What’s the difference between Brazilian and Japanese Jiu-Jitsu

If you are considering taking up Jiu-Jitsu in Markham and Vaughan, Ontario, you have to know why Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is more widely offered than Japanese Jiu-Jitsu.
There may be some confusion as to the offerings and what fits for you.
We will look at the history and the evolving process that created Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and discuss the differences between the two styles.

The Origins of Japanese Jiu-jitsu

Jujitsu was born as a necessity, like many other Asian fighting techniques, with its earliest use dating back to the battlefields of the samurai. A traditional warrior needed to be well versed in hand-to-hand combat, especially when a weapon was lost during the battle.

In the late 19th century, Jujitsu evolved into Judo when Jigoro Kano used the techniques to create an entirely new discipline. He began a studio called Kodokan where Judo grew in popularity and his students, through randori, practiced throws, takedowns, joint locks, and chokes against resisting opponents. Eventually, ending up in Brazil after one of Kano’s students, Mitsuyo Maeda, started teaching judo there.

A student of Maeda’s, Carlos Gracie, was interested in the ground fighting aspect of judo, which resulted in the birth of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Let’s look at what defines these two styles

Despite its age and origins, or because of, Japanese Jujitsu is geared towards real-life fighting and combat situations. Japanese Jui- Jitsu focuses on self-defence using various techniques and strategies–throwing opponents, joint manipulation, strangling, choking, striking, and blocking. It also involves three stages–The striking stage, the grabbing stage (takedown), and ground fighting.

We mentioned Kano’s student, Mitsuyo Maeda. He became one of Kano’s top-performing students. Maeda’s specialty was ground fighting, also known as newaza. In 1914, Maeda travelled to Brazil, where he befriended Gastão Gracie. Gastão’s son, Carlos Gracie, was eventually accepted as Maeda’s student, creating a style that allowed students with a lack of size and strength to fight. These innovative adjustments bore fruit and birthed Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is often referred to as ‘the game of human chess,’ as it forces its practitioners always to stay two to three steps ahead of their opponent. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or BJJ, is one of the world’s fastest-growing martial arts and includes students of all ages and walks of life. A key advantage to learning the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu martial art style is its physical demands. Its wide range of groundwork and ample opportunities to spar and compete.

There are eight different belt systems in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Listed are the order and progression.






Red and black belt

Red and white belt

Red belt

The belt systems differ. Listed below are the belt systems used in Japanese Jiu- jitsu.











When considering Jiu-Jitsu in Markham and Vaughan, Ontario, we choose the Brazilian style because it is more befitting into many lifestyle factors, such as the strategy that comes with BJJ which is very beneficial to your day-to-day life. When you join us, we make sure that our teacher is someone you can trust and communicate with so, when you are ready to put everything you learn into practice, book your first class with us and find out what we are all about!

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