Krav Maga vs BJJ – Differences and Similarities

There are so many martial arts and self-defense systems to choose from that it could weary one’s head. It’s easy to get confused in the beginning – especially if you’re new in the world of martial arts. One of the liveliest debates is on the issue of Krav Maga vs. BJJ. Which one of the two is more effective? Which of the two is more suited for a particular person and in a particular situation? We’ll try to shine light on these questions in this article.

The merits of Krav Maga

Krav Maga is an Israeli self-defense system made for this country’s Special Forces. As such, it has nothing to do with sports or leisure-time activities. In fact, the main goal of Krav Maga is to neutralize the opponent as soon as possible, in the most effort-efficient way possible. And there are many Krav Maga moves that are devastatingly effective in neutralizing the opponent. There are no sports and martial arts formalities here – just pure violence that you can use in a life-or-death situation. There are groin strikes and eye gouges. As such, if you happen to find yourself in a real combat scenario, then Krav Maga and all of its assorted techniques can be of great service to you. More about this are you can read in the books.

The merits of BJJ

Now, as for BJJ, this is a relatively modern martial art, and an even newer sport. It’s a grappling art, meaning it puts a huge focus on ground fighting. The fact that it’s a martial art doesn’t mean that it’s not effective as a self-defense system. On the contrary, BJJ’s techniques are created in order to neutralize one’s opponent. But they can also be used while sparring and while competing – without the intent to do serious damage to your opponent – only to submit them.

Comparing Krav Maga and BJJ

So, which one of the two is better? The answer is – it depends. If you believe that you will enter a real-life combat situation where your life will depend on your reactions – then we suggest that you learn Krav Maga. But if you want to spar and compete, exercising your body in the progress, then you should go for BJJ.

Likewise, Krav Maga utilizes a lot more stand-up, striking techniques than grappling techniques – though there are Krav Maga ground techniques, as well.  The vast majority of BJJ’s techniques, on the other hand, are ground-based techniques.  And again – this is not to say that you can’t find any stand-up techniques fo BJJ. In fact, many of BJJ’s submission moves can be used while standing up – it’s just much more convenient to use them on the ground.

Since BJJ is a martial art, there are many moves that are forbidden within its rule set. For example, you can’t expect to use strikes when sparring or when competing – unless it’s combat jiu-jitsu that we’re talking about. And in BJJ’s philosophy, strikes are to be used mainly for the purpose of drawing out a reaction of your opponent. For example, if you’re in the mount position against your opponent and if you strike his head – in many instances this will draw a reaction and your opponent will torn on his stomach so as to protect his face. Now you can slide your arm under his neck and do a classic BJJ move – the read naked choke.

On the other hand, there isn’t anything that can be deemed illegal when it comes to the self-defense system of Krav Maga. Again – eye gouges and groin strikes are completely “legal” here – anything you could do to neutralize your opponent is fine. You use some of the best Krav Maga Dvds to study this art.

 BJJ or Krav Maga

So, what kind of a person are you? If you’re in the military or law enforcement, then chances are that you will need an arsenal of potentially deadly techniques that work with both efficiency and effectiveness. In such a case, we recommend that you pick Krav Maga.

If, on the other hand, you’re a sports person, then it would be smarter to train BJJ. You can train BJJ for years without ever feeling bored – as there is so much to learn both on a conscious level and an unconscious level. Also, you will be providing your body with a killer workout – a hard BJJ sparing session will work almost every muscle of your body and you will feel pleasantly tired after each training session. And above all else – you will still get to learn many different techniques that are very effective against your opponent even in real combat. Just make sure that you aren’t battling against multiple opponents, as this is a known area where BJJ is weaker – unlike Krav Maga where you can neutralize multiple opponents with ease if you know your techniques well.

In conclusion

But is there a third way in which you can go about things when it comes to the KravMaga vs. BJJ problem? There is one, indeed. And this is the all-encompassing way of training both these martial arts and defense systems. Of course, it means that you will have to assort time to both of them – and many people simply don’t have the time to train two martial arts. But, in the off chance that you do have the time – then you will be doing yourself a great favor in becoming a true martial artist. You will be able to go against other people standing up and on the ground. This means that you will become a complete martial artist.

Either way, you shouldn’t feel afraid to pick one martial art or the other. Just follow your gut instinct and you will know which martial art or self-defense system will be the right one for you. If you’re still uncertain, then can put them on a trial period and see what every one of them is all about. Also, feel free to do some additional research and perhaps even watch some videos on the subject of these martial arts. We hope that you will make the right choice.