Difference Between Judo and BJJ

Judo vs BJJ

Judo is a modern Olympic sport and a martial art that was developed in Japan by Jigoro Kano. It is very popular across the world and has caught the imagination of people as a self-defense system. Judo has been adopted in many cultures with minor variations and a system of self-defense called Brazilian JiuJitsu or simply BJJ in short got developed in Brazil. To the uninitiated, and to casual observers, the two martial arts called judo and BJJ might look the same or at least strikingly similar. This is because of the fact that BJJ has been influenced a great deal by Judo, the Japanese martial art. In fact, it would be correct to call judo the progenitor of BJJ. However, despite similarities, there are enough differences between judo and BJJ that will be highlighted in this article.


Judo is both a modern Olympic sport as well as a martial art. It is a system of self-defense that focuses on grappling and throwing to overcome a heavier and armed opponent. Judo was developed by Jigoro Kano in 1882 as a new martial art from the earlier existing ancient Japanese martial art called Jujutsu. There is much less striking and thrusting in Judo than Jujutsu. The practitioners of judo are referred to as judokas.

Judo caught the imagination of people across the world and soon became popular in many countries with minor variations and adaptations that are seen as local cultural influences.


BJJ refers to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, a martial art that was a result of adaptation and modification of judo. Judoka Maeda taught Carlos Gracie the fundamentals of Kodokan judo. The knowledge was then passed on by Gracies to many more people after some modification, and they named the martial art as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. The basic premise of BJJ is that a weak individual can, with the help of the techniques in BJJ, hope to overcome a strong individual by fighting on the ground and using techniques such as chokeholds and joint locks.

Though Maeda was a Judoka who had learnt Judo from Kano in Japan, the art came to be known as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and not judo. Brazilians could not distinguish between the ancient martial art called Jujutsu and the modern martial art called judo that was introduced by Kano in Japan.

Judo vs BJJ

• BJJ lays emphasis on ground fighting whereas Judo focuses more on grappling and throwing.

• BJJ players sometimes allow themselves to be thrown if they can bring down an opponent on the ground along with them.

• BJJ is derived from judo as the earlier proponents of BJJ received training and lessons from judo master who was a student and disciple of Kano.

• Perfect throw gives victory in judo, whereas throw gives only points in BJJ.

• Judo was developed in 1882 by Kano in Japan, whereas BJJ was developed and modified by Gracie brothers in Brazil in the early 20th century.

• There is deliberate under emphasis on striking in BJJ.

• Judo has evolved some very fine throwing techniques, whereas battle starts after throwing in BJJ.