BJJ (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu) vs KMKrav Maga – Comparison [2021]

In today’s world, everyone must have discipline in order to get through life with success. Here we are going to give you a comparison of two different disciplines that you can adopt in life. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or Krav Maga Both are very different types of martial art.

If you talk about BJJ Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu it has some connection with self-defense but nowadays its reason for success and popularity is that it’s a very good grappling sport art

Whereas Krav Maga is a proper self-defense martial art that emphasizes striking, multiple attackers defense, weapon attack techniques with additional grappling know-how as well.

Basic differences between BJJ and Krav Maga

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu BJJ

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training mainly focuses on the grappling side of martial arts. Two people training against each other with the main techniques of choking and joint locking and trying to make others submit and take each other to the ground. It doesn’t involve any type of striking or harming the opponent. Only taught by the perspective of the game.

Krav Maga

Krav Maga emphasizes on self-defense mechanism that incorporates punches, kicking a bow and knees, defencing, and grappling against attacks from weapons that include fire alarm.  You are going to find this training as a part of global military training, Israeli Defence forces, and a lot of civilian groups all around the world.

In short, BJJ is a large sports training more of a hobby, while Krav Maga emphasizes more on self-defense.  And is on the professional level.

A Detailed History of Krav Maga

“Krav Maga” is a Hebrew phrase that literally means “contact combat.” This name is a perfect fit for the fighting system that Lichtenfeld invented, as it would be used by the Israeli Defence Forces.

Krav Maga’s combination of boxing, wrestling, aikido, judo, karate, and street fighting skills is extremely effective in neutralizing a threat during a real-life, hand-to-hand combat situation. When Lichtenfeld retired after WW2, he saw many people that were still struggling to protect themselves.

Although the fascist gangs were no longer around, there were still many lingering dangers as the communities were faced with other post-war challenges. He began teaching Krav Maga to anyone that wanted to learn, and eventually built a network of instructors that would take it worldwide.

With such a rich history, it’s no wonder that Krav Maga grew so quickly in popularity. In fact, it’s become so popular that even celebrities have used it as a means of training for movies. Not to mention, it’s a fantastic workout.

A Detailed History of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

It originated from the Japanese Kodokan Judo. When Geo Omori started a Jiu-Jitsu school in Brazil, he taught his students the fundamentals of judo. Omori’s students took what they’d learned and began to pass it along in their own teachings, making adaptations along the way.

One of these students instructed a young man named Helio Gracie, who would eventually move on to develop what’s now known as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. However, because his family members were such large supporters of this particular martial art, it was also known as Gracie Jiu-Jitsu for a while.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is also a martial arts form that’s focused on self-defense. But just because it’s young doesn’t mean it’s not equally as effective in its purpose.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a combat sport that transfers very well self-defense because of its emphasis on being in a dominant position on the ground and doing damage to an opponent with joint locks or strangulation techniques.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competitions are scored based on takedowns, positional advantages (series of pins and attacks), and finishes via a joint lock or strangulation techniques that result in the losing competitor “tapping out”. In competitions, there are techniques that are considered illegal as well as rule sets for what techniques can be used based on the competitor’s skill (belt) level.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu helps practitioners develop skills that are very useful in self-defense because the emphasis is on close-range fighting and the ground, where many street fights and assaults occur or end up.

The difference in rules for BJJ vs KRAV MAGA

If you talk about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, all around the world it is an established sport. Competitions are being held around the globe by different groups and most of them follow a set of rules. Matches are played and won on the basis of points,  penalties, and advantages or of course submission

The point system in BJJ depends on the playing athlete’s successful attempt of advantageous movement or they get into some position of advantage

The points allocation is this way

  1. Knee-on-belly – 2 points
  2. Takedowns – 2 points
  3. Mount – 4 points
  4. Back control – 4 points
  5. Passing the guard – 3 points
  6. Sweeps – 2 points

If one participant successfully submits the other one then they win regardless of what is points table position

Some BJJ tournaments are fought on only submissions rules and the match only ends if one participant or the other submits. A lot of techniques are prohibited from practice at many belt levels by BJJ organizations like slamming opponents, some leg locks, and scissors takedown that can be fatal.

Jiu-Jitsu now a day is all about learning techniques that are not harmful or don’t cause extreme damage to the opponent. They teach you enough to that you can use to take down the other party whether it’s in competition or real life.

In Krav Maga, you will not find a set of rules and regulations as the self-defense that’s being taught here is very very dangerous and is for extreme real-life situations where if you don’t defend yourself you can get seriously injured. So when you are defending yourself to stay alive you can deploy each and everything you have learn and apply it to get out of worse situations no matter the consequences.

These training are part of soldier training in camps where they are trained hard to get through any difficulties they face in the field. So these are highly unlikely to be the part of civilians’ everyday dense techniques.

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Accomplishment difference between BJJ and Krav Maga

With Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu you can attain the following 8 belts over time and constant practice. It totally depends on the practitioner’s own dedication that how much time they will take to achieve their goal. Some institutions have ceremonies where students have to show the technical expertise to achieve the belt and move ahead but with others, they just promote you when the mentor thinks the student is ready

  1. White
  2. Blue
  3. Purple
  4. Brown
  5. Black
  6. Red and black
  7. Red and white
  8. Red

Each belt under the black belt also has four stripes that practitioners can earn. These signify progress towards the next belt. Black belts can earn up to six degrees before earning their red and black belt, which signifies their 7th degree and onwards.

Krav Maga uses IKMF or KMG which uses 3 groups and each group has 5 levels each

  • Practitioner (P1 – P5)
  • Graduate (G1 – G5)
  • Expert (E1 – E5)

There are a proper syllabus at each level and 2 expert-level proficient practitioners to analyze before qualifying to the next level or rise to the next group. It takes 6 years for a student to be successful at

There is a master group after the expert level. But there is a handful of people in the world in this category.

The time consumption depends on how good you are at learning and you pass the tests and assessments from mentors and experts of the Krav Maga.

Level  Time Required for Testing

  • Practitioner 1 3 months
  • Practitioner 2 – 5 4-5 months/rank
  • Graduate 1 – 5 8 months / rank
  • Expert 1 1 year
  • Expert 2 2 years
  • Expert 3 3 years
  • Expert 4 4 years
  • Expert 5 5 years

KMG takes 5-7 years to achieve the expert level for Krav Maga

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Belt system for Krav Maga

Krav Maga also in some organizations uses the belt system to show progress.

  1. Yellow belt
  2. Orange belt
  3. Green belt
  4. Blue belt
  5. Brown belt
  6. Black belt

After black belt you get degrees and 8th degree is the top one currently with a few people holding that level


All forms of martial arts are geared toward self-defense. However, they do differ in their philosophy on self-defense. We’re focusing on Krav Maga and BJJ, both of which teach students that they can still defeat an opponent, even if they’re smaller. But, their approach to self-defense differs in the strategies and teachings, and there are naturally pros and cons to each.

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Krav Maga Pros & Cons

Because it was developed for the sole purpose of self-defense, Krav Maga is widely known for its ability to teach anyone, of any size, any age, of any physical ability to protect themselves when necessary. This in itself is a major positive, but here are a few more to think about.


  • Since Krav Maga’s development was at a time when it needed to be put to use right away, it’s been adjusted to fit real-life situations, and actually tested for self-defense. No trial and error needed; it works.
  • Krav Maga does teach avoidance strategies first, but then students are instructed to end an altercation as fast as possible, doing the most damage to the opponent.
  • Krav Maga is great for beginners or those that want to just learn self-defense. Many of the most useful tactics are able to be taught in one short lesson. Not to perfection, of course, but at least enough to use if necessary.
  • There’s no doubt that Krav Maga offers anyone a fighting chance when it comes to self-defense, but there are a few things to be aware of when it comes to a downside.


  • Krav Maga does encourage the use of weapons, as previously mentioned, so it is dangerous. And, sometimes illegal, depending on the situation.
  • We also briefly touched on the basic Krav Maga principle of ending a fight as quickly as possible, which also means inflicting as much damage to your opponent as you’re physically able to.
  • The basics of Krav Maga for self-defense can be taught rather quickly, but to be the most effective, it requires a lot of practice.
  • Actually, using Krav Maga at full strength will ultimately cause someone a lot of harm and might result in serious injuries, so it’s difficult to practice in a classroom setting.

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Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Pros & Cons

BJJ is an incredibly effective self-defense strategy. There’s no question as to how effective it is. And, just like Krav Maga, anyone can learn as long as they’re dedicated. But there are even more bonuses to learning BJJ, although many are similar to those of Krav Maga. Here are a few specific advantages of BJJ.


  • There are no weapons used in BJJ, so the teaching focuses on using your own skillset and strengths to exploit an opponent’s weaknesses, no matter what size you are.
  • BJJ teaches students to neutralize an opponent and escape a dangerous situation, without purposely causing permanent damage to them.
  • Although BJJ is very effective for competitive fighting, there are several flaws in using BJJ for self-defense. This isn’t to say that BJJ won’t work in a self-defense scenario; there are just a few negatives to be mindful of.


  • In terms of someone that’s a student of BJJ, using it during a non-sanctioned or recreational setting, or practicing for self-defense, can lead to a false sense of confidence and even reinforce bad habits.
  • In almost any self-defense scenario, there’s an element of unpredictability, which can be challenging for someone that’s trained in BJJ and relies heavily on planning and awareness.
  • Because BJJ teaches students to get to the ground as soon as possible, this might not be ideal for many self-defense situations, where the ground might add to the danger.
  • BJJ trains someone to fight against one opponent, which will not help you at all if you’re being attacked by several people at once.

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JUDO vs Krav Maga for Self-defense

Judo is an off-shoot of Jiu-Jitsu and is a fantastic martial art and an Olympic sport. Krav Maga, on the other hand, is not even considered a martial art by some and is more of a self-defense system. Because of that, it’s natural to wonder which is better: Judo vs. Krav Maga for self-defense?

Krav Maga is better than Judo for strict self-defense purposes. While a skilled Judo practitioner could certainly defend themselves against most attackers, Krav Maga’s sole purpose is self-defense. It uses simple but brutally effective techniques to quickly render an opponent disabled.

Krav Maga vs BJJ street fight

Krav Maga is effective in that it is a potent fighting style, highly effective and specifically designed to neutralize opponents in unexpected or unprepared situations, first by avoidance and then by physical protection. So, the approach and psychology behind Krav Maga is very different as opposed to martial arts or other sports-centered fight styles.

While BJJ if you are on the ground and you are properly trained you can definitely take help from the technique you have learned but you might not get through all safe as streets are with no rules

So it is highly likely that Krav Maga is effective more on the street

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BJJ vs Karate

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Karate might look like similar styles of martial arts but there are a number of very different characteristics.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art characterized by devastating throws, takedowns, sweeps, joint locks, and limb manipulation, chokes, and controlling positions. Aside from wrestling and judo, it is one of the only martial arts that offers the unique advantage of taking another human being out of the domain of using kicks and punches in a standing position to the ground where only skills specific to ground martial arts will prevail.

This is the primary difference between BJJ and Karate because where BJJ starts Karate ends, for this reason, it’s one of the best self-defense martial arts for single attacker scenarios.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a very physically demanding martial art, beautifully blending aerobic and anaerobic fitness whilst learning complex body movements that enhance personal well being

Krav Maga vs Muay Thai

Muay Thai athletes train to fight other Muay Thai athletes in competition. Krav Maga practitioners may find themselves in situations where they are facing a person with a knife, a gun, or another weapon and willing to use it. Unlike Muay Thai, Krav Maga training focuses not on countering someone with your own skillset but countering whatever your attacker may bring to the table. This adaptability makes Krav Maga a uniquely effective self defense tool for a wide range of situations.


Choice of any martial art is defined by your goals. What you want to achieve and how much time you want to give to that form. The level of training with which you want to move ahead.

If your goal is that you want to be an expert level at combat or become the most resilient in the worst situation possible you must choose Krav Maga and join an academy and learn and pass the stages and get to your goal. You won’t find any rules and you must do whatever it takes to survive

But if you want to be competition-ready and just be skillful in protecting yourself from regular dangers and self-confidence you need to take good jiu Jitsu lessons and get ready to your best abilities. There will be certain rules in the game and you have to follow them and stay under limits and fight.

As a normal fitness and fight in the ring like it would be appropriate to have Jiu-Jitsu training and be competitive at it


Is Krav Maga the deadliest martial art?
Krav Maga is an Israeli martial art widely accepted in the military, police, and similar branches as a defense against bare-handed and even armed attackers. It probably comes as no surprise that the world’s most effective and dangerous form of martial art is also the deadliest in the world.
Do Krav Maga and BJJ have a belt system and how long does it take to progress?
Yes. There is a belt system in each, though they are vastly different. A Krav Maga Black Belt can be achieved in approximately 3 years or more. A BJJ Black Belt can take upwards of 10years to earn. Both systems have more Belt levels for children because children need more frequent positive reinforcement through rank advancement.

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