Judo vs BJJ: Origin, Techniques, Scoring, and Everything Else You Need To Know

While today the question is asked which one is better, Judo vs BJJ, I look at them as the father & son of the martial art family. And the grand-father of BJJ was Jujutsu!

If you ask me, “how?” I will have to very briefly touch history.

Well, very briefly.

The Birth of Jujutsu – The Confronter

Origin of Jujutsu

It won’t be wrong if we say that Jujutsu was born out of the desire for survival or rather the need for survival.

Jujutsu was created to deal with the life-threatening situations requiring confrontation with armed rivals in Japan in between the 14th & the 16th century. It was known as ‘Nihon koryu jujutsu’.

The Birth of Judo – The Thrower

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Now, what about the son?

Who, Judo?

Yes. Dr. Jigoro Kano is the human father of Judo. He felt that Ju Jutsu could be very useful if played as a sport.

However, some of the moves in Jujutsu were very dangerous because of the very purpose of its origin.

So, he modified many of those moves and carved it into what we see as Judo. The birth time of Judo is somewhere around the last two decades of the 19th century.

The Birth of BJJ – The Back Roller

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Now, about the third generation, the grandson, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or BJJ.

Judo master Mitsuya Maeda took Judo to Brazil by teaching the art of Judo to Brazil-based Gastao Gracie’s sons as a mark of gratefulness for Gastao’s help in settling Maeda’s business.

Helio Gracie, the youngest son of Gastao, modified Judo and gave birth to what is known as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu today. BJJ was born in the first half of the 20th century.

Interestingly, Helio was the weakest of Gastao’s son. And he is a great example of how an individual can convert his weakness into a strength!

Judo vs BJJ: The Important Differences You Need To Know

Being born through the same lineage both Judo & BJJ inherited many of the Ju Jutsu positions and moves.

However, both have different approaches to execute their respective art forms.

Basic Difference and Purpose

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Judo is basically a takedown style of martial art. It is played on feet and its focus is to throw the opponent by breaking the opponent’s posture.

The moves in Judo are rather hastened. Even Submissions which form part of Judo training are performed hurriedly.


BJJ is more evolved in ground grappling art than Judo. Rather than on feet, BJJ is fought on the back on the ground. It is slow and focused in contrast to the hurried style of Judo.

BJJ requires a lot of patience. You have to maneuver your positions of joint locks while patiently keeping eyes on opponents’ openings to slowly grab a position of dominance.

Throwing and takedown styles are also performed in BJJ but more to achieve domination in the ground fight rather than win the fight as in Judo.

The rules of the belt system are less stringent; therefore, it is easy to get belts in Judo as compared to BJJ.

Different Rules of The Games


Start of The Match: Both the players stand at the center of the mat in officially approved gi. Both the players bow down to each other and tag each other’s hands.

Scoring: Superiority in Judo is established by throwing the rival on the ground.

You can score in the following ways:

1. By throwing your opponent with full force and control, on his back, you score an Ippon. Ippon signifies the win.

In ne-waza if you pin your rival on his back for 20 seconds with osaekomi-waza or compel a submission with shime-waza you score an Ippon and in turn, you win.

The opponent signals submission by tapping the mat or the opponent with the foot or the hand or by calling maitta aloud. Maitta literally means, “I surrender”.

2. The second way of scoring is through waza-ari. A less forceful throw than Ippon is considered as waza-ari.

Secondly, you can score a waza-ari if you pin the opponent for more than 10 seconds but less than 20 seconds.

3. If none of the players score an Ippon then the player who scores more waza-ari is declared the winner.

4. In the case of a tie in waza-ari scores, the win is established through the Golden Score, which is also called the Sudden Death.

As per the Golden Score rules, the player who scores the first point or whose opponent scores 3 shidos i.e. penalty, wins.


Start of The Match: The match begins in the same way as in Judo.

Scoring: Submission is the best way to stamp a win. Scoring more points in the match determines the winner in case of no submission. In a tied match the referee considers advantages and the penalties to declare the winner.

Different moves have different scoring points. For instance, you earn 2 points for a throw or a sweep; while passing the opponent guard gets you 3 points.

You are awarded 4 points for mounted position, stomach pressed with knee, and body triangles from the opponent’s, etc.

The most important distinction with Judo is that you cannot win the match by throwing your opponent forcefully. You can only get 2 score points for it which is the minimum scoring points in BJJ.

Duration of The Match

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The standard duration of a Judo match is 4 minutes. However, in the case of an Ippon it finishes as soon as an Ippon is scored whereas, in case of sudden death, there is no time limit for the game.


The durations of BJJ matches range from 4 to 10mins depending on the belt level, age, gender and the type of match.

Different Strategies – Grip or Grapple


It’s a right angle shift when it comes to the strategy for Judo and BJJ. And rightly so, as the Judo is majorly played vertically on feet while BJJ involves more of back-rolling, of course, horizontal to the ground!

The whole strategy changes because of the approach of the game. Moreover, as the scoring pattern is totally different, this also contributes to having different strategies for the two games.


It is pretty simple to realize that both the players would put their maximum efforts to avoid Ippon and score it against the rival. Therefore, throwing the opponent is the most influencing factor in preparing the strategy in Judo.

Both the players will try to remain firm on their feet. That means, preventing a take-down is of foremost importance. This will be their basic defense strategy to prevent an Ippon.

Secondly, even if there is a throw, it should be with the least force and should not be on the back so that the rival earns only a waza-ari point. Thirdly, once on the ground, the efforts would be to spend 30 odd seconds avoiding 20 seconds pinning through osaekomi-waza or submission through shime-waza.

The defense strategy would also be to give away minimum waza-ari points.

From an offense strategy point of view, both the players will try to break the posture of their opponents and try to throw each other on the ground. Further, attempts of take-downs, pinning for 10 or 20 seconds or submission would be the parts of the overall game plan.

In Judo, it would be most important to perfect techniques of gripping, of breaking the opponent’s posture while keeping yourself balanced, and of throwing on the ground.

Another important aspect is the speed of moments. They have to be real quick and hastened.


The techniques related to dominating submission would garner maximum importance in the case of BJJ. And the whole game plan and strategy would be mostly around that.

And as submissions involve ground fighting, the maximum strategic focus would be in honing grappling techniques.

Throwing gets only 2 points, hence it is not considered as the top skill requirement in BJJ, unlike Judo. 

Different mounts yield different scoring points. So, ground techniques other than yielding submissions are also very important. 

Now, to execute all this on the mat, it is important to have an overall strategy whether Judo or BJJ. This involves undergoing training, attending practice sessions, and knowing about the opponent, etc.

The Difference in Uniform BJJ Gi vs Judo Gi

Judi Gi vs BJJ Gi

Apparently, both the Gi looks the same but they have some differences in their designs and style on a few features. And there shouldn’t be any surprise as both the games use different techniques.

FeatureJudo GiBJJ Gi
FittingLose and long considering firm grips and throwsTighter & shorter considering ground fight/ grappling
Simple. Mostly white & blueMore color options. Attractive
Gi MaterialThickDurable
Best GiTop 5 Best Judo GiTop 4 Best BJJ Gi

Final Words

We got to know about the origins of Jujutsu, Judo and BJJ, Judo vs BJJ, and their connections with each other.

Having the same origin, they naturally have some similarities. However, they have some basic differences, differences in rules, their approach, strategy, and even their uniforms.

While Judo focuses on firm gripping techniques and forceful throws on back, BJJ’s focus is on the ground fight on back & grappling techniques.

However, both games also use each other’s techniques in many situations.

Therefore, it is good to THROW the idea to have cross-training to attain perfection to stand firm or lie rolling on the GROUND! 

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