Judo is practiced by men, women and even children the world over, and is arguably the most popular martial art form ever. An Olympic sport, Judo originated in Japan in the 1880’s and means “the gentle way.” Judo uses throws, sweeps, chokes and joint locks and the main goal is to throw your opponent to the ground or make him submit through a joint lock or choke hold.

People who practice judo are called judoka; and usually wear a uniform called a gi, which is made up of a reinforced jacket, loose-fitting trousers and a coloured belt which indicates what standard the judoka has reached.

Judo techniques

Judo is really a form of wrestling and all bouts begin in the standing position. The participants then try to throw one another using a variety of different techniques including hip throws, shoulder throws, leg sweeps and sacrifice throws. A clean throw scores maximum points but bouts can also go to the mat where joint locks and chokes can be used in an attempt to win by submission.

While strength is beneficial for judoka, so too is technique and a smaller, weaker fighter can often defeat a bigger, stronger opponent with superior skill and better technique. Throwing, for example, is more about balance and timing than it is pure power. This makes judo especially suitable for women and children.

Judo safety


While no martial art is 100-percent safe, the lack of kicking and punching in Judo and an emphasis on learning how to fall and roll means that Judo is as safe as any martial art can be. In fact, in the initial stages, students will spend much their time learning how to fall and roll safely to minimise the risk of injury and each training session always begins with rolling and falling practice.

Students learn the techniques of Judo by performing them against non-resisting opponents to ensure they are doing everything properly and are usually paired with people with a similar build and level of experience to further enhance safety. Combined with qualified instruction, this makes Judo suitable for both genders and all ages – from the very young to the very old.

Benefits of Judo

If you are in the Brisbane area and looking to practice Judo regularly, come in to Arena MMA to check out the many benefits to be had! Judo works all of your major muscles and also provides your heart and lungs with a very good workout and that will lead to improved fitness and health.

Flexibility is also an important part of Judo and so you can expect to do plenty of stretching in Judo class too. Judo is a very good form of self-defence and can help develop discipline, determination, mental toughness, confidence and character which are beneficial both during judo, in MMA, and in life in general. Judo is also an energetic sport that will burn lots of calories and help you control your weight.

Famous judoka

Many celebrities have studied judo and achieved a black belt. Famous black-belt judoka includes Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, actress Lucille Ball, actor Bo Svenson, Albert II, the prince of Monaco, and Australian computer scientist Terry Halpin.

Judo and MMA

Like Jiu-Jitsu, Judo offers a lot to MMA fighters. Throws and groundwork are important in MMA and are the cornerstone of Judo. Judo also places a big emphasis on defence and counter-attacks – both useful MMA skills. Several Judo practitioners have made an impact in mixed martial arts including:

Olympic medalists Hidehiko Yoshida (Gold, 1992), Naoya Ogawa (Silver, 1992), Pawel Nastula (Gold, 1996), Makoto Takimoto (Gold, 2000), Satoshi Ishii (Gold, 2008) and Ronda Rousey (Bronze, 2008), former Russian national Judo championship Bronze medalist Fedor Emelianenko, Karo Parisyan, Don Frye, Antônio Silva, Oleg Taktarov, Rick Hawn, Hector Lombard, Yoshihiro Akiyama and Dong-Sik Yoon.

Learning Judo


The best place to learn Judo is at a dojo or training school and under the tutelage of an experienced, qualified coach – such as with Arena MMA in Brisbane. This will ensure you learn to fall and roll properly and how to apply the techniques of Judo the right way. Classes begin with a warm-up and are progressive so you learn Judo in a systematic and progressive way – just as is was designed to be learnt over 120 years ago.

With regular practice, you will be able to take assessments, called gradings, and earn coloured belts to show your progress.

Try Judo for FREE!

If you want to try Judo or see how Judo is part of Arena MMA in Springwood or our other locations, come and try a free class. You’ll learn from the best coaches around in a friendly, professional environment where your safety and enjoyment are the priority.