Is Judo More Dangerous Than BJJ?

This topic is a hotly debated one. The question mainly gets asked by people who are looking at getting into one of these martial art forms. People who do one of these sports will also debate amongst each other as to which one is better. Is there a solid answer though? Let’s find out.

Injuries are more common in Judo than Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. The most common injury in martial arts, in general, is sprains and muscle pulls. Judo is more dangerous in terms of injuries during matches and training, than not only BJJ but most other forms of martial arts as well. While the injury types for both are relatively similar, they happen more often in Judo.

However, there is more to the story. In this article, we will talk a bit about both of these martial art forms. We will also discuss everything in detail so that, if you are looking to get into the sport, we can maybe help you with your decision. If you already do one of these sports and want to know more, keep reading.

What is Judo

Judo is a modern style of martial art. Jigoro Kano formed the Japanese martial art in 1882. It is regarded as a combat sport and is even part of the Olympics.

The art of Judo is not just physical. When Jigoro developed Judo, he did it as mental, physical, and moral teaching. All-round, it helps you see things differently. You are taught mental traits that help you in day to day life. You are taught how to act within good morals. Finally, you are trained in combat.

Judo in the Olympics

1964 was the first time that Judo found its way into the Olympics, that yeast the event was held in Tokyo Japan. Judo did not return for the 1968 Olympics but has since become a staple event.

Women did not participate in the sport for the Olympics until 1988, but they did not receive any medals. Back then, women were only included as a demonstration. It was only in 1992 that women started winning medals.

Side note: A person who does Judo, whether they are male or female, are called “Judoka”.

Olympic weight classes for Judo

The weight classes have changed over the years, in the early days, there were only 3. Those were:

  • Lightweight: -68 kg
  • Middleweight: 68 to 80 kg
  • Heavyweight: 80 kg and above

As time went on, different weight classes were added to make matchups more fair and exciting. We also saw the introduction of female weight classes. Below is a table with the latest weight classes. These weight classes can change at any time.

Weight classMaleFemale
Extra Lightweight-60 kg-48 kg
Half Lightweight60 to 66 kg48 to 52 kg
Lightweight66 to 73 kg52 to 57 kg
Half Middleweight73 to 81 kg57 to 63 kg
Middleweight81 to 90 kg63 to 70 kg
Half heavyweight90 to 100kg70 to 78 kg
HeavyweightOver 100 kgOver 78 kg

Side note: The 2020 Olympics will be held in 2021 and will be back in Tokyo. You can be sure that a lot of emphasis will be placed on martial arts, and personally, I cannot wait for this.

What is judo used for?

As we mentioned earlier, Judo is mental, physical, and moral teaching. As for what it is used for, let’s take a quick look.

In Judo, you will learn two different types of balance, static and dynamic. You will develop speed, flexibility, and power. These are just a few of the things you will learn. These new skills can be applied in any self-defense situation you find yourself in. They can also be used for a career in MMA or Judo tournaments.

Judo in the MMA

We have seen a rise in popularity when it comes to Judo in MMA, but the martial art hasn’t been used by many fighters in the past. Hopefully, we can see the art being used by more fighters in the future.

Recently, the most notable fighter to use Judo was Ronda Rousey.

Is Judo dangerous?

Just because Judo is more dangerous than BJJ, it doesn’t actually mean that Judo is dangerous. All it means is, there are more injuries in Judo than BJJ.

In my experience, Judo is not dangerous, especially when the art form is used as a hobby or just a form of learning and exercise. Yes, you do risk spraining something, but the risk is small. Also, what sport doesn’t have its risks? You could hurt yourself playing golf of all things.

When training, nobody is going to try and hurt you maliciously. It is only when you take the sport into tournaments and competitions that things might heat up. Even then, people aren’t going to do anything unnecessary. So, if you do get hurt, it will most probably be by accident.

What is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

In 1917, A Japanese Judoka by the name of Mitsuyo Maeda taught Judo to a Brazilian man by the name of Carlos Gracie. Carlos and his brothers then further developed Judo into something called “Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.” As time went on, Gracie Jiu-Jitsu became its own sport, and eventually, it became known as “Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ).”

So, while it is true that BJJ is a branch of Judo, calling it that can be a bit disingenuous because it has undergone so much development, and mastering one, doesn’t mean you can easily master the other.

Side note: Someone who practices Jiu-Jitsu is referred to as a Jujitsuka.

What is Jiu-Jitsu used for?

Jiu-Jitsu is a grapple and ground fighting martial art. It can be great for self-defense, especially if you do not want to strike your opponent. Instead of striking your opponent, you could subdue them with grapples and submissions.

Apart from being used as self-defense, Jiu-Jitsu is also a combat sport. Unfortunately, the sport is not included in the Olympics. Jiu-Jitsu does have its own tournaments and competitions.

Just because BJJ isn’t in the Olympics, doesn’t mean that the sport is not respected. The reason why it is not part of the Olympics could be because Judo is already there, and there is no reason to swap one for the other.

Some MMA fighters also use the sport.

MMA fighters that use BJJ

Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art that gets used in the MMA by some very good fighters. Some names include:

  • Brain Ortega
  • Nate Diaz
  • Ronaldo Souza

These fighters have made a name for themselves and also brought some awareness to the effectiveness of BJJ.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournaments

BJJ does have its own tournaments, with the biggest one being “The World Jiu-Jitsu Championship,” also known as the “IBJJF.” Jujitsuka from all over the world get together and battle it out for the number one spot.

Being selected to take part in this championship is one of, if not the highest honor for a Jujitsuka, and it takes some serious dedication, skill, and hard work.

There are other Jiu-Jitsu tournaments all over the world. They range from beginner to advanced and can be an excellent way for you to test your skill.

Final thoughts

Both forms of martial arts offer there own pros and cons. I wouldn’t worry too much over the cons. The positives you will gain from practicing either sport will far out-weigh the negatives.

As for injuries, make sure you do enough stretching before practice, even if you will be doing it again during training. The most common type of injury is spraining, so the more flexible and agile you are, the less chance you have of injuring yourself.

Choosing one of these sports can be tricky so you want to watch as much as you can of each sport and try to see what suits your style the best. Remember, what is good for one person might not be good for another.

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