I’m often asked what martial art should I add to my SDTS training and my answer is simple: JUDO.
If you don’t know me I was a Div 1 collegiate wrestler, I have rank in Brazilian Jiujutsu and of course, I’m a second degree blackbelt in Judo.
So why Judo?
Judo teaches you to stay on your feet, keep your balance against a much larger and stronger attacker. Maintaining your balance in a fight in critical to enable you to keep mobile and keep STRIKING (or stabbing, or bludgeoning..and EVEN DRAWING YOUR FIREARM).
On the ground Judo still requires you to fight for a position of dominance. I will note that SPORT JUDO allows you to stall to and get put back on your feet – so for self defense it is CRITICAL that instead you fight to PIN or SUBMIT << Don’t get lazy.
The problem with BJJ is that it encourages you to go to the ground. Forget what “moves” or take downs you practice – it’s the end result and many BJJ fighters use those takedowns to enter into ground fighting.
Going to the ground on purpose is a HUGE mistake since the reality of weapons, multiple attackers or dealing with much LARGER and STRONGER attackers will eliminate most BJJ techniques which are designed to work on someone who is roughly your size or smaller.
Wrestling offers similar problems. First of all, the most popular takedown is the double leg. This puts you at a disadvantage because you’re literally THROWING yourself to the ground. Now, don’t get me wrong >>> I have done this successfully in the street (many times) however, I am NOT your average grappler and as I get older facing younger, stronger and larger opponents I would run into a TON of problems. However – with a good Judo base, I can still stay on my feet and do what I need to do.
If your average wrestler or MMA practitioner attempted a leg attack in the street against a larger, stronger opponent they will get crushed.
Also, wrestlers don’t have a problem giving up their back on the ground and everyone who has ever seen an MMA fight knows this is a bad idea and in the street its ten times worse.
NEVER CHOOSE THE GROUND.
We don’t roll on mats in the street – cement, debris, rocks, etc will CHEW YOU UP. When on the ground you’re best bet is to GET UP as fast as possible << practice this in your training.
Judo trains you to act with a sense of urgency. One false move, one misstep will end the match. This trains your mind to move with purpose and urgency. This is the EXACT way you need to approach self defense.
Wrestling and BJJ, while sometimes require urgency – generally preach patience. WAIT for your opponent to make a mistake, create openings – again, this happens in Judo and wrestling but at a typically FASTER pace than BJJ.
Time in Training
For you self defense purposes, you DON’T need to be great at Judo – all you need is to build up a good defense which can happen in months, not years. If your first SDTS attack doesn’t do what you need, you have a better chance of keeping your balance, stay on your feet and continue to FIGHT or ESCAPE.
But what about GI or no GI?
You can grip a t-shirt to perform many Judo techniques and you’ll be able to STILL maintain your balance…even if your attacker’s naked (hey, I’m not judging – shit happens).
Again – this is all about SELF DEFENSE.
Keep your balance, and TAKE GROUND.
Until next time…