The Key Similarities and Differences Between Jiu Jitsu and Krav Maga

Jiu-Jitsu is conventional, and Krav Maga is modern contact combat styles, respectively. Both martial arts share the same principle of self-defense martial arts, so they share similarities and differences. Here we will see what these two techniques are and which is the best martial art. Jiu-Jitsu was originated in Japan as a hand-to-hand combat style based on grappling techniques, which evolved and gave rise to many sports and modern martial arts like judo, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and mixed martial arts. Due to its diversity and multilevel approach in combat sports, jiu-jitsu vs. wrestling, Jiu-jitsu is superior. Krav maga was developed by the Israeli army that took methods from several fighting styles, wrestling, Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, and boxing, for defending against an unarmed and armed attacker.

History of Jiu-Jitsu:

In mainland Japan’s Sengoku period (1467 to 1615), the collapse of the feudal system led to anarchy and clan wars. This power vacuum pushed people on the streets to defend themselves. During that period, Takenouchi Hisamori was practicing near the Sannomiya shrine, mysteriously met a priest who convinced him that weapons are not effective in close combat. The priest taught him grappling and close combat. Hisamori established his school, “Takenouchi Ryū,” in 1532, where he developed grappling styles for subduing unarmed enemies, including joint locks, pins and leg sweeps, strangulations, and chock holds.  

History of Krav Maga, the best martial art for self-defense:

During the rise of antisemitism in Europe, Imi Lichtenfeld struggled to defend himself in Hungary. He learned boxing and grappling from his father. During WWII, Imi joined Nazi resistance volunteers and trained the youth to defend the Jewish quarters against fascists attackers. At the end of the war, he came to Israel and started training Israeli Defense Force. His skills and methods of hand-to-hand combat laid the foundation of the modern fighting system Krav Maga the Hebrew translation of Contact Combat. This system is built against multiple attackers simultaneously. 

Jiu-Jitsu progression: 

In martial art, the trainees go through eight belts progression system in the following order.

  • White
  • Blue
  • Purple
  • Brown
  • Black
  • Red and black
  • Red and white
  • Red

Krav Maga progression:

This martial art system follows Imi Lichtenfeld’s colored belt system, similar to the judo ranking system. The ranking these belts are  

  • white 
  • yellow
  • orange
  • green
  • blue
  • brown
  • black belt

The black belt holder can progress through 1 to 9th Dan.   

Some other Krav maga schools use another system for grading called the patch system. This system divides grades into three categories called Practitioner, Graduate, and Expert, in which each category is subdivided into five levels. Each level has a particular syllabus, and students have to learn. All of the organizations follow these systems with minor variations.

The Key Similarities And Differences Between Jiu Jitsu And Krav Maga
The key similarities and differences between jiu jitsu and krav maga 2

Krav maga rules 

Krav maga fighting style has dangerous techniques, and you can practice it only in real-world situations. That is why it is the best martial arts for self-defense. It does not have open competitive matches where opponents can inflict serious injury, so it does not have standard rulesets. The IDF has conducted competitions for its soldiers, but no civilian championships have taken place.

Jiu-jitsu rules

Traditional jiu-jitsu and its variations are a popular sport across many nations. Every year many competitions and championships are organized around the world. Generally, the rules and pint systems are the same across the organizations. Points declare the victory scored, submission by the opponent, and or penalties. The points are awarded when a participant performs an act or gains an advantageous position. Generally, these positions are mount, back control, guard passing, sweep, takedown, and knee-on-belly. In the case of submission, the opponents win regardless of a point score.

Differences between jiu-jitsu and krav maga 

  • Jiu-jitsu training focuses on ground fighting and single takedown opponent with minimal striking. With rigorous training and hours of practice, the student learns to control the situation while remaining calm and in complete control. While the krav maga techniques are built on human reflexes and the human body’s natural response. These techniques are repeated regularly in training to the point that they become second nature of trainees. When a trained person encounters an attack, these techniques kick in automatically. It is an aggressive system of protection against multiple attackers.
  • Jiu-jitsu is more practical because it trains a person to deal with everyday life situations which you can handle with minimum risk of injury for both defender and attacker. A person highly skilled in krav maga can disarm an opponent carrying deadly weapons like knives and guns by using kicks, knees, punches, elbow, and grappling. But these skills require a high level of expertise and are not recommended in every situation. 
  • Lengthy lessons requiring many sparing spanning hours are practiced in Jiu-Jitsu, and the krav maga does not involve lengthy sparing training.  
  • The krav maga training techniques required a relatively short period as compared to Jiu-jitsu. 
  • Most of the Jiu-Jitsu schools do not have a defined syllabus and follow unwritten standard practices, while the krav maga gyms have specified curriculum with less space for creativity. 
  • In Jiu-jitsu, the trainees have to wear “gi,” which comprises a cotton jacket, pants, and a belt. While in krav maga classes, the students do not need to follow a specific dress code. They can wear a t-shirt and sweatpants or shorts. The protective gear includes boxing gloves, head guard, mouthguard, shin guard, and groin guard. 
  • The daily class of krav maga starts with a warm-up. Then the instructor teaches the technique, and the trainee keeps practicing the simulation and ends with stretches for the cool down. The Jiu-jitsu class is similar, except the relaxed, down session is replaced with a sparring session.

Comparison of krav maga vs. jiu-jitsu vs. wrestling popularity and what is the best martial art:

The krav maga is popular among people interested in learning self-defense. It is effective for individuals at high risk or people of a vulnerable community, residents of high street crime, and women. It requires constant practice and continuous repetition that makes the best martial art for self-defense, which is more feasible for law enforcement agencies. Jiu-jitsu is more common as a sport and hobby. It is possible for every sphere of life, and more gyms and schools are available for Jiu-jitsu training. This art is for street fight training, but this dynamic and challenging sport is practically helpful for health and fitness. That is why it is attracting celebrities from media, film, sports, and even politicians. Suppose you are not a sports professional, looking for competitive sports as a hobby and doing Jiu-jitsu vs. Wrestling comparison. In that case, Jiu-jitsu is the answer because wrestling is a professional game. So, if you are new to martial arts and looking for the best martial art, Jiu-Jitsu’s answer is Jiu-Jitsu.