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bullman
2/17/2011 2:01am,
Hello everyone. :smile:

I'm looking for some advice and hope you guys can help. I'd like to take up a style which teaches takedowns and ground submission techniques. This is for fun, fitness and also general self defence. I've done 2 years of TKD before, but haven't done any grappling arts.

I've recently visited a BJJ school in my area, but was told that they spend very little time practising takedowns. This is the only BJJ school I've asked so far. Is that standard practise for BJJ? I'd really like to learn takedowns, otherwise I'll feel like I have no idea about getting my opponent to the ground in the first place...

I've done a tiny bit of research into judo, but don't know how much time is spent doing ground techniques. Can any experienced judokas here comment on that?

I know that some BJJ schools teach no-gi techniques. Out of interest, have you guys known any judo schools that also teach no-gi? Just wondering how easy or difficult it would be to try a judo technique on someone wearing a T-shirt, for example. Or is no-gi judo simply known as wrestling? Sorry if I've offended anyone with that last comment... :lol:

Due to time and financial constraints, I won't be able to do both BJJ and judo, unfortunately. Would you know if there's any other style that incorporates the 2 styles (ideally 50% throws/takedowns and 50% groundwork)?

Thanks!

Petter
2/17/2011 2:14am,
Both judo and BJJ schools vary a great deal in the exact amount of time spent on standup and groundwork. I get the impression that judo dojo may vary from about 50-50, to a huge emphasis on standup with very little groundwork. Meanwhile, I have heard about BJJ schools that do virtually no standup at all, whereas by contrast, at my gym—while the focus is still definitely on groundwork—every class includes at least one takedown technique, and sparring usually starts standing.

In other words, there aren’t any universal answers—you’ll have to check out your local schools.

I’ve never heard of judo dojo that incorporate regular no-gi classes (which, given my very limited judo experience, need not mean there are none), but there are fighters who have successfully adapted their judo to MMA: Karo Parisyan is one famous example, and the female fighter Rhonda Rousey is another—search Bullshido for the latter name to see posters collectively (and rightfully) swoon over some really beautiful no-gi judo. In other words, no-gi judo can very definitely (and effectively) be done.

bullman
2/17/2011 2:24am,
Hi Petter. Thanks for your reply - it's very helpful.

BKR
2/17/2011 2:52am,
The amount of groundwork done in judo training will depend on the dojo, although most will do some groundwork. Beginners typically do not learn submissions, although as you are an adult you would probably be introduced to them sooner than later.

The emphasis (in general) in Judo groundwork is on pinning (control) at first, then submissions, especially for beginners.

You will need to check out any Judo or BJJ school you decide to attend to see what they actually do in terms of groundwork vs throwing/takedowns.

Ben

Petter
2/17/2011 3:06am,
Adding to Ben’s notes on emphasis, it is often the case that judo groundwork is a bit faster and rougher than BJJ—a consequence, presumably, of the ruleset, where competitive judoka know that they may have no more than seconds to make progress lest they get stood back up. In BJJ competition, you have as long as you need, so the groundwork can get more technical, and while there are certainly fast, aggressive, top-game BJJ players, there are also patient guard players.

Once again, though, you have to check the schools. The amount of variation within each sport, and the amount of overlap, is enormous: The world is full of aggressive BJJ players, and there are countless thousands of judoka with far more intricate and technical groundgames than mine or even decent BJJ players, but inasmuch as rulesets tend to shape the development of sports, there you go: Judo players need to move fast and stay active (because stalling leads to quick resets); BJJ players just need to win, even if it takes several minutes—and you can’t easily stall and wait to get stood back up to a neutral position.

Footnote: Where the most shameful part of BJJ are the fucking buttfloppers, judo features some people who just turtle the hell up and stay there.

Blue Negation
2/17/2011 3:35am,
Due to time and financial constraints, I won't be able to do both BJJ and judo, unfortunately. Would you know if there's any other style that incorporates the 2 styles (ideally 50% throws/takedowns and 50% groundwork)?

Thanks!

Depending on your location, you could try looking into Sambo, Combat Submission Wrestling, or even catch wrestling.

All of them typically are in the middle of the two extremes of Judo's throws focus and BJJ's groundwork focus.

BKR
2/17/2011 4:02am,
"I know that some BJJ schools teach no-gi techniques. Out of interest, have you guys known any judo schools that also teach no-gi? Just wondering how easy or difficult it would be to try a judo technique on someone wearing a T-shirt, for example. Or is no-gi judo simply known as wrestling? Sorry if I've offended anyone with that last comment... :lol:"

Most judo schools won't do much if any no gi work. However, if you actually get good at Judo (which takes a while), you will be good at throwing, and gi or no gi becomes less important. Now, if you want to go and compete in no gi throwing contests, you will need to specifically practice no-gi throwing. But the same principles apply jacket or no jacket, and well taught Judo will make sure you know how to throw, and can do it against a resisting opponent.

Judo is Judo, no matter uniform or no uniform.

Ben

bullman
2/17/2011 4:46am,
"... But the same principles apply jacket or no jacket, and well taught Judo will make sure you know how to throw, and can do it against a resisting opponent.

Judo is Judo, no matter uniform or no uniform.

Ben

@Ben: That's what I really wanted to know! That's awesome. I won't worry any more about the no-gi business. Thanks.

@Blue: I'll also check out submission wrestling. I think there's an MMA-type gym (they're springing up everywhere now!) in my area which teaches that. Thanks.

As a side note on judo: I remember going to the Kodokan in Tokyo some years back. I recall that visitors are allowed to go to the second or third floor, which gives a great view of the floor below where practise takes place. That particular night, the floor was filled with only black belts, including a couple of Western foreigners. The black belts would pair up spar, then swap partners every couple of minutes. It was fun to hear all those bodies slam against the mat!

The outstanding memory I have of that night is of a strong, young, squat Japanese guy in his early 20's (let's call him Mr. Squat) who was easily and literally wiping the floor with all of his sparring opponents. There were 2 or 3 instructors walking around, giving a hint here, a tip there. These were silver-haired guys who must have been at least in their late 50's. One of them had glasses and was fairly tall and quite thin, the kind of guy who looks like a nerdy college professor with very little muscle mass. He watched Mr. Squat for a while, smiled, then offered to spar with him.

There was absolutely nothing that the Mr. Squat could do! He was being tossed at will. He even had trouble maintaining basic balance as soon as the instructor grabbed his gi. This wasn't some master magically throwing a willing student 20 feet away, but an elder statesman being able to perform judo techniques on a fully resisting, skillful and much younger and physically stronger opponent. After tossing Mr. Squat for a few minutes, the instructor said something and carried on walking around, still with a smile on his face. I'm guessing that he must have given Mr. Squat a few tips, who was feeling very humble by then! I was also smiling because I was truly amazed.

Isn't it great to see what decades of dedication, sweat, tears and blood can achieve, hey?

I'm sure that some of you here have had the opportunity to train at the Kodokan. What a fantastic place.