There’s a huge overlap between Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Judo. Both sports involve taking your opponent to the ground and controlling or submitting them. We could even be a bit blunt and say that the only difference is competition rules. Whatever the case, no doubt judo will benefit your BJJ and vice versa.
It might take you a while to understand how judo works and perhaps even longer for your body to get it. But, it’s worth it. It’ll impress upon you the idea of off-balancing and recognizing your opportunities.
We’ve got a combination of judo throws you can adapt for your BJJ game.
1. Ko-Uchi Gari
The minor inside trip is often called the jab of judo and for good reason. It’s a low-risk high-reward move which you can use to set other things up. It’s a backwards throw. Whenever your opponent is off balanced towards one of his back corners you’ve got the kouchi. You trip either with a straight leg making contact with the bottom of your foot while turning your shoulder in or you go low pushing off your back foot and make calf to calf contact. Look to bring their back leg close to you so they can’t step out.
2. O-Uchi Gari
Notice the similarity between the first throw we listed and this one? Judo nomenclature is pretty easy to get. This one is an inside trip as well. The difference is in the prefix, O for major or large and Ko for minor or small. You still attack one of your opponent’s back corners but the mechanic is different. Instead of doing it with a straight leg you attack with a bent one. You move your shoulders to the outside instead of inside. You could either make light contact with your achilles tendon or commit and drop to a knee. It combines well with the first trip in this series.
3. Uchi Mata
Another inside attack, the uchi mata is oftentimes called the throw of the kings in judo. You use your thigh to lift the inside of your opponent’s thigh or crotch. Perhaps the best variant for BJJ is the hopping pissing-dog or ken-ken uchi mata. Throwing them cleanly takes quite a bit of experience. Ken-ken does not. It’ll also leave you standing and in guard passing position.
4. Kawazu-Gake or Grapevine Throw
This one is forbidden in Judo but really popular in russian Sambo. We’re listing it here as another part of your arsenal. So far we’ve listed throws in three different directions: the two back corners and the front corner towards your sleeve hand. This’ll be the last in your arsenal towards your collar hand. You could attack something else if you’d wanted to though, an outside trip perhaps such as Sasae Tsurikomi Ashi or Sumi Gaeshi, but because we’ve listed a series of inside attacks if you were already attacking with one of the others this’ll combine best. For example, if your opponent leans towards the other corner to stop the uchi mata or attack with a Kosoto Gari (Minor outside trip towards your back corner) you counter with the grapevine, or if he leans forward to stop the Ouchi Gari you do the same thing.