Judo - Nage No Kata - Ute Pfeiffer - ebook

Judo - Nage No Kata ebook

Ute Pfeiffer



The book is aimed at providing the newcomer to Kata as well as the Kata club instructor with up-to-date lessons that can be used immediately on the mat without any other preparation. Nage-no-Kata - the forms of throwing - deals with throwing techniques used in Judo. The Kata are divided into five groups and each of these has three throwing techniques to carry out on both sides of the body. An introduction covers general matters such as the layout of the mat, body posture, movement, grip and many other features. The next section includes the descriptions of the throws as well as the transition to the next follow-up throw. Numerous photos clearly describe each of the throws as sequences of movement on four consecutive pages. The important points of each throw are highlighted using circles to clarify each point. Starting with the greeting and ending with the final bow, all the picture sequences depict a practically unbroken chain of movements for the Nage-no-Kata. Despite the guidelines for each Kata, their execution is a personal expression of the performer. Thus, the details in this book reflect the influence of the two authors and these signatures are characteristic of the experienced Judo instructors and Kata experts that have advised them and accompanied them over the past years.

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To make reading easier this book has been written using exclusively the male form of the personal pronoun. This should be understood to include the female form as well.

This book has been carefully checked. Nevertheless, no responsibility is accepted for the correctness of this information. The authors and the publisher cannot be held responsible for any injuries that might ensue from the content of this book.

Ute Pfeiffer/Guenther Bauer



Throwing Techniques

Meyer & Meyer Sport

Original title: Judo Nage-no-Kata

© Aachen: Meyer & Meyer, 2008

Judo – Nage-no-Kata

British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data

A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

Judo – Nage-no-Kata

Ute Pfeiffer / Guenther Bauer

Maidenhead: Meyer & Meyer Sport (UK) Ltd., 2010

All rights reserved. Except for use in a review, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means now known or hereafter invented without the prior written permission of the publisher.

This book may not be lent, resold, hired out or otherwise disposed of by way of trade in any form, binding or cover other than that which is published, without the prior written consent of the publisher.

© 2010 by Meyer & Meyer Sport (UK) Ltd.

Aachen, Adelaide, Auckland, Budapest, Cape Town, Graz, Indianapolis,

Maidenhead, Olten (CH), Singapore, Toronto

Member of the World

Sport Publishers’ Association (WSPA)


eISBN: 9781841269573

E-Mail: [email protected]






What Does Kata Mean?

The Nage-no-Kata

The Layout of the Mat

Overview of the Layout of the Mat


The Kata Axis

Tori and Uke

Body Posture

Moving – Walking

The Grip/Attack

Arranging the Clothing

The Phases of the Throwing Technique

Overview of the Throwing Groups

Instructions for the Description of the Throws

Description of the Throws – Nage-no-Kata

The Greeting

1st Group: Te-waza




2nd Group: Koshi-waza




3rd Group: Ashi-waza




4th Group: Ma-sutemi-waza




5th Group: Yoko-sutemi-waza




The Final Greeting


Concluding Remarks

Photo & Illustration Credits

About the Authors


President of the German Judo Association –Peter Frese

For every Dan grading test, the Kata are an important element. The Kata are often considered to be the ‘grammar’ of the sport of Judo.

The Nage-no-Kata are the Kata that every Judoka must perform for the 1st Dan grading test.

Ute Pfeiffer and Guenther Bauer have been successful in making the Nage-no-Kata easy to understand with clear descriptions. Nage-no-Kata is a splendid addition to the lessons given by an experienced Kata instructor. The book also makes it possible for the student to train without an instructor because the many important details are described with an exact method and a lot of good photos.

I am sure that this book will be of invaluable help to many a student on his way through the grading test for the 1st Dan in Judo. I would like to thank Ute Pfeiffer and Guenther Bauer for the production of this wonderful training manual.

Peter Frese

President of the German Judo Association


The grading test for the 1st Dan is a great challenge for most Judokas. This fact clearly has its roots in the learning and practicing of something quite new in the Judokas’ training program.

Techniques that have been learned now have to be performed and demonstrated in an exact laid down sequence of movements. The posture of the body, the grips, the layout of the mat and many other elements of the techniques are all now laid out in a particular order.

In 1981, we both were there as candidates for the Dan belt learning the Nage-no-Kata for the first time. We therefore know from our own experience how strenuous it can be to work up a Kata independently. In order to be able to demonstrate a Kata in a masterly fashion, one has to devote a lot of time and additional training sessions to achieve it. However, getting to terms with a Kata as well as studying its laid down form must be an outstanding achievement for every Judoka and this will help him to understand the theory and basics of Judo.

In this book we are going to lay out the up-to-date lessons for newcomers to the Kata as well as Kata club instructors. We have kept the text as short as possible in favor of providing a large number of photos. The sequence of the movements is pictured in the photos and texts supplement them. A number of detailed shots also highlight the important points.

Despite the required basic form of a Kata, each Kata is an expression of one’s own personality. Therefore, with this in mind, you will find that our Kata descriptions also carry our own signature that has been passed down to us by the experienced Judo instructors and experts who have advised us over the years.

We hope that this book will make the route to achieving the Kyu and Dan grading tests easier for many Judokas.

General Points

“A Kata should demonstrate both victory and defeat, where attack and defense are agreed in detail beforehand.”

Kyozu Mifune (10th Dan Kodokan)

What does Kata mean?

Kata generally means ‘the basic form’. In Judo and in the other martial arts, Kata means ‘practicing the basics’ or ‘practicing that which is traditional.’ While, on the one hand, in Randori (free fighting training) and in Shiai (competition) it is about carrying out and executing techniques in adverse situations, in Kata it is about carrying them out and executing them in ideal situations. Over the years, Judo techniques have been influenced and further developed by the competition scenario. The basis behind Kata is therefore to maintain the traditional and original form of the technique. Each Kata has its own theme. These can be throwing techniques, groundwork techniques, counter-throws or also self-defense techniques. Uke (the one being thrown) and Tori (the thrower) demonstrate the techniques flawlessly in a flowing, dynamic sequence of movements. Body posture, starting positions, sequence of steps, attack and defense are all as important as a good use of the area and the symmetry of movement. The Kata is greatly characterized by the calm and harmony exuding from its execution.

Overview of the Kata most used in today’s sport of Judo

Nage-no Kata (Form of throwing)

Katame-no-Kata (Form of groundwork and holding techniques)

Gonosen-no-Kata (Form of counterattack throws)

Kime-no-Kata (Form of decision)

Goshin-Jutsu-no-Kata (Form of self-defense)

Juno-Kata (Form of ‘softness’ and suppleness)

Itsutsu-no-Kata (Form of the five ‘principles’ or forces of nature)

Koshiki-no-Kata (Form of the old techniques)

The technical and mental principles of Judo are embraced in the Kata. Jigoro Kano (1860-1938) – the founder of today’s Judo – formulated two principles. All Judo techniques stem from these guiding principles.

“Sei-Ryoku-Zen-Yo” – the technical principle

This calls for the “best possible use of the body and mental spirit” – often interpreted as “winning by giving in.” This means not only using physical strength but also by using a spiritual and mental outlook.

“Ji-Ta-Kyo-Ei” – the moral principle

This principle can be interpreted as “mutual support for mutual advance and mutual well-being”. Here, the approach to life and coexistence is highlighted by the mutual support and understanding provided by people cooperating with each other. Judo contributes greatly to the development of the Judoka’s personality.

The perfect execution of a Kata should reflect the Judo principles formulated by Jigoro Kano.

The Nage-no-Kata

The Nage-no-Kata – the forms of throwing – covers the throwing techniques in Judo. They are divided into five groups each consisting of three throwing techniques. The 15 throwing techniques are done on both sides of the body. Generally, the right-sided technique is done first followed immediately afterwards by executing the left-sided version (with the exception of Uki-goshi). Between the individual groups it is required that a short pause be taken, during which Tori and Uke adjust their Judogi and prepare themselves mentally for the next group.

In the Nage-no-Kata, Tori and Uke should have the same technical abilities. Uke changes his attack method each time and forces Tori always to react in a different way. Tori breaks off his attack at first, but then moves immediately into the attack movements, following on with them or moving into a different direction. Uke always attacks in earnest, and Tori acts decisively and forcefully. Unnecessary movement should be avoided.

The throws should be executed perfectly and dynamically and the overall picture must exude calmness and harmony.

The Nage-no-Kata are, generally speaking, the first Kata that the Judoka has to learn. By learning them, in addition to the technical principles of the specific throws, he also learns the general rules such as the greeting, body posture, how to walk and move etc., that are also relevant for the other Kata.

Fifteen throwing techniques in five groups have to be demonstrated:

1st Group: Te-waza (Hand Techniques)

Uki-otoshi, Seoi-nage, Kata-guruma

2nd Group: Koshi-waza (Hip Throws)

Uki-goshi, Harai-goshi, Tsuri-komi-goshi

3rd Group: Ashi-waza (Leg and Foot Techniques)

Okuri-ashi-barai, Sasae-tsuri-komi-ashi, Uchi-mata

4th Group: Ma-sutemi-waza (‘Sacrificial Throws on the Back’ Techniques)

Tomoe-nage, Ura-nage, Sumi-gaeshi

5th Group: Yoko-sutemi-waza (‘Sacrificial Throws on the Side’ Techniques)

Yoko-gake, Yoko-guruma, Uki-waza

The Layout of the Mat

It is important before you start performing Kata that you familiarize yourself with the layout of the mat. Good use of the area and the symmetry of a performance are important criteria and play an important role in the judging of the impression made by a Kata performance.

In the following description, as in later detailed presentations of the throws, we use an 8 x 8 m large mat. This size permits ideal conditions for the Kata and should be the one used by the candidate for a Dan grading test.

With an 8 x 8m mat, the internal green area measures 6 x 6 m. This is surrounded by a border in red, bringing the total size up to 8 x 8 m. Serving as a safety zone, there must be at least one row of green mats.

The throw on Uke must always occur inside the red zone. For this reason, the starting position will vary for the various throwing techniques. In Kata championships, a foot on the red area of the mat during the execution of a throw is penalized by the deduction of a point. Regarding this aspect, the graders in a Dan test often overlook the deduction and do not always penalize this foul. Nevertheless, the candidate should always try to keep within this ruling. However, Uke may not be thrown so that he lands outside the red extremities of the mat, neither in the grading test nor in a competition.

If the mat is only 6 x 6 m, the red border can be used so that preparation and the appropriate throw can be made. In this case, Tori and Uke stand outside the red border to make their greetings.

On the other hand, when you have a 10 x 10 m mat and you are both the normal size, you may have problems with your orientation. In this case the greetings should take place inside the red border so that the same conditions are achieved as actions used with an 8 x 8 m mat.

Overview of the Layout of the Mat

Mat – size 8 x 8 m

Mat – size 10 x 10 m

Mat – size 6 x 6 m


The performance of the Kata takes place on the Joseki side of the mat – the side of honor. In a Dan grading test the judges sit on this side. In a Kata championship the referees also sit on this side. If the Kata is being demonstrated to a particularly interested audience then they should be sat down also on this side. In order to establish the starting positions for Tori and Uke, the first thing is to decide on which side of the mat the Joseki is.

In carrying out the initial and final greeting, Tori stands on the right-hand side and Uke stands on the left-hand side when looking from the Joseki position. In the pauses between the individual groups of throws, both Tori and Uke have the opportunity to adjust their Judogi. Seen from the Joseki side, these positions are for Tori on the right-hand side and for Uke on the left-hand side.

If Tori and Uke have to move to get to the next starting position after having executed a throw, they are both required to turn so that they do not show their backs to the Joseki side. Where, however, it is unavoidable because of the requirements of the Judo movements then there can be short exceptional instances when they will have their backs to the Joseki side.