2

Judo and BJJ both stem from early 20th century judo, but over time have focused on different aspects of the martial art - broadly tachi-waza and ne-waza respectively. Additionally, they are mostly taught nowadays as a sport, and the difference in point-scoring of the two has further contributed to an emphasis on different techniques and styles.

There are a number of BJJ techniques which are not legal in judo:

and a few traditional techniques which are banned in both:

  • kani-basami (scissor sweep)
  • daki-age (high lift)

Are there any techniques that are legal1 in judo but not in BJJ?


1. IJF and IBJJF rules respectively.

4

The IBJJF specifically bans1 two judo-throws where uke lands on their head/neck. Despite the IJF prohibiting throws which "may endanger or injure the opponent especially the opponent’s neck or spinal vertebrae", there are a number of throws where it is not uncommon5 in competition for uke to hit the mat first with their head, or impact with it after falling, and which seem to fall under another clause in the IJF's rules where 'involuntarily' impacting the mat with uke's head does not incur a penalty for either party.2

Ura-nage (suplex)

Suplex takedown technique, landing with the opponent’s head or neck on the ground.

However if uke does not land on the head/neck the technique is permitted:

The use of this technique is still permitted provided that the movement does not force the opponent’s head or neck into the ground.

Hikikomi-gaeshi ("Khabarelli")3

Hikikomi-gaeshi when used to defend against a single leg takedown (sukui-nage, kibisu-gaeshi, kuchiki-taoshi) is illegal in BJJ if the uke lands on their head:

Grab the opponents belt and throws him to the floor on his head when defending a single leg situation while his opponents head is on the outside of his body.

While leg grabs are no longer legal in judo under IJF rules, the counter hikikomi-gaeshi itself can still be performed in judo.


Notes:

1. IBJJF Rule Book - 6.3.2 Technical Fouls (Version 4.0, Feb. 2015)

2. Special attention will be given to situations where tori attempts to throw his opponent during tachi-waza with, for example, seoi-otoshi (drop seoi-nage), sodetsurikomi-goshi with the grip on both sleeves and koshi-guruma with both grips on the collar and uke makes an involuntary head defence. These are examples and this situation can occur with other throwing techniques. In this situation there is no penalty for either tori or uke.
 • Sport and Organization Rules of the IJF (version 13 October 2018) (p.123, 2.)
 • Explanatory guide of the judo refereeing rules (9 March 2018) (p.17-21)

3. Note: there are two groups of similar throws often called "Khabarelli". One, where tori grabs and lifts uke's leg in addition to the belt (obi-tori-gaeshi, no longer legal under IJF rules), and one where the leg is not grabbed (hikikomi-gaeshi, similar to sumi-gaeshi with a belt grip)4.
4. Kodokan Judo: Throwing Techniques (p.218-223)
5. youtube.com/watch?v=NYekeDRoFC4 (times: 0.27, 0.42, 1.05, 2.36, 3.32, 3.52)

  • It's illegal (hansoku make) in judo to intentionally throw an opponent on their head, regardless of what technique you use to do so. See Appendix D Refereeing Rules, Article 18 Hansoku Make #5 of the IJF Sport and Organisation Rules "5. To make any action this may endanger or injure the opponent especially the opponent’s neck or spinal vertebrae or may be against the spirit of judo." – mattm May 28 at 12:56
  • @mattm indeed, I meant instances where the uke intentionally uses their head to avoid falling "correctly" from a throw (p.109 article 14 point 2 "bridge"; p.122 point 2 "head defence"). Will clarify this point. – ukemi May 28 at 13:15
  • I disagree with this interpretation. For a judo ura nage, if you force someone's head into the ground (throw onto the head), that is a disqualification (direct hansoku make). Aiming to throw on the back is legal. This agrees with the BJJ rule: "The use of this technique is still permitted provided that the movement does not force the opponent’s head or neck into the ground." The act of bridging to avoid back contact is illegal in judo, but legal in BJJ, though I am not sure anyone would want to do it due to the danger and relatively low score from a throw. – mattm May 29 at 14:09
  • Similarly for the hikkimomi gaeshi, if you drive someone's head into the mat intentionally, that is a disqualification. The example from the BJJ rules is just that; there is no attempt to tuck uke's head under with tori's elbow to induce a roll, and tori's leg is disengaged outside uke's body. – mattm May 29 at 14:12
  • So although the umbrella of techniques referred to as ura nage and hikkikomi gaeshi cover legal techniques in judo, the ones that are illegal in BJJ would also be illegal in judo. – mattm May 29 at 14:15
3

Daki Age (High Lift, Slam)

In judo, to escape from your opponent's guard position, you can stand up and pick them up off the mat. Once you have them off the mat, a referee will call matte and reset the match from standing. In a self-defense situation, the technique you would actually apply is daki age where you slam the opponent into the ground. This is very dangerous because the impact is often on the head or spine, which can result in paralysis even without significant elevation. In judo, this danger is recognized as ending the matwork situation without the technique actually being applied. In IBJJF rules, this is a slam and illegal. See TABLE: Technical Fouls – Illegal Moves #16 Slam.

I do not personally train BJJ, but when rolling with BJJ players who cross train in judo, I have experienced that they just continue playing as normal when picked up in the guard or sankaku (triangle) positions. For safety, I just tap and talk about it afterward. In contrast, judo players will stop once elevated.

  • 1
    Note that that's just the IBJJF rules, which are widely regarded as overbearing. Granted most Open tournaments don't allow slams, but some do, and several pro and invitationals do allow slams. Unlike many martial arts there is no central governing body of BJJ, so rule sets vary. I've done some BJJ pro invitationals before and been pleasantly surprised to see "slamming" as an allowed technique. – coinbird May 31 at 13:27

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