Judo for BJJ, An Olympian's Perspective

One of the most neglected areas of BJJ training is takedowns. Which is a shame, for a couple of reasons…

First of all, even if your whole competition plan is to run out and pull guard, you should still have enough confidence on your feet so you can tie up, get the grips you want, and then pull guard on your own terms.  And that confidence on your feet comes from knowledge of what to do, where to grip, what your opponent might do, etc. Once again, knowledge is power!

Plus having a tiny bit of standup might help you avoid the awkward spectacle that happens when two guys pull guard at the exact same time.  Don’t laugh, I’ve seen it happen more than once!

Secondly, takedowns are just part of the art.  BJJ came from Judo originally. Completely avoiding throws and takedowns, deliberately not learning anything about them, is like trying to learn to ski but only ever turning right, not left.

Doesn’t work so well…

Finally - and this is important – BJJ IS A MARTIAL ART.  That means that you’ve GOT to have some idea of how to use this stuff ‘for real.’

Are you planning to pull guard in a streetlight? I hope not!

So you need AT LEAST one good throw, preferably two or three.  And they should link together; this way, if your first throw doesn’t work, then it at least sets up the second one.

With all this in mind I recently interviewed Daniel McCormick.  Daniel is a 2008 winner of the US National Judo Championships. He’s also a 2009 Judo Olympian.  So I think it’s fair to say he’s pretty good at throwing people onto their heads…  But he’s ALSO cross-trained extensively in BJJ, with some of the best guys in the business.

You can read, listen to, and/or download the entire interview right here, whatever you want:

It’s an in-depth talk. I got him to share exactly what he did to get ready for the Olympics, what Judo brings to BJJ, how BJJ has affected his Judo training, and what his favorite throws are for BJJ.  (By the way, his favorite throw is one of my favorites too. And it works really well when your opponent is bent over with his arms straight, pushing you away and keeping his legs far out of reach)

Once again, the link to the interview is here: http://grapplearts.com/judo/

P.S. If you use iTunes make sure to subscribe to my podcast so that you get notified whenever I upload a new interview like this one!

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