Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Versus Jiu-Jitsu: The Main Differences

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Versus Jiu-Jitsu: The Main Differences

The term “jiu-jitsu” is derived from the Japanese terms “Ju,” which means “gentle,” and “Jutsu,” which means “art.” The Samurai of Japan employed it on the battlefield. Even though they were heavily armoured, the martial art came in handy when they weren’t on horses and had to walk. In fact, they battled opponents without the assistance of a horse.

It is, however, frequently confused with another martial art known as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Even though the technique originated with the Japanese, a core group of Brazilian pioneers adopted the fighting style and transformed it into a new martial art in the early 1900s. But, if both martial arts are descended from the same source, how do they differ?


Traditional Jiu-Jitsu, a Japanese martial art, is one of the oldest martial disciplines ever taught. It had a significant impact on the development of both Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Meanwhile, BJJ was called after a world-renowned judoka named Mitsuyo Maeda, who lived in Brazil about 1915. He then lectured and demonstrated how it works to the people of Brazil.

Carlos and Helio Gracie, together with Luiz Franca, are three of Maeda’s earliest pupils in the nation, founded what is now known as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Maeda’s pupils improved on existing techniques, invented new ones, and helped it gain prominence today.


There are two main reasons why both martial arts were developed. The first is that they were developed to make the body stronger and healthier. In traditional Jiu-Jitsu, you need to develop the upper and lower body to be used for combat. Meanwhile, in BJJ, you are also in for a rigorous workout because it uses your whole body.

The second reason is that both arts were developed for combat. In traditional Jiu-Jitsu, the sport focuses on self-defence and fighting techniques. It uses the body as a weapon.

In BJJ, you need to learn to use your whole body to defend yourself. The sport also teaches you to fight while standing and on the ground. This is both a preventive and a defensive kind of martial art.


Traditional Jiu-Jitsu evolved into a sport over time and became less focused on combat. It is not just used for martial arts but also recreational games. Meanwhile, BJJ is a more practical martial art. It is mainly used for self-defence because it focuses more on fighting than traditional Jiu-Jitsu.

Also, traditional Jiu-Jitsu is more prevalent in Asian countries like Japan and Okinawa. Meanwhile, BJJ has grown to become a popular sport around the world.


Although both martial arts come from the exact origin, both focus on different things. Traditional Jiu-Jitsu is a sport that is both a physical and mental exercise. Meanwhile, BJJ is a martial art that focuses on self-defence and how to fight using your whole body to protect yourself. So which do you think is better?

Start your Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu journey by booking a class at Marcus Soares Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu! Let us help you reach peak performance and rise the ranks until you attain your black belt!