Comparing MMA and BJJ: Which is Right for You?

Posted Sep 21st, 2023

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) are two of the most popular and respected fighting disciplines in the world. While they do share some commonalities, they also have unique qualities and characteristics that make them distinct.

If you’re considering diving into the world of martial arts and are trying to decide between these two, this article is for you. We’ll compare MMA and BJJ in terms of their techniques, training methods, fitness benefits, and competition settings to help you determine which one aligns more with your personal goals and preferences.

1. Techniques and Focus

MMA: As the name suggests, MMA is a mix of various martial arts, bringing together striking arts (like boxing and Muay Thai) and grappling arts (like wrestling and BJJ). This means that an MMA fighter needs to be proficient both standing up and on the ground.

BJJ:BJJ primarily focuses on ground fighting. It’s about using leverage and technique to submit your opponent via locks and chokes, making it possible for a smaller, weaker person to defeat a bigger, stronger opponent.

2. Training Methods

MMA:MMA training is diverse. You might find yourself boxing one day, working on your kickboxing the next, and grappling the day after. This variety can make MMA training very engaging, but it also means you’re spreading your attention across multiple disciplines.

BJJ: In BJJ, the emphasis is on drilling techniques, positional sparring, and rolling (a form of sparring where participants try to submit each other). The focus is narrower, allowing practitioners to delve deeply into the nuances of ground combat.

3. Fitness Benefits

MMA:MMA provides a full-body workout. The combination of striking and grappling ensures you’re constantly moving, boosting cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, strength, and agility. It’s an intense workout, suitable for those looking to push their limits.

BJJ: While BJJ is also a comprehensive workout, it emphasizes endurance, flexibility, and core strength. The slow-paced and methodical nature of BJJ means it can be less intense than an MMA session, but don’t be fooled — it’s still a tough workout, especially when rolling at higher intensities.

4. Competition Setting

MMA: MMA competitions are multifaceted, with fighters using strikes, takedowns, and submissions to win. Fights can be won via knockout, technical knockout, submission, or judges’ decision. MMA fights are held inside a cage or a ring, and the objective is to incapacitate your opponent or dominate them enough to get a favorable decision.

BJJ: Competitions in BJJ are about gaining points through positional control or winning outright with a submission. Strikes are not allowed. Matches can be won by accumulating points, submission, or referees’ decision. There’s also a strong emphasis on weight classes and belt levels, ensuring fair matchups.

Which is Right for You?

If you love variety: MMA offers a broader spectrum of techniques, combining elements from striking and grappling arts. This can be appealing if you enjoy learning a mix of styles.

If you’re concerned about safety: While injuries can happen in any sport, BJJ generally has fewer risks associated with strikes to the head. BJJ is more about control and technique, whereas MMA incorporates powerful strikes that can lead to knockouts.

If you prefer specialization: BJJ allows you to dive deeply into the world of grappling. It’s a chess game on the mat, where strategy, technique, and patience are vital.

If you seek full-contact competition: MMA is about as close as you can get to a real-life self-defense situation, testing both your striking and grappling under pressure.

In conclusion, both MMA and BJJ offer unique experiences, challenges, and benefits. Your choice depends on your interests, fitness goals, and how you envision your martial arts journey. 

Some people even choose to train for both simultaneously, enjoying the best of both worlds. Regardless of your choice, both disciplines foster respect, discipline, and continuous learning — values that are beneficial in and out of the dojo.

If you are curious to learn more about either MMA or BJJ, Etobicoke Martial Arts is your local martial arts training center, providing world-class martial arts instruction in Etobicoke, and serving Toronto, and the wider GTA. Our instructors are specialists in their disciplines, and can give you the rundown on all there is to know about the difference between MMA and BJJ and so much more!

Learn More

Mastering the Art of Self-Defense: 10 Essential Martial Art Techniques

Posted Jul 17th, 2023

In an unpredictable world where personal safety is paramount, learning the art of self-defence is valuable. Martial arts offer a comprehensive and effective approach to self-defence, empowering individuals to protect themselves and others. To embark on this journey, it’s crucial to focus on mastering essential techniques that form the foundation of any martial art discipline.

Stance and Footwork:

The foundation of any martial art technique lies in a solid stance and efficient footwork. Learning to position your feet correctly, distribute your weight, and maintain balance allows for stability and mobility during combat situations. Practice holding a proper stance and mastering footwork patterns to enhance your agility and control.

Punches and Strikes:

Punches and strikes form the core of striking techniques. Develop a solid and accurate punch by understanding the mechanics of your body, such as rotating the hips, extending the arm fully, and aligning your knuckles correctly. Combine this with proper body alignment and weight transfer for maximum power and speed.


Kicks are versatile techniques that offer both defensive and offensive capabilities. Focus on mastering a variety of kicks, including front kicks, roundhouse kicks, side kicks, and back kicks. Understanding the correct technique, balance, and timing will enable you to deliver powerful and precise kicks while maintaining control.

Blocks and Parries:

Defence is just as important as offence in martial arts. Learning various blocking and parrying techniques allows you to effectively deflect or neutralize incoming attacks. Practice different blocking techniques, such as high blocks, low blocks, and parries, to develop reflexes and protect yourself against strikes.

Joint Locks and Grappling:

In close-quarters combat, joint locks and grappling techniques are invaluable. Mastering joint locks lets you control and immobilize your opponent by applying leverage on their joints. Additionally, learning grappling techniques, such as throws, takedowns, and submissions, enhances your ability to dominate and restrain an assailant.

Strikes to Vital Points:

An essential aspect of self-defence is targeting an assailant’s vulnerable areas. Understanding the body’s vital points, such as the eyes, throat, groin, and solar plexus, enables you to incapacitate an attacker effectively. Practice striking these areas with precision and force to neutralize threats swiftly.

Breathing and Focus:

Proper breathing and mental focus play a crucial role in martial arts. Learning to control your breathing helps manage stress, increase stamina, and enhance overall performance. Cultivate mental focus and concentration to react quickly and make split-second decisions during combat.

Sparring and Realistic Training:

Regular sparring and realistic training are essential to apply martial art techniques effectively. Engaging in controlled, full-contact sparring with training partners simulates real-world combat scenarios. This allows you to test your skills, improve timing and accuracy, and develop the ability to adapt to different fighting styles.

Weapon Techniques:

Many martial arts disciplines incorporate weapon training. Learning weapon techniques enhances your self-defence repertoire and provides additional protection tools. Familiarize yourself with weapons such as sticks, knives, and staffs, and practice their techniques under expert guidance.

Continuous Practice and Discipline:

Becoming a master of self-defence requires dedication, discipline, and consistent practice. Regularly attend classes, workshops, and seminars to refine your techniques, learn from experienced instructors, and push your limits. Maintain a disciplined training routine and embrace a growth mindset to continuously improve your skills.

Mastering the art of self-defence involves developing a solid foundation in essential martial art techniques. By focusing on fundamental aspects such as stance, strikes, blocks, joint locks, and grappling, you can become a proficient practitioner capable of defending yourself in various situations. Remember, self-defence is not just about physical techniques but also encompasses mental fortitude, discipline, and continuous practice. Embrace the journey, and empower yourself with the art of self-defence.

Learn More

The Top 5 Martial Arts for Kid Warriors!

Posted Jul 10th, 2023

In a world that demands resilience, confidence, and discipline, martial arts offers a powerful solution for parents seeking to equip their children with essential life skills. Martial arts training provides both self-defence techniques and a holistic approach to personal growth, physical fitness, and mental well-being. Join us as we dive into martial arts and discover the perfect path for your child’s development, empowerment, and success!

Kids Jiu-Jitsu: The Art of Ground Control

Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art focusing on grappling, ground control, and submission holds. It empowers children with problem-solving skills, discipline, and self-defence capabilities. Kids develop coordination, flexibility, and mental agility by mastering Jiu-Jitsu techniques. Jiu-Jitsu teaches them the importance of patience, perseverance, and respect for themselves and others.

Kids Boxing: The Sweet Science of Discipline

Boxing classes for kids provide an opportunity to enhance physical fitness, coordination, and self-confidence. Children learn proper punching techniques, footwork, and defensive skills through boxing training. They develop discipline, focus, and mental resilience while improving cardiovascular health. Boxing teaches kids the importance of discipline, respect, and sportsmanship.

Muay Thai for Kids: The Art of Eight Limbs

Muay Thai, also known as Thai Boxing, is a martial art that focuses on strikes using fists, elbows, knees, and shins. Muay Thai training improves cardiovascular endurance, strength, and coordination. It enhances self-defence skills and builds mental toughness. Muay Thai instills discipline, respect, and perseverance in kids, preparing them to face challenges both inside and outside the training arena.

Karate: The Way of the Warrior

Karate, originating from Japan, is a martial art that focuses on striking techniques and forms. It empowers children with self-confidence, discipline, and respect. Through practicing karate, children develop physical strength, enhance focus, and cultivate self-control. They learn the importance of perseverance, humility, and integrity. Karate instills a sense of responsibility and empowers children to face challenges head-on.

Taekwondo: Inner Strength

Originating from Korea, Taekwondo is a martial art renowned for its dynamic kicks and high-flying techniques. Taekwondo training helps children improve flexibility, balance, and coordination. It instills a never-give-up attitude, teaching them to overcome obstacles through determination and perseverance. Taekwondo empowers children to believe in themselves and their abilities, fostering a sense of achievement and self-belief.

Finding the best martial arts for kids is essential for their growth and enjoyment. So, embrace the power of martial arts and empower your child to unleash their inner warrior. Witness their growth, confidence, and the development of lifelong skills that will shape them into resilient individuals. Let martial arts be their guide, and watch them thrive on the path to greatness. Equip your child with the tools to navigate life’s challenges, celebrate their accomplishments, and embrace the warrior within. The top four martial arts for kid warriors are waiting to transform your child’s life —step into this world of endless possibilities and watch them soar!

Learn More

The Benefits of Martial Arts: Unlocking Your True Potential

Posted Jul 10th, 2023

Martial arts is a dynamic discipline that encompasses both physical and mental development. Beyond self-defence, it offers a transformative journey that can profoundly impact various aspects of our lives. It goes beyond punches, kicks, and grappling techniques, shaping individuals in ways far beyond the training mat. The benefits of martial arts encompass physical fitness, mental well-being, and the development of valuable life skills. Join us on this exploration as we uncover the true power of martial arts.

Delivers Strength

Engaging in martial arts training is an incredibly effective way to strengthen and target specific muscle groups, resulting in increased endurance, flexibility, and overall strength. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Kickboxing are two martial arts that offer comprehensive workout routines with distinct focuses-controlled power and explosive agility, respectively. Incorporating these disciplines into your fitness regimen is imperative to achieve optimal results.

Forge Character Through Discipline

Discipline lies at the core of martial arts philosophy. Students develop self-discipline, self-motivation, and a strong work ethic through dedicated training. Martial arts cultivate perseverance, humility, and respect for oneself and others. The structured environment and adherence to specific techniques and protocols foster discipline that extends beyond the practice area, influencing daily habits, time management, and personal growth.

Powerful Tool for Anxiety Relief

Martial arts training is a powerful tool for managing anxiety and reducing stress. The physical exertion and mental focus required during practice allow individuals to channel their energy constructively, promoting emotional well-being. The meditative aspects of martial arts cultivate mindfulness and self-control, enabling practitioners to effectively cope with anxiety-inducing situations. Additionally, the camaraderie and support within the martial arts community foster a sense of belonging, alleviating isolation and anxiety.

Life-Changing Self-Defense Skills

Learning self-defence techniques not only equips individuals with practical and effective ways to defend against physical threats but also instills confidence and security. By mastering techniques such as strikes, blocks, and grappling maneuvers, individuals can develop the ability to respond swiftly and decisively in challenging circumstances. Beyond the physical aspect, self-defence training teaches situational awareness, risk assessment, and de-escalation strategies, emphasizing the importance of prevention and avoidance whenever possible. With self-defence skills, individuals can feel empowered and prepared, knowing they have the tools to protect themselves and their loved ones if needed.

Personal Growth

Learning martial arts instills determination, endurance, and goal-setting skills, contributing to personal growth. It emphasizes focus, commitment, and overcoming obstacles in all aspects of life. By fostering positive changes, it promotes lifelong learning and self-discovery.

Martial Arts is a holistic practice that fosters discipline, confidence, focus, and respect. The journey of martial arts is not just about mastering techniques but also about mastering oneself. It teaches us to push beyond our limits, overcome challenges, and cultivate a solid mind-body connection. Whether seeking to build strength, improve mental well-being, or enhance self-discipline, martial arts provide a transformative path toward personal growth and a fulfilling life. So, embrace the power of martial arts and embark on a journey that will empower and inspire you both on and off the mat.

Learn More