Judo and BJJ: Similar Jacket, different rules and mentality.
Judo training will vastly improve your Jiu-Jitsu and vice versa. However, both sports have their own set of rules and have different goals and mindset. For example, in Judo the match is won by ippon when the opponent is thrown flat on their back or when pinned on the ground for 20 seconds. For those reasons, BJJ players need to know how to “modify” and adapt Judo accordingly for BJJ.
Generally speaking, Judo just like Wrestling which is focused more on the stand up part, is much more aggressive and fast paced than BJJ. If you watch two BJJ players who do not have much stand up experience and they start the match standing, it looks very different than a Judo or wrestling match. In a BJJ match, it is getting rarer to see BJJ players actively work for a takedown. It is more like one or both both players can’t wait to go to the ground so they can start working on their strong points.
In Judo it is the exact opposite, They usually put all their effort into the throw and want to avoid the ground.
BJJ nowadays is more of a flow while Judo is in your face.
A good analogy is this meme which shows exactly what we are talking about:
Travis Stevens – a 2016 Olympic Silver Medalist in Judo and BJJ Black Belt under John Danaher (a feat he accomplished after just 18 months of training BJJ) – joined the Lex Fridman Podcast for an interview about various topics; Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Judo themes being the majority of them.
Stevens explains his mindset going into BJJ and Judo matches alike:
“I’ve trained with a lot of high level Jiu-Jitsu guys and they understand whoever it is that through training with me that like I’m not just a judo guy. Like I know how to do jiu jitsu right and if any one of them were to come to me and like say ‘hey you know i want to feel what it feels like to do judo with me’, they would quickly understand that like the way I approach one is very different than the way I approach the other. We probably wouldn’t be friends if they did judo with me versus if they did jiu-jitsu with me….”
When asked by Lex if he sometimes goes at around 50% effort during his training in Jiu-Jitsu, Travis answers:
It’s hard to put a percentage to it. Because, I’ve never – in my Jiu-Jitsu – I’ve never gone a 100%. Like, I’ve had a conversation with Saulo (Ribeiro) one time when we were talking about Jiu-Jitsu and training. And I was like: “Well, if I caught his (the opponent’s) arm, I’d just break it.” And Saulo said: “What if he tapped?” And I go: “That’s not my responsibility. If he taps, and the ref doesn’t say anything, you just break it. You just keep going. The ref tells me when it’s over.”
And why he’d never give an opponent an opportunity to tap.
I go: “I’d never give you an opportunity to tap, because if I give you an opportunity to tap, then that means that you’ve had an opportunity to think about how to get out (if the submission). To make a decision that you can’t. (That means) I’ve clearly operated too slowly.
With his BJJ mindset explained, Travis goes on to elaborate his Judo approach:
I know how to go 100% in Judo. I know how it’s to train with somebody under the mentality of “I’m gonna do everything I want to do… And you’re going to do nothing you want to do. And you’re going to accept that.”
Check out the interview here:
“If You’re Serious About Learning Takedowns, As Well As Judo, For BJJ– This Is The Most Complete Resource You Will Ever See”
Jimmy Pedro and Travis Stevens’ Judo Academy Teaches Takedowns and Judo Ground Fighting More Extensively Than Any Other Program In American History