August 15, 2020

Jiu Jitsu vs Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ): Techniques & Effectiveness

Both Jiu-Jitsu and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu have been hailed as street-smart, calculative, and dominating martial arts when it comes to the forms of self-defense. 

While Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or BJJ showcases more sporty movements, relying on carefully-curated techniques, Jiu-jitsu emphasizes on traditional, and dangerous grapples and locks that have been passed down for generations. Hence, Jiu-Jitsu is more dependable when it comes to real-life combats. 

The lore of both Jiu-Jitsu and BJJ possess similar roots of learning but with centuries, have cultivated their uniqueness and prowess. 

As we should respect the art we aim to master, let us delve into the history and intricacies of Jiu-Jitsu and BJJ. 

Men performing Jiu Jitsu Martial Arts training
Japanese Jiu-Jitsu

Going Back to the Roots

Jiu-Jitsu’s tradition dates back to centuries, where Buddist monks mastered the art of peaceful self-defense tactics that required no weapons. 

With time, this Japanese martial art form imbibed a more ferocious combat style, popular among warriors who took more aggressive steps towards choking the enemy or gauging their eyes out. 

In modern times, we find Jiu-Jitsu to be an absolute for military and police training, aiding them to engage with criminals through joint locks, sparring, and blunt kicks. 

Although the traditional art encouraged discipline and respect to blend in with sparring, the modern form is more practical, quick and dangerous, bordering on lethal techniques. 

On the other hand, BJJ relies on methodical movements and calculative approach towards an opponent. BJJ was the brainchild of Jigoro Kano who skimmed the traditional art to fit in with predominantly self-defense martial arts. 

Kano was a relatively smaller person, requiring his brawn to formulate defensive forms, emphasized on dis-balancing a much larger opponent to the ground. 

The evolution of BJJ came into being after Jiu-Jitsu inspired Judo, a filtered form of the former by Kano in the late-19th Century. He encouraged full-contact defensive moves that allowed the user to choke, knee-lock, and immobilize the opponent without risking their lives. 

During the 1900s, Kano’s pupils began their global travel, reaching Brazil to impart the knowledge of Judo. Kano’s influence spread to the Brazilian enthusiasts, birthing the formidable Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. 

Techniques & Training (Differences)

First, we look into the training methodologies of Japanese Jiu-Jitsu. This martial arts form utilizes the techniques of the modern-day Judo. 

The term “JuJitsu” converts to gentle art, where “Ju” means gentle and “Jutsu” refers to art. The move-sets included hand-to-hand combat approaches for battlefield sparring. We should, of course, remember the modern-day Jiu-Jitsu approach through Judo, that utilizes rash and lethal grappling moves prove fruitful. 

Jiu-Jitsu borders on offensive move-sets to survive. Being a battlefield combat tactic, this Japanese martial art form was popular among samurai and ninjas to spar with armored opponents who would sustain 0 damage from weapons. 

The modern-day predecessor of Jiu-Jitsu, Judo takes on more lethal techniques involving eye-gouging and other mortally risky moves. 

Japanese Jiu-Jitsu follows a more traditional yet street-smart approach to tackle down opponents with quick and sure-foot throws and joint-locks. 

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, on the other hand, focuses on stability, ground fighting, and defensive approaches. The BJJ training involves teaching the pupils to ground their enemies, limiting their movement due to prone-ness. 

The inventor of BJJ, Jigoro Kano was a man weighing under 100 pounds. He worked on condensing Jiu-Jitsu and Judo fighting techniques, concentrating on safety over lethality. 

Hence, a BJJ fighter can tackle down an opponent twice their size with the right move-sets at the right time, instead of offensive approaches. 

These techniques involve throwing the opponent off their feet, rendering them useless. BJJ aims to train weaker individuals, the art of self-defense that invests in focusing and grappling. 

The key of BJJ is to have the opponent submit their powers by becoming prone on the ground. These skills are quick to learn and implement under proper training. 

Which one is more Effective?

Let us first review the benefit of both during combat. 

The Japanese Jiu-Jitsu approach concentrates on standing throws, strikes, and joint-locks, rendering the opponent vulnerable to attacks. Hand-to-hand combat is mandatory for this martial art. 

A fighter will need to engage in full-contact combat, utilizing eye-gouging, choking, and groin-kicks. 

A fighter can benefit from Japanese Jiu-Jitsu to combat against larger and burlier opponents, delivering swift and lethal blows under a short period. 

Not to forget, Jiu-Jitsu follows a more traditional approach to dealing with unpredictable and forceful blows. In recent times, most schools encourage sequence-based practice through Katas, instead of hand-to-hand combat, i.e. Kumite. 

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, however, focuses on effective ground techniques that force the opponent into submission. It is a more defensive form of martial art that concentrates on fast blocks and grappling. 

Brazilian jiu-jitsu BJJ training sparing
BJJ training sparing

Similar to Japanese Jiu-Jitsu, BJJ also requires full-body contact combat, except with more discipline. A fighter needs to throw the opponent on the ground, utilizing joint-locks for invulnerability. 

Moreover, BJJ is considered more of a competitive sport and might not be suitable for real-life situations. Unlike Jiu-Jitsu, the BJJ approach does not rely on defending against armed opponents. 

The focus lies on the size of the attacker and the aim to immobilize them from harming the fighter. Physically, BJJ is a slower yet steadier technique harboring on timing and the opponent’s physical weak-points. 

Hence in terms of effectiveness, BJJ can be helpful in sporty fights but might become limited under situations that taunt a street-combat. 

On the other hand, Japanese Jiu-Jitsu invests in powerful blows and take-downs which prove to be more lethal and effective against armed opponents. And in modern times, we can expect an opponent to be armed with sharp weaponry. 

Which one is Better for Self-defense?

In terms of a complete defense, BJJ fares well. However, in modern fighting styles, it is necessary to completely block out an opponent. 

The Japanese Jiu-Jitsu relies on throws and brutal attacks, concentrating on hand-to-hand techniques. Many consider Jiu-Jitsu to be potentially dangerous but more street-savvy in terms of unpredictable combats. 

The dangers include lethal moves such as eye-gouging and deadly strikes. Hence, modern Jiu-Jitsu art emphasizes Judo’s fatality and the traditional defensive moves that were popular among samurais and ninjas during battles. 

Carrying weapons for self-defense

Of course, the traditional Jiu-Jitsu consists of street-practical offensive training on punches, kicks, and standing throws which can take down burlier opponents in no time. 

The modern Japanese Jiu-Jitsu stresses on the martial art being a competitive sport to hone the skill for real-life combats. It is bordering on offensive stances that are lethal enough to kill an opponent during real-life fights.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, on the other hand, depends on positional dominance that renders the opponent vulnerable and immovable. It is hence, a submission-based martial art, defending the fighter from a sparring opponent. 

During a fight, a BJJ student will be able to ground an enemy through choke-holds, joint-locks, and combats to the ground. 

Just as a Jiu-Jitsu player can master takedowns with ease, a BJJ player will be able to grasp positional sweeps and submissions in no time. 

For self-defense, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a diversified form of traditional Japanese JJ, Judo, and overall discipline. It is essential and advantageous for smaller or weaker fighters to fear larger opponents. 

This is as Jigoro Kano’s aim was to depend less on strength and more on grapple, timing, and joint-locks. BJJ does not involve kicking, punching, or striking an opponent, concentrating more on taking the fight to the ground. 

Cost Comparison

The cost of learning either form of these mixed martial arts will vary with the dojo’s value for money as well as the duration of the training. 

To master Japanese Jiu-Jitsu or BJJ, you will need to put in proper hours of learning, training, and enhancing your skills. Learning from the best dojos also helps gain knowledge of the discipline, self-confidence, and personal skills. 

The fees also vary with the location, trainer expertise, and of course, class’ popularity. 

Fistfull of dollars

Japanese Jiu-Jitsu

For Japanese Jiu-Jitsu, if you wish to train hard from the initial stages, the most suitable weekly time-frame would be 3 days a week. 

During this time, you must train on enduring the pain from attacks and also delivering your strikes with full force. 

If you aim to receive the shodan (first degree) black belt through hard work, you will have to train vigorously for 3-5 years. 

The timing, of course, depends on the dojo’s training schedule. For yearly enrollment, you can expect the fees to be approximately $50 to $70 a year. Hence taking in an average 4 years training, the Japanese Jiu-Jitsu fees stand at Approximately $250 for a complete course. 

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

On the other hand, if you wish to train on Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, make sure to prioritize it for 3 days a week. Throughout the week, you can, therefore, learn new techniques and sharpen your knowledge on timely grapples, and concentrate on steady progress.

The first 6 months will require you to master the BJJ vocabulary and utilize it for training. From then on, the next 6 months will train you on sequential movements for self-defense and transitions among them. 

Within the next two years, you can practice and enhance your sense of timing and understand your positional proficiency. It will take around 4-5 years more to master consistency and self-improvement. 

The average fees per BJJ lesson would be around $14.2. If you multiply it by 3 days a week, you can expect to pay around $170 a month. 

Thus, 5 years of training for proper mastery can sum up to $10.2k with proper training, in-dojo facilities, expert practice session. 

Which one Should I learn?

As a student, you can choose either if you aim to master MMA or mixed martial art. MMA includes and is not limited to, both offensive and defensive combat styles. 

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a predominantly defensive martial art form, suitable for someone who can methodically bring an unarmed opponent to submission.

Here, you will learn about methodical steps over speed to know how to take down aggressive opponents through minimal movements while playing on their weaknesses. Grapples, knee-locks, and choking are the perfect solutions to winning against an attacker. 

But if you are looking for targeting skills of powerful grasps and quick sweeps to take an opponent down, then go for Japanese Jiu-Jitsu.

Mastering Japanese Jiu-Jitsu requires a certain level of skill and expertise. With proper training, you’ll be able to deliver deadly strikes and also opt for joint-locks and grapples similar to BJJ. 

It is a diverse form of BJJ in modern times, allowing fighters to alter between quick defensive moves to lethal offensive strikes. 

Jiu-Jitsu is street-smart with sequential moves and violent attacks that can also kill an armed enemy. 

By roots, Bjj and Japanese Jiu-Jitsu have shared histories and also train students on similar basic ground rules. Both are equally effective and synchronize in terms of takedowns, knee-locks, and overall defensive stances. 

As a practitioner you can opt for either or both, mastering the arts and improving your knowledge on the grandeur of martial arts. 

Eugene Hardy

Eugene is a professional Muay Thai fighter, with several years of experience. Also, a black belt holder. He actively participates in tournaments and provides training to his students. Eugene started this blog to share his experiences with Martial Arts.

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