BJA/BJC whats the difference?

Discussion in 'Judo' started by caveman, Jun 25, 2011.

  1. caveman

    caveman Threadkiller

    I've got the opportunity to have an extra weekly lesson, its a BJC club. I've read on here and other forums that the coaching methods are slightly different. Some in BJA I've asked say methods are the same but BJC have lower standards, but they are obviously biased. So what if anything can I expect to be different?
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2011
  2. Gripfighter

    Gripfighter Sub Seeker

    I dont really know what the BJC thing is all about, as far as I can tell it was just an independent judo organization in England just trying to provide an alternative to the IJF/olympic backed organization (some might say official lol) BJA, but im sure iv read it gave up the fight and is now a part of the BJA as well. even if im wrong on this and it is still an independent organization I don't see why there should be anything wrong with it just for training whys. theres obviously going to be a drop in competition quality (less number of clubs than the BJA, lack of Olympic and international backing) unless they compete in BJA competitions but I dont know how that would work. but for an extra night of training a week the Judo will still be Judo, only way to find out its quality is to go along and see for yourself, if it is separate from the BJA you might even get shown allot of things you wouldn't find in regular judo clubs which could be cool.
  3. Ben Gash CLF

    Ben Gash CLF Valued Member

    I spoke to my Judo guy, and he says BJA is the Olympic competitive version, whereas BJC is more old school with heavy emphasis on continuous circular motion and martial application. He's a BJC black belt and I must say his Ne Waza is REALLY good. Could offer a good balance to your training.
  4. thauma

    thauma Valued Member

    I wouldn't worry about BJA / BJC differences if it is only as an extra training session. If you were wanting to train seriously (progress through the belts) then you would want to concentrate on one or the other. I've trained in both over the years quite interchangeably, and as with all things most of the differences / benefits lie with the instructor and the opponents.

    Go and give it a try - you'll almost certainly enjoy it
  5. dlloyd

    dlloyd Valued Member

    The main difference is one of politics.

    The BJC was formed in the late 1950s by Kenshiro Abbe, an exceptional Japanese judoka who had taught at the DNBK before WWII. In the UK and Europe more generally in the 1950s, there was a drive to improve elite judo and Abbe was invited over by the London Judo Society for this purpose. His opinion was that UK judo was poor because of a lack of good elementary teaching, that we were focusing on competition too early, before we had the basics down and that only by starting from basics and improving grass-roots judo could we hope to improve elite judo.

    Abbe and the LJS had a general falling out, the reasons are unimportant, but money seems to have been a major issue. There is more to it than that, but we won't go into it. Abbe's contract was terminated, which left him without a green card... which he needed to stay in the UK. Some of Abbe's LJS students, disgusted with Abbe's treatment got together and formed the BJC in order to continue training with him. Abbe was succeeded as head of the BJC by Masutaro Otani and ultimately by Robin Otani, and until he died last year, the technical director was Akinori Hosaka, who held a kodokan 8th dan.

    BJC training has continued with this philosophy (in theory). There is a concentration on basic judo technique, and BJC clubs will spend years perfecting a student's standing seoinage before they are taught competitive tricks like grip fighting and drop seois. There is (supposed to be) a general focus on traditional Japanese judo, and there is more focus on reigi (etiquette).

    Of course, this varies enormously between clubs.

    Promotion in the BJC requires technical demonstration up to green belt and competitive success (against same grade), technical demonstration and kata demonstration from blue to black. The competitive element in BJA promotion has lately been removed prior to dan grade.

    Ultimately, you're only going to find out whether you'll get much out of any club by going there and trying it for yourself.
    Vince Millett likes this.
  6. caveman

    caveman Threadkiller

    Ok. thanks guys. I'll check the place out.
  7. Gripfighter

    Gripfighter Sub Seeker

    great post cleared allot of stuff up for me, love learning about this stuff.
  8. Herbo

    Herbo Valued Member

    I'm unsure how grip fighting can be considered a "competitive trick" when it's one of the most fundamental skills in judo, but anyways try out the club and report back with your findings :)
  9. dlloyd

    dlloyd Valued Member

    Call it a "competitive technique" then... it's a modern style of fighting that, in a randori setting, annoys the hell out of some traditionalists. There's nothing wrong with it in competition, but in a club setting it can use up a hell of a lot of time that (arguably) can be better spent practicing throws.

    In a BJC club, it's likely that it won't be practiced at all by lower grades. But again, it will vary from club to club.
  10. dlloyd

    dlloyd Valued Member

    To answer a couple of points you made earlier, the BJC was obviously separate from the BJA for a long time and were seen as being in direct competition with them (for obvious reasons). The BJA did pretty much all they could to prevent people joining and staying in the BJC, by preventing those with BJC licences from competing and by threatening expulsion for BJA judoka who competed in BJC tournaments.

    A number of BJC judoka fought at international levels, including Jane Bridge, the UK's first World Championships gold medal winner and Ray Stevens, who won silver at the 1992 Olympics. I've seen it written that Neil Adams was originally BJC, but I'm not sure. To compete at elite level, they were required to give up their BJC membership.

    The relationship between the two organisations thawed a bit in the mid-90s when the BJC affiliated to the BJA, paying an annual fee to the BJA so that the BJC have access to elite competition and to funding opportunities (ie. through local government grants for mats, etc...)
  11. dlloyd

    dlloyd Valued Member

    As a matter of interest, your profile says you're from Southport. Is this club Our Lady Of Lourdes Judo Club we're talking about?
  12. caveman

    caveman Threadkiller

    Yes, but looking again, I am thinking it is mostly a kids club.
  13. dlloyd

    dlloyd Valued Member


    At that club you have Jim Mealing. He's vice president of the BJC and a BJC 7th dan... that's a fairly big deal in that he is the only person ever to have been awarded a BJC 7th dan other than Masutaro Otani. He's quite old, so he might not be doing much in the way of instruction.

    You also have two BJC 5th dans. Not easy to get. They'll be able to teach you a hell of a lot... I'd trade my dog for the opportunity to train there on a regular basis... and he's a good dog.

    Go a few times and see what the lessons are like. This time of year is not a great time to get a feel for how a club operates, a lot of clubs are slowing down for the summer holidays, so you might not get a truly representative idea of how busy the club is normally.

    Sometimes BJA judoka are confused by the type of practice that they experience on visiting a typically traditional BJC club. Depending on the other students at the club, you might find they're spending a greater amount of time on polishing technique and less time on randori than you're used to. Go without preconceived ideas for a few weeks and see if you enjoy it.
  14. caveman

    caveman Threadkiller

    I was thinking more about the students than the coaches, a BJA place I recently joined (I'm a beginer by the way, should have mentioned that at start) has the biggest mat in the north west, waterloo, and top notch coaching but a shortage of seniors so after getting of to a tremendous start I've kinda drifted out of it.
    I still want to do judo but its proving difficult to find a place with enough adults. The waterloo seniors class was mostly kids who were a bit big/good and bumped up, graded seniors just turned up now and again. Its hard doing something completely new at my age (my background is entirely striking styles) .
    It felt embarrasing and a little dodgy training with kids.
  15. Ben Gash CLF

    Ben Gash CLF Valued Member

    As a curveball, a light google reveals that Ainsdale Combat Club teaches Sambo in Southport. Would offer you many of the things Judo does, as well as a developed leglock game, and is likely to have a more adult focus.
  16. dlloyd

    dlloyd Valued Member

    Why not contact them and find out what the age range of members is? The average age of members of my club is around 30, but that could well be a peculiarity of this specific club.
  17. caveman

    caveman Threadkiller

    Yes, still going to check it out.
    Sambo I think is a bridge to far at my age, judo is hard enough on the body without the extra evil of leg locks lol.
  18. sakumeikan

    sakumeikan Valued Member

    kenshiro abbe/bjc

    The system of Judo promoted by Kenshiro Abbe 8th Dan was called Kyu shin Do. It was based on circular motion, and the philosophical aspects were different from the Judo of the B.J.A.
    The B.J.A. due to the fact that it was the first National Judo organization was classed as being the official Judo reps. at the Olympic Games.
    This was in spite of the otherJudo orgs. namely the B.J.C.and the Amateur Judo Association.This caused a great deal of ill will between the groups.
    More information on Kyu Shin Do/K.Abbe can be found on Website of Henry Ellis Sensei.Ellis Sensei was a direct student of K.Abbe.
    May I also state that K.Abbe was in my opinion possibly the best Budo exponent to visit the U.K.
    Cheers, Joe.
  19. dlloyd

    dlloyd Valued Member

    While this is true and many of Abbe's students are still around and teaching that style of judo, not everything that is labelled/advertised as kyushindo today is kyushindo. Henry Ellis goes into some detail about this on his website.
  20. trustlife

    trustlife New Member

    Interesting all the discussion and arguments about history. I practised Ju-Jitsu in my younger days and some 25 years later was watching my 9 year old practice judo and asked myself why I stopped. So I went looking, found one club that was too violent and then found an old chap in a community hall on an estate near me, who was teaching Jujitsu and Judo. Turns out that this guy had trained with Sensei Abe in the hut, some months later a mate of his who moved to the area and also trained with Sensei Abbe turns up. 2 old guys both over 70. I learn more in a few months with them then in all my time before, converted to Judo. My daughter goes to both clubs though her registration is BJA.
    My sense is its all about technique, BJC is all about perfecting technique. Some of the obscure Aikido stye things which seem impractical in traditional aikido are put to practical use in BJC technique hence Kyu Shin do. Abe sensei trained with Morihei Ueshiba. So much competitive Judo today is strength training yet Sensei Abe was a little guy. One of these old Sensei said to me that when Sensei Abe threw you you could not resist it and you literally flew through the air. The technique is in the movement, the correct balance and positioning, the fluidity and flow, rather than raw power. Both clubs have something good to offer.

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