BJJ vs Karate

BJJ or Karate: Which One Should You Choose?

Brazilian jiu-jitsu vs Karate: Which one should you choose?

When it comes to deciding between Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) and Karate, the main difference is that BJJ focuses only on ground fighting, whereas Karate is a more traditional all-around martial art.

In this post, we will go through the differences between these two martial arts, and which one you should start practicing.

Let’s get started!

Should you start BJJ or Karate?

When choosing between Karate and BJJ, the main difference is that BJJ only focuses on grappling and ground fighting, whereas Karate is a more all-around martial art with standup fighting.

The training style varies a lot between these two martial arts. In Karate, there are a lot of things you can practice on your own, whereas in BJJ, you primarily practice new techniques with a partner.

Karate is also a lot more traditional, compared to BJJ. Karate has been around for centuries and is from Japan, whereas BJJ is barely a decade old and was designed in Brazil, as the name can tell you.

But when it comes to the decision between Karate and BJJ, you should consider mainly these two factors:

  • Do you want more grappling or more all-around martial art?
  • Do you want a more traditional or modern martial art?

Here is a video of a beginner’s Karate lesson, so you can get a better picture of what it’s like.

And here is a video about BJJ to get an idea of what it looks like.

BJJ vs Karate

When it comes to comparing BJJ to Karate, there are a few main differences that we will go through:

BJJ vs Karate: Place of origin

  • Karate: Japan
  • BJJ: Brazil

Traditional vs Modern

  • Karate: Traditional
  • BJJ: Modern

Grappling vs All around

  • Karate: all-around
  • BJJ: grappling

In both Karate and BJJ the highest belt, in general, is black, but there are higher levels of black belts in both martial arts. In BJJ, that transitions into coral and red belt in the end, but they are really rare.

Here is a post about how many BJJ black belts are there.

Is BJJ better for self-defense than Karate?

Which one is better for self-defense, BJJ or Karate?

When looking from a self-defense aspect, there is no simple answer.

Even though a lot of street fights end up on the ground, they typically start from a standing position. BJJ does not prepare you a lot for a stand-up fighting situation.

Therefore, Karate can be a better option, if the fight never goes to the ground. On the other hand, BJJ can prepare you better for the ground fighting aspect.

However, what makes BJJ kind of weak is that ground is typically not a nice and soft, like in the BJJ gym. It can be hard, making it difficult to perform some of the techniques.

Still, if I had to choose one for self-defense, I would go with BJJ. Ideally, you would practice both or MMA, where you get more comprehensive skills in self-defense situations.

Which is easier: BJJ or Karate?

On average, it takes around 10 years to get a black belt in BJJ, whereas it takes around 5 years to get a black belt in Karate.

These are just estimates and the actual time it takes might vary.

By looking at the averages, I think it is safe to say that Karate is at least somewhat easier, compared to BJJ when looking at the time to master.

Final thoughts

In conclusion, the most important thing when choosing between BJJ and Karate is your personal preference.

Which one do you like better? That is the most important question to ask yourself.

Of course, one thing to keep in mind is which one is easier for you to access, meaning the available gyms near your area.

If you want to just get a black belt fast in any martial art, Karate might be a better option, due to the lower average time to achieve the black belt.

Also, remember that Karate is a lot more traditional martial art, compared to modern BJJ. There can also be big differences between different gyms and Dojos.

I hope this was helpful, have a wonderful day!

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