As part of our beginners guide to martial arts, we are giving you a quick overview of some of the most popular styles, to help you decide which might be best for you. So far we have looked at Karate and Judo. Today we are looking at Jiu-Jitsu

Originates from: Japan

Physical style: Ones that hit/ Ones that wrestle/ Ones that hit and wrestle

Another one from Japan that involves people in white suits and black belts. Like Judo, Jiu-Jitsu is a wresting martial art, but where Judo focuses on getting you to the floor, Jiu-Jitsu focuses on what to do once you are there.

I think of Jiu-Jitsu like physical chess, when you’re wrestling on the ground you are thinking 3 moves ahead to where you want to be, what is your opponent doing, how do I counter that, how can I lead them into a trap, what is the end game?

Jiu-Jitsu is fantastic for learning body control and how to use position and technique to overcome your opponent. Jiu-Jitsu will also teach more about choke holds, submission wresting and generally how to make your opponent tap out to end.

Jiu-Jitsu classes are often taught as part of self-defense, so they are a good one for ladies who want to feel safe and able to look after themselves!

A popular type of Jiu-Jitsu these days is Brazilian Jiu-jitsu or BJJ. It is often connected to the Gracie family. This comes from a Japanese master moving to Brazil and teaching Jiu-Jitsu to students there. Japanese Jiu-Jitsu is rather stiff and relies more on strength but the Gracie family took a more Brazilian approach making it more fluid and flowing in it’s movements.

Fore more info on Jiu-Jitsu check out the Jitsu Foundation.

Have you tried Jiu-Jitsu or BJJ? Tell us your experience in the comments. Or let us know if you have any questions about martial arts, and how you could incorporate it into your fitness routine.

If you’re interested in adding some martial arts training to your fitness routine, or you just really want to hit something after a hard day, then get in contact!


Ben has been teaching martial arts to people of all ages and abilities for over 12 years. He can help you incorporate different aspects of martial arts into fun, effective workouts. Contact him on 07707 116372 for info on one-to-one training and small group classes.