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The Structure of the Judo Syllabus

It should be noted that most Judoka concentrate on Nagewaza, Katamewaza and Shimewaza for Randori for most of their early training.  Also, note that not all of the techniques are contained within the kata - for example the Nage No Kata only has 15 throws however there are around 62 official throwing techniques.

The following outline is compiled from internet sources, mostly edited from wikipedia.

Randori (free practice)

Judo pedagogy emphasizes randori (乱取り, literally "taking chaos", but meaning "free practice"). This term covers a variety of forms of practice, and the intensity at which it is carried out varies depending on intent and the level of expertise of the participants. At one extreme, is a compliant style of randori, known as Yakusoku geiko (約束稽古, prearranged practice), in which neither participant offers resistance to their partner's attempts to throw. A related concept is that of Sute geiko (捨稽古, throw-away practice), in which an experienced judoka allows himself to be thrown by his less-experienced partner.  

At the opposite extreme from yakusoku geiko is the hard style of randori that seeks to emulate the style of judo seen in competition. While hard randori is the cornerstone of judo, over-emphasis of the competitive aspect may be seen as undesirable by traditionalists if the intent of the randori is to "win" rather than to learn.

Randori is usually limited to either tachi waza (standing techniques) or ne waza (ground work) and, when one partner is thrown in tachi waza randori, practice is resumed with both partners on their feet.

Kata (forms)

Kata (形, Kata, Forms) are pre-arranged patterns of techniques and in judo, with the exception of the Seiryoku-Zen'yō Kokumin-Taiiku, they are all practised with a partner. Their purposes include illustrating the basic principles of judo, demonstrating the correct execution of a technique, teaching the philosophical tenets upon which judo is based, allowing for the practice of techniques that are not allowed in randori, and to preserve ancient techniques that are historically important but are no longer used in contemporary judo.

There are ten kata that are recognized by the Kodokan today:

Randori-no-kata (乱取りの形, Free practice forms), comprising two kata:

-Nage-no-kata (投の形, Forms of throwing) Fifteen throws, practiced both left- and right-handed, three each from the five categories of nage waza: te waza, koshi waza, ashi waza, ma sutemi waza and yoko sutemi waza.

-Katame-no-kata (固の形, Forms of grappling or holding). Fifteen techniques in three sets of five, illustrating the three categories of katame waza: osaekomi waza, shime waza and kansetsu waza.

Kime-no-kata (極の形, Forms of decisiveness). Twenty techniques, illustrating the principles of defence in a combat situation, performed from kneeling and standing positions. Attacks are made unarmed and armed with a dagger and a sword. This kata utilises atemi waza, striking techniques, that are forbidden in randori.

Kōdōkan goshinjutsu (講道館護身術, Kodokan skills of self-defence). The most recent recognised kata, comprising twenty-one techniques of defence against attack from an unarmed assailant and one armed with a knife, stick and pistol. This kata incorporates various jujutsu techniques such as wrist locks and atemi waza.

Jū-no-kata (柔の形, Forms of gentleness & flexibility). Fifteen techniques, arranged in three sets of five, demonstrating the principle of Jū and its correct use in offence and defence.

Gō-no-kata (剛の形, Forms of force). One of the oldest kata, comprising ten forms that illustrate the efficient use of force and resistance. Now rarely practiced.

Itsutsu-no-kata (五の形, The five forms). An advanced kata, illustrating the principle of seiryoku zen'yō and the movements of the universe.  Recent research has shown that this kata, unlike what often has been claimed, was not created by Kano, but similar to Koshiki-no-kata, it was merely imported into judo after Kano slightly amended it. The kata predates the creation of Kodokan and comes from Tenjin Shinyō-ryū.

Koshiki-no-kata (古式の形, Traditional forms). Derived from Kitō-ryū Jujutsu, this kata was originally intended to be performed wearing armour. Kano chose to preserve it as it embodied the principles of judo.

Seiryoku Zen'yō Kokumin Taiiku (精力善用国家体育, Maximum-efficiency national physical education). A series of exercises designed to develop the physique for judo.

Joshi-goshinhō (女性護身法, Methods of self-defence for women). An exercise completed in 1943, and of which the development was ordered by Jiro Nango, the second Kodokan president.

In addition, there are a number of commonly practiced kata that are not recognised by the Kodokan. Some of the more common kata include:

-Go-no-sen-no-kata (後の先の形) A kata of counter techniques developed at Waseda University in Tokyo, popularised in the West by Mikinosuke Kawaishi.

-Nage-waza-ura-no-kata (投げ技裏の形) Another kata of counter techniques, created by Kyuzo Mifune.

-Katame-waza ura-no-kata (固め技裏の形, Forms of reversing controlling techniques) a kata of counter-attacks to controlling techniques, attributed to Kazuo Itō.


Tandoku Renshu is the official name give by the Kodakan in the book Kodakan Judo, to series of Exercise movements, that comprises of the first part of a much longer Kata known as Sei-ryoku-Zen’yo Kokumin-Taiiku. It was devised by Professor Kano because he found the Calisthenic type exercises boring and not relevant to Judo. It is often performed in Kata competition as a Kata in itself.

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