Judo in Japanese means “the gentle way,” and is known as such because many of the techniques in judo rely on giving way to the force of your opponent. Don’t be fooled, however, by the term “gentle.” Judo is an intense sport, a wonderful form of exercise, and can be adapted to serve as an effective and powerful form of self-defense.
Judo techniques include throws, the most spectacular and recognizable elements of judo, as well as grappling techniques such as pins, chokes and arm locks. Perhaps most importantly, judoka must learn to fall properly. Judo falling techniques not only protect a judoka’s internal organs from the powerful throws of efficacious opponents, but are also extremely useful when running, biking or walking.
Judo was founded by Dr. Jigoro Kano in 1882. In creating judo, Kano drew techniques from jujitsu that could be used safely in sport competition and also subscribed to the principle of seiryoku zenyo, meaning maximum efficiency through minimum effort. According to this principle, all judo techniques are best performed when the desired effect is produced with the minimal possible expenditure of effort.
Along with seiryoku zenyo, Kano’s other underlying principle of judo is jita kyoei - mutual benefit and welfare.
Judo is now practiced by millions of people around the globe and has been an Olympic sport since 1964.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is a martial art, combat sport and a self-defense system that focuses on grappling and ground fighting. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu was formed from Kodokan Judo ground fighting (Ne-Waza) fundamentals that were taught to Luiz França and Carlos Gracie by master Mitsuyo Maeda. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu eventually came to be its own art through the experimentations, practices and adaptation from the Judo knowledge of Carlos and Hélio Gracie, who then passed their knowledge on to their extended family.
BJJ promotes the concept that a smaller, weaker person can successfully defend against a bigger, stronger assailant by using proper technique, leverage and most notably, taking the fight to the ground, and then applying joint-locks and chokeholds to defeat the other person. BJJ training can be used for sport grappling tournaments (gi and no-gi) and mixed martial arts (MMA) competition or self-defense. Sparring (commonly referred to as "rolling") and live drilling play a major role in training, and a premium is placed on performance, especially in competition, in relation to progress and ascension through its ranking system.
Since its inception in 1882, its parent art of Judo was separated from older systems of Japanese Ju-Jitsu by an important difference that was passed on to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: it is not solely a martial art: it is also a sport; a method for promoting physical fitness and building character in young people; and, ultimately, a way of life.