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Judo vs Jiu Jitsu: Why BJJ Has the Edge Over Judo

In terms of judo vs jiu jitsu, if you are looking for an answer as to why BJJ has the edge over Judo, you’ve come to the right place!  

I have practiced brazilian jiu jitsu for over five years and judo for two years. So hopefully, I can shed some light on this topic.

In Brazilian Jiu-jitsu there are takedowns and throws, however, most of the techniques focus specifically on ground fighting. Judo on the other hand has very little grappling on the ground and focuses specifically on takedowns and throws.

I’ll give you some details and insights into these renowned martial arts. I intend to provide meaningful information and insights into my own experience with judo and jiu jitsu, and why bjj may be considered a fuller martial art.

(spoiler alert: I may be a little biased if the website name didn’t give it away)

For a long time, these influential martial arts provided a great deal of information to their followers. Judo emphasizes throwing and grappling skills, whereas jiu-jitsu focuses on ground combat and submission holds.

Related: Which Martial Art Should I Learn First?

Both have their own advantages and drawbacks, but many experts believe that Jiu-Jitsu has the edge over Judo.

One of the reasons for this is that Jiu-Jitsu provides a more well-rounded education in martial arts. Judo does not focus as much on ground fighting, which can leave practitioners at a disadvantage if they find themselves in a position on the ground with a jiu jitsu practitioner.

Jiu jitsu teaches takedowns and throws as well as a wealth of techniques that deal specifically with grappling when both practitioners are on the ground.

Judo teaches very little techniques if any when both players are on the ground since in a competition setting as soon as one person effectively hits a throw the match is over.

In jiu jitsu, you have to take your opponent down > control them > and finally submit them (which is the ultimate form of winning any bout – as opposed to the pinning found in judo or wrestling).

Table of Contents

    Difference Between Judo vs Jiu Jitsu

    For a quick breakdown on the different between judo vs jiu jitsu here is a quick breakdown:

    JudoJiu Jitsu
    is more focused on throwing and takedownis more focused on ground fighting and submissions
    is also a Olympic sport
      is considered to be more athleticis considered to be more technical
    relies more on brute force, and alsorelies more on technique
    has a stronger emphasis on discipline, etiquette, and respect,has a stronger emphasis on self-defense application

    It is important to remember that Judo and Jiu Jitsu are two separate martial arts styles that have been around for centuries. 

    Originating in Japan, Judo focuses on throws and takedowns, whereas Jiu-Jitsu (originally from Japan and has some of the same concepts as Judo) comes heavily influenced from Brazil and emphasizes ground fighting techniques and submissions.

     Although both can be great for self-defense, there are several distinct differences between the two disciplines.

    Jiu Jitsu vs Judo – Why Jiu Jitsu Is Considered a Fuller Martial Art

    When it comes to jiu jitsu vs judo, these are probably some of the best types of martial arts in terms of effectiveness and real world application. 

    However, jiu-jitsu is often considered to be one of the fuller martial arts.

    Here are just some of the reasons why:

    1. It is a very versatile martial art. It can be used for self-defense, competition, or even conditioning.

    2. Regardless of strength or size, jiu-jitsu is suitable for everyone. In reality, anyone can learn how to do it successfully through consistent training and learn to submit a larger opponent.

    3. It can be practiced anywhere, since its one of the most popular martial arts there are many jiu jitsu gyms – making it a great choice for people who lead busy lives.

    4.  Its methods are always changing and evolving, jiu jitsu always evolves by adopting new, effective techniques and leaving behind ineffective ones (unlike some other more traditional martial arts).

    5. Lastly, it openly takes from a variety of other martial arts such as wrestling, sambo, and even judo.

    In fact, some of the  greatest MMA fighters consider it a fuller martial art because it is simply a requirement that they must have in their arsenal to be a well-rounded fighter.

    While some judo is nice to have in mma, you need to be an experienced jiu jitsu player in order to do well.

    Along with wrestling and muay thai, brazilian jiu jitsu make up the big three required martial arts in MMA.

    Some examples can be seen from Charles Oliver’s submission wins, Nate Diaz’s effective triangles from his back, and even the very common rear naked choke which is currently the most common submission in MMA.

    BJJ was originally showcased in the UFC as a secret weapon used by Royce Gracie, but it’s no longer a mystery. It has surpassed other more traditional martial arts that have refused to evolve, and that have been shown as ineffective in MMA bouts.

    Is Judo Good for Self Defense

    On the other hand, if you’re wondering,  “Is Judo god for self defense?” The answer is Yes! 

    Judo is often thought of as a sport, and while it is indeed a competitive activity which even exists in the Olympics, it also has a number of other practical benefits for those practitioners of the martial art. 

    This can be an excellent form of self-defense, as it teaches practitioners to use their opponent’s momentum against them.  

    It  also helps to build strength, flexibility, and stamina, making it an ideal activity for those who want to improve their overall fitness. In addition, It provides a great way to meet new people and make friends, as there are Judo clubs located all over the world. 

    Consider this scenario…

    In a self-defense situation when you are attacked or harrased by someone judoka can easily take advantage of people who are wearing coats and/or heavy jackets since they easily replicate the “gi” that they frequently train in.  

    In terms of the effectiveness of a specific martial arts style, the one where you compete frequently with full resistant from your opponent is the best. Judo and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu both have this:

    Judo is one of the martial arts in which a smaller individual can defeat a larger opponent. Why? 

    Because gravity has already done most of the work for you. Judo is an excellent illustration of stored energy (remember that first physics class you took?) The old adage goes,

    “The taller they are, the harder they fall.”

     Judo enables you to put the principles of the art into practice in a realistic manner. 

    In a self defense scenario the main distinction is that your opponent or attacker will not be tossed onto a soft gym mat but if unfortunate enough on unforgiving concrete. 

    Learning Judo can be fun, but the main disadvantage of it is – it’s a hard sport. 

    Judo requires dedication and can be considered tough on the body.

    Constantly being thrown or taking falls even on a gym mat can lead to soreness or injuries over time. 

    For all these reasons, Judo can be an excellent choice for anyone looking to improve their physical and mental well-being and gain confidence in any self defense situation.

    Common Judo Takedowns

    Here are several common judo takedowns.

    The most frequent and effective takedowns include Uchi Mata, Tai Otoshi, Osoto gari, Ouchi gari, Deashi Harai, and Sasae Tsurikomi Ashi.

    Related: Judo Olympic Rules Explained

    • An Uchi Mata.  Is the most popular and well-known judo throw! To execute, start by grasping your opponent’s sleeve near his armpit with both hands while entering his space. Then, as you fall backward and step forward with your right leg into his area, he can no longer retreat.
    • Tai Otoshi. To do this, you must immediately rush into your opponent’s range by grasping his left sleeve with your right hand and pushing down on his right shoulder with your left hand. You should also be stepping forward with your right leg into his space in order to give him nowhere to go. When he begins to fall, sweep his right leg out from under him while pulling down on his sleeve, finishing the throw!
    • Osoto Gari. With one hand, pull gently on your opponent’s sleeve from standing while firmly pushing on their other sleeve or lapel with the other hand.  Step close into their space to keep them from going anywhere.
    • Ouchi Gari.  Sweeping your opponent’s leg backward while jerking their collar forwards will make them fall over, and then you can claim ippon!
    • Deashi Harai. This is a fundamental footwork technique that can be lethal when done right! As always, start by invading your opponent’s space by grabbing both of their sleeves near their armpits and stepping on their foot/ankle area with one of yours.
    • Sasae Tsuri Komi Ashi.  Start by standing next to them and holding their sleeves close to their armpits, so they can’t escape. Then step backward diagonally onto one of their legs (on the same side as the arm you’re holding), trapping it in place.

    Remember practice makes perfect and learning these techniques will take time so keep drilling & tweaking moves slightly until each technique feels natural & correct, also experiment with different grips & timing until each move suits you and your judo game best!

    BJJ for Self Defense

    There needs to be a distinction between bjj for self defense and sport jiu jitsu.

    No matter what you will always gain some useful self defense knowledge in any bjj class. 

    However, its important to realize that some jiu jitsu techniques may not be best for a sefl defnse or MMA scenario.

    Some BJJ gyms offer separate classes specifically on self-defense.

    Additionally, if your coach has a background in MMA, you can guarantee that they will be able to provide some useful info on bjj for self defense.

    Sport BJJ is fantastic but some of the techniques such as a variety of guard or bottom positions may not be best in a self defense situation. 

    Defending yourself is hard enough as it is, but when there’s striking involved in the street, things can get a lot worse quickly. 

    Your attacker could scratch or bite you, they might have friends who will jump in and help them even if you have the upper hand, and they may be carrying a weapon like a knife which they can use to hurt or kill you even if you are in a dominant position.

    So while bjj offers many tools that are ideal in a self defense situation, avoiding such situation is still the safest path.

    There are a lot of great things about the sport of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), but it doesn’t necessarily prepare you for everything that can happen in self-defense situations so its important to keep in mind a separation of sport specific bjj and mma specific bjj.

    Common Jiu Jitsu Moves

    What are some common jiu jitsu moves?

    Moves or techniques in bjj aren’t easy by no means, but they only get easier the longer you practice.

    When you’ve done it for a long time moves that originally seemed foreign to you will eventually seem instinctual during live sparring.

    When learning techniques its important to initially focus on those that come naturally and focus on the main one or two principles of a position or technique that make it work effectively.

    Every one is different and has different proportions some jiu jitsu techniques will come easier than others.

    For example, if someone is stocky with shorter legs the odds that a triangle from the guard position will feel natural is a bit unlikely.

    Or if you have a lower center of gravity and solid natural base, you may find takedowns to be easy since you are able to get underneath your opponent, control their hips, and take them down. 

     With that information, check out these 4 essential dominant positions in Jiu-Jitsu.

    • Closed Guard is when you are on your back and have your legs wrapped around the body of your opponent (who is often kneeling). This position in jiu jitsu enables you to effectively attack your opponent from the bottom position while limiting the attacks they can perform on your due to the control your legs have over them.
    • Side Control. With this position you have full control of your opponent. You are on your knees perpendicular to your opponent usually with control of their upper body. This is a key position in MMA as well, as it gives you a huge advantage over your opponent. From side control, you will have the ability to control the upper body of your opponent and even work toward a submission. 
    • Full Mount in BJJ Evolved Mixed Martial Arts! This is one of the most dominant positions in jiu jitsu. From this position, you will be sitting on your opponent’s stomach or chest. It can be extremely claustrophobic for them and makes many different submissions available to you. In an MMA scenario you can easily rain punches down on your opponent to finish the match.
    • The Back Mount is the bread and butter of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. From this position, you can attack with a variety of submissions including chokes and arm locks.This position involves your opponent facing away from you while your legs are wrapped around them from the rear. This enables you to attack many submissions with one of the most common and effective submissions, the rear naked choke, easily available. 

    So Should I Start Judo or Bjj?

    So Should I Start Judo or BJJ?

    If you’re looking for a martial art to learn, then choosing from judo or bjj is a great starting point.

    Both of these disciplines are popular and have their own benefits and drawbacks. So which one should you choose?

    Well, if you’re considering a self-defense system that focuses on throws and takedowns then Judo is a great choice. 

    However, if you’re looking for a martial art that includes throws, takedowns, control, and submissions the Brazilian jiu jitsu may be the one for you.

    It’s a well-rounded martial art that can help you become physically fit and learn invaluable real world applicable skills.

    For more reading, check these related posts out:

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