Why Is BJJ More Popular Than Judo?

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) and Judo have similar techniques. And they are both grappling martial arts. However, BJJ has gotten a lot more popular than Judo, even though they revolve around the same concepts. So why is BJJ more popular than Judo?

BJJ is more popular than Judo because of the mainstream and social media publicity that it gets. The early UFCs and the Gracie family, in particular, have helped make Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu a household name. Additionally, it is accessible to students of all ages, sizes, strengths, and physical aptitudes. 

These are why we have more people looking to practice BJJ than Judo.

Joint locks, chokeholds, and throws are standard techniques in Judo and BJJ. The fundamental distinction between both martial arts is how they are carried out and how much stress each art exerts on the body. BJJ and Judo are two martial art sports that get compared together.

Continue reading to find out why BJJ is more popular than Judo.

Is BJJ more effective than Judo?

This is a popular question among most martial arts practitioners.

Maybe because they are closely related, and they want to pick one to practice over the other. From my experience, you cannot say that BJJ is more effective than Judo ultimately. They both have unique techniques and skills that come in handy in different situations.

When it comes to self-defense, BJJ and Judo are effective. There are techniques in both martial arts to help you takedown and submit an attacker in a street fight situation. However, BJJ has an edge, and it is more effective for self-defense.

I picked BJJ over Judo for self-defense because Judo has additional rules (e.g., no grabbing legs) that create limits.

Judo is also heavily reliant on gi grips, whereas most BJJ schools provide a few no-gi courses each week. This, along with wrestling and sambo influences, aids in the development of a complete fighter who can defend himself in a street fight. If you want to read more about this, I compared BJJ and Judo for self-defense in a recent article. It is a complete and detailed piece.

Click on the link to read it on my website.

Is Judo or BJJ more popular in Brazil?

Judo is an Olympic sport In Brazil, making it more popular than Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. So since Judo has millions of practitioners worldwide, with hundreds of contests held each year across the world, it is significantly more popular than BJJ in Brazil. 

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is now commonly referenced due to the working knowledge of commentators on UFC/Bellator broadcasts (Rogan, Florian, and others).

Despite this, BJJ is still less popular than Judo in Brazil because the popularity is being measured by the number of people who actually practice the martial art in Brazil.

Keep in mind that the father of contemporary martial arts is Judo, which has been established for more than 100 years and is also internationally recognized as an Olympic sport, making its global popularity massive.

Furthermore, Judo is far less expensive than BJJ (anywhere).

Judo dojos and federations are most times non-profit organizations, which, along with its status as an Olympic sporting martial art, attract government financing, allowing for relatively inexpensive training expenditures.

The low cost makes Judo far more accessible than BJJ, which primarily operates for business and receives no government assistance.

You can read more advantages of Judo in a recent article I published. I get into all the pros and cons of Judo, including the 1 con that made me choose BJJ instead of Judo.

Clicking the link will take you straight to the article on my site.

Why has BJJ become so popular?

It is undeniable that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has gotten so popular over time.

The sport of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has exploded in recent years. Compared to traditional martial arts, BJJ culture is relatively modern and relaxed. As a result, it is accessible and popular across all demographic groups.

Traditional arts are labeled as being nerdy and taking themselves too seriously.

For example, you might get a stereotypical image of an overweight Aikido practitioner or someone claiming that chi exists. This isn’t found in BJJ, so it’s more in touch with modern society.

Despite having a solid following for decades, BJJ has only recently established itself as a worldwide sport amongst men and women of all ages.

There are several factors contributing to this success which are:

  • No age limit: You can always learn Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu irrespective of your age. BJJ has no limit on age, which is one reason why it’s popular.

Also, it aids children in gaining better focus and becoming more aware of their own minds and body on a deeper level. They are also predisposed to have fun in whatever environment they are placed in, and when they have fun, they learn more easily.

When it comes to adults, you should be distraction-free and ready to learn. BJJ appeals to many people who want to get in better shape and stay healthy because of its incredible physical benefits.

  • Defense tool: Self-defense is one of the benefits of BJJ. It’s one of the reasons why so many people want to learn martial arts in the first place.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu will teach you how to defend yourself against a range of attacks, from a street robbery to a rape assault.

This art can be a particularly beneficial tool for victims of abuse.

More importantly, because many students enter the art with the desire to defend themselves, instructors are becoming more cautious and aware of how they handle these types of students in order to assist them better.

  • Minor technicality: BJJ is one of the martial arts where you can stress yourself and learn something at the same time.

It’s an art that allows students to learn something every day while having fun. Also, minor or less injuries are recorded in BJJ.

Are you considering learning BJJ?

If yes, you are in luck. In a recent article, I explained the different belt levels in BJJ and how long it will take you to earn them. I even cover the differences between the kids’ belts and adult belts and how they transition.

Click on the link to read it on this website.

Is Judo easier than BJJ?

Both Judo and BJJ have their benefits, and none is easier than the other.

It both takes time to master the art. Although Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is fun to learn, this is based on personal experience.

Judo is a bit rougher, aggressive, and explosive than BJJ. 

Both martial arts will likely leave you bruised, but they will put you in great shape. Although, Judo is, in my opinion, physically more intense and draining.

The Judo-specific warm-ups, as well as the constant pushing, pulling, and grip fighting, turned my arms to jelly faster than anything else I’d ever done.

A good throw can make you feel like you’ve been hit by a bus.

Can BJJ beat Judo?

Yes, BJJ can beat Judo. At the same time, Judo can also beat BJJ.

BJJ and Judo have faced off in a few contests in the past. BJJ fighters have won some, judo fighters have won others, while a few fights have ended in draws.

Based on these data, it is difficult to identify a better martial art, as the outcome relies more on the particular fighter’s abilities, strength, and skills.

Although a BJJ practitioner is more competent on the ground, they are still more evenly matched than if they were standing. A Judo practitioner is better at ground fighting than a BJJ practitioner is at stand-up fighting.

In a recent article, I wrote extensively on the advantages and disadvantages of BJJ. I get into all the pros and cons and the 1 crucial difference between BJJ and Japanese Jiu-Jitsu.

Just click that link to read it on my site.

BJJ vs Judo - Real Sparring


In conclusion, it is safe to say that BJJ and Judo are both popular martial arts.

However, one is more popular than the other in specific countries and regions. For example, BJJ is more popular than Judo in the United States, while Judo is more popular than BJJ in Brazil.

Both Judo and BJJ have a lot in common due to their common ancestors. Understanding the contrasts between the two arts is essential, especially if you want to take advantage of cross-training possibilities.

Curious about the word “OSS” that gets used in a lot of Japanese-origin martial arts classes?

I get into the meaning and origin of the word OSS in a recent article, including how it ended up being used dominatly in BJJ which is as much Brazilian as it is Japanese.

Click click that link to read it on my site.

Image by Julián Amé from Pixabay


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