The Differences between Karate, Jiu-Jutsu and Aikido

There is a universe of martial arts out there to practice, from the amost ancient to the latest interpretations and combinations. Whether it’s Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kun Do or the latest Brazilian spin on Jiu-Jutsu, the fact remains that many of the older martial art styles are being ignored in favor of the latest fads. But say that you wished to examine these older styles, that you wished to try something with a distinguished history and practice ancient martial art? How would  you go about telling the difference between them? In today’s articles we will look at the basics of Karate, Jiu-Jutso and Aikido, and help you tell them apart.

The best way to think about these martial arts is through analogy, so I will first offer a glimpse at the nature of the art, and then compare them through an analogy of trains as taught to me by my own sensei. Karate is our first, so let us begin. The best way to understand karate is that it is focused completely on destroying your enemy through a one punch knockout. It wants to bring overwhelming and precise force in one blow to end your opponent. If you and your opponent were trains, then the karate train would hit the other train head on, and seek to demolish it through overwhelming force.

Jiu-jutsu is a more subtle art, and it seeks to use the opponents force and movement against the opponent. Instead of opposing them through active violence, you allow your opponent to strike at you, and then turn his blow into a lock, break, or throw. You rarely engage the attack first, instead waiting for them to attack and in doing so open and expose themselves. If you two were trains, you would meet headon, but instead of destroying your opponent through force, pushing him back, you allow him to push you back, not resisting, and then use his energy against him.

Finally, Aikido is the most different of them all, because though it is a martial art that allows you to engage in violence, the goal is never that. Instead, Aikido seeks to help you become one with your enemy, to find peaceful solutions, to help you understand the world so that you are able to become friends. If you two were trains, you would meet head on, and then both of you would turn to the same side and leave your tracks together, finding a new path through the world that doesn’t involve violence.


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