Asian Games 2018: All you need to know about ju-jitsu and sambo, two martial arts that will feature at Indonesia event


Ju-jitsu is a martial art form which originated in Japan with the aim of defeating an armed opponent without using any weapon. There are many variations of this art and even the Olympic sport of judo owes its origin to ju-jitsu. However, the form of ju-jitsu to be staged at the Asian Games is ne waza, a combat between two unarmed contestants. The major difference between judo and ju-jitsu is while the focus in judo is to overpower and unbalance your opponent from a standing position, ne waza is all about gaining control over your rival through ground fighting. Being a combat sport that is considered very tactical, it is often referred to as the 'chess of martial art'.

 Asian Games 2018: All you need to know about ju-jitsu and sambo, two martial arts that will feature at Indonesia event

Representative image. Reuters

The contest begins with both the fighters in a standing position but soon the action shifts on the ground, with the fighters lying on the floor trying to gain control.

Each ne waza fight lasts for six minutes and the contestant with higher points is declared the winner. During a fight, points are awarded for throws, take downs and controlling positions during the fight.

But a competitor may win the match before the six-minute clock by ‘a submission’ — which means his opponent has agreed to surrender or forfeit the fight. In ne waza, submission occurs during a lock of the joint and strangulation of the opponents. During a submission, an athlete who has been overpowered and is trapped, taps his hand twice on the floor or on the body of his rival to signal his surrender. In ju-jitsu, one can use the arms and legs on the neck of the opponent to effect a successful choke but bare hands or fingers are not allowed.

During the fight, points are awarded if one holds on to the controlling position for three or more seconds.

Two points are awarded for a takedown, sweeps and knee-on–belly. Three points are given for passing the guard and four points are added for a successful front mount, back mount and back control.

Here is a brief explanation of how some of these points are earned.

• A successful takedown is when you bring your opponent down on the floor on his side or back from a standing position.

• A guard position involves a fighter lying on his back with his opponent on top of him. If a fighter who is on top position is able to gain total control over his rival, preventing him from making any manoeuvres and trapping him, he is known to have successfully passed the guard and will be rewarded with three points.

• If the fighter lying on his back is able to successfully reverse his position and now assumes the top position, forcing his opponent to lie on his back, it is known as a sweep which fetches two points.

• Knee-on-the-belly is when a fighter has gained control over his rival by placing one leg on the belly, chest or rib of the opponent.

• The front mount is a dominant position when a fighter sits atop his rival who is lying on his back. A back mount or back control occurs when a fighter takes control with his chests against the opponent’s back with his arms wrapped around the opponent’s body.

As many as eight gold medals will be up for grabs in five weight categories in men — 62kg, 69kg, 77kg, 85 kg and 95 kg and three in women — 49kg, 62 kg and 95 kg.


Sambo is considered an aggressive brand of martial arts combining various aspects of judo and wrestling. The sport originated in Russia and there are various forms of sambo being practiced. The event to be staged in the Asian Games is sport sambo, which is more restrained compared to combat sambo.

A major difference in sambo compared to ju-jitsu is that chokehold or strangulation is not allowed but the action is more pacy with action both in standing position and at ground.

Each sambo lasts five minutes for men and four minutes for women. A fight can finish before the stipulated time, if a fighter has successfully effected a clean throw, in cases of submission or painful grip and technical superiority.

A clean throw involves making your opponent lose balance and forcing them to fall down on the mat. For a throw, the opponent should be on the ground with any part of his body, other than his feet, touching the mat.

A fighter will lose the bout because of painful grip if his or her arm or legs are locked by the grip of the opponent in the ground position. The opponent needs to hold on to this position for sixty seconds. A fighter can then surrender by tapping on the floor twice.

If a fighter scores 12 points more than his opponent, then the bout is stopped and the fighter with a 12-point advantage is declared a winner on basis of great superiority.

Points are scored depending on various modes of throws (other than a clean throw) effected and the posture of the fighters after effecting a throw. Another way of scoring point is through a hold down when a fighter holds the back of his rival towards the mat and almost immobilises him. A hold-down for 10 seconds fetches 2 points while a hold-down for 20 seconds is rewarded with 4 points. Points through hold-down can be earned only once during the course of a bout.

The event will have four gold medals at stake at the Asian Games, in two weight categories in men and women. In the men’s action, the two weight categories are below 52 kg (48kg to 52 kg) and below 90 kg (82kg to 90 kg). The two weight categories in women are 48kg (below 44 Kg-48kg) and below 68kg (64kg to 68 kg).

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Updated Date: Jul 31, 2018 20:51:44 IST