5 Ways To Keep Training In The Judo Off-Season: Part 1-Train Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

train in off season

Summer’s almost here and this is when people start going on vacation, and clubs either shut down or start cutting down on the number of sessions per week.  What a bummer!

So what can you do to keep progressing your skills through the summer?

There’s a lot of things you can do and we’ve got a Five Part Series for you.

  1. Sign Up For Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
  2. Lift Weights
  3. DIY Dojo with your friends
  4. Rubber band uchikomi
  5. Sign Up for San Shou/Sanda

So let’s get started with Part 1:


1) Sign up for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

If judo isn’t available to you over the summer, than BJJ is most definitely the next best thing.  After all, BJJ and Judo are just two sides of the same coin.

What is BJJ?  Is it the mysterious ne-waza only version of judo?   If you are a judoka who hasn’t rolled with a BJJer, you may be surprised at the depth of their techniques.  This is what happens when judo is taught to some Brazilians by a Japanese prize fighter who also trained in various styles of Japanese Jiu Jitsu (Mitsuyo Maeda).  The art was then left alone to progress for decades before being brought to, and popularized in the US in the form of the first Ultimate Fighting Championship.

The modern ruleset for BJJ and judo have driven each one to be a specialty in their own domain. One for ground work, the other throws. Training one without the other only allows you to see half of the whole picture that makes up maximum efficiency – minimal effort grappling.

Below was a quote from Carlos Lemos Jr on Slideyfoot‘s blog on judo and bjj.  Carlos was the 2002 Mundials black belt champion.

“Where I live in Chicago, it is one of the three top states in wrestling in America, so all the wrestlers over there are really good. So when I fight, most of my fights I’m going against collegiate wrestlers. I think it is a big mistake for Brazilian jiu jitsu fighters to try and prepare for the cage with a wrestling camp. Wrestling is based on power and explosion: our muscle memory as jiu jitsu fighters is not the same.”

“I really believe that judo and jiu jitsu is the right combination”

Have a look at what BJJ and judo can do in combination together.



Getting into BJJ is easy.  There are ton’s of clubs around as it’s much more widespread than judo these days.  You already have a gi, so you shouldn’t have any excuses.

To sign up for a good BJJ club, there is no better way than to go and test them out for yourself.

Some Considerations:

  1. Go to a practice and see how you fit in with the people.  Are they friendly, does everyone roll in a safe manner, is the instructor helpful?
  2. Does their training schedule fit with yours?
  3. How far away is the dojo?  The closer it is, the more likely you’ll go and train
  4.   Talk to your friends who cross train, and go with them if possible.
  5. Look online for a reputable BJJ club with an instructor with at least a purple belt.  Brown or Black belt is preferred, and a blue belt instructor may be acceptable if you are in a rural area with few choices.

Once you’ve found a reputable looking club, email the instructor (who are usually addressed as ‘Professor’).

Your email might look like this:

Hi Professor (his name here),

I’m a (xxxx) belt in judo and I have been training for about (xxx) years.  I currently train at (xxxx) club, but because of the summer off season, our (off season is starting / hours are cut to xxx sessions per week).

I’d like to keep my training fresh through the summer and heard lots of good things about cross training in BJJ.

Would I be able to come by and give BJJ a try at your club?

Please let me know when the best session would be for me to come in this coming week and also if I should bring anything in addition to my gi.  I’m also happy to pay a mat fee, so just let me know what that will be.

Thanks for your time,

(Your Name)

There you have it!  Get going to your local BJJ club, and don’t forget to check out the rest of our 5 Part Series on How to Train in the Off Season this coming  week!

Do you cross train BJJ? If so how do you fit it into your schedule?

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