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Will Judo help my BJJ?

When it comes to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), there are many martial arts that can complement and improve your skills. Judo is one such art that has been gaining popularity among BJJ practitioners.

While Judo and BJJ share similarities, they also have unique differences that make them stand apart. The question that arises is, "Will Judo help my BJJ?" In this blog post, we will explore the relationship between Judo and BJJ and whether training in Judo can benefit your BJJ practice. We will delve into the history of both martial arts, their techniques, and how they can work together to enhance your overall grappling skills. Additionally, we will discuss the pros and cons of cross-training between the two arts, and offer tips for integrating Judo into your BJJ training regimen.

Understanding the basics of BJJ and Judo

BJJ and Judo are two martial arts that share a lot in common. Both arts originated in Japan, and both are based on grappling techniques that rely on leverage and technique rather than brute force. However, there are some key differences between the two arts that should be understood before determining whether Judo will help your BJJ practice.

BJJ is focused primarily on ground grappling, with a heavy emphasis on submissions and positional control. Judo, on the other hand, is more focused on throws and takedowns, and has a smaller emphasis on ground grappling. While there is some overlap between the two arts, the differences are significant enough that it is important to approach them as separate practices.

One major difference between BJJ and Judo is their approach to competition. In BJJ, competitions are often focused on submissions and positional control, with a limited emphasis on takedowns. In Judo, competitions are primarily focused on throws and takedowns, with ground grappling only coming into play after a successful throw. This difference in competition style can have a significant impact on the training methods used in each art.

Another difference between the two arts is the range of techniques employed. While there is some overlap, each art has its own unique set of techniques that are emphasized. BJJ tends to focus more on submissions and sweeps from the guard position, while Judo places a heavy emphasis on throws and takedowns. Understanding these differences is important when deciding whether Judo will help your BJJ practice.

While BJJ and Judo share some similarities, they are distinct martial arts with their own unique focus and techniques. Understanding the basics of each art is important in determining whether Judo will be beneficial to your BJJ practice. By understanding these differences, you can make an informed decision about how to approach your training and what techniques to focus on.

Benefits of cross-training in Judo and BJJ

Cross-training in Judo and BJJ can offer a multitude of benefits for practitioners of both martial arts. Firstly, it can improve your overall grappling game by exposing you to different techniques, strategies, and approaches. While both martial arts share similarities, there are also key differences in terms of throws, takedowns, and groundwork. Cross-training can help you learn new techniques and refine existing ones, making you a more well-rounded grappler.

Additionally, cross-training in Judo and BJJ can help you develop physical attributes that are essential to both sports, such as flexibility, strength, and endurance. By training in both martial arts, you can target different muscle groups and improve your overall fitness level.

Furthermore, cross-training can help you expand your training network and build relationships within the martial arts community. By attending classes and seminars in both Judo and BJJ, you can meet new training partners and coaches, learn from their experiences, and develop a broader understanding of the martial arts landscape.

Lastly, cross-training can provide a fresh perspective on your own training and help you avoid stagnation or burnout. By mixing up your training routine and challenging yourself in new ways, you can reignite your passion for the martial arts and stay motivated to continue your training journey.

Techniques that can be useful for BJJ practitioners

While the principles of BJJ and Judo are similar, the techniques used in each discipline differ. Nevertheless, there are some techniques from Judo that can be useful for BJJ practitioners to learn and incorporate into their game.

One of the most useful techniques in Judo that can be adapted to BJJ is the Seoi Nage, also known as the shoulder throw. This throw involves getting behind the opponent, grabbing them around the waist, and then using the shoulder to lift and throw them to the ground. It can be particularly effective against opponents who are standing upright or attempting to pull away.

Another technique that can be useful for BJJ practitioners is the Osoto Gari, or the leg sweep. This technique involves sweeping the opponent's leg to take them down to the ground. It is particularly effective when an opponent is stepping forward or trying to maintain their balance while standing on one leg.

Lastly, the Uchi Mata, or inner thigh throw, is another Judo technique that can be beneficial for BJJ practitioners to learn. This technique involves using the inner thigh to sweep the opponent's leg while simultaneously throwing them over the hip. It can be particularly effective when an opponent is pulling away or attempting to defend against other techniques.

By incorporating these Judo techniques into their BJJ game, practitioners can expand their skill set and become more well-rounded grapplers.

Common misconceptions about Judo and BJJ

As with any martial art, Judo and BJJ have their fair share of misconceptions. Here are a few of the most common ones:

  1. Judo is only about throws, while BJJ is only about ground fighting. This is a common misconception as both Judo and BJJ encompass a wide range of techniques. Judo has a focus on throws, but also includes groundwork and submissions. BJJ, on the other hand, has a strong emphasis on ground fighting, but also includes standing techniques such as takedowns and throws.

  2. Judo is only useful for self-defense, while BJJ is only useful for sport. While Judo has a strong focus on self-defense and BJJ has a strong focus on sport, both martial arts can be useful for both purposes. The techniques learned in Judo and BJJ can be applied in real-life self-defense situations and also in competitions.

  3. Judo and BJJ are only for young, athletic people. This is a common misconception as both Judo and BJJ can be practiced by people of all ages and fitness levels. Both martial arts can be modified to suit individual needs, making them accessible to anyone willing to put in the time and effort to learn.

  4. Judo and BJJ are violent and dangerous. While both martial arts involve contact and can lead to injury, proper training and supervision can greatly reduce the risk of harm. Additionally, both Judo and BJJ promote respect, discipline, and sportsmanship, making them safe and enjoyable activities for all.

It's important to understand the realities of Judo and BJJ, rather than rely on misconceptions. By dispelling these myths, we can appreciate the full scope of what both martial arts have to offer.


In conclusion, Judo and BJJ are two highly complementary martial arts that can benefit practitioners of either style. The similarities between the two styles make them highly compatible, while the differences allow for a more diverse and well-rounded skill set. Cross-training in both Judo and BJJ can help improve your takedowns, ground game, and overall grappling skills. By learning and incorporating techniques from both styles, you can become a more versatile and effective martial artist.

It's important to understand that while there are some misconceptions about Judo and BJJ, they are distinct styles with their own unique rules and techniques. It's important to approach cross-training with an open mind and willingness to learn, rather than assuming that one style is superior to the other. Ultimately, the best way to determine if Judo will help your BJJ practice is to try it out for yourself and see how it fits into your training routine. With dedication and hard work, the benefits of cross-training in Judo and BJJ can be significant and long-lasting.

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