top of page


Jiu-Jitsu Vs. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: Similarities And Differences

Jiu-Jitsu and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) are two martial arts with roots in Japanese Jujutsu and Judo. While they share a common origin, they have evolved into distinct disciplines with unique techniques, rules, and philosophies. In this article, we will delve into the similarities and differences between Jiu-Jitsu and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, helping you gain a deeper understanding of these martial arts.

Similarities Between Jiu-Jitsu and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

1.Ground-Based Techniques

Both Jiu-Jitsu and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu emphasize ground-based techniques, with practitioners focusing on controlling and submitting opponents on the ground. These arts prioritize leverage, technique, and strategy over brute strength, making them suitable for individuals of various body types and sizes.

2. Submissions and Joint Locks

Submissions and joint locks are fundamental components of both Jiu-Jitsu and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Practitioners learn how to immobilize their opponents or force them to submit by applying pressure to joints, such as the armbar or kimura, and utilizing various chokeholds.

3.Sparring (Rolling)

In both martial arts, practitioners engage in live sparring sessions commonly referred to as "rolling." These sessions allow students to apply their techniques in a controlled but dynamic environment, testing their skills against resisting opponents.

4.Gi (Uniform) Usage

Traditionally, both Jiu-Jitsu and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners wear a gi, which consists of a jacket and pants similar to a judo uniform. The gi provides grips and handles for controlling opponents, and its use is integral to the training and practice of techniques in both disciplines.

Differences Between Jiu-Jitsu and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

1.Rules and Sport vs. Self-Defense

One of the significant differences lies in the rules and goals of each martial art. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has developed as a sport with point systems and competition-focused rulesets. While self-defense techniques are still taught in BJJ, the emphasis is often on winning matches within the rules of the sport. In contrast, Jiu-Jitsu places a more significant emphasis on self-defense and practical application in real-life situations.

2.Sportive vs. Traditional

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has a strong sportive aspect with a structured belt system and an emphasis on competition, ranking, and tournaments. Jiu-Jitsu, on the other hand, often follows a more traditional approach, emphasizing self-defense, discipline, and respect without the same level of competitive focus.

3.Terminology and Philosophy

While both martial arts share many Japanese terms and concepts, they often diverge in their philosophy and approach. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tends to have a more relaxed and inclusive atmosphere, while Jiu-Jitsu may place a stronger emphasis on discipline and hierarchy.

4.Attire and Belt Systems

While both martial arts use a belt ranking system, they may have variations in belt colors and requirements. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is known for its distinct belt colors (white, blue, purple, brown, and black) and often has stripes on belts to denote progress. Jiu-Jitsu may have a different belt system with varying colors and requirements.

In summary, Jiu-Jitsu and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu are two closely related martial arts that have evolved in different directions, with distinct rules, philosophies, and training methodologies. While they share many similarities, such as ground-based techniques and submissions, they also have significant differences in terms of rulesets, sport vs. self-defense focus, terminology, and attire. Both martial arts offer valuable skills and benefits, so choosing between them often depends on personal preferences and goals, whether it be sport competition, self-defense, or personal development.


bottom of page