What is Freestyle Judo?

Firstly, let me explain that the current state of traditional Judo as it is represented in the Olympics emphasizes Nage-waza or throwing techniques. With a well executed throw the match is over, like the knockout punch in boxing. Because it is simpler and quicker to win the match with a single throw than it is to hold down a skilled opponent for 25 seconds or attempt to isolate his arm for a submission, throwing techniques are honed, practiced, and perfected. Sadly this has lead to the almost extinction of Ne-waza or ground techniques in many modern judo clubs.

In the opposite respect we have Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, an off shoot of judo which emphasizes Ne-waza over the take downs themselves. For BJJ players the only point in a throw is to get the opponent to the ground where they can use their skill. In competition we see many BJJ players simply sit down at the beginning of the match without even engaging in any Nage-waza. Both instances are saddening, but luckily there is Freestyle Judo.

Freestyle Judo takes a middle ground between the two philosophies. In FJ we feel that the throw is important because of its devistating effect on an enemy being thrown on a solid surface and when properly executed gives distinct advantages for the use of ground techniques. In competition the submissions are expanded to allow for a more dynamic ground game to be incorporated. As freestyle judoka we appreciate and study all aspects of grappling, not simply those techniques and strategies that would benefit us in competition.

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