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Aikido v Jujitsu

November 25, 2019

Aikido and jujitsu – what’s the difference?

Aikido and jujitsu are two of Japan’s most popular martial arts. Both close combat methods are in the grappling category, and feature throwing and striking techniques. And, the similarities do not end there. Both martial arts share similar philosophical roots. In fact, jujitsu is an ancestor of aikido.

Despite this, aikido and jujitsu are quite different in practice. Here are some of the key differences.


Aikido Origins

According to various accounts, jujitsu originated in Japan in the 17th century. One popular theory states that jujitsu was founded by three “ronin” – Fukuno Hichiroemon, Miura Yojiemon, and Isogai Jirozaemon, who were mentored by a Chinese man.

Aikido, on the other hand, has a more precise account. It was founded and developed in the 1920s by Morihei Ueshiba, who saw it as an expression of universal peace, rather than a simple fusion of martial arts styles.


Training styles

In training, jujitsu uses the principles of momentum, based on the force, balance and leverage of your opponent. By contrast, aikido utilises endurance, flexibility and controlled relaxation. In aikido, pushing and extending movements are used more often than pulling and contracting movements.

Aikido places less emphasis on strength training, and is therefore classified as a “soft” martial art.



Both aikido and jujitsu use weaponry as a primary combat method. In jujitsu, knives, weighted chains, helmet smashers and disguised weapons are commonly used. While aikido uses short staff, wooden swords and knives.


Fighting techniques

Jujitsu focuses on combat methods which lock joints, which is achieved by disrupting your opponent’s stability. With their balance reduced, they are vulnerable to throws and takedowns. And, most jujitsu throws are performed in a straight line, to capitalise on the attacker’s momentum.

Conversely, basic aikido attack moves include strikes and grabs, while pins and throws are primarily used for defence.

Unlike jujitsu, aikido throws are based on circular movements. Some of these basic moves include a series of throws, such as: four-direction, heaven-and-earth, figure-ten and rotary throws.


Would you like to learn more about aikido? You’ve come to the right place. At Sen Shin Dojo, we offer innovative aikido training, ki shiatsu, ki cultivation and more.


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