Does Judo Have Submissions? (7 Common Chokes!)

If you click a link on this page and make a purchase, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more.

Judo is a martial art known for its cool body throws but do you ever wonder, does Judo have submissions?

Judo does have submissions. Various choke holds and joint locks are allowed, such as armbar, rare naked choke, and kimura. There are also prohibited chokes and locks, like the twister, d’arce choke, and guillotine chokes. Despite that, submissions are not commonly used in Judo.

Want to learn more about Judo submissions? Have a dive into the article below. 

What submissions are allowed in Olympic judo?

Submissions such as Arm bar, Rear Naked Choke, Kimura, Omaplata, Triangle, Straight Armlock, and Lapel chokes are allowed in Olympic Judo. 

Being able to submit someone makes Judo effective in real-life fights aside from the Olympic setup. 

Despite the availability of submissions in Judo, fighters focus more on slams and body pins because it’s a more practical way of earning points rather than setting up for a lock.

Referees also tend to reset the fight when the fight has no action for 5 to 10 seconds, leaving no room for submission setups.

This makes it extremely rare to see a Judo match that ends with any type of submission. 

In Olympic Judo, an Ippon is more important than any submission. An Ippon is a move where a Judo fighter can get the highest point.

Ippon is done by slamming your opponent with speed and power and letting them land on their back. 

Amandine Buchard of France defeated Fabienne Kocher of Switzerland in the Tokyo Olympics in just 16 seconds via Ippon.

Submissions and chokes in Judo

You can use submissions and chokes in Judo. Below are some of them.


An arm bar is a submission that aims to hyper-extend the enemy’s elbow by bending the other way around.

This lock is done by pulling your opponent’s forearm down to the side of your body. It can be done while mounted or being on the opponent’s either side of the head.

In Judo, a throw must first be done to set up an arm bar. But, if you’re athletic enough, you can perform a flying armbar where you’ll do the lock while your opponent’s standing.

In MMA, Demetrious Johnson pulled off a flying Armbar finish against Ray Borg in a UFC Flyweight match.

Rear Naked Choke

Rear Naked Choke is often abbreviated as RNC. It’s a choke hold done by wrapping your arms around your opponent’s neck as tight as you can.

RNC is one of the most famous locks in martial arts. You can see this choke being used in different self-defense martial arts, such as Krav Maga, BJJ, MMA, and Sambo.

An RNC aims to restrict the blood flow in the arteries on the side of your neck. If the choke is prolonged, it can make someone unconscious.

A rare naked choke is done by mounting your opponent’s back. You can do this both standing or on the ground.

This also works the same in Judo. A fighter must first put their opponent on the ground and work their way to the back mount. 

Though going to the back isn’t fast, so there’s a big chance that the referee will break the grapple and reset the fight.


Kimura is a joint lock that hyper-extends the elbow and shoulder joints. It can be performed mounted, on the side control, and in your full guard. 

This joint lock is made famous by Masahiko Kimura. Masahiko is considered Japan’s greatest Judoka. He is a Japanese Judoka and pro Wrestler. 

Kimura is a versatile arm lock because you can perform it in almost any position you’re in. You can pull it off as long as you have a good hold of your opponent’s arm. 

Kimura is a famous move not only done in Judo. It’s also well-known in Jiu-Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts. 

Submissions and chokes not allowed in Judo

Some submissions and chokes are prohibited in Judo matches. Below are some of them. 

Guillotine choke

A guillotine choke is a choke hold that can be described as a rare naked choke done in front of the opponent. You can do this standing or in full guard. 

In a standing guillotine, you must either pull your opponent’s head under your armpit area or wrap one of your arms under their neck.

After that, pull your wrapping hand using your unoccupied hand upwards to perform a tight squeeze. 

Some fighters tip their toes and slightly bend their bodies to the back to extend their opponent’s neck. 

Guillotine is usually done by catching someone’s head after a sloppy takedown attempt. You can see this often in BJJ and MMA fights. 

D’Arce choke

D’Arce choke is a choke hold that targets the blood flow in your neck. It’s a bit similar to the conventional arm triangle, where you’ll use your opponent’s arm to choke them flat on their back.

The difference between a D’Arce and an arm triangle is you choke your opponent with your arm while they’re laying sideways.

It’s like doing a rare naked choke on an opponent lying on its side. This choke is good for surprising enemies on the ground because you can transition to it while setting up a fake submission. 

Some famous MMA fighters who love to use this move are Tony Ferguson, Vicente Luque, and Chang Sung Jung.  


The twister is believed to be the most challenging submission to perform during an actual MMA or Jiu-Jitsu match. Twister aims to ‘twist’ your opponent’s spinal cord.

Unfortunately, this move is not accepted in pro Judo matches. IBJJF also doesn’t allow twisters in pro-BJJ tournaments because it’s too dangerous to damage someone’s spine.

Even if twister is allowed in Judo, setting it up is extremely hard for a Judoka. The referee will more likely to reset the fight because of how long a twister setup will take.

Although illegal in pro BJJ and Judo cups, the twister is allowed in professional MMA. Chang Sung Jung was the first UFC fighter to win via twister lock. 

Does Judo have ground fighting?

Judo doesn’t have that much ground fighting compared to BJJ. In Judo, very slight ground fighting is in quick submission attempts because the fight is almost immediately reset after a throw.

The Judokas will be forced to stand up if the referee sees inactivity after a Judo throw. Though a Judoka can fight for a body pin on the ground, that’s it.

In Jiu-Jitsu, going on the ground is just the start of the game. Inactivity will only cause several warnings before a position reset.

It’s always smart to improve your flexibility for Judo because it makes you more effective and helps prevent injuries from being thrown and fighting for submissions.

In terms of fighting via strikes, Judo doesn’t permit that. Neither does BJJ typically. Today, there’s a new style of BJJ called Combat Jiu-Jitsu.

In CJJ, palm strikes are allowed on the ground, forcing you to raise your guard while setting up or defending yourself from a sub. 

In Mixed Martial Arts, MMA fighters use Judo throws to set up some ground & pounds, and submissions. 

Leave a Comment