Jiu Jitsu vs Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Jiu Jitsu vs Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

From its origins in feudal Japan to today, jiu jitsu has undergone a series of changes. The original style is called Japanese jiu jitsu, or jujutsu and later on Brazilian jiu jitsu was born. Both styles are utilized in close combat and are efficient for self-defense. It is easy to confuse them since they share the same name ‘’Jiu jitsu’’.

Although they share the same name, these two styles of jiu jitsu are very different. Essentially, BJJ focuses on ground fighting and submission grappling, whereas Japanese Jujutsu involves the use throws, joint manipulation, and striking to deal with opponents.

In this post, we will discuss the main differences and similarities regarding these two styles of jiu jitsu. Although they are both perfect for self-defense, they have distinctive features that set them apart. Stick around until the end of the post to find out which style of jiu-jitsu is more suitable to you.

Main Differences Between BJJ and Japanese Jujutsu

One of the contrasts between Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Japanese jujutsu, as previously indicated, can be noticed in the manner attacks are initiated in them. Aside from that, there are a few more distinctions to be made.

With that being said, let’s dive into the main differences.

japanese jiu jitsu


The main distinction between their rules is that BJJ does not encompass strikes, whereas Japanese jujutsu does.

When it comes to the most common version of jiu-jitsu, “Brazilian jiu-jitsu,” it primarily relies on self-defense and employs two critical techniques. Those are the examples of ground fighting and grappling.

Here’s a better example: in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, matches begin with the combatants standing up. However, as soon as the match begins, a takedown occurs, and the fighters take the fight to the ground.

To score points on the ground, the fighters employ a variety of moves. BJJ may result in submission – a situation in which a competitor accepts defeat after his or her opponent has gained complete control of the ground through the use of specific holds, joint locks, and chokes.

The oldest form of jiu-jitsu, “Japanese jujutsu,” concentrates on self-defense through the use of different techniques such as throwing opponents and joint manipulation. In addition, the martial art employs other methods such as strangling, choking, striking, and blocking.

A match in traditional Japanese jujutsu normally consists of three stages. The striking stage, seizing stage (takedown), and ground fighting are the three stages.

Here’s an example: in a Japanese jujutsu bout, the game begins with the contestants fighting solely with strikes. Strike attacks are halted shortly after, and contestants are only permitted to fight by gripping themselves.

They’re attempting to take each other out at this point. Finally, on the ground, the combatants use a variety of tactics to force each other to submit or concede defeat, including joint locks and strangulations. Points are normally awarded for each move made.

Belt System

Another significant distinction between BJJ and Japanese jujutsu is the belt system and progression used. There are eight different belt systems in BJJ: white, blue, purple, brown, black, red and black, red and white, red.

Japanese jujutsu’s belt systems differ from those used in BJJ. Traditional jujutsu begins with a white belt, similar to BJJ, which begins with a white belt. Some schools, on the other hand, begin with a red belt for beginners before progressing to a white belt.

The Japanese jujutsu belt system: red, white, yellow, orange, green, blue, purple, brown, black.

Training Equipment

Both BJJ and Japanese jujutsu are practiced in a Gi. However, BJJ is also practiced in shorts and a rashguard, this type of BJJ is often referred to as ‘’No Gi BJJ’’ or ‘’Grappling’’.

Additionally, when rolling in BJJ, practitioners always wear mouthguards to their protect teeth. In Japanese jujutsu, groin guards are commonly used to shield practitioners from attacks.

two man practing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

What Do Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Japanese Jujutsu Have In Common?

Brazilian jiu-jitsu and traditional Japanese jujutsu are Judo-related (Kodokan). The old “Japanese Jujutsu” was changed to become “Kodokan Judo.” Additionally, understanding of “Kodokan Judo” resulted in the creation of “Brazilian Jiu-jitsu.” As a result, BJJ and Japanese jujutsu are “indirectly” connected.

Aside from the fact that both martial arts are related in some way, they also share a few techniques. Armlocks, pins, and leglocks, joint manipulations, and chokeholds are among them.

Moreover, “size doesn’t matter” in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Japanese jujutsu. This is because both techniques are meant to help smaller individuals defeat larger and more powerful opponents. Finally, abilities learned in both of the two martial arts can be employed for self-defense and competitions.

Effectiveness in a Street Fight

Despite the fact that both martial arts can be utilized for self-defense, one has a distinct advantage over the other. Through the practice of Japanese jujutsu , you’ll acquire strikes and other useful techniques that will help you fight on the street.

In light of this, traditional Japanese jujutsu may be a superior choice for self-defense when it comes to fighting on the streets.

Which Style is More Effective Overall?

It’s tough to compare the efficiency of different martial arts. There are a variety of reasons why someone would want to learn a martial art in the first place, so knowing why you want to learn should help you pick which is the best fit for you.

BJJ is a good option to explore if you’re searching for a martial art that is physically demanding, highly technical, has a lot of competition opportunities, and has no striking.

Japanese Jiu Jitsu is a wonderful option to explore if you’re searching for a martial art that is more traditional, focused on self-defense, involves some strikes, and is less physically demanding.


While jujitsu and BJJ share a common history, they are significantly different in terms of how they are performed and implemented in the modern world. Beginners can choose whatever style they want to enhance and develop their general knowledge of martial arts by acknowledging the differences between these two styles.

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