It’s commonly understood that Judo, Jujitsu, and Aikido are grappling systems that employ joint locks, throws, and take downs. But if you ask most martial artist’s what the difference is between the three arts you will get a simple answer like, “Judo is a sport, Aikido is soft style grappling, and Jujitsu is hard style grappling”. All that answer usually does is confuse the you more. It’s sort of like the common answer to the difference between karate and kung fu. “Karate is hard and kung fu is soft.” Again, your left with a question, what’s hard and what’s soft? Well, one could write volumes on the subject and then the debates would begin.
What’s the difference?
The Philosophical Differences
In looking at the differences between judo, jujitsu, and aikido one needs to understand the difference between a “Do” and a “Jutsu”. (Note: Jutsu is spelled jitsu at times, both are now commonly used.) These two terms are used in the Japanese language to define the philosophy behind the two types of arts. The use of these two terms is why we see style names such as Judo, Jujitsu, Aikido, Aiki-Jitsu, Karate Do, Karate Jitsu, Kendo, Kenjutsu, and so on.
“Jutsu” is a term used to link a fighting method with the martial disciplines of war, rather than with the sporting or aesthetic practices of modern Japan. The Samurai or warrior arts are referred to as “jutsu’s”.
“Do” or “Way”, describes a martial art that stresses philosophy with moral and spiritual connotations; the ultimate aim being enlightenment and personal development.
One could perhaps summarize and simplify the difference between the two by saying that “Jutsu” styles are concerned with defeating the opponent; while “Do” styles are concerned with defeating one’s self.
The Historical Differences
Both judo and aikido have their origin’s in the Japanese fighting system known as jujitsu. Although jujitsu has not had a neat, organized history like many of the more modern martial arts, it can be traced back 2500 years. Some historians claim that it has it’s origins in China, while others insist that it is a native Japanese art.
One of the earliest sources of jujitsu were the teachings of Prince Teijun (also known as Sadagami). Sadagami formed the “Daito Ryu Aiki-Jutsu” school in 880 A.D.. This school was based on the secret teachings of “Shukendo” (shu means search, ken means power, do means way). Although jujitsu means “The Gentle Art”, it was a warriors art, practiced by the Samurai of Japan.
Over the centuries hundreds of jujitsu styles evolved. Because of the devastating nature of jujitsu techniques, it was not at all suited to sport competition.
With the closing of the Tokugawa era in the 1800s, the quality of some of the jujitsu schools started to decline. In 1882, in response to this decline, Jigoro Kano developed the system now known as “judo”. His purpose was to increase the popularity of the martial arts, and to provide a safe sport using selected techniques taken from the warrior’s art of jujitsu. Kano choose to call his school judo instead of jujitsu because he wanted his style to be more of a way (do), than a war art (jutsu). He observed that many of the jujitsu schools had become undisciplined and that their students were thought of as nothing more than ruffians. He also saw that many schools were teaching techniques that were dangerous and caused their students to be unduly injured. He felt that he needed to separate his school from the numerous schools that had acquired unethical reputations. Eventually most of the existing jujitsu schools joined Kano’s Kodokan (school of judo). The remaining jujitsu schools either faded away or worked diligently to improve their teachings and strengthen their style.
Aikido was officially founded in Tokyo, Japan, in 1942 by Morihei Ueshiba. In his early years, Ueshiba had studied many martial art forms. He eventually concentrated on the Yagyu Shinkage Ryu (kenjutsu), the Hozoin Spear Style (sojutsu), and the Tenji Shinyo Ryu (jujitsu). After being discharged from the Army in 1904, he traveled to Hokkaido (Japan). It was there that he witnessed the practice of Daito Ryu Aiki-Jutsu. The classes he observed were taught by Sogaku Tekeda. Ueshiba was very impressed with the power of aiki-Jutsu and sought out Tekeda for instruction. After being accepted, he trained long and hard eventually earning a license to teach the system. After teaching aiki-jutsu, kenjutsu, and sojutsu for ten years he met the man who would change his life forever. This man was a Shinto Monk named Oni Subaro Deguichi. Deguichi headed the Omotokyo sect of Shintoism.
Having been raised in an environment of strict discipline and religious training, Ueshiba was drawn to Deguichi’s teachings. He soon became one of Deguichi’s strongest disciples.
Throughout his life Ueshiba had sought to somehow unite his spiritual beliefs with his martial training. The combination of his budo prowess, his insight, and his deep spirituality led him to the revelation that “The source of Budo is God’s Love, the spirit of loving protection for all beings. True cartier jewelry prices
Budo is to accept the spirit of the universe, to keep the peace of the world, and to correctly produce, protect, and cultivate all beings in nature”. Ueshiba realized that the truly critical struggle in man was not physical combat, but rather one’s internal confrontation with the forces that lead a person out of harmony with the spirit of the universe. Thus was born Aikido, the Way of Harmony.