Jiu-Jitsu vs Judo: Everything you need to know - Combat Sport Events

Jiu-Jitsu vs Judo: Everything you need to know

While these two martial arts, Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Judo, may appear quite different on paper the two martial arts are more similar than you may think.

While these martial arts have similar techniques and moves the main differences Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Judo are that Judo consists of mainly throwing techniques while Jiu-Jitsu is mainly based on grappling with chokes and holds.

The objective in Judo is to throw or takedown an opponent and pin or submit while in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu the main objective is to force your opponent into submission via chokeholds or joint locks. 

Those are the main differences between the Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Judo however like I mentioned above they are a lot more similar than you may think.

To have a look at why these sports are so similar we must take a brief look at the history of these two martial arts. Not many people know but jiu-jitsu did, in fact, derive from Judo.


Yes, you read that correctly. I know it’s hard to think with the sports being so different but Jiu-Jitsu dates back to the 1920s when the Gracie family were taught traditional Kodokan Judo by a Japanese judoka called Mitsuyo Maeda in 1917. Kodokan Judo is a type of Judo that focuses more on grappling rather than throws.

So believe it or not Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu originated from Judo.

Which sport is harder to learn?

So with the two martial arts having similar origins, you would think they would both be the same to learn right? Wrong! 

In my opinion, Judo is easier to learn than jiu-jitsu. I started Judo when I was reasonably young, about 7 or 8 years old. I grasped this martial art fairly quickly. The throws are easy to learn and I moved up the ranks after competing for a few years.

While size can have an advantage in Judo due to throws etc in Jiu-Jitsu it doesn’t have that same advantage. Because it takes place mostly on the ground weight classes don’t necessarily mean an advantage.

Take Royce Gracie for example. Possibly the lightest contestant in UFC 1 was able to manoeuvre himself into positions using positioning techniques and then submit opponents using chokes and holds.

This for me sways the difficulty in favour of Jiu-Jitsu however it is almost impossible to decide which one is more difficult to learn. It’s like comparing American football to Rugby, they are both just two separate sports with similar attributes.

Is Jiu-Jitsu used in MMA?

BJJ in MMA is one of the most used martial arts in the sport. People would consider that Jiu-Jitsu is the single most important martial art in MMA. 

The reason behind this is that the modern MMA that we know today was indeed founded by the Gracie family and based on their fighting style which is Jiu Jitsu of course.

With the growing success of the UFC and other Mixed Martial Arts organizations the success of Jiu Jitsu grew, also making Gracie’s a household name.

Read the full article on the Gracies and the beginning of the UFC here.

Is Judo used in MMA?

Judo can be found in MMA today in several ways. While a lot of pro fighters don’t come from a Judo background they often use the techniques through a contest. 

Fighters such as Rhonda Rousey and Rich Hawn are some examples of fighters with Judo backgrounds.

Check out the full article on Judo used in MMA here.

Judo vs Jiu Jitsu gi: The Differences

While these Gis are both very similar there are slight differences between each.

Judo gis have larger sleeves for throws. They also tend to be heavier and thicker. This is for withstanding aggressive handling and throws. Judo gis also have a slightly longer skirt. The skirt is the part below the belt that hangs.

JiuJitsu gis have tighter and tougher cuffs and have a smaller skirt. This is adapted for grappling.

A judo gi may be worn for BJJ tournaments, but a Jiu-Jitsu gi will not meet guidelines for a judo tournament.

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