BJJ Gym or BJJ Dojo?

Are BJJ Gyms Called Dojos? (What’s the difference?)

Are BJJ gyms called dojos?

Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) gyms are not typically called Dojos. However, some people do call them dojos and it doesn’t really matter all that much. BJJ is a fairly new martial art, and it was developed in Brazil, whereas Dojos are often places where you practice Japanese martial arts.

Let’s take a closer look into why BJJ gyms are not called dojos, and what a dojo really is.

Is BJJ Gym called Dojo?

Brazilian jiu-jitsu gyms are not usually called dojos. This is because the word “dojo” is mostly used for places, where you practice Japanese martial arts. BJJ was designed in Brazil as the name says, so BJJ gym is not really called a dojo.

Martial art gyms that are practiced in “dojos” are for example:

  • Judo
  • Aikido
  • Kendo
  • Karate

Those are martial arts that originated in Japan, and the places that they are practiced in are called dojos.

Sometimes BJJ and Judo are practiced in the same place. Does that mean that the place is called a dojo? That is somewhat of a tricky question.

I would say that even if they are physically practiced in the same space, due to the origins of BJJ, it’s not called a dojo for BJJ. There is not really anything so special that makes a place a dojo. It’s the martial art that is practiced in it, that determines what it is called.

What is a Dojo?

The term “Dojo” originally comes from Buddhism. Dojos were temples that were formal places to practice martial arts.

Dojo by its traditional meaning is a place or a hall where you go to learn or meditate. Oftentimes, meditation is also seen as part of traditional martial arts training, even though it is less common nowadays.

In Japan, any place for physical training, for example, professional wrestling could be called a dojo. In the Western world, a dojo is mostly used for Japanese martial arts, such as the ones mentioned previously in this post.

Therefore, a BJJ gym in Japan could be called a dojo, but a BJJ gym in the US would not be called a dojo.

What is a BJJ gym?

Brazilian jiu-jitsu gym could be done practically from any space. BJJ doesn’t require really anything else than a floor you can roll on.

BJJ gyms can also be used for other kinds of training, such as Judo or other martial arts, or even yoga.

Read also: Judo vs BJJ

Final thoughts

In short, BJJ gyms are not typically called dojos. A dojo is more of a sacred place for learning martial arts or meditating and is often spoken with Japanese martial arts, such as Karate.

On the other hand, a BJJ gym could be referred to as a dojo, if it was located in Japan. In Japan, any place where physical training is done could be called a dojo.

Whether you call your BJJ gym a dojo, gym or home doesn’t really matter. In the end of the day, everybody is there to learn and practice BJJ, so it doesn’t really matter what you call the place.

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