T Nation

Switching to Judo

wassup guys, i been doing BJJ for a couple of years and due to a couple of reasons(financial and problems with my coach) i have stopped doing BJJ since november. I always wanted to do judo originally and have joined up wit a local club. while im learning alot in the way of throws, i am a little dissapointed with the ground game.

no time to work, a lot of holds are forbidden(triangle body lock, wrist locks, knee bars, ankle locks) i feel all these holds should be allowed because they all can end fights. everyone has been cool tho, and welcome the opportunity to roll with a BJJ guy.Has anyone else made the transition from BJJ to Judo, if so what was your impression??

I train in a more ancient style of Judo, Jujutsu. We also cross train in sambo. Maybe look for some different gyms to try out see which one fits you better.

I have never done judo per se, but the style of karate i studied used a lot of throws and holds from it.

Its an excellent art, and one of the few that I truly believe is useful in both competitions and in real life if you need it. I enjoyed learning that more than BJJ because I felt that judo’s throws and holds were a bit more relevant to what I was looking for.

don’t get wrong guys its not that i dont like what im learining its just that
i dont want to get into any habits that will make a fight last any longer than it should you know what i mean.
but yeah i def. feel its effective for streetfighting cuz of being thrown on concrete. but im speaking of submission grappling matches and the like.

[quote]gangstpmp3 wrote:
wassup guys, i been doing BJJ for a couple of years and due to a couple of reasons(financial and problems with my coach) i have stopped doing BJJ since november. I always wanted to do judo originally and have joined up wit a local club. while im learning alot in the way of throws, i am a little dissapointed with the ground game.

no time to work, a lot of holds are forbidden(triangle body lock, wrist locks, knee bars, ankle locks) i feel all these holds should be allowed because they all can end fights. everyone has been cool tho, and welcome the opportunity to roll with a BJJ guy.Has anyone else made the transition from BJJ to Judo, if so what was your impression??[/quote]

If you can, visit a couple other judo dojos and see if there is one that fits you more. Different dojos handle newaza (ground game) differently. My judo dojo is kodokan judo, and we do more of a japanese judo than a competition judo, and we focus on ground work A LOT more than other judo clubs. A lot of clubs focus only on what “wins” in tournaments and avoid newaza other than learning how to turtle up real tight and stall. Keep in mind that there is more to judo than competition, so if you get in the right group, you can focus on grappling that isn’t allowed in tournaments, but still is judo and still is fun.

Enjoy all of the back mounts you’ll be given! :slight_smile:

[quote]borrek wrote:

[quote]gangstpmp3 wrote:
wassup guys, i been doing BJJ for a couple of years and due to a couple of reasons(financial and problems with my coach) i have stopped doing BJJ since november. I always wanted to do judo originally and have joined up wit a local club. while im learning alot in the way of throws, i am a little dissapointed with the ground game.

no time to work, a lot of holds are forbidden(triangle body lock, wrist locks, knee bars, ankle locks) i feel all these holds should be allowed because they all can end fights. everyone has been cool tho, and welcome the opportunity to roll with a BJJ guy.Has anyone else made the transition from BJJ to Judo, if so what was your impression??[/quote]

If you can, visit a couple other judo dojos and see if there is one that fits you more. Different dojos handle newaza (ground game) differently. My judo dojo is kodokan judo, and we do more of a japanese judo than a competition judo, and we focus on ground work A LOT more than other judo clubs. A lot of clubs focus only on what “wins” in tournaments and avoid newaza other than learning how to turtle up real tight and stall. Keep in mind that there is more to judo than competition, so if you get in the right group, you can focus on grappling that isn’t allowed in tournaments, but still is judo and still is fun.

Enjoy all of the back mounts you’ll be given! :)[/quote]

I second this. I know some Judo clubs are even apart of some bjj associations because of the focus they put into newaza. Each club is different, and has a very different focus.
If nothing else you can ask the judo coach at the dojo to let you start working with some of the students on improving thier ground game.

Don’t know where you are in Massachusetts but there are a number of small circle jujitsu schools there - Ed Melaugh in Woburn, Dave Castoldi in Newton, Harry Curtis in Natick, and Steve Jiava in Arlington. I did some for a few years to cross train in karate before hip replacement. Great system, very street effective and it combines a lot of systems including ground game. And nothing is too lethal or dangerous. If your health is up to it I’d recommend this style to anybody.

I have had some very bad experience on groundgame in judoclubs.
I visited 3 clubs and I was pretty much able to manhandle each and everyone there the second it came to the ground. (keep in mind in my own weightclass 230 pound guys will kill me most likely :p)

I have great respect for judo practitioners because they put in a lot of effort and I respect the sport itself because I love seeing a good throw or takedown. But groundgame is one of the worst parts I have seen in judo.
Judo blackbelts getting choked out by a BJJ blue belt is pretty strange to me, can’t help it.

I’d say keep your BJJ and improve on judo and you’ll enjoy every second of judo :wink:

[quote]Josann wrote:
Don’t know where you are in Massachusetts but there are a number of small circle jujitsu schools there - Ed Melaugh in Woburn, Dave Castoldi in Newton, Harry Curtis in Natick, and Steve Jiava in Arlington. I did some for a few years to cross train in karate before hip replacement. Great system, very street effective and it combines a lot of systems including ground game. And nothing is too lethal or dangerous. If your health is up to it I’d recommend this style to anybody.[/quote]

You can also check out Rick Alford’s school “Defensive Edge Martial Arts” in Wakefield MA, which teaches small circle, BJJ, MMA, and Muay Thai. Sensei Alford’s school is also an iCAT affiliated school, which is all about “anything goes” real combat. If finishing fights quickly and self defense are your goals, then iCAT is the way to go IMO.

Or, heck if you’re close enough, you could go to one of the iCAT founding members schools; Walt Lysak Jr.s “Lysak’s Family Martial Arts” in Springfield MA. I know for a fact that

-you won’t be limited in the locks you’re allowed to do (at least when working with higher level guys/gals), heck, you’ll actually probably learn quite a few new tricks that you didn’t know before

-there is at least 1 (possibly more, but not absolutely certain) multiple degree black belt in Judo who goes there to train with Walt

-there are multiple accomplished wrestlers (including a former Olympic bronze medalist, who teaches the wrestling class) who will be glad to help you with your takedowns

-there is a Royce Gracie black belt who goes there to train at times

-there is a BJJ world champ and 4th degree black belt who teaches BJJ there (same guy who teaches at Rick’s school)

-Joe Lewis teaches fairly regular (he’s there at least once a year) seminars there on kickboxing/boxing

and the list goes on. Sorry, didn’t really want to hijack the thread. Just figured that since you were in MA, it would be a great choice if you could make the drive.

Good luck.

I did a few years of BJJ and switched to Judo for financial reasons.

You can often destroy most judo blackbelts because so many schools are tournament focused in judo, so newaza is neglected to say the least.

Depending on the coaches and the refs in a tournament, sometimes you have plenty of newaza time and sometimes they stand you back up if you don’t hit the ground already in a submission or pin.

Keep working at it. I hit a couple random BJJ gyms after a year of judo only and found that while my submissions were slower, i had 10x the control of my partner than I had before. A pin is a very common ippon in tournaments, so many schools focus more on pins than actual submissions.

Plus it’s very nice to takedown your opponent when and where you want to, and to have the control of the throw/takedown to land in the submission you actually want

Keep in mind that in judo, turtle guard is the most common defense because of fear of being pinned. A judo guy will be glad to let you have his back because you can’t pin him there. He just has to prevente a submission until the ref stands you up again.

In BJJ, guard is always the most popular because of the offensiveness of it. A BJJ guy will try not to let a guy get on their back because of the transitions and submissions used.

[quote]gangstpmp3 wrote:
wassup guys, i been doing BJJ for a couple of years and due to a couple of reasons(financial and problems with my coach) i have stopped doing BJJ since november. I always wanted to do judo originally and have joined up wit a local club. while im learning alot in the way of throws, i am a little dissapointed with the ground game.

no time to work, a lot of holds are forbidden(triangle body lock, wrist locks, knee bars, ankle locks) i feel all these holds should be allowed because they all can end fights. everyone has been cool tho, and welcome the opportunity to roll with a BJJ guy.Has anyone else made the transition from BJJ to Judo, if so what was your impression??[/quote]

BJJ is a derivative of Judo. The main differences are how much of what they do (mostly BJJ is floor work) and the Gracie’s do have a lot better overall training of it that classical judo. Judo is also a bit less snobbish (I do mean that). Judo is aimed at public school instruction in Japan so it is set up to be a lot more accommodating, I think, to slow, out of shape etc. people. BJJ aims for elite athletes.*

So treat them as different. Judo will teach you how to throw and sweep like nothing else. If you want to be a better player all around, that is well worth the effort, but it is not BJJ and won’t really help you there. That said, I do know a lot of judo guys (mostly senior belts) who are very interested in learning some BJJ. So your best bet might be to cultivate a few friends for show and tell, i.e., offer to show them in exchange for randori. If the sensei is up for it, you can do ne-waza with some real tude during class. Just realize it is something outside the scope of the art.

– jj

  • Actually I have my own super-secret unbeatable martial art. I’ll show it to you but the entry requirement is that you have to get a medal at the Olympics first. :o)

[quote]jj-dude wrote:
So treat them as different. Judo will teach you how to throw and sweep like nothing else. If you want to be a better player all around, that is well worth the effort, but it is not BJJ and won’t really help you there. [/quote]

Having just been thrown and swept by a judo player, I’ll attest to this. However, you’re wrong when you say it won’t help your BJJ; it significantly improves your odds of starting in superior position once you hit the ground.

[quote]devildog_jim wrote:

[quote]jj-dude wrote:
So treat them as different. Judo will teach you how to throw and sweep like nothing else. If you want to be a better player all around, that is well worth the effort, but it is not BJJ and won’t really help you there. [/quote]

Having just been thrown and swept by a judo player, I’ll attest to this. However, you’re wrong when you say it won’t help your BJJ; it significantly improves your odds of starting in superior position once you hit the ground.[/quote]

I will agree with this. We have a guy at our dojo that is cleaning up at the local bjj tournaments due to his Judo throws giving him great position. He just fought at blue belt for the first time and took 2nd place in gi at the local naga tournament.

I am probably on the complete opposite side of this equation.

I played judo as a kid wrestled through HS college and post college greco, then went back to Judo,
then BJJ as I got older , slower etc.

My main Judo gym is a kodokan school but has always had a good balance of throws and newaza

here is what I can tell you about me in the BJJ gym

I will always get the take down, when I want it.
and most times will prevent most other take downs

I work better from the side by side or hip to hip standing positions then most BJJ people.

Usually I will have better posture while in someones guard then most people in BJJ

they find me hard to control from their guard, and very hard to control my hands wrists.

I also have a great base, from the top, and have a very controling top game
my guard should I be in it , sure needs work and isnt anything special.

that all being said, I am slower and stiffer then most of the BJJ types, and give up lots
in flexibility ( Im old and banged up)
discount this how you will, I have probably spent much much more time
either in a gi or in wrestling practice then the average guy in a random BJJ class.

when I did get to go to say Renzo’s gym here in the city, where the talent pool is very deep.
lots and lots of BJJ types there could go to town on me
but found playing against my take downs, and posture allot to handle.

I really think judo is one of the most underrated martial arts out there. And if you find the right school, there’ll be plenty of leg locks and ground work and all that stuff.

Like several people have already said, try a few different schools until you find one that you like. Every school has their own thing.

Maybe look around for a Kosen Judo club, it’s the old pre-Olympic Judo with an equal focus on the ground game, so pretty much everything goes. We get lots of BJJ, Sambo, Catch, and wrestling guys playing at my home club, so there’s always something new to learn and somebody who can kick your ass.

As others have said, look around to see what fits best. When you find somewhere you like, do most of your training there.

However, keep moving around a couple of times a month to stay sharp and see if you missed anything from a club the last time you where there. Having different opponents with different levels of commitment will develeope your control and reactions.

When you have to addapt to different rules, it keeps you from getting lazy. I can understand you might want to “keep it real” but having to adapt, challanges you as a fighter and a martial artist.

I also agree what was said about the slower level of skills and developement in Judo v BJJ but use it for what you can get out of it; balance and timing.It can be frustrating and tempting to power through opponents but if you can, try to develope your balance and timing in practice.

I don’t want to sound preachy, I’ve been through a similar ride so I might just be reminding myself!

If you do Judo, do Judo. Don’t do BJJ in a judo club. Integrate them when you get more judo experience.

Judo groundwork is inconsistent. It’s like BJJ guy’s standup. Some Judo guys straight up suck on the ground. On the other hand, I’ve seen pure Judo folks eat BJJ purples alive. The more tournament focused guys generally have worse groundwork. A lot of guys seem to work on groundwork more as they get older. There are also groundwork specialist Judoka, but they’re rarer. (Look up Kashiwazaki or Flavio Canto on Youtube, for example). And you’ll have better groundwork on average simply from time spent on the ground. But can you stand with the BBs?

Take from Judo groundwork what BJJ doesn’t work on much: turnover and pins. There’s a ton of sophisticated groundwork if you have a coach who knows it. Judo’s also given me a good base. I’m pretty difficult to sweep. Learn to throw into a dominant position. It’ll help your BJJ.

As for the subs allowed, well, those are the rules. Besides, most of the other subs are either risky for your partner (leg locks in particular) or parlor tricks. Judo can be bad enough on the knees without the risk of a hyperextension. Some judo clubs allow other submissions, but it’s rare. Even my BJJ club doesn’t allow those techniques below purple belt.

Just be a dick and train wrestling and use it for your Judo.

For training in a gi, wrestling is inferior to Judo. (Without the gi, wrestling is better). Pure wrestling does work in Judo – up to a point. But the grips and the different stance in Judo screw up wrestlers’ game against decent Judoka. There are just too many gripping locations in Judo. And the wrestling stance is an invitation to be thrown by, e.g., uchi mata.