Attitudes: Ashida Medhi & Morris

I do both arts, but have never trained/rolled with the greats of the past or present. All I can say is that based on my own personal non-random obersvations judoka are better at nagewaza and BJJ players are better at newaza.

I'm a BJJ blue belt and judo white (should be gokkyu but never got around to testing). So basically I'm a newbie to both arts. But I've tapped a fair number of judo guys in newaza. Yes, they chuck me around standup with ease (i'm getting better).

I think it's all about the rules. Currently judo does not allow leg locks, and gives you very little time for newaza. So it's not surprising that most schools don't train this (esp techniques that are banned in tournaments). BJJ awards 2pts for the takedown, but then never stands you back up. So no surprise most BJJ guys only study mostly newaza.

I can't comment on what judo was like 'back in the day.' But today, right now, if asked the question: What is judo. I would have to look at judo as it's taught/practiced in 95%+ of all schools around the world, not the few 'old timers schools' that are stilling 'doing it right.'

I have nothing but love/respect for judo. And maybe BJJ WAS sloppy/bad judo. But today! Right now! More bjj players have better newaza skills than judoka.

I plan to go to Brazil to train and WILL visit Medhi school!!!

It seems we are back to old conversations. Sorry I opened up this can of worms.

Like I said I'm glad guys like Meddhi are finally getting the respect they are due. Their contribution to Judo and BJJ should be acknowledged.

I don't think BJJ is bad Judo, compared to todays standard BJJ matwork is very good. But when a man that has been doing Sankaku-jime for over fifty years says a top ranked mat work specealist should be able to apply the technique in less than twenty minutes no matter the size of his opponent, I listen.

It's to bad most of these guys are in their mid sixties and older because you don't get the experience of Randori. I was fortunate enough to have trained under men like Medhi, Ashida & Morris early in my Judo career. People used to come from all over Northern Japan just to workout with my Sensei and some of his top students as part of their preparation for the All Japan Champioships. He was 5'7" about 170, and he tossed 300 lb top ranked competitors around like nothing. His Newaza skills were just as effective.
Their training methods involved a balanced use of Kata & Randori.

I think it's a shame that people just disregard these mens oppinions because they are not saying what so many want to hear.

But most important is that you enjoy your training. If it serves you, then do it.

I guess the question is why they were unable to pass these talents along ... if someone is 60 then he should have a couple generations of students willing to fly his flag. where are they? why don't they compete in sub grappling or MMA and show how to slap that triangle on giants in no time? I understand that there are judo legends with unquestionable skills who are too old to compete, but where are their heirs?

that may sound flip, but its a real question. not every judoka is going to be in the olympics, and there are olympic level wrestlers who do MMA and sub grappling. where are the judoka?? (note: this does not apply to MFC guys, but you are a subset of the judo world).

Most Judokas for some reason do not like to analyze fight situations outside of the sport of judo,If the gracies had not debunked most of the theories that had existed for so long in the martial arts,I doubt a judoka somewhere would have done it.

Judokas like the MFC guys are few and far between,the
vast majority of judo men and please I don't mean catergorize all,but a high number of judo players are not interested in other methods of fighting outside of the judo sport arena.

The reason most judokas are starting to discover their
own true history and getting back into serious newaza study is because of the bjj explosion,otherwise only a
few would have known what kosen judo stood for.

Did you read what Joe Moreira posted on BJJ Q&A about training with Isao Okano in Japan? If I remember correctly, he said they split the throwing and groundwork 50/50 (2 hours throwing, 2 hours on the ground) every day.

I read that too! For everyone who doesn't know Joe trained with Okano at Okano's private Judo Dojo (I forgot the name...Seijuku, or something like that. He mentions it in his book "Vital Judo Grappling").

The training seemed pretty intense. Apparently Joe was a live-in-student at Okano's school (Okano in "VJG" describes his school as having dormitories). It seems the training reflects Okano's philosophy about Judo training...he states in "VJG" that he desired to be as good at groundfighting as he was at throws so he spent time doing both.

Incidently Okano also stated in the preface of his book that he studied "kicks and strikes" of jujutsu (his word) in order to get a better understanding of position and balance even though he didn't use kicks and strikes in Judo competition. So his training was pretty well rounded.

This is gonna sound disrespectful, but it isn't meant to be.

The problem with old guys is they think everything they did when they were young men was better. Try to convince an old guy that Muhammad Ali would have knocked out Jack Dempsey or Joe Louis. You are in for a long conversation with no results.

I would take an all-star team of judoka from 1980 to the present and put them against any all-star team from the previous 100 years. The old school guys would get beat down badly. I would bet everything I own on the outcome.

The old school guys didn't benefit from modern training methods, better diet, or the internationalization of judo. The modern application of judo techniques is so superior to the days when the Randori No Kata was developed that I find it hard to entertain the thought that nage waza was superior 100 years ago.

So while I respect everything that these men achieved and give their opinions serious weight, it doesn't change my opinion that they are wrong in their statements.

And the next time some old timer tells you that Babe Ruth was a better athlete and home run hitter than Barry Bonds, just smile at him and tell him he's right. It'll save you some time! :)

I enjoy both arts, and I think their is a lot of overlap and some differences, the manner moves are taught is different and the manner you roll is totally different but I 'm sure I don't have to explain that to you guys, what I do feel the need to explain is this, good post Q, "You know how many people have known triangles who have never gotten Dan in one?"

A lot of posters on this forum look at things like beginners. They do not have a trained eye. They look soley at single moves and say, oh, thats a triangle, I know that, how did he get caught in such a simple move? Oh, thats just an armbar! It's good you know what the finishing move is, but people totally overlook the set up, the reactions, the instincts involved, if you just go out and go for one move it is easy as hell to stop, you have to surprise them or else they see it coming and it's easy to stop, IMHO. It's the equivalent of ignoring kazushi in Judo and only trying to do the throws. BJJ guys are masters of ground kazushi, at least guys I've rolled with and some of the Judo guys I know send fear through you the instant you grip and nothing has even happened yet.

LOL guys. Their are only so many ways to tap someone out, just because their is overlap in subs/throws doesn't mean they are taught, done, looked at the same at all.

"I understand that there are judo legends with unquestionable skills who are too old to compete, but where are their heirs?"

They are at Metro Fight Club baby!!!! Bring the thunder,bring the noise,Maeda smiles up to the Metro boys...

Judo guy,

I see your point.

I personally dislike it when the older generation say they were tougher and everything they did was better etc then the new generation. I also hate when the new generation believes they are so much more "advanced" and innovative then the older generation.

I think their both full of BS.

As far as innovations go alot of times the so-called new things are simple "old" techniques (including strategies) that have resurfaced. It becomes nothing more than just a continous cycle of rediscovering ideas, strategies, concepts, prinicples that were either neglected or forgotten. I truly don't believe there can be anything truly "new" in the martial arts. Why? Because they are only so many ways the body can move and there are only so many ways it can attack and defend. The older generation has the same body the new generation has. Furthermore the same principle that made the techniques work back than are the same ones that make them work today. So generally the practitioners of yesterday are working with the exact same material they are working with today and vice/versa. The effectiveness actually lies in the capabilities of the individual. Judo and Bjj and all martial arts for that are activities. They are not cars, planes, trains, or other machines that can be updated. People try to make it seem as if Judo, Bjj or boxing are cars where the material of the newer model is different and better than the material and engineering of the older model. That analogy doesn't work because Judo/Bjj/boxing are activies not things and the "thing" which performs the activity hasn't change neither has the principles which govern it.

Now true we certainly know more today about the body as well as how to take care of it. But the those elements that get you in shape simply the elements that get you in shape. If you're fitness level is already high, that is your in shape (ones peak level)then what difference does the methology to get in shape make? In other words, Kimura peak fitness level would be the same today as it was in the 40s and any top competitor of today's peak fitness level would be the same. The methology to reach the peak level may vary from individual to individual in either generation the end result is the same...which is the person has reach their peak I don't buy that the new generation is necessarily in better shape than the older generation.

I think the fundamental problem is neither generation recognizes that the other being proficient and effecient in the artform that happen to practice. Every single generation ALWAYS feels they were better. This generation now, I guarantee will believe the next generation won't be as tough, as knowledgeable or as skillful as they were. IMHO both generation have room for improvement. Both generation knowledge is incomplete and both generation certainly aren't as skillful as they could be. Old info isn't necessarily good and/or useful info BUT so-call new info isn't necessarily good/or useful either. Each bit of info needs to be scutized, examined and tested. The fact that it is old or new doesn't make it good. Good, useful, solid, practical, true info is beneficial because it simply is beneficial. That's its nature. And what proves its nature is that is stand against scruity and examination. Some of the talk the older guy spew is complete garbage some of it is. Some of the talk the "new guys" is simply no good BUT some of it is good.

My whole point is I personally don't think either the old or the new generation are any better than each other. I think efficiency and proficiency is root in the individual. And I feel a truly proficiency individual will adapt regardless of the time frame or era they may hypothetically find themselves in. I think the certainly alot of influences to ones skill level but if you're good you're good and one ought to be able to adjust to their environment and still display their skill.

In every sport for which we have quantifiable results, human performance has improved markedly over time. elite athletes are stronger, faster, jump higher, etc. so why wouldn't the same be true for non-quantifiable sports?

Joe Murphy is correct.

wilt Chamberlain claimed that if he would played in the NBA today, he would average 70 points a game. Yeah right. When he played during the early 20th century, he was basically a giant among midgets. Back then NBA players were only 6'0" on average. Now the average player is 6'10". Notice the physiques of your average NBA player compared to Larry Bird and Bob Cousy. Big difference...


interesting thread.

MG your posts are cool I always enjoy reading them.

I like Scott Sonnen's posts too but my eye glaze over on part 3 of a 256 part theisis.

armbar being an older guy, I saw Wilt play for the lakers. Even at the end of his career he was an incredible athelete. I really dont think the average NBA height was 6' at his time period but I am sure the average heights have gone up considerably. Given Wilt in his prime and some of the top centers now in their primes, Wilt would most likley have been able to hang with any of em except Shaq.

Evolution yes but in terms of BJJ/Judo I remember Bolo telling the story of guys from Brazil showing the latest and greatest tech's to JoeM and JoeM's reply was basically nothing new under the sun.

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Sorry, I don't buy your argument when the discussion is about judo.

Judo development is no longer dominated by Japanese ideas as it was prior to 1964. A whole bunch of grappling knowledge has gone into judo that didn't originate in Japan. In fact, there has been more added to judo since 1964 than was added from the time the Gokyo was established until then. The judokas who competed from 1882-1964 would be completely at a loss when they came up against modern players.

An incident that gives a little bit of visibility into this is when the Soviet judo team went to Japan in the early 60's and beat Japan by the score of 3-2. Okano lost the last match by armbar. Because the Soviets were unorthodox they confused even the modern Japanese players and achieved a victory. It was a rude awakening for the Japanese. They had to change the way they trained and the way they approached judo. The old guys never got that opportunity.

joemurphy is correct of course and I tried to allude to the same point in my earlier post. As much as I remember how Mark Spitz dominated the 72 Olympics with 7 medals and 7 world records, he wouldn't win a bronze at the collegiate level anymore. I don't know the high school records, but I wouldn't wager against some high school kid having better times than Mark.

Why anyone thinks that Kimura at 5'6" and 185 pounds would have a shot at lasting with 5'11" 265 pounds of Yamashita I have no idea.

socal - Wilt is a great athlete (RIP) and could probably hang with today's centers (that doesn't say much since most of today's NBA centers suck), but saying that he would score 70 PPG against today's NBA players is ridiculous...

He doesn't have a 52" inch vertical like he claimed and there is no way that he banged 30,000 women...It is a miracle that he didn't catch an STD...The point is

This is getting a little off topic I know...

MG you never disappoint...Can you write my terma paper for me? JK LOL

Judo guy,

I don't buy your point based on the fact that your assuming that most if not all the Japanese Judoka of that era were into Judo "that much" ("that much" meaning professional athletes).

Plain and simple they were not.

I don't think the Soviet team beat that Japanese Judoka team simple because of their "unorthodox style" (even though that may have alittle to do with it) I think the greater reason was they were pretty much "professional athletes" hand picked and customed fit (the soviet conditioning system was highly advance - mostly because they spent alot of time and money on it - and was ultilized for most if not all the sports the soviets participated in. The training techniques and principles the used and developed are still used today. I know because my field of study is Exercise Science) to be a force to reckon with.

I believe that has much to do with their victory then anything else. Furthermore Isao Okano was warned about the Soviets skill in Armlocks...obviously he didn't heed it. One of the Japanese team members took the heads up and actually pinned his Soviet opponent.

Now it should be noted that two Japanese Judokas (Sato and Kashiwazaki) using mostly Judo techniques went into the heartland of Sambo - Moscow, Russia - and clean house. They had very limited exposure to Sambo and pretty much studied it on the run - yet they were able to "adapted" and defeat the soviets at their own game. It isn't a matter of changing the "way" one trains - it is simply "knowing your enemy" and preparing properly for them. Sato clearly explains this in his book "Best Judo".

Incidently Isao Okano was a man of equal size to Kimura and his international record is just as impressive.


If you don't think that the Japanese judoka trained like professional athletes, you are very wrong. I've heard the stories of the training sessions. Most days they were on the mat or training 6-7 hours. Nearly all randori. They were some bad ass mofos, but I don't think they would have beaten the modern elite players.

The internationalization of judo has changed the sport tremendously since 1964. If you can't see that by watching the matches, recording the winning techniques and observing the strategy, well me typing a few words here ain't gonna change your opinion.

I think its common sense that if you approached judo competition in 2002 with a 1950 or 1960 mindset, you would be tossed on your ass in nothing flat.

Kashiwazaki was leglocked while still in university by the Soviet champion in sambo. He had exposure to leglocks and obviously figured them out prior to winning the world sambo champ. in 1975 (6 years prior to winning the judo one).

The Soviets lost more than they won initially (they took home 4 bronze medals vs. 3 gold and one silver for Japan in 1964) vs. Japan, so I also don't buy that the Japanese were unprofessional relative to the Soviets. They clearly were professional or they would have been smoked by the Soviets...

In the end judo benefitted and guys like Seisenbacher (sp?) used a good juji, a good uchi, a good osoto, nice grips, modern training techniques, etc. to win 2 Olympics.

Sato was the person who pinned the Soviet player that armbarred Okano (which was teh second time that happened to Okano against a Soviet, so warnings weren't needed per se). Sato was called the best newaza man in the 1970s by his student Kashiwazaki who knows about the UFC, BJJ, etc. and still feels that Sato was probably the best newaza guy.

just my rambling on late at night...

Judo Guy,

You kinda of missed my point.

No right minded person would go to a gun fight with just a knife.

My point is the "athletes" if there are true athletes are going to adapt.

Its dumb (I'm not calling you dumb I'm just questioning the logic) IMHO to say that a 1964 Elite Judo fighter will be defeated by today modern elite player BECAUSE the 1964 fighter simply is going to fight the way he did in 1964 - he is going to "adapt" and compete using the methods that are available to him today likewise the "modern" judoka is going to use whatever training methods that would be available to him in 1964. In other words. neither one is going to be the same type of fighter or their era if they are somehow "magically" transported to another era.

Believe it or not people are not dumb. Judo is a dynamic sport and not a static one. People are able to adapt "their" skills to their environment. People DO NOT stay the same (I'm talking about how they mentally analysis circumstances and situation. When things do not work a certain way people "adjust". A smart Judoka who has the athletic skills will "adjust" his game as well as his training methods to "fit" his needs.

No intelligent person is going to do the samething over and over if it doesn't work.

So I disagree with you premise. I tried to use Sato and Kashiwazaki experience in Sambo to illustrate my point about how a good athlete "adjust" his game.