Judo vs. Aikido

Barry, I tried Akido back when Steven Seagul first came on the scene. I couldn't get the hang of it. Went to a BJJ seminar in 1992 by Relson Gracie and met some judo guys. We continued to train together (BJJ techniques we learned at the seminar)and one judo guy in particular was pinning everyone and I asked him where he trained and that is how I got my start in judo. Have to find out what your passion is and you will stick with it. For me it was judo, BJJ second.

Or you could just title it "Real vs. Fake."

I was an Aikido black belt before I converted over to Judo/BJJ three years ago. Aikido absolutely doesn't work in a Judo match type setting.

However, it really does help with spatial awareness and understanding how you could use your Judo in a self defense setting. Also, a lot of the footwork and balance translates over very well, not to mention break falling.

Does aikido offer anything at all for a clinch type of situation?

^Yes it does, both throws and wrist locks. There were actually several cases where Aikido guys would beat Judo guys.

Of course, back then you had to have a black belt in another MA before you were allowed to do Aikido and Judo wasn't as refined as it is now. You won't be hearing the same kinds of stories these days.

How long does it usually take to get a black belt in aikido? Assuming that most people don't train it as often as some of the bjj/judo guys do.

I would say on average about five years and that would be training about three days a week.

If you train in Japan you can do it in 2-3 years training six days a week

in 28 years I have not found an aikido guy who was in the kind of physical condition that is required to handle a judoka or wrestler of the same skill/age/ability levels.

Aikido is based on controlling open space when compared to Judo and wrestling. thus, with a minimized gap and/or a resisting partner with overall solid core and grip strength there are significant disadvantages from what I have personally seen in Aikido.

It just seems to be very theoretical in comparison.


I do find that Aikido does make you more aware of things that go on in self defense situations. If you want to be able to use your martial arts training beyond just the sport then I do recommend giving it a try.

Josh - have you trained aikido formally? (I know of your extensive judo experience and accomplishments, which is why I'm asking)

FB no, I have not... honestly no time and less interest. I am a fan of the Olympic movement and so for me it is wrestling and Judo above all else.

Easytarget - Croyce - Yes it does, both throws and wrist locks. There were actually several cases where Aikido guys would beat Judo guys.

When and where if you could tell me. Because I have studied both and never came across anything, especially video.

I couple of o senseis dojo challengers were judo black belts that were helpless against him and a number of them became his students. Also several of his main students had fought and beaten judoka. These can be found in aikido books somewhere and on wikipedia. Names escape me but let me see what i can find when I'm at a computer.

As i said, it only happened back when aikido black belts meant something and judo was less refined. Phone Post

Is there any O Sensei stories that come from somebody else besides O Sensei and his followers?

^ Not that I know of, Aikido turned soft soon after he died (or even before).

Looked on Wikipedia and found Tsutomu Yakawa (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsutomu_Yukawa) but that's all I could find for now. I remember other stories but can't pin a name. There were plenty of fights between the schools back then, especially among the younger students. It'll be in some Aikido books somewhere...

JoshuaResnick - FB no, I have not... honestly no time and less interest. I am a fan of the Olympic movement and so for me it is wrestling and Judo above all else.

thanks, me neither.

This is a reach here, but Jason Delucia, an old-school UFC and Pancrase vet, has gotten into aikido in the last few years, and he actually seems to be trying to integrate what he learned from aikido into MMA - even released some vids on it, IIRC. Dunno how successful he is, or how good/bad the vids are, but I applaud his willingness to try to shake things up and test them out. Phone Post

^^ Indeed - I've been reading a lot of the early Black Belt magazines, some of which were publisged before Ueshiba died (all the issues from 1961-2005 are on Google books).

Even then, some of the claims on Ueshiba's skills are outrageous, and call to mind that utterly ridiculous and bizarre "kiai master" fight where some terribly self-deluded guy got crushed in a fight...


Let me ask my judo brothers about Kenshiro Abe. He was an All Japan champion several times, and one of only a few to ever beat Kimura, who said that he was "like fighting a shadow." So he had strong judo credentials.

Now, apparently he was so impressed with Ueshiba that he studied with him for 10 years and added a 6th dan in aikido to his 8th dan in judo. The story, and I stress it is a STORY, is as follows:

" Eventually, the old man put a finger in Kenshiro’s face, “You are so powerful, break my finger!” Kenshiro was only too happy to oblige. He took the finger, expecting to snap it like a twig, and wham! He found himself on the carriage floor under the full control of the old man. The old man allowed Kenshiro to get back into his seat. “Who are you?” Kenshiro Abbe asked. “I am Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido.” Kenshiro Abbe was astounded at the technique of the old man and requested that he become his student"


What do you guys make of this? Somehow I am suspicious, but it is a fact that Abe promoted both judo and aikido.

Most Judo instructors I have had or met at seminars really never thought much of Aikido because they said it did not translate that well in a sparring environment.

Thanks for responding guys.

ET, I had the exact same thought in that the test is really a parlor trick. That said, Abe would have had 10 years to figure the game out, but held on to his high opinion of aikido and Ueshiba. It's hard to figure, isn't it.

Outkaster, I totally hear you, but you have guys like Abe and Tomiki that leave me wondering.