Judo Starter Kit
For most BJJ schools, sparring can usually mean starting from the knees, or just pulling guard as soon as possible, and working takedowns can be an anxiety-inducing time. Still, Brazilian jiu-jitsu has its roots in judo, and every competitive match starts on its feet, so over time, most BJJ fighters will probably need to learn some takedowns. Just like you learn passing, sweeping, and controlling on the ground, if you don't know how to get the fight to the mat safely and consistently, you will have a big gap in your knowledge that will eventually end up limiting your grappling. So, what are some basic judo techniques that anyone can learn and use? Let's take a look at a few.
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Before you can throw someone, you will probably need to learn how to get thrown, right? Those judo guys sparring hard, getting tossed around, and getting right back up aren't just being tough, they know how to soften and roll with even unexpected throws, and this is a really valuable skill that everyone should learn. We all stumble around sometimes on the mat, or get caught up in a big sweep or reversal that makes a big impact, but there's no reason that has to leave you with the wind knocked out of you, or clutching a rib in pain. Learning the right way to fall is especially important for kids who are starting in BJJ, because their coordination tends to be a little bit lower than an adult.
This one is really important, because it's not just a technique that works in one situation, you will be breaking grips every time you get on the mat in a gi. Sure, it's a little different breaking a grip standing and moving versus passing or playing guard, but the fundamental forces don't change. Judokas live and die by those grips, so learning how they get them, and break them, is invaluable info.
Probably the first throw most people learn, the osoto gari (large outer reap) is great for teaching you the basic steps to throwing someone: getting the right grips, off-balancing them, getting in close with your body in strong position, and then applying leveraged force with your legs, hips, and core to throw someone. you may not end up seeing a ton of osoto garis in high level BJJ competition, but this basic throw can do plenty to show you how most every throw will progress.
De Ashi Barai
If you're like me, you weren't exactly blessed with much natural rhythm. Moves that need timing usually don't come naturally, but there are ways to fix that. One of the easiest is getting up on your feet and working on some basic foot sweeps, most reliably the de ashi barai. It's a move that really works the less you force it, so you are put into a position to relax, untense your body, and just move as comfortably as possible. After a while, you'll start to notice just how important your relaxation and timing are, and how much better you fight when you are relaxed and flowing.
Where's the fun in all this without at least one big throw, right? Once you have started checking the boxes on how to survive from the feet, having one big move you can use is a fun way to keep yourself in sparring matches you might otherwise lose. There's a lot of variations of the seio nage, whether its the ippon, morote, or maybe even an uchi mata, but that same back step can become a valuable move as you keep evolving your takedowns.
Learn the Judo Basics And Beyond From Judo Legends Jimmy Pedro & Travis Stevens