What Makes Jiu Jitsu Different From Other Martial Arts?

by | Aug 28, 2023 | Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Martial Arts, Technique

A lot of fighters try several martial arts before finding their favorite. Every style is different – you might have spent a decade training karate, but that doesn’t mean you’ll know anything about Judo. 

Some are more regimented, some allow for interpretation. Jiu Jitsu combines the best of both with established techniques backed by a flexible philosophy that allows the style to evolve over time. 

Putting the ‘art’ in martial arts

Step into a karate class and you’ll find students repeating a set of moves over and over…and over. 

This emphasis on rote repetition is a feature of many martial arts, but it can make for a very dull class. By contrast, Jiu Jitsu, especially Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ), is a work in progress. This creative discipline is a fluid practice that’s always changing, which makes every session an exciting opportunity to learn something new. 

At Innisfil Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (IBJJ) we focus on having fun with the moves – learning the foundations and then tweaking them so you can adopt your own individual style and flair. 

In this way, fighters add to the collective history of the sport. By finding a new spin on an old move, they help refine it and renew it. Jiu Jitsu respects its origins, but is also focused on the future, developing a fighting style that’s not just in a manual or a history book, but an organic art that rises to meet modern challenges. 

Functional, not theoretical

To fight in the real world, you need moves that work in the real world. Practicing solo drills in the sterile environment of a gym won’t help you when you run into trouble on the street.  

Jiu Jitsu is one of the most functional martial arts out there. It teaches fighters how to strategically assess their situation and environment before deciding on an appropriate move. And it has a big bag of tricks to work with. 

From grapples to chokes, and holds to strikes, you can meet just about every attack with a Jiu Jitsu technique. But it’s not just useful mid-fight, this martial art is also unique in having the last word. Other arts, like wrestling and Judo, have a similar focus on grappling but when it comes to ending a fight, Jiu Jitsu has the best tools to make that happen.

Small vs big

Its focus on self-defense makes Jiu Jitsu the best choice for smaller fighters who can’t rely on size or strength.

This martial art isn’t about getting in as many strikes as possible. It uses leverage, momentum and technique to find the most effective and efficient way to neutralize an opponent. It doesn’t matter if you’re facing a 6ft, 300lb brawler, with the right Jiu Jitsu tricks you can overpower them in seconds.

How is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu different from Jiu Jitsu?

Jiu Jitsu originated in Japan where it’s taught as a formal discipline with highly regimented training. When the art was brought to Brazil, early fighters didn’t have a lot to work with – they’d seen Jiu Jitsu in action, but never had the kind of in-depth instruction enjoyed by Japanese students.

This freed them up to be more playful and adventurous. The Brazilian fighters took what they saw of Jiu Jitsu and adapted it, using trial and error to see what worked and adding their own unique style. 

From there, BJJ gained a foothold in North America, moving this particular brand of Jiu Jitsu into the mainstream. Today, a lot of BJJ gyms have adopted a more formal style of training, but at IBJJ we’ve maintained that original spirit of innovation, encouraging our students to develop their own style rather than just mimicking their coaches or going after belts. We teach the foundations, and then we add in some fun – while always making safety our priority.

Taking this approach keeps kids (and adults!) engaged in what they’re learning. We think it’s a much more exciting way to exercise than endless karate chops. But don’t just take our word for it, check out our youth and adult classes to learn more or schedule a free introductory session to get started!

Looking for a martial arts studio in Innisfil and the surrounding area? Innisfil Brazilian Jiujitsu offers professional Brazilian Jiujitsu training with a range of BJJ classes for all ages and abilities. Contact our coaches today to get started! 

Book Now

Join the fun at your friendly neighbourhood Brazilian Jiujitsu club!

We offer a FREE initial consultation to meet our coaches and get to know our studio with no obligation. If you are interested in a class or have any questions, please fill out the form and we’ll be in touch as soon as possible.

Class attendance is by appointment only.


Innisfil Brazilian Jiujitsu
Innisfil Beach Rd 2nd Floor,
Innisfil Beach, ON
L9S 4R7


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