Boxing vs. BJJ

Boxing vs. BJJ

The old debate of who would win between boxing vs. BJJ has gone on for years. One camp firmly believes their side would win, while the other believes they would win.

Let’s break down this debate and go over who would win between boxing vs. BJJ. Check out all the similarities and differences between the two below and the probable outcome.

Boxing vs. BJJ: The Histories

Before we get into who would win in a battle of boxing vs. BJJ, let’s go over their histories. Here are the rich histories of boxing and BJJ.

The History of Boxing 

Boxing is one of the oldest martial arts in the world. Literally, every culture has practiced some form of boxing for centuries. 

We can date the sport of boxing all the way back to the Ancient Greek period. It was also one of the original Olympic sports.

Modern boxing as we know it today began being developed during the late 17th and 18th centuries. During this time, bare knuckle boxing became a popular sport that was practiced throughout Europe and North America.

In 1865, a Welsh sportsman named John Graham Chambers came up with official rules of boxing. These rules were endorsed and named after the 9th Marquess of Queensberry, John Sholto Douglas. 

Chambers’ rules of boxing became known as “The Queensberry Rules” which are what nearly all boxing organizations used. With the formation of these rules, the sport of boxing began being more organized.

Later, everything from a ring, boxing gloves, and boxing weight classes were established to legitimize and organize the sport. Gradually over time, the sport of boxing evolved and became both one of the world’s biggest sports and martial arts.

Today, there are tens of millions of boxing practitioners worldwide.

Boxing Fight

The History of BJJ 

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or “BJJ” as it’s commonly known was first developed around a century ago in Brazil. It’s a form of grappling that evolved off of predominantly the teachings of Judo.

During the early 1900s, Judokas were traveling the world and teaching the art of Judo to the world. A few of these influential Judokas found their way to Brazil and began receiving publicity.

Mitsuyo Maeda is probably the most famous of the early Judokas, who immigrated to Brazil. “Conde Koma” as he was called, did demonstrations throughout Brazil. 

He befriended a Brazilian businessman named Gastao Gracie, who took his son Carlos Gracie Sr. to one of his demonstrations. Carlos Sr. became one of Maeda’s first Judo students, along with another BJJ co-founder named Luiz França Filho.

They took the elements of Judo and made it more ground based that used early forms of a guard. Carlos Sr. taught his brothers, which included Helio Gracie and they created the Gracie version of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

BJJ evolved through no rules Brazilian street fights called Vale Tudo throughout the 20th century. Eventually, the art made its way to the US and received international attention through the Ultimate Fighting Champion(UFC).

The UFC was co-created by Rorion Gracie, who used the no-hold-barred fighting tournament as an advertisement for BJJ. His younger brother Royce Gracie showed the power of Jiu-Jitsu by easily dispatching bigger opponents. 

Royce won the first two UFC tournaments and showed the world the power of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. 

Thanks to the popularity of modern MMA, BJJ was able to grow and prove it’s effectiveness to the world.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Boxing vs. BJJ: The Differences

It would be hard to find two martial arts that are more different than BJJ and boxing. Here are some of the main differences between boxing vs. BJJ.

Striking vs. Grappling

The most obvious difference between the two self defense styles is boxing is a striking art and BJJ is a grappling art. Their principles and purposes are widely different from each other.

In boxing, the purpose is to beat an opponent using punches and BJJ using grappling and submissions to beat an opponent.

Standing vs. Ground

In boxing, all of the techniques involve staying on your feet. The purpose of grappling in BJJ is to take an opponent from a standing  position and put them on the ground.

Gloves vs. No Gloves

In boxing, participants are required to use boxing gloves when practicing the sport. Jiu-Jitsu does not use gloves within the practice of the martial art. Gloves are used in MMA, but that is widely different from pure BJJ.

Fighting Areas

Boxing is traditionally practiced in a ring, while BJJ is practiced on an open mat. Sometimes BJJ is practiced in a ring, but this is only during specific events.

Match Times

A professional boxing match has rounds lasting three minutes. In BJJ, matches are one round and last anywhere from 5 minutes to 20 minutes, depending on the organization’s rules.

Boxing Is A More Popular Sport

The sport of boxing is far more popular than the sport of BJJ. Boxing dwarves BJJ when it comes to the massive size of the sport. Millions tune in to watch big boxing events, while a few thousand tune into a livestream of big BJJ events.

Boxing vs. BJJ: The Similarities 

While boxing vs. BJJ seem to have no similarities between each other, they actually do have two things in common. They are both effective forms of self defense and both used within MMA.

The reason why boxing and BJJ are widely taught forms of self defense is because their techniques are proven effective. If they weren’t effective, then millions of people worldwide wouldn’t be practicing them.

Both styles are also vital parts of the sport of mixed martial arts(MMA). To be a good MMA practitioner, you must have good boxing skills, as well as good grappling skills.

This is why MMA fighters constantly practiced both styles.

Boxing vs. BJJ: The Game Plans 

The gameplans for a boxing vs. BJJ match are pretty straightforward. Here are outlines of the different gameplans for a boxer to beat a BJJ grappler and vice-versa.

The Boxer’s Game Plan 

If a boxer is going to go against a BJJ grappler, they would have to keep the fight standing at all costs. Boxing is one of the best forms of striking, but it only works if a boxer can keep it standing.

They will have to fight like crazy to prevent a BJJ grappler from taking them down. With no grappling taught within boxing, this is a tall order, but they always have a puncher’s chance.

The BJJ Grappler’s Game Plan

The game plan for a BJJ grappler is pretty straightforward. They have to get the fight to the ground as fast as possible and submit the boxer. A BJJ grappler stands no chance against a boxer in a striking battle and will lose if they attempt to trade strikes.


The Verdict

Unfortunately for boxing, it has been proven many times throughout history that BJJ beats boxing in a fight. Boxing is one of the best forms of striking taught in the world, but it only works if there’s no grappling.

Not only would a BJJ grappler beat a boxer, but any wrestler or Judokas would also beat them. However, we will say in order to have better all around self defend skills, you must learn both striking and grappling.

Boxing and BJJ are great forms of self defense and you should learn both to help improve your self defense skills.

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