Is Sambo Better Than Jiu-Jitsu? (Solved & Explained)

is sambo better than jiu-jitsu

Russian Sambo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu are two of the world’s most stunning grappling systems. In addition, both disciplines may provide an incredible training experience, whether to increase your fitness or your self-defense capabilities, for example. Therefore, you’re maybe wondering, should I train Sambo or BJJ?

Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Sambo are both superb grappling martial arts for MMA, self-defense, or fitness, yet none is superior to the other. Both are distinct yet lethal fighting styles, but each style’s conditions, benefits, and drawbacks determine which is best for you.

This article examines the benefits and disadvantages of Sambo and BJJ sports from various perspectives. Then, based on your goals, physique, or strengths, you’ll be able to determine which (or both) disciplines are best for you.

What is BJJ?

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) focuses entirely on teaching ground grappling techniques to overcome an opponent using the right combinations. For example, practitioners of this combat sport may utilize joint locks and chokeholds to gain a dominant advantage over their opponent to make them submit.

BJJ was developed around 1920 by Brazilian brothers Carlos, Oswaldo, Gastão Jr., George, and Hélio Gracie after Mitsuyo Maeda, a traveling Japanese judoka, trained Carlos in traditional Kodokan Judo.

Over the years, BJJ grew into a prominent martial art in the MMA world. Organizations such as the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) set the rules and standards to be followed in competitions, belt ranking system, athletes ranking, etc.

What is Russian Sambo?

Sambo is a Russian grappling sport with an array of Judo, jujutsu, and different wrestling and self-defense techniques. It is a blunt, hard-hitting fighting style with two categories: combat sambo and sports sambo.

Combat sambo employs intense martial arts techniques (groin strikes, headbutts, chokeholds) and is used mainly by the Russian military. Emphasis is laid on knocking out the opponent as quickly as possible. However, sports sambo is a watered-down version of combat sambo, focused on catch-wrestling.

Russian Sambo was developed in the 1920s by the Soviet NKVD and Red Army to improve the hand-to-hand combat skills of the conscripted soldiers.

The pioneers of Sambo — Viktor Spiridonov and Vasili Oshchepkov — were trained in different martial arts and wrestling styles. Therefore, they combined the best techniques they knew to form the most efficient self-defense discipline without using any weapons, named “Sambo.”

What Is the Difference Between Sambo and BJJ?

The critical difference between the Sambo and BJJ appears in the kind of techniques that you can use to submit an opponent.

In BJJ, you can apply several submissions techniques, such as joint locks, chokeholds, etc. However, sports sambo allows only arm and leg joint locks. Otherwise, Combat Sambo does, however, permit chokeholds as well.

Other than this principal difference, there are still many other differences between Sambo and BJJ. Let’s have a detailed look at each of them.

  • Expert Knowledge

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu experts know more about grappling techniques on the ground and may learn takedowns. On the other hand, Sambists (Sambo fighters) know about grappling techniques both on the basis and standing.

BJJ experts are proficient at almost all types of submissions, except for the forbidden ones like neck cranes. Sports Sambists are good at arm and leg locks, while combat Sambists are good at chokeholds too.

Generally, BJJ and sports Sambists do not learn striking styles. Meanwhile, combat Sambists are trained in all sorts of strikes (punches, kicks, elbows, and knees).

  • Points Scoring System

In BJJ, points are rewarded for the various maneuvers and positions. Meanwhile, in sports Sambo, points are given for hold-downs, throw performances, position, and much more. Besides, Combat Sambo gives out points for strikes as well.

  • Match Time

Sambo matches are usually five minutes long, while BJJ matches last five to ten minutes. This time can, of course, vary, depending on the competition’s rules, participants’ age, gender, belt level, capability, and strength.

  • Match Rules

Brazilian jiu-jitsu tournaments have their own particular set of rules. At the same time, Sambo matches mostly follow the rules of Judo competitions with a few key differences. For example, points or submissions can win both, and just like in Judo; a Sambo match can be won by doing a perfect throw.

Is Sambo Better Than Jiu-Jitsu?

The answer to this is that neither is better than the other. Both are different, yet deadly, martial arts. Each style’s circumstances, advantages, and disadvantages dictate which is more appropriate for you.

Sambo or BJJ, Which Is Better for Beginner Martial Artists?

The thing is, not all beginner martial artists are kids. But, on the other hand, plenty of people take an interest in martial arts in their 20s or 30s. And so, keeping that in mind, the best for any beginner martial artist, young or old, is BJJ.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is an incredible first martial art because of how well it teaches you self-defense. In addition, since it doesn’t include strikes, training is relatively more straightforward, and injuries are less as well.

BJJ is suitable for kids since it’s very safe: it doesn’t involve any intense wrestling slams or throws that can cause severe injuries. In addition, it consists of rolling around on mats a lot, which is perfect for those playful kids to burn off their excess energy.

Furthermore, Brazilian jiu-jitsu martial art is perfect for adults since it is a complex, intricate art that requires patience to learn. You cannot rush through BJJ, which is why coaches find adults much easier to teach.

Sambo Vs BJJ, Which Is Better for MMA?

Sambo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu are suitable for MMA because they both teach great fighting concepts applied in mixed martial arts matches.

BJJ is an appropriate foundation style for MMA since it can be built on by cross-training other martial arts. In addition, it’s a very versatile style. Although it lacks in strikes, it can be learned in conjunction with some different style that is heavier on the strikes.

On the other hand, combat Sambo covers all the bases: standing and on-ground grappling techniques, takedowns, and strikes. It’s the entire package, really, so it’s much easier to adapt combat Sambo to the cage.

Ultimately, if you’re willing to incorporate other styles in your training regime, then BJJ is the better choice for you. If not, then go with combat, Sambo.

Sambo Vs Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Which is Better for Weight Loss?

Both Sambo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu are high-intensity sports that burn plenty of calories each training session.

That being said, Sambo is the better choice for weight loss since it involves stand-up grappling, which is more demanding in cardio. In addition, since combat Sambo involves striking, it helps burn more calories than BJJ.

Sambo or BJJ, Which Is Better for Building Muscle?

Sambo is yet again the better option if you’re interested in building muscle. It is a fantastic fitness exercise based on cardiovascular endurance training and hence helps build muscles more.

Yey, BJJ does also help build muscle but to an extent. It primarily focuses on knocking your opponent to the ground as quickly and efficiently as possible, which means you need to conserve your energy. So, BJJ won’t help build muscles, but it will make you lean.

Should I Learn Sambo or BJJ for Self-Defense?

Sambo and BJJ are suitable for self-defense since both utilize grappling techniques, which can be used to bring down, restrain, and incapacitate any attacker.

BJJ allows a much smaller person to knock out a larger opponent to the ground quickly. And once you have that done, you can easily make them submit. Indeed, it is very effective in street fights since the battle does end up on the ground more often than not.

On the other hand, Sambo significantly combats Sambo, is fast-paced, and hits hard. Moreover, the striking techniques learned can be used to disarm any assailant. And since this style was developed for Soviet soldiers, needless to say, it is more than enough to knock out multiple threats.

Even though BJJ has excellent skills for street fights, Sambo is ultimately the better choice. This is because attackers are usually armed with melee weapons, which Sambo will help deal with.

Final Thoughts

Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Sambo are two of the best martial arts to learn. As a result, they are gaining many fans and followers. They are, indeed, valuable training activities that many people engage in because of their numerous benefits. First, however, you should start with BJJ grappling.

In this post, we learned a lot about Sambo and BJJ to help you decide which discipline to train in. Here’s a quick rundown of what we’ve discovered thus far:

  • Brazilian jiu-jitsu is a grappling fighting discipline that teaches pupils to overcome an opponent via precise techniques. It does not, however, teach hitting skills.
  • Sambo is a Russian grappling sport that combines Judo, Jujutsu, and other wrestling and self-defense methods. It is a direct, hard-hitting fighting style divided into combat sambo and sports sambo.
  • Sambo and BJJ may help you reach your peak fitness objectives by improving your strength, muscle tone, and so forth.
  • Sambo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu are excellent for MMA and self-defense because they both teach fantastic combat sports that can be used to defend oneself.
  • BJJ and Sambo training burns more calories because of the high-intensity exercise, which is fantastic for weight loss.

I hope you found this post informative as you learned more about Sambo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Consequently, you’ll be able to choose the proper grappling discipline that will suit your needs and objectives.

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