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Ne-Waza and Jiu-Jitsu: Comparing and Contrasting the Ground Arts

*Written by Artificial Intelligence*

Ne-Waza and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) are both intricate martial arts that emphasize ground fighting techniques. While they share some similarities due to their common ancestry and technical overlap, they have evolved in distinct ways with different focuses. Let's explore the similarities and differences between these two fascinating disciplines.


  1. Roots in Judo: Ne-Waza translates to "ground techniques" and refers to the groundwork component of Judo. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu's origins can be traced back to Judo, and as such, many techniques in BJJ are derived from Judo's Ne-Waza.

  2. Ground Techniques: Both Ne-Waza and BJJ emphasize pins, joint locks, and strangles. These techniques aim to control, submit, or incapacitate an opponent on the ground.

  3. Guard Play: The concept of the guard (where one person is on their back using their legs for control and defense) is prevalent in both Ne-Waza and BJJ. Variations like the closed guard, open guard, and half-guard are explored in both disciplines.

  4. Escapes and Reversals: Both arts teach techniques to escape from disadvantageous positions, like escaping from pins or reversing positions to gain a dominant top position.


  1. Sportive Focus: In traditional Judo competitions, Ne-Waza tends to be more time-restricted. If competitors are deemed inactive or if there's no progression on the ground, they are often quickly stood up by the referee. In contrast, BJJ competitions allow for more extended ground engagements, leading to a deeper exploration of ground techniques.

  2. Technical Emphasis: While Ne-Waza covers ground techniques, it is just one component of Judo, which also includes standing techniques (Tachi-Waza). BJJ, on the other hand, places a more significant emphasis on ground fighting, leading to a broader range of positions, submissions, and strategies.

  3. Guard Diversity: While both arts utilize the guard, BJJ has a more extensive array of guard variations, such as spider guard, De La Riva guard, and worm guard, among others. This diversity has evolved due to the sport's deep focus on ground engagements.

  4. Point System: In competitions, BJJ often has a point system that awards points for achieving specific positions or completing certain actions (like passing the guard). Traditional Judo competitions, while scoring for Ne-Waza pins, tend to prioritize throws for scoring.

  5. Cultural and Philosophical Differences: BJJ has its roots in Brazil, leading to cultural and philosophical differences in training, competition, and the martial art's overall approach. Ne-Waza, being a part of Judo, carries with it the Japanese martial tradition's philosophies and etiquette.


While Ne-Waza and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu share a common lineage and many technical similarities, they have distinct characteristics shaped by their historical development, competition rules, and cultural influences. Both arts offer rich and complex ground fighting systems, and understanding both can provide a more comprehensive perspective on ground combat.

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