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Judo/Sambo UnderGround >> Jiu-jitsu is bad for judo


11/7/11 9:08 PM
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gbutts
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This from Ann Maria's blog. I totally disagree but i'm going to wait untill i hear from other people before ii explain why she is wrong. We have this arguement monthly.





I'm surprised I have to explain this to people but I often do. I cannot tell you the number of judo players I meet who are convinced that jiu-jitsu will help their matwork. If that is true (and it often is) it's because their matwork really sucks.

The haters who only read the first paragraph are now writing long diatribes on how a purple belt in jiu-jitsu could kick my ass (maybe, by the time you are an old grandma - or grandpa -, a lot of people can kick your ass, and the judo and jiu-jitsu coaches that pretend different are delusional).

The reason jiu-jitsu does help some people is their matwork totally sucks. They spend all of their time at judo practice working on perfecting their throws. Not surprisingly, then end up with great throws and terrible matwork. So, they go to jiu-jitsu where 90% of the time they work on matwork and, no surprise again, their matwork gets better.

This proves - what? That you get better at the things you work on.

HOWEVER, I have seen over and over those people who are doing all of their matwork at jiu-jitsu never win a single match in a judo tournament using matwork.

Here is why - the rules are different. In jiu-jitsu you get to roll around for quite a long time trying to get a score. That's fine, that's the rules of the sport. In judo, you do not. You get a few seconds and then the referee makes you get up. This isn't a discussion of who would win if a judo player and BJJ player got in a fight. See my earlier post on unicorns for my opinion on that. This is a discussion of whether BJJ is the best way to improve your judo matwork. I would suggest it is not.

What if you don't have any people in your judo club who are near your size and the BJJ club has more people who are your size/ age to train with? Even in that case, I think I would stay at my judo club and do drills of judo matwork.

I would do drills like the Collect the Arm and then connect it to the pin combination shown here.

I once had a disagreement with a judo coach who was in favor of having excellent BJJ players teach our players armbars. He said to me,

"Just ask the players. We went to this guy's club and he did moves they had never seen before."

Why do you think they had never seen them? The players weren't stupid and neither were the moves he taught. The armbar combinations he did were great - for jiu-jitsu - but in judo, they often took longer to set up than the rules allowed.

What I see as one of the biggest problems with matwork for most judo players is that they are too slow to pull it off in the few seconds the referees allow for you to "show progress". Training in jiu-jitsu, with different rules and more of an acceptance of matwork makes that weakness worse, not better.


In other words, if you want to do well at a sport, train in that sport
11/7/11 9:11 PM
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gbutts
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the relpy on a jiu-jitsu person


My opinion based on being a "Jiu-Jitsu" person while having the opportunity to train with the local Uni Judo club:

I would have to agree and disagree. I think the assumption here is on the idea of time. I will admit that you get more time to fight on the ground in BJJ/Sub-Grappling tournaments then Judo. That said, it doesn't preclude BJJ matches from being over instantly when the fight hits the ground. Just like there are those who take their time and are methodical when the fight hits the ground (I can include myself in that category) , there are those who instantly go for, and get, the finish once it goes horizontal (something I've been working more on myself thanks to your blog actually).

I think the key isn't to think Jiu-Jitsu won't help your Judo ground game, but a certain type/style of BJJ game won't help your Judo ground game just like a certain type/style would. The reverse, it could be said, is also true.

On that note, I guess it depends on how all of it (both the Judo and the Jiu-Jitsu) is taught and approached.

11/7/11 9:42 PM
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cdueck
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 If you train jiu-jitsu with a judo mind set it will improve your ground work. 
11/7/11 10:36 PM
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Missing Glove Tape
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She has a point with regard to turnovers and the type of groundwork opponent one sees in competition re: turtling, that necessitates as little disruption in the transition from standing to osaekomi/submission as possible in order to be effective. In bjj, the transitions are slower, more defined(ie: takedown, pass the legs, establish side control, move to mount, etc), and opponents are not typically (ime) fighting to get out from the bottom and/or turtle like their life depended on it(ie: every ounce of technique/strength/prayer/luck they can generate), so at the level of competition she's most likely referring to bjj is not as immediately/directly applicable to judo. But still, just like it takes time to develop a throwing base before one settles into the throws they like and are effective with, so too (imo) does it take time for judoka to understand groundwork as thoroughly as they should re: overall knowledge/competence relative to bjj.

Moreover, while I'm not and never will be a world-beater re: competition, I think there is more to training (even for high level competitors) than only what is currently trending re: sport-specific tactics/techniques. Meaning, if you limit yourself to only the things people are doing now or have done in the past, then it leaves little room for innovation or the development of real newaza specialists ala Kashiwazaki. And in that sense, I think bjj is highly beneficial for judo/judoka in that it affords the opportunity for judoka to spend the time needed to really understand groundwork as it is(apart from competition/sport-specific rules), and then to develop a game that works for *them* that they can adapt to judo rather than the conventional method of adapting themselves to a generic game that is based off of what has/is working re: competition.





My $.02
11/7/11 11:14 PM
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gbutts
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Missing Glove Tape - She has a point with regard to turnovers and the type of groundwork opponent one sees in competition re: turtling, that necessitates as little disruption in the transition from standing to osaekomi/submission as possible in order to be effective. In bjj, the transitions are slower, more defined(ie: takedown, pass the legs, establish side control, move to mount, etc), and opponents are not typically (ime) fighting to get out from the bottom and/or turtle like their life depended on it(ie: every ounce of technique/strength/prayer/luck they can generate), so at the level of competition she's most likely referring to bjj is not as immediately/directly applicable to judo. But still, just like it takes time to develop a throwing base before one settles into the throws they like and are effective with, so too (imo) does it take time for judoka to understand groundwork as thoroughly as they should re: overall knowledge/competence relative to bjj.

Moreover, while I'm not and never will be a world-beater re: competition, I think there is more to training (even for high level competitors) than only what is currently trending re: sport-specific tactics/techniques. Meaning, if you limit yourself to only the things people are doing now or have done in the past, then it leaves little room for innovation or the development of real newaza specialists ala Kashiwazaki. And in that sense, I think bjj is highly beneficial for judo/judoka in that it affords the opportunity for judoka to spend the time needed to really understand groundwork as it is(apart from competition/sport-specific rules), and then to develop a game that works for *them* that they can adapt to judo rather than the conventional method of adapting themselves to a generic game that is based off of what has/is working re: competition.





My $.02


I agree with you and the jiu-jitsu guy, Erin tries to model her judo and jiu-jitsu style after canto. I told ann maria that most judo clubs don't do jiu-jitsu ground work because they don't understand the submission that are open to them. I believe that kids training in bjj while always have aND advantage over judo kids that waiting until they reach a certain age to learn chokes ,armbars, and sweeps.
11/8/11 6:19 AM
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Sam Lowry
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It depends on wether you she means "Sport Judo" or Judo as a wider art including self defense.

If all you are interested in is sport Judo, then it probably does make sense to focus only on stuff which is legal in the sport. Anyone interested in the wider martial art applications should be interested to experience looser rules set of BJJ though I think.
11/8/11 6:36 AM
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judoblackbelt
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The key is how well you can integrate BJJ into your judo. The world class players have dont this using their all around judo skills. Many of us at the lower levels can improve our ground game and judo game if we are not Ippon throwers. But I use my BJJ background in the context of judo's time allotment especially from bottom guard. ANd if you are in top guard your BJJ experience helps you avoid a triangle setup. MOst BJJ stuff will not work in judo because you don't have time to set it up. But at the lowers level of judo white-green-blue belt it can win you many matches especially when you have doing BJJ for 2-3 years and then start entering judo contests as a white belt. I think we already discussed this issue at least on one occasion.
11/8/11 9:16 AM
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panic686
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I am coming from a bjj background with a year of wrestling and some thai takedowns to judo. While I can't speak from a pure judoka's perspective, I have foudn that I am having an easy time with pinning people so far in judo because of my background. I also find myself moving a little better after getting thrown to avoid being on my back than some of the other beginners I have seen or who have more time in pure judo than me.


I think it all depends on what you train, but I am a firm believer that any knowledge is good knowledge. Just need to learn how to apply it correctly.
11/8/11 12:19 PM
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raleigh
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judoblackbelt - The key is how well you can integrate BJJ into your judo. The world class players have dont this using their all around judo skills. Many of us at the lower levels can improve our ground game and judo game if we are not Ippon throwers. But I use my BJJ background in the context of judo's time allotment especially from bottom guard. ANd if you are in top guard your BJJ experience helps you avoid a triangle setup. MOst BJJ stuff will not work in judo because you don't have time to set it up. But at the lowers level of judo white-green-blue belt it can win you many matches especially when you have doing BJJ for 2-3 years and then start entering judo contests as a white belt. I think we already discussed this issue at least on one occasion.


this is the only reason I would say BJJ is bad for your judo. You start winning your matches with your ground skills early, you never develop your standing skills in competition and (IME) get creamed when thrown to the black belt division.
11/8/11 3:43 PM
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CyborgRoyce
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I would have to agree with Ann-Marie in many ways. The rules of Judo newaza and Jiu-jitsu are too different and Judo players who spend large amounts of time training JJ for matwork end up learning a lot of stuff that is not applicable to the Judo ruleset (extensive amounts and different types of guard work, leg locks, shoulder locks, cranks, painholds, wrist locks and triangle choke from guard/mount). JJ is also catered for a much longer amount of time on the ground which is different to the explosiveness of Judo. More than half the time you spend in JJ is wasted on stuff that is inapplicable for Judo.

That said, there are many fine details in JJ which separate the groundwork level between the two sports. I come from a very newaza orientated club (over 50%) but certain mistakes I was making were not pointed out to me until I started doing JJ (which I am sure is because the instructors had no idea they were mistakes themselves). JJ has much, much more refined groundwork and the technical details have made a huge difference to my matwork (e.g. maintaining osaekomi positions, finishing armbars, sankaku, chokes). It shouldn't be about learning new techniques (as Ann-Marie puts it), it's about improving the existing ones.

There is also a much better syllabus for teaching groundwork in JJ as well which makes learning a hell of a lot faster, such as the use of terminologies.

I think the important thing (which I am trying to do myself) is to find the finer points in BJJ which could help Judo players improve their groundwork, rather than training BJJ directly. That should be up to some highly qualified coaches which are able to bring the knowledge back to Judo.

In short, if you want to learn BJJ JUST to improve your Judo groundwork, do a couple of privates where the instructor can fine-tune your techniques and point out your bad habits.

Sorry for the long post

PS - good to see you back on the forums Gary
11/8/11 10:55 PM
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judom
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I mostly agree with Anna Maria. I am always shocked when people say that they need to "supplement" their Judo, be with with wrestling, BJJ or Sambo.

I think it really depends at what level you want to compete. If you want to win in high levels of Judo, any time away from Judo is a bad idea.

If you want to have fun, compete recreationally and so on for fun, then trying different things is fun !

One of my former coaches was a former A-level judoka in Europe, who has wins over Olympic / World champions in A-level tournaments. His ground work was pretty basic, but absolutely FORGET IT, to submit him in a 5 min match.

I remember one time I was training abroad for 5-6 months (due to university studies) in a good club level place where many BJJ guys dropped in all the time (and black belts). When I returned to do Randori him, I expected to do much better, as I knew much more in some nuances of ground work: new arm-bars, transitions, etc, etc. He absolutely worked me and crushed me. It was horrible. There is a HUGE gap between national/international level and you cannot fill this gap doing ANYTHING else except Judo with super hardcore dudes that will beat up daily and crush you till you can't get off the mat.

No BJJ can prepare you for that level of Judo. That is for sure.

Point is:

you want to win at international levels in Judo, do Judo hardcore. Come to Europe, or go to Japan, and I will find you pure judo guys who will destroy you in ne-waza, and many don't know what BJJ stands for (many judokas in Europe map it to: something that is used in this something called UFC right ?)

if you want to play around and have fun (and from what I've seen most BJJ tournaments are really just mostly having fun), the by all means, develop your game with other things for fun (I did that also, and its a lot of fun !). But just don't be mistaken: you will still get crushed in Judo against A-level players. No doubt.

So yes, I agree with Anna-Maria as far as serious players, but for the rest, they should enjoy bjj, wrestling, sambo and judo.
11/9/11 12:18 AM
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Chocolate Shatner
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I very much disagree with Anna Maria, and with others who say the focus should be just on judo, for many reasons. I will not even go into the ones that involve should we be focusing on judo as a sport or as part of making a complete martial artist, that's a whole other diatribe, but rather just from the "sports" aspect.

1. From personal experience, I have taken 6 months of BJJ and 1 year with Greg Jackson, and turned it into the point where judoka immediately play defensive against me on the ground because I have submitted people from all major positions, multiple times, in tournaments. I've hit arm locks from osaekomi, chokes from guard, chokes and arm lock turnovers from turtle, and even hit things from bottom. And this isn't with long setups or anything. And that doesn't take into play sweeps and escapes, which most players don't focus on because of the time rules. Most players would rather do "hang on and pray for matte" on the bottom.


2. In many sports, (and I personally detest calling judo a sport, but let's look at it from just the Olympic sports aspect) cross-training and developing of skills is not only allowed, but encouraged by coaches, to avoid burnout and overuse injuries. Boxers will play basketball, football players will train BJJ, swimmers will run, etc. All of these allow the body to develop the strength and fitness levels needed to participate in the highest levels of the sport, without the numerous over-use injuries that training just the sport can have happen. I have lost count of the number of Japanese high school judoka I have met who at the age of 16 or 17 already have jacked up shoulders, knees, hips and backs because of over training with no cross training.



While I respect Anna Marie's accomplishments and those of her students, I will disagree with her in this area.
11/9/11 6:30 AM
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judoblackbelt
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raleigh- how true, I call it brown belts hitting the black belt wall. Their wrestling background or BJJ background cannot takethem any further and they loose to black belts and begin to loose to brown belts. The elimination of the inital leg grab has also forced out those who rely on these type of attacks. And judo is a sport, don't see how anyone can say it is not.
11/9/11 6:48 AM
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Sam Lowry
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Chocolate Shatner - I have lost count of the number of Japanese high school judoka I have met who at the age of 16 or 17 already have jacked up shoulders, knees, hips and backs because of over training with no cross training.


Yeah I agree cross training is a very good idea for general health aspects.

But also if the only thing you are interested in is gold medals, not the art, or self defense, or your longer term health, then focussing on Judo alone might get your there faster.
11/9/11 8:11 AM
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Chocolate Shatner
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Sam, the question is, how many potentially world class players have been lost due to the effects of overtraining, or had their careers severely shortened?

I'll give you an example from my high school, in another sport: wrestling.

Had a kid in my graduating class, who coming in loved wrestling. This guy was all about wrestling, and had wrestled for years. In fact, it was the only thing the kid did. In the off season, he even talked his dad into driving him hundreds of miles on weekends so he could practice Greco and Freestyle at other places (hey, back country South Carolina didn't exactly have a lot of that then).

Long story short, the kid over trained and jacked himself up. He started developing back problems, due to the obscene amounts of bridging and other back flexions he was doing. Didn't stop, didn't do any cross training, just kept going. Ended up slipping a few discs in his back his junior year, and couldn't even wrestle his senior year. Now, his soph and frosh years he went to state. And as a senior, he sat in the stands doing jack squat.

I see that happening here in Japan with all sorts of sports. Baseball players whose shoulders are jacked, judoka who not only have jacked shoulders and knees, but heads that look like cheese graters went after them (since they cannot take time off to let cauliflower ear heal up), soccer players and tennis players who walk like old men due to ankle injuries, etc. Even something seemingly simple and stupid like kendo players whose feet are numb and nerve damaged because of repeated impacts and never healing cuts on the feet from all the hard stepping they do. Because the schools around here treat the sports like a full time job. There are schools that will do practice 3-5 hours a day, 6 days a week, for high schoolers.

Sure, it might make some people get there faster. But, overall, is the cost worth it?
11/9/11 8:40 AM
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Sam Lowry
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Chocolate Shatner - 
Sure, it might make some people get there faster. But, overall, is the cost worth it?


Probably not. Cross training to purely to avoid injury a sport more different to Judo than BJJ might be worth looking at I think though.
11/9/11 10:59 AM
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SlapUsilly
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Kinda related to the topic.

1) As a BJJ black belt, even today, i learn groundwork in judo that in 13 years of BJJ i had not seen. And i train at a very reputable BJJ school who has produced some elite level people. Its just a different game. Some thigns cross over, some things not so much.

2) I, by no means, suck. I am not an awesome black belt, but i am still a legit BJJ black belt notheless and can hold my own in BJJ. That said, I have a very hard time when i roll with my judo coach, i can count on one finger the times i've subbed her over the years but lost count of how often she is able to pass my guard and pin me.
So, i can attest to the statement a few posts back about how serious legit competitor judoka can fuck you up on the ground if you understimate them.

3) I'd say about 3/4 of the sport BJJ game does not cross over to judo. In fact, from experience, i'd say solid judo newaza is what is considered the all important "basics" in BJJ and is very useful.
11/10/11 1:18 AM
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Chocolate Shatner
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Sam Lowry - 
Chocolate Shatner - 
Sure, it might make some people get there faster. But, overall, is the cost worth it?


Probably not. Cross training to purely to avoid injury a sport more different to Judo than BJJ might be worth looking at I think though.



In some ways yes, in some ways no, especially as the muscles used and energy systems trained are going to be different. However, I do agree that doing cross training is important.
11/10/11 10:31 AM
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panic686
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Chocolate Shatner - 
Sam Lowry - 
Chocolate Shatner - 
Sure, it might make some people get there faster. But, overall, is the cost worth it?


Probably not. Cross training to purely to avoid injury a sport more different to Judo than BJJ might be worth looking at I think though.



In some ways yes, in some ways no, especially as the muscles used and energy systems trained are going to be different. However, I do agree that doing cross training is important.




I am new to judo but noticed I feel like it is working my forearms different than bjj. it is also getting my chest, shoulders and arms way differently and with more focus whereas bjj seems to focus on core stomach and lower back a lot more.


Seems like there is a decent amount of overlap too though so not sure how the overtraining plays into it.
11/10/11 3:18 PM
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SamboSteve
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Edited: 11/10/11 3:33 PM
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To me it comes down to the coach and the rules, not the style. Based on the original article, I assume we are talking sport judo here...not becoming a well rounded martial artist. So, to me to be best at a particular sport, train the rules of that sport with a coach that knows the sport. Train for the rules. Whatever coach can help you do that will be the best...regardless of style.

A good example is the Sambo vs BJJ event that was held here in NY several years ago. With the exception of a DQ and a really inexperienced guy who should not have been there, it was pretty much a draw. But, the results were very telling...

The BJJ team were all pretty seasoned guys. They organized their team very well (under Justin Garcia), had try outs, etc.

The sambo team was a mish mash of guys from different coaches/clubs. Some very high level strict sport sambo/judo (Georgian guys from brooklyn) and others who cross compete with BJJ guys all the time (American guys coached by Vlad Koulikov and Oleg Savitsky).

Essentially, the Georgian sambo guys who never really cross competed (and did not train for the hybrid rules and what BJJ guys might do to them) either won by throws, or lost by submission. Not a single one won on the mat. Once they were out of their element, they did not do well.

But, the American Sambo guys who cross competed and understood the BJJ sport/strategy more all won by submission.

The BJJ guys clearly had little stand up skill and some lost because of it. But the ones who could keep the Georgians on the ground, won by submission.

To me, the lesson was that you have to train for the rules and find the right coaches for the job.
11/10/11 7:03 PM
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raleigh
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Is it bad for judo with today's rules and whatnot? maybe

Is it bad for improving your overall ground game? Absolutely not.
11/10/11 8:54 PM
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judoblackbelt
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Readying all the comments once you enter the "other" sports elements the favor is with the other sport. There are some elements that are commonly shared among BJJ, sambo,wrestling, judo. Xtraining might enhance one facet of your particular sport.But won't make a huge difference in your success in your sport. If you want to be a judo champion then you better be able to throw for ippon. The most balanced fighter the US has is Kayla Harrrison who can win either with her standup skills or mat skills. Ronda was similar in her abilities. Pedro was similar, equal standup/mat skills.
11/11/11 10:31 AM
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HoldYerGround
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Whatever, you don't want to train BJJ, keep sucking on the ground. Its not my problem.
11/11/11 1:33 PM
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JoshuaResnick
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it totally depends on your purpose. in judo, as the rules are currently called, you are not going to have a ton of guard play or get points for sweeps, hooks, etc... the chokes are more specific and the types of submissions are only strangles and elbows.

thus, remove all the subs in bjj and even sambo that are not chokes or elbows and you lose quite a bit already. so, no, those are not at all applicable to a judo competitor.

if you want to be successful in judo's competitive newaza realm then the level of proficency you need to have in bjj is pretty high. bjj tends to preach a slow, methodical manner in things while judo is the opposite.

now, are there some differences that you can bring from bjj into judo easily? yes. just the same as many of the things in judo will come over to bjj easily.

in the end, the conversation is kinda moot. it all depends on the manner in which somebody implements things.
11/11/11 5:38 PM
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jayflo145
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Edited: 11/11/11 5:42 PM
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Excellent points Josh.....

One element that I find to be a very important skill set in both grappling arts (BJJ & Judo) that have not been brought up too much is seamless transitions from feet to the ground. To me, these 2 are separated much to often in drilling, training, learning etc. I think in many ways folkstyle wrestling helps ingrain this in how there must be 'control' after the takedown to ensure point awarded. In Judo, you can simply throw your opponent and stay standing, and still win. In BJJ, many practitioners pull guard and play a slow methodical game (which in my opinion is NOT the funnest thing to watch....but to most ppl neither is Judo). I have found by watching and practicing, that takedowns/throwing techniques followed up directly into a control position or submission, is the way to be most efficient no matter the pace of the match. So, training tirelessly from your feet into positions of control is the way to go (just my humble opinion), instead of enduring a long tactical battle of micro positioning and gripping battles in either ground or standing exchanges (but, I still believe that to be great in any grappling art you need to know, train, feel and understand these positions).

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