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Judo vs Japanese Jiu-Jitsu (Is It The Same?)

Judo Vs (Japanese) Jiu Jitsu

Modern day Japanese jiu jitsu is largely ineffective as a practical martial art. While it initially influenced several martial arts like judo and Brazilian jiu jitsu, finding a legitimate, practical Japanese jiu jitsu school would be quite difficult.

Judo, however, is very effective for both competition and self defense. With a strong focus on take downs and some ground fighting.

If you are looking for an effective, modern martial art we recommend going with Judo or Brazilian jiu jitsu over Japanese jiu jitsu.


Key Takeaways

  • Japanese Jiu Jitsu (JJJ) was developed in Japan as a comprehensive battlefield martial art for samurai, including strategies for both armed and unarmed combat and later went on to spawn Judo.
  • JJJ encompasses a variety of techniques such as striking, throws, and joint locks, with an emphasis on combat effectiveness.
  • JJJ schools may emphasize tradition and rituals which influence training pace and practicality.
  • Judo focuses on takedowns, sweeps, and throws as well as some ground grappling and does not include any striking or weaponry training. It is a highly competitive martial art and extremely effective for self defense.

What Is Japanese Jiu Jitsu?

Japanese jiu jitsu was originally developed for the battlefield for armed and unarmed combat. It includes throws, strikes, and weaponry, and in modern times, focuses on traditional martial arts principles with less focus on practical application.

Japanese Jiu Jitsu has roots that stretch back centuries.

The art of Jiu-Jitsu evolved from traditional unarmed combat techniques used by samurai warriors to defend themselves against their enemies.

Originating in Japan, it is has now become more prominent in its most popular, current form known as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu which is practiced all over the world and is considered a very effective form of self-defense.

However, modern day Japanese Jiu Jitsu is no where near as prevalent as bjj (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu). It is very hard to find a reputable school that teaches and practices Japanese Jiu Jitsu.


In fact, it seems that Japanese Jiu Jitsu (due to its lack of live sparring on fully resisting opponents) may have faltered into the realm of non-effective and more traditional martial arts which is a shame since it spawned such amazing and effective martial arts.

Including live sparring proves effectiveness of a martial art in a real life situation. Without it there is no way to tell if a martial art is legitimate.

Japanese Jiu-Jitsu vs Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Japanese Jiu-Jitsu is one of the most ancient forms of martial arts in the world. In fact, it became an inspiration for the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu you see today.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art that focuses on grappling and ground fighting. The style was developed in Brazil in the early 20th century and uses techniques that allow smaller people to defend themselves against larger opponents.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu came from Judo. Kodokan Goshinjutsu, as mentioned earlier, included both striking techniques and grappling methods. But, it did not focus on submissions involving chokes or joint locks as much as BJJ does today.

History of Japanese Jiu-Jitsu and Judo

Both Judo and Jiu Jitsu have their roots in ancient Japan. Japanese Jiu-Jitsu and Judo have a long history and share many similarities. However, there are some key differences that set the two martial arts apart.

Japanese Jiu-Jitsu (Jujutsu) is a traditional martial art that bloomed from an idea of an unarmed fighter defeating bigger and stronger opponents through grappling techniques. The term “Jiu-Jitsu” first appears in print in 1532, when Hisamori Tenenuchi formally created the first school of Jiu-Jitsu in Japan.

It was formally developed in Japan by the samurai in the 15th century and later became popularized by peasants who used it as a way to defend themselves against stronger armed opponents.

Jujutsu is the predecessor of modern Japanese martial arts, including Judo and Aikido.

Judo was created by Japanese educator Kano Jigoro Shihan in Japan during the late 19th century. Kano studied several different styles of jujutsu largely because of his diminutive frame and slender body. After studying, he then created his own version called Kodokan Goshinjutsu.

Judo focused on throwing opponents to the ground while Jiu Jitsu emphasized using grappling techniques to defeat an opponent. Over time, the two disciplines have evolved into their own unique forms of martial arts with both possessing their own strengths and weaknesses.

Despite their differences, Japanese Jiu-Jitsu and Judo share a lot of common roots which makes them an interesting pairing for practitioners of both disciplines.

Japanese Jiu-Jitsu Rules and Goals

The basic combat principle behind Jiu-Jitsu is “submission”, which means forcing your opponent to submit by physically controlling them or forcing them to quit by inflicting physical harm. In order to achieve submission, you must first neutralize your opponent’s ability to resist by immobilizing their joints, ruling out escape routes, and using effective strikes and chokes.

Once an opponent is immobilized, you can start applying holds and techniques until they are forced to give up.

There are three primary techniques used in Japanese Jiu-Jitsu: striking, some weapons usage, and grappling.

Note that in modern Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, there is no striking and no use of weapons.

Grappling techniques involve using hands and arms to hold and control your opponent while striking allowing you to attack with fists, elbows, knees, or feet. Throws allow you to take your opponent down or move them out of the way.

Jiu Jitsu is a very versatile art that can be used in a variety of situations. It is particularly effective against opponents who are larger and stronger than the practitioner.

Because Jiu-Jitsu relies on leverage and positioning, it is difficult for opponents to execute effective strikes. This makes Jiu-Jitsu ideal for defending against ground attacks.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Japanese Jiu-Jitsu Useless?

Again, modern day Japanese jiu jitsu is largely ineffective as a practical martial art. While it initially influenced several martial arts like judo and Brazilian jiu jitsu, finding a legitimate, practical Japanese jiu jitsu school would be quite difficult.

It is not recommend for anyone looking for an effective martial art.

Is Japanese Jiu-Jitsu Effective?

Modern-day Japanese jiu-jitsu is likely not very effective. In the present day, it is not often taught based on effective techniques for real-life self-defense scenarios. Additionally, it does not promote live sparring so there is no proof that the actual techniques are effective.