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 For BJJ will benefit your Jiu Jitsu game, and vice versa.
The Lowdown On Judo For BJJ
Lat’s start off with an important distinction between learning Judo for BJJ and learning the art of Judo. Judo is a complete grappling martial art that will take a lifetime to try and figure out, and even then, you can’t claim to have learned it. If your primary focus is Jiu Jitsu, then learning select chapters of Judo for BJJ is what you’re after, and not learning actual Judo.
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. In other words, it will introduce to you an option to take people to the ground in ways they probably do not expect, especially in BJJ.
Given that Judo is traditionally practiced with a Gi which is similar to the Jiu Jitsu Gi, it makes it the perfect source of techniques and concepts for standing exchanges. However, there’s quite a difference in rules and goals, which means not all Judo throws are equally good for BJJ. some will actually get you in trouble rather than helping you with taking the match to the ground.
With that in mind, let’s explore several Judo for BJJ throws that won’t require you to learn the entire art of Judo, won’t take decades to master, and will work for anyone in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Inside Judo Throws For BJJ
Inside throws refer to throws you do when one of your legs goes in between the opponent’s legs. Despite the leg being the visual cue, it is actually all about the angle and height of your hips in relation to the hips of your opponent. Let me try and systematize Judo throws roughly so that you have an idea of what we’ll be looking at today.
Judo offers different ways of throwing people – going to the outside, going with one leg in between, or going all the way to the opposite side while winding them up on your hips. There are also techniques that work by way of trips, knee blocks, hip elevation, or upper body manipulation (clinch work. OUt of them all, going inside (leg in between theirs) is what Judo for BJJ is all about.
Since BJJ begins when the back hits the floor, not too much attention is paid to getting there. however, Judo for BJJ will only work if you end up on top of the person you’re throwing. That is why sacrifice throws (going on your back to send people flying over) and turning your back to opponents are not the best idea in Jiu Jitsu.
The power of inside throws lies in the fact that you have a leg in between the opponent’s legs. This provides you with trips, hip throws, and even re-counters, while never exposing you to any danger. It even makes wrestling takedowns difficult for the other person, if your grips are firmly and correctly in place.
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 that you can use to set other things up. In essence, it’s a backwards throw. Whenever your opponent is off-balanced towards one of his back corners you’ve got the kouchi.
To execute it, 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. This is one of the key Judo for BJJ techniques yo uneed to master.
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.
For the O-Uchi gari, you still attack one of your opponent’s back corners but the mechanics are 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.
This is where Judo for BJJ gets interesting. If you learn both the major and minor reap, you can then combine them in order to double your chances of taking the match to the ground.
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. This variation does not a lifetime to master, unlike the “regular” version which is often touted as being Judo’s most difficult technique.
In terms of Judo for BJJ, the ken-ken Uchi Mata will not only allow you to powerfully throw someone, but also lands you in either side control, or in a favorable guard passing position, rather than in someone’s guard.
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 Judo for BJJ arsenal though as it is inherently a Judo technique by origin. So far we’ve listed throws in three different directions: the two back corners and the front corner towards your sleeve hand. That’ll be the last in your arsenal, towards your collar grip hand.
If your opponent leans towards the other corner to stop the Uchi Mata or attack with a Ko-Soto Gari (Minor outside trip towards your back corner) you counter with the grapevine. It is also perfect for when they lean forward to stop the Ouchi Gari. Of course, you can do the throw by itself as well, or in combo with the previous three options to build a takedown game that’s next to impossible to stop.
Putting It All Together
Judo for BJJ doesn’t just make sense in a technical way but is also a great way to cross-train for incredible grappling conditioning. you get the benefits of learning how to throw people, use different tactics while at the same time developing grips of steel and some unstoppable footwork that is essential for entires, particularly into inside throw combinations.