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  1. #1

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    Question about judo and transitioning to MMA

    I'm signing up for Judo and I have a question for ya'll. Someone into watching MMA told me that there are few judoka that have been successful in transitioning their judo into MMA. I have aspirations of working towards MMA after a few years of training/competing in judo and boxing. Is what he said true about judokas and MMA? If so why? And why does BJJ see such success and judo doesn't (assuming he was right)?

  2. #2
    judoka_uk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NERV Janitor View Post
    I'm signing up for Judo and I have a question for ya'll. Someone into watching MMA told me that there are few judoka that have been successful in transitioning their judo into MMA. I have aspirations of working towards MMA after a few years of training/competing in judo and boxing. Is what he said true about judokas and MMA? If so why? And why does BJJ see such success and judo doesn't (assuming he was right)?
    Because a lot of Judoka who enter MMA feel confident in their grappling both stand up and on the ground they tend to spend a lot of time on learning striking in the lead up to MMA competition and of course this is sensible. However, it often seems that for some reason this leads many Judo players to try and have a striking match with their opponents rather than play to their strengths in throwing and ground grappling.

    The reason a lot seem to do this I have no idea. Although there are Judoka who succesfully apply their Judo in MMA such as Karo Parysian and Hidehiko Yoshida and Ronda Roussey recently debuted in MMA with a good performance where she played solely on her strengths.

    I also believe that a factor is often when Judoka enter MMA it is towards the end of their competitive careers - Ishii being a notable exception - and so no matter what they were doing whether continuing in Judo or switching to a new sport you would see their performance be less than expected.

    It may also be that many of the Judoka who have switched over just aren't well suited to MMA either psychologically or in a variety of other ways.

    If you train Judo under a good instructor and are dedicated it along with your boxing you will develop a solid skillset after a few years which will serve you well when entering MMA and learning how to apply those skills in an MMA ruleset.
    Last edited by judoka_uk; 8/14/2010 2:10pm at . Reason: SPAG

  3. #3

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    See these:

    YouTube- Judo in MMA

    YouTube- Karo "The Heat" Parisyan Highlight

    theres many many more on youtube. Oh also remember this guy hes a sambo and judo champ:

    YouTube- FEDOR EMELIANENKO HIGHLIGHTS

  4. #4

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    I'm a big fan of Judo, but I think it does take more work to adapt it to MMA than, say, wrestling or BJJ. This does not mean I think it is worse - see later. These are the obstacles that a Judoka faces when switching to MMA:

    1. Judo throws rely heavily on the gi. Yes - it is possible to adapt most throws to work 'no-gi', but they generally aren't quite as effective, which is why freestyle wrestling looks so different to Judo.

    2. Judo doesn't focus on groundwork. Judo's main focus is on getting in a big throw to win the match. Generally, only 10 seconds or so is allowed for groundwork. As a result, most Judoka aren't that good on the ground. Few MMA fights are won by a throw alone, so good groundwork is crucial to a grappler.

    3. Following on from the above, many Judo fighters adopt the 'turtle' position in groundwork - giving up their back in order to stall until the ref restarts the fighters from a standing position. This is a dreadful strategy in MMA, because of the striking aspect - see Ben Spijkers vs Renzo Gracie.

    Despite the above, I still think Judo has a lot to offer from a self defence point of view. In most real-world fights, the combatants really are wearing enough clothing to make Judo throws work, and the floor is generally hard. This makes the big Judo throws into serious weapons. If the fight does go to the ground, the Judo man could still be expected to defeat an unskilled opponent pretty quickly.

    In many ways, Judo strikes a better balance here than BJJ which, in many clubs, has almost zero focus on the stand-up game.

  5. #5

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    Thanks for the replies. It looks like I am going to have to work at transitioning my judo grappling for MMA and pick up some additional work (e.g. ground) before I take the plunge to MMA ring fighting.

    @Greychild: Im not even entertaining the idea of street fights. Im strictly thinking MMA here. Judo on the streets for defensive/offensive purposes is a different animal altogether.

  6. #6
    My dog is cuter and smarter than yours. Join us... or die
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    Wait a minute. You are "just signing up for Judo", and now "It looks like I am going to have to work at transitioning my judo grappling for MMA and pick up some additional work (e.g. ground) before I take the plunge to MMA ring fighting."

    You don't even KNOW any Judo at this point.

    I suggest you just go and find a MMA gym and study MMA, that would be the most direct route to MMA. It will take you years of serious Judo study/practice to be able to effectiely use it in MMA. Why bother when you can learn MMA takedowns that are designed to be used under MMA rules ?

    Ben

  7. #7
    My dog is cuter and smarter than yours. Join us... or die
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greychild View Post
    I'm a big fan of Judo, but I think it does take more work to adapt it to MMA than, say, wrestling or BJJ. This does not mean I think it is worse - see later. These are the obstacles that a Judoka faces when switching to MMA:

    1. Judo throws rely heavily on the gi. Yes - it is possible to adapt most throws to work 'no-gi', but they generally aren't quite as effective, which is why freestyle wrestling looks so different to Judo.

    2. Judo doesn't focus on groundwork. Judo's main focus is on getting in a big throw to win the match. Generally, only 10 seconds or so is allowed for groundwork. As a result, most Judoka aren't that good on the ground. Few MMA fights are won by a throw alone, so good groundwork is crucial to a grappler.

    3. Following on from the above, many Judo fighters adopt the 'turtle' position in groundwork - giving up their back in order to stall until the ref restarts the fighters from a standing position. This is a dreadful strategy in MMA, because of the striking aspect - see Ben Spijkers vs Renzo Gracie.

    Despite the above, I still think Judo has a lot to offer from a self defence point of view. In most real-world fights, the combatants really are wearing enough clothing to make Judo throws work, and the floor is generally hard. This makes the big Judo throws into serious weapons. If the fight does go to the ground, the Judo man could still be expected to defeat an unskilled opponent pretty quickly.

    In many ways, Judo strikes a better balance here than BJJ which, in many clubs, has almost zero focus on the stand-up game.
    Judo throws work fine without judogi or clothing, IF the person doing Judo is good at Judo.

    Freestyle has many throws similar or identical to Judo,or vice versa depending on if you are a wrestler or a judoka. The main difference is in the no-gi gripping/tie ups, which in my experience are not difficult to figure out/learn.

    In Judo groundwork, nobody stands up after 10 seconds in randori. In shiai, the rule is progress, not 10 seconds, or any other time limit.

    That said, Judo ne waza is not done with any sort of striking in mind, and BJJ apparently originally at least was.

    Bottom line, if you want to do MMA, go to a MMA gym, same as if a person wants to do modern competitive Judo-go to Judo club that focuses on that aspect of Judo.

    Ben

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by BKR View Post
    Wait a minute. You are "just signing up for Judo", and now "It looks like I am going to have to work at transitioning my judo grappling for MMA and pick up some additional work (e.g. ground) before I take the plunge to MMA ring fighting."

    You don't even KNOW any Judo at this point.

    I suggest you just go and find a MMA gym and study MMA, that would be the most direct route to MMA. It will take you years of serious Judo study/practice to be able to effectiely use it in MMA. Why bother when you can learn MMA takedowns that are designed to be used under MMA rules ?

    Ben
    Good job I no haz to type.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by BKR View Post
    Wait a minute. You are "just signing up for Judo", and now "It looks like I am going to have to work at transitioning my judo grappling for MMA and pick up some additional work (e.g. ground) before I take the plunge to MMA ring fighting."

    You don't even KNOW any Judo at this point.

    I suggest you just go and find a MMA gym and study MMA, that would be the most direct route to MMA. It will take you years of serious Judo study/practice to be able to effectiely use it in MMA. Why bother when you can learn MMA takedowns that are designed to be used under MMA rules ?

    Ben
    I have been trying to track down some info and opinions on this but "straight to MMA" seems to be unproven as a method to developing a fighter. People who studied a specialty art still seem to dominate MMA even though the sport as been around enough years to have some MMA schools develop a high level fighter. Developing a primary art first still seems to be a better strategy.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by BKR View Post
    That said, Judo ne waza is not done with any sort of striking in mind, and BJJ apparently originally at least was.
    Ben made several great points, but i wanted to address this one in particular.

    During Judo practice you will be working on skills that already explicitly discount stiking attacks. You won't practice closing distance against a striker, and you won't practice rolling with someone who is trying to ground-and-pound you.

    Learn Judo if it appeals to you. It's fun and relatively safe in the right schools. But don't learn Judo specifically to turn it into something that it doesn't intend to be.

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