Is Krav Maga Better Than Brazilian Jiu Jitsu? (Styles Compared)

Martial Arts. A term used to describe many fighting styles including Karate, Taekwondo, Krav Maga and of course, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

With many creating their own style, rules and regulations it’s difficult to decide which one is better.

Is Krav Maga Better than Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Would it be more beneficial to learn the grappling techniques of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or the self-defense moves of Krav Maga?

Keep reading to find which martial art form is better and which one you should be studying.

What Is Krav Maga?

Krav Maga (Hebrew for “contact combat”) was created in the 1950s by merging the best effective techniques and ideas from a variety of martial arts and combat training.

It was first taught to the Israeli army, and civilian education began in the late 1970s.

Krav Maga is still practiced today by ordinary people for self-defense, law enforcement, and military settings.

To get started with Krav Maga, you don’t need any prior experience.

Fundamental stances, striking, falling and getting up safely methods, and basic defenses against common assaults such as chokes and headlocks are all covered at the beginning (Find out How To Escape A Headlock here).

Students learn how to deal with an attack as well as how to perform better under pressure. They also learn awareness and preventative strategies to keep themselves out of dangerous situations.

Once the basics are mastered, a student will begin to train to learn how to defend themselves against multiple attackers and weapons.

They will be taken through a series of intense situations and learn advanced combative and weapon techniques.

However, there are no competitions, tournaments or championships held for Krav Maga.

The self-defense martial art does not hold any ceremony for students to showcase their skills. The goal being to learn Krav Maga in order to survive the worst case scenarios.

What Is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is a grappling-based martial art in which the major focus is the ability to control a struggling opponent in such a way that he submits.

Because controlling an opponent on the ground is easier than controlling an opponent from a standing position, much of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) technique revolves around the ability to wrestle an opponent to the ground and wrestle for dominant control positions from which they can subdue their opponent in a non-violent way.

Is Krav Maga Better Than Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?

The knowledge gained from learning Brazilian Jiu Jitsu can be used to control an opponent in whichever way they choose.

Students benefit from greater physical fitness, problem-solving skills, body and mind self-awareness, and the many social benefits of learning and having fun with a big group of like-minded other students.


Krav Maga is a system that allows people to become skilled in hand-to-hand combat in a short amount of time.

Because the method is founded on unchanging principles, approaches should look nearly the same every time they are practiced or implemented.

In just a few months, someone who is training in Krav Maga can learn an effective technique and create an effective skill set and mentality.

Brazilian Jiu Jutisu on the other hand is a martial art and takes a long time to learn.

Nevermind perfect. In terms of how a practitioner sets them up and administers them, the techniques are open to interpretation, which is part of the art.

It takes a White Belt Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner three to four years to build an effective skill set and to truly understand and learn what is going on in a training session.

The second important difference between Krav Maga and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is that Krav Maga emphasizes striking methods while BJJ emphasizes grappling.

In terms of striking and grappling, there is some overlap between Krav Maga and BJJ.

In reality, if you practice in Krav Maga, you’ll learn tactics derived from Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, such as how to use the closed guard and dominate your opponent.

Within the classes of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Krav Maga, the ways in which sparring is taught can differ.

As BJJ practitioners are training to earn their next belt or for a tournament, sparring is completed in almost every class.

Whereas, Krav Maga spends less time sparring and more on simulation type training.

Which Is Better?

While it would be good to have a simple, straight forward answer, the truth is…there isn’t.

Both styles provide their own set of advantages and disadvantages. Finding which one is better for you is dependent on your goals.


If you’re looking for a class to up your self-defense skills, Krav Maga may be a better fit.

Krav Maga teaches pupils striking, grappling, weapon attack defenses, and situational awareness in order to educate them how to protect oneself as rapidly as possible.

On the other hand, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu also teaches trainees a variety of self-defense tactics, such as how to take down an opponent, restrain them on the ground, and employ submissions if necessary.

BJJ students also spar far more and at a higher intensity than Krav Maga students, so they’ve applied the techniques they’ve learned on resisting opponents.

However, BJJ contains no striking which may be required while performing self-defense.


Wanting to up your cardio sessions? Both Krav Maga and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu are considered high cardio intensive sports.

Krav Maga contains a lot of pad practice, including punches, kicks, elbows, and knees, as well as sparring. In most cases, instructors will also add a conditioning session in each lesson.

Although Brazilian Jiu Jitsu lessons do not usually feature a long workout, the sparring rounds are quite intense. 30 minutes of intense BJJ sparring might burn almost 500 calories, according to our calculations.


Both Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Krav Maga have excellent benefits. From self-defense, community and increased health, they are high intensity exercises that give their students something to work towards.

Choosing what one is right for you may be more challenging than you would think. But this handy guide tells you the range of skills that can be learned from either martial art.

Get yourself down to a BJJ or Krav Maga class and discover which one is best for you =!

Christopher Anderson
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