Alternative Tournament Skill Building

Years ago (and sometimes even now), you would see individuals who were taekwondo practitioners go to karate tournaments in order to get additional training. They would go against competitors, who were stylistically different fighters, in an opportunity to try out newer techniques and try different fighting strategies. All of this without giving away clues or secrets to opponents from their own style.

These days, we might see individuals who train in BJJ enter into various rule sets including no-gi, submission-only, and even the IBJJF rule set. Sometimes, we might even see BJJ practitioners enter into wrestling tournaments in order to become more well-developed grapplers.

I will give some of you a not-so-novel approach to improve your grappling at tournaments. This approach was used by the likes of Rolls Gracie, Rickson Gracie, and even BJJ Penn.

Enter into a judo tournament!

Many BJJ practitioners will tell you that all they would do is take a judoka to the ground. That might very well be the case, but even if it were, there would still be reasons for you to compete in a judo tournament:

  1. You will be more explosive with your throws against individuals who know how to defend them.
  2. You will learn how to get an opponent on the ground for a pin or a submission. In judo, you have under 15 seconds to apply a submission.
  3. You will learn how to effectively defend throws from a variety of directions.
  4. You will gain and maintain a better base, landing on your feet rather than in a bad position on the ground.
  5. You will toughen up. In judo, slams are not only permitted, they can win you the admiration of the crowd, rather than disdain and a possible disqualification.
  6. You will secretly develop your skill set outside of the prying eyes of competition.

Now, here is something else to consider with judo tournaments: they are typically cheaper than their BJJ counterparts! You can pay from $20-$60 for a judo tournament. BJJ tournaments can range from $50 to $130.

True, you do have to get yearly insurance to compete, but this prevents sandbagging since rank is shown on the card. It usually costs $50 (USJA) to $70 (USA Judo) per year.

There is also another option, which is the growing IFJA or Free Style Judo. This offers more ground time, the ability to touch legs, and a different judo rule set.

So if you are looking for judo tournaments, you can find some at these links:

In the end, knowledge can benefit you. So take what you can to make yourself a better practitioner.


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