JUDO THROWS FOR BJJ
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competitors use many elements of Judo, and because of the nature of the Gi uniform, executing Judo throws can be extremely effective. A competitive BJJ match starts with two athletes facing off in the middle of the mats. Both athletes will fight for positional control, and dominant grips, and look to secure some form of jiu jitsu throws, takedown maneuvers, or an effective guard pull.
What this article covers:
All athletes are constantly looking at ways to effectively manipulate an opponent's balance, so they can efficiently secure a throwing technique, or a takedown maneuver. Combining Judo movements into the BJJ arsenal gives a competitor a definitive advantage over an opponent.
Only a select few Jiu Jitsu competitors have proficient Judo skill, and the ones that do are extremely successful on a professional level. There is a wide range of effective Judo throws, and many of these takedown maneuvers can be achieved efficiently.
HOW JUDO INSPIRED BJJ
The art of Judo was a culmination of all the best parts of Tenjin Shinyo Ryu, Kito Ryu, Japanese Jiu Jitsu, and many other eastern Martial Arts. Kano Jigoro would use his creative thinking to consolidate all of these systems into one, which he called Kodokan Judo. One of Kano's most prized pupils was Mitsuyo Maeda, and he was an avid traveler, and teacher of Martial Arts. During Mitsuyo's journey he visited many countries, teaching Martial Arts, and challenging other Martial Artists. By the early twentieth century he settled in Brazil, and began running seminars to help spread the art of Kodokan Judo. During one of Mitsuyo's seminars in Rio de Janeiro, a young Carlos Gracie would watch with excitement, as his father Gastao Senior would set up a meeting between them. Mitsuyo would agree to teach Carlos all of his combat knowledge, and for the next six years Carlos became his most knowledgeable student.
After becoming highly proficient in Kodokan Judo, and learning the ways of spiritual enlightenment, Carlos would educate his brothers George, Oswaldo, Gastao Jr, and Helio. After learning many Judo techniques Helio struggled to execute many of the movements, due to his smaller frame, so he began modifying the art to suit a smaller, and weaker grappler. Helio and Carlos would develop an incredible system of ground fighting moves that incorporated systematic transitions, ways to control an opponent, devastating choke holds, and leverage based joint locks. This was the beginning of Gracie Jiu Jitsu, and their newly functional art form still incorporated many Judo techniques like throws, and arm locks.
Nowadays the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has a lot to be thankful for, as the legacy of Judo has left an inspired influence on how the art is run today. BJJ is one of the most honorable forms of combat, with core values that are centered with humility, and integrity, and all of which was transcended from Kano Jigoro's vision of what Martial Arts should be. The act of self defense was coupled with the higher power of treating the common person with respect, and dignity. Along with the spiritual side of Martial Arts, having the ability to combine Judo throws into an already heavily weaponised Brazilian Jiu Jitsu arsenal is an extremely formidable force.
THE IMPORTANCE OF AN EFFECTIVE TAKEDOWN MANEUVER
In the modern era of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu having the ability to utilise a functional takedown maneuver is highly sought after. Too many athletes these days are content with trying to pull guard, and even though there are many practical applications from the guard, having a formidable weapon like an arsenal of takedown maneuvers is what can separate a good athlete from the elite. At the world class level, black belts will often compete against each other, as many of their moves are like stalemates in the game of chess. It becomes a game of grip fighting, where neither athlete makes a mistake, and the winner is usually the one who receives an advantage for an attempted submission. Athletes that have the ability to utilise high level takedown ferocity will always be miles above the rest of the competition. Some of the best black belts in the world like Marcus Almeda, Rustam Chsiev, Josh Hinger, Andre Galvao, and Nick Rodriguez Have showcased just why having a formidable takedown arsenal is extremely important.
Using Judo takedowns in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competition is highly successful, because of how dynamic a Judo throw is. When an opponent is fixated on a certain pathway, they will often forget about a grip that an athlete may have, and if the opponent is not as adapted to the Judo arsenal, then they will suffer from a debilitating Judo throw. The art of Judo has an extremely diverse platform of throwing techniques, which can be switched from one to the other with the simple changing of a grip. When an opponent changes their stance, this can work right into the hands of a Judo practitioner, as they can easily change the mechanics of their throw to suit whatever stance an opponent has taken. Often an opponent may over commit, which is how an athlete can compromise the balance structure of their opponent. This will lead to a different range of takedown maneuvers, including not only Judo throws, but other takedowns from the art of Sambo, and Wrestling.
CAN JUDO BE MODIFIED FOR NO GI GRAPPLING
Nowadays the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has seemed to split into two different disciplines. The Gi discipline is well known, and has been around for over a century, as the IBJJF world championships is still the most iconic competition of all time. Many world class athletes like Roger Gracie, Marcus Almeida, Gabbrielle Garcia, Marcelo Garcia, and Bernardo Faria have all become legends wearing the iconic, and traditional Gi uniform. In more recent times the No Gi discipline has begun to dominate the media, with high level competitions like the ADCC, the Eddie Bravo Invitational, Who's Number One, and Fight 2 Win have all become the most prestigious events on the International No Gi grappling scene.
Even though Judo throws are commonly executed by Judokas wearing their own Judogi. The art of Judo does still translate into the No Gi format of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. In Judo an athlete will commonly take a collar grip, and a sleeve grip, two collar grips, or a belt and sleeve grip in order to execute throws. This can be transferred into No Gi by simply taking one grip on a necktie, and utilising a wrist grip. Athletes can also use grips on the tricep, or the lat muscle, as they can become good handles to grab onto. Judo throws can also be executed with athletes using under hooks and over hooks, and this has been proven in the No Gi format with athletes like Gordon Ryan, Andre Galvao, JT Torres, Craig Jones, and Nick Rodriguez all executing No Gi Judo throws.
THE MOST EFFECTIVE JUDO THROWS FOR BJJ
There are many effective Judo throws that can be used in the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu format. The o-goshi is one of those effective maneuvers that can be easily accessed, but the downside is that the o-goshi is relatively easy to defend. The o-goshi is the Japanese word for a hip throw, and generally they are executed as an athlete will go hip to hip on their opponent, after securing an under hook, and a sleeve grip. To execute the mechanics of a hip throw simply requires an athlete to use their hip to throw their opponent down toward the mat. There are other variations of the o-goshi like the koshi guruma which is basically a hip wheel throw, and the harai goshi which is more like a hip sweep.
The ouchi gari is a highly efficient Judo sweep that is commonly used in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. The setup is quite easy, and the execution is even easier with the only downside being that the athlete will commonly fall straight into their opponent's guard. To set up the ouchi gari an athlete will take grips on the sleeve, and the collar, before stepping their body in, and placing their hips close to their opponent's hips. From here they will begin to pull their opponent downward, which can often force a reaction of an opponent lifting upwards. In this moment the athlete will use their leg in a backward sweeping motion to trip the inside of their opponent's leg, forcing them onto their back. This is an extremely effective maneuver, which will often land an athlete straight in their opponent's guard. If the athlete is smart enough to move quickly, then they can perform the ouchi gari, and then straight away look to knee slice through their opponent's guard, and set up positions like the side control, or the mount.
The tomoe nagi would have to be one of the most successful Judo throws in the history of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Quite often two athletes will get into a standing grip fight, as one will look to pull guard. To set up the tomoe nagi an athlete will begin by almost faking a guard pull. To execute this Judo throw the athlete will take a sleeve, and collar grip, and look to push their opponent backwards, as this will force a reaction out of them to move forwards. When the opponent makes their move forward the athlete will put their foot on their hip, and lower their body as if they were about to pull guard, but instead they will use a dynamic movement to kick them up and over their own head. This movement can help an athlete roll straight over into the mount position, or can even result in more technical throws that land the athlete straight into an arm lock position.
The osoto gari is another extremely efficient Judo sweep that works in a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competitive match. The osoto gari bears resemblances to the uchi mata, and the o-goshi, with the only difference being a more powerful leg sweep on the outside of the opponent’s leg, compared to the inside for the uchi mata, and the hip of the o-goshi. The osoto gari is executed by an athlete setting up a sleeve, and a collar grip. From this position they will step in close to their opponent, turning their hips slightly as they look to unbalance their opponent. Like most Judo sweeps, a push and pull dynamic is used to force a reaction out of their opponent. Once the opponent has reacted accordingly, the athlete will take their inside leg, and maneuver it to the outside of their opponent's leg, and use a dynamic force, coupled with the movement of their grips to trip their opponent down to the mat.
The seoi nagi, and the drop seoi nagi are impressively dynamic Judo throws. The downside to these movements is that they are a lot harder to execute, as an athlete will almost have to give up their back to execute this throw. On the plus side, if an athlete can utilise this Judo throw correctly, then the set up, and the movement may well be too fast for an opponent to defend. Setting up the seoi nage requires an athlete to step in and secure a sleeve grip from underneath their opponent's elbow, and a collar grip. They will step in and lift the arm up, as they circle their body and step their second leg in to create a position where the athlete's back is facing their opponent. This movement must be done quickly, as they lower their stance, and turn their body, as they use their force to throw the opponent over their shoulder, and onto the mat. This is a highly effective Judo throw, with a high level of complexity, but if an athlete can be dynamic with their movement, then this can be a pivotal throw to use in a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu fight. The drop seoi nage has exactly the same function, with the only difference being, instead of lowering their body to execute the shoulder throw, they will drop down onto their knees and use the momentum to complete the throw over their shoulder, and onto the mat.
The de ashi barai is one of the most seamless Judo sweeps there is in the arsenal. To execute this Judo sweep there should be zero resistance from the opponent. The important trick to this Judo sweep is to connect the sweeping foot with the opponent's leg, as they transfer their weight onto the mat. This is how the sweep will become weightless, and seamless, with no resistance from the opponent. To execute this sweep the athlete will grab a sleeve grip, and a collar grip, and begin to move their opponent around. When the opponent steps their foot forward the athlete must use perfect timing to step their opposite leg back at the same time, as they use their other leg to sweep the opponent's foot that is stepping forward. As the athlete makes connection with the foot it is an easy sweep, and will effectively put their opponent straight down onto the mat. This is a perfect sweep that can be utilised on either side with the same grip, and for this sweep to work the timing has to be impeccable. There are many different Judo sweeps, and throws that are highly functional on a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu level, and many of these can be added to a practitioner's arsenal.
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