5 Reasons Why BJJ Players are Learning Wrestling and Not Judo

5 Reasons Why BJJ Players are Learning Wrestling and Not Judo


Wrestling or Judo or to complement Jiu-Jitsu?

Both are great takedown arts but which one should BJJ players focus more on? It’s a difficult question and many opinions.

Grapplergoing abroad, who is a Wrestler with a Judo background, answered the question:


“Today I’m answering a question thats probably been in the back of most Judoka’s heads for a while. Why do BJJ (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu) players learn Wrestling takedowns instead of Judo throws? I mean,who wouldn’t forego a basic single-leg wrestling shot for a beautiful, high-amplitude Judo throw? Apparently BJJ players.”

cyborg wrestling

Here are are the five reasons:

  1. A lot of the Wrestling takedowns are low risk-high reward- Single leg, high crotch etc are low risk- high reward under the IBJJF rules set vs a Judo throw which is high risk high reward. A lot of times you are giving up your back for a Seoi Nage or a Harai Goshi when you’re turning into a BJJ player.
  2. There’s less of a learning curve for Wresting than for Judo. It takes years to learn and master Judo whereas a BJJ player after a few months of Wrestling can develop a respectable takedown game. Judo techniques are extremely technical and require endless repetition and timing. Another important point, if someone has bad wrestling takedowns but his opponent has worse takedown defense, he will still be able to take him down 9 times out of 10. This is not the case in with Judo throws.
  3. Current Judo rules limit success in BJJ. Modern Judo doesn’t allow leg grabs, have restricted gripping rules which make it less accessible to BJJ.
  4. The Judogi makes it difficult to bridge the gap to No Gi BJJ.
    Judo is difficult to apply to No Gi BJJ without tweaking it with Wrestling.
  5.  A lot of Judo clubs (unless they are high level) lack the ‘grind mentality’ that Wrestling has. That Wrestling grind really helps in a sport like BJJ, where it’s very static strength, meticulous and slow. In Judo, you don’t have to apply that pressure all the time. It’s more explosive strength.




BJJEE asked Matt D’Aquino, a 2008 Beijing Judo Olympian, who a special DVD series aimed at improving takedowns of BJJ players: Judo for BJJ :


In your opinion, is it better for a Jiu-Jiteiro in order to improve his standing Jiu-Jitsu 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.