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#434352 - 12/29/11 02:39 AM Thinking of taking up Judo or BJJ
Leo_E_49 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/24/05
Posts: 4117
Loc: California
Hi folks,

I'm thinking of getting back into MA with a grappling focus. I'm mostly interested in getting fit, with a focus on live sparring and learning something other than striking. I've got my eye on Judo because in the past I've had to move countries a few times and I know that Judo is pretty easy to continue internationally. I'm also open to the idea of learning BJJ or other grappling arts. I'm not looking to do any striking or MMA.

I'm in the bay area in California and I found two schools that look good to me: Ralph Gracie Jiu Jitsu in Berkeley and Willy Cahill's Judo school in San Bruno. Anyone know anything about either of these schools or other good schools in the area?

Thanks,
Leo


Edited by Leo_E_49 (12/29/11 02:40 AM)
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#434356 - 12/29/11 07:16 AM Re: Thinking of taking up Judo or BJJ [Re: Leo_E_49]
Dobbersky Offline
Peace Works!!!!
Enthusiast

Registered: 03/13/06
Posts: 913
Loc: Manchester United Kingdom
Definately agree with you there, I've played around between Jujitsu and Aikido to accompany my Karate but Judo is to me what I need, it wont teach me to strike so I can carry on striking the way I already do and its not all ground work like in BJJ so its perfect.
I'm starting in the new year, but I especially want to learn Goshin No Kata (Kodokan) amongst other Judo Kata
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A man is but the product of his thoughts what he thinks, he becomes.

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#434358 - 12/29/11 07:29 AM Re: Thinking of taking up Judo or BJJ [Re: Leo_E_49]
Prizewriter Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 2573
Leo!!!! Good to hear from you man.

Ok I've trained in Judo for a few years and have about 6 months of BJJ training, so I will offer my opinion on it:

Both are superb cardio workouts.

Judo rules have changed in the last couple of years, as you may well know Leo. You are no longer allowed to attack the legs (or grab the legs) from the get go. Attacks like Morote Gari are illegal now ( as an initial attack, at least):

Morote Gari:



This means Judo is more now than ever a throwing art using upper body grips. So be aware that is the emphasis. It is a bit hit and miss as to whether a school will focus on ne waza (ground work) or not though. Really depends on the school.

BJJ on the other hand has the most open ruleset as a sport of ANY grappling art in my opinion. You can choke (illegal in Sombo), do leg locks (illegal in Judo) and everything else in between.

Additionally, there are some BJJ schools who still use the traditional Gracie philosophy of BJJ i.e. training it as a method of self-defence first and foremost. It is possible to find BJJ classes where you learn to deal with strikes, weapon attacks etc... I've only ever heard of one Judo class doing anything like that with Judo.

At the moment I've taking a break from Judo. The injuries were just too much. The common consenus (which I agree with) is that BJJ is 10 times safer than Judo, as you aren't getting slammed about as much.

Other side of the coin, Dave Camarillo, a Judoka with over 20years of Judo training and a Black belt in BJJ, said it was easier for a Judoka to move in to BJJ than it was for a (gi) BJJ player to move in to Judo. He stated that the explosive nature of Judo compared to the more thoughtful, slower approach that BJJ allowed was the reason for this.

Only thing I've heard about Ralph Gracie's school is a quote from Renzo Gracie, who said that Ralph Gracie's main school was a tough place to train. I also think I'm right in saying that BJ Penn, a former world BJJ champion, was initially trained by Ralph Gracie.


Sorry for the long response, hope it helps Leo!
_________________________
"Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food" Hippocrates.

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#434360 - 12/29/11 09:40 AM Re: Thinking of taking up Judo or BJJ [Re: Prizewriter]
Leo_E_49 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/24/05
Posts: 4117
Loc: California
Thanks for the explanation Prizewriter. I've been out of MA for a while now but I've got the itch to train again.

Just how dangerous is Judo and what level of injury have you seen in training it? This could be a deciding factor because I plan to stay in whatever MA I start for a LONG time. Also what are the risks involved in training BJJ?
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#434361 - 12/29/11 11:07 AM Re: Thinking of taking up Judo or BJJ [Re: Leo_E_49]
Dobbersky Offline
Peace Works!!!!
Enthusiast

Registered: 03/13/06
Posts: 913
Loc: Manchester United Kingdom
Originally Posted By: Leo_E_49
Thanks for the explanation Prizewriter. I've been out of MA for a while now but I've got the itch to train again.

Just how dangerous is Judo and what level of injury have you seen in training it? This could be a deciding factor because I plan to stay in whatever MA I start for a LONG time. Also what are the risks involved in training BJJ?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOCKI2eKKG8

See how many Judoka are "taped-up" in the Kodokan
_________________________
A man is but the product of his thoughts what he thinks, he becomes.

Ken

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#434364 - 12/29/11 08:04 PM Re: Thinking of taking up Judo or BJJ [Re: Dobbersky]
Prizewriter Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 2573
Judo, along with boxing, is by far and away the most demanding physical activity I've done. I know young female Judoka who has competed at international level. She is 22 years old and has already had 5 operations due to injuries caused by Judo.

Both myself and others on here have had to miss Judo for months at a time due to injury caused by Judo. In my experience anyone who has done Judo for any serious length of time (i.e. more than a year) usually has gotten at least one moderate to serious injury.Worse injuries I've witness are broken bones and serious concussion (loss of consciousness). I've heard of one guy in BJJ getting his arm broken, but that was because he was in a poor class run by a guy who wasn't qualified to run the class.

I think what it comes down to is that because most of the class time in BJJ is spent on the ground (generally speaking) they have less impact injuries. It is easier to control movements on the ground. Even skilled Judoka, while throwing a person, can mis-time a throw or be slightly off balance, which leads to injury to one or both parties.

I don't have numbers to back it up, but IME BJJ is much safer than Judo. Not to say BJJ is a risk free activity, far from it. It's just usually a lot more controlled/safer than Judo.

One other thing to consider is that (generally speaking) Judo is cheaper than BJJ. I don't know if money is an issue though.

One final thought is this: Outside of Brazil, Southern California is considered the Mecca of BJJ. Most of the best teachers in the world reside in Southern California (Gracies, Machados et al). If you are only going to be in South California for a while, I'd probably make the most of the BJJ on offer, assuming money isn't an issue. There is a lot of cross over from Judo and BJJ. BJJ is after all a modified form of Judo. You could quite easily move between disciplines if cirumstances change. I've known brown/black belt Judoka to obtain a blue belt in BJJ in well under a year, and I've known BJJ players to fly through Judo gradings. So either system would be a good foundation for the other.
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"Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food" Hippocrates.

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#434366 - 12/30/11 01:14 AM Re: Thinking of taking up Judo or BJJ [Re: Prizewriter]
Leo_E_49 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/24/05
Posts: 4117
Loc: California
This is good info.

Right now I can afford to take BJJ, so it's definitely an option.

Are the injuries you saw in Judo caused during competition or normal training? I don't plan to compete.

Just so you know, another issue for me is the location of the school, I have a long commute (1.5 hours either way) so that might be the deciding factor. The BJJ school is close to my workplace and the Judo school is near my house. I don't have a car and I commute by train so it may be that I arrive home after BJJ class at nearly midnight and I'm not sure I'd like to take the train late at night after 2 hours of grappling.

In the end I'll probably decide by going to each school and seeing how I like the classes there. I'm willing to accept some risk of injury as long as it's not commonplace and can be avoided by good technique. Every MA carries some risk of injury. I wouldn't be doing MA if I wasn't able to accept that risk but the only moderate injury I've sustained in prior training was when I was knocked down and couldn't make the 10 count in a tournament. I'd prefer to avoid getting injured if possible.

Also, I hear that cauliflower ears are common in grappling MA, what causes them in these MA and how can I prevent myself from getting them? I like my ears as they are.


Edited by Leo_E_49 (12/30/11 01:20 AM)
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#434370 - 12/30/11 11:11 AM Re: Thinking of taking up Judo or BJJ [Re: Leo_E_49]
Prizewriter Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 2573
Hmmm midnight you say... I don't know that I personally would like to be arriving home so late, especially if I had to work the next day.

I think Judo is different in the USA. You can grade whether you want to compete or not. It takes longer if you don't compete to get your black belt. Folks like Zach or BrianS could tell you more about it. Over in the UK and Ireland (where I've trained) Judo training is very competitive. Up until recently you had to fight and win matches to get promotion, so maybe that colours my view a bit.

I would tell your teacher that you want to train more recreationally and see what they suggest. Also identify other recreational people in your class. If they have the same goal as you (to train and not compete) they are more likely to work with you and be a bit gentler in practice.

Common injuries in Judo I've seen usually relate to the shoulders and knees.

If you could give us a rough area, I am sure forum members might be able to suggest other BJJ/Judo schools for you to try in your area. As I said California is somewhat of a Mecca for BJJ coaching, so I would be surprised if there wasn't another few schools a bit closer. Although I understand if someone doesn't want to give away too much about themselves online!













Edited by Prizewriter (12/30/11 11:14 AM)
_________________________
"Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food" Hippocrates.

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#434374 - 12/30/11 11:31 AM Re: Thinking of taking up Judo or BJJ [Re: Prizewriter]
Leo_E_49 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/24/05
Posts: 4117
Loc: California
I'm not averse to competition if it's necessary for progression in the art. I'm just not specifically looking to compete at a high level. If I get interested in the competitive aspect of Judo, I might consider more focus on competition. Would this affect the likelihood of injury for me in training?

I live in the San Bruno area and work near Emeryville in northern California. I've got relatively flexible hours so I might be able to arrive at work early and leave early for classes but the BJJ class goes from 7:30pm to 9:30pm which would mean I'd get home at around 11pm or maybe later.

At the moment I'm leaning towards learning Judo instead of BJJ, all things considered.


Edited by Leo_E_49 (12/30/11 11:36 AM)
_________________________
Self Defense
(Website by Marc MacYoung, not me)

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#434375 - 12/30/11 12:18 PM Re: Thinking of taking up Judo or BJJ [Re: Leo_E_49]
Prizewriter Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 2573
IME yes, the more competitions you do the more people seem to get injured. It's not a 100% sure thing though, most judoka emerge from competition with a few bumps and bruises. A few aren't so lucky!

I looked up a few places based on your info and the folks on Sherdog had nothing but good things to say about this BJJ school:

http://www.ronin-academy.com/schedule.html



Doesn't have the big sexy name that other BJJ schools might have, but as I said everyone has good things to say about it and it is a lot closer. Plus they have classes 6 days a week which might help you out Leo.

Judo in the area (you may already know this!)

http://www.dawave.com/index.php

http://kodokangear.com/pacificajudo-home.htm (don't know if this place is still running classes though!)

Another BJJ nearby:

http://www.charlesgracie.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=68&Itemid=104

Thing is though I've read some so-so things about Charles Gracie. Seems as though the BJJ is fine, but I've read about crazy expensive monthly rates and also about students having to sign 12 month contracts. Don't know if that is true Leo, but may be something to bear in mind.
_________________________
"Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food" Hippocrates.

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