The battle between which martial art is the best has been around as long as martial arts have been around. Two of the most popular martial arts today are BJJ and judo. Since BJJ was developed from judo they certainly have many things in common. Of course, they also have their differences as well. But is one better than the other? Is BJJ better than Judo?\u00a0\r\n\r\nThe truth is that it is hard to answer the question: Is BJJ better than judo. This is simply because in some ways BJJ is better than judo and in some ways, judo is better than BJJ. For example, it is pretty much agreed upon that BJJ has developed a better ground game (newaza)than judo. It is also mostly agreed upon that judo has better takedowns than BJJ.\u00a0\r\n\r\nAt the end of the day, my goal is to a better grappler. BJJ and judo are both grappling styles and there is a ton to learn from each of these martial arts. Instead of thinking about which one is ''better'' ask yourself what you can learn from each style. Of course, you may be new to martial arts and are simply just trying to find a place to start and only have the time or resources to learn one art.\r\n\r\nIf this is you I would first define why you want to learn a martial art in the first place. Asking if BJJ is better than judo is too vague. Better for what? Is it better for self-defense? Better for MMA? Better for kids? Or perhaps you are simply looking for a fun way to get in shape?\r\n\r\nWhatever your reason it is important to ask yourself this question first. Once you have gotten that figured out we can look at some of the differences between the arts. Then look at which art is best for each purpose.\r\nDifferences Between BJJ and Judo\r\nBJJ 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. For those who do not know the Gracies who developed Gracie jiu-jitsu first learned grappling from a judoka. His name was Mitsuyo Maeda.\r\n\r\nMitsuyo Maeda was a student Kano Jigoro who was the founder of judo. Mitsuyo would then take this art to Brazil where he would teach Carlos Gracie the art of Judo. Carlos would then teach his brothers. One of whom is Helio Gracie who is often thought of as the father of BJJ.\r\n\r\nHelio Gracie was smaller and less physically athletic than his brothers. Because of this he put much focus on the groundwork (newaza) and perfecting the leverages of judo. Since he did not have a lot of strength he struggled with the powerful throws of judo. Over the years he was able to evolve the groundwork of judo to a new level. Which is really the biggest difference between BJJ and judo.\r\nGround Grappling Vs Stand Up Grappling\r\nNot only has BJJ evolved to focus more on the ground, but 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.\r\n\r\nThat said, there are still many teachers who teach all aspects of judo including a strong ground game. That said, as the sport has evolved they have gotten stricter on what is allowed in competition. The main focus of Olympic judo is powerful throws.\r\n\r\nNaturally many of the judo schools are going to focus more on what they need to perfect for competition. So it makes sense that most judo schools have a very heavy focus on their throws. BJJ on the other hand is mostly focused on the ground game of grappling.\r\n\r\nThat said, you can still find judo schools that teach a much traditional and complete style of judo. Many BJJ schools have also changed quite a bit since the sports side of BJJ has gotten more popular. Originally BJJ was focused much more on self-defense than many of the academies are today. Thankfully, you can still find BJJ schools that still focus on self-defense.\r\nIs BJJ Better Than Judo For Self-Defense?\r\nThere 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.\r\n\r\nAs I said, there is nothing wrong with doing that but if you want to learn self-defense you need to go to a BJJ or judo school that focuses on self-defense. There are certain moves in sport BJJ you would never want to try in a real-life situation where punches or elbows a threat.\r\n\r\nSo 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. Just make sure you pick a BJJ school that is focused on self-defense. Find a school that will teach valuable skills like distance management and situational awareness.\r\n\r\nThe number one rule of self-defense trying to avoid being in a bad situation in the first place. Of course, sometimes these situations are unavoidable. So you want to be prepared for a variety of situations.\r\n\r\nFor self-defense, it is best to learn from a few martial arts. That said, both BJJ and judo are great places to start. Judo, for example, has some nasty throws that can seriously injure an attacker if thrown on a hard surface. Learning BJJ, judo, as well a striking martial art such as boxing will help you be more well-rounded for self-defense.\r\n\r\nInstead of asking which one is better, ask yourself what you can learn from each art to better prepare you for a real-life situation. If you know judo you will likely be the one who decides if the fight will go to the ground or not. If it does go to the ground you will be glad you know BJJ. Learning both arts is the best option for self-defense.\r\nBJJ vs Judo Against Multiple Attackers\r\nAn 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.\r\n\r\nThis 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. That said, this is probably where having some boxing skills would come in handy as well.\r\n\r\nThe 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 few points. The first is that 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.\r\n\r\nThe second thing is that at some point you will be at a disadvantage. Even if you are a martial arts expert at some point you are going to be outmatched. What if you are attacked by 5 people? Or if someone has a deadly weapon? What if that person is a grizzly bear?\r\n\r\nMy point is that just because one martial art is not the best in every situation does not mean you should not learn it. There is always the potential to be in a situation where you are outmatched. The best thing you can do for self-defense to learn to defend yourself in many situations. Most of all, however, do your best to avoid being in a situation like that in the first place.\r\nBJJ Vs Judo For MMA?\r\nMost 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.\r\n\r\nHe 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.\r\n\r\nMost of Royce's opponents were strikers who had very little experience dealing with a world-class grappler.\u00a0 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.\r\n\r\nThat 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? Why don't you see as many judo players in the UFC?\r\n\r\nThe truth is that are actually many amazing judo black belts in MMA.\u00a0 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.\r\n\r\nOf 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. You might, however, have to modify some of the judo techniques to be effective without the gi.\r\n\r\nFor MMA you should study BJJ and judo as well as many other martial arts. Most notably wrestling, boxing, Muay Thai, and other striking arts. When it comes to grappling for MMA just make sure you work on both ground techniques and takedowns.\r\nIn Conclusion\r\nTo answer the question: is BJJ better than judo? You have to first figure out what outcome you would like to achieve from the martial art. That said, neither one is better than the other. But both are better than the other in certain situations.\r\n\r\nThe best thing you can do is to learn both. Or at least go deep into one of the arts and learn the most important techniques from the other. Judo can help BJJ players tremendously by enhancing their takedowns. BJJ, on the other hand, could help the judoka to enhance their ground fighting techniques.\r\n\r\nIn many ways, these arts truly go together to make a more complete grappling art. My goal is to be a better grappler. That said, I want to learn the best things from BJJ, judo, wrestling, and every other grappling martial art. If you liked this article you might also want to check out my BJJ vs wrestling article as well!