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Martial arts have been practised for centuries and have evolved into various styles and disciplines. Two popular styles that have gained worldwide recognition are BJJ Jiu-Jitsu and Kickboxing.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) and kickboxing are two martial arts that have gained much popularity in recent years. They are both effective forms of combat but differ in terms of techniques, strategies, and philosophies.

Both styles have distinct techniques and strategies; understanding their differences can help you choose which style to pursue. This article will explore the key differences between BJJ Jiu-Jitsu and kickboxing.

BJJ Jiu-Jitsu and Kickboxing: What's the Difference?

History of BJJ Jiu-Jitsu

BJJ is a grappling-based martial art that focuses on ground fighting. It is a derivative of Japanese Jiu-Jitsu, developed by the Samurai in feudal Japan. BJJ Jiu-Jitsu was created in Brazil in the early 20th century by the Gracie family, who refined the techniques of Japanese Jiu-Jitsu to make it more effective for real-world situations.

BJJ Jiu-Jitsu emphasizes leverage and technique over strength and power. It is based on the principle that a smaller and weaker person can successfully defend themselves against a bigger and stronger opponent using proper technique and leverage. BJJ Jiu-Jitsu aims to submit an opponent by using joint locks or chokeholds.

BJJ Jiu-Jitsu, and Kickboxing have different training methods and techniques. BJJ Jiu-Jitsu practitioners train in a gi, a traditional uniform consisting of a jacket and pants made of thick cotton. BJJ Jiu-Jitsu training also includes sparring sessions where practitioners simulate real-life combat situations.

BJJ Jiu-Jitsu Techniques

One of the key techniques in BJJ Jiu-Jitsu is the guard. The guard is a position in which a fighter is on their back with their legs wrapped around their opponent’s torso. From this position, a fighter can control their opponent’s movements and submit them using various techniques.

Another essential technique in BJJ Jiu-Jitsu is the mount. The mount is where a fighter is on top of their opponent, straddling their torso. From this position, a fighter can strike their opponent or submit them using various techniques.

BJJ is also known for its emphasis on sparring and competition. BJJ tournaments are held worldwide, and many BJJ Jiu-Jitsu practitioners compete at the highest levels of professional combat sports, such as the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

History of Kickboxing

Kickboxing is a striking-based martial art that combines techniques from various disciplines, such as boxing, karate, and Muay Thai. It involves using punches, kicks, and knee strikes to attack an opponent. Kickboxing is a popular form of martial art practiced by people worldwide for self-defence, fitness, and competition.

Kickboxing training involves striking techniques using fists, feet, and knees. Practitioners do not wear a gi, and training typically involves practicing combinations of strikes, footwork, and defensive strategies. Kickboxing training also includes sparring sessions where practitioners simulate real-life combat situations.

Kickboxing aims to outscore or knock out an opponent using strikes. Kickboxing matches are typically divided into rounds, and fighters are scored based on the number and quality of strikes landed.

Kickboxing Techniques

There are two main styles of kickboxing. American kickboxing is a hybrid of boxing and karate popular in the United States. Muay Thai kickboxing is a traditional martial art emphasizing powerful kicks and knee strikes.

Kickboxing also emphasizes physical conditioning and cardiovascular fitness. Many kickboxing classes include high-intensity workouts such as shadowboxing, bag work, and pad work to improve a fighter’s strength, endurance, and agility.

Why are BJJ and Kickboxing so prevalent in MMA?

BJJ and kickboxing are popular martial arts in MMA because they complement each other very well. MMA is a sport that requires a diverse set of skills and techniques, and practitioners proficient in grappling and striking have a significant advantage over those not.

In MMA, BJJ Jiu-Jitsu is used primarily for its ground fighting skills, where fighters can control their opponent and submit them with chokes, joint locks, and other techniques. BJJ Jiu-Jitsu also provides excellent defensive skills, allowing fighters to escape from dangerous positions and avoid being submitted by their opponent.

Kickboxing, on the other hand, is a striking-based martial art that focuses on punches, kicks, knees, and elbows. In MMA, kickboxing is used primarily for its striking skills, where fighters can use their punches and kicks to knock out their opponent or score points. Kickboxing also provides excellent defensive skills, allowing fighters to avoid their opponent’s strikes and counterattacks.

Differences between BJJ Jiu-Jitsu and Kickboxing

Techniques

The primary difference between BJJ focuses on grappling and ground fighting, while kickboxing emphasizes striking. BJJ Jiu-Jitsu practitioners are trained to take opponents down to the ground and control them using joint locks and chokeholds. Kickboxers are trained to attack opponents using punches, kicks, and knee strikes.

Strategy

Another key difference between BJJ fighters aims to take their opponents down to the ground, where they have an advantage. Once on the ground, they use various techniques to control their opponent and ultimately submit them. Kickboxers aim to keep the fight standing and strike their opponent from afar. They use footwork and head movement to avoid their opponent’s strikes.

Philosophy

Jiu-Jitsu and kickboxing also have different philosophies. BJJ Jiu-Jitsu emphasizes technique and leverages brute force. It teaches practitioners to overcome a larger and stronger opponent using proper technique and leverage. Kickboxing, on the other hand, emphasizes physical conditioning and explosive power. It teaches practitioners to use their strength and speed to overpower their opponents.

Training

The training methods used in BJJ Jiu-Jitsu and kickboxing also differ. BJJ Jiu-Jitsu practitioners spend much time sparring and practicing techniques with partners. They also practice live rolling, simulating a fight with a partner using full force and technique. On the other hand, Kickboxers spend a lot of time on physical conditioning, bag work, and pad work to improve their striking skills.

Competition

Finally, Jiu-Jitsu and kickboxing differ in the type of competition. BJJ Jiu-Jitsu practitioners compete in grappling tournaments and professional MMA fights. Kickboxers compete in kickboxing matches and professional kickboxing fights. Both types require different skills and techniques.

Which is better for self-defence: BJJ or Kickboxing?

BJJ and kickboxing can be effective for self-defence, but the answer ultimately depends on the situation.BJJ Jiu-Jitsu can be very effective in self-defence, where the attacker is physically larger and stronger. BJJ Jiu-Jitsu techniques allow a practitioner to control an opponent on the ground and submit them with chokes, joint locks, and other techniques, even if the opponent is much larger and stronger. This can be particularly useful when the attacker is trying to grab or restrain the victim.

Kickboxing, on the other hand, is a striking-based martial art that focuses on punches, kicks, knees, and elbows. Kickboxing can be very effective in a self-defence situation where the attacker is physically smaller and weaker. Kickboxing techniques allow a practitioner to strike an opponent from a distance, using their punches and kicks to keep the attacker at bay or knock them out.

However, it is essential to note that self-defence situations are often unpredictable and can involve multiple attackers or weapons. In these situations, the best action is to escape and seek help rather than trying to fight off the attackers. Therefore, self-defence training should include situational awareness, de-escalation techniques, and escape strategies.

Ultimately, the best self-defence strategy is to be prepared for various situations and have diverse skills and techniques. Practicing BJJ and kickboxing can provide a well-rounded skill set effective in multiple self-defence situations. It is also important to note that self-defence training should complement physical conditioning, mental preparation, and understanding the legal implications of using force in self-defence.

Which one should you choose: BJJ or Kickboxing?

Choosing between BJJ Jiu-Jitsu and kickboxing ultimately depends on your interests, goals, and physical abilities. If you enjoy grappling and ground fighting and want to develop your submission skills, BJJ Jiu-Jitsu may be the right choice. BJJ Jiu-Jitsu is a highly technical and strategic martial art that requires a lot of practice and patience to master. It also requires specific physical fitness and flexibility, as many techniques involve twisting and bending the body differently.

Kickboxing may be the right choice if you enjoy striking and want to improve your punching and kicking techniques. Kickboxing is a high-intensity and physically demanding martial art that requires a lot of endurance and power. It also requires good coordination and balance, as many techniques involve using the hands and feet together in a fluid motion.

However, it is essential to note that training in one martial art does not necessarily exclude training in the other. Many MMA fighters and martial artists have cross-trained in multiple disciplines, combining techniques and strategies from different martial arts to create a unique and practical style.

The best choice is the one you enjoy and are willing to commit to. Whether you choose BJJ Jiu-Jitsu, kickboxing, or a combination of both, finding a reputable school or instructor who can guide you in your training and help you reach your goals is vital. You must approach your training with an open mind and be willing to learn and adapt to new techniques and strategies as you progress.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Jiu-Jitsu and kickboxing are very different martial arts with unique techniques, strategies, philosophies, and training methods. BJJ Jiu-Jitsu is a grappling-based martial art emphasizing technique and leverage, while kickboxing is a striking martial art emphasizing physical conditioning and explosive power.

Both martial arts are effective in their own right, and their choice ultimately depends on an individual’s goals and preferences. BJJ Jiu-Jitsu may be the way forward to improve your ground fighting skills and submission techniques. Kickboxing may be the better choice to improve your striking skills and physical conditioning. BJJ and kickboxing can provide a great workout and help you develop self-defence skills regardless of which martial art you choose.

Train With Us

Grant’s MMA Toronto Rival Boxing Gym is the perfect place for MMA classes and a boxing gym in North York (Toronto). It is a highly respected martial arts gym that offers a variety of programs for all levels of fitness and ability. Our coaches are some of the most accomplished in the area and provide excellent instruction and guidance.

Whether a beginner or an experienced fighter, you can find the perfect program to fit your needs. Our gym also offers a wide range of equipment to help you maximize your workout. With its top-notch facilities and knowledgeable staff, Grant’s MMA Toronto Rival Boxing Gym is the perfect place for martial arts training.

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