The safety of all our members is paramount for British Judo, especially for young children. Since issuing the Kata-San-Gaku limitations, some concerns have been raised about the application of the Ungvari roll and its variants especially (but not exclusively) with young children. 

Although this technique may be suitable for highly trained and highly conditioned athletes, British Judo members are at risk of serious injury without good control of the use of this technique at the development and intermediate levels. It is therefore deemed necessary by the Judo Commission to control its usage as follows: 

Current Situation in EJU / IJF Events: 

In EJU and IJF events the Ungvari roll is an acceptable method of turning the opponent on to their back to continue the ne-waza exchange phase of the contest. 

Judo Commission Directive for British Judo Events: 

The Judo Commission after considering the safety implications of the Ungvari roll have decided to prohibit the use of this technique in the following situations: 

  • All competitions for pre-Cadet and younger children. 
  • All competitions where there is the possibility of Judoka older than pre-Cadet being entered in the same category as pre-Cadet and younger children (e.g. Under 16 events). 
  • All competitors graded lower than green belt (Junior and Senior). 
  • Event Levels 1-3 inclusive, exemption for “Cadet ranking events with categories containing all entrants of at least green belt. 
  • Practice sessions in clubs until at the earliest point in time when the Judoka involved are within a predicted 6 months of the required age and grade stated above. Coaches are asked to control this by separating practicing groups from others. 

The British Judo rule change is for matte / shido (as applicable) to be applied immediately the hands clasp together, e.g., if one arm of Tori is under uke armpit and Tori other arm over back of uke neck, when the hands clasp together it will be matte / Shido. In cases where it is too fast for the referee to interrupt and the technique is applied with either the actual roll in any direction or just significant pressure, this will be Hansokumake against the spirit of judo. 

Summary of Judo commission directive for Ungvari roll in excluded groups: 

Applying Ungvari grip must be matte immediately. Repeated Ungvari grip will be Shido on every occasion. Applying Ungvari grip and proceeding to roll the opponent in any direction will be a Hansokumake offence, against the spirit of judo, this includes an attempted but unsuccessful roll / significant pressure.


Example: Applying Ungvari grip and rolling to the side.


Example: Applying Ungvari grip and rolling over Tori body.

Penalty Application for excluded groups: 

1st Application without roll or pressure | Matte only and warned not to do it 

Further application without roll or pressure | Shido every time 

Any application and roll / significant pressure will be direct Hansokumake against the spirit of judo 

The accompanying video below shows and explains the key points of this rule. 

Ungvari Roll Video A

Ungvari Roll Video B

Any questions should be directed through the NRC secretary. 


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