Judo vs. Jiu-Jitsu: What Are the Differences?

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judo vs jiu jitsu

As martial arts forms, both Judo and Jiu-jitsu are well-respected traditions. They have a surprising amount of overlaps, but also key differences, such as in purpose. The difference between Judo vs. Jiu-jitsu also focuses on different techniques.

One is more focused on stand-up techniques and throws. The latter focuses on groundwork and submissions. Despite this, Judo and Jiu-jitsu have similar origins.

It’s worth looking at each one in turn and comparing them to see the difference. Keep reading for a quick guide on the differences between Judo and Jiu-jitsu.

What Is Judo?

Judo is the younger of the two traditions, but both trace their origin to Japan. Founded by Jigoro Kano, Judo was a developmental spin-off of Japanese jujitsu. It focuses on the doctrine of achieving maximum efficiency while utilizing minimum strength.

For this reason, Judo prioritizes standing techniques designed to facilitate takedowns. It uses a lot of throws, and common Judo tips involve foot placement and leverage rather than power. In competition, the goal is to get your opponent off their feet as cleanly as possible.

A 20-second pin or landing flat on their back counts as a full point. Landing on your side or getting a 10-second pin is only half a point. Grabbing below the belt or going for the legs results in a penalty.

Because of this Judo practitioners adopt straight-backed postures and often go for hip throws.

What Is Jiu-jitsu?

Jiu-jitsu has an older history going back to the samurai. It was a martial art (with competing schools) aimed to train samurai in unarmed combat. It was a practical skill to have for any warrior in case they were ever disarmed.

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Starting in the early 20th century, Jiu-jitsu came to Brazil through a Japanese diplomat. It developed into the modern form of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu we all know today. Modern Jiu-jitsu forms prioritize groundwork more than Judo.

In judo, the focus is on how one good throw can finish a fight. Jiu-jitsu, on the other hand, realizes that the fight can continue even from the ground. For this reason, Jiu-jitsu tips focus not only on avoiding takedowns but also on recovering from them and reversing your position.

In competition, submissions can score an instant win in Jiu-jitsu. For this reason, practitioners adopt low grounded postures. It’s permissible and encouraged to go for the legs to facilitate a takedown, and then to advance your position to go for a submission.

Unlike a typical pin, submissions end a fight by making your opponent surrender. Ground grappling is a bigger part of Jiu-jitsu than judo because of this. Judo and Jiu-jitsu are great martial arts for kids and adults alike, so consider enrolling in local classes.

Comparing Judo vs. Jiu-jitsu

When looking at Judo vs. Jiu-jitsu, they have several similarities. They both originate from Japan, and Judo branched off from Jiu-jitsu. They both also feature a combination of takedown and groundwork techniques.

That said, there are notable differences, such as modern Jiu-jitsu’s higher focus on groundwork. While Judo seeks to finish a fight with a single throw, Jiu-jitsu looks to end with a submission.

For more on the difference between these martial arts, check out our other blog posts.

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