A Brief Overview of Different Martial Arts: Krav Maga vs Jiu Jitsu

krav maga

Are you looking to discover more about martial arts? Are you deciding on which form to learn? Then two of the most interesting ones are Krav Maga and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

For Jiu-Jitsu, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) contributed massively to its popularity. These disciplines are two of the fastest-growing martial arts in the world. You’ll see them often now in movies and TV shows.

And though the industry is feeling the impact of the pandemic, it shouldn’t hold you back if you wish to learn. But in the Krav Maga vs Jiu Jitsu debate, which one should you go for?

What are the key similarities and differences between the two?

Continue reading below for a brief overview of these two forms of martial arts.

A Brief History of Krav Maga

Before we go through the differences between Krav Maga and Jiu-Jitsu, let us first look back at their humble beginnings. Krav Maga means “close combat,” hence, it involves close contact action.

Krav Maga traces its roots to the 1990s. It was when Imi Lichtenfeld developed it in pre-World War II Czechoslovakia.  The story goes that Lichtenfeld developed his talents to use them for self-protection.

He also used the same skills to defend the Jews against anti-Semitic groups. Here, he learned to fuse his natural reactions and movements with immediate counterattacks. He eventually taught Krav Maga to the Israeli Defense Forces.

This served as the basic foundation of Krav Maga. It established Krav Maga’s basic philosophy of self-protection while practicing dignity and preventing injury in the process.

With Krav Maga, you want to inflict as much damage as possible while fleeing without any injuries.

A Brief History of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu also boasts a rich history. Interestingly, BJJ didn’t start in Brazil. Instead, its birthplace is the Land of the Rising Sun, Japan.

It featured key elements of Japanese Jiu-Jitsu, particularly the ground fighting aspects. One of its primary principles is to enable weaker or smaller people to take larger opponents to the ground.

From there, the former can perform different kinds of chokes, joint locks, and leverages to subdue the latter. Today, BJJ is one of the most popular forms of martial arts.

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Compared to Kraw Maga, BJJ is a sport. You will often see BJJ practitioners joining MMA competitions globally.

On the flip side, Krav Maga isn’t a competitive sport. Instead, it is a self-defense system.

Krav Maga vs Jiu Jitsu: The Differences in Techniques

If you want to settle the Krav Maga vs Jiu-Jitsu debate, one of the first things to look into is the key differences. And when we talk about differences, it is in the techniques where you should pay attention to.

As we mentioned earlier, Krav Maga looks to leave extensive damage to your opponents. Hence, Krav Maga offers more brutal techniques compared to BJJ. It offers a combination of defense and aggressive offense.

It also requires remarkable endurance on your part.

Some of its offensive moves include punching, elbowing, striking, and kicking to the gut. On the defensive side, it teaches you how to grapple, choke, and block. However, Krav Maga places more emphasis on the impact of offense.

Also, Krav Maga will help you work on the impact and quickness of your hits. These two elements are crucial in making your attackers retreat. Hence, Krav Maga will develop your balance and footwork.

This will help you in case your attackers try to push you into the ground. With the ongoing pandemic, you can take Krav Maga lessons and learn online.

The Techniques of Jiu-Jitsu

On the other hand, Jiu-Jitsu focuses more on attaining positional and groundwork dominance. In BJJ, you will zoom in on the timing and delivery. This will keep your opponents from hitting you and disrupting your balance.

In BJJ, you will learn how to pin your opponents on the ground. You will do so using a combination of grapples and strangulations. You will also learn various escape techniques and joint-locks that will help you win without throwing a single strike.

The Rules and Gear

When it comes to the rules, the two differ in many ways. In Krav Maga, there are no moves or techniques that they deem “illegal” or “dirty.” Moreover, it doesn’t come with any strict rules.

Instead, the ultimate goal in Krav Maga is to ensure that you survive a potentially deadly encounter. Again, Krav Maga is not a sport. It is a self-defense system that teaches you how to win real-world encounters.

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Meanwhile, BJJ is a sport, hence, there are sets of rules that you need to follow. There are different moves and techniques that the sport deems illegal. Moreover, there are certain techniques that you can only use depending on the skill level of your opponent.

For example, when you’re competing or sparring in BJJ, the rules bar you from using strikes. You can only unleash your strikes on Combat Jiu-Jitsu. And you can only use open-handed strikes when you’re on the ground.

When it comes to the gear, the differences are likewise notable. Krav Maga training involves the use of weapons. These weapons include live blades, plastic guns, and plastic knives.

However, they will only teach you how to use these weapons once your skills reach advanced levels. Moreover, Krav Maga will teach you how to disarm your opponents.

Key Factors to Consider 

Before you pick between Krav Maga and Jiu-Jitsu, there are important factors you need to consider. First, what is your main reason for wanting to learn martial arts? Do you want to learn primarily for self-defense?

Or do you want to compete in the future?

You also want to learn more about the styles of these two forms of martial arts. It is best to pick one that you feel will suit your personality.

Last but not least, pick a good school. Find one that has a solid track record.

Increase Your Martial Arts Knowledge

Now that you have a better understanding of the Krav Maga vs Jiu Jitsu debate, you can pick the right one that best matches your requirements. But if you don’t find these two choices appealing, there are many other forms of martial arts to choose from.

Check out our other articles and learn about the pros and cons of different martial arts.

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