Should I Learn Judo to Excel in Jiu Jitsu?

Is this a true statement "BJJ practitioners are terrible at takedowns and throws"?  It seems like that is the case.  I keep hearing things that lead me to believe it.  I know I’m deficient in takedowns and throws.  In fact when I sought advice on my first tournament I was told to go for the "flop".  The meaning was to jump into guard or just go for something that quickly brought us to the ground easily.  My instructor realized we needed more work in this area and we had a special seminar on takedowns (click to see one post I did on it).  It was very educational and I enjoyed it.  But what do we spend most of our time doing in BJJ?  Not takedowns or throwing, they are just a few techniques in the vast array of Jiu-Jitsu techniques.  So I’ve begun to wonder if Judo wouldn’t help me.  I’ve decided to investigate by ordering these books:

Judo for Mixed Martial Arts: Advanced Throws, Takedowns, and Ground Fighting Techniques

Throws and Takedowns for sambo, judo, jujitsu and submission grappling

I tried to find books on Judo but they all seemed specify for the sport of Judo and I didn’t think they would have the twist I wanted.  These two books looked like the closest match.  I will continue this post after I get them and have some time to read them.

I also sent a e-mail to John Will of Will – Machado BJJ asking what would be a good book or DVD on takedowns in his opinion.  He responded with:

"If I had to pick just one – I would go for John Smiths DVD entitled:
‘How Low can you go?’

I think I’ll try it next if these two don’t fill my needs.  I don’t want to be a flopper and I don’t want to fear takedowns.  I think Judo with a emphasis on BJJ and MMA side of things is important to make a efficient BJJ practitioner.

5 Replies to “Should I Learn Judo to Excel in Jiu Jitsu?”

  1. There’s also Dave Camarillo’s book Guerilla Jiu-Jitsu, which is basically Judo for BJJ.
    My instructor openly admits he has no takedowns in his arsenal but has successfully won several European and World Masters & Seniors titles by pulling guard. It’s all just a means to an end I suppose, but not to say that if we (I mean all us mid-level jitsuka) are to improve ourselves in this art and sport, of course, learning effective takedowns is a must. I wish I had time to attend judo classes myself. Maybe when my kids are older, I will take them to judo and partake myself that way.

  2. I haven’t seen the smith one. The Karo Parisiyan DVD is pretty good for MMA type throws (followed by a sub) but is FOR MMA (all throws are no-gi and start from the clinch). The only really helpful stuff I’ve seen for BJJ throws (judo and wrestling are different animals, IMHO) is the Mario Sperry Master Series DVDs. They are really old school (remastered from VHS so there are no chapters), but the stuff is gold. He talks about stuff that people usually ignore (like grip fighting) and gives you some ugly but really effective takedowns. Unlike judo, you don’t win a match by a beautiful throw where the guy flies over your shoulder, so he focuses on higher percentage, low-risk moves like foot sweeps, single legs and ankle picks. I call them “$3 hooker moves” because they aren’t pretty, but they get the job done.

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