bjj vs mma

BJJ vs MMA – Which One to Choose?

When deciding whether you should start training Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) or Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), there are some things to know beforehand. It all comes down to your preferences.

In short, BJJ focuses mostly, almost exclusively on ground fighting, where MMA, like the name tells you, is a mixture of different martial arts and includes ground fighting, but also punches, kicks and every aspect of fighting.

What is Brazilian jiu-jitsu and why to choose it

Like I mentioned, BJJ focuses more on ground fighting. The risk or concussion due to falling or getting hit to your head is therefore lower. There are however, always risks involved when training martial arts or any sport whatsoever.

In BJJ, the risks are, in my opinions, lower. You won’t get punched or kicked, at least on purpose. This can be a big deal to someone, who can not risk going to work with a black eye.

Brazilian jiu-jitsu, focusing on ground fighting, can be “learned faster” if that is the right way to put it. This is because you only focus on one aspect of fighting, where in MMA, there is a lot more to cover on top of just ground fighting.

From the self-defense aspect, BJJ is a great option as well. When you take the fight to the ground and close combat, your opponent will have a harder time kicking or punching you efficiently. The chances of you falling and hitting your head are also lower if you take the fight to the ground on purpose. More about BJJ for self-defense on this post.

What is MMA and why to choose it

Mixed martial arts, like the name tells you it’s a combination of different martial arts and fighting styles. This can be your option, if you watched the UFC, for example, and wish to one day become a fighter.

Training MMA comes with punches, kicks and ground fighting as well, which means in my eyes the risks to get a black eye or hit your head are higher, compared to BJJ.

Learning MMA can also be a longer journey, since there is a lot more to cover than in BJJ. Of course, you don’t have to be a master in every field of fighting, but still, since it doesn’t only focus on one aspect of fighting, there is a lot more to learn.

From the self-defense aspect, MMA offers more coverage on different fields of fighting compared to just training BJJ. Even though it is safer to just avoid fights or when in one, taking them to ground on purpose, to make it harder for your opponent to punch or kick you and hit your head, knowing how to throw punches and kicks can offer better protection in those unfortunate situations.

Should you train BJJ or MMA

You could start with one and see how it fits you. The decision you make is not a lifelong journey if you don’t like it. MMA offers you to try different fields of fighting and from there you can go to either striking martial arts, such as boxing, kickboxing, or such.

You can also go from MMA to more of a ground fighting way to BJJ or wrestling or such. One of the things to help you decide is to see, which gym is closer to your home or easier to get into. The fees for training can also be one aspect to consider.

There are a lot of stories about former MMA fighters, who have tried BJJ and got so addicted to it that they never even considered going back to MMA. BJJ by itself is a very effective sport as well.

One option to start training is to start watching from YouTube how each one is done. You can learn yourself first, if you don’t yet want to go to the gym. However, I would suggest not waiting too long. More about training BJJ by yourself in this post.

I also have some beginner tips for new BJJ practitioners I wish I knew when I first started. You can read them here.

Final thoughts

So which one to choose, MMA or BJJ? That is, at the end of the day your choice. I hope this post can help you decide which one to choose. No matter what your choice is, I think training a martial art is a great way to improve your physical condition in a fun rewarding way.

Other BJJ-related posts can be found here.

Other MMA-related posts can be found here.

Have a nice day!


What is MMA?

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is a full-contact combat sport that combines all the aspects of fighting, such as striking, grappling and ground fighting. The MMA fighters usually have a background in several different martial arts.

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