Last weekend saw Craven Judo Academy host the first No-Gi Judo pilot event in an initiative to provide a different judo format which operates under an adapted set of rules, but importantly it is judo with the only rule change being no-gi.

The format offers judoka an alternative way to develop their skills and further their understanding of the three principles of judo: Seiryoku-zenyo (best use of energy), Jita-Kyoei (mutuality) and the 3 stages of technique kuzushi – (break balance), tsukuri (set up) and kake (finish).

This no-gi format is not designed to replace or alter judo; in the spirit of Kano, we are finding methods to train the jutsu (technique) and provide greater opportunity for time on task. Further to this, no-gi can also provide a better opportunity to develop throwing and transition.

The pilot event saw judoka from as far as London travel to the Northwest to take part in this new format.

The day started with a training session in order for judoka to understand the adapted rules before hajime was called.

The contests varied from traditional judo scoring as points were accumulative, this led to longer contests which everyone agreed, was a huge positive as all contests exceeded 90-seconds in duration, with the majority running for the full 4-minutes.

The no-gi concept saw an increase in intensity and the reduced opportunity to grip resulted, nearly always, a throwing action almost straight away and there were no shido’s awarded for passivity throughout the entire event.

With judogi’s being removed, leg grabs were reintroduced with judoka enjoying the ability to attack the legs in tachiwaza but this didn’t detract from the art of judo as there were some excellent ashiwaza counters and hip throws executed from the belt grip.

If your club would like to explore creative judo initiatives, please contact our events team (

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