Any advantages to having a Karate, Kung Fu etc. background for BJJ beginners.

johnT

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Any thoughts as to any advantages (or disadvantages) one might have when beginning BJJ with a solid Karate background?
Some thoughts I have could include ability to learn to relax,keeping locks tight without space, ability to have the ability to learn martial body movements easier.
Any thoughts?
 

wab25

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First, put on a white belt to train. Not just the belt, but the attitude and perspective of a white belt.

Second, when you step on their mat, leave your karate off the mat. Do not bring it with you. Completely forget about it. Focus entirely on what you are being taught.

There is a time to try to merge the two and to see similarities. But you can't learn a new thing, if you think you already know it. Be patient, and just enjoy starting from the beginning. Once you are proficient in the new art... then you can start to compare and merge. If you bring your karate with you, you will just look and feel like a karate guy on his back. Let the Karate go, to learn the BJJ.

Note: this advice goes for anyone with experience in one art, starting a new art. I am not singling out karate here. (except for the part about looking like a karate guy on his back...;) )
 

marques

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It may help, it may conflict. Generally speaking, I believe it is more an advantage than disadvantage...
 

JowGaWolf

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No none at all totally different styles of martial arts
This is what I'm thinking. It's better to go in with a brand new mindset. If the person doesn't then they run the risk of trying learn Bjj by thinking karate and using a karate mindset
 

Gerry Seymour

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Any thoughts as to any advantages (or disadvantages) one might have when beginning BJJ with a solid Karate background?
Some thoughts I have could include ability to learn to relax,keeping locks tight without space, ability to have the ability to learn martial body movements easier.
Any thoughts?
Youre body (really your brain) knows how to learn physical technique. You have probably built the discupline of staying at something even when you struggle.

Long, term, you will see some options that others wont.
 

Headhunter

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I'll expand on this more now I have time. I'm a karate black belt and started jiu jitsu last year. I'm no way better because of it there's simply no correlation between the 2 styles yeah okay maybe you can pick up moves a little quicker for drills but applying them in rolling is totally different, I consider a pretty good striker but I'm absolute trash at bjj no joke I'm terrible I know it and okay that could just be me but my karate or anything means nothing to it. I mean look at mma if that logic applied you'd think James toney would've learned how to grapple because he's a brilliant boxer but no his grounds worse than mine.
 

Martial D

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Any thoughts as to any advantages (or disadvantages) one might have when beginning BJJ with a solid Karate background?
Some thoughts I have could include ability to learn to relax,keeping locks tight without space, ability to have the ability to learn martial body movements easier.
Any thoughts?
I find WC helps for hand fighting at both ends of the guard position. Getting pulled to one side or the other can be problems, so being able to control the middle really helps.

Not sure what advantages if any karate might give you though as I'm not a karate man.
 

Tez3

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First, put on a white belt to train. Not just the belt, but the attitude and perspective of a white belt.

Second, when you step on their mat, leave your karate off the mat. Do not bring it with you. Completely forget about it. Focus entirely on what you are being taught.

There is a time to try to merge the two and to see similarities. But you can't learn a new thing, if you think you already know it. Be patient, and just enjoy starting from the beginning. Once you are proficient in the new art... then you can start to compare and merge. If you bring your karate with you, you will just look and feel like a karate guy on his back. Let the Karate go, to learn the BJJ.

Note: this advice goes for anyone with experience in one art, starting a new art. I am not singling out karate here. (except for the part about looking like a karate guy on his back...;) )

I don't want to be rude but I don't think he was asking for advice, just what could be good about having training in a martial art.

The advantages would be the discipline to be able to learn a physical activity where techniques can hurt. You already understand that it takes a while to learn and be good at it.

Disadvantages could be learning in a more 'relaxed' class as opposed to a more strict karate class but then that depends on the type of class you had before.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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Disadvantages could be learning in a more 'relaxed' class as opposed to a more strict karate class but then that depends on the type of class you had before.
Or the opposite. Being used to a relaxed format and finding the BJJ class stricter.
 

Tez3

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Or the opposite. Being used to a relaxed format and finding the BJJ class stricter.

Good point! Instructors teach differently and their classes can be very different even in the same style.

I've though of another possible disadvantage, some people don't like close contact with others such as you get when grappling.
 

Flatfish

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As far as techniques go, no. As far as being relaxed while training, maybe. I trained TKD before BJJ and I had to learn to relax in TKD and relearn it with BJJ....different contexts I presume.

If you have decent conditioning due to your prior MA training that will help....of course that could also be said for a soccer player.....
 

Buka

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There should be advantages, yes. Your work ethic should be better than anyone who hasn't trained in the Arts before. You should be in far better physical shape than anyone who isn't a professional athlete. You should have more patience than other white belts.

And you'll tap faster than Sammy Davis Jr.
 

drop bear

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Any thoughts as to any advantages (or disadvantages) one might have when beginning BJJ with a solid Karate background?
Some thoughts I have could include ability to learn to relax,keeping locks tight without space, ability to have the ability to learn martial body movements easier.
Any thoughts?

Why do you ask?
 

PiedmontChun

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To the OP, it is possible that physically it could be of some help. Karate at least gets you used to a gi, has likely given you some flexibility and body awareness that ultimately makes a lot of movement less awkward than it would be, maybe some stamina so you get more out of your training (simply gassing out when rolling in BJJ is something many have to overcome to get better)

That said, I agree with others here on the mental aspect. You have to "empty your cup" to learn something new, to use a Kung-Fu-ism, and try not to interpret what you learn in light of a different art you already trained in.

Judo guys who move over to BJJ have some helpful context, even if they are still almost starting from scratch depending on how much ne waza they trained in Judo; its a very different game even if they are relatively close cousins of the MA world. Wrestlers probably have the biggest initial advantage in switching over to BJJ. They know how to scramble, good balance with low postures, are comfortable transitioning between different positions on the ground quickly, they understand leverage. They just have to unlearn a lot of wrestling habits and try to not overly rely on their wrestling or athleticism so they can truly learn technique, but in the beginning they are hard for other BJJ beginners to deal with.
 

msmitht

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If you have training in a stand-up Style the discipline you learned before should help you get back to class after the rough ones where you're more than nail than the hammer. Otherwise that's about it. The overall strategy, mindset and set of techniques are completely different.
To the Kung Fu guy who said BJJ is only good for the ground there are many examples of kung fu vs. BJJ on the internet that you can look up for reference. They did not have a difficult time closing the distance and taking them down. They may have got hit once or twice but in the end result they won and that is all that matters.
 

Jaeimseu

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If you have training in a stand-up Style the discipline you learned before should help you get back to class after the rough ones where you're more than nail than the hammer.
In my experience, that's every class. Beginners may as well wear a name-tag that reads "Nail."
 

Hanzou

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Always helps, since it gives you a striking base. I've found that it filled the weaknesses of my karate immensely. Unfortunately my knee is pretty messed up right now so I haven't been able to actively train for awhile, but when I was active, I found that the kicking from Shotokan was very good for setting up and closing distances.
 
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