Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Specialization : Judo and BJJ

According to Judo info there are 67 throwing techniques and 29 official grappling techniques in Judo.  The techniques of Judo were parred down from a broader variety of Jujitsu techniques eliminating  the dangerous ones.  According to  Origins of Judo in the US by Kazuo Shinohara
"While omitting dangerous techniques, Kodokan judo maintained the appeal of maintaining combat techniques to defeat opponents. Not just having “artificial techniques”, Kodokan judo maintained its progress as the modern sport of judo by emphasizing the importance of “ukemi” (The safe landing of your opponent after the receipt of a throw) and continuing the concept of jujitsu through the practice of “randori” (free practice of techniques), “nagewaza” (throwing techniques), “newaza” (mat work), “shimewaza” (choke techniques), and “kansetsuwaza” (arm lock- joint locks), which could actually be used effectively in combat"
I don't think that there can be much dispute in that this simplification of techniques, combined with rules of sport Judo, has allowed the application of the art of throwing to advance.  In a similar way the rules of Judo competition have somewhat discouraged the advancement of ground techniques.  Ronda Rousey (Olympic Bronze Medalist) and this to say about judo newaza in an interview.
Ronda Rousey: "Training in newaza in judo is not mandatory. You can get away with not knowing any ground and just knowing how to defend and stay standing. I just happen to come from a background where my mom, she tore her knees out when she was like 17 so all of her fights, she won on the ground and then when I was 16, I tore my knee out and I spent that entire year only doing ground work and when I moved away from home, I went to [Jimmy] Pedro's. They're known as mostly a very ground based judo school so the difference I think between a judo and jiu-jitsu ground game is in judo, you only have sometimes only three seconds, even less than that to make something work so it pushes the transition and the pace on the ground to be faster than any other grappling sport."
So, while ground work has certainly not been abandoned in Judo, Ronda believes that her experience in developing an extensive ground game is the exception and not the rule within the Judo community.

I think it is pretty much undisputed that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has its roots in Judo and Japanese Jujitsu via Mitsuyo Maeda.  The art is much more focused on mat work than Judo currently is and its rules of competition have allowed the application ground techniques to develop in a different way then the ever could under Judo rules.

Developing these different competition rule sets has been key in advancing the throwing and grappling techniques to new levels.  Because we have people who have dedicated much of their lives to the study of these arts, they move forward in ways they wouldn't have if everything were unified.  Society and martial arts students get to reap the benefits of those advancements.

Below is a video series found on YouTube called Kosen Judo.  It covers a wide variety of Judo grappling techniques and one of the demonstrators is the famous Masahiko Kimura.  It is interesting to watch the videos and look for the roots of the techniques and transitions that are practiced to day.

Kosen Judo Vol 1 Part 1
Kosen Judo Vol 1 Part 2
Kosen Judo Vol 1 Part 3

Kosen Judo Vol 2 Part 1
Kosen Judo Vol 2 Part 2
Kosen Judo Vol 2 Part 3

Kosen Judo Vol 3 Part 1
Kosen Judo Vol 3 Part 2
Kosen Judo Vol 3 Part 3

Kosen Judo Vol 4 Part 1
Kosen Judo Vol 4 Part 2
Kosen Judo Vol 4 Part 3

If you are in Middle Tennessee and interested in learning Judo and/or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu please visit for class details.  They have very qualified BJJ instructors and Judo instructors.

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