Judo vs Jiu-Jitsu – Detail Comparison Which is Better

Judo and Jiu-Jitsu are two different martial arts that have a lot of similarities. Judo and Jiu-jitsu are both branches on the same tree sharing a common origin and many common techniques. Both Judo and Jiu-Jitsu are great for your mind and body. They are both excellent forms of self-defense. To put it most simplistically, you should train in Judo if you want to improve your stand–up throwing game. And you should train in Jiu-Jitsu if you’re going to improve your ground game.

Judo and Jiu-Jitsu both are two forms of combat sports and martial arts, both originated from Japan which is famous for its martial arts roots. The differences in the practice of Jiu-Jitsu and Judo are readily apparent. According to Mathis:

“They both have pros and cons. I feel both can be practical for self-defense and for sport. If we are talking self-defense both are equally powerful. [Although] Jiu-Jitsu is more focused on protecting from strikes than Judo.”

Modern-day mixed martial arts competitions have shown the world that, in order to be a complete fighter, one must be competent in a mixture of fighting styles. But without at least a basic knowledge of grappling, you’re done before the fight even starts. Many people do not know what Judo and Jiu-Jitsu are? as well as the difference between Judo vs Jiu-Jitsu. This is why I’m here to explain just exactly how the two are different from each other.

Summary Table:

Judo Jiu-Jitsu
Developed in 1882. Created in Feudal Japan.
Founded by Jigoro Kano, the President of the University of Education in Tokyo.

Was practiced by the Samurai.

Developed in Japan. Developed in Japan.
It is a sport and a philosophy of life. It is a combat technique.
Also known as “The Gentle Way” provides a different approach to combat techniques. Was developed as a means of gaining an advantage on the battlefield against an armed opponent.
Throws and basic control techniques are important.

Is somewhat more violent.

Looser gis to allow opponents an easier grab. Tight gis to prevent opponents from grabbing with ease.

What Is Judo?

Judo is a Japanese martial art created by Jigoro Kano in 1882. Over time, martial art has developed into popular modern-day combat and Olympic sport. Judo was developed based on the core principles of ‘Maximum Efficiency, Minimum Effort’.

Although Judo techniques were originally designed to hurt or kill opponents on an actual battlefield, the term Judo is divided into Japanese characters: Ju – gentle and Do – the way. Judo was then adapted for students to learn as a form of safety and discipline with profound respect. Kicking, punching, or striking techniques are not applied at any time as well as no equipment is used.

Judo is an art style that focuses on defense. Mainly, it emphasizes using an opponent’s strength against them. It is all about balance, power, and movement that requires considerable time, effort, and energy.

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Judo – Ends on the Ground

In judo, there are a handful of ways you can win the match. You can throw your opponent, with a great amount of force, onto the mat. If you both end up on the mat, you can use submissions to win from there. Either way, the main goal is throwing your opponent down so that they’re no longer in the match.

On many occasions, a judo fight that lasts too long on the ground without either opponent gaining leverage is stopped to allow both opponents to go back to their feet.

What Is Jiu-Jitsu?

Jiu-Jitsu is a form of martial arts. It’s geared around grappling techniques such as choke-holds and arm locks. In Jiu-Jitsu, you will find some Judo techniques. You will also find that Jiu-Jitsu uses more leverage and patience. Jiu-Jitsu is acknowledged as a more full grappling art.

The most important thing that a Jiu-Jitsu practitioner can do is submit their opponent in the bout. This is done by employing a highly – advanced repertoire of kill-moves that can choke out one’s opponent or tear one’s opponent limbs. Jiu-Jitsu bouts start with the two opponents standing up but the goal is to get to the ground.

Most of the work in Jiu-Jitsu happens while the two players are on the ground. The stand-up portion of the game is important as well – it’s just not that important as the ground game for the Jiu-Jitsu practitioners. In Jiu-Jitsu, getting down to the ground is just the beginning of the match.

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Jiu-Jitsu – Starts on the Ground

Unlike with judo, if you throw or sweep your opponent to the ground in Jiu-Jitsu, you are awarded points and the match goes on. Jiu-Jitsu is an art that relies on ground fighting, so once both opponents are on the mat, that’s when a fight can truly begin.

Another big difference between Jiu-Jitsu and judo is that in Jiu-Jitsu, fighters are allowed to stay on the ground rather than forced onto their feet again after some time. A Jiu-Jitsu match typically ends in a triumphant submission technique.

·        Format of the Tournament:

The basic format of two combat sports goes back to the focus of each style.

Judo – Format of the Tournament:

In judo competition, there are five different types of ways to secure a victory. The first is by a throw-in in which an opponent is thrown with force and speed which leads to the opponent landing on his/her back. The second is pinning or holding your opponent on the ground for 20 seconds. The third and fourth are submissions: Chokes and Arm locks. The final method is by referee’s decision.

Jiu-Jitsu – Format of the Tournament:

When it comes to Jiu-Jitsu tournaments we see two basic styles or formats a tournament may follow such as a point system/submission/time limit or a submission-only tournament that may or may not have a time limit. Generally, most Jiu-Jitsu competitions end with submissions such as joint locks and chokes. However, there is a point system for moving through a hierarchy of positions and accumulating points that also can secure a victory. As in Judo, the final method is by a referee’s decision.

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·        Rules of the Game:

The rules of both these martial arts differ considerably.

Judo – Rules of the Game:

Focus on throws:  Partial points are given if opponents don’t land on the back, or not hard enough. If the opponent land on the back with enough force and speed, an Ippon is awarded and the match ends in favor of the athlete who scored it. Grabbing legs is forbidden, so techniques like double and single legs are not allowed.

Limited Ground game:  Submissions like arm locks and chokes are allowed in judo, but the time you can spend on the ground is usually limited to around 20-30 seconds. Leg locks are not allowed in Judo. In Judo you can win by pinning your opponent on the ground for more than 25 seconds, but if the pin is broken after less than 25 and more than 10 seconds, partial points are awarded.

Jiu-Jitsu – Rules of the Game:

Throws and takedowns are much less important: Unlike judo, Jiu-Jitsu fight is far from over after you lend a takedown. You can use all sorts of techniques from Judo and wrestling and there are no limitations like in Judo.

Ground/submission focus: The best way to finish the fight in Jiu-Jitsu is with submissions. There are a lot of ways to submit your opponent, like chokes, arm locks, and leg locks. Also in Jiu-Jitsu, you can’t win by simply pinning the opponent for 25 seconds, on the contrary, if you stay too long in the same position it can be considered stalling.

·        Uniforms:

While the uniforms of both Judo and Jiu-Jitsu look identical to the untrained eye, there are in fact many differences between the two.

Judo – Uniform:

The most notable difference is the fit. The Judo uniform which is called “ Judogi “ is loose with longer sleeves that enable the fighter to get a firm grip and use it to their advantage.

Jiu-Jitsu – Uniform:

On the other hand, Jiu-Jitsu “ gi “ has a slimmer, tapering fit which does not give your opponent any chance to use it to their advantage on the ground.

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·        Techniques:

Judo – Techniques:

There are three main categories of Judo moves:

  • Throwing
  • Grappling
  • Striking

Judo is the king in the standing phase of the fight. Judokas practice taking someone down at will. There are a variety of different ways to do this, ranging from very simple to highly complex. There are seemingly endless types of throws covered by Judo.

It takes just one big throw to end a match.

Jiu-Jitsu – Techniques:

If you want to improve your Jiu-Jitsu skills, there are a few basic movements that you need to learn:

  • Bridging and Shrimping
  • Passing the Guard.
  • Proper Breathing.

These five movements are at the core of Jiu-Jitsu training, and they are building blocks for more advanced techniques. Through the use of this leverage and proper technique, a smaller, weaker person can fight with and defeat a bigger partner.

·        Popularity:

Gauging the popularity of these two martial arts can be a tricky thing without relying on anecdotal evidence.

Judo – Popularity:

Judo, in particular, finds itself in an interesting position. You might find it difficult to find a gym or academy that is dedicated solely to its practice. However, Judo still has a dedicated following of athletes in certain hotspots around the world. In America, however, Judo was, and is, considered to be more niche than its grappling counterparts.

Gary Goltz, President of the US Judo Association said that

“Judo’s popularity soared in most countries with the exception of the U.S. This was due to the national judo organizations insistence on maintaining their member’s amateur status to meet Olympic requirements at the time”

Jiu-Jitsu – Popularity:

On the other hand, Jiu-Jitsu has proliferated globally, especially in the US by infiltrating nearly all forms of media, including film, television, and radio. While we lack the statistics to gauge Jiu Jitsu’s popularity, we can see how prevalent the sport is in pop culture and conclude its best Judo in this regard.

Therefore, Jiu-Jitsu is more popular than Jiu-Jitsu.

·        Duration of the Match:

Judo – Duration:

The standard duration of a Judo match is 4 minutes. However, in the case of an Ippon it finishes as soon as an Ippon is scored whereas, in case of sudden death, there is no time limit for the game.

Jiu-Jitsu – Duration:

The durations of Jiu-Jitsu matches range from 4 to 10mins depending on the belt level, age, gender, and the type of match.

· Pros and Con’s:

Judo – Pros and Con’s:

  • Judo is a more traditional martial art.
  • Judo techniques are more linear.
  • Training is cheaper.
  • Judo takes a very long time to get good.
  • It’s harder than Jiu-Jitsu.


Jiu-Jitsu – Pros and Con’s:

  • Jiu-Jitsu is a lifestyle sport, there’s a strong sense of subculture.
  • Jiu-Jitsu’s learning curve is much shorter than that of Judo.
  • It is easy to modify according to your skillset.
  • It is typically more expensive.
  • Jiu-Jitsu lacks the emphasis on spiritual development.


To Sum Up:

While both judo and Jiu-Jitsu are closely related to one another due to their connected histories, these styles are very different in how they are practiced and applied in the world today.

Understanding the difference between these two styles allows beginners to choose which style they are interested in learning and improve their overall knowledge of martial arts.


What is better, Judo or Jiu-Jitsu?
Judo is better for stand up grappling. Jiu-Jitsu is better for ground grappling. Judo is the superior takedown style. Jiu-Jitsu incorporates the Judo technique meaning that if someone practices Jiu-Jitsu, then they most likely will know about Judo as opposed to the other way around.
Is Judo harder than Jiu-Jitsu?
Yes, Judo is harder than Jiu-Jitsu and there is also very little risk in judo.
Are Judo and Jiu-Jitsu the same?
No, the major difference between the two sports is that Judo concentrates more on the standing aspect to trip and throw their opponents to the ground. Jiu-Jitsu, on the other hand, focuses more on the ground fighting tactics to dominate and submit opponents on the ground.
Is judo effective in a street fight?
Judo teaches close-range hand-to-hand combat which is highly effective in any street fight.
Why is judo cheaper than BJJ?
There are two major reasons. First, there are far fewer high ranked BJJ instructors available than there are judo black belts. So the demand for BJJ is high. Second, note that many judo clubs are often being run out of school gyms or community centers.


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