View Full Version : "Aiki" vs. "Ju"

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01-06-2009, 11:13 PM
Hi all,

I'm a student of traditional ju-jitsu and traditional judo. It seems to me that the technical difference between ju-jitsu and judo is not as great as people would like to believe (most dangerous ju-jitsu waza are preserved in judo kata) but simply a way of approaching the same set of physical movements with a different mind set and goal. The goal of both arts is mastery of "ju", albeit for different purposes. Ju, while often translated as softness, gentleness, etc, is not this simple. It is philosophical notion in itself. Mastery over a concept therefore, is emphasised over mastery over a hollow set of physical techniques, which would limit the practitioner's application of the art, martially, socially, spiritually, etc.

My question concerns the concept of "aiki", which by the same logic is an underlying principle which aikido/jutsu practitioners seek to ultimately master rather than simply their physical manifestations, ie. techniques. How does the concept/philosophy of "aiki" differ from "ju" both in its potential martial application and on a level which is applicable both to combative and non combative scenarios?

Thanks for your time!

01-06-2009, 11:33 PM

My blog on the subject.

01-07-2009, 04:06 AM
Lovely article Chris. Thankyou!

01-07-2009, 08:39 PM
Hi there this is a subject close to my heart and dealing with my understanding of aiki/ju some say may view may be to simplistic that is the principle of both aiki and ju are the same and if there is any difference its by degree not kind. I'll back this statement up with a quote from someone who is most definitely a master of the subject the late Tomiki Kenji Sensei.

In his book Aikido and Judo first published in 1956 he states...

""The meaning of "aikido." The old saying goes, "It is the spirit that carries the mind and controls the body." The people of ancient times believed that man's mind and body and consequently his strength were under the control of the spirit. Aiki means making your spirit "fit in" with your opponent's. After all it means the same thing as the "principle of gentleness," for it is an explanation of the principle from within.""

And if we were to watch video etc of masters of Judo, Ju-Jutsu and Aikido regardless of what technique I'm certain 100% there would be a commonality in their posture,movement and break of balance.

Anyway you find this helpful although im sure there is many other ways of understanding the subject and I to am looking forward to learning more about it.


Larry Cuvin
01-08-2009, 09:50 AM
I connected with your article, nice! Thank you Chris.

01-08-2009, 10:52 AM
Thanks guys. Glad you enjoyed it!