Better supplement to your BJJ training: Wrestling or Judo?

This question has been a recurring topic for me over the years. I started training Judo as a supplement to my BJJ but there was a time when I moved to wrestling and had more success there.

Recently I started doing more gi training and I am slowly going back to my Judo ways lol. I’d say a combination of both would always be good, but personally I lean towards wrestling (like 60% to Judo’s 40%), but having a few slick Judo throws are always welcome.

How about you guys? Which of the 2 do you prefer and why? :slight_smile:

Admittedly, I’ve tried attending a few Judo classes in the past but never had any opportunity to experience wrestling. I can only speak from observation at this point by saying that wrestling might be a better supplement for BJJ and maybe in MMA (if you’re taking your training further up that sport) based on how most of the UFC Champions have really solid wrestling skills like Khabib, Jon Jones, etc.

But that’s just my two cents. :slightly_smiling_face::v::woman_shrugging:t4:

1 Like

I can only speak from observation at this point by saying that wrestling might be a better supplement for BJJ and maybe in MMA (if you’re taking your training further up that sport) based on how most of the UFC Champions have really solid wrestling skills like Khabib, Jon Jones, etc.

I agree with you there. Nogi grappling and MMA lean towards wrestling as shown in the UFC and ADCC. Gi BJJ can be tricky though I have to admit, some like Judo (Ribeiro bros, Roger Gracie, Megaton), but some are pretty good with wrestling too like Buchecha. So idk lol.

1 Like

Judo used to be similar to wrestling in terms of doing single leg and double leg set ups for the throw. It’s just that current IJF is kind of ruining the entertainment aspect with the no leg touch rule among others.

Depending on the judo school, newaza isn’t as good as other grapplingng sports

I agree. A supplement of both is indeed beneficial especially for competition scenarios. But in practicality, and as mentioned in the first part of BJJ Game Theory, it is neither good nor bad to e be a guard-puller or go for takedowns. I guess, making one’s game a well-rounded one wouldn’t be a bad start! :slight_smile:

The stigma against guard pulling is unhealthy. The guard in its various forms distinguishes BJJ from all the other grappling sports.

Stalling in guard is another thing though.

Totally agree that being well rounded is excellent, no matter what your goals are.

The memes are funny but yes you are absolutely correct.

I started wrestling when I got into MMA training. It was dedicated wrestling classes with a former D1 wrestler and pro fighter.

We weren’t allowed to submit, much less pull guard, and drilled takedown finishes, technical sprawls, get ups, you name it.

For wrestling you need to have a game plan to get past the tie up, grab a leg, and finish the takedown.

It seems many people view takedowns as one move, rather than a series of steps leading to the takedown that must be drilled individually the same way we drill sweeps, passes, and submissions both on their own and chained together in BJJ

It took about six months to have any decent takedown consistency, and I’ve pretty much wrestled as much as possible ever since.
I believe it was one of the best investments I’ve made outside of drilling BJJ.

The base and pressure you learn from being solid on your feet transfers well to any standing pass as well as many of the battles you find yourself in when in the front headlock/turtle positions, top and bottom.

That being said, wrestling is SO much harder than jiu jitsu on the body and cardio. There were typically 4 guys in the class: 3 regulars and a guy trying it who wouldn’t end up coming back.

Was it worth it to me?

Yes, but it was a massive time and energy investment. Probably I spent about as much time wrestling as I did to earn my BJJ blue.

I’ve never rolled with a good judo guy who wasn’t also a great wrestler, most guys at my school who have standup have done some of both, so it’s hard for me to say whether judo or wrestling is better.

I did take judo for 4 months before BJJ and I hated all the traditional crap. A lot of the class was spent lining up and bowing, like before every drilling session, and that shit got old quick.

Most wrestling classes on the other hand are really chill culture-wise. Just hard on the body.

You had me at:

Just yesterday we had a coach teach us the proper mechanics on a certain takedown move and I must say, it’s a different world out there altogether!

Ditto on the traditional stuff. I almost injured my back as well because I got paired with a guy who made a lousy throw and I fell and landed in an awkward way. So after that I was like, okay, back to jiujitsu. :laughing:

IMO self-defense speaking the wall/cage wrestling you do in MMA is probably the most important stand-up grappling. The ability to turn someone around who’s pinning you against a wall and knee-ing you, and then take them down or strike them is far more practical than a low wrestling shot to an ankle pick or something like that.

That being said, without wrestling fundamentals, the transition to “wall-brawl,” as they call it, becomes more difficult.

In terms of judo/competition takedowns, at a certain point if you aren’t already good at them before your body can’t take the punishment, I feel you are better off developing a game plan that isn’t dependent on getting the takedown. aka the guard pull.

I got the opportunity to wrestle in college and it has greatly impacted my growth in jiu jitsu. It helped me with understanding body control and not accepting movements. Judo i think would be good to have as well.

1 Like

I still think Judo is essential, after all some of the ground reversal moves were if not all derived from Judo altogether. It’s just so hard for a lanky guy like me really…