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Jiu-Jitsu Vs. Judo – Which Is Better For Your Health?

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Kenny Florian
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When it comes to martial arts, there are as many different motivations and reasons to start training as there are options of Arts to learn.

If you’re looking for a martial art that is good for your health and fun to practice, then you are likely considering and comparing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Judo as possible options.

In this blog post, we’ll compare the two martial arts in terms of their health benefits. We’ll leave the other Martial Arts’ effectiveness and advantages for another article.

We’ll look at the benefits of both, as well as the differences between the two.

By the end of this post, you should have a better idea of which martial art is better for your health: Jiu-Jitsu or Judo.


The Benefits Of Training Jiu-Jitsu And Judo

Jiu-Jitsu and Judo are two popular martial arts that share many similar health benefits. So let’s discuss these two sports’ mental and physical health advantages.

difficult jiu jitsu
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Jiu-Jitsu and Judo require intense physical activity, good coordination, and agility. These qualities make these sports great for improving overall fitness levels.

The physical training of both can help to improve heart health and reduce the risk of injury in other aspects of your life.

One less apparent reason people participate in, and stick with, Jiu-Jitsu or Judo as their choice for physical fitness, beyond the fun factor, of course, is for their mental health.

Additionally, using Judo or Jiu-Jitsu for weight loss is a fantastic idea, as both effectively reduce obesity over time by decreasing your overall body mass and lowering your body fat percentage.


How Jiu-Jitsu and Judo Training Affects Your Daily Health


Jiu-Jitsu and Judo both focus on fighting styles, with Jiu-Jitsu involving more ground fighting and Judo generally focusing more on throws and takedowns. However, the benefits of training these sports extend further than the mats.

Both disciplines can be beneficial for overall physical fitness, grip strength endurance,  muscle endurance, and flexibility, as well as for developing explosive power and improving cardiovascular health and reducing frequent injuries.

Jiu-Jitsu can help train your body to use proper mechanics when applied with force. This can help to prevent injuries in climbing, leveraging heavy objects, or even something as simple as playing with your children.

Likewise, any judo player will happily tell you about the countless hours spent learning to fall correctly, which can significantly reduce potentially dangerous situations where your balance is lost walking on ice, falling from ladders, or any other type of involuntary impact.

Another area where Jiu Jitsu and Judo can improve your overall health is by improving coordination and teaching you how to use energy properly.

Grip fighting in both sports will vastly improve your dexterity which will apply to various daily activities.

Training in either art will help develop your mind-body connection so that you are more aware of how you feel and will be able to identify the severity of any accident at the time of injury.


Judo and Jiu-Jitsu For Your Mental Health

peaceful warrior

There are several reasons why so many people find Jiu-Jitsu and Judo to be therapeutic tools for their mental well-being.

Comprehensive studies have shown that both improve moods and stress levels, as well as reduce anxiety and depression.

Additionally, many practitioners consider participating in these sports a form of self-medication.

Jiu-Jitsu and Judo do a great job teaching you how to focus and stay calm under pressure.

Both will teach you about empathy as everyone in the gym was once a beginner, and as each player progresses, they remember the frustrations of getting started.

You will learn the valuable art of being humble, and competitive situations outside the gym will not be so intense for you when you compete, win and lose every day.

There will always be someone better than you in either sport. Both sports leave no room for debate about who is better at a given moment. Whoever the better person is on that day was once a beginner.

Both martial arts effectively teach self-defense skills; therefore, the confidence you build as you progress through the sport and the ability to control yourself are great tools to develop an overall calm life.

You will develop more empathy for others which encourages you to value others around you and increases your ability to de-escalate physical and verbal situations and stress levels.

Additionally, the hard work you put in while training for either sport allows you to see your other problems as less stressful if you still consider them problems at all.

As the saying goes, if you’ve spent the last hour with good friends trying to strangle each other, that guy that cut you off in traffic is not as bothersome anymore.


Which Is Safer To Train, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or Judo

jiu jitsu finger tape

Both disciplines utilize belt ranks to identify experienced athletes, novices, and all skill levels.

Both sports also utilize weight classes to group similar-sized athletes with each other.

Belt ranks with various colored belts can be used to group martial arts athletes of similar skill levels and allow experienced black belt athletes to train with individuals who might have pre-existing injuries that need to be carefully considered.

Due to the constant grappling, joint locks, and submission training of Jiu-Jitsu, Judo practitioners have a lower risk of developing chronic conditions such as neck or knee pain, as well as sudden joint injuries.

However, there are potential risks for neck injuries in Judo due to the heavily practiced throws. Therefore, Judo Schools will often follow an injury prevention program and spend significant time training new students to fall correctly to reduce any possible neck or back injuries.

Overall, the inherent risk and prevalence of injuries (due to training) runs slightly higher for Jiu-Jitsu athletes than in Judo.

The most significant risk of injury for Jiu-Jitsu athletes is when new students are unsure how to manage their own bodies and physiological responses.

New students might inadvertently put themselves in awkward positions that they are unaware could be dangerous.

Consequently, because Jiu-Jitsu is such an advanced skill, many instructors will have their new students train with black or brown belt veterans who are more aware of their training partner’s movements and can protect them from common injuries.


Is Jiu-Jitsu Or Judo Better For Your Safety

Police Officer
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We know that Jiu-Jitsu and Judo are excellent martial arts for your overall health.

Without getting too deep into the self-defense comparison, it’s safe to say that they both benefit your safety in that respect.

If you want to learn self-defense skills specifically, Judo is more of a standing martial art than Jiu-Jitsu.

Judo’s focus on throws makes it easier for beginners to learn standing self-defense techniques without injuring themselves.

Judo allows users to use their opponent’s weight against them while still on their feet, providing an advantage in evading fights.

On the other hand, if you are interested in competing in tournaments or fighting in general as part of your law enforcement career or as a professional fighter, Jiu-Jitsu may be a better option.

Jiu-Jitsu emphasizes ground fighting and grappling techniques that can be used in any situation at any size, regardless of weight categories. Therefore, even smaller students can defend themselves at a high level with practice and dedication.

Additionally, many techniques in Jiu-Jitsu can be adapted for self-defense if needed.

Gracie Jiu-Jitsu schools, for instance, put a high priority on self-defense and the development of combat strategies and techniques.

For Gracie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training, white belt students must complete and demonstrate a basic level of skills and decisive moments for self-defense before progressing to a blue belt.


The Key Differences Between Jiu-Jitsu And Judo For Health


There are a few key differences between Jiu-Jitsu and Judo regarding their health benefits.

Both arts have a lot of health benefits for both male and female athletes of all ages, which is part of the reason why they are so popular.

That being said, Jiu-Jitsu is arguably more aerobic than Judo, while Judo may be better at generating anaerobic power.

Here are a few key points to consider:

– Jiu-Jitsu is excellent for cardio and flexibility. It helps to improve cardiovascular fitness. Additionally, it can help to improve balance and coordination as it relies heavily on the mind-body connection and the ability to think strategically under pressure.

– Judo is also excellent for cardio, flexibility, and improving cardiovascular fitness. Additionally, it can help to improve anaerobic fitness, peak power, and muscular endurance.

Jiu-Jitsu’s focus on grappling techniques can help burn more calories. On the other hand, Judo emphasizes improving balance and muscular power, which increases anaerobic responses through throws and body leverage.

Jiu-Jitsu may have a slight edge as a cardio workout for aerobic fitness due to the longer sparing duration, more grappling, and routine combat simulation.

Regarding overall health benefits, Jiu-Jitsu is considered slightly more beneficial than Judo for muscle endurance, dynamic endurance strength, and abdominal strength endurance.

For example, Jiu-Jitsu practitioners have been shown to have a lower risk of developing chronic conditions such as obesity or heart disease.

Both martial arts have benefits that make them great for different reasons. However, when comparing the two, it is vital to consider the specific needs of each individual.

Overall, these differences should make it easier for individuals to find the right martial art for their needs and preferences.


The Right Decision For You

Ultimately, it is up to you to decide which martial art is better for your health. 

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Judo are both tremendous martial arts that offer a variety of benefits for your health, including excellent cardio, weight loss, and self-defense. 

However, the number one reason you should choose either sport is that you love it and will continue to train and enjoy practicing it regularly. This single point is more valuable for your overall health than all the others.   

Our advice is to try both and see which one leaves you feeling healthier and in a better mood throughout the rest of your day. 

As far as your health is concerned, the only wrong answer is not to try. 

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