Jimmy Pedro: Ground game in Judo almost gone away

by Dan Pedersen | source: bloodyelbow.com

Dan Pedersen: So what's going on here (Lyoto Machida vs B.J. Penn, March 26, 2005)? Machida isn't a Judo player per se, but this certainly a technique his style of Karate shares with Judo.

Jimmy Pedro: The foot sweep technique is one of the most fundamental throwing techniques of judo. And it epitomizes the fact that a smaller person can defeat a larger person regardless of size. The key to a successful foot sweep is the timing and power generated by the attacker.

Every person-whether they are fighting or simply walking-relies on their legs and feet to hold their body up.  It's an automated process: A person takes a step and assumes that, when they step forward and begin to place their foot on the ground, that the ground will actually be there. That their weight will be held up by their foot and leg when it touches the ground. With proper timing-by sweeping someone's foot just as it is about to hit the ground-one can take down an opponent effortlessly.

In this instance, BJ steps forward a bit too deeply and slightly off balance.  Machida uses that as his kuzushi, his off balance point, and executes a foot sweep. Notice that Machida's posture is strong. The power of a foot sweep comes from one's hips, so it is extremely important to stand up straight in order to have a powerful and effective foot sweep.

The reason why BJ falls so easily is because his mind assumes that, because it told his foot to step forward onto the floor, that it would support his weight. But Machida's timing was perfect and took the foot out just as it was about to touch the floor, allowing him to take down BJ with a simple foot sweep action. This was superb timing and power just at the right moment. Great Judo by a Karate expert.

JP: What do you think about the "Judo vs Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu" debate? Especially in situations online, you see individuals from both sides throwing insults at each other and arguing about which is better. Where do you think this whole argument came from, and where do you stand on it?

JP: That's a good question. It probably just come from, you know: Who is better, his guy or your guy? Like I said, back in the late 1800s, Judo fought Jiu-Jitsu in what was basically a team fight, Judo vs Jiu-Jitsu. Back in the day, they lined up Kano's students, who were the founders of Judo, against the Jiu-Jitsu team. And they fought. And I don't remember the rules that they fought under. But at that time, the Judo guys beat the Jiu-Jitsu guys. They cleaned house. And because of this fight, Judo became the national sport of Japan, and [became] the martial art that all the military and police officers train in.

Today, I think it just stems from, you know, "Which is better for MMA?" I think both are excellent. They both have their strengths and they both have their weaknesses. A Judo fighter who is a serious competitor is going to be extremely explosive and aggressive in a fight. And they're going to be able to take down-without shooting singles and doubles and exposing themselves-be able to take down most people with leg trips and throws and things like that.

But their ground game isn't as solid as BJJ practitioners, because that's where BJJ guys make their living. [BJJ players] spend 90% - 100% of their training on the ground. So clearly their skills on the ground are going to be better than a Judoka's, because Judo players spend at least 50% of their time on their feet. And in a lot of Judo dojos they spend 70% - 80% of their time on the feet. So just by sheer number of hours training, a Judo player is going to be better standing, and a BJJ player is typically going to be better on the ground.

That doesn't mean every Jiu-Jitsu guy is going to submit every Judo guy. That doesn't mean every Judo guy can take down every Jiu-Jitsu guy. But realistically, that's where the two sports are today.

And because the rules of Judo have changed, and a lot more emphasis is put on throws and takedowns, trying to make it more spectacular for people to watch, the ground game in Judo has almost gone away. Now, that's a place where I won a lot of my fights internationally. On the ground. I was schooled from a very young age to spend a lot of time doing ne-waza, the ground game. And I've rolled with a lot of Jiu-Jitsu guys and some of them are very, very talented-there's no doubt. And I think if a Judo person wants to be good in Judo, they should spend time learning Jiu-Jitsu. On the flipside of that, there's a lot of Jiu-Jitsu guys that could become much better fighters if they spent some time training Judo. Specifically on the gripping game: How to hold your opponent and nullify their techniques just by where you grab. Also by training some of the throws and takedowns that don't put Jiu-Jitsu players at risk.

Read entire interview...

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stlnl2 site profile image  

10/13/10 2:48 PM by stlnl2

I have good news and bad news...first you are correct, both styles use footsweeps, now the bad news "karate", namely Shotokan.....really the first karate to be called karate, came along as such years after Judo was "invented". You should at least look these things up first I think. judo was called Judo before Funakoshi was born.

klif site profile image  

10/13/10 2:18 PM by klif

Actually, I don't know about that sweep in particular, but Funakoshi and Kano were close and Funakoshi adopted some basic Judo into Shotokan. You can check this out in the back of Karate-Do-Kyohan. That foot-to-foot sweep used to be really popular in Karate tournaments in the 80s (when I was competing in them). Kano also adopted some basic Karate strikes and kicks into Judo, but they eventually were abandoned after sport Judo took over.

smichal site profile image  

10/13/10 1:35 PM by smichal

From Rhadi Ferguson on "Want more time in Ne waza?"=============Introduction=============Do you know what an aversive stimulus is?Here's what it is by definintion:aversive stimulus - any negative stimulus to which an organism willlearn to make a response that avoids itNow let me explain.If you don't have good newaza and YOUR opponent does, YOU will beapprehensive about doing your throws, or at least certain throws.You may even modify what you do because of his or her newaza skill.As a matter of fact, if you MAKE them "pay" when they hit the matafter attempting a throw, they will think twice about throwing ormake the attempt "half-a__ed" in order to hurry up and get off themat or defend themselves on the ground.If you want to *see* clearly how you can STOP someone from doingtheir favorite attacks by implementing strong, solid newaza, justlook at this video:http://clicks.aweber.com/y/ct/?l=9ErPx&m=1dZQ3LON3nDaTa&b=yB.QHYdlOWCFKQ8oFw7nPgHere you see Flavio Canto tweaking his opponents arm first. Thisstops him from being able to post and do his throws, then he justruns when he hits the mat.The PERSON clearly has better Tachiwaza than Flavio, but he can'tdo it because he KNOWS he will end up on the ground and Flavio willdominate him.Thus Flavio's newaza strength is an aversive stimulus to hisopponent's tachiwaza implementation.As a weaker Tachiwaza player I had to employ this strategy and didit soundly.If you want to see how I did it and learn how you can do it too,just go here:http://clicks.aweber.com/y/ct/?l=9ErPx&m=1dZQ3LON3nDaTa&b=MGeVGlfYGVHlydvvCxCQPg==============Is Newaza Important==============Is Newaza Important in Judo?You bet!For those that think that there is no time for Newaza in judo, youcouldn't be more incorrect.You have to ESTABLISH yourself as a newaza player. Once you dothat, you are given more time.I remember watching matches of Jimmy Pedro and I thought he'd beengiven so much time that it was RIDICULOUS.But he built up a reputation of being a solid newaza player, asCanto has and thus they are given time on the mat.Not to mention, they know what in the heck they are doing downthere so they are given time because they are progressing.If you want to get "more time" in newaza, it's easy.You just have to KNOW what to do. We'll help you, >>>http://clicks.aweber.com/y/ct/?l=9ErPx&m=1dZQ3LON3nDaTa&b=pgG8jV__KSmESWm6JwQCiA

smichal site profile image  

10/13/10 1:34 PM by smichal

allcloser - I would perhaps believe you if I didn't listen to multiple interviews with Jimmy Pedro where he recounts many of the same putative facts.How would you know that I didn't know about the guardpulling rule? Nothing strictly suggests that I didn't. I didn't, but that's another story ;0) You assume too much. The consensus opinion is that the new rules are meant to counter act the influence of syles of modern Judo in favor of the "Japanese" ippon-throw style. This impacts modern styles that may put more of an emphasis on ne waza. Certainly this doesn't directly impact ne waza but it's hard to argue that they have made it more difficult to take the match to the mat, and then (granted this isn't new) they can call mate in matter of seconds.You're right, but there is a reason knowledgable Judokas are saying what they are. I don't think Jimmy Pedro is being "used". That's a little silly!

Wasa-B site profile image  

10/13/10 1:03 PM by Wasa-B

and im sure you put quotations around "judo" and left out the latter half of the "And lol, judo didnt just invent itself in the late 1800s" sentence for a reason, yes?

Wasa-B site profile image  

10/13/10 1:02 PM by Wasa-B

Lets battle semantics further.

jason hornbuckle site profile image  

10/13/10 12:50 PM by jason hornbuckle

"And lol, judo didnt just invent itself in the late 1800s"it actually did. if you're referring to the origin of the arts then yes they have some things in common but there was no "judo" before the 1800's, just as there was no akido before the 1900'sto argue differently is to just deny reality

paw site profile image  

10/13/10 10:14 AM by paw

 for laters

LiteBlu site profile image  

10/13/10 3:55 AM by LiteBlu