The world of martial arts has seen different styles compared and as for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) and Judo, they are more similar and indistinguishable than different. Both styles will see athletes wearing kimonos, having a contest on a mat, and gaining points by having an opponent on the ground. Sports such as Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) have brought the art of combining different martial arts styles including BJJ and Judo.
Fans can claim this welcome offer as they back their favorite MMA fighters in the various UFC rounds.
However, like every other martial art style, there is a difference that strikes in between Judo and BJJ. Here are the main differences;
Their similarity stems from the common ancestry (Japanese Jujitsu). This art (Jujitsu or Ju Jutsu) was developed as a self-defense style for the samurais. Their earliest forms involved the use of weapons alongside hand-to-hand combat. Jujitsu’s main focus was to equip the samurai with fight skills whether they had a weapon or not. Their styles focused on defeating an armored opponent including throws, gouges, joint locks, among others.
After the 1870s Meiji Restoration, the samurais ceased to exist with the wearing of swords in public banned. This saw Jigoro Kano bring up a different Jujitsu style that avoided the violent side. Judo came up as a physical training tactic discarding all the prior dangerous tactics. Mitsuyo Maeda would later take Judo to Brazil and after incorporating other disciplines in his fighting, he was expelled from the Kodokan discipline for his fighting. He would then start his academy and this saw the evolution of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ)
Ever since Jujitsu’s inception, the styles have evolved and have seen the weapons dropped, styles changed, and have since relied more on throws, holds, strikes, and locking techniques to defeat an opponent. The key rule difference between the two is that Judo focuses on throwing an opponent on the ground while BJJ focuses on submitting the opponent.
However, Judokas can also score points by holding an opponent on the ground, forcing submission, and on penalties. BJJ athletes can also score points from takedowns, sweeping, back control, and more techniques.
Belt progression in both styles shares some similarities and differences. The ultimate belt on all styles is the black belt and for Judokas, there will be 6 belts before the ultimate belt (white, yellow, orange, green, blue, and brown). BJJ athletes will have fewer belts before getting to the black belt (white, blue, purple, and brown)
Attire & Equipment Difference
While their attire may look similar at first, there are some differences to note. The Judo gi is built to sustain all the gripping and throwing and for this reason, it is more durable and heavier than normal taekwondo and karate uniforms.
However, BJJ attires are heavier and durable when compared to the Judo kimono since they are poised to sustain more punishment.
The color of the attires also differs. Judokas can only use a white kimono with BJJ athletes allowed a variety of color preferences. The colors allowed in BJJ tournaments range from; white, blue, and black.
Judo is an older sport and currently, the style is more popular than the BJJ. More Judokas are available worldwide compared to BJJ participants.