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BJJ Vs Judo: What's better?

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One thing we are always being asked is to compare the effectiveness between two different martial arts, and today we're going to be comparing BJJ Vs Judo. In this article we'll compare Judo & BJJ and decide which one is more effective. The answer to this question isn't going to be easy to find, but we'll delve into all areas of the different sports to find the answer!

BJJ is a martial art which has always been looked at as one of the deadliest grappling art forms on the planet. BJJ is a grappling martial art which is focused around using an opponents weight against them, and their limbs to submit them.

Judo is a martial art which is considered by many as one of the most effective forms of grappling on the planet. Judo is an Olympic sport which has helped many people transition into successful fighting careers such as Ronda Rousey and Vitor Belfort.

Both martial arts offer vast differences and are created to work in different areas with very different techniques, one being a striking martial art and the other being a grappling martial art.

What is BJJ?

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, often referred to as BJJ, is a dynamic and intricate martial art that traces its roots to Japanese jiu-jitsu and Judo. It distinguishes itself through its focus on ground fighting, wherein practitioners engage in controlled combat, aiming to subdue their opponent through a variety of techniques.

BJJ's essence lies in grappling, employing tactics such as joint locks, chokes, and positional control. Guard, a fundamental BJJ position, involves protecting oneself while on the ground and seeking opportunities for offense. BJJ also emphasizes submission holds, compelling an adversary to concede defeat or risk injury.

In BJJ, practitioners don gi, a traditional uniform akin to Judo attire, fostering grips and control. Yet, no-gi BJJ transcends traditional boundaries, emphasizing speed and adaptability.

What is Judo?

Judo is a grappling martial art which was created by Japanese martial artist master Jugoro Kano. He created the art in 1880, transforming the skills and knowledge of traditional jiu-jitsu into what became Judo. The overall philosophy of the martial art is to create maximum efficiency with minimum effort.

The main technical focus of Judo is to throw your opponent to the ground and then immobilize them. Judo is centered around manipulating your opponents center of gravity and breaking their balance in order to be able to easily get them to the ground.

Judo also uses submissions, primarily from the ground position, such as the arm bar.

What are the differences between BJJ & Judo?

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) and Judo, both stemming from Japanese martial arts, exhibit distinct characteristics that set them apart.

Origins and Philosophy:

  • BJJ: Developed as an adaptation of Judo, BJJ focuses primarily on ground fighting, emphasizing submissions and positional control.

  • Judo: Judo, on the other hand, places a greater emphasis on throws and takedowns, with ground techniques being less prominent.


  • BJJ: It incorporates an extensive array of joint locks, chokes, and control positions, allowing practitioners to subdue opponents on the ground.

  • Judo: Judo prioritizes throws, pins, and sweeps designed to incapacitate opponents by force or balance disruption.


  • BJJ: Practitioners wear a gi, similar to Judo but often tighter-fitting, facilitating grips and control.

  • Judo: Judo gi is characterized by a looser fit, enabling swift movement during throws and holds.

Scoring and Competition:

  • BJJ: Tournaments typically award points for positional dominance, sweeps, and submissions.

  • Judo: Scoring revolves around throws, pins, and successful throws.

Philosophy and Training Focus:

  • BJJ: Emphasizes technique and leverage, allowing smaller individuals to overcome larger opponents.

  • Judo: Places a strong emphasis on discipline and respect, with a focus on mastering throws.

In summary, while BJJ and Judo share common roots, they diverge in their techniques, philosophy, and competition rules. BJJ excels in ground combat and submissions, while Judo shines in throws and takedowns. Ultimately, the choice between the two depends on individual preferences and goals within the martial arts realm.

Is BJJ or Judo more effective for self defence?

In the realm of self-defense, the choice between Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) and Judo hinges on various factors, ultimately determining which art is more effective for individual circumstances.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ):

BJJ's efficacy in self-defense lies in its meticulous focus on ground combat. Practitioners are adept at submission holds and controlling opponents from disadvantaged positions. BJJ's emphasis on leverage and technique enables smaller individuals to neutralize larger threats effectively.

However, BJJ's primary limitation for self-defense lies in its lack of training for scenarios beyond one-on-one confrontations. Real-world situations often involve multiple attackers or standing encounters where ground fighting may not be advantageous.


Judo excels in the realm of throws and takedowns. Its emphasis on balance disruption and rapid incapacitation of opponents aligns with the need for quick resolution in self-defense situations. Judo practitioners are skilled at utilizing an assailant's energy against them.

Nonetheless, Judo also has limitations. It places less emphasis on ground fighting and submissions, potentially leaving a practitioner vulnerable if the altercation goes to the ground.

In conclusion, determining whether BJJ or Judo is more effective for self-defense depends on personal preferences and the specific context of potential threats. BJJ excels in ground control and submissions, while Judo specializes in throws and takedowns. Combining elements of both arts may offer a well-rounded approach to self-defense.


In the perpetual debate of BJJ versus Judo, it becomes evident that there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of which is better. Each martial art boasts its own unique strengths and applications.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) shines in the realm of ground combat, offering a meticulous arsenal of submissions and control techniques. Its emphasis on technique and leverage allows individuals of varying sizes to level the playing field in one-on-one confrontations.

On the other hand, Judo excels in the art of throws and takedowns, swiftly incapacitating opponents by leveraging their energy and balance. It offers an effective means of self-defense in scenarios requiring rapid resolution.

Ultimately, the choice between BJJ and Judo depends on individual goals, preferences, and the specific context in which one seeks to apply these skills. Many practitioners find value in cross-training, harnessing the strengths of both disciplines. After all, martial arts are not just about self-defense; they are a journey of self-discovery, discipline, and personal growth.

In the end, the question shouldn't be "BJJ or Judo: What's better?" but rather, "What works best for me and my unique circumstances?" The answer lies in embracing the diversity of these martial arts and choosing the path that aligns with your goals, values, and the realities of the world you navigate.

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