Originally Posted by dlloyd
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.
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.