Martial Arts Similar to Judo

Updated on March 31, 2020
NateB11 profile image

I've been training in martial arts since the 1980s and consistently since the '90s. I am a 2nd-degree black belt in Kenpo Karate.

Judo involves a lot of throws and is an Olympic sport.
Judo involves a lot of throws and is an Olympic sport. | Source

Judo is a martial art famous for its throws. So, it's quite obvious that it is a grappling art, meaning that it involves grabbing, wrestling, and trying to control, throw, and lock up or choke your opponent.

Many martial arts are similar and use similar principles. In recent times, grappling arts have become prominent, especially because of their use in MMA bouts like in UFC tournaments where the Gracie family made Brazilian Jiu Jitsu famous.

Judo is actually a derivative of jiu jitsu just as Gracie jiu jitsu is a derivative of judo and jiu jitsu. Read on to find out more.

Jiu JItsu Vs. Judo

Judo is, in fact, derived from jiu jitsu. However, it differs in many ways, though it is more similar than different from its mother art.

Judo was formed to be a little bit of a tamer version of jiu jitsu. Jiu Jitsu is an art meant for samurai battles, the art of tossing people on their heads, dislocating their joints, and choking them into unconsciousness. It is a self-defense art meant for the streets and for war.

Judo is an Olympic sport that is not meant to kill people per se. When Kano Jigoro Shihan created the art and his dojo, the Kodokan, he intended the art to be used as spiritual development and, in fact, it became a source for physical education.

But the fact remains that Kano was a jiu jitsu practitioner and some of the basis for judo is, in fact, jiu jitsu. He was a master of jiu jitsu and this allowed him to lay the foundation for judo.

Philosophy of Judo

Aikido Vs Judo

Aikido is another "spiritual" art, emphasizing the soft and yielding aspects of martial arts. However, judo is more combat oriented. Aikido has little ground work and the throws are mainly joint manipulation. The locks are also centered on joints and there is no real emphasis on chokes.

Judo, however, has all of the "harder" aspects of jiu jitsu. Aikido, also based in jiu jitsu, uses locks and emphasizes using the opponent's movement against him, allowing him to unbalance himself and taking advantage where he has no leverage.

Judo emphasizes throws, some of which are very deadly is executed in a way to do damage to the attacker.
Judo emphasizes throws, some of which are very deadly is executed in a way to do damage to the attacker. | Source

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Vs. Judo

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, like Gracie Jiu Jitsu, was meant for the street. It is a modification of judo and elements of jiu jitsu for the streets of Brazil. Helio Gracie learned from a master from Japan who relocated to Brazil. As is usual with those seriously studying a martial art, Helio found he could modify the art to better suit his native environment, the rough and tumble environment of Brazil. He created a style in which the practitioner sticks to the opponent and ties him up on the ground in a lock or choke.

Shootfighting Vs. Judo

Ken Shamrock, a famous UFC fighter from the early days of the competition, is probably one of the most famous shootfighters.

Shootfighting came from the professional wrestling of Japan, and is a combination of wrestling, kenpo, jiu jitsu and muay thai. In other words, it is a combination of grappling and striking. Noticeably, a shootfighter is as likely to attack the ankle and leg, for a lock, as he is to attack the arm or neck. Knee bars and ankle locks are common attacks in the shootfighter's repertoire.

Sambo Vs. Judo

Sambo is a grappling art from Russia. The sambo player is as comfortable on the ground as a Brazilan Jiu Jitsu artist. The art is strongly based in judo and also wrestling. The system seems quite unorthodox when witnessed because the fighter will drop low and attack and sweep the legs for take downs and tie ups. Sambo fighters also use a healthy amount of heavy kicks and punches.

Sambo Scissor Leg Takedown

Commando Arts Vs. Judo

Commando arts have elements of judo and jiu jitsu—locks, throws and chokes—mixed with strikes and kicks from Karate and Kung Fu. The techniques are simple and direct: A block, strike, takedown and finishing move. But the art makes use of locks for control and disarming, and strikes for finishing and distraction moves; strikes to initiate pain so that you can finish an attacker. Remember this art is meant for war, not street self-defense, so the idea is to disable the opponent. Though, it definitely can be used for self defense.

At any rate, the idea is to control an opponent, through lock or leverage, take him down and disable him by whatever means.

Commando Use of Locks and Throws

Krav Maga Vs. Judo

Krav Maga is a practical self defense art with roots in Israeli military and intelligence that naturally incorporates jiu jitsu; it makes use of throws from judo and wrestling, strikes from karate and boxing and pares techniques down for very necessary and quick combat.

Kenpo Vs. Judo

Kenpo was founded partly with principles of judo, particularly Ed Parker's kenpo since Parker is a judo man. Kenpo actually involves quite a bit of grapping, locks and how to defend against locks. In fact, because the arts are related, many Dan Zan Ryu Jiu Jitsu practitioners from the Kodenkan know kenpo and vice versa. This is a natural outgrowth of the sharing of martial arts information of artists practicing in Hawaii where American Kenpo and Dan Zan Ryu was formulated and founded.

The basis of arts like Jiu Jitsu is to not use force but to use leverage.
The basis of arts like Jiu Jitsu is to not use force but to use leverage.

Many arts use judo or techniques that are like judo because of the practical aspects of controlling an opponent, locking joints and using leverage to gain an advantage and to throw an opponent to the ground and into a compromising position.

While studying martial arts, you will find that many arts have a basis in judo or make use of many judo techniques.


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    • profile image


      3 months ago

      Thank you, Umesh.

    • profile image


      3 months ago

      Very exhaustive and informative. Thanks.

    • NateB11 profile imageAUTHOR

      Nathan Bernardo 

      4 months ago from California, United States of America

      I can imagine. There's a lot of ego in martial arts, unfortunately. But, at any rate, yeah, people that try to force techniques don't understand how they work.

    • Kyler J Falk profile image

      Kyler J Falk 

      4 months ago from Corona, CA

      This article reminded me of MCMAP, and all the dorks I knocked into the dirt because they felt they were good enough after their green belt. Military martial arts really need a general update to their lower teachings. Everything up to green belt is basically just grappling and brute force tactics blended into an ugly hope that your opponent isn't as skilled as you.


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