Judo techniques are divided into three major categories: nage waza (throwing techniques), katame waza (grappling techniques, and atemi waza (vital-point striking techniques).
Nage waza are many and varied, their purpose being to unbalance an opponents posture and throw the opponent to the floor.
Nage waza (Throwing techniques)
Nage waza can be divided into two main types: tachi waza (standing techniques) and sutemi waza (sacrifice techniques). The tachi waza are further divided into the "te waza" (hand techniques), "koshi waza" (hip techniques), and "ashi waza" (foot/leg techniques) groups, and the sutemi waza are further divided into the "ma sutemi waza" (front sacrifices) and the "yoko sutemi waza" (side sacrifices) groups. Although the hands,hips, and feet are used in all these techniques, the technique names are taken from the body part or action which is central to the motion. The main nage waza are shown below.
* In these explanations, the person applying a technique is identified as "tori", and the person receiving the technique is identified as "uke".
- Ippon-seoi-nage (One-arm shoulder throw) [Tachi waza -> Te waza]
- Tori breaks uke's balance by pulling him directly forward. With his right arm inserted under uke's armpit, tori spins around on his right foot with his back against uke. Tori then lowers his right shoulder and throws uke over his shoulder in a circular motion.
- Harai goshi (Sweeping hip throw) [Tachi waza -> Koshi waza]
- Tori breaks uke's balance by pulling forward and to the right. Tori then spins so that his hips are against uke, and uses his right leg to sweep uke's weight-bearing right leg from the floor, and finally throws uke over his hip.
- Osoto-gari (Large outer reap) [Tachi waza -> Ashi waza]
- Tori breaks uke's balance by pushing him back, then tori uses his right leg to sweep uke's weight-bearing right leg from the floor in a diagonal motion from behind.
- Ouchi-gari (Large inner reap) [Tachi waza -> Ashi waza]
- Tori pushes Uke straight back, or back and leftward, then places his right leg behind Uke's left leg (at knee level) and sweeps Uke's left leg off the floor to throw him down.
- Uchi mata (Inner thigh wraparound throw) [Tachi waza -> Ashi waza]
- Tori breaks Uke's balance by pulling him straight forward, then inserts his leg deep behind Uke's left inner thigh and sweep's it off the floor with his right thigh.
- Tomoe nage (Circular throw) [Sutemi waza -> Ma sutemi waza]
- Tori breaks Uke's balance by pulling him straight forward, then slides into a supine posture (facing upward) between the legs of Uke, with the sole of one foot placed against Uke's stomach area. Tori then carries Uke's body over his own head with that leg, thus throwing Uke to the floor.
Katame waza (Grappling techniques)
Katame waza consist of holding, strangling, joint twisting, and counter bending techniques, etc., designed to restrict the opponent's freedom of movement. These techniques are divided into three groups: "Osae waza" (hold-down techniques), "Shime waza" (strangling techniques), and "Kansetsu waza" (Joint lock techniques). The main "Katame waza" (Grappling techniques) are explained below.
- Kesa Gatame (Scarf hold) [Osae waza]
- Tori lies on his side over the supine body of Uke while holding Uke's arm in his armpit, with his other arm around Uke's neck. With his legs wide apart, Tori holds Uke down in this posture.
- Kami shiho gatame (Top four corner hold) [Osae waza]
- Tori lies face down with his upper body over the supine Uke's chest or abdominal area. In this posture, Tori pins both of Uke's arms to his sides, thus effectively holding Uke down.
- Nami-juji-jime (Normal cross strangle) [Shime waza]
- With arms crossed, Tori grips both sides of Uke's collar, thus strangling him.
- Ude hishigi juji gatame (Cross lock) [Kansetsu waza]
- Tori lies on his back grasping one of Uke's wrists with both hands, and with both thighs scissoring the upper part of that trapped arm. The arm is pulled to hyperextend the elbow or the shoulder.
Ate waza (Striking techniques)
"Ate waza" (or "Atemi waza") consist of striking maneuvers (by the hand, fingers, edge of the hand, elbow, knee, foot, and heel) aimed at vital points on the opponent. Due to their hazardous nature, Ate waza are not used in competition or in normal practice sessions.