The Importance of Judo with Prof. Carlos Lemos

GB Online readers may remember Prof. Carlos Lemos from our GB Technique series whenever we feature takedowns. This week, we talk with Prof. Lemos about the importance of judo for Gracie Barra students and how he was influenced by Master Carlos Gracie Jr. to train his standup.
“Master Carlos kept insisting… Judo! Judo! Judo!”
GB: GB Online has shown a lot of your takedown videos on GB Technique.
Do you have a background in judo?
Why do you feel the stand-up techniques are so important for BJJ students?

Prof. Lemos: I had a background in judo when I was a kid. But when I started training Jiu-Jitsu, I didn’t want to do any judo. I just wanted to focus on my Jiu-Jitsu and be good at Jiu-Jitsu. I didn’t understand the importance of judo. I used to train at an affiliate of Gracie Barra, but then my teacher moved to Sao Paulo. I went to the main school of Master Carlos Gracie Jr. in Barra de Tijuca, Matriz.
Master Carlos started to ingrain us with the idea of the importance of standup training and having a well-rounded game.
I had a good double leg takedown. I think all of us from the original crew back in Barra, the kids all had good double legs. The Barra double leg was something back in the day!
But Master Carlos kept insisting… judo! Judo! Judo! He repeated that in our ears so much that I incorporated that as part of my training too. Many people don’t know, but Master Carlos is also a judo black belt besides being a Jiu-Jitsu master.
I think that it is really important regardless of your weight class. I hear people saying nowadays “oh, but I’m too light. Everybody is going to sit to guard with me. I’m not going to train judo. I need to focus on my guard.”
I think that it is the opposite. The standup training, especially the gymnastics of the standup training, the drills. I compete as a lightweight, sometimes as a featherweight. Not necessarily that it will grant me a throw or a takedown. But that has helped me improve my base, to not be swept. Or to sweep and keep the top position from the beginning to the end.
The strength of my base. My understanding of weight distribution once I land on top of someone. This is all thanks to the standup training that I did under Master Carlos. He carved that into our Jiu-Jitsu.
I believe that it is really important to train standup whether you are training wrestling or judo. Because that will give you the ability to not only throw someone but to have a consistent base.
Judo is part of Jiu-Jitsu. You know it is a segment of Jiu-Jitsu. It’s a by-product of Jiu-Jitsu. So I believe everybody should train both. That is how it is offered in the Gracie Barra Curriculum.
GB Values: Jiu-Jitsu Culture
Credits: Mark Mullen
Gracie Barra Black belt based in Asia