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JUDO FOR BJJ
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JUDO FOR BJJ

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Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a highly complex form of Martial Arts, which derived from the ancient form of Japanese Jiu Jitsu, and the more modernised form of Kodokan Judo. Ground fighting combat has evolved over the years, as it has adopted two main disciplines, the Gi, and the No Gi formats. The Gi is the most traditional form, and involves utilising grips on the Gi uniform, and this is how grapplers can execute Judo throws. The No Gi discipline is a hybrid version of wrestling for bjj combined with submission grappling, and modified Judo throws. Athletes in both formats of BJJ have become extremely well versed in these modern techniques.

What this article covers:

Adopting Judo throws into a grappler's arsenal can be highly effective, but can also become troublesome. There are many effective Judo throws that do work in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, but some of these throws will force an athlete to give up their back. Any grappler must be cautious when they utilise Judo techniques, and make sure they modify their entries to suit the game style of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Get the best Judo for BJJ resources like Olympic Champion Satoshi Ishii's NEW WAVE JUDO and more at BJJFanatics.com!

judo and bjj

There are many Judo techniques that have a high success rate in BJJ, and athletes that become highly skilled in these movements are usually formidable opponents. These days with the fast rate of innovation within the arsenal of grappling, the combination of different art forms like Judo and BJJ, and the muay thai and bjj combo for Mixed Martial Arts is leading the way for many athletes across the board.

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THE ORIGIN OF JUDO

Original Judo practices were inspired by many different Martial Arts, as different forms of Japanese Jiu Jitsu date back to the Samurai in feudal Japan. Kano Jigoro was a Japanese educator who learnt many different Martial Arts principles. He traveled abroad in search of putting together the most comprehensive control system that could be utilised for self defense. Kano became proficient in Kito Ryu, and it didn't take him long to start defeating his teacher, and soon after he began implementing his own style of Martial Arts that incorporated all of his findings throughout his early career. Kano would develop his own style called the Jikishin ryu, which became Judo, the name combined ju which meant pliancy, and do which literally translated to the way, but in a figurative way it meant method. 

Kano's teachings became extremely valuable, as he began passing on his systematic knowledge of Martial Arts to many Japanese students. Judo was more than just learning how to fight, and throw opponents to the floor, it professed a much deeper source of knowledge. Kano believed in making better people, and giving all of his students the correct morality, and spirituality that they needed to live by. Kodokan Judo became one of the most influential Martial Arts of the twentieth century, and because of Kano's standard of fighting, Judo became the first combat sport to enter into the Olympic games. Kano's teachings would eventually reach Mitsuyo Maeda, who became another pioneer of the art, and as he traveled abroad prize fighting, and teaching seminars, the art eventually found its way into the hands of the Gracie family, which sparked the whole ideology behind Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

WHY IS JUDO IMPORTANT IN BJJ

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a systematic, and strategic form of combat, and in the modern era there are multiple elements that athletes must integrate. Before the fight can even reach the mats, where an athlete can set up submission attacks, they must be able to get their opponent down to the mat in the first place. This has proven not to be an easy task, as takedown defense has become an extremely effective method of stifling an opponent during a match. It becomes considerably hard to utilse takedown maneuvers on opponents, especially when they are bigger and stronger. Setting up Judo throws can be a great way to gain an advantage in the stand up game of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Judo is an age old Martial Art, and even though some of the throws like the seoi nage, or the kani basami may be difficult to execute, there are a large range of extremely easy, but effective takedown maneuvers to use.

Becoming proficient in Judo throws can be extremely effective in a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu match. In the modern era of grappling athletes need to have all round skills in all aspects of the game. Having the ability to takedown opponents is crucial in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and aside from some of the Wrestling takedowns, Judo has the most efficient takedowns of any Martial Arts. Usually Judo black belts will start BJJ on their blue belts instead of their white belts, and this is because of how impactful Judo throws can be on a beginner. This just demonstrates how powerful Judo can be in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and why all practitioners of the art should become proficient in Judo, or at least learn the basics.

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HOW TO TRAIN EFFECTIVE JUDO FOR BJJ

The first step in adding Judo techniques to a BJJ athlete's technical arsenal, is identifying which techniques will work, and whether they will benefit the athlete at all. Not all Judo movements can work in a grappling match, and this is due to the back exposure it gives to an opponent. Hip throws, leg reaps, sacrifice throws, and foot sweeps, can all be highly effective from a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu standpoint, and athletes can add these techniques to their game styles. To effectively use these types of Judo throws, an athlete will need to learn how to break fall, and this is the act of landing on the mat in a way that allows the athlete to brace for impact. To execute a break fall the athlete will need to lower their body towards the mat, and as their back hits the mat, they must spread their arms to a forty five degree angle, and slap the mat. This will help the athlete to absorb the shock of falling, but an important tip is to tuck their chin into their chest, or they will crack the back of their head on the floor. Once an athlete has mastered this technique, then they are ready to evolve their arsenal with Judo throws. 

Learning how to apply Judo techniques into their training regimes can be extremely difficult at first, and understanding how to use the push and pull system will take time. The best advice any athlete can take when attempting to add Judo to their repertoire, is to repeatedly practise the entries, rather than the actual throws. Most athletes will get their foot positioning, their balance, or their grips all wrong, and in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu that can be disastrous. Athletes must train their entries to become systematic, so they can smoothly take their opponents to the mat. Having a clear understanding of each transition will allow an athlete to utilse different throws, as their opponent offers different reactions. These are important notions to consider when an athlete is serious about adding Judo techniques to their game style.

JUDO THROWS THAT WORK FOR BJJ

Some Judo throws can seem too difficult to utilise in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and this is because of the back exposure to the opponent. The other factor can also see takedowns that have too much bounce, as this will often result in the opponent scrambling back into the guard, or even reversing the position, and winding up on top. This is why athletes will use certain Judo moves that are a lower risk, but still highly effective. One of the most effective Judo takedowns is the o goshi, which is a major hip throw. The o goshi is secured by first taking grips on the sleeve, and the collar, before pulling the opponent onto their toes to unbalance them. From here the athlete will relinquish the collar grip, and slide their arm in for a deep under hook, securing a grip around the waist. The athlete will then lift their opponent, rotating them over their hip and onto the mat. There are other hip throws that can be successful like the uchi mata, the koshi guruma, the ushiro goshi, and the uki goshi.

Sacrifice throws can be dangerous, and due to the element of surprise, they can be highly successful in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu matches. A sacrifice throw requires an athlete to situate themself in an unfavorable position, like falling to the mat and using the momentum to carry out the takedown. Using the momentum of the falling can add significant power into a throw, and the best part is that it requires very little strength. Utilising throws like the hikikomi gaeshi, the sumi gaeshi, and the tomoe nage are highly achievable in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Most sacrifice throws involve throwing the opponent over their head, or throwing them to the side, and using a foot in the hip to throw the opponent can be dynamic, and deadly at the same time. Throws like the tomoe nage allow an athlete to follow the throw, landing in the mount, or even rolling straight into an arm bar.

Some of the most common Judo takedowns in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu are leg reaps, and leg trips. The difference between the two is a leg reap will use one smooth action to take out the weighted foot of the opponent, compared to the hooking action of a leg trip that uses a lift of the leg, and then a pull away to compromise the opponent’s balance. Common leg reaps are moves like the ouchi gari, the kouchi gari, the osoto gari, and the kosoto gari. All of these leg reaps will use upper body controls, and unbalancing actions to move the opponent into a position to take them down. Leg trips are a great way of catching an opponent off guard, and using a trip like the kosoto gake is perfect for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. This trip involves using the outside leg to hook around their opponent's outside leg, as they manipulate the upper body to achieve the throw.

Shoulder throws in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu can be daunting, and this is because an athlete will be showing some of their back to their opponent. Although this may be dangerous, shoulder throws like the seoi nage, and the drop seoi nage can be extremely effective, and can alter a match drastically. The seoi nage incorporates setting up an opponent with a sleeve, and a collar grip, before stepping into a precarious position with their back facing their opponent. This can be a risky move, considering how effective Brazilian Jiu Jitsu athletes are at taking the back, but if it is done correctly, and with speed, it can prove instrumental. Once the athlete is in position they must make sure their hips are lower than their opponents hips, so they can lift them, and throw them over their shoulder. This can be replicated in the drop seoi nage, with the only difference being the athletes will drop onto their knees, before throwing their opponent over their shoulder.

Utilising Judo throws to take an opponent down to the mat is highly effective, but throws that lead straight into submissions are even more potent. This is why securing a sleeve grip to administer throwing techniques is vital, because in many instances the grip can turn into an arm bar attempt. Using throws over an athlete's head can shock an opponent, which gives the athlete complete creative control of how they can attack the submission. Foot sweeps can be just as beneficial, as these techniques will takedown an opponent, while leaving the athlete standing. This can lead into the knee ride position, where they can choose from a number of different submissions, or even attack straight into leg entanglement positions, and look for heel hooks, toe holds, or kneebars. 

IMPORTANT CONCEPTS FOR COMBINING MARTIAL ARTS 

In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu there are many different combinations of Martial Arts. Judo, and Wrestling are combined to create a more comprehensive takedown game, while BJJ, Sambo, Japanese Jiu Jitsu, and Wrestling all combine to enhance an athlete's ability in the ground aspect of grappling. The most important factor is how an athlete combines all of these facets into one all round style. All athletes must take the best techniques out of each Martial Art style, and this doesn't necessarily mean the best technique, what it does mean is the best technique that suits each individual. The important part of combining these elements is understanding an athlete's own game style. This means their limitations, and what they are highly capable of. Once an athlete knows what sort of a technical game style they have, it becomes easy to know what techniques can be added to their arsenal. The higher level athletes will add concepts rather than specific techniques, and this means to understand how something works, as they create their own avenues of defense, and attack. 

Get the best Judo for BJJ resources like Olympic Champion Satoshi Ishii's NEW WAVE JUDO and more at BJJFanatics.com!

judo for jiu jitsu

Combining different styles together means athletes will need to build up their strength and conditioning. Adding Wrestling or Judo to an athlete's training regime can be extremely rough, and this is because each style has a different range of systems. Judo can have a negative impact on an athlete's body, and this is because of the high impact from throw after throw. This is why most athletes will engage in different methods of strength and conditioning, like kettlebell training, weightlifting, high intensity running drills, resistance band training, and yoga for jiu jitsu. Utilising practises like these will benefit athletes substantially, and building up core aspects in strength and cardiovascular fitness is the building blocks to developing an all round combination of Martial Arts systems.

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