Monday, 6 January 2014

New Year Goal Number 1 - Obtain my brown belt

Obviously my immediate goal on returning to Judo is to finish my brown belt grading of which I've already completed about 50%.
Unfortunately the BJA, in their wisdom, decided that when they changed the kyu grading syllabus it would be a good idea not to update their website with video snippets of all the techniques. Furthermore they also forgot to update the kyu grade pictorial guide so most people I have been speaking to have had to resort to using Youtube to find videos of every technique listed which isn't a particularly quick and easy thing to do.

For ease I have copied and pasted the 2nd to 1st kyu grading syllabus below. Perhaps those not from the UK would care to comment.



• Sode-tsuri-komi-goshi
• Kata-guruma
• Ryo-hiza-seoi-otoshi
• Sumi-gaeshi
• Yoko-gake
• Ko-uchi-gake-maki-komi
• Ushiro-goshi
• Ura-nage
• Uki-otoshi
• Koshi-guruma


• Kata-ha-jime
• Hadaka-jime
• Kata-te-ashi-koshi-jime
• San-gaku-jime


• knowledge of performance forms of selected techniques


• Demonstrate any two variations of Sumi-gaeshi


• San-gaku-gatame – complex entry
• San-gaku-jime – complex entry
• San-gaku-osae-gatame – turnover and hold
• Hadaka-jime – Uke prone position
• Kata-ha-jime – Uke “all fours” position


• demonstration of attacking defence, avoidance, continuous attacking performance skills in Tachi-waza and 
Ne-waza in Randori with a co-operative partner


Candidates are required to:
• select and demonstrate four techniques from the BJA Technical Grading Syllabus and demonstrate them individually and then as a series combinations and counters



• demonstrate any 1 set of the Nage-no-kata or any 1 set of the Katame-no-kata


Candidates are required to:

• know the common English translations and meaning of all Japanese terminology used in this section and must be able to discuss with the Examiner the reasons for their choice of technique, grip etc.

• give three examples of any of the penalties in the competition rules.  


1. During the Randori demonstration the player will be required to demonstrate knowledge of basic
performance skills e.g. Kumi-kata, Renzoku-waza, Renraku-waza and Kaeshi-waza. The duration of the Randori will be approximately four minutes.

2. For the personal choice element, techniques must be demonstrated in an appropriate practical situation that includes attacking opportunity, best grip and appropriate movement. Demonstrations must include two combinations, two counters and two transitions into ne-waza. Combinations and counters can be either tachi-waza or ne-waza or a combination of both. Techniques must be demonstrated in an appropriate practical situation that includes attacking opportunity, best grip and appropriate movement.
It is expected that the player will select appropriate techniques which will allow for the demonstration of the more advanced combinations and counters.

3. Kata demonstrations must be performed in the traditional manner and include the formal opening and closing bowing procedures.


  1. Hi Stuart,

    At first I guess this looks daunting as it is so formalized but it looks ok to me as

    1/ You want to demonstrate you are well rounded in judo = standing, groundwork, Kata and theory.

    2/ More importantly, it's good practice for black belt grading. So all this will feel like just another day in the office by then.

    3/ You will probably be amazed that once you get past the shock of it all how much you know and can do on auto-pilot. Combinations, favourites, transition to ground work, turn-overs are just the fun bits during randori. So you should just eat that up.

    4/ 1 set of nage no kata and katame no kata should be a breeze. Maybe do shime-waza in Katame no kata as it has the least amount of pouncing around with Uki's escapes.

    Although not in the UK and bound by the BJA, my Sensei sensed the changes in the wind from the IJF some years ago and introduced more formalized grading's. Including Kata for Blue belt up some years ago. From memory for Brown from a couple of years back I had to do all techniques from yellow to brown (ground & standing), first 3 sets of nage no kata, theory questions, Renzoku-waza, Renraku-waza and Kaeshi-waza etc.

    PS: I enjoyed my last grading as I got to throw someone round for an hour. How often do you get to just go for broke with a cooperative Uki for that long? However I do not enjoy Kata. Although I can appreciate how some people do it so well (not me).

    1. Hi Martin, on the subject of Kata, I was not overly looking forward to practising it. I did a lot of Karate as a kid and had no desire to start learning that ritualised dancing again. However I was pleasantly surprised by Judo kata, completely different imo. The movement of Uke made sense from a Kuzushi point of view and I got a lot out of it. It’s definitely something I will explore more once I become a dan grade.

  2. Which particular techniques have you had to use videos to learn ? Just out of curiosity. A lot of 1st Kyus I come across struggle on things like yoko gake and ushiro goshi

  3. Yoko Gake was no problem, in fact I already have a tick against that throw. Ushiro goshi looks a lot like ura nage to me.
    When I refer to using videos, its just for quick reference. It's a lot easier if all the techniques for brown belt are located on one website like they used to be rather than having to trawl through youtube videos and hoping that the person you are watching is actually performing the throw correctly.

  4. Ura nage is to the rear. Nothing complex. Grab em and launch em. A bit suplex like?
    Ushiro goshi requires you to use your own hip to hoist then up in front of you and drop them down in front of you.
    2nd and 3 rd images at this site have some good images to follow.