Is Judo Good for Self Defense? (Solved & Explained!)

Do you need a reliable self-defense system? If this is the case, you may wonder if Judo is the right combat sport to defend yourself in self-defense situations.

Judo is a popular martial art that can provide you with many benefits. Throws can be practical self-defense moves to overcome street fighters. As a result, Judo can assist you in defending yourself in a real-world self-defense situation.

This article will examine some of Judo’s benefits and drawbacks for self-defense. We’ll also go over some other options that might be more suitable for your needs. So, let’s get this party started!

Is Judo a Self-Defense Activity?

difference between jiu jitsu and judo

Self-defense is a method of protecting yourself, your property, or another person from harm. You can employ various techniques to defend yourself in a dangerous situation against an attacker. These techniques are frequently derived from several forms of best martial arts.

Jigoro Kano developed Judo, a Japanese martial technique, in 1882. It is a fantastic grappling sport with mental discipline elements that combine a close combat type of jujutsu.

Judo students learn to subdue opponents using throws, joint locks, and chokeholds. It is a popular Olympic sport and is not strictly a self-defense activity.

However, Judo has been developed for self-defense and MMA fighting due to the effectiveness of its techniques. As a result, it can be used to defend oneself against physical attacks and protect oneself from harm.

Pros and Cons of Judo for Self-Defense

Training in Judo is practical for developing your self-defense skills since it is considered a top martial art. However, when defending oneself against an aggressor, Judo has several benefits and drawbacks.

Pros of Judo for Self-Defense

  1. Judo is an assertive fighting discipline that can defeat even more prominent and heavier opponents.
  2. A Judo practitioner understands how to manage balance and distance, essential for self-defense.
  3. Throws are very effective judo techniques used in self-defense and street-fighting situations.
  4. Judo players develop excellent physical abilities that can help them overcome brutal attackers over time.
  5. The art of Judo is relatively easy to learn and open to all kinds of people almost anywhere.
  6. Judo offers a sense of community, and beginners are always welcome.

Cons of Judo for Self-Defense

  1. If it is not practiced safely, Judo training can cause several injuries.
  2. Judo schools don’t teach striking techniques. 
  3. The art of Judo is primarily practiced in dojos, where students wear uniforms, and it is not tested in real self-defense scenarios.
  4. Judo is a one-on-one combat sport that is not appropriate against many attackers.
  5. A Judo player will have difficulty countering a weapon-wielding attacker.

Related: Uncover the road to earning a black belt in judo and the components that affect the time it takes to get this esteemed rank. Click here to find out more!

How Effective Is Judo for Self-Defense?

Source: Shintaro Higashi

The art of Judo is frequently promoted as an effective self-defense system, but how effective? Judo can be a highly effective martial art in certain situations, but it has limitations.

This unique combat sport relies heavily on throws and joint locks, necessitating physical strength and coordination. If you’re up against a more prominent, stronger opponent, you might be unable to execute the techniques correctly.

Furthermore, judo self-defense techniques are only effective if executed quickly and efficiently. You may not have time to react if caught off guard or taken by surprise. 

Finally, while judo training can be beneficial, it does not replace formal self-defense training. To be genuinely prepared for self-defense, you should supplement your judo training with other useful martial arts.

Best Judo Moves for Self-Defense

Source: Shintaro Higashi

Several Judo moves can help you defend yourself in dangerous situations, including throws, joint locks, etc. Here is an excellent list of Judo self-defense techniques:

  1. Shoulder throws such as Seoi-Nage and Ippon-Seoi-Nage are the first Judo moves for self-defense. These moves are practical in throwing your opponents over their shoulders and subduing them quickly. 
  2. Hip throws are another practical self-defense move you can learn when practicing Judo martial art. O-Goshi, Harai-Goshi, Hane-Goshi, and Utsuri-Goshi are among the best judo hip throws to throw an attacker in self-defense. 
  3. Joint locks are another excellent judo technique that can be practical for self-defense. These techniques are beneficial for controlling or submitting an opponent, regardless of size.

In the video below, Brad Tidwell, a Judo black belt, demonstrates three classic Judo throws for real-life scenarios.

Source: Combat Self Defense


Perhaps Judo gets the smallest attention regarding practical self-defense martial arts. Nevertheless, it is a worldwide sport practiced by millions even though it does not teach strikes.

Judo can be excellent for protecting someone in real-life situations. The effectiveness of throws and joint locks and Judo’s balance control and footwork will make a difference in self-defense situations.

Judokas are some of the most hardcore competitors on the planet. Therefore, Judo creates a solid foundation transferable for self-defense, Muay Thai, Wrestling, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and MMA.

Otherwise, remember that Judo is not intended for self-defense and is more geared toward competition. Thus, it is crucial to have realistic expectations when learning Judo for self-defense.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Judo the Best Combat Sport for Self-Defense?

Judo is a versatile combat sport used for self-defense and street fighting. But, it has some advantages and disadvantages when defending yourself.

Judo teaches incredible fighting skills, such as throws and joint locks. These techniques can be very effective in a self-defense situation. However, it takes time and effort to learn and apply them correctly.

However, Judo is not strictly a self-defense activity, so you will not get enough practice in real fight situations. So, you might want to consider combining Judo with other martial arts disciplines.

Is Judo or Karate Better for Self-Defense?

Judo and Karate are both excellent martial arts for self-defense. However, both disciplines have limitations in real-world situations.

First, Judo is an excellent self-defense technique because it emphasizes throws to subdue an opponent. This can be very effective in self-defense because it allows you to take down an opponent without using the proper techniques with less strength.

Karate is a good choice for self-defense because it emphasizes quick and powerful strikes. This can be useful in self-defense because it allows you to disable an opponent quickly.

The best martial art for self-defense depends on your personal preferences and abilities. Learning correctly takes time and effort, but the benefits can be tremendous.

Related: Discover the self-defense power of Karate! Learn how effectively you can use the discipline and expertise of this ancient martial art to defend yourself and your loved ones. Click here to learn more!

Is Judo or Jiu Jitsu Better for Self-Defense?

When it comes to self-defense, there are numerous options to consider. For example, Judo and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu are two popular self-defense martial arts. So, which is superior?

Judo is based on using throwing techniques to overcome an opponent. As a result, it is a very effective form of self-defense.

On the other hand, BJJ focuses on subduing an opponent through joint locks, chokeholds, takedowns, etc. As a result, it is another effective form of self-defense.

Finally, the best self-defense technique is the one you are most comfortable and confident with. Indeed, it should be applicable in real-world situations. Martial arts like Judo and jiu-jitsu can help you develop incredible fighting skills for self-defense.

Although both disciplines are ineffective in some situations, such as when confronted with armed or multiple attackers. Otherwise, they are more geared toward competition and less focused on self-defense.

Related: Discover how Brazilian jiu-jitsu may help you defend yourself with confidence. Click here to learn more about the efficacy of BJJ martial art in self-defense situations.

Which Is Better for Self-defense, Krav Maga or Judo?

Judo and Krav Maga are effective self-defense techniques but have distinct advantages and disadvantages.

Judo is a grappling fighting style that emphasizes throws and joint locks. As a result, it is incredibly effective against a single attacker. Still, the requirement for close contact makes it less effective against a group of assailants.

Aside from that, Krav Maga is a self-defense system developed for the Israeli military. It employs a more aggressive strategy: strikes and kicks to disable an attacker.

As a result, Krav Maga is very effective against multiple attackers. Still, it can be more challenging to control in self-defense.

Finally, Krav Maga is more effective for self-defense than Judo. However, the best option will depend on the circumstances and your desires.

Which Is Better for Self-Defense, Boxing or Judo?

Boxing and Judo are two popular choices for self-defense with millions of practitioners worldwide, but which is best?

Boxing is often regarded as more aggressive than Judo and can be helpful in self-defense. However, keep in mind that boxing is a sport. It has rules and regulations that do not always translate well to self-defense situations.

For example, in a self-defense situation, landing a punch on an attacker’s head can result in severe injuries for you and the aggressor.

On the other hand, Judo is purpose-built for competition. It is a popular sport but can also be used in self-defense situations.

Judo throws and joint locks, for example, can help you gently subdue and disable an attacker rather than punching to the head or other vulnerable areas.

Indeed, Judo is less physically demanding than boxing, which can be beneficial in self-defense situations where you are not as physically fit as your attacker.

Judo is the better option for self-defense because the goal is to protect yourself while not injuring others. Although Judo and boxing are excellent for learning striking and grappling techniques.

Is Muay Thai Better Than Judo for Self-Defense?

Muay Thai and Judo are two popular martial arts known for self-defense effectiveness. However, which of these options is more advantageous?

As a form of martial art that emphasizes throws and takedowns, Judo is frequently regarded as the superior choice for self-defense.

On the other hand, Muay Thai offers several benefits that distinguish it from other self-defense methods and make it the superior option in various contexts.

Muay Thai boxers learn to employ their entire bodies as weapons, including forearms, knees, shins, elbows, and kneecaps. Because of this, they are more dangerous than Judo practitioners, who are only allowed to use their hands and feet in a fight.

As a result of these factors, Muay Thai is superior to Judo for use as a form of self-defense in most circumstances.

Is Taekwondo Better Than Judo in Self-Defense Scenarios?

There is no clear winner between Taekwondo and Judo in terms of self-defense.

Judo uses an opponent’s momentum against them through throws and joint locks. It is one of the best grappling martial arts that can help you subdue an opponent significantly.

On the other hand, Tae-Kwon-Do is a striking-based martial art that emphasizes kicks and blocks for self-defense.

Both Taekwondo and Judo are effective self-defense techniques, each with advantages and disadvantages. It is up to the individual to decide which type they want to learn.

Some people may find Judo throws and joint locks more useful in self-defense. On the other hand, others may prefer the more direct approach of Taekwondo. However, if properly learned, both fighting styles can be equally effective for self-defense.

Related: Taekwondo can help you protect yourself in dangerous real-life situations! Learn the self-defense methods and tactics of this exciting martial art. Click here to learn more!