judo vs bjj

Judo vs BJJ: 3 Important Differences

Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) are two martial arts that often get compared to each other. Both have their roots in Japan and involve grappling techniques, but they differ in many ways. Whether you’re a seasoned practitioner or just starting your journey, understanding the differences between Judo and BJJ can help you choose the best martial art for your needs. 

In this article, we’ll explore both sports’ history, rules, techniques, grading systems, and gear to help you make an informed decision. So, let’s dive into the world of Judo vs. BJJ!

Judo vs BJJ: What Is The Difference? 

Have you ever wondered about the difference between Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ)? Well, you’re not alone. It’s a question that gets asked a lot, especially regarding self-defense. At first glance, they might look similar – both martial arts involve grappling techniques, and practitioners wear kimonos. But as you explore each art, you’ll find some significant differences.

Judo is focused on throwing techniques with little groundwork, while BJJ focuses on groundwork with little throwing and takedown techniques. This means that in Judo, the goal is to throw your opponent onto their back or side for a win, while in BJJ, the goal is to submit your opponent through joint locks or chokes.

But that’s not all – there are differences in rules, grading systems, and gear. For example, in Judo matches, points are awarded for throws and holds, while in BJJ matches, points are awarded for positions and submissions.

So which one is better for you? It depends on your goals and preferences. Judo might be your best bet if you prefer stand-up techniques and throws. If you like ground fighting and submissions more than throws, BJJ might be what you’re looking for.

In the end, both martial arts have their strengths and weaknesses – but no matter which one you choose, remember that consistency and dedication are key to becoming a skilled practitioner of either art.

History of Judo

Did you know that Judo can be traced back to traditional Japanese Jujitsu? It’s true! Jujutsu was all about training Samurai to fight when they had no weapon. Since Samurai wore armor, jujutsu focused on throwing gouges, throws, and locks, which worked against an armored opponent.

But when the Meiji Restoration ended Japan’s feudal system in 1870, Samurai became extinct. This led to Jigoro Kano coming up with a new martial art focusing more on sport and physical education rather than combat – thus, Judo was born!

Kano took some of the throwing techniques from jujutsu and transformed them into a more modernized form of martial arts that would help people improve their physical fitness and mental discipline.

Today, Judo is recognized as an Olympic sport and has millions of practitioners worldwide. It’s incredible how something that started as a way for Samurai to defend themselves without weapons has evolved into a sport loved by many people worldwide.

History of Jiu JItsu

The history of Jiu Jitsu began with Mitsuyo Maeda, a disciple of Judo founder Jigoro Kano. Maeda traveled the world and eventually found himself in Brazil in 1914, where he began teaching Judo.

One of his students was Gastao Gracie, who introduced his son Carlos to the art. Carlos and his brothers trained hard and eventually developed their style, which focused on ground fighting.

This new style became Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) and quickly gained popularity among fighters worldwide. It’s now recognized as one of the most effective martial arts for self-defense and submission grappling.

What Is The Difference Between Judo And BJJ?

Do you need clarification about the differences between Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ)? Let’s break it down!

First, these martial arts have the same roots in Judo. However, BJJ has evolved into its unique style, focusing on ground fighting and submissions.

On the other hand, Judo is more focused on throws and takedowns to bring opponents to the ground for pins or submissions. It’s also more structured in terms of rules and competition formats.

Judo tends to be more formal and traditional in terms of training, focusing on discipline and respect for one’s opponent. BJJ training can be more relaxed and informal, emphasizing experimentation and creativity.

Judo and BJJ have their strengths and weaknesses depending on your goals as a martial artist. So whether you train in one or both, remember that they both have valuable techniques to offer.


Now let’s talk about the different rulesets for Judo and BJJ. Judo’s rules focus on standing techniques, meaning throws and takedowns, while BJJ rules focus more on ground techniques like submissions.

Judo Rules

Judo is all about throws and takedowns. In competitions, you’ll earn points for successfully executing these techniques and penalties for illegal moves. But here’s the cool part: ippon can also win matches, which means a full-point score or submission.

Now, what does that mean exactly? Well, if you throw your opponent with enough force so that they land on their back, that’s an ippon. You can also win by forcing your opponent to give up through a submission hold or holding them down for 20 seconds.

But wait, there’s more! Judokas can also earn points through another system called “Waza-ari.” This involves throwing your opponent on their back with insufficient force to get an ippon.

Knowing the Judo rules are crucial in competition. So study up and get ready to throw down!

Rules of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

In BJJ, the goal of the match is to win using submission techniques. Points are also scored for specific objectives like takedowns, sweeps, and passing the opponent’s guard.

But here’s where it gets interesting: there is no time limit for matches in BJJ. That means that it’s all about technique and strategy. You have to be patient and wait for the right moment to make your move.

In terms of submissions, there are a ton of different techniques you can use. From chokes to joint locks, the possibilities are endless. And if you can submit your opponent, you win the match!

Of course, there are also penalties for illegal moves like striking or slamming your opponent. It’s essential to know these rules before stepping onto the mat.

So understanding the rules is key whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting in BJJ. Now get out there and start rolling!

Judo Vs BJJ Gear 

Let’s talk about the gear used in Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. While there are some similarities, there are also some key differences.

In Judo, you’ll typically wear a gi or uniform with a jacket and pants. The material is usually thick and durable to withstand the grappling and throwing involved in the sport. You’ll also need a belt to signify your rank and a mouthguard for protection.

In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the uniform is also called a gi, but it’s typically lighter and made of a different material than a Judo gi. BJJ practitioners also have the option to wear rash guards or spats underneath their gi for added protection and comfort. 

Mouthguards are also recommended.

Both sports require specific footwear: in Judo, you’ll wear special Judo shoes or go barefoot, while in BJJ, you can wear regular athletic shoes or go barefoot.

Overall, the gear used in both sports is designed to protect and enhance your performance on the mat. So ensure you have the right equipment before stepping onto the mat for your next competition or training session.


So, which martial art is better: Judo or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu? Well, that depends on your personal preference and goals.

Judo is excellent if you want to focus on throws and takedowns, while BJJ is ideal for those who want to hone their submission techniques. Both sports require a lot of technique and strategy, so it’s important to put in the time and practice to improve.

Ultimately, your best choice will depend on your interests and goals. So try out both sports and see which resonates with you the most. Regardless of your choice, both Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu are excellent martial arts that can improve your physical fitness, mental focus, and overall well-being.