Transition from judo to jiu-jitsu

The transition from Judo to Jiu-jitsu

To be honest for me, and I think for many people it was an easy transition across the sports. Apart from the fact I got told to calm down for the first six months of my Jiu-jitsu journey, because I didn’t need to go full throttle all the time on the ground any more! They are actually both similar martial arts, with no striking and some techniques which can be transferred across the board. I started Judo when I was 8 years old, and graded to black belt at the age of 16. When I turned 21 and was living in New Zealand at the time. I found Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu purely because I wanted to train more than what was available for just Judo. I remember my first session so clearly, I was a little nervous and went to a local club (THE FIGHT SHOP NZ) with a friend who also did judo. The club was tiny with a purple belt as the main coach, but it was great and was enough to plant the seed for me to pursue this journey.

I immediately got engrossed in Jiu-jitsu, as many of us do! I found it fascinating because I could do everything I knew from Judo and there was so much more to learn. I could also do all the old school leg grab techniques again. When I moved back to the UK the following year. I stopped training Judo completely, except every now and again. To focus solely on Jiu-jitsu. I have now been training Jiu-Jitsu for almost 6 years, and throughout my whole life since 8 years old, I have never had more than 3 weeks off from training! Luckily no injuries have held me back.

How Judo & Jiu-jitsu compliment each other

If your thinking of adding Judo or Jiu-jitsu to your training or transitioning from Judo to Jiu-Jitsu. Do it! I cant stress enough how training both sports can help you in which ever you choose to be your main game. If you are a judoka, adding Jiu-Jitsu to your training will help you massively on the ground and vice versa if you train Jiu-Jitsu, training judo as well will help you with your takedowns. My biggest advice would be to just contact your local academy or club and go down there one evening after work. Over the years I have trained at many different places as I’ve travelled around, and I’ve never had a bad experience when visiting a new academy. Everyone is always very welcoming, so there is nothing to worry about apart from the different techniques in training.

Although, the posture of your opponent is different in standing for Jiu-Jitsu and Judo. You can still use a lot of Judo throws, you just may have to adapt them a little. Also, the confidence you have standing up if you know some Judo just changes your game completely. You don’t have to rely on playing guard if you have a few good take downs under your belt. Also, on the ground if you are a judoka, your top pressure, armbars and strangles should help you out a lot in Jiu-Jitsu.

When I first started Jiu-Jitsu my Judo skills carried me within BJJ competitions. I used to just throw people and then play points. As I got deeper into blue belt and now at purple belt, I would say I still use Judo techniques in my game, but its expanded to a much bigger range of techniques across jiu-Jiu-Jitsu. However, if we are standing I am still going to try and throw you on your ass, but if I cant I’m not too worried. Also, on the ground one of my favourite submissions is still an arm bar, however because footlocks are something completely different from judo they capture my interest to evolve my game.

If you are crossing the other way around and going to judo to help your Jiu-Jitsu game, just be careful to stick to the rules of the individual sports. As a lot of the techniques you can do in Jiu-Jitsu are illegal moves in Judo. However, you may surprise your opponent next time with your new found love for takedowns.

As both martial arts start from standing, it is beneficial to know judo throws or takedowns so that you can either win the match or gain 2 points at the start of the Jiu-Jitsu competition to put you in the lead. If you would like to get started on some techniques I would recommend reading the books below and signing up to Keenan Online. As well as getting down to your local academy! The great thing about Jiu-Jiu-Jitsu is there is always new techniques being created and you have the opportunity to unleash your own creative flare to perform techniques in the best way for your body type. You never know one day you might be the one creating new techniques as you experiment with your body.

Leave a comment below on your thoughts on this. Have you recently started BJJ from Judo? Do you think training both sports has helped you? Let me know.