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Is there a difference between Jujitsu and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?


The world of martial arts is vast and diverse, with numerous styles and disciplines hailing from different regions across the globe. Two such styles that often cause confusion are Jujitsu and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. While these two martial arts share a common name, they are distinct in their techniques, philosophies, and histories. This blog post aims to clarify the differences between these two popular forms of martial arts, particularly for those interested in learning Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Wigan.

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Origins of Jujitsu and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Jujitsu, also known as traditional Japanese jujutsu or jiu-jitsu, originated in Japan during the feudal era as a method for samurai to defend themselves when unarmed. It encompasses a wide range of techniques including throws, joint locks, strikes to vital areas, and even some weapon-based tactics.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), on the other hand, is a relatively modern martial art that developed from Kodokan Judoka (a form of judo) in the early 20th century. Mitsuyo Maeda, a Japanese judoka expert who had studied traditional jujutsu as well as sumo wrestling, brought his knowledge to Brazil where he taught Carlos Gracie – the elder brother in the famous Gracie family. The Gracies then adapted Maeda’s teachings into what we now know as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Key Differences: Techniques and Philosophies

While both forms of martial arts involve grappling techniques such as throws and locks, there are significant differences between them.

Traditional jujutsu is more varied in its approach; it includes strikes (kicks and punches), throws (using an opponent’s force against them), joint manipulations (locks), ground fighting but also weapons defences. It is often seen as a more comprehensive martial art due to its wide range of techniques.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, however, focuses heavily on ground fighting and submission holds, including chokes and joint locks. The philosophy behind BJJ is that a smaller, weaker person can successfully defend against a bigger, stronger opponent by using leverage and proper technique. This focus on ground fighting is what sets Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu apart from traditional jujutsu and many other martial arts.

Training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in Wigan

For those interested in learning Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in Wigan, it’s important to understand this emphasis on groundwork. Training typically involves learning how to control an opponent on the ground and applying various submission techniques. Sparring (also known as “rolling”) is a key component of BJJ training; it allows students to apply their skills in a controlled environment.

While the physical benefits of training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu are numerous – including improved strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular fitness – the mental benefits are equally important. BJJ requires strategic thinking and problem-solving skills; each sparring session is like a physical game of chess where you must anticipate your opponent’s moves and respond accordingly.

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Conclusion: Choosing the Right Martial Art for You

So, is there a difference between jujitsu and Brazilian jiu-jitsu? Absolutely! While they share some similarities due to their common roots, these two martial arts have evolved in different directions over time. Traditional jujutsu offers a broad spectrum of techniques covering both striking and grappling while BJJ focuses more intensively on ground combat and submissions.

If you’re considering taking up martial arts training in Wigan or elsewhere, it’s important to consider what you want from your practice. If you’re interested in a comprehensive system that includes strikes, throws, joint locks as well as weapon defences then traditional jujutsu might be for you. However, if you’re drawn to the strategic, chess-like nature of ground combat, then Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu would be a great choice.

Regardless of your choice, both martial arts offer a fantastic way to improve your physical fitness, learn self-defence skills, and boost your confidence. So why not give it a try?

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