Which one should you start, Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) or Judo?
Judo and BJJ have a lot in common. They both involve ground fighting aspect, without punches or kicks. Judo focuses more on takedowns, whereas BJJ is more focused on submission techniques.
In this post, we will dive deep into the differences between these two martial arts and see, which one is better for each task.
Let’s get started!
Judo vs Brazilian jiu-jitsu
First, let’s go through some origins of these martial arts.
Judo was developed in Japan in the 1880s. In Japanese, it means “the gentle way”, which can be true, considering how gentle some of the throws are.
On top of takedowns and cool-looking throws, Judo also has joint locks and chokes to it, as does BJJ.
Brazilian jiu-jitsu, which we also refer to as BJJ is a martial art that focuses on ground fighting.
This means it focuses on taking the fight to the ground and finishing the fight with joint locks or chokeholds.
Brazilian jiu-jitsu was developed around the 1920s and was modified from Judo.
Since BJJ was developed partly from Judo, there are a lot of similarities between these two martial arts. The main difference is that Judo focuses more on throws whereas BJJ focuses mostly on the ground fighting aspect.
Should you start BJJ or Judo?
When deciding between Judo and BJJ, there are several things to consider.
First of all, are there a lot of Judo and BJJ gyms available near you? Where I live, BJJ gyms are a lot easier to access, which made it pretty easy for me to decide.
If you live in a larger city, this probably won’t be a problem. In this case, you can look into the gyms, and see, which one suits your goals better, and which one of the gyms you like best.
Then there is also the martial arts aspect. Do you like throwing people more, or do you prefer to just choke them out? Judo focuses more on throwing and takedowns, whereas BJJ is really ground-fighting focused.
The instructors at the gyms are another thing to consider. How well they know what they are doing, and what kind of personalities they have. That can have a huge impact on your motivation to continue training.
The last thing to consider is how easy or difficult the martial art is, we will dive deeper into that in the next section of this post.
Which is easier Judo or BJJ?
When it comes to comparing which one is more difficult Judo or BJJ, one of the simplest ways to do so, is to look at the belt times.
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 Judo.
Just looking at those stats, I think it is safe to say that Judo is somewhat easier, compared to Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
Since the two martial arts are so closely related, if you got a black belt in one of them and start the other, you could expect the time to reach a black belt in that sooner than a person, with no prior experience in either Judo or BJJ.
Even though a black belt in Judo might be faster and easier, it still takes a lot of time and effort to get. A black belt in any martial art represents a mastery of the art.
Which is more effective Judo or BJJ?
Even though Judo and BJJ are very similar martial arts, there can be a big difference in their effectiveness.
It depends a lot on the situation, where each of them will be the most effective.
In MMA, BJJ is seen as a really good option for the ground fighting aspect. One reason for that is the comprehensiveness of BJJ.
Since it takes 10 years to master on average, BJJ has a lot more content to it, all focused on ground fighting, compared to Judo, which on average takes 5 years and focuses more on throws and takedowns.
Judo on the other hand can be a better option for self-defense, if you just want to learn something fast to protect yourself. More about that in the next section of this post.
We will call the effectiveness question a tie since it depends a lot on the situation and training time.
Which is better for self-defense BJJ or Judo?
For self-defense situations, Judo might be a better option due to the handling techniques of the opponent in a standing position.
However, a lot of street fights do end up in the ground, where BJJ might be a more comprehensive option.
When it comes to self-defense and martial arts, BJJ or Judo would not be my first option.
Here is a post on the 5 best martial arts for self-defense, if you are interested in that.
In conclusion, Judo and BJJ are very similar due to the fact that BJJ was developed partly from Judo.
However, Judo does focus a lot more on takedowns and throws, whereas BJJ is mostly focused on the ground-fighting aspect.
Getting a black belt in BJJ also takes a lot more time (10 years on average) compared to a black belt in Judo (5 years on average).
I hope this helps you to decide between these two martial arts. Have a great day!