Judo for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu-Brian Jones


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Brian Jones’ “Judo for BJJ” is a good introduction to throwing for competitors who work with the gi. It runs about 70 minutes long, and the pace is good. There is a good mix of areas of concern, and of the throws presented.

After the introduction, the first section is on breakfalls (18:00). They are presented in progressions so that those unfamiliar with them can work up to the harder falls. (Personally, this is an area I am VERY comfortable with. I didn’t see anything groundbreaking here, but the methods shown were solid fundamentals).

The next section was one of the parts I was really looking forward to: gripping strategies (13:00). Brian discusses stance and how it figures into your takedown strategy. Then he shows a variety of grip break drills when your opponent grips before you do. Each of the breaks leads into an offensive grip, which is something I really appreciated—most of the basic grip breaks I’ve seen bring us back to neutral. He shows a variety of breaks from lapel grips (high, middle, and low), sleeve grips, and the high collar grip. Then he demonstrates a couple of basic ways to drill these, as well as integrating these drills with the material later in the tape.

Next up is the primary topic—Throws & Takedowns (28:00). Brian shows 5 throws, but more importantly, he spends a lot of time showing how to set them up. Each throw is done from multiple grips and set-ups. Brian makes note that there are 3 possibilities that give us a throw: our partner moves into it by chance, we pull our partner into it, or we initiate another move that our partner responds to by moving into our throw. The setups shown include each of these, though the emphasis is clearly on the latter group.

The 5 throws shown are Ko-uchi gari, Ko-soto gari, Osoto Gari, Kibisu Gaeshi, and Uchi Mata (little inner reap, little outer reap, major out reap, ankle pick, and inside thigh sweep). These are 5 very high percentage throws, and Brian links them together through common attacking grip positions (that he showed how to achieve in the Gripping section). The variations shown are very good, and all of them leave you in a good position to follow up on the mat (since we are addressing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competition, rather than Judo). It’s also worth noting that the grips and throws presented are primarily focused on attacking the stiff-armed, hunched over posture that is commonly seen in BJJ competition.

The next section is Counter-throws (8:00). This brief section shows 2 ways to counter an opponent who tries to attack when you secure the over-the-shoulder grip (one of Brian’s primary attacking positions used so far).

The last 3 minutes of instruction are devoted to strategies and drills to counter opponents who jump to guard. A couple of easy-to-do (but very effective) methods are shown, and then integrated into a drill.

In the conclusion, Brian reminds us to stick to the high percentage attacks, and to remember the takedown’s role in our overall gameplan. Even when attacking for a takedown, we should guard our backs and seek a position of advantage through our throw.

The DVD moves along at a good clip and balances its information well. I liked the attacks shown, and the way they are strung together. I have only 2 minor criticisms: First, that grip breaks are not shown for any of the attacking grips that Brian uses. Second, the throw that Brian lands over and over in the trailer (which is also the intro) is Harai Goshi, so I had my hopes up that it would be shown (it’s my favorite throw). However, it receives only a passing reference as an alternative to one of the attacks. Perhaps we will see it in the next installment.

Overall, this is a solid DVD, especially for the price. The drills that Brian shows to string everything together make it a really solid way of building a delivery system for standing grappling with the gi. I will look forward to future installments.

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