BJJ and Judo are both great martial arts. However, if you are interested in learning a martial art for MMA or self-defense then you might be wondering which art is better.
BJJ and judo have many similarities as well as many differences. Seeing as how BJJ originally came from judo it is going to have a few things in common.
That said, BJJ evolved to focus more on the ground, whereas judo has also evolved more to focus on the stand-up game. Judo became an official Olympic sport in 1964. Since then many schools have focused more on the sport of Judo rather than the original more complete martial art.
Both arts have a past focused on self-defense but both have drifted away from this as the sport of BJJ and Judo have become more popular.
Is BJJ Better Than Judo For Self-Defense?
There is nothing wrong with sport BJJ, but there does need to be a distinction between sport BJJ and traditional BJJ. Like judo, many BJJ schools have put more focus on the sport aspect of BJJ than the original martial art.
There are certain moves in sport BJJ you would never want to try in a real-life situation where punches or elbows are a threat.
So if you want to know the best art for self-defense I would say that traditional BJJ is one the best self-defense arts for a single attacker. Gracie jiu-jitsu particularly still has a heavy focus on self-defense.
That said, judo can also be very effective for self-defense. But you are better off finding a school that focuses on it more than sport.
One bittersweet aspect of judo for self-defense is that some judo throws practiced in self-defense could seriously injure your attacker. Though this might sound great it could get you into a lawsuit depending on where you live.
Sometimes you have to do what you have to do in a real-life situation. But Gracie jiu jitsu will teach you how to control your opponent without serious injury when applicable.
BJJ vs Judo Against Multiple Attackers
An area where Judo skills might be superior in self-defense is against multiple attackers. This is because judo focuses on powerful throws that can devastate your opponent. This might come in handier against multiple attackers since you probably do not want to go to the ground.
This is because the other attacker might be able to kick you on the ground while you are dealing with the other attacker. It is probably safer to try and knock out one of the attackers with a powerful throw.
The biggest criticism of BJJ is that it does not work against multiple attackers. There is some truth to this but I just want to make a point.
That is if the fight does go to the ground you will be glad that you have a good ground game. A BJJ black belt can likely subdue an untrained attacker on the ground pretty quickly.
BJJ Vs Judo For MMA?
Most people who are into MMA are familiar with the success BJJ has had in the octagon. In fact, one of the founders of the UFC was Rorion Gracie. Rorion wanted to show the world just how good BJJ was compared to the other martial arts in the octagon.
He did a good job with this seeing as how Royce Gracie dominated the early UFC’s. Ever since then BJJ has exploded in popularity. BJJ was and still is very effective for MMA. That said, the sport has evolved quite a bit since it was founded.
Most of Royce’s opponents were strikers who had very little experience dealing with a world-class grappler. Because of this they had very little chance of beating a skilled BJJ practitioner. Today most fighters are very well-rounded and are both great grapplers and strikers.
That said if you want to be an MMA fighter you have to become a great grappler. We know that throughout MMA history the sport has been dominated by great grapplers with BJJ and or wrestling backgrounds. But what about judo?
Judo In MMA
The truth is that are actually many amazing judo black belts in MMA. Some of them are even currently are or have been world champions in MMA.
Just a few examples would include Rhonda Rousey, Khabib Nurmagomedov, and Fedor Emelianenko. There are many other amazing judokas who have also had great careers in MMA.
Of course, many of these fighters have backgrounds in other martial arts as well. But you have to be more rounded these days to make it in the MMA.
That said, these fighters used or still use judo techniques to help them win their fights. So don’t count judo out as a skill to learn for MMA.
For MMA you should study BJJ and judo as well as many other martial arts. Most notably wrestling, boxing, Muay Thai, and other striking arts.