is judo safe/worth it?

ex-wrestler here who is considering taking up judo as a fun outlet. I don't mind scrapes and bruises but I've seen a disturbing amount of discussion around catastrophic knee injuries (the kind that would prevent you from training for months on end).

Any judo practitioners here know how common these types of injuries actually are? It's discussed online a lot, but hard to know if it's just confirmation bias. I'm keen to get started but hesitant to do something that could drastically alter one's quality of life.

  1. 4 months ago
    Anonymous

    I've trained for about 8 years, have seen a catastrophic knee lesion maybe once or twice... If you take it slow in the beginning and don't try to do stupid shit you won't hurt yourself. The ones that end up with serious injuries are usually beginners that try to do advanced techniques without knowing how to fall properly or how to execute the throw properly (and mostly are wrist or forearm fractures)

  2. 4 months ago
    Anonymous

    Knee injuries no, shoulder injuries are way more common along with lower back issues. Judo is very fun though, and as a wrestler you're going to enjoy it way more than BJJ imo. You'll need to focus on doing judo though and not just default to wrestling if you want to learn it well. After a certain point you'll know enough of the basics to branch out into wrestling adjacent judo styles like mongolian, georgian or russian style judo that focus on lifting people like a wrestler would.

  3. 4 months ago
    Anonymous

    watch this thread turn into a self defense/gun debate thread in minutes

  4. 4 months ago
    Anonymous

    if i do judo can i make friends and eventually gain enough confidence to get a gf?

    • 4 months ago
      Anonymous

      i love judo
      if you're relatively mindful and dont try any stupid shit (or let anyone try any stupid shit on you) its no more destructive than any other sport, wrestling included. the culture in judo is also very respect-oriented, so if you're injuring people left and right you're gonna get kicked out quickly. the only serious injury we've had was a shoulder injury in a shiai (dirty makikomi) which took him out for like 4 weeks then he was 100% again.

      depends on the club but confidence absolutely

      also want to try judo (but realistically it'd probably be BJJ because there aren't judo gyms near me) and the only thing that makes me hesitant are life changing neck injuries, like something that would paralyze me, or cauliflower ears. Don't know if I'm being too apprehensive. I have bad neuroticism sometimes.

      bjj gives cauliflower ears more if anything. youd also have to be really really really unlucky to get a neck injury like that in judo. a lot of good bjj coaches also know some judo, they may be able to teach the basics to you, ymmv.

      • 4 months ago
        Anonymous

        >bjj gives cauliflower ears more if anything
        is it really common? I guess headgear is always an option.

        • 4 months ago
          Anonymous

          ive been training for 7 years and pulled my head and ears out of all sorts of stupid shit and havent got it yet. other guys i know got to right away.
          if you wear headgear nobody will care

  5. 4 months ago
    Anonymous

    also want to try judo (but realistically it'd probably be BJJ because there aren't judo gyms near me) and the only thing that makes me hesitant are life changing neck injuries, like something that would paralyze me, or cauliflower ears. Don't know if I'm being too apprehensive. I have bad neuroticism sometimes.

  6. 4 months ago
    Anonymous

    if you live in north america i would do bjj over judo unless you live near a place like jimmy pedros, tenri or some well regarded university program. the level of grappling is IN GENERAL higher at the run of mill bjj school and competitions have a larger talent pool, and ex wrestlers seem to fit right in. if you are in europe id probably say the opposite.
    most judokas i know who have been at it a long time are pretty beat up, mostly shoulders and ribs, one who had lots of knee work done.
    if you go to a mma/competition focused gym you will have a room full of people who would be happy to stand with a wrestler.

  7. 4 months ago
    Anonymous

    Hey anon, I am an Aussie judoka (well I was). Almost a month ago I suffered a full rupture of my ACL and have significant meniscus damage too. This occurred from sparing during judo and my training partner attempting to throw me and my legs getting caught and my knee becoming dislocated.
    I need an ACL reconstruction and will have at last 12 months off judo as a result. Be very careful which schools/groups you join. The problem with a lot of modern judo IMO is that many of the students don't care about the primary tenants of judo, go full force during sparing and have shocking technique.
    I have every intent of going back to judo but will be far more selective of who I train with ever again.

    • 4 months ago
      Anonymous

      how do i know what is a good school and what isn't? how do i know which student is a thundercunt and who are just trying to keep it easy?

      • 4 months ago
        Anonymous

        Schools with teachers who are over 60 years old is a good start. Also, when clubs have national champions and international champions that also helps to ensure you have plenty of experience to draw from.
        If a club does not teach the very basics from the beginning (formal bow, proper break falls, how to roll safely) then you are being set up to fail.
        I started judo when I was 33 and am 36 now and have seen a few clubs. Clubs that make kids train with adults are horrible and you learn nothing.
        Also, keep in mind that many, many BJJ players and 'fighters' think they are good at judo. These are the people who will not drill the throws, they will go full force without regard for their training partner and they usually want to take all fights to the ground.
        Judo does have a significant ground (newaza) component and it does take a while to become competent. In my experience, the BJJ guys have little patience and are not interested in the nuance or technique of judo.
        Look for clubs that have plenty of fit black belts and who are interested in teaching newbs safely and effectively.
        If someone smashes you on your first time there, straight up tell them that you are new and they need to go easy. You learn nothing if you are getting thrown by everyone you are paired with.

      • 4 months ago
        Anonymous

        It's hard to really know unless you just keep doing randori (sparring).

        When I train with someone new, I kind of hold back and try not to take full advantage of openings unless my opponent does a very sloppy throw that can be countered. I'm not saying don't train with higher belts, but look out for people that just kinda manhandle you.

        I tend to meet aggression and energy to my opponent. If he's going all out, I go all out. If we're going slower paced with explosive/decisive attacks, I match. If we are tired as hell and we both agree to go easy, we go easy.

        Randori is a time for you to practice throws and see what works and what doesn't. When I was still starting I kept trying to go for Uchimatas but never had luck. Turned out Osoto gari was my more dominant throw. Then when I went back for a bit, my osoto gari never had an opening and had good chances to practice my uchimatas. Talking with a dude and you want to try a neat tai otoshi combo? Try it out during randori to see how well you understand the concept.

        Just have fun and be a teammate. Everyone is there to get better.

        • 4 months ago
          Anonymous

          Schools with teachers who are over 60 years old is a good start. Also, when clubs have national champions and international champions that also helps to ensure you have plenty of experience to draw from.
          If a club does not teach the very basics from the beginning (formal bow, proper break falls, how to roll safely) then you are being set up to fail.
          I started judo when I was 33 and am 36 now and have seen a few clubs. Clubs that make kids train with adults are horrible and you learn nothing.
          Also, keep in mind that many, many BJJ players and 'fighters' think they are good at judo. These are the people who will not drill the throws, they will go full force without regard for their training partner and they usually want to take all fights to the ground.
          Judo does have a significant ground (newaza) component and it does take a while to become competent. In my experience, the BJJ guys have little patience and are not interested in the nuance or technique of judo.
          Look for clubs that have plenty of fit black belts and who are interested in teaching newbs safely and effectively.
          If someone smashes you on your first time there, straight up tell them that you are new and they need to go easy. You learn nothing if you are getting thrown by everyone you are paired with.

          thank you anon! appreciate the helpful advice

  8. 4 months ago
    Anonymous

    I do judo on and off, mostly because of life getting in the way of things. However, I believe it's very based. Combine it with BJJ to become goated with grappling.

    The one negative downside is that judo works with gis, which is good but have hard transfer over to no gi grappling. It won't be too hard to learn over/underhooks, but unless your place just does gi you may be out of luck.

    Injury wise, I've never had an injury from judo. However I would feel it in my shoulders especially when I still hit heavy weights before practice. My only grappling injury was with no gi grappling more towards BJJ. The awkward way he took me down had me landing on my knee, bruising it and not being able to do anything for weeks to come. I shoulda been more careful all things considering cause I hadn't grappled for months before that.

  9. 4 months ago
    Anonymous

    Started judo earlier this year (did a two years in a uni club previously before elbow tendon issues took me out). Most recently have hurt a tendon on the side of my foot when I tried to resist a foot sweep, which has taken me out for a month.

    That said, it is very fun and challenging. The feel of getting an ippon against someone resisting when everything clicks and your opponent becomes weightless is like hitting a homerun, except more valuable because getting one ends the match.

  10. 4 months ago
    Anonymous

    this is a small thread but populated by really good people, pleasantly surprised.
    I would 100% recommend Judo. First thing I would look for are the teachers, if it seems like the Sensei's have a sense of integrity for the spirit of Judo it'll usually outline the training you will be doing, My club started with a warm up then stretch, then break falls, then some throwing drills, then a highlighted technique for that class, then standup and ground practice. If the format for the classes are like this I would not hesitate to get started, injuries are always linked to your training parter, if they are smart and make sure they will throw in a non risky way so no one gets injured theres virtually no downside.
    Getting the belts is really rewarding especially when from a grass roots kind of dojo as they wont hand them out quickly you actually have to earn them. The tournaments are incredibly fun to watch and participate in and the teachers are great for coaching and hyping you up. The people who practice Judo are always cool very unusual to find douchey people and they are easy to spot and lookout for.
    Also it unironically is a life skill to know how to fall properly, I have almost eaten shit a half dozen times falling off my mountain bike/downhill longboarding/just life in general but practicing breakfalls for many hours in your tenure of practice will make you reflexively fall in a safe position. I love the sport and I'm going back with my sisters so we can all get our black belts.
    t. 23yr old Green belt, about 5 years of experience. (Coulda ranked up more but I didnt compete much lol teen angst amirite.)

  11. 4 months ago
    Anonymous

    In my opinion Judo is less hard on the knees than wrestling if you liked to shoot a lot.

  12. 4 months ago
    Anonymous

    When I used to do judo and mma I had heard from one of the guys that just by it's nature of being a contact sport, you will eventually get hurt in some regard. Not a matter of if, but when.

    • 4 months ago
      Anonymous

      not wrong, but the entire idea of Judo is controlling your opponent. If you are afraid of injury consider two things, are you pairing yourself with people who will have your physical welfare in mind, and are you conducting yourself in a way that you will not injure yourself with poor positioning.

  13. 4 months ago
    Anonymous

    you're a rastler just practice your low singles and ankle picks, maybe a collar drag if you wear a gi with a cross collar grip to make their head spin
    checkmate judo nerds

    • 4 months ago
      Anonymous

      implying Judoka cant sprawl xD I hope you didnt forget Judo is a grappling sport

  14. 4 months ago
    Anonymous

    > Is Judo worth it?

    1000% it's super awesome, fun, full of chill people and has tons of lore / skills you can delve into. It also sets you up to scare the shit out of your BJJ friends when you train with them.

    >Is is safe

    It's a combat sport so realistically no. I'd say it's comparable to football which means getting the wind knocked out of you or jamming a finger is occasionally is guaranteed and having a knee or ankle injury take you out for 6+ weeks is pretty likely over a long enough time horizon. I'm currently at the tail end of 2 months nursing a dislocated patella I received during randori. I'm going back in a few weeks but staying away from randori for a bit longer. Overall it's been a pretty okay road to recovery and I don't regret anything.

    For you I'd recommend BJJ with a headpiece and being super picky about never rolling with spazzes if you're nervous about injuries, that's how most age 50+ guys do it.

  15. 4 months ago
    Anonymous

    It's worth it, but you're probably going to get injured somehow.

  16. 4 months ago
    Anonymous

    Lot of fun, lot of injuries

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *