Difference Between Jujitsu and Jiu Jitsu

Jujitsu vs Jiu Jitsu

Jujutsu is an ancient Japanese martial art that developed as a means to teach unarmed people to defend themselves against armed or powerful opponents. It is an art of self-defense and has many spelling variations that range from jujitsu and jiujitsu and ju-jistu to jiu-jutsu. There is also the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to confuse the people who are not of Japanese origin. Jujitsu has evolved over a period of hundreds of years and has led to the development of many offshoots and variations. Even Judo, the modern martial art and an Olympic sport, is evolved out of Jujitsu. Most people remain confused between Jujitsu and Jiu Jitsu as is evident from the searches conducted on Google. This article attempts to clear this confusion.

There are many different spellings of the martial art called jujutsu. The reason for this confusion is that the original word is written in Kanji, and none of the western translations of the word truly represent the original word that the Japanese use for the ancient martial art called Jujutsu. It is a fact that though jujutsu is the current favorite in the western media, spellings such as jujitsu and jiujitsu were commonly used at the beginning of the century for the same martial art. Jiu Jitsu is a spelling variant that has stuck in some parts of the globe whereas jujitsu is also the label applied to the ancient Japanese martial art form.

There is a martial art form called Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or BJJ that has evolved from the ancient Japanese martial art form called Jujutsu or jujitsu. This martial art was believed to have originated to help unarmed people take on armed warriors by making use of the energy of the warriors to bring them down. However, Jigaro Kano, the founder of Japanese Judo, believed that Jujutsu was insufficient and was losing its relevance in the modern world. This is why he took some of the concepts and techniques from the ancient jujitsu and added his own techniques to develop judo. This was a martial art that focused more on grappling and bringing down the opponent than on striking. Some of his students, when they went to Brazil, introduced this art form to the Brazilians. There, the martial art that evolved was labeled Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and focused upon ground fighting more than grappling of judo. There is no striking seen in this Jiu-jitsu and the grappling also takes place mostly on the floor rather than standing.


The art of self-defense when unarmed and fighting with armed warriors led to the development of the martial art form called Jujutsu in Japan in the 16th century. Because the word was written in kanji, westerners who tried to translate it into English resorted to many different spellings and still could not quite replicate the sound. At different times and places across the globe, Jujutsu has been differently called Jujitsu, Jiujutsu, Jiu-jitsu, and so on. In the end of the last century, Jaigaro Kano developed a new style of self-defense from Jujutsu that was called Judo and became very popular around the world. This martial art was picked up in brazil and was termed Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.