Boxing vs BJJ – Differences | Which is better?


Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and boxing are both fantastic martial arts- suitable for many purposes, such as fighting, self-defense, and self-improvement. As a result, learning one of these will grant you many benefits. However, while they’re similar, they have broad gaps separating them. So, let’s discuss their similarities and differences.

Boxing is a martial art that focuses on punching and weight transfer to cause massive damage with a single strike. On the other hand, BJJ is the art of ground grappling, which is fantastic for disabling an opponent quickly and efficiently. Both provide numerous benefits to their practitioners.

I’m a big fan of martial arts, as they changed my life. I have been practicing boxing for the past 3-years. Briefly, it has improved my mental and physical health drastically, which is highly desirable in today’s world. 

However, you may be struggling to choose one to learn. That’s natural because boxing and BJJ can attract you. However, one may be more suitable than the other. This post will demonstrate the differences and similarities between BJJ and boxing. By reading this article, you’ll comprehend the two fighting styles deeper. 

Thus choosing one- becomes more accessible than ever. For instance, after you know the fighting techniques you’ll learn in each one, you’ll make a more deliberate choice. 

What is boxing?

As the fighter threw a left hook, the hit landed while his fist was filled with sweat and blood. The other fighter couldn’t help but notice the left hook moving toward him as if it was slow-motion. While the hit landed, the second boxer fell to the flow when the stadium began filling with cheers.

Boxing is a martial art that teaches punching both for offense and defense. Additionally, trainees learn to use footwork and weight-transfer movements to generate more force for their punches. Consequently, causing massive damage with a single hit- is inevitable. 

Boxing is one of the oldest known sports today, with 2,000-year-old depictions on the walls of tombs in Egypt and stone carvings indicating that Sumerians—who lived in what is now Iraq—boxed at least 5,000 years ago. Boxing got its start as an exhausting and brutal spectacle. 


This article will demonstrate some of boxing’s pros and cons. Additionally, we’ll compare it to BJJ, another martial art we’ll discuss next.

What is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ)? 

As the Jiu-Jitsu trainee threw a glance at the other fighter, he leaned on him, and both ended on the floor. The BJJ trainee took a leap and locked his head with both legs. The other fighter couldn’t breathe- as the floor shook with cheers; the tap-out eventually came. 

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is the art of ground grappling. It teaches various techniques that eventually will force the opponent to submit. Jiu-Jitsu has many styles, and the Brazilian is one of them. BJJ is one of the best martial arts for self-defense and general fighting. 

Many UFC fighters use Jiu-Jitsu as their primary fighting style, and therefore they’re able to dominate their competition. But unfortunately, most fighters aren’t ready when you throw them to the floor and force them to fall unconscious. 

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or BJJ derives from Japanese jiu-jitsu and Judo imported to South America in the early 1900s, and its transformation into a new martial art style by a group of Brazilian pioneers. Before it arrived in Brazil the origins of jiu-jitsu are believed to go back thousands of years. 


Similarities between boxing and BJJ

All fighting styles are similar in a sense. For instance, most of them serve the same purpose: to teach people to fight appropriately. Knowing these similarities will assist you in choosing one to learn. 

For example, if you know that both BJJ and boxing serve the same purpose, you begin to understand what these martial arts are here to accomplish. Consequently, the next time you think of which one to pick up, you’ll have a better comparison. 

The following sections will discuss the 4-similarities will aid you in choosing one to learn. If you’re unsure which one to choose, I encourage you to focus on understanding the subsequent sections. 

  • #1- They both are suitable for self-defense.
  • #2- Their purpose is the same.
  • #3- Both BJJ and boxing provide mental and physical benefits.
  • #4- BJJ and boxing are effective for fitness
  • #1- The fighting techniques
  • #2- Their origin
  • #3- Boxing is easier to learn.
  • #4- The rules

#1- They both are suitable for self-defense.

All fighting styles, at their core, teach people to fight and use their bodies for self-defense. As a result, most of them will have this characteristic. Let’s examine whether our martial arts possess a similar state. 

BJJ and boxing are suitable for self-defense since they teach effective and practical fighting techniques, such as punching and grappling. Each of these martial arts focuses on a different approach to fighting. Yet, they achieve the same purpose, which is being effective for self-defense. 

boxing fight
Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

Eventually, it’ll help if you learn suitable martial arts if your goal is to use self-defense. To further clarify, many fighting styles aren’t ideal for fighting purposes as others. For instance, Judo is more effective for fighting than Tai chi. 

As a result, knowing which one is the best for self-defense- is critical. Thus I wrote an article on the best martial arts for self-defense you should learn. If you’re unsure which one to learn, I encourage you to read it, as it explains this matter in detail. 

Finally, if your goal is to learn self-defense, I have no doubts you’ll enjoy BJJ and boxing since they teach valuable techniques. As a result, you’ll become capable of using the movements you’ll learn for your safety, which is beneficial. 

#2- Their purpose is the same.

As previously discussed, most martial arts exist to teach people to use fighting techniques to protect themselves. As a result, their purpose is the same as the others. However, is it valid for BJJ and boxing? Let’s dive in.

Both BJJ and boxing serve the same purpose: to teach people fighting techniques. As a result, their trainees become capable of using these techniques for self-defense purposes. For instance, one can disable a hostile quickly with a Jiu-Jitsu movement, such as a ground grapple.

That said, one may be more suitable than the other for your needs and desires. Thus it’ll help if you read this article, as it has valuable information spread throughout the sections.

No matter your goal in learning martial arts, you’ll learn to fight accordingly. There is a correlation between how dedicated you are to how many benefits and results you’ll notice. Hence you must invest sweaty effort into training. Therefore, you’ll learn to fight and thus achieve their purpose. 

#3- Both BJJ and boxing provide mental and physical benefits.

One of the more significant, more valuable results of doing martial arts is the countless benefits one will notice. But again, the more dedicated you are to training, the more results and benefits you’ll see sooner. Let’s demonstrate some of them. 

Boxing and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu provide numerous mental and physical benefits. For instance, one can expect increased confidence and self-esteem, better endurance, lower stress and aggression levels, lower body fat, and even better mental health. 

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

If you noticed, these are all incredibly desirable and hard-to-attain traits. If you can improve these pillars in your life while learning to fight accordingly, wouldn’t you jump on the opportunity? Well, I may see it in a way that makes you want to begin training. However, it’s up to you. 

I’ve noticed most of the benefits I mentioned in my training time. As a result, I’m confident that you can do the same if you invest yourself in the training process. However, if you don’t invest as much effort, you may experience no results or benefits. 

Some studies back my points. For example, here is one that demonstrates the physical benefits of boxing. 

Key benefits of fitness boxing Source

  • Improves balance.
  • Helps posture.
  • Strengthens upper- body and core.
  • Boosts endurance.
  • May increase alertness.
  • Enhances mood.
  • Improves hand-eye coordination.

Eventually, all of these are fantastic benefits that, if you could improve immediately, you would jump on the option. Yet, when it comes to dedicating yourself to a cause, many people don’t commit. So think with yourself whether you wish to invest or to flee. 

#4- BJJ and boxing are effective for fitness

I previously mentioned some physical benefits boxing offers its trainees. Because of that, I’d like to further expand on these characteristics since I believe they’re crucial for your decision-making process.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and boxing are effective for fitness because their training sessions burn more calories than many other sports. As a result, improving your endurance and physical shape goes hand-in-hand with the dedication and consistency you show in training. 

Many of the benefits are correlated. For example, if you burn excess body fat and look better, your mental health will increase since you start appreciating your body. That’s just one instance where the psychological and physical link. Yet, there are plenty more from where these came from.

For your information, an hour of boxing burns 800-calories on average. If you’re familiar with the number of calories and their meaning, that’s plenty. In fact, 800-calories is the difference between gaining and losing excess body fat. 

Additionally, an hour of BJJ burns 706 calories on average. Again, that number is critical for improving your physical and, thus, your mental health. I hope you comprehend the importance they can have over your physical condition.  

Differences between boxing and BJJ

Thus far, we have discussed the similarities between boxing and BJJ. Now that we better comprehend these two martial arts, let’s move on to part II of this article. The following sections will discuss the differences between the two discussed martial arts. 

I highly recommend paying attention, as choosing one may make the difference. If you’re struggling to pick one out of these two, I have no doubts the following sections will be most critical for your decision-making process. 

Briefly, here are the differences. After that, we’ll expand upon each one and explain why knowing it is essential. 

  1. The fighting techniques
  2. Their origin
  3. Boxing is easier to learn than BJJ.
  4. The rules

#1- The fighting techniques

Every fighting style is unique- since each teaches its fighting techniques differently. For instance, while Muay-Thai and Kickboxing both teach punching and kicking, they’re different in their style. So let’s examine the fighting movements our martial arts teach. 

While boxing is the art of punching, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu teaches ground grappling. These two techniques are incredibly different, and therefore, one may suit you better than the other. For instance, you may not be eager to learn grappling movements, yet, you’ll be keen to learn to punch. 

This, perhaps- is the primary metric one should follow when choosing one’s martial art. If you’re looking to maximize your results and enjoyment, it’ll be best if you study techniques that you think are effective. Although they may be practical, you might not enjoy exploring them. 

Consequently, if you have no desire to learn punching variations, boxing won’t fit. So, how can I know which fighting technique I’ll enjoy?

Think to yourself whether you’ll enjoy learning the art of punching while combining them with many combos and appropriate footwork. Moreover, you’ll learn to use weight-transfer techniques to cause massive damage and disable a hostile with several punches. 

On the other hand, if you want to master the art of ground grappling, BJJ is most likely the best choice. You’ll practice maneuvering your opponent while you’re both on the ground. As a result, you’ll become capable of disabling an attacker with a single move- relatively quickly. 

I encourage you to watch the two videos I listed above. Both will aid you in fully comprehending some of the basic techniques you’ll learn in each martial art. Consider treating it as if it’s a video game and you’re choosing your skillset. 

#2- Their origin

Part of what makes a martial art as unique as it is- is its origins. At first, one may wonder whether this matters as much as the other metrics. For example, it shouldn’t matter if you’re familiar with which fighting techniques you’ll learn. However, knowing these details- is a sign that you comprehend and are familiar with the style you’re about to learn. 

Boxing originates from Great Britain. It has a vibrant history, and even the Great Pyramids in Egypt have various signs that boxing existed back then. On the other hand, Jiu-Jitsu is a Japanese fighting style that utilizes diverse ground grappling techniques. 

But again, knowing which martial art originates from which place shouldn’t influence your decision. So instead, let the information enrich you while you begin to form a picture of these two fighting styles. 

#3- Boxing is easier to learn.

Choosing which martial art to learn by following which one is simpler- is a valid metric. For instance, you may decide to learn Judo and not MMA since it’s easier to understand. So let’s discuss our topic while comparing their simplicity. 

Boxing is easier to learn than BJJ since it includes uncomplicated techniques (punching), so understanding its basics- will take less time. On the other hand, jiu-Jitsu is a complicated fighting style- as it’s unintuitive. On the other hand, everyone knows to punch somehow or another. 

If you don’t want to invest many hours in learning the basics of Jiu-Jitsu, it’s a natural metric to follow. If that sounds like you, consider studying boxing- as you won’t have to invest as much time. 

Additionally, punching is incredibly intuitive since everyone punches a few times throughout their lives. On the other hand, learning to ground grapple will take more time to get used to. As a result, one may find oneself incapable of learning BJJ’s basics. 

#4- The rules

Although I have never professionally competed, I’m familiar with both martial arts’ competitive rules. However, they’re incredibly different since the fighting styles have broad gaps. For instance, their objectives are pretty distinct. 

Boxing is the art of striking. As a result, you can’t use any other techniques, such as kicking or grappling. Moreover, the objective is to use punches to knock out the opponent. First, however, here are some of the basic rules you need to know. 

  • Punching anywhere in the back parts of the opponent’s head isn’t allowed.
  • The use of kicking, grappling, or any other technique that’s not striking- isn’t authorized
  • Boxers can win in 3-primary ways; knockout, decision, and disqualification.

On the other hand, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art that focuses on grappling. Thus the objective is to submit to and master the opponent using such movements. But, first, let’s examine some of the rules it includes.

  • Any technique other than grappling, such as kicking or striking- isn’t authorized.
  • No slamming your opponent
  • Leaving the mat for any purpose other than surrendering- isn’t allowed. 

Thus far, we have discussed the differences between BJJ and boxing. You most likely have a fighting style you’d instead learn since you have a basic understanding of the two martial arts. However, you may not completely understand the value they hold. 

For that reason, I’d like to invite you to read the rest of this article, as I’ll be examining some of the common cases of people learning martial arts. As a result, you’ll match your pursuit while seeing which fighting style best fits your needs and goals. 

I wrote an article on the best martial arts for self-defense. If you’re unsure which one you want to learn- I encourage you to read it as well. 

Which is better, BJJ or boxing?

Comparing two martial arts- is as tricky as it gets. Frankly, I feel that if I were to say which one is better, I would sin. However, for the sake of this article, I would try and land the most uncomplicated answer to this question. 

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is better than boxing since the BJJ fighter would have a relatively effortless time beating a boxer since defending against grappling- is incredibly difficult. Moreover, a boxer on his back is a white belt. However, both are highly suitable for fighting purposes.

Image by BedexpStock from Pixabay

Although I said that BJJ is better than boxing, it’s not as accurate as you may think. I referred to a hypothetical situation where a boxer and a BJJ trainee were to fight;. In that case, Jiu-Jitsu would come out victorious since grappling a boxer is relatively simple. 

That said, many would prefer studying boxing- since it’s more straightforward and effective for self-defense and all fighting purposes. Consequently, I can’t suggest that one is ultimately better than the other- although I’m confident that the boxer would lose in such a scenario.

Finally, I’d like to mention that you shouldn’t let that section discourage you if you plan on studying boxing. You’ll become a solid fighter- capable of performing practical feats regarding fighting. Consequently, it’s a fantastic martial art everyone can enjoy. 

Is BJJ suitable for street fights?

What makes a fighting style suitable for street fights? The answer to that is whether it teaches practical fighting techniques effective for self-defense. For instance, boxing is ideal for street fights, as it teaches various effective fighting movements, such as punches. 

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is suitable for street fights since it teaches ground grappling techniques, which are incredibly effective for street fights. As a result, Jiu-Jitsu trainees become capable of using the techniques they learned for self-defense and any fighting purpose. 

Eventually, ground grappling is incredibly effective since you can disable any attacker or hostile- regardless of their size. For instance, you can use a common technique: the triangle choke, to master any attacker you stumble upon. 

Who wins, BJJ or boxing?

As I previously discussed, comparing two martial arts- is incredibly tricky. To do so, we must picture a hypothetical situation where two fighters fight. As a result, we could assume which one would win. So let’s discuss our situation. 

Assuming they’re equally skilled in a fight between a BJJ trainee and a boxer, the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighter would win since most boxers don’t know how to defend against grapples. Additionally, a boxer on his back is relatively inefficient with strikes and punches. 

If you’re familiar with the rules of boxing, whenever a fighter ends up on one’s back, the fight ceases until the boxer gets up. Because of that, most boxing training won’t involve defending and reacting to situations where you are on your back. Contrary to that, Jiu-Jitsu teaches reacting to both conditions, on the back and standing up. 

Which is better for self-defense, boxing, or BJJ?

When comparing two martial arts for self-defense, the metrics change. We’re looking for the fighting style that provides the most utility. Thus we would become capable of disabling attackers quicker and decrease our chances of getting hurt. 

BJJ is better for self-defense than boxing since it provides more utility and it’s more dynamic. As a result, Jiu-Jitsu trainees can use the techniques they learned to quickly disable any attacker- regardless of their size. Boxing is less effective than BJJ, yet, it is still relatively sound. 

On the other hand, boxing will make you a solid fighter since you’ll spar countless times. Hence you’ll get used to getting hit often and not pay attention to it. Additionally, it teaches you highly effective techniques for fighting, in general, such as a variety of punching movements. 

Overall, both boxing and Jiu-Jitsu are suitable for self-defense. Yet, the latter is better since it provides more utility you can later use to disable the attacker quicker than if you were to learn the first. Yet, these are generalizations, and thus there may be specific instances where the result is different. 

Is boxing easier to learn than BJJ?

Although all martial arts are demanding to learn, some contain more straightforward techniques. Consequently, one can understand its basics in less time than other styles. 

Following this as a metric- is wise since many people are unwilling to invest many weeks in learning a martial art. Instead, they wish to study an easy-to-learn fighting style so they can use the techniques for their benefit. 

Boxing is simpler than BJJ since it involves less complex fighting techniques. Punching is intuitive for most people, while ground grappling takes time and more hours to study. Because of that, you can learn the fundamentals of boxing in less time than BJJ. 

If you’re struggling to make a choice on which martial art you wish to learn, you may use this metric to aid you in your decision-making process. Since boxing is more straightforward, you may desire to learn it over other martial arts, such as BJJ, Muay-Thai, or MMA. 

Benefits of BJJ

All participants initially displayed symptoms of PTSD, which significantly reduced over the course of the study. Participants report that the therapeutic benefits of BJJ practice include assertiveness, self-confidence, self-control, patience, empathy, empowerment, improved sleep, and mindfulness


As you can tell, BJJ provides its trainees with many benefits, such as confidence, empathy, and better sleep. If you could improve all these aspects immediately, you would jump on the opportunity. 

Because of that, wouldn’t you invest the required effort and dedication to improving these aspects of your life? As a result, your well-being would instantly enhance, making you more fulfilled and more willing to improve yourself. 

In addition, one can expect to drastically improve one’s physical condition since it’s part of the training process.

Benefits of boxing

The physical benefits of boxing training Source

  • Improved Cardiovascular Health.
  • Better Overall Body Strength.
  • Increased Hand-Eye Coordination.
  • Increased muscle mass.
  • Better Stamina and Endurance.
  • Decreased Stress.
  • Better sleep quality.
  • Improved Confidence.

In front of you are some primary benefits one can expect from consistently training in boxing. These are similar to the ones of BJJ, as they’re both martial arts that serve a similar purpose. Thus you’ll improve many similar aspects in yourself- by training in either. 

There’s a correlation between the effort you invest into your training and the number of results you’ll feel. Frankly, many folks don’t invest as much as they can and therefore don’t progress as much as they could have. Remember that you can improve your well-being in correlation with the effort you invest.

Which is better for fitness?

Many people do martial arts for the physical part of it. However, their only desire is to participate in some outdoor activity, which happens to fall into the category of learning to fight. Therefore, knowing which one is better for fitness- may be critical for your decision process. 

BJJ is better than boxing for fitness since it provides a full-body workout, including flexibility and other muscle-building drills. To clarify, BJJ uses more parts of the body, and hence it’ll burn more calories and provide a better muscle development balance. 

That said, both martial arts are fantastic for fitness. In fact, by doing either, you’ll result in a better physical condition in a shorter time than you may expect. For example, I’ve noticed such improvements after 1 session of boxing. 

Should I learn boxing or BJJ?

First, I would like to mention that participating in any martial art- is incredibly wise since you’ll be bettering yourself after every little effort you invest. First, however, let’s discuss whether you should learn boxing or BJJ

Consider boxing if you desire to learn a simple fighting style that utilizes punching and is effective both for self-improvement and self-defense. On the other hand, BJJ is for you if you’re interested in studying rather complicated ground grappling techniques. 

Frankly, this is generalizing these two martial arts. However, it’s as accurate as it gets. In fact, when I struggled to choose which martial art I should learn, I thought to myself about which one was most suitable for me. 

At that time, I was unwilling to invest a few months in learning the basics, and therefore I chose boxing, as it’s relatively uncomplicated. I couldn’t have made a better choice- since it has completely changed my life with countless benefits and results. 

On the other hand, Jiu-Jitsu may be more suitable for your desires. As a result, don’t hesitate to learn it, as it’s fantastic martial art. Additionally, it’s incredibly effective for self-defense and any fighting purpose. 

Final words

Both boxing and BJJ are fantastic martial arts suitable for fighting and self-defense. As a result, learning any of them- is an excellent choice. 

Both provide many mental and physical benefits, such as increased confidence and self-esteem, while improving overall physical condition. Because of that, I encourage you to learn any fighting style- since it’ll change your life. 

If you could take a single piece of advice from this article, it is that learning any martial art- is incredibly beneficial. As a result, if you could simply begin without overthinking which one to learn, it won’t matter in the long run.

Instead, experiment with the different fighting styles and then decide which one to master. 

I had a blast writing this article, as it’s a close subject to my heart. Additionally, if you enjoyed this content, I would recommend reading an article I wrote on what age is too late to begin doing martial arts. 


I've served in the military as a special forces operator for 4-years. In that period, I've trained in many martial arts, including karate, MMA, BJJ, boxing, and even Krav Maga. I want to share my passion with you, so here it is!

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