The Differences Between Jujutsu and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

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Do you want to learn self-defense?

Interested in jujutsu?

Unsure of which type?

Despite having a similar name, jujutsu (sometimes spelled jujitsu or jiu-jitsu) and Brazilian jiu-jitsu are two different fighting styles with their own origins, moves, and purposes.


Jujutsu ‒ Originating in Japan as one of the first martial arts, jujutsu came from samurai hand-to-hand combat. The idea was that samurai could defend themselves with jujutsu when their weapons were destroyed or lost.
Brazilian jiu-jitsu ‒ Brazilian jiu-jitsu actually comes from judo, not jujutsu. Followers of Japanese jujutsu adapted the martial art into judo and taught it around the world. In the early 1900s, judo teacher Mitsuyo Maeda taught judo in Brazil. One of his students was Carlos Gracie, who then created the style of Brazilian jiu-jitsu.


Jujutsu ‒ Throws, joint locks, chokes, kicks, and strikes are all moves used in jujutsu. The main goal is to use strength and momentum against your opponent to overpower them. Jujutsu is more about analyzing your opponent’s moves and quickly finding a way to bring them down. One hard throw could be enough to keep them down, unlike Brazilian jiu-jitsu, where you hold down your opponent.
Brazilian jiu-jitsu ‒ Consisting mostly of grappling, Brazilian jiu-jitsu takes place primarily on the ground, with the goal to force submission onto the opponent. By using leverage and grip, moves like chokes and strangles make the opponent give up.


Jujutsu ‒ Jujutsu is used as a form of self-defense, fitness, and personal development.
Brazilian jiu-jitsu ‒ Brazilian jiu-jitsu is mostly used as a competitive sport. Moves like submissions or dominant positions earn you points and determine a winner.

Study jujutsu in Ann Arbor

If you think Japanese jujutsu is the right fit for you, visit JMAC!

At the Japanese Martial Arts Center, you’ll learn the self-defense, focus, and discipline jujutsu teaches. You’ll learn about weak points, effectively using force, and minimizing injury. Our approach helps you develop speed, balance and power by gradually teaching you more and more challenging and profound techniques.

Call us today at 734-720-0330 or contact us via our website to begin practicing jujutsu in Ann Arbor.