Japanese Jiu-Jitsu Vs Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu – What to start

Japanese Jiu-Jitsu Vs Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu - What To Start

Various forms of martial arts originated from several countries are now practiced by everyone, be it kids or adults.

Martial art is popularly practiced for self-defense and mental strength. In a modern era, learning something that helps you grow as an individual has become essential. 

There are several forms of martial arts such as Karate, Japanese Jiu-jitsu, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, wrestling, and Judo.

Parents all around the world have started involving their kids in all kinds of physical activities. It helps their kid build self-control, self-defense, and focus. 

But a question that arises in every parent’s mind, which martial art is best for my child? Is Japanese Jiu-jitsu best or the Brazilian Jiu-jitsu? Where should my kid start his journey to learn martial arts

Well, we will be clearing all your doubts, so your child learns the art that best suits him/her.

Japanese Jiu-jitsu and Brazilian Jiu-jitsu (BJJ) are often confused with each other. However, some techniques of both the arts are similar. Let’s get to know how Japanese Jiu-jitsu differs from Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

What is Japanese Jiu-Jitsu?

What is Japanese Jiu-Jitsu?

Japanese Jiu-jitsu, also known as jujutsu, focuses on defending an unarmed opponent by using their strength and momentum.

Japanese Jiu-jitsu players concentrate on defending against their attacking competitor with several techniques that include strikes and submission. 

There are many variations of this martial art, and it mainly uses techniques like joint locks, chokes, strikes, and throws.

The player might block the attacker’s first move or punch and then apply a joint lock or throw them while finishing the fight with a coordinated attack or a stroke. 

Jujutsu also includes some weapons while defending the attacker who has disarming techniques to perform.

Jujutsu is still performed as traditional art, which only consists of a self-defense system for unarmed attackers.

History of Japanese Jujutsu 

Traditional Japanese Jiu-jitsu has its specific meaning where Jiu refers to gentle or soft, and jitsu refers to an art or a technique.

Many martial arts techniques have been adopted by countries like India, China, Japan, and later were adopted by samurai to defend themselves against armored opponents on the battlefield if they lose their primary weapons. 

During the 17th century in Japan, the hand-to-hand combat system like Jiu-jitsu grabbed all the popularity.

People began their practice of jiu-jitsu and then was collectively named jujutsu. 

Training schools for Japanese Jiu-jitsu

The training of this art is practiced by two players, the attacker and the defender. Depending on the technique being practiced by both the players.

However, there are modern Jujutsu schools that train students while inculcating some modern sports. 

The traditional schools teach their students conventional Japanese jujutsu, and the modern school teaches modern techniques. Kids of the new era are in love with the contemporary techniques and modern schools.

When mixed with some new variations, traditional methods can add a little more extra to the self-growth of your child.

What is Brazilian Jiu-jitsu?

What is Brazilian Jiu-jitsu?

Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, also known as BJJ, is a martial art type that focuses on ground fighting and grappling. A technique that helps you learn self-defense while taking control over the attacker against his force to submit. 

In this form of martial art, a small person can defend himself against a more prominent person with techniques like chokes and locks. It is a gentle art that everyone can practice.

The popularity of BJJ has risen over the years and is a type of sport that is great for kids who wish to learn a new form of art.

History of BJJ

The story of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu began when judo came into existence. Experts of judo martial arts started traveling worldwide, and one of them was Mitsuyo Maeda. He was a judo master that traveled and challenged all the practitioners around the country. 

While traveling, he crossed his ways with Carlos Gracie in Brazil, one of his students.

He started practicing all forms of martial arts and eventually started his gym in the mid of 1920 with his younger brother. 

They adapted all the techniques they knew and specialized in groundwork techniques, and this is how Brazilian Jiu-jitsu came into existence.

Gracie’s family invented Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, but judo expert Mitsuyo Maeda initially taught the art. 

International Recognition of BJJ

The Brazilian jiu-jitsu was only practiced in brazil until it got its first-ever international recognition at the world stage at the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in 1993.

Royce Gracie made an entry on the stage and showed his actual art by defeating three competitors from different martial arts, including Savate, Boxing, and wrestling. 

That is how Brazilian martial arts became famous worldwide and is now practiced by all the players around the world. 

Rules of Japanese and Brazilian Jiu-jitsu

Rules of Japanese and Brazilian Jiu-jitsu

The martial arts techniques may be similar to each other, but the rules of each of the skills are very different. BJJ has many championships held worldwide, whereas Japanese Jujutsu has little to no competitions held whatsoever. 

Rules of BJJ

The Brazilian Jiu-jitsu starts with both the practitioners standing opposite to each other. Then they try to pull each other down or move directly into the pulling guard.

Once they pull the opponent down, they try to submit their opponent or get dominant positions to earn points.

If a player successfully submits his opponent, he will be declared as the winner instantly, and if there is no submission done, then the victory is decided on the basis of points. 

Points earned in BJJ is for various techniques and positions that include:

  • Takedowns – 2 points
  • Mount – 4 points 
  • Guard pass – 3 points
  • Sweeps – 2 points 
  • Knee-on-belly position – 2 points 
  • Back control – 4 points

Rules of Japanese Jiu-jitsu

Japanese Jiu-jitsu is not known for strong championships like BJJ, but some organizations hold modern off-shoots like Ju-jitsu International Federation (JJIF).

Here are the three events held by JJIF:

  • Duo: A set of two players perform self-defense techniques judged by a referee on criteria that include control, power, and reality.
  • Ne-waza: This round is similar to BJJ, where the players stand against each other with no strikes allowed, players try to pull each other down, and then try to submit with joint lock. 
  • Fighting: In this round, both the players try to get their opponent player on the ground by techniques such as Joint lock or strangulations. Various methods can earn points.

Belt system and progression 

Belt system and progression

The belt system in every martial art is essential to a system where you know about your child’s progress. It will help you keep track of the growth of your child.

Each school can have its own set of policies to earn the next belt, and some instructors decide whether the player is ready to earn the next belt. Earning a belt requires technical knowledge backed by professional skills.

The belt system in BJJ 

The Brazilian jiu-jitsu has a belt system that has eight belts:

  • White belt
  • Blue belt
  • Purple belt
  • Brown belt
  • Black belt
  • Red and Black Belt (7th-degree black belt)
  • Red and white belt (8th-degree black belt)
  • Red belt (9th and 10th-degree black belt)

The belt system of Japanese Jiu-jitsu

Traditional schools follow a grading system to jump on the next belt. However, before the white belt, the beginner student may get a red belt. 

Different schools may have a separate system, but here is the general system followed by all of them:

  • White belt
  • Yellow belt
  • Orange belt 
  • Green belt
  • Blue belt
  • Purple belt
  • Brown belt
  • Black belt

The time your child may take to earn a black belt – Japanese Jiu-Jitsu Vs BJJ

To earn a black belt in BJJ, it would take around 8-12 years, whereas, in Japanese Jiu-jitsu, you kid would only take about five years to earn a black belt.

A player with a black belt in BJJ must have some ground grappling expertise, including positions, submissions, and movements.

As per the BJJ experts, a black belt should also have a proficient level of self-defense technique and should be able to attack the whole body of the opponent. 

A black belt in Japanese Jiu-jitsu must have high-level proficiency in self-defense technique, throws, Joint manipulation, and submission.

Dress code and equipment 

Dress code and equipment

BJJ and Japanese Jiu-jitsu players popularly wear a kimono with a belt or a Gi. A Gi is a set of cotton jackets and pants with a belt of the respected color. 

A BJJ player also wears a mouth guard or a groin guard for unusual techniques that consist of rolling.

A Japanese Jiu-jitsu player also requires a groin guard for techniques such as striking. 

Estimated hours for the martial arts class – Japanese Jiu-jitsu Vs BJJ

Generally, BJJ class might be for 1- 1.5 hours, which may include:

  • Short Warm up for 10-15 minutes
  • Learning a set of techniques for 45 minutes
  • Several rounds of sparring for 30 minutes

Japanese Jiu-jitsu class hours can depend on the schools, but generally, the session may include:

  • Warm-up 
  • Training of striking and blocking
  • Training for breakfall
  • Self-defence technique
  • Stretching 

Which martial art is popular?  Japanese Jiu-jitsu Vs BJJ

Which martial art is popular?  Japanese Jiu-jitsu Vs BJJ

According to Google Trends data, people search for Brazilian Jiu-jitsu more than they search for Japanese Jiu-jitsu. Since 2004 the Brazilian Jiu-jitsu has gained more popularity than Japanese jiu-jitsu

The number of schools should decide the popularity of martial art. If you have more academies for martial arts around you, then that particular academy is prevalent in your area. 

BJJ has gained more popularity because of the transition of techniques and a mix of martial arts methods. BJJ has a mix of many martial art techniques, which also include MMA.

The global competition of BJJ also makes it more popular than Jujutsu.

Which martial art should my Kid opt for?

There is no comparison between both the techniques as they both have their uniqueness and capabilities for a learner.

Let’s compare them based on several methods:


BJJ focuses on other sports techniques with the self-defense technique.

Jujutsu only focuses on traditional self-defense techniques.


There’s no proven research that can state the number of calories burnt in the Japanese Jiu-jitsu Vs BJJ debate. However, according to some research, BJJ is more effective in terms of fitness.

BJJ burns around 500 calories for every 30 minutes of class, whereas Japanese Jiu-jitsu does not have a specified number of calories burnt.

Comparing both the martial arts, BJJ offers better results in terms of the fitness of a practitioner.

Japanese Jiu-jitsu Vs BJJ – Pros and Cons

Pros of Japanese Jiu-jitsu

  • Traditional Self-defence techniques
  •  Strikes, throws, and ground techniques

Cons of Japanese Jiu-jitsu

  • Very minimal sparing or No sparing
  • No sports competition opportunities

Pros of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu

  • An excellent form of whole-body workout and is physically demanding.
  • Groundwork techniques in large variations
  • Regular sparing
  • Lots of competition opportunities

Cons of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu

  • No striking
  • Minimal self-defense training
  • The takedown technique is not taught as frequently as the groundwork technique.

Wrapping Up

We now end this super informative article where we discussed the Japanese and Brazilian jiu-jitsu in detail.

All martial arts are the best way to stay fit and healthy for your child’s growth. If you wish to select one, BJJ is the right way to start with and help your child learn many different techniques.

BJJ has a competitive sport held every year, which is excellent for your child’s overall development.

However, the traditional method is also suitable and unique for every kid who aspires to learn traditional techniques.

All forms of art are useful and help every kid grow as a person if they stay dedicated to the art.


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