Traditional Jiu Jitsu vs BJJ (Evolution of Ju Jitsu)

Friday 26th January, 2024

With modern grappling events such as ADCC trailblazing the way for submission only format, the roots of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) are often overlooked. BJJ is a martial art that evolved from traditional Japanese Jiu-Jitsu (known as JuJitsu, and this evolution has shaped the art into what it is today. This article aims to help you understand the fundamental differences between traditional Jiu-Jitsu and BJJ, and how BJJ has evolved from its origins.

Traditional JuJitsu

JuJItsu originated in Japan around the 16th century as a form of self-defense used by the samurai warriors. It is a martial art that focuses on using an opponent's energy against them through joint locks, throws, and strikes. In Japanese JuJitsu, there is a heavy emphasis on self-defense techniques against armed opponents.

Judo, Aikido, and Karate were all derived from traditional JuJitsu. However, Judo is the martial art that has evolved into what we know as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu today with Jigoro Kano being the one that created Judo from JuJitsu in the late 19th century. With BJJ, a novel way to give the 'weaker' opponent an advantage over the 'stronger' one was developed. This paved the way for the evolution of BJJ and its popularity in modern times.

Similarities Between JuJitsu and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

When it comes to techniques, there are many similarities between traditional Jiu-Jitsu and BJJ. Both martial arts focus on using leverage and technique instead of brute force to overcome an opponent. They both also utilize throws, joint locks, and chokes as submission techniques. However, some differences in these techniques can be attributed to the evolution of BJJ from traditional JuJItsu which will be explained further in the next section.

The uniform known as a gi is also shared between the two arts. The gi, similar to a kimono, is used for practical purposes during training and competition. Although the plain white BJJ gi is the common traditional uniform, in modern jiu-jitsu, unique and cool BJJ gis have been develop by modern BJJ brands to help practitioners express their individuality while training.

Differences of Techniques

At Ultimate JuJitsu, we have created a dedicated page with instruction on both traditional ju jitsu moves as well as modern BJJ moves. These guides are designed to help you understand the difference between the two styles of martial arts. So, when it comes to traditional jiu jitsu vs BJJ, you'll understand that one may not be necessarily better than the other, just different.

Traditional Jiu-Jitsu emphasizes more on striking techniques such as punches, kicks and open hand strikes, while BJJ focuses more on ground fighting and grappling. However, BJJ has also been heavily influenced by Judo in terms of takedowns and throws. Parries and defensive techniques are also important in traditional JuJitsu, while BJJ focuses more on being offensive and controlling your opponent on the ground.

Customs and Courtesies

Both traditional JuJitsu and BJJ have a strong emphasis on respect, discipline, and honor. In both arts, students are required to bow to their instructor as well as their training partners before and after each class. This shows respect for the knowledge being passed down and for one's fellow practitioners.

In traditional JuJitsu, there is also an added emphasis on etiquette and manners, as it was originally developed for self-defense in feudal Japan. Students are expected to show respect not only to their instructors, but also to their peers and those around them.

Although, this has evolved to the ruleset placed by individual gym owners. Some modern BJJ teams don't say words such as 'OSS' and don't bow but rather fist bump. The takeaway is that both arts hold respect and discipline in high regard, but the specific customs may vary.

Mental and Physical Benefits

Both traditional Jiu-Jitsu and BJJ offer numerous mental and physical benefits. Training in these martial arts can improve one's strength, flexibility, coordination, and overall physical fitness. It also promotes mental strength, focus, and discipline.

Another benefit is the sense of community and camaraderie that comes with training in these arts. Students often form strong bonds with their training partners as they push each other to improve and overcome challenges together.

When it comes to traditional jiu jitsu vs BJJ in this regard, these martial arts both offer this service for the students. Overall, BJJ and traditional Jiu-Jitsu can have a positive impact on both the mind and body, making it a valuable practice for anyone looking to improve themselves physically and mentally.

Final Thoughts

Brazilian jiu-jitsu academies may have become more popular in the past decades, but traditional Jiu-Jitsu remains a valuable and respected martial art. Both arts offer unique approaches to self-defense and have their own set of techniques and principles.

Ultimately, the choice between traditional Jiu-Jitsu and BJJ comes down to personal preference and goals. While BJJ may be more sport-focused, traditional Jiu-Jitsu offers a deeper connection to the roots and history of the martial art.

Whether you are looking to learn self-defense, improve your physical fitness, or join a supportive community, both traditional Jiu-Jitsu and BJJ can offer valuable experiences. So don't be afraid to try out either or even both practices to see which one resonates with you. Remember, the most important thing is to find a practice that you enjoy and that helps you grow as a person.

So keep an open mind and continue on your martial arts journey wherever it may take you. Keep training, keep learning, and never forget the lessons taught by these ancient yet still relevant disciplines of jiu-jitsu. Oss!

Similar Articles