Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) & Judo

I was browsing through my stats on this website recently, and found that there’s alot of people searching on the term ‘BJJ’.

It has clearly become the ‘Martial Art of the Month’… although that’s not really an accurate phrase.  I think you understand my meaning, however.  Various Martial Arts seem to have periods of popularity… as I recall, it was Judo through the 50’s-60’s, then came Karate, Hapkido with a short run (’Billy Jack’ comes to mind), then Ninjitsu was the hot MA.  Kung Fu was of course in there too.

Even Aikido, which Steven Segal is largely responsible for - managed to make it to the top - albeit largely among the ‘new-age’ type crowd.

Sad to say, Kendo never seems to have gotten it’s shot at the most popular - at least here in America.  So I say: “Kendoka - go whack the next guy you see upside the head with a broomstick”… perhaps Hollywood will come up with a sword bearing hero.

But there is no doubt to anyone who pays attention, that the UFC’s have put BJJ right at the top of the popularity cycle.  Over on rec.martial-arts, the newsgroup forum, weeks can go by without a post on Judo.  Yet, it seems that not an hour can go by without someone discussing yet again how effective BJJ is in MMA competition, or some such topic.

Being a capitalistic society, BJJ has certainly taken advantage of the supply & demand - I’ve heard of prices exceeding $100 per month, and many classes are being taught by BJJ Blue belts. (Rather than the more traditionally accepted and experienced black belts.)

I say, more power to ‘em!  Many new recruits they enlist will find their way to Judo clubs - where we do much the same thing at a drastically lower price.  Their concentration on newaza can only improve the average Judoka’s newaza, so where’s the problem?

I’m amused that the MMA bulletin boards are filled with derogatory comments on Judo… for example, it was said that Yoshida’s MMA fights were “fixed” - as if a World Champion in Judo couldn’t ‘hang’ with the BJJ crowd. :)

This sort of attitude isn’t reflected in the minds of the more dedicated and experienced BJJ’ers, just as it’s not among Judo black belts… it seems that trashing other arts is pretty much a mudansha thing.

I have the sneaking suspicion that if you don’t trash all other arts beside your own - you feel disloyal to your favorite art.  Why, I’ve even seen derogatory comments about Godo - which could be dangerous if overheard by a Godo Master.

But I digress… I’ll say it now, though, that BJJ students are always welcome at our Judo club, and from the stories I hear from fellow Judoka, suggest that we are welcome at BJJ academies as well.

So let the mudansha sling the mud - the rest of us will continue to train and learn…