Judo is a highly specialized sport and has several at its disposal. Kodokan revised the Gokyo no Waza in 1920 and included 40 principles of throwing Waza. While several Judo techniques are lost in practice but are still part of history.

The techniques in Judo were designed to use an opponent’s strength against him, and there is also groundwork.  Judokas can learn any technique they want, but one cannot master all techniques at once. Therefore, a progressive system is applied. Because physical and mental attributes are required to effectively use certain techniques.

In competitive Judo, there are opponents who prefer strength over technical ability, and then there are opponents who have less strength but better technical ability. Which one is better? Neither. Because in the end, the opponent who utilizes his/her skill and advantages in the best way possible wins. So, it is a question of choosing your path. Whether you want to utilize strength, ability, or both, is up to you.

Learning techniques are not enough. Strategy is equally important. A judoka is taught to define his/her game plan. For example, if an opponent is stronger in Ne-Waza, then perhaps ending up on the ground would be a good choice or part of a larger tactic. In this case, the judoka could use Tomoe Nage, knowing that even if the attempt is unsuccessful or countered, it will present an opportunity for Ne-Waza (ground fighting).

Along with techniques, the right tactics and strategy must be employed. The perquisites for learning techniques are good physical fitness and mental toughness. As a judoka improves, his/her technical ability also progresses.

A key consideration is to choose a systematic approach when choosing from a variety of techniques. It is impossible to learn and master every technique and its variations. Therefore, a more selective approach is preferred. This starts with training your weaknesses while exploiting your strengths. For example, some judokas are strong in the standing position and refrain from going to the ground. And that is why they train those specific techniques that help them exploit their strengths. As the saying goes, “A chain is only as strong as its weakest link”.

Through a systematic approach, you will be able to develop a balance of attack, defence, physical ability, and skill. It is also important that a judoka considers his/her physical attributes and uses them to his/her advantage. Aerobic conditioning, flexibility, strength, use of leverage, and height can determine which techniques are best suited for a judoka to master.

For many judokas, techniques come naturally, and those are the ones that need to be developed. This way, a judoka can develop his/her unique style. Techniques are perfected quicker when they come naturally. On the other hand, trying to learn a technique that proves too difficult to perform is perhaps a waste of time.