Differences between Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Traditional Jujitsu

One of the earliest martial arts that became a system that you can learn and practice is Japanese Jiu-Jitsu. It became part of their lives long before the Brazilian version that started at the beginning of 20th century by Brazilian family: the Gracies.

They took the ancient Japanese martial art and advanced it so that various people could use it. Today, BJJ is popular in various schools of martial art and one of the most effective ways for self-defense.

You can easily learn fundamental concepts by Travis Stevens so that you can improve your techniques. Our idea is to present you the differences between traditional and Brazilian jiu-jitsu.


It all started centuries ago when the Japanese created the idea of Jiu-Jitsu. Of course, the main problem is that origins are unclear, and some people even speculate that it originated in India among Buddhist monks who wanted to defend themselves without hurting an opponent.

The name of Jiu-Jitsu means peaceful way, which means that you perform this particular technique without weapons and with the idea of self-defense. Another perspective of the history of BJJ is that samurai soldiers developed this particular martial art as the last line of defense.

This particular historical perspective means that the original form of Jiu-Jitsu started as violent art than one we practice today. After a while, numerous masters developed it into art,and later it became popular among the general population as the way of recreation and sport.

The original version was a mixture of barehanded techniques and wrestling that used friction and advantage to defeat the opponent. When compared with other martial arts, it did not use kicks and punches because samurais wore heavy armors. They used submissions to hurt opponents, and when we compare traditional with Brazilian, we can say that it is more complex and varied.

The first school started in 1532 by Hisamoro Tenunuchi. However, in the 19thcentury, another form of martial arts derived from Jiu-Jitsu and that was Judo. Later it became the official martial art of Japan because it was more effective in close combat than traditional form.

After a while, the Gracie family learned Judo and traveled to Brazil. One of the members of this particular family, who was a boy named Helio was just a boy with fragile looks and less strength so that he couldn’t perform Judo as his brothers. Instead, he watched brothers and learned techniques from sidelines.

The story goes that his older brother wanted to teach a class, and Helio stepped in to do it for him. He did everything perfectly because he memorized everything, but due to less strength, he began developing his system for Jiu-Jitsu so that he could implement it with weak physique.

He modified moves and created his own that later became BJJ or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He used his style and beat the best martial artists in Brazil, and he even challenged Japanese champion that was 80 pounds heavier than he was. He impressed him so much that he was invited to teach in Japan.

Differences In Techniques

The Brazilian version is much more simplified when compared with the Japanese version, which is why it gained prominence among people of all ages. It includes a few techniques that are similar, but Brazilians can easily concentrate on practice for mastering fewer skills. Today, it is a competitive sport that features international championship.

Even though it started in Brazil, it became popular in the USA by sport called MMA or mixed martial arts. The MMA competitors use knees, punches, kicks, submissions, takedowns, and elbows to defeat opponents. Click here if you want to learn more about mixed martial arts or MMA.

The main reason why BJJ is great martial art and sport is that it provides an effective way for a student to neutralize an opponent, and to force them to submit. The first champion was Helio Gracie’s son, Royce Gracie who created the first competition called UFC or ultimate fight championship.

He won more than three championships and became the most influential fighter in the history of this particular sport. Since he was small and built like his father, he proved that BJJ is effective among bigger and more significant opponents. Therefore, other people wanted to learn it, and the rest is history.