Jiu-Jitsu vs Karate which is better?

Jiu-Jitsu vs Karate: Which is Better?

Jiu-Jitsu and Karate are two of the most practiced martial arts in the world. However, that’s where the similarities end as both crafts are at opposite ends of the scale stylistically. In this post we’re going to pit Jiu-Jitsu vs Karate and compare them in detail.

What is Jiu-Jitsu?

Jiu-Jitsu is a ground based martial art that first originated in Japan. The words Jiu-Jitsu translate to the “gentle art”. It’s a fighting style that uses grappling techniques like joint locks, throws, and chokes to defeat an opponent. Smaller Jiu-Jitsu practitioners are able to overcome and beat larger opponents through clever positioning and leverage.

BJJ was developed in Brazil in the early 1900s by the Gracie family and has grown to become one of the most popular martial arts in the world today. It’s particularly important as part of a mixed martial arts fighter’s training. Without this, fighters would be extremely vulnerable whenever the fight goes to the ground.

What is Karate?

Karate is a martial art that originated in Okinawa, Japan. It’s a striking-based martial art that uses kicks, punches, and other strikes, such as knee strikes, elbow strikes, and open-hand techniques.

The word “Karate” translates to “empty hand” in Japanese, which is because practitioners of the martial art do not use weapons. Instead, they rely on their hands, feet, and other parts of their bodies to defend themselves.

Karate is practiced by millions of people worldwide. Something that was helped greatly by it’s portrayal in American movies from the 1980s and 1990s like The Karate Kid.

Benefits of Jiu-Jitsu over Karate

While all martial arts are beneficial to learn, some have distinct advantages over others – depending on the circumstances. Here are a few reasons why Jiu-Jitsu could be better than Karate:

  • By taking the fight to the ground, Jiu-Jitsu nullifies the opponent’s ability to generate any striking power.
  • Smaller Jiu-Jitsu fighters are able to defeat much larger opponents using positioning and leverage.
  • Jiu-Jitsu allows practitioners to control damage and defeat an opponent without doing any long term damage.
  • By taking the fight to the ground, BJJ fighters can avoid taking any damage to themselves.

Benefits of Karate over Jiu-Jitsu

Karate is an ancient martial art based on strikes with the hands and feet. However, is karate better than Jiu-Jitsu?

  • Karate fighters are trained to always be moving, making them hard to pin down.
  • Karate is much better for defending against multiple attackers when compared to Jiu-Jitsu.
  • Practitioners of Karate are able to generate significant knockout power in their strikes while standing.


Comparing Jiu-Jitsu vs Karate is a matter of personal opinion, however we do have a preference for which is better. Because of it’s ability to defeat larger opponents, avoid damage and it’s importance in MMA, Jiu-Jitsu takes the winners belt. But that’s just our opinion.

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