Understanding the Judo vs BJJ Mindset

Understanding the Judo vs BJJ Mindset


Judo and BJJ: Same 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.

Matt D’Aquino is a multiple Australian and Oceania Champion and a 2008 Beijing Judo Olympian. He has been studying Judo for over 23 years. He is a 3rd Degree Black belt and a purple belt in BJJ. Matt has also come out with a great new DVD set for BJJ players: Judo for BJJ.

Matt talked to BJJEE.com about how can BJJ players best improve their stand up:

Matt, in your opinion, is it better for a BJJ player, in order to improve his standing Jiu-Jitsu game, to learn takedowns that are specific to Jiu-Jitsu or to learn Judo on the side?


To improve their stand up it would be awesome if BJJ guys could attend a Judo class a few days a week but unfortunately most of us are time poor and can only commit to one sport at a time. If this is the case then I think BJJ practitioners should learn a modified version of stand up tailored for specifically for the BJJ posture, movement, rules etc. So should bjj guys learn traditional Judo for BJJ, the answer is no. They should learn modified techniques that allow them to flourish in their art. Many Judo techniques finish you off in a great position in Judo and a bad position in BJJ, so it is important to choose Jiujitsu specific throwing techniques and drill them. Rodolfo Viera’s stand up game is a perfect example of modified Judo techniques for BJJ.

In this video, 4th Degree National Judo Champion, Marc Dickie discusses some key points about Judo mentality and attitude along with the jiu jitsu mentality, before discussing stance and getting grips as well as some nice Judo Throws to close out a great seminar at Grappling Mastery!

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 Dickie talks about: