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Street Fight Mentality & Fight Sport - Fight Training, Theory and Technique - The n.1 blog in Eu and Latin America for Combat Sports and Self Defense


Brazilian Jiu Jitsu vs Ju Jitsu Traditional

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu vs Ju Jitsu Traditional

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu vs Ju Jitsu Traditional, the difference in detail is important!

In reality it is not a contrast between BJJ and JJ but a different approach to the art of wrestling and training methodology but if we want to go deep into the matter, despite the name it is two different systems of struggle.
This question is widespread because what happens is that someone finds near home the gym that does Jiu Jitsu and starts asking but is it the same as the Brazilian one?
The answer is no, it’s not the same.
In reality this doubt arises from the fact that the differences have never really been articulated in detail, even if we do not understand the reason, perhaps for a sort of respect since the origin was precisely from the traditional one but the ambiguity of the name so similar has made many think that it was more or less the same thing but it is not so for a series of substantial differences that I am going to describe.

Bjj fame was born in the early days of what they now know as MMA and the famous UFC when in the early days of MMA and the first UFC matches that at the beginning had two audiences, those who despised him because he was violent and amoral compared to the many traditional martial arts and those who used them as a real test to decree what was the most effective art given the few rules.

Jiu Jitsu

In this debate inside the cage of the first MMA matches many martial artists, beaters, sportsmen wanted to test their fighting skills inside the cage and in these matches emerged a very winning fighting style and it was the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Ps. To underline one aspect, even then there was the controversy that MMA events were a show and that real combat with multiple attackers, cutting weapons, sticks, is concrete floors is another thing, so we have been talking about the same things for years.

Many people think of finding similarities between the techniques of traditional Japanese Ju Jitsu and those of the BJJ, especially some techniques of submission and ground positioning above the opponent and in addition the similar name and !! sbam!! the beginning of the confusion.

Consider that often the techniques of many fighting systems are similar, human biology is the same!

On this basis, some mistakenly understood that the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) was nothing more than a subspecies of the traditional Ju Jitsu made in Japan (JJJ) and this confusion was also amplified by some common terminology by the two arts as well as the name.

The mistake started right there, when for the common name of the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at the traditional Jiu Jitsu made in Japan it was mistakenly thought that it was the same thing.
If you consider that before the mixed martial arts matches very few knew the bjj outside of Brazil itself but from that moment there was a real explosion that continues to this day!

The things in common between BJJ and JJJ

Even these two arts have things in common as well as with other systems of struggle because I repeat human anatomy/biology is common.

  • Both JJ systems have the concept that favors the effective use of the technique to control and subdue the physical force of an aggressor/opponent.
  • Many classical finishing techniques , some projections, etc. are common to both traditional BJJ and JJ but also to other fighting systems.
  • Both use the Gi with the belt but in BJJ it is also used to do No Gi lessons
  • Both take place on the tatami

Let’s see many differences between the two arts:

The role of the master and the approach to the training method

  • In traditional Jiu Jitsu often the instructor says what to do but without actively participating and you are forced to perform and have respect without ever having a confrontation with him fighting. This is the master’s label.
  • In The Brazilian Jiu Jitsu the instructor will teach but then work with you. When you fight with him or see how fight you understand what’s going on, respect for the instructor is implied by practical means. Like saying you get respect on the field. Clearly it must be understood that some famous masters have a certain age and consequently this approach “fails” if not for the technical study or the rolling light that is becoming a way to work with all age groups or with those with physical problems.

Jiu Jitsu

Competitions and scores in the BJJ

Both in MMA at the beginning but also today where the BJJ has successfully imposed itself several times both in MMA competitions and in ground wrestling Gi and No Gi, the same thing did not happen for the traditional JJ.

Already this must make it clear that they are different limbs!

The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has important technical, methodological and combat approach elements that are not present in the traditional Ju Jitsu.

Consider that the large participation in wrestling tournaments and the increasingly widespread and growing competitions have made a strong contribution to the technical growth of art where in addition to important names of athletes have created real techniques and approaches to the fight with peculiar characteristics.

The scoring system

The BJJ is a sport and like any sport if you don’t win by submission it has a points method to decide who won.

The BJJ’s regulation is designed a regulation that reflects the reality of a real clash and this approach to give the points in BJJ’s training through a points system (which is the same or similar used in BJJ races) where those of the two opponents take a certain position relative to each other are rewarded.

These positions are thought in a hierarchy with different scores based on location.

The scoring system in the BJJ then also awards points to the athlete who goes from a disadvantage to a better position and the more valid the position the more points are awarded.

But beware, the reverse is rewarded but if the athlete escapes from a bad position he is not given points because it is considered as a foregone conclusion to run away from a position of advantage.

The highest score in Brazilian jiu jitsu

If you consider the principle by which the score was created if you consider that in a real fight, if you can get a rear mount, the control position behind your opponent, it is clear that you have a double advantage because:

  • from there it’s hard for him to apply a finalization and even more to hit us,
  • You have a wide choice of blows (not in sports competitions), choking/strangulation, painful pressure, arm levers, cervical levers, etc.

This dominant position gets the highest score in the BJJ where getting the control position of the opponent’s shoulders makes you assign the maximum score (4 points).

The submission of your opponent corresponds to the KO of striking, gives you victory ahead of time or if you were at a points disadvantage it gives you immediate victory.

Brazilian jiu jitsu

A curiosity about the name JiuJitsu and jujitsu

As you can see several times I wrote it in reference to Brazilian or Japan the word JJ differently.

By now we all write jiu jitsu to indicate the Brazilian one because at the time when Maeda (both judoka and jujutsuka) arrived in Brazil it was used to pronounce these 2 words, today instead we opt for the most correct jujutsu, but because Brazilians have always called their art jiu jitsu it keeps the name “wrong”.

The evolution of JJ in BJJ is a misconception

Often when asked to explain the difference it is used to say that Japanese Ju Jitsu is the martial art and BJJ is the sports version of Jiu JItsu to the point of diminishing the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu as a ground fighting system or as a more effective evolution of JJJ techniques.

Although clearly there are common techniques the differences are important and go deep into art.

The BJJ’s positioning strategy

This is one of the central features of the Brazilian fighting system, the positioning strategy that is unique in the BJJ.

When you fight whether you’re standing and on the ground in space, you can take up multiple positions and there are plenty of ways to occupy this space.

In ground fighting positions are called positions and are studied relatively respecting each other.

Some of these positions give advantages to the wrestler, others disadvantages and some are more or less neutral those called 50/50.

For example, if a person while fighting manages to put himself in the mount position or in rear mount (ie able to place himself above or behind his opponent) he has an important positional advantage and could hit him effectively with punch blows, while if the opponent is below or from behind he puts him in a disadvantage condition.

So the search for a fighter to “take” an advantage position is a prerogative of the BJJ wrestler before finalization.

A good attack position also allows you to be less exposed to the reaction of your opponent and an excellent control of the position correctly carrying the weight on your opponent greatly increases the possibility of using what is the prerogative of both Brazilian and Japanese JJ to finalize with a lever or a suffocation, what is called submission, finalization and that in the sports field finds the answer in the Tap out of the opponent

The traditional JJ like many other fighting systems have a vast arsenal of techniques of submission of the aggressor with the aim of making him desist and surrender or alternatively if it does not hurt him with joint ruptures, dislocations or loss of consciousness.Various

Now why is positional strategy at the heart of the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu system?

Because as an approach it brings finalization only when an opponent is sufficiently under control through a dominant position.

Many of these levers and suffocation without positional control are difficult to apply in non-cooperative combat as a real fight if the aggressor or opponent is not sufficiently controlled when seeking finalization through levers and suffocation.

For this you use the master cycle in the Gracie system, because you study the same finalization from multiple dominant positions.

This is the key concept that allows and allowed the success of the BJJ in MMA fights, in the challenges between different schools and real street fights.

Many argue that this characteristic positioning strategy was born precisely from the experience made in the real fights carried out by the Gracie while they were engaged in training and real clashes and that these experiences were crucial to the development of this art.

Experience is not what happens to a man. That’s what a man does with what happens to him. (Aldous Leonard Huxley)

The BJJ’s strategy

This positioning strategy is best applicable through a fight-oriented style because holding someone still standing is something much more complicated and once you’re on the ground and you’ve directed your opponent’s position and movement to your advantage you can hold it in that position to be able to apply leverage or suffocation.

But only after taking the dominant position!

If you don’t control the position your opponent can move and move to go from an uncomfortable area to a comfort zone to try to get a more advantageous position for him or run away, or get back to his feet in the striking where he feels more confident.

This is often seen in UFC matches!

The most suitable way to limit someone’s movement is on the ground for two reasons:

  • most people don’t feel comfortable on the ground and move badly because they don’t know the techniques of ground movement
  • you can use your body weight as well as strength to land and immobilize someone on the ground which would be harder to do standing

That’s why the BJJ’s strategy is to close the distance on the aggressor and bring it to the ground to look for a position of advantage over your opponent and if everything works as it must keep sufficiently the position apply levers and suffocation to end the match if it is sport or the clash if it is real street fight.

So as a strategy the positioning techniques lead the wrestler to create the opportunity to place finalizations and for this reason the attention to position is more important than the finalization technique.

Without a good dominant position you can not place an effective lever or choking technique.

Positional control puts you in optimal condition for applying submission grips and limits your opponent’s ability to place his submission techniques.

This is one of the essential strategic elements of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu but there are other distinctive elements between BJJ and traditional Ju Jitsu.

The BJJ’s 5 technical categories

The BJJ has a very large number of techniques and movements in its technical program but all can be included in 4 broad categories of techniques:

  1. Positioning techniques that are the techniques that allow the fighter to implement the strategy to advance from one position to another more dominant (called positioning techniques)
  2. Submission techniques that are the ones that allow you to finish the fight (techniques called submission or finalization)
  3. Reverse Techniques (position tipping techniques)
  4. Escape techniques (exit techniques from a lever or choking technique)
  5. Personal defense

Brazilian jiu jitsuThe forbidden techniques of the traditional JJ

Other notable differences that exist between the BJJ and the JJ is that the Japanese JJ is an art of self-defense and retains many illegal techniques that you cannot use in sparing or fighting competitions.

For example, many of the most used shots by the JJ are directed at primary targets (genitals, eyes and other sensitive areas of the human body) in addition to the many unfair tactics such as biting, pulling hair, pestons, etc.

In the BJJ in addition to removing all prohibited techniques and blows that can not be practiced at full power on a non-cooperative opponent has made a total technical reanalysis, a review of all techniques by the masters of BJJ.

The BJJ lacks certain specific clinic-other tactics where non-sporting issues of self-defense are completely lacking, but these are sports and every BJJ technique can be used in the octagon in MMA tournaments.

This is also because some members of the Gracie family among the most prominent were small build and lacking height and strength have sought the most effective use of the levers and biomechanics of the human body to make the techniques more effective.

The result is a significant re-design of traditional techniques.


Gross Motor Movement vs Fine Motor Movement

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu vs Ju Jitsu Traditional Fighting Tips - Street Fight Mentality & Fight SportThis approach refers to the use of stress-stressed movements.

These are typical themes of concepts used in personal defense where it has been analyzed that under severe stress the fine motor movement is lost.

The BJJ previlegias techniques that make use of large muscle groups of the human body for this the term gross-motor-movement that represents the opposite with movements based on smaller muscle apparatuses, involving delicate and precise manipulations, type use of hands and fingers (fine-motor-movement).

Splitting wood is an example of the use of the gross motor movement, while playing the guitar is of the end motor movement.

Many of the most important technical solutions of traditional Ju Jitsu are based on fine-motor-movement such as techniques standing lever on the wrist and fingers, precise blows to the eyes need precision of the fingers of your hands that under stress do not act in the same way because certain sensitivities and small precise movements (end motor movement) are difficult under the stress of a real fight.

Let’s think a little bit about what it would be like to play the guitar while you’re under a spike of stress and adrenaline!

Under the influence of stress and adrenaline, movements based on large muscle groups (gross motor movements) can be successfully usable, which is why many of the techniques that are considered central to traditional JJ are not important in the BJJ or at least are not considered so central.


BJJ and self-defense

This is not the post but I want to make a clarification!

Using BJJ for a real confrontation can be effective but must be contextualized to the situation because the terrain, multiple opponents, an opponent armed with a knife, etc. need a technical and strategic readjustment.


Brazilian Jiu Jitsu’s training methodologies

BJJ methodologies is another distinguishing feature from traditional JJ styles.

The training methodology that is used to teach his positional strategy and techniques to learners.

Ground combat is real while often the traditional JJ is learned almost exclusively through kata, a series of predetermined movements sequenced and applied to a fully cooperative partner where there is no target contact during technical simulations of strokes, projections and the training partner passively panders to the predetermined techniques.

In the BJJ, rolling is always non-cooperative, a way of training more like the Judo fight.

This BJJ approach was introduced by Maeda (Kano’s top student) who made the randori (real training) the center of his training method.

The BJJ is based on techniques applied to a non-cooperative partner who resists your pressures and attacks and who in turn does everything to apply his techniques and achieve victory.

This is the real grappling sparring, the so-called rolling.

During this sparring on the ground if either opponent is in trouble can tap out which is the submission signal and indicating that you have to stop the technical execution.

The method develops the real skills

This method allows you to acquire a real ability to apply grappling techniques on someone who does not cooperate and who counterattacks with his techniques.

As you can imagine, this is much more useful than working through predetermined figures and attacks, typical of katà-based methods.

To work safely during this real sparring, the students work on the tatami, with mouthguards, shells, para ears, and can not apply the blows and clearly can not use applications of levers to the fingers, fingers to the eyes, grab the hair, blows to the genitals or other incorrect tactics that can instead be used in a real fight to defend themselves.

Practice has shown several times that the fight is a powerful equalizer and that it is very effective in a real clash.

Training in these grappling techniques in sparring sessions, learners constantly work on levels of emphasis and real dynamics with an approach that is similar to real combat apart from using illegal techniques

This approach allows you to have a more real approach to combat than many other training methods also very sponsored.

The same positional strategy and movements, combined with solid finalization skills gained in hard daily fights in the gym, allow the BJJ’s renowned success in real combat.

The BJJ and MMA

Many MMA practitioners practice BJJ and put on MMA gloves by rolling to add the shots that the sports regulation provides and that brings the practice to a different and somewhat more complex strategic level and strategic level.

The BJJ allows virtually any kind of submission through levers, strangulations and painful pressures, and this variety of possibilities makes it adept at defending the entire finalization landscape and in all parts of the body.

This is not trivial because many other wrestling sports such as Judo’s rand, but other styles of grappling also prohibit certain techniques of submission while BJJ sparring is quite unrestricted.


Examples of technical limitations:

  • Judo only consents to elbow levers and strangulation.
  • Sambo, on the other hand, forbids strangulation and
  • The Olympic Fight prohibits any kind of finalization technique.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu vs Ju Jitsu Traditional Fighting Tips - Street Fight Mentality & Fight SportClothing

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu’s training is done with the gi (kimono) and without.

This is a huge advantage because it allows you to know even these training variables which is fundamental to make versatile and keep a mind ready to adapt to the context.

Although there are several philosophies about Gi or No Gi training.



Now I think the difference between the BJJ and the JJ is a little clearer.

Beyond the name is that the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is much more similar in form and practice to other fighting styles than to traditional Ju Jitsu.

I also believe that in recent years there has been a huge evolution of the BJJ and that the focus has shifted beyond the Gracie family thanks to competitions where other schools have also shown athletes and technical levels of the highest level and value.Brazilian Jiu Jitsu vs Ju Jitsu Traditional Fighting Tips - Street Fight Mentality & Fight Sport

The choice between Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and traditional Ju Jitsu!

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Written by Andrea

Instructor and enthusiast of Self Defence and Fight Sport.

# Boxing / Muay Thai / Brazilian Jiu Jitsu / Grappling / CSW / MMA / Method & Training.
# Self Defence / FMA / Dirty Boxing / Silat / Jeet Kune Do & Kali / Fencing Knife / Stick Fighting / Weapons / Firearms / Strategy.

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