In watching some Olympic Judo matches I am confused as the why the ref sometimes stops the match when it goes to the ground, sends judoka back to their sides and then restarts the match.

If someone throws someone to the ground but it is not enough for an Ippon shouldn't the match continue so one can work towards a pin?


1 Answer 1


If there's a lack of progress during ground work in a judo match, the referee will stand the competitors up. This is intended to encourage action, rapid attack, and prevent stalemate positions.

  • 2
    Yes, and because the referee's judgment is completely subjective, it means some referees allow more ground time than others. It also means that some competitors will simply go into a turtle position or completely on their belly to stall for time, allowing themselves to be put back on their feet. This makes judoka very aggressive about how quickly they try to do things. Most judoka don't even wait for their opponent to hit the ground before they start doing a juji-gatame or something. Haha. Very different ideas compared with BJJ. Commented Apr 11, 2016 at 21:31
  • I'm not a judo guy. But I used training to complement my BJJ. I have the idea in judo the fighter have to get a submission position in 4s in juji-gatame. Otherwise the ref will back the stand fight. In a turtle position, to me, the judoka just wait a little to came back on top. Because 4s isn't enough to get a choke. The most of the Judokas I meet they aren't aggressive.
    – AFetter
    Commented Apr 11, 2016 at 22:39
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    @AFetter: As it depends on the referee, there is no rule of thumb like "4 seconds". There are very good referees that look into what there happens. It can take half a minute of subsequent progress to develop a technique in ne-waza. Some know them and see the steps, some just count down as soon as it goes into ground fighting and stop it after X seconds. But competitors are aggressive because they do not know how fast they have to show progress/ippon. Commented Apr 12, 2016 at 15:52
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    @PhilipKlöcking When attacking on the mat in judo, I agree you have to be aggressive. But there are many players that adopt defensive positions like the turtle that make no sense in a self-defense context; they depend on the referee to stop the match and stand the competitors back up. It's this behavior that AFetter is noting.
    – mattm
    Commented Apr 12, 2016 at 19:50
  • @PhilipKlöcking Thank you for improve my explanation.
    – AFetter
    Commented Apr 12, 2016 at 22:53

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