Judo BJJ webpage article

I want to make a web page on the martial arts that I like. Since I love Judo and BJJ and people always ask what the difference is, etc., I wrote a draft of my explanation of the two and have posted it below. Its not extremely detailed but just the basics to explain to the uninformed of the differences and similarities. If you have time please read it and comment on if you think it is good or any suggestions to change it etc. Any help is appreciated.

Jujitsu, (also spelled Jiujitsu or Jujutsu) is the ancient Japanese fighting art of the Samurai warrior. The kinds of attack were chiefly throwing, hitting, choking, strangulation, holding the opponent down and bending or twisting the opponent's arms or legs in such a way as to cause pain or fracture - especially to a joint. It was primarily weaponless although the use of swords and daggers was also taught.

In the late 1800's the Japanese government began to open it's doors to the Western world and take power away from the Samurai as they felt that the Samurai and his methods were no longer of value in the modern civilized society. His prized sword was made illegal to carry and the hand to hand combat methods he spent his lifetime learning were outlawed. People still practiced and taught Jujitsu in secrecy, though most people considered it barbaric and something that only criminals and thugs practiced and used to prey upon innocents.

Jigoro Kano was a frail and sickly boy who took up Jujitsu training from several styles and found his health and vitality improved from it. In 1882, he formed his own style of Jujitsu from what he felt were the best techniques of each style and he named it Judo. Part of the reason he named it Judo instead of Jujitsu was to get away from the negative image that Jujitsu had (wrongly so) in the public's mind. He wanted the art of Judo and the principles involved in it to be a way of life. Physical, mental, and spiritual. A philosophy that carried itself out of the dojo (school) and into one's personal life. Of course he also wanted it to be an effective method of personal defense.

Kano realized that one of the problems of Jujitsu practice was that so many techniques were practiced against a cooperative opponent and in slower motion-not full force. Thus, one did not get a very realistic feeling of a true fight and therefore in the real world many of the techniques a person practiced did not work in a real fight. This is in my opinion a problem that exists today even more so in most martial arts schools in America! A lot of posturing and a lot of fantasy that has only been bolstered by Hollywood's ridiculous image of the martial artist who with fancy flying kicks and flips and one punch knockouts easily defeats all attackers. A lot of people who practice martial arts and have the precious "black belt" really have no idea how to fight in the real world in spite of their delusional fantasies. They just don't realize it yet.

Kano wanted something that you could practice full force against a fully resisting opponent. Something that would develop true skills and strength. Of course he didn't want anyone to get injured so he eliminated the more "dangerous" techniques that could cause serious injury or death when he created Judo. Although "safe," slamming someone on the ground, landing on top of them with your full bodyweight, and choking them into unconsciousness or twisting their arm until their elbow joint ruptures or forearm snaps is pretty dangerous in my opinion! Over the years Kano added techniques as he saw fit. So what we have is an art that has much less techniques than Jiujitsu but is more effective for fighting because a practioner actually gets to use what he learns against another person while sparring. This develops the coordination and reflexes necessary to react in an instant to an attack without having to think about it. Many a "black belt" has gotten a good beating from an amateur boxer or wrestler, who while both having learned much less techniques than the average black belt, are much more proficient at the techniques they do have due to full contact sparring instead of the make believe that so many "martial artists" engage in.

Judo today has evolved into an Olympic Sport. Most people teach or learn Judo as a sport rather than a fighting art for defending oneself. The fighting part is a secondary benefit. Fitness, health, and spirit are foremost. But make no mistake, a well rounded Judoka is very capable of defending himself under most circumstances. It's primary focus is learning to take your opponent down with throws, sweeps, trips, and the secondary focus is on pinning them on their back for 25 seconds or placing their opponent into a "submission" such as a choke hold or arm lock which cause their opponent to "tap out" or risk injury.

Kano sent some of his Judo masters around the world to teach Judo's philosophy and methods to others including champion Mitsuyo Maeda who taught the Gracie family of Brazil. The Gracies have taken what they learned from Maeda and focused primarily on the groundwork portion and perfected it like no others have. They have created their own style and named it Gracie Jiujitsu, now frequently called Brazilian Jiujitsu. They fought for many years in Brazil in challenge "anything goes" (Vale Tudo) matches and are the extreme experts of submission ground fighting and it was Royce Gracie who brought Gracie Jiujitsu to the USA and its effectiveness via the UFC Ultimate Fighting Challenge and demonstrated to the entire world how a man of smaller physical stature could defeat much larger opponents using the techniques of Jiujitsu.

So why do they call it Gracie Jiujitsu instead of Gracie Judo? There are a few theories floating around but none seems to have ultimate proof. But the signature techniqes of Gracie Jiujitsu such as the "Triangle" or "Oma Plata" are originally Judo techniques as you can find them in any old Judo book. And Maeda, who taught the Gracies, was a Judo champion. Gracie Jiujitsu came from Judo. But then again, Judo came from the Samurai's Jujitsu. As a matter of fact, the terms Judo and Jiujitsu were used interchangeably for many years. So technically either term is correct. Regardless, Gracie Jiujitsu has evolved into it's own unique style and they have the right to call it what they choose to call it. After all, when Kano named his art "Judo" instead of Jiujitsu, no one to my knowledge complained that it was "really Jiujitsu!" Brazilian Jiujitsu has a much more potent arsenal of ground attacks such as leg locks, neck cranks, reversals, and other submissions than any other martial art out there today. Like I said, they have earned the right to name it whichever they choose. Every "new" martial art out there, came from another art somewhere sometime.

To me, they are one and the same. Its just that their focus is different. Judo focuses mostly on stand up grappling, with some emphasis on ground grappling. It used to be that there was more groundwork in Judo in the old school days but nowadays it is not a major focus - at least not compared to what it used to be. I see more and more Judoka cross training in Jiujitsu to supplement their ground work. Gracie Jiujitsu is the opposite. Nearly all ground grappling, with just a little bit of grappling while on your feet added. And likewise I see our Jiujitsu brothers (and sisters) coming to Judo class and improve their takedowns. Of course it also varies depending on the school that you train at. Some have more focus than others. There are plenty of Judoka who are formidable on the ground without any formal Jiujitsu training and vice versa. For sure, put the two together and you have an excellant combination. Use your skills to quickly take your opponent down with you in a superior position and finish him off or if need be escape from a bad position and reverse your situation.

Hey Mike,

Great views and a good read !!!

Long time no talk !!

Send me an E-mail at maugwa@comcast.net

Are beliefs are similiar!!
Except that I wear a black in Judo and white in BJJ!!!

I know, belts hold your pants up!!

When I started judo as a junior 35yrs ago, we did do alot of matwork.

We also did alot of bodyweight exercises. Shrimp, scrub the mats etc, etc

And I'm still alive, but just had shoulder surgery.

Are you going to the comp this weekend?

Take it easy!!


maugwa-this must be Kevin? I'll drop you an email...