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7 Different Types Of Jiu-Jitsu Styles You Should Know

Jiu-jitsu, an ancient martial art with origins in Japan, has evolved over the centuries into various distinct styles. Rooted in self-defense techniques, it emphasizes leveraging an opponent's strength and weight against them. As the art form has spread and grown internationally, different types of jiu-jitsu have emerged, each with its own techniques, philosophies, and applications. For those keen to delve into this discipline or simply looking to understand its many facets, knowing these styles is fundamental.

Traditional Japanese Jiu-jitsu (JJJ)

The roots of all jiu-jitsu styles, Traditional Japanese Jiu-jitsu, often abbreviated as JJJ, dates back to the samurai warriors of feudal Japan. It is a comprehensive martial art focusing on both armed and unarmed combat techniques. While it encompasses strikes, joint locks, and throws, it also integrates weapon techniques, making it a diverse and holistic style.

Brazilian Jiu-jitsu (BJJ)

Perhaps the most well-known modern adaptation is Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. Originating in the early 20th century after Judo was introduced in Brazil, BJJ places a significant emphasis on ground fighting. Here, leverage and technique are key, allowing a smaller person to defend against and even defeat a larger opponent. Those interested in exploring this style in-depth can refer to class information provided by many BJJ academies.

Gracie Jiu-jitsu

A subset of BJJ, Gracie Jiu-jitsu, was developed by the famed Gracie family in Brazil. While it shares many techniques with BJJ, its unique aspect is its self-defense focus. Gracie Jiu-jitsu prioritizes techniques and strategies that are effective in real-life altercations, making it a go-to for many seeking practical self-defense skills.

10th Planet Jiu-jitsu

A more recent evolution in the Jiu-jitsu world, 10th Planet Jiu-jitsu was created by Eddie Bravo. Distinctive in its approach, this style does away with the traditional gi (the uniform), focusing solely on no-gi grappling. Its techniques are modern and often innovative, with a significant emphasis on flexibility and clinching.

Sport Jiu-jitsu

As Jiu-jitsu's popularity grew, so did its presence in competitive sports. Sport Jiu-jitsu focuses on techniques that score points in tournaments. While it retains the core principles of the martial art, its strategies often revolve around winning matches through points rather than the traditional submission or self-defense techniques.

Combat Jiu-jitsu

Merging the worlds of traditional Jiu-jitsu and mixed martial arts, Combat Jiu-jitsu introduces strikes into the grappling scenarios. While it retains the grappling focus, it allows open-hand strikes when competitors are on the ground, making it a more intense and combative version of the sport.


While many purists might argue that Judo is a separate entity, it is essential to acknowledge its roots in Jiu-jitsu. Created by Jigoro Kano in the late 19th century, Judo takes the throws and joint locks of Jiu-jitsu and adapts them into a competitive sport. With its inclusion in the Olympic Games, Judo has gained global recognition.

Jiu-jitsu, in its many forms, offers a rich tapestry of techniques, philosophies, and applications. From the traditional arts of Japan to the modern mats of Brazil and beyond, it provides practitioners with a path to physical fitness, self-discipline, and personal growth. As you explore each type of Jiu-jitsu, it becomes evident that there is a style suited for every individual, be it for self-defense, competition, or personal development. Those eager to start or deepen their journey should seek out further BJJ class information and resources like the BJJ FAQ to better understand what each style entails and offers. The world of Jiu-jitsu, vast and varied, awaits those ready to step onto the mat.


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