A Judoka walks into a Wrestling room…

In my last post, I discussed several elements and techniques that translated from Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu into Wrestling. I would be remiss if I didn’t also discuss some of the similarities between Wrestling and Judo. These two arts share similar rule-sets and have arguably borrowed from each other through the last century. The parallels between them are comparable when you strip away the Judo-gi and submissions. Here are some of the similarities:

A Judoka walks into a Wrestling room…

  • Pins: Both have the objective of getting your opponent on his back and possibly pinning him. In Wrestling, you have to get both of your opponent’s shoulder blades on the mat to finish the match. In Judo, you have to keep him pinned for 20 seconds to win the match. A popular pin that translates well is the kesa gatame (scarf hold).
  • Takedowns: Both have techniques that crossover (i.e., morote gari = double leg, kata guruma = fireman’s carry, kibisu gaeshi = ankle pick, etc.). There are also many throws that translate into no-gi variations such as the o-goshi (hip toss), te guruma (crotch lift), koshi guruma (head-and-arm throw), and seoi nage (Jap whizzer).
  • Training Methods: Both involve rigorous training methods with repetitive and explosive motions (uchikomi in Judo, single and double leg shots in wrestling, for example). These movements drill the fluidity and speed needed to win at higher levels of competition.

Aside from the similarities, there are many athletes who train in both systems. Eastern European and Russian wrestlers often cross-train Judo and vice versa. There are many famous Judoka who were also wrestlers in college (Jimmy Pedro, Justin Flores, Jason Morris, etc.). There are also several awesome wrestlers who credit Judo with influencing their style (Steve Mocco, the Terao brothers, etc.).

Once again, the principles of leverage transcend styles. As you train, look for ways another martial art or system can add to your game. You may find interesting new ways to see the style you are familiar with in a new light.

Here are a few techniques that crossover:

Koshi Guruma

Seoi Nage

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