“Teach Them Judo, but Train Them like Wrestlers”

Thanks to Jason C. Brown for the quote in the title. It comes from Mel Bruno (a judo pioneer) and the book Drills for Grapplers. Here’s an excerpt.

The excerpt mentions that the goal should be not to “waste any precious training time while on the mat”. This is a good goal for coaches and athletes to live by. I feel like I fail in this often during classes or open mats where the pace is at times not even 1/10th of what it was when I wrestled. I should be able to work up a sweat even when I “go slow” during the technique instruction part of the class if I don’t pause at all and return to the starting position as fast as possible during reps. Drilling a sweep, a guard pass, or a submission for 10-20 reps in a half hour is not enough. I should be able to get in 50-100 reps. There’s 1800 seconds in a half hour, so for 10 seconds per rep that’s 180 reps between my partner and I.

Lately, given how much I train, and how much work I have off the mat, I have been questioning the value of practices that don’t beat the crap out of me in a short amount of time. Different goals require different levels of training, and if I want to beat some of the tougher blue belts out there, while still achieving what I want in my non-training endeavors, I have to constantly search for ways to remove the minutes and hours of training that don’t make me better, faster, stronger, smarter.

I will do judo and bjj my whole life, because I love it. And my goals will certainly evolve with time. But right now I am a competitor, and that means that I don’t want to enjoy practice, I want to “suffer” during practice, and instead enjoy the results of that “suffering”. I remember wrestling practices that made me want to quit wrestling. That’s the goal. To get to that level, and not quit, keep going, for months.

0 thoughts on ““Teach Them Judo, but Train Them like Wrestlers”

  1. Lori

    In terms of judo, I was talking to my dad today about Condello’s class and he said it’s typically pretty brutal. (You might have gone to his class before and know what it’s like already.) Maybe a few of us can take a road trip out there one of these days and get worked to the bone.


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