of winning points for their own promotion! The aim of both players in a judo grading is to defeat the other by ippon, a full point. There are four direct routes to scoring ippon:

• Throwing the opponent flat on his bad with control and impetus with a recognized technique.
• Forcing the opponent to submit to a strangulation (or rendering him unconscious).
• Forcing the opponent to submit to an armlock.
• Pinning the opponent for 30 seconds in hold-down.

The four basic, decisive ways to win arm supplemented by the following three cumulative scoring possibilities in which two waza-ari add up to ippon:

• Throwing the opponent for two waza-ari or half points, which results in waza-ari-awasete-ippon being awarded.
• Throwing the opponent for waza-ari and holding him down for 25 seconds, which again results in waza-ari-awasete-ippon being awarded.
• Scoring two waza-ari by holding the opponent for 25 seconds twice in the course of the contest.

Victory from an ippon score is the ideal in a judo competition but it is not always possible to achieve. Ippon ends the contest, just as a knock-out does in boxing but there are other scores which can decide the contest. In traditional judo it was only possible to score ippon and waza-ari, the latter being awarded when a near perfect technique was produced.

Two waza-ari scores add up to ippon, but there are two other minor scores, the yuko and the koka which are often not used for grading purposes but are awarded in tournament competition right up to Olympic level, for attempts at throws which culminate in knockdowns, usually because of the agility or defensive skill of the opponent. These scores are regarded as five and three points respectively, but do not add up in the way two waza-ari do. Yuko and kokawere introduced in orderto encourage attacking, adventurous udo and to clarify the situation for both players and spectators in contests where no major score was achieved.

If you enjoyed reading this article on Judo Training please go to The MMA Zone to read more.

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