Thursday, August 22, 2013

Travis Stevens: Copa Podio, Humility, Judo, and Jiu-Jitsu

Judo: It's a tough sport.

This will bother some people, but I believe it.
You don't go to a foot doctor if your hand is hurting.

This as it applies to grappling is the same.
Disclaimer: This is not another tireless BJJ vs Judo debate. Just my thoughts, having competed in both for going on something like 7-8 years now.

If I want to learn how to take people down in the Gi, I'm going to go see a sambo player or a Judo player. If I want to work on my NoGi takedown game....wait for it....I'll go see a wrestler.
If I want to learn how to pin, I'll go see a Judo player or a wrestler or a sambo player.
If I want to polish my submissions, my finesse, and my control, I'll go see a Jiu-Jitsu player.

This always ruffles feathers on some level.
I don't know why, and frankly, it's silly.

If a Judoka goes to Jiu-Jitsu and tries to just take everyone down and pin them in side control and not move, they're missing all the other areas. If a wrestler tries to just stay in the guard and not get swept or submitted, they're missing all the other areas. If a Jiu-Jitsu player just pulls guard from the feet at Judo practice and attempts to quickly take the back and get a submission during standing Randori, they're missing all the other areas. If a sambo player refuses to learn any chokes at Jiu-Jitsu practice and tries to heel hook everyone, they're missing the other areas. If a Judo player takes a BJJ player and smashes them into the mat at their first Judo practice to prove a point, they too then are guilty of the same false-pride.

I don't take people down in BJJ the way I do in Judo. I don't go for submissions in Judo the way I do in BJJ. I've learned a lot by simply taking each sport as their own, training them separately and when competing or in competition practice trying things out.

Travis Stevens has an interview up over at Graciemag. He's accepted the offer to compete at the upcoming Copa Podio.

There's a lot of humility in the article for a guy ranked #5 in the world at his weight in Judo and a 2 time Olympian. He doesn't see the two sports as being very similar or the need to bring the rule sets in each sport any closer together (based on other interviews of his I have read). I have two different modes when competing in Judo as compared to Jiu-Jitsu. I like the two sports separate just fine. They're different visually/aesthetically, they attract differing personality types and emphasize a number of different attributes. I used to wish there was more or less of this in each sport and the reality is there is no happy or perfect or ideal medium. I have my quibbles with the governing bodies/politics/rule changes in each, but by and large, I just see them as separate now and enjoy them each relatively separately.

The most prescient point he makes is in the first line of the article's title: "I'm going to Copa Podio to do BJJ, not Judo." Sounds simple enough, and yet, that's the point.
TRAVIS STEVENS: Unfortunately for me the strategies that are used in Judo are not the same as BJJ so there wont be much cross over. The only thing that I will be able to bring to the table from Judo is how comfortable I feel while competing. I’m used to competing about 15-16 times a year for Judo which keeps me in a competition mind set.

TRAVIS STEVENS: I don’t think my Judo accomplishments will be overlooked but I think that my Judo accomplishments won’t help me in any BJJ competition. Even if someone tries to stand up and take me down I’m just going to pull guard anyways. I’m going to Copa Podio to do BJJ not Judo.



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