WHY is Brazilian JiuJitsu better than Japanese JuJitsu on the ground?

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Discussion' started by Hazmatac, Mar 29, 2014.

  1. Hazmatac

    Hazmatac Valued Member

    Brazilian JiuJitsu seems to often be thought of as better on the ground then Japanese JuJitsu. These also correlates to an experience I had when going to a BJJ dojo after getting my blue belt in JJJ. I was on par with the white belt on the ground, but when I faced a blue belt he was getting armbars all day. I couldn't touch the other person who I sparred with who was a higher belt.

    I am wondering why BJJ is (at least, it seems, in a lot of cases) better than JJJ at the ground. It is understandable that a part of that has to do with the fact that they spend a LOT of time on the ground (VS working on strikes, locks/yawara... everything else). I doubt this is the only factor though...

    The thing I trying to make sense of is why they would be better if JJJ and BJJ has the same moves. Has BJJ refined those moves more? Do they have better strategies and better overall gameplan to help those moves do better? Do they have more moves? (The butterfly guard and S-mount are a couple of exclusive positions, but is there enough new moves to base their victories on this alone? I find it unlikely especially when you see a lot of MMA matches end with a simple triangle-choke, rear naked choke, or armbar).

    So, what are your thoughts?

    By the way this makes me think of wrestling. Why does one wrestling club do way better then other clubs given the same moves? This can also be said of Judo school vs Judo school matches. It doesn't have to do with the moves. So I guess I am trying to extract the element that makes some better. (This isn't the same thing I am asking above, but I think that finding this answer is a link to the original question)
  2. Van Zandt

    Van Zandt Mr. High Kick

    Much of it comes down to quality of instruction and training rather than the style itself. Don't get me wrong, style plays a part depending on the context of the situation (Judo focuses on jacketed throws so will be better at jacketed throws than BJJ/JJJ, for example).
  3. John Titchen

    John Titchen Still Learning Supporter

    It's the haircuts.
  4. Moosey

    Moosey invariably, a moose Supporter

    They specialise, almost exclusively, in groundwork, so they're better at it then people who don't.
  5. holyheadjch

    holyheadjch Valued Member

    BJJ puts effectiveness ahead of tradition. If it doesn't work they don't teach it, regardless of how fancy the technique looks.
  6. Kurtka Jerker

    Kurtka Jerker Valued Member

    Open source competitive format, emphasis on resistant training, emphasis on high-percentage techniques.

    Working wristlocks and standing armlocks all day works great when it's a supplement to weapons work, especially sword.
    Run that up against a guy who is not trying to deploy his or deny your weapon and it kind of sucks.

    Now if your flavor of JJJ is equivalent to BJJ in technique set, percentage of rolling/randori time and competition ruleset, then it's just down to a deeper talent pool and more mat time.
  7. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award


  8. Hazmatac

    Hazmatac Valued Member

    Thanks for the replies.

    Open source competitive format... not exactly sure what this means. Do you mean anyone is allowed to come and compete with your school?
    ...I can see how competition can be good: you are able to spar against guys who are different from people at your gym, but is this all that competition does?

    The high-percentage techniques I am not sure of. Cannot just about every technique work well if you train it enough, or tweak it enough? I mean, other than a handful of moves perhaps, which the JJJ guys aren't necessarily going to try to pull off anyway.
  9. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    No, there is a best and worst way of doing things, and open competition provides this evolutionary pressure.
  10. holyheadjch

    holyheadjch Valued Member

    No. Unless by 'tweak', you mean morph it into one of those high percentage techniques.
  11. m1k3jobs

    m1k3jobs Dudeist Priest

    When you are talking about a competition format it isn't about other people coming into your school to roll, it's about tournaments being held where schools go to compete against each other with divisions for different levels and weight classes. Even if you don't like to compete you still get to train with people who do which ups your game. It's the sporting aspect which keeps it honest.

    Same for wrestling and Judo. If fact the NCAA just completed their division 1 championship and Penn State won for the 4th time in a row. Because they won they will attract better wrestlers but they have also painted a target on their backs because there are a lot of really good schools out there that want that chanpionship as well.
  12. Southpaw535

    Southpaw535 Well-Known Member Moderator Supporter

    That's essentially all a competition IS but what it DOES is ensure that the techniques taught actually work under pressure on a non-compliant opponent. They also keep the belt system relatively clean as anyone buying their belts eill be exposed either when they compete, or when they refuse to.

    No, there are techniques that are better than others. Its why mma fighters are starting to look similiar. To give a simple example, if someone grabs high on my gi inside my guard I coul mess around trying to do a twisting wrist lock. That will never be as effective as swinging for an armbar no matter how hard someone tried. Or how a headlock will never be as effective as a technical choke and an achilles hold will rarely be stronger than a heel hook
  13. righty

    righty Valued Member

    I was going to chime in but realised most has already been said. It's just mostly a result of specialisation and that will come as a result of time and pressure to evolve so to speak.

    But I'll add a comment on this...

    These are not exclusive to BJJ. The might be called different names, but I for one certainly did not first learn them from BJJ.

    There are some techniques that you will likely see a lot more of an BJJ, but I would try not to call any of them exclusive. But I will say that some moves that have developed as a result of the most popular rulesets of BJJ in addition to the strong competition pressure towards developing techniques that will work in those competitions has made some techniques more common. And these techniques I refer to might not be the highest percentage techniques to use in self defence due to various factors. So if your JJJ focuses more on self defence and less on sport, then the curriculum may not cover the more 'sport specific' techniques as much.

    My just-in-case disclaimer - No, I am not saying the 'sport specific' techniques are useless in self defence, just that there may be more reliable options available in some situations. e.g. a bar fight might not be the smartest place to test your inverted guard.
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2014
  14. Kurtka Jerker

    Kurtka Jerker Valued Member

    Open source format means you can draw techniques and variations thereof from any source. If it works it will become popular, if it doesn't it will be abandoned. If it carries a high risk or low likelihood of success, it will become a niche technique (wrist locks are a great example).

    BJJ primarily focuses on techniques that work well for most people in most situations because of the above. Wrist locks, for example, are not among them because the occasions in which they are good options for most people do not happen often.

    The robust and uniform competition culture present in BJJ consistently produces tougher, stronger, smarter fighters in its realm than are normally present in styles without that emphasis on end performance. This also results in more refined techniques being passed on, since better people are spending more time in the "lab" developing them.
  15. Prizewriter

    Prizewriter Moved on


    I know this is an old, oft used clip, but I think it might help the OP a bit more too. Especially from 0:50 to 1:15, which seems to compare the way most JJJ is trained to how BJJ is trained.
  16. pgsmith

    pgsmith Valued dismemberer

    I think the reason is that Japanese Jujutsu was originally developed and taught by people that were armed for use against armed foes. Going to the ground was something that was generally avoided.
  17. Bobby Gee

    Bobby Gee Valued Member

    Yeah I thought the main reason people did traditional martial arts like jjj, ninjutusu etc was for the weapons training?
  18. Southpaw535

    Southpaw535 Well-Known Member Moderator Supporter

    It does seem a bit weird to ask why an art that focuses exclusively on groundwork is better than one that doesn't. Its like asking why a boxer is a better puncher than a TKDer
  19. greg1075

    greg1075 Valued Member

    Training method, technical drilling, extreme specialization and mat time discrepancy.
  20. greg1075

    greg1075 Valued Member

    Always thought comparing the groundskills of a BJJer and Jujitsuka was downright silly.

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