There are many different martial arts styles in the world, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Japanese Jiu Jitsu are two of the most popular.

While they share some similarities, there are also some key differences between these two styles. In this blog post, we will discuss the difference between Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Japanese Jiu Jitsu.

Jiu jitsu is a martial art that originated in Japan. It is thought to have been developed from the techniques of earlier martial arts, such as samurai warfare and grappling.

The first recorded mention of jiu jitsu dates back to 1532, in a book called "Records of the Unified State of Wei."

Jiu jitsu was later mentioned in several other Japanese texts, including the "Buke Myosho," or "The Martial Arts Guidebook."

The first formal school of jiu jitsu was founded in 1882 by Jigoro Kano. Kano's system, which he called Kodokan Judo, is still practiced today.

Mitsuyo Maeda

Jiu jitsu remained largely unknown outside of Japan until the early 20th century. In 1904, a Japanese judoka named Mitsuyo Maeda traveled to Brazil, where he taught the art to Carlos Gracie.

Gracie later founded his own school of jiu jitsu, which became known as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has since become one of the most popular martial arts in the world.

How Brazilian jiu jitsu deviated from Japanese jiu jitsu

While Japanese jiu jitsu and Brazilian jiu jitsu share many of the same techniques, they have diverged in some ways after more than 100 years. Here are some of the differences between them:

Training method

First, there are some subtle differences in the training methods used in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Japanese Jiu Jitsu.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu generally uses a more live training method, where students spar with each other using real resistance.

In contrast, Japanese Jiu Jitsu often uses kata, or pre-arranged forms, to help students learn proper technique.

The focus of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu also places more emphasis on ground fighting, while Japanese Jiu Jitsu includes more stand-up techniques and some dojos also include training with classic japanese weaponry such as the katana.

Both methods have their advantages and disadvantages, but ultimately it is up to the individual student to decide which style of training works best for them.

Competition system

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu also uses a different scoring system for competitions.

In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, points can be scored for taking an opponent down, sweeps, achieving a dominant position, and submitting an opponent means an automatic victory regardless of the points being accumulated between the competitors.

In contrast, Japanese Jiu Jitsu matches are typically won by either throwing or pinning an opponent.

In some Japanese Jiu Jitsu competitions, submitting your opponent does not always mean victory. A submission can be counted as points and then the match restarted until the time expires to see which competitor accumulates the most points.

Brazilian jiu jitsu competitions also do not allow strikes and kicks, while Japanese jiu jitsu has something called "fighting system" which allows strikes and kicks when both competitors are still on their feet.

Belt rank

Brazilian jiu jitsu has at least five levels of belt ranks for adult practitioners.

You get a new belt when your professor thinks that your skills and attitude have met the standards required for a promotion.

The belts go in this order for adult practitioners: white, blue, purple, brown, and black.

Beyond the black belt level, if a practitioner decides to dedicates his/her life to teach, then he/she is eligible to receive stripes on the black belt and achieves the next ranks of coral-red-and-black belt, coral-white-and-red belt and finally the red belt or also known as the 9th degree black belt, the highest rank possible in Brazilian jiu jitsu.

In Japanese jiu jitsu ranking is also done by belts but they are slightly different from those of Brazilian jiu jitsu.

Typically the belt rank in Japanese jiu jitsu goes as follows: white, yellow belt, orange, green, blue, purple, brown and black.

The belt rank in Japanese jiu jitsu is very similar to that of Brazilian jiu jitsu if someone starts training as a kid or a juvenile.

Like in Brazilian jiu jitsu, Japanese jiu jitsu practitioners can also achieve the red belt rank if they decide to dedicate their lives to teach the art.

Which one is better?

Some people may prefer one over the other, but in the end it really comes down to personal preference. Both styles have their own benefits and drawbacks and it ultimately depends on what you are looking for in a martial art.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu generally has more of an emphasis on ground fighting and grappling, while Japanese Jiu Jitsu often includes stand-up striking in addition to ground fighting.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is also typically a bit more fast-paced and aggressive, while Japanese Jiu Jitsu is usually a bit slower and more methodical.

Both Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Japanese Jiu Jitsu are great martial arts with a lot to offer.

It really comes down to what you are looking for in a martial art and which style better suits your needs.

Whichever you choose, you are sure to benefit from the training and discipline that these martial arts provide. Train hard, stay safe, and enjoy the journey!


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