Art, Olympic Sport, Self Defence

(Protective Behavior)

Ask A Referee

This page was created for my students in order to archive the "Ask A Ref" section of the Judo Victoria Newsletter. Here you will find the considered responces of Judo Victoria referees on Competition rules.

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What is Osaekomi and Toketa?

   by Graeme Grogan JV Referees Commission

When both players are in groundwork, the referee will step forward bend slightly with the arm stretched out palm facing down and announce “Osaekomi” (hold-down) when the contestant being held is controlled by the opponent.

You must have the opponent on their back, both shoulders, or one shoulder in contact with the mat. Control can be made from the side, from the rear, or from the top. The control must be made with a legal technique.

The person in control must maintain that control and keep the opponent on their back with one or both shoulders in contact, otherwise the hold down is considered broken. The referee will then step forward bend slightly with the thumb up and wave the hand from side to side calling “Toketa”(hold-down broken).

The players can still continue in groundwork after “Toketa” is called. If the player had been held for more than 10 seconds (but less than 20) the referee will also score “Waza-ari”.

After “Toketa” is called the clock timing the hold down is stopped and a score if any, is recorded.

It is important for players and coaches to note that until the referee calls “Mate” or “Soramade” groundwork can continue.

What are the rules regarding a concussion at a competition?


Concussion and Head injuries: As a sport, Judo is very aware of the risks to competitors from a concussion and especially from a repeated concussion.

It is not the role of referees to decide if a competitor has suffered a concussion during a fight. This is the responsibility of the doctor or medical officer in attendance. 

Any competitor that has experienced a concussion during the month leading up to a tournament must notify the Sporting director and must have medical clearance from a doctor before they can compete.

Junior and Senior Boys and Girls:Player safety and welfare is the main priority

During a match, both Junior and Senior Boys and Girls are allowed treatment as decreed by the medical staff at the event within reason.

If the injury is serious and the treatment will take a long time the match is defaulted.In the case of concussion, the fight is immediately ended and the player is not allowed to compete for the rest of the tournament, even if they are entered in different age divisions.

Any player that is concussed will be advised to seek medical advice and obtain clearance before they return to training and/or competition.

The Six Ways to Score an Ippon:

The JVI Referee Commission has recommended this YouTube video from the European Judo Union:

Which side of the mat do the players with Blue or White uniforms start?

The easy way to remember this is the “White is on the Right”. The player in the white uniform starts on the referees’ right-hand side.


The JVI Referee Commission suggests that this video is worth viewing:


The Commission also suggested that this youtube video provides a straight forward explanation of scoring an Ippon:

What do you know about bowing, belts and Gi control?

Answers to questions about these can be found here 


Step out or pushed out?

At IJF level if a player steps both feet out, 90% of the time the person who has stepped out is penalised!
As a rule of thumb, if a player has been guided from the centre of the mat to finally step out he will be penalised.
The player has time and distance to move to the side or to spin around. If a player has his back to the edge and the opposing player makes a very obvious push to force the player out - it could be said that he was pushed out.
Remember the 90%!!
If you are forced out, but hop on one leg what will the Ref award???


Bear Hug? Legal or Illegal?

The  "Ask a Ref"  question for this newsletter asks whether a bear hug is a legal technique.

Firstly a bear hug is where the attacker encircles the opponent from the front with both arms. The hands do not need to be joined behind the opponent for this to be a bear hug.

This is a valid and legal technique provided that the attacker has a grip of the opponent's jacket prior to initiating the attack. The attacker cannot simply throw their arms around the opponent without first taking grip. The grip can be with one or both hands and must be a genuine grip, not just a momentary touch of the jacket. In the event that the attacker does not first take a grip before applying the bear hug, the referee will immediately call a stop by saying "Mate" and award a penalty "Shido" against the attacker.

Graeme Grogan   Referee Commission Member