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Brazilian JJ Compared to Judo

I have trained both and thoroughly enjoy both for far different reasons.
I will say though that I find Judo in general to be more of what I call a “small guy sport”. It hurts a lot more when your 260+ to be thrown to the ground repeatedly than if you weigh half that. I learned a lot in Judo but also blew out my MCL during a throw gone bad. If I were choosing an art for self-defense I would pick Judo. Like others have said, try and find an “old school” gym not focused on competition. Modern Judo comps have eliminated a lot of good Judo (possibly to distinguish it from BJJ more distinctly).
Never got injured seriously in BJJ, but it was hard to find guys my size to train with (this may or may not be an issue for you).

To keep wrestlers from dominating. Judo is actually allowing more time on the ground which may be due to BJJ’s influence.


@nealdog BJJ sounds well-suited to your desired results. My personal opinion is that street-focused training should prioritize 1) establishing top control or 2) quickly re-establishing top control after you’ve been knocked down / taken down / swept / etc. With BJJ, it becomes easy to get super academic and prioritize building a large submission arsenal, which can be counterproductive and allow you to become positionally sloppy. Wrestling/judo teach takedowns and top control, and it’s common for an experienced wrestler/judoka with only one or two good submissions to easily impose themselves on a BJJ player with a broader knowledge of submissions/sweeps/escapes. If BJJ is what you want, my recommendation would be to find a BJJ school with a good wrestling/judo/sambo base (like they may just have a separate class focused on one of the other disciplines). Approaching your training with a specific intention goes a long way as well, ie: if defense is your priority and you’re learning how to use de la riva guard, prioritize sweeping and getting back to your feet over hitting the toe hold and submitting your opponent. (Background: long-time on/off BJJ practitioner with some wrestling/judo/boxing/muay thai/traditional arts mixed in)

Not me! I’m usually on the defense side! :smile: But I get your point. I did criminal defense before I switched to civil litigation, and I had several cases where the “victim” was a belligerent a-hole who bullied the wrong person, got put on his rear end, and then called the cops to complain.

As Usual I find these threads such good reads.

I came out of judo - wrestling - greco-judo - Bjj.
I few things Id mention - just as food for thought.

I found BJJ the easiest on the body.
while joint locks suck they are less taxing then getting thrown a few hours a day.
I have been fortunate to train in some very good gyms including a few Kodokon dojos that put allot of emphasis on newazza. Alot. When I played and competed chokes and submissions where much much more prevalent in judo and we spent allot of time on them

Competition judo has change so much - each year it changes, and its hard to follow. Most of it has changed for it to be more ’ viewable’ and more for purists of judo.

As for picking one or the other- It depends on your goals.
how much time do you want to devote to flexibility ( mobility and recovery)
and how do the schools available to you stack up?
who has more options in classes- and the quality ( lineage) of instructors

when I was training I went to an excellent bunch of schools here in NYC
Oishi Judo . Renzo Gracie’s and later Shaolins place when I wanted to do bjj I was very fortunate in where I wanted to train.

I hate you. At least you didn’t mention Marcelo to rub it in even more.

Ive been. He is amazing.

You know this is all past tense- Im 48 and have not rolled in over 5 years sporadically before that. Big injuries keep me out of it.

This is pre ’ death squad’ GSP would be there and I didn’t know who he was I wasn’t following UFC then.
Now its huge and shiny and massive and they break out the cones to separate some of the ‘celebs’.

I went via a friends invite who knew me from a Judo gym and so I went.
so yes I would train there a little but not part of their world.
It was just one of the places easy to get to that had the MOST depth.

Injuries from BJJ or from something else? It’s funny because I have seen old BJJ guys (60 and up) who didn’t show any signs of injury or “oldness” and guys in their 20s and 30s who were already breaking down physically, getting severe injuries or having to have things like hip replacement.

Hey I sorry @zecarlo I just saw this.

I have allot of wear and tear- elbows- bicep forearm pain and tendonitis ankle and hip issues again wear and tear.
and I dont regret it but I came from the tape it rub dirt on it school of training.
Think of those “Gable Trained” bums

I competed through my mid to late thirties in judo. HS college and post college wrestling mostly greco. I guess at like 30 ish? I stopped greco
So most of the wear and tear is from that- just accumulation of mileage on the body.

I also work a physical job - I have worked in the entertainment industry- its like construction - with longer hours and a bit more tame than full on construction.

More acute injuries- I dislocated the same shoulder maybe 4 times
and busted the same side collar bone- and have AC separation there. And some limited mobility in both shoulders.

bicep and forearms- are fucked up I do allot of repetitive tasks at work that put stress on there and well lots of wrestlers have banged up elbows. Lots of issues in both arms there.

Neck- I have 2 -3 fused vertebrae and there where very painful for many years. I had some oxygen issues I learned are called vertebrobasilar. Its when oxugen cant get past blockage in the cervical spine to the brain.

I had a concussion - a series of them in a few month span and some neck issues those really caused me to quit the greco circuit- it bothered me in college and Ignored it.

I broke a few fingers a few toes- sprained one ankle over and over again like 5 times.

So Id say the neck was the worst - the other shit- including many strains pulls tears etc. fucked one ankle bad in college and many tears etc.
I do a TON of mobility and lots of rehab prehab work all the time.

wait there is more.

I fell - Ive spoke about it here a bunch - fell in 2014 like 13 feet at work and fucked up my knee.
I destroyed my ACL PCL MCL meniscus two heads of the hamstring tore off the bone- and a bunch of other damage in there too- that kept me out of work for 5 months and I had to learn how to walk again. I will need a knee replacement in maybe 10 years.

I dont do moderate well lol.
so I could probably play and compete some masters level judo or bjj or rolling- but its a risk.
so the shoulder elbow issues make for some disparity in my lifts-

squat and dead pre knee - could squat 405 x5 three x a week no problem. deadlift 500 ish. OH squat 205 x3 front squat 335 - not great lifts. maybe I could bench 225 for 2 - maybe.
these are in pounds.
before covid I think I could squat 365 for 5 and did 275 for 22.
so still kinda fake strong.

I cant
do cleans
jump or run a mile
sprint a little but have to manage.

there is dumb shit too- like shoulder work is very difficult-
5 lb dumbell raises are a max effort -

that all being said - yes maybe 1/2 the stuff I had wrong is basic wear and tear.
I used to say anyone competing near the top is gonna be banged up.

sorry for the novel.

I didnt want to start a new thread as my question is related…

I’m a blue belt at BJJ who feels that my takedown game is poor. We train takedowns, but we spend the majority of the time on the ground/starting on the ground. I was thinking of taking a judo class once a week to increase my capabilities and confidence on my feet. Is this a good idea?

I don’t plan to compete seriously. I train for fun and to be a bad ass.


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Yes. Judo take downs are very particular in that you cant use your hands / arms on anything below the waist whilst standing. So no double leg wrestling take downs.
But they are effective in then selves. And if you find a good school - they will be effective no matter who you face.

Do you do more gi or no gi? Judo can be applied in either case but I think a core wrestling curriculum is pretty important to develop comfort with takedowns, especially if you’re rolling slick.

I worked in a hotel and was able to observe how the Russian Judo team for females under 16 train. I got closer to one of the fathers of the girls and I am generally curious for martial arts and.fight sports. I was able to observe that summer a top Serbian karate club and a Russian National for TKD.

To be honest I was impressed with Judo. Its a hardcore training and the girls were build like powerlifters already. They were extremely strong, technical and able to take a beating. If a fight sport is able to make a 16 girl appear scarry in the eyes of a 30 years old man who has experience in boxing and dutch kickboxing, then I am vouching for it.

If you’re just looking to add takedowns to your jiu-jitsu, then you might want to take a look at John Danaher’s new DVD/video on takedowns just out at BJJ Fanatics. Even the intro videos where he provides an overview provides some key pointers in terms of why he likes the takedowns he does - for BJJ specifically.