February 9, 2012

Judo for BJJ

In most academies one severely neglected area of BJJ training is takedowns. This is a gross misjudgement in curriculum for a number of reasons:

First, even if your whole competition strategy is to run out and pull guard, you should still have enough confidence on your feet so you can tie up, get the grips you want, and then pull guard on your terms. That confidence on your feet will only come from the knowledge of what to do, how to grip fight, ways your opponent might counter your attacks, etc. Knowledge is power! In addition having even a rudimentary knowledge of judo might help you avoid the awkward spectacle that happens when two guys pull guard at the exact same time!

Second, takedowns are just part of the art –  BJJ originated from Judo (shhhhhhhhh). Completely avoiding throws and takedowns, deliberately not learning anything about them, is like learning to drive a car but only ever turning right, not left. Stupid right?

Third – and this is important – BJJ IS A MARTIAL ART. That means that you’ve GOT to have some idea of how to use this stuff ‘for real’ in the streets when someone bigger, stronger, and nastier is looking to rearrange your face. Planning to pull guard in a streetfight? I hope not!

At the very least you should be proficient with one good throw, but preferably you should have two or three “go tos” that compliment each other .  Let’s take a look at one of Judo’s most versatile and devastating throws, Osoto Gari!

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