Should I Train MMA or BJJ? (Solved & Explained)

should i train mma or bjj

MMA and BJJ are two great combat disciplines that many individuals practice. Furthermore, practitioners like practicing both fighting styles, making it challenging to pick only one.

MMA is becoming increasingly popular, with millions of followers and admirers. Besides, it is a lethal combat style that mixes grappling and striking martial arts. On the other hand, BJJ is a grappling style that emphasizes ground combat and submission grappling while prohibiting striking techniques. Yet, Brazilian jiu-jitsu is an essential part of mixed martial arts.

The rest of the article will reveal more amazing facts about MMA and BJJ. Therefore, if you’re wondering if you should train MMA or BJJ? You will get everything you need to know.

Should I Learn MMA or BJJ?

Deciding on training MMA or BJJ depends on your goals and what you wish to achieve from training. 

If you want to learn some fantastic grappling techniques, BJJ is the way to go because it is a more focused ground-fighting discipline. However, MMA is for you if you want to learn various striking and grappling techniques.

Of course, both disciplines will get you in tip-top shape and teach you valuable fighting skills. The more versatile nature of MMA, on the other hand, makes it more appealing to the generalist fighters. Yet, BJJ is also physically demanding, but it is less violent and relies on the mind rather than strength to solve complex situations on the mat.

What’s the Difference Between MMA and BJJ?

There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ answer to MMA as it involves a synthesis of dozens of different styles. However, the practice does involve strikes and kicks – things that are not allowed in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

The main difference? BJJ is an individual discipline involving takedowns and submissions. In contrast, MMA is a mix of styles involving strikes, kicks, throws, and ground wrestling. Hence, while you’ll find BJJ practices in MMA, you won’t find MMA practices in BJJ.

Popularity of MMA Vs BJJ

MMA has become a pop culture sensation to the mainstream coverage of the UFC promotion. Its millions of viewers, lucrative TV deals, and abundance of trash-talking stars have resulted in a global fanbase. 

However, BJJ is not popular in the mainstream but has a large following in camps, gyms, and competitions. Though the discipline is popular, it has nowhere near the amount of coverage that the UFC gets. 

BJJ or MMA for Self-Defense?

There are pros and cons of both BJJ and MMA training for self-defense. However, you’ll learn valuable new skills (that could save your life) and get into peak condition doing so. Moreover, both outlets are highly social, and you’ll meet many new friends in the process. 

  • Pros of Learning BJJ For Self-Defense 

Before you make your decision, here are some pros of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training:

  1. No weight classes – Unlike MMA, BJJ offers the chance to compete with those larger or smaller than you
  2. More focused on close-combat – BJJ is excellent for sharpening your wrestling and grappling skills
  3. Less violent – The focus on submissions and grappling makes BJJ a lot safer than MMA 
  4. More focused – Unlike the versatile nature of MMA, BJJ training teaches you to perfect one style of fighting 

As you can see, there are a lot of benefits to BJJ training. However, it’s not perfect and, like anything, has a few cons.

  • Cons of Learning BJJ For Self-Defense 

  1. Not valuable for several real-world situations – if you’re randomly attacked on the street, then the ground-based style of BJJ may not come in very handy. 
  2. Less popular – it may be harder to find a BJJ gym near you due to its more niche fanbase. 
  3. Doesn’t teach strikes or kicks – you may reach a ceiling with BJJ training and wish to branch out into other disciplines to learn fighting fundamentals like strikes or kicks.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is excellent for learning a particular fighting style. Still, its style may not lend itself well to real-life situations like unprovoked attacks. 

Next, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of MMA training.

  • Pros of Learning MMA for Self-Defense 

Learning MMA may sound daunting, but there are plenty of advantages to understanding it. 

  1. Versatile skillset – MMA training uses Jiu-Jitsu, karate, boxing, and wrestling elements.
  2. More effective in the real world – the striking lessons you’ll learn with MMA training will help you in real-life scenarios.
  3. More popular and accessible – the worldwide popularity of MMA has resulted in gyms and camps all over the globe with a thriving community. MMA lessons are generally more affordable, too. 
  4. Better physical condition – the synthesis of strength and conditioning training will result in a slimmer, more muscular you. 
  5. MMA is great for your mental health – the increased confidence one gets through MMA training, combined with the endorphins your brain releases during exercise, will result in improved mental health

MMA training comes with a host of benefits. However, discipline is not without its drawbacks. 

  • Cons of Learning MMA for Self-Defence 

  1. Violence – MMA fighters often suffer injuries such as concussions, broken limbs, and featured bones due to the strikes involved.
  2. Can be a little too generalized – You’ll learn a little about many different styles without mastering one. 
  3. May be a little too physically demanding – If you’re new to fitness, then the brutal workouts and sessions involved in MMA training can be a little too much to handle

So, should you train MMA or BJJ? Let’s find out. Remember that both disciplines are highly effective and push you to your physical limits. 

Which One’s the Best? With all things considered, we recommend learning MMA for self-defense. 

Why? That’s due to its mixed skill set, superior accessibility, and focus on real-life situations. In random, unprovoked attacks, you probably won’t have time to get the opponent down and wrestle with them.

Instead, you’ll need to strike quickly, powerfully, and without causing too much damage. These are all skills you’ll learn with MMA. 

Is MMA Harder Than BJJ?

That depends on many factors, such as your past experience, fitness levels, and overall physical condition. 

MMA is difficult because of its broad mix of styles, whereas BJJ is complex due to its ground-based nature and exhausting grapples. 

Both will test your limits hard and leave you panting for breath, but we’d say MMA is harder due to the sheer number of elements that you’ll need to learn. 

You can master BJJ more smoothly because you’re only focusing on grappling ground combat. Still, MMA features an eclectic mix of fighting styles that you can spend decades learning. 

MMA training is also harder and more suited to those hoping to get into self-defense for fitness. However, that isn’t to say that learning BJJ is a cakewalk because it most certainly isn’t. 

BJJ or MMA for Weight Loss?

Both practices will get you in shape, but MMA is more effective for weight loss due to the number of skills involved. Not only will your conditioning be tested, but the physical strength it takes to strike, wrestle, and grapple with opponents requires tremendous fortitude. 

BJJ takes strength and endurance, too, but is not focused on striking or kicking. Therefore, MMA is better for those hoping to shed serious weight. 

Can You Train MMA and BJJ Together?

It’s entirely possible to learn MMA and BJJ at the same time. Both skills will complement each other well, but you’ll need to be sure not to overdo it. 

For example, you can train MMA on Mondays and Fridays and train BJJ on Tuesdays and Saturdays. This will leave you with two days of rest – essential for building fitness. This, however, is a lot of work and may be too much activity for some. 

To avoid injury and fatigue, perhaps it’s better to stick to one discipline until you build up enough fitness to add another one into the mix. Remember that learning BJJ or MMA is not for the faint of heart. 

Final Thoughts

Brazilian jiu-jitsu and mixed martial arts (MMA) are gaining popularity among millions of followers and admirers. They are effective fighting disciplines that many people practice, and you should learn as well.

We’ve learned a lot about MMA and BJJ in this article to help you decide which discipline to train in; here’s a quick recap of everything we’ve learned:

  • MMA is a lethal combat style that combines grappling and striking martial arts techniques. However, BJJ is a grappling style that focuses on ground combat and submission grappling while prohibiting striking techniques.
  • Mixed martial arts are superior to BJJ for self-defense. This is due to its diverse skill set, excellent accessibility, and emphasis on real-life situations.
  • Learning MMA may be more complicated than learning BJJ because it includes many fighting styles that can take decades to master. However, because you’re only focusing on grappling ground combat, learning the art of BJJ may be less complicated.
  • Both MMA and BJJ will get you in shape, but MMA is more effective for weight loss. This is due to the physical skills required to strike, wrestle, and grapple with opponents assisting the practitioner in getting in shape and losing weight.
  • It is entirely viable to learn MMA and BJJ concurrently. Both martial arts will complement each other effectively. Still, you must be careful not to overdo it to avoid injury and tiredness.

I hope you found this article helpful in learning more about MMA and Brazilian jiu-jitsu fighting combat. Therefore, you will choose the proper discipline that suits your physical abilities and meet objectives.

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