Judo vs Jiu Jitsu in MMA: A Comprehensive Comparison

January 24, 2023
From: Spartacus
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Judo, which means “gentle way,” might sound like a peaceful form of martial art, but don’t be fooled! It’s a combat sport that focuses on throwing your opponent to the ground and submitting them with pins and joint locks. Meanwhile, Jiu Jitsu is all about ground fighting and submissions, making it perfect for fighters who want to get up close and personal with their opponents.

Both Judo and BJJ have been used in MMA for decades, and they’ve proven to be highly effective. But which one is better? In this article, we’ll break down the differences and similarities between the two, so you can decide which one suits your fighting style best. So, grab your gi and get ready to learn!

Origins & Evolution of Judo & Jiu-Jitsu in MMA

MMA is like a buffet of martial arts, where you can pick and choose the best techniques from different disciplines to create your own unique fighting style. Two of the most popular martial arts used in MMA are Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. While both have Japanese origins and are effective in the octagon, they have different approaches to fighting.

Judo has a long-standing history in MMA, with legends like Rickson Gracie and Kazushi Sakuraba using their judo expertise to take down opponents with ease. Even Olympic wrestlers, like Dan Henderson and Randy Couture, have utilised judo techniques to become successful MMA fighters.

But don’t count out Jiu-Jitsu just yet. Jiu Jitsu exploded onto the scene in the early 1990s, thanks to the Gracie family which brought Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) to the scene. The Gracie family used it to dominate their opponents in the early UFC events. Royce Gracie, in particular, gained fame for his use of BJJ to submit larger and stronger opponents. Today, many MMA fighters train in both Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, using techniques from both martial arts to create their own unique style.

When it comes to technique, Judo is all about throws, pins, and submissions. Judo practitioners use their opponents’ momentum against them, throwing them off balance and taking them down to the ground. They then use pins and submissions to control and finish the fight. Judo techniques like Seoi Nage, Uchi Mata, and Osoto Gari are staples of the art.

On the other hand, Jiu-Jitsu is all about ground fighting and submissions. Jiu-Jitsu practitioners are comfortable on their back and use techniques like guard passes, chokes, and joint locks to control their opponents. They have a wide range of submissions in their arsenal, like the triangle choke, armbar, and kimura, which they use to finish the fight.

Whether you prefer Judo or Jiu-Jitsu, one thing is certain – both martial arts are essential tools for any MMA fighter looking to be successful in the octagon. So why not try them both and see which one suits you best? Who knows, you might just create the next big thing in MMA!

Comparing the Pros and Cons of Judo and Jiu Jitsu in MMA

Judo and Jiu Jitsu are like two siblings with different personalities, but both equally skilled in their own ways. Judo is the outgoing sibling who loves to show off their powerful throws and takedowns, while Jiu Jitsu is the more introverted sibling who prefers to stay on the ground and show off their submission skills.

Judo is a great choice for fighters who want to dominate in the stand-up position. With their throws and grappling techniques, they can take down their opponent and control the fight on the ground. Judo fighters are like ninjas who can sneak up on their opponents and catch them off guard with their moves.

On the other hand, Jiu Jitsu is the ground master. With their strong grappling skills, they can control their opponent’s posture and submit them with chokes or arm locks. Jiu Jitsu fighters are like octopuses who can wrap their opponents up in their limbs and squeeze the life out of them.

While Judo and Jiu Jitsu have their own strengths, they also have their weaknesses. Judo fighters may struggle with ground-based submissions, while Jiu Jitsu fighters may not have as much experience with stand-up striking. It’s like they are two sides of the same coin, but both equally valuable.

In the end, it all comes down to the individual fighter’s style and preference. Are they a ninja or an octopus? Do they prefer to dominate in the stand-up or ground game? With Judo and Jiu Jitsu, the possibilities are endless!

Each sport has unique rules and scoring systems

When it comes to MMA, the differences between Judo and Jiu Jitsu become even more apparent. In the world of MMA, both grappling martial arts can be incredibly effective, and fighters who have trained in either discipline can excel. However, the scoring systems and rules of the two sports can have a significant impact on how they are used in the cage.

Spartacus MMA, a notable promotion in the MMA world, has seen fighters from both Judo and Jiu Jitsu compete. In terms of scoring, Judo fighters may have an advantage, as a well-executed throw that results in an opponent landing on their back is considered an ippon, which is the highest-scoring technique in Judo and can immediately win the match. Meanwhile, in Jiu Jitsu, fighters earn points for submission attempts, which are joint locks or chokes that force the opponent to tap out to avoid injury. A successful submission attempt immediately wins the match.

The differences in the scoring systems mean that Judo fighters will try to take their opponents down with throws and takedowns, while Jiu Jitsu fighters will work towards getting their opponents to the ground and attempting submissions. In terms of rules, Judo has stricter regulations regarding what techniques are allowed in competition, with certain moves, such as leg locks and twisting submissions, being prohibited. Jiu Jitsu has a broader range of allowed techniques, including leg locks and chokes, but has time limits on submissions.

Famous MMA Fighters and Their Preferred Fighting Style

Are you ready to meet the badasses of MMA who’ve utilised Judo and Jiu Jitsu techniques to climb their way to the top? Get your popcorn ready, because these fighters have left a trail of broken bones and battered egos in their wake.

Let’s start with Judo. Ronda Rousey, the former Olympic Judo bronze medalist, was known for her insane throws in the octagon. If you were unlucky enough to be on the receiving end of one of her throws, you were going for a ride. Karo Parisyan, a former Judo world champion, was also a force to be reckoned with in the octagon. His aggressive Judo style left his opponents dazed and confused.


But we can’t forget about Hidehiko Yoshida, a former Olympic Judo gold medalist. His grappling skills were second to none, and he used them to submit his opponents with ease. If you saw Yoshida on the ground, you knew it was only a matter of time before his opponent was tapping out.


Moving on to Jiu Jitsu, we have Royce Gracie, one of the pioneers of MMA. Gracie’s Brazilian Jiu Jitsu skills were on full display in the early days of the UFC, where he won multiple tournaments. He made grappling look easy and left his opponents wondering what just happened.


Next up is Demian Maia, a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt and one of the best grapplers in MMA. Maia has had success in both the welterweight and middleweight divisions, and his grappling skills are the envy of fighters everywhere. If Maia gets a hold of you on the ground, you might as well start tapping out now.


Last but not least is Lyoto Machida, a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt known for his unique striking style. Machida’s style is a mix of Jiu Jitsu and traditional karate, and it has been highly effective in the light heavyweight and middleweight divisions. If you underestimate Machida’s ground game, you’ll be in for a rude awakening.


These fighters are living proof that Judo and Jiu Jitsu have a place in MMA. Their skills and techniques have been honed over years of training and dedication, and their success in the octagon speaks for itself. So, the next time you’re watching an MMA fight, keep an eye out for the Judo and Jiu Jitsu practitioners – they just might surprise you.


As we wrap up this comprehensive comparison of Judo and Jiu Jitsu in MMA, it’s clear that both martial arts have their strengths and weaknesses in the octagon.

Spartacus MMA promotion has showcased many talented fighters who incorporate both Judo and Jiu Jitsu into their fighting styles. The promotion recognizes the importance of these martial arts in MMA and provides a platform for fighters to showcase their skills. Watching these fights can provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of Judo and Jiu Jitsu in the context of MMA, and the techniques that work best in the ring.

Whether you’re a fan of Ronda Rousey’s deadly Judo throws or Demian Maia’s incredible grappling skills, there’s no denying that Judo and Jiu Jitsu have had a huge impact on the world of MMA.

In the end, it’s not about which martial art is better, but about the passion and dedication that these fighters bring to the sport. So let’s give a round of applause to all the Judo and Jiu Jitsu practitioners out there who continue to inspire us with their incredible performances in the octagon!


What are the main differences between Judo and Jiu-Jitsu in MMA?

Judo is the flashy sibling that loves to take the fight to the ground with powerful throws and pins. It’s about using the opponent’s momentum against them. Jiu-Jitsu, on the other hand, is your ground game expert, focusing on guard passes, chokes, and joint locks. One’s a ninja, the other’s an octopus!

How do the origins of Judo and Jiu-Jitsu differ?

While both have Japanese roots, Judo has been a staple in MMA for a long time, with big names like Rickson Gracie and Kazushi Sakuraba making it famous. Jiu-Jitsu came onto the scene later, thanks to the Gracie family who brought Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu into the spotlight during the early UFC events.

Which martial art focuses more on throws and takedowns?

If you’re looking to toss your opponents like a salad, Judo’s your go-to. It specialises in throws, pins, and submissions, making it perfect for those who want to control the fight from a standing position.

What techniques are common in Jiu-Jitsu for MMA?

Jiu-Jitsu is all about that ground game! Expect techniques like guard passes, triangle chokes, armbars, and kumuras. Basically, if you’re comfortable on your back and like wrapping your opponent up like a burrito, you’re in the right place.

Are there MMA fighters who use both Judo and Jiu-Jitsu techniques?

Absolutely, many fighters blend these two arts to create their own unique style. From legends like Royce Gracie to modern fighters, the fusion of Judo and Jiu-Jitsu is becoming more common.

How do the scoring systems in Judo and Jiu-Jitsu affect MMA fights?

In Judo, a well-executed throw that puts an opponent flat on their back can win the match instantly (it’s called an ippon). In Jiu-Jitsu, it’s all about submission attempts that force a tap-out. So, Judo might give you quick points for throws, while Jiu-Jitsu rewards you for submission efforts.

Are there any restrictions on techniques in either Judo or Jiu-Jitsu?

Judo’s a bit more on the strict side, with moves like leg locks and twisting submissions being off-limits. Jiu-Jitsu is your “anything goes” cousin, allowing a broader range of techniques, including leg locks and chokes.

Who are some famous MMA fighters known for their Judo skills?

Ronda Rousey and Karo Parisyan are some of the big names here. They’ve used their Judo techniques to literally throw their opponents off balance and dominate the fight.

Who are some famous MMA fighters known for their Jiu-Jitsu skills?

Royce Gracie and Demian Maia have left opponents scratching their heads with their insane Jiu-Jitsu skills. They’re the guys who make you tap out before you even know what hit you.

Is one martial art generally considered better than the other for MMA?

Ah, the million-dollar question! It’s not about which is better, but which suits your style. Whether you’re a ninja who loves throws or an octopus who thrives on the ground, both arts have something unique to offer.

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