Applying Judo to MMA
As with anything, lots of work is involved in learning new techniques. Trained judoka may find some of our Judo for MMA techniques fairly easy to apply. The muscle memory from years of judo training should make it straightforward to convert that knowledge to MMA fighting. MMA fighters will have had some throwing background as well as other judo techniques.
When we first discussed developing this website, we took the gokyo (the basic 40 throws in judo) and basic curriculum for black belt testing and went through everything to determine what worked in MMA and what didn’t.
What doesn’t work in MMA? Techniques requiring clothing were eliminated right off. Techniques which caused tori (the giver of the technique for you non-judokas) to land on his back were not used, unless we had a fast and accurate way to get out of that position. Techniques which were too complex tended to be eliminated. If a technique required you to do this, and this, and this, before you got your submission, we didn’t want it. Also eliminated were most sacrifice throws: If the techniques failed and you had thrown yourself to your back or side or (yikes!) front, then you would be in a terrible position.
What techniques made it? Lots of throws from the gokyo and variations of throws. Some throws required changes to get into the right position, but we describe the manoeuvres (gripping, leg position, hip position) in detail in our videos. Some throws ended up very different from their traditional counterparts, but they worked.
We added a number of throws which are not standardized textbook stuff, but lend themselves to controlling your opponent quite nicely, allowing you to be in the superior position afterward. Judo throws are dynamic and ever-evolving, depending on the grips, size of fighters, left- or right-handedness, flexibility, strength-to-weight ratio, etc. We didn’t restrict ourselves to the basic curriculum. (Learning is far more interesting when unusual elements are thrown in.)
One of our class strategies is to ask if there is something that came up in randori (free practice) or ne waza (groundwork) which someone wanted to have clarified or work on or get out of. This allows us to study some aspect of a throw or groundwork technique in detail. It’s always surprising how the little things make the difference to a technique’s working.
Included in the list of techniques that made it are varying chokes, joint locks and ground holds. We also show a number of sweeps and escapes from the holds.
The result of all that development is this site, which will be a never-ending work-in-progress. To ensure that you don’t miss anything, I suggest going through the traditional judo videos in addition to the Judo for MMA vids. Most chokes, joint locks and ground holds are applicable to MMA. A few require clothing, but not many.
In addition to the Judo for MMA videos and the traditional judo vids, don’t miss the Kakure Judo Club highly secret techniques which can be found without too much effort on the main page. Some of those techniques are great. I’m not kidding. You could be the only one on the block with those in your arsenal.
December 10, 2008