Judo is "diet wrestling"?

Zombocalypse

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Hi.

I start training in Judo in less than a week. I'm excited. However, I remember a few years ago reading somewhere that Greco-Roman wrestlers find it easy to beat seasoned Judokas. So is that bull? Is there truth to it? What's the whole story behind that assumption?

Thanks.
 

Jared Traveler

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Do Greco guys practice defending against chokes and armlocks? Submission grappling is a lot different than grappling. If your judo school doesn't focus on ground immobilization skills, submissions and chokes, consider another school. These skills are often deviating to someone who doesn't practice or understand them.
 

jmf552

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IMHO, wrestling (all styles) is great stuff, but the difference I see vs Judo (standing) and BJJ (on the ground) is that while technique is important in wrestling, it is also very dependent on physical strength. Judo and BJJ do more to teach weaker people how to defeat stronger people.
 

Tony Dismukes

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IMHO, wrestling (all styles) is great stuff, but the difference I see vs Judo (standing) and BJJ (on the ground) is that while technique is important in wrestling, it is also very dependent on physical strength. Judo and BJJ do more to teach weaker people how to defeat stronger people.
This is a common misconception. Judo, BJJ, and wrestling all depend equally on technique and athletic attributes like strength, speed and endurance. Technique is a multiplier - you can conceptualize it through the equation E = T x A. (Effectiveness = Technique x Athleticism). This is equally true in wrestling, Judo, and BJJ. (I'm simplifying of course. I'm leaving out mental attributes and all the different kinds of technique and athleticism.)

The difference is more a matter of the culture and the typical practitioners of each art.

Most wrestlers start out training as a sport in middle school or high school. This means:
  • They are preparing for competition in a short period of time, perhaps only weeks from when they begin training.
  • They are athletes, and there is status rather than stigma attached to winning through superior attributes.
  • They are young and many of them won't have the attention span to focus on lessons regarding subtle details of technique.
  • They are young and have the recovery capacity to handle lots of physically intense training sessions.
Given all this, it makes sense to start young wrestlers out with some technical fundamentals and then turn them into athletic beasts with a lot of intense physical conditioning. That physical conditioning will develop and pay off quicker than focusing on fine technical nuances.

However wrestlers who stick with the sport long term and who reach a high level of competition will end up developing a high degree of technical expertise. A D1 college wrestler may be in fantastic shape, but so are all his opponents. After a certain point, an athlete reaches the limit of their athletic potential, but they can continue developing their technique indefinitely.

In contrast, when you look at BJJ:
  • Most BJJ students are adults and may not have the physical recovery capability to train 3 hours a day 5 days a week.
  • Most BJJ students don't compete in tournaments and of those who do, only a minority do so on a regular basis.
  • BJJ has been marketed since its inception as an art where "a smaller person can defeat a bigger, stronger opponent", thus the motivation for the instructor is to show how that can be done with technique rather than through superior attributes.
However BJJ practitioners who want to compete at a high level are going up against other competitors who know all the same technique they do - so they end up devoting serious time to developing their athleticism. The top BJJ champions are generally super-ripped athletes.

So, culturally wrestling and BJJ approach the mountain from different sides, but once they get to the top they are the same blend of high-level technique and athleticism. (I think Judo can fall closer to BJJ or to wrestling or in the middle depending on when and where you learn it.)

Speaking for myself, I'm a 58 year old with a desk job. My value of A in E = T x A is pretty low. But I continue to improve my technique. And possibly the single biggest area of growth in my BJJ over the last few years has been in my wrestling. There are a lot of subtleties in wrestling that make things work easier for me as an older practitioner.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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Judo and BJJ do more to teach weaker people how to defeat stronger people.
When your opponent has jacket on, you can pull his jacket. If he resists, you can borrow his resisting force, change your pulling into pushing. Since wrestling doesn't use jacket, the pulling is difficult to apply, it's much harder to borrow force in wrestling game than in Judo game.

Also Judo is a much slower game than wrestling game. In Judo, you can use your stiff arms to hold on your opponent. Whenever your opponent attacks you, you can shake him and interrupt his attack. You can't do that in wrestling.

So without being able to do pulling, and stiff arms in wrestling, the wrestling and Judo game are different. If a wrestler doesn't know how to break apart a monster grip, he may have difficulty in Judo game.
 
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Ivan

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Hi.

I start training in Judo in less than a week. I'm excited. However, I remember a few years ago reading somewhere that Greco-Roman wrestlers find it easy to beat seasoned Judokas. So is that bull? Is there truth to it? What's the whole story behind that assumption?

Thanks.
Depends quite a bit. In a gi, a judoka has a much better chance than without. It also depends if submissions are allowed, the rule set etc. Judo, however, is very respected in the martial arts community because it has many original techniques and can give you one of the best foundations of grappling and martial arts discipline than almost any other martial art can. Whether wrestlers "on average" beat judokas is true or not, doesn't really matter if judo is the only martial art you can take. However do consider, that "grapplers" in general do "beat strikers".
 

Scotsman

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I think a lot of the Judo we see today is a watered down version of Kano織s original system
 

Cornfed

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My impression is that inclusion in the Olympics has caused judo to be somewhat limited in terms of groundwork and such. Traditional judo had some advantages over wrestling for everyday fighting though in that it encouraged a tall stance and remaining on your feet rather than going to ground where you might be kicked in the head by your opponent's friends.
 

Scotsman

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My impression is that inclusion in the Olympics has caused judo to be somewhat limited in terms of groundwork and such. Traditional judo had some advantages over wrestling for everyday fighting though in that it encouraged a tall stance and remaining on your feet rather than going to ground where you might be kicked in the head by your opponent's friends.
what is your expertise here?
 
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Zombocalypse

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I think a lot of the Judo we see today is a watered down version of Kano織s original system

Are you under the assumption that Kano's original system is better? Because often times, sports evolve for the better over time. I certainly prefer padded-gloves boxing over bare-knuckles pugilism.
 

punisher73

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Judo has many of the same takedowns in wrestling, BUT they don't spend as much time on those single/double leg takedowns.

There was a time when wrestlers were entering in Judo tournaments and just relying on those and were winning A LOT. The Judo rules banned that style of takedown (any touching of the legs) because it wanted to focus more on the grip fighting/off balancing and upright throwing that Judo was known for (IJF 2013).

Judo has a much larger toolbox, but it is going to vary GREATLY depending on the focus of your school. The school I went to spent the time 50/50 between standup and on the ground. For those who wanted to compete in Judo tournaments the focus was more on the standup portion of the art.
 
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Zombocalypse

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Judo has many of the same takedowns in wrestling, BUT they don't spend as much time on those single/double leg takedowns.

There was a time when wrestlers were entering in Judo tournaments and just relying on those and were winning A LOT. The Judo rules banned that style of takedown (any touching of the legs) because it wanted to focus more on the grip fighting/off balancing and upright throwing that Judo was known for (IJF 2013).

Judo has a much larger toolbox, but it is going to vary GREATLY depending on the focus of your school. The school I went to spent the time 50/50 between standup and on the ground. For those who wanted to compete in Judo tournaments the focus was more on the standup portion of the art.

Thanks.

My Judo dojo is really really crowded and right now we are all still barely learning how to break fall. However, the first actual technique our coaches taught were two ground submission holds instead of a throw. I guess they're just doing it for safety or something? They don't wanna be doing throws until they're confident most or all of us can break fall properly?

Honestly, the biggest reason I chose Judo instead of my local BJJ gym is that I hate ground game. I've been in fights growing up and the people around me who were spectating... By the time the fight hits the ground, they break us up and stand us back up. Ground fighting is ugly and the only defense I wanna learn against it is how to get out of it. I just wanna throw people on the ground.
 

punisher73

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Thanks.

My Judo dojo is really really crowded and right now we are all still barely learning how to break fall. However, the first actual technique our coaches taught were two ground submission holds instead of a throw. I guess they're just doing it for safety or something? They don't wanna be doing throws until they're confident most or all of us can break fall properly?

Honestly, the biggest reason I chose Judo instead of my local BJJ gym is that I hate ground game. I've been in fights growing up and the people around me who were spectating... By the time the fight hits the ground, they break us up and stand us back up. Ground fighting is ugly and the only defense I wanna learn against it is how to get out of it. I just wanna throw people on the ground.

I studied at a BJJ school that ONLY did sparring from the knees. The lack of breakfall knowledge was the reason and they didn't want students getting hurt.

The Judo school I studied at for lower belts had a big giant "throw mat" to throw newer students on so they could experience the technique and not get hurt. If I had to wager a guess, it might be why they start with the ground stuff first as you learn breakfalls. But, you would have to ask your instructor to be sure.
 
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Zombocalypse

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I studied at a BJJ school that ONLY did sparring from the knees. The lack of breakfall knowledge was the reason and they didn't want students getting hurt.

The Judo school I studied at for lower belts had a big giant "throw mat" to throw newer students on so they could experience the technique and not get hurt. If I had to wager a guess, it might be why they start with the ground stuff first as you learn breakfalls. But, you would have to ask your instructor to be sure.

They teach fast. Literally on the introductory day, they were already teaching us multiple scenarios to break-fall. Even the little kids had to participate. I was slightly worried because it felt like at some point, they'd want all of us to learn how to do a full backflip. lol

Lots of agility, man. I didn't expect that at all.
 
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