Judo vs. BJJ vs. MMA: Unveiling the Art of Combat Sports

Author: Grappling Store   Date Posted:17 October 2023 

The world of combat sports is a diverse and fascinating realm, with various disciplines each offering its unique set of techniques and philosophies. Three of the most popular combat sports - Judo, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) - stand out as dynamic and intriguing martial arts forms. In this blog post, we'll explore the key differences and similarities between these disciplines, helping you decide which one might be the right fit for you.

Judo: The Art of Gentle Strength

Origins: Judo, meaning "gentle way," was developed in Japan by Jigoro Kano in the late 19th century. It focuses on throws, pins, and joint locks, emphasizing leverage and balance.

Core Principles: Judo places a strong emphasis on using an opponent's strength and energy against them, making it an art that's often compared to a physical chess match.

Use in MMA: Many MMA fighters incorporate Judo techniques to control and take down opponents. Judo's throws and takedowns are valuable skills in the octagon.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ): The Art of Submission

Origins: BJJ, developed by the Gracie family in Brazil, is an adaptation of Judo, focusing primarily on ground fighting and submission holds.

Core Principles: BJJ is often described as the art of "rolling chess" because it's highly technical. It teaches practitioners how to control an opponent on the ground and submit them through joint locks and chokes.

Use in MMA: BJJ is a fundamental component of MMA. The ability to control an opponent on the ground and apply submissions is crucial for success in the cage.

MMA: The Ultimate Test of Skills

Origins: MMA is a relatively modern sport that combines various martial arts disciplines, including striking (e.g., boxing, Muay Thai) and grappling (e.g., BJJ, Judo).

Core Principles: MMA is about versatility and adaptability. Fighters must be well-rounded, and capable of both striking and grappling. The sport emphasizes conditioning, strategy, and heart.

Comparison: MMA can be seen as a fusion of Judo and BJJ, alongside other striking arts. MMA fighters often incorporate Judo and BJJ techniques into their training and fights.

Choosing the Right Path

Deciding between Judo, BJJ, and MMA ultimately depends on your personal goals and preferences.

  • Judo is a great choice if you enjoy the idea of using an opponent's strength against them and appreciate the art's rich history and philosophy.
  • BJJ is ideal if you prefer the intricacies of ground fighting, technical skills, and the gradual mastery of submissions.
  • MMA is the path for you if you want to be a complete fighter, adept in both striking and grappling, and test your skills in the ultimate combat arena.


In the world of combat sports, Judo, BJJ, and MMA offer unique journeys. Whether you're seeking self-discipline, ground-fighting mastery, or the thrill of competing in the octagon, each discipline has its place. Ultimately, the choice is yours, and the best martial art is the one that resonates most with your personal goals and ambitions. Embrace the art of combat, regardless of your path – Judo, BJJ, or MMA, and discover the warrior within.