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What is Judo?

Judo history



Mixed Martial Arts

Judo for self defence

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Judo and other martial arts

Welwyn Garden City (Herts) Judo club encourages members taking different martial arts. We presently have adult members who train in karate, wrestling, Thai boxing, jujitsu and Brazilian jujitsu.

In recent years, the popularity of mixed martial arts and cage fighting has risen steadily and many adults have chosen to start take up judo to improve their grappling skills and submission techniques.

Several members of Welwyn Garden City (Herts) Judo also train at Bushin Mixed Martial Arts and Mill Hill RGA Brazilian Jujitsu. This training cannot fail to be beneficial to a judoka and is encouraged.

We are also keen for our members to visit other local Hertfordshire judo clubs, such as St Albans Judo Club, to improve their judo.

Brief Description of Martial Arts

Jujitsu - Jujitsu is considered the father of many other Japanese martial arts including aikido, karate and judo. In terms of its technical range, it is one of the most complete martial arts in existence. It includes grappling, strikes, submission techniques as well as weapons techniques.

Brazilian Jujitsu -Brazilian jujitsu is a grappling martial art that is largely ground based. It took off worldwide when Royce Gracie won the first Ultimate Fighting Championships, a no-holds-barred cage-fighting event in 1994. Since then, the Gracies have won many such events.

There is a large crossover of techniques between Brazilian jujitsu and judo. Brazilian jujitsu has more ground based techniques than judo and includes techniques that are not allowed in judo, such as leg locks.

Judo - Judo is a grappling martial art. It contains no kicks or punches. Judo involves throwing the opponent to the floor, controlling the opponent on the floor and, for adults, submission techniques (strangles, chokes and armlocks). Judo is now an Olympic sport and students often enter tournaments.

Judo was derived from jujitsu by Professor Kano. The striking and dangerous aspects of jujitsu – such as head locks and spine locks have been removed so that, in judo, the opponents can really “go for it” (full contact - as they would in a live environment) with the assurance that there is little likelihood of hurting their opponent. This is not the case with martial arts such as jujitsu, where situations have to be carefully staged and controlled so that the parties involved are not hurt.

Karate - Karate is the general name used to describe many schools of strike-based martial arts. They largely incorporate punches and kicks. Kata (solo drills) are fundamental to karate. The most famous schools of karate are Shotokan, Wado-ryu, Shito-Ryu and Goju-ryu. Most karate involves the use of sparring and prearranged fighting drills. This has led to the creation of Sport Karate, which is a form of semi-contact competitive fighting.

Akido - Aikido uses elegant flowing circular moves to control an attack by utilising an opponent’s energy and momentum. It uses joint-locks and throws to subdue an attacker. The focus of the locks is based around the wrist and the elbow. The majority of the techniques are based on the aggressor making the first move. There are several major styles of aikido today.

Thai Boxing - Thai Boxing originated in Thailand and combines boxing style punches with powerful low kicks, knee and elbow strikes. Thai boxing has proved effective in K1 tournaments and in cage fighting and is proving poplar with many mixed martial artists.

Tae-Kwon Do - Tae-Kwon Do is a Korean martial art. It is primarily a strike based martial art and is known for its high kicks. The basic punches and kicks of modern Tae-Kwon Do are the same as those used in karate. Tae-Kwon Do however tends to concentrate on kicks more than punches and is now an Olympic Sport.

Cage Fighting (MMA - Mixed Martial Arts) - Cage fighting was devised to be as close to street fighting as possible. The effectiveness of all the martial arts could then be tested in a live environment, to see which martial art proves to be the ultimate winner.

Cage fighting has rules and these handicap martial arts to different extents:

  • No eye gouges and punches to the throat– karate contestants are handicapped by the removal of these dangerous techniques.
  • The cage having a sprung floor - judo and wrestling contestants are handicapped by a sprung floor which nullifies the effect of throws to the ground. Throws to a solid floor could produce devastating back injuries.
  • Contestants allowed to just wear shorts. This seems a strange rule as street fights rarely occur with both parties just wearing shorts! The lack of clothing handicaps judo contestants who are used to using clothing for controlling their opponent and applying techniques.
  • The use of light (sparring) boxing gloves. Boxing and striking martial arts are handicapped by the use of the lightly padded gloves, which slightly cushion a punch.
  • The assurance that the opponent is not armed. Classical Jiu Jitsu teaches many dis-armament techniques
  • The assurance that the opponent does not have friends ready to join in. Going to the ground in a street fight is dangerous when other people could join in. The ability to go safely to the ground greatly helps Brazilian jujitsu which is largely ground based.

Initially the grappling skills of Brazilian jujitsu, judo and wrestling proved their effectiveness over the striking martial arts in the cage fights. In addition it became clear that martial art training in a “live environment” was far more effective than training which relied heavily on the use of katas (pre-arranged movements) or semi-contact sparring.

In recent years, striking martial arts have proved their worth and it has become clear that no “one” martial art is superior to all others. Rather, a mixture of martial arts produces the best “fighting machine”.

A present day MMA/cage fighter will usually base his training and fighting strategy on a mixture of:

  • Groundwork - Brazilian Jujitsu and Judo
  • Takedowns - Judo and Wrestling
  • Low kicks, elbow and knee strikes - Muay Thai (Thai boxing)
  • Punching – Boxing & Muay Thai (Thai boxing), Karate

Welwyn Garden City Judo club (Hertfordshire) welcomes people from all combat disciplines who wish to try out judo. Whether it is to improve their cage fighting/MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) abilities or just to see if they enjoy the sport of judo. We presently have members with experience of the Brazilian jujitsu, karate, boxing and Thai boxing disciplines.

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Welwyn Garden City Judo Club

Based at Gosling Stadium, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire.