View Full Version : Jujutsu and Aikijujutsu/ Atemi

Brad Hoffner
18th September 2000, 20:47
Aren't other Japanese forms of Jujutsu similar to Aikijujutsu or are they quite a bit different?

Justin Campbell
19th September 2000, 03:13
Not to be short... but the difference IS Aiki.

19th September 2000, 14:20

This is an almost impossible question to answer because the term jujutsu describes many arts of greatly different origins. These include Kwappo, Hakuda, Yawara, etc.. Some jujutsu traditions are almost all weapons schools. Others have adapted over time into arts similar to grappling arts like judo. Others maintain a older more battlfield focused curriculum that mixes weapon and empty hand applications. Some focus on standing (tachi waza) exclusively.

Concepts virtually identical to aiki existed in almost all of these traditions. In Shindo Yoshin ryu this concept is called myojinken. What really distingushes Aikijujutsu is not really the principle of "aiki" but the existence of aiki as a distinctly separate area of study within the overall curriculum. In a school like Daito ryu, aiki no waza are generally separate techniques that do not depend on physical leverage and such. In most schools not associated with Daito ryu the similar principles we often refer to as "aiki" simply augment techniques in the main syllabus and reside within the okuden. They are not generally practised or focused on as technically separate.

Hope that helps.

Toby Threadgill

P.S. JJ, You must study with my old friend Julio Toribio. Please tell him I said hello.

[Edited by Toby Threadgill on 09-19-2000 at 09:29 AM]

Brently Keen
25th September 2000, 05:08

We just might be setting a new (post crash - post great aiki debate) precedent of agreement here. I'm enthused! :D


In Daito-ryu, we have both. The aikijujutsu is quite different than our jujutsu or the jujutsu of other schools.

Toby is correct when he says that similar concepts exist in many traditions, but although some of these concepts are nearly identical, it is not the concepts that distinguish the two.

For example: Aikido also embraces many of these concepts, but the art developed by Morihei Ueshiba has much more in common with traditional (Daito-ryu) jujutsu than it does with aikijujutsu.

Aiki (aikijujutsu) techniques are different than jujutsu techniques, and that is why they encompass a separate area of study. The main distinction is very much like Toby said. Generally, in Daito-ryu we describe the most obvious difference as jujutsu primarily relying on kansetsu waza (joint manipulation techniques). These techniques generally require the grabbing or taking hold of the opponent in some way in order to apply leverage to effect the skeletal system. They also include various striking and choking techniques. They are considered shoden and chuden level techniques.

Whereas aiki no jutsu are okuden and hiden level techniques that do not rely on skeletal locking, striking, or strangle holds. Aikijujutsu techniques can all be done without grabbing hold of the opponent and applying leverage. One of the reasons for this is to keep our hands free to use weapons.

Like Justin said, the difference is "aiki".

The practice of "aikijujutsu" therefore, requires the practice and mastery of aiki no jutsu. Without the aiki, it's not aikijujutsu.

Brently Keen

[Edited by Brently Keen on 09-25-2000 at 12:13 AM]

25th September 2000, 13:37
Hi Brently, you said

"Whereas aiki no jutsu are okuden and hiden level techniques that do not rely on skeletal locking,
striking, or strangle holds. Aikijujutsu techniques can all be done without grabbing hold of the opponent and
applying leverage. One of the reasons for this is to keep our hands free to use weapons."

Can you describe one of these techniques? I am trying to visualize what it would be.


25th September 2000, 18:00
Mr. Keen:

I must disagree with weapon's retention being the reason for performing aiki no jutsu techniques. With all due respect, I've done quite a few pure jujutsu techniques using skeletal locks and retained control of my own weapon, or the weapon taken away from my opponent. Jujutsu techniques don't necessarily require two hands, obviously leaving one free for weapons. I'm not sure that I understand your point in this case. Could you elaborate on it? :confused:

25th September 2000, 19:06

Jujutsu techniques don't necessarily use any hands, including those performed as tachi waza. :)


Brently Keen
26th September 2000, 03:00

You want me to describe secret okuden and hiden level techniques using only words on a public forum? ;)

I'm afraid detailed descriptions of this sort are best given out in the dojo in the context of regular training. I would much rather demonstrate and explain these sort of techniques in person so there is less misunderstanding.

Not that it will help you visualize what I'm talking about, but aikisage is probably the best example of this. Some other basic examples of these kinds of techniques would be: Aiki zenponage, Uchite & sotote tsukami koshiseme, Hanten tekubiseme, Aiki tekubikaeshi, and Aiki kubinage.


I never said weapons retention was the reason for using aiki no jutsu techniques. What I said was:

"Aikijujutsu techniques can all be done without grabbing hold of the opponent and applying leverage. One of the reasons for this is to keep our hands free to use weapons."

It's not a question of weapons retention so much as it is efficient weapons use. If I'm grabbing hold of my opponent in order to apply a skeletal lock then my hands are not as free to use my tanto or wakizashi. Also, I'm not talking about using one hand to grab while my other hand is free to cut and thrust.

With aikijujutsu there's no need to use either or both hands to grab the opponent and apply a technique. Uninhibited use of weapons is not the only reason either, it is just "one of the reasons". Actually, the real reason is because it's more efficient. We don't need to grab or grip the opponent in order to apply these kinds of techniques, so why do what is unnecessary?


LOL! Are you using both feet for jujutsu techniques performed as tachiwaza? :)

Brently Keen

26th September 2000, 19:51
Mr. Keen:

Okay, that was my misinterpretation with the weapons comment. And I fully agree that aikijutsu can at times require no hands at all to accomplish a technique (not that I can do this, I have had it done to me in grand fashion) but I think we've inadvertantly caused some thread drift with my misunderstanding.

I think Mr. Hoffner was looking for technical differences and it looks to me like we are getting close to entering the world of subjectivity. Isn't efficiency totally dependant on a situational basis and the individuals involved? I'm honest enough with myself to know that my aiki sucks but that my jujutsu is passable. If I get into a punch up in a back alley, attempt to use aiki, fail miserably and get hit in the kidneys is that not less efficient then simply giving the drunk one well placed atemi? Nevermind jujutsu, pure karate could solve this in short order. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line and I've noticed a lot of that kind of slacking off in our Karate brethern.:D

Good Day folks.

Richard Elias
26th September 2000, 21:56
If I may add something...

Depending on how it is done "One well placed atemi" can be aiki, and is definately jujutsu.

In my experience Aiki has many diverse applications. In some of the more advanced forms no contact is required, but it's not limited to only that type of esoteric technique.

In our system "aiki" can be applied at any or all levels of a technique, or can be the technique itself. From simply preventing someone from attacking to causing them to miss, causing them to be off-balanced, aiding in moving or controlling, "locking them up" or "freezing" them, or resulting in them falling or being thrown, and much more. Aiki is not mereley restricted to any particular "type" of technique but, depending on the situation or the outcome you desire, can be a part of any technique. Just because the application of Aiki does not result in the throw itself does not mean it's not present on the form or influenced the result.

Just my two bits.

8th October 2000, 03:14
Michael says:'the shortest distance between two points is a stright line and I've noticed a lot of that type of slacking off in our karate brethern:D.'

Hey, now!:-)

As one of the karate brethren referred to, let me say this about that:Originally, Oknawan karate , was a system of many waza that could be described as jujitsu or even counter-jujitsu techniques, these survive in the kata of all legitimate schools of Okinawan and Okinawan descended karate, Japanese and some Korean styles included.

As one of the best defenses against a joint lock attempt is to strike the opponent with the aforementioned well, placed atemi, the karate school of thought, did eventually come to greatly perfect this particular aspect of self defensive combat.

After it was introduced to japan, and thence to the rest of the world, the throwing techniques and locking techniques contained in karate sufferd from lack of emphasis or exposeure, and thus were in most commercial schools even in Okinawa, relegated to the back burner at best.

Yet karate contains jujitsu like, anti jujitsu, and even some aiki like waza.Some of these are shown in Funakoshi Gichin's book, Karate Do Kyohan, written in 1935 including nine torite(throwing waza he said came from basic karate kata, and said that there were others in the kata as well as joint manipulations.

Yet and still(also being a bit f a judoka, I have a liking for throwing and locking stuff as well), karate did settle on this fact: Atemi was the preferred method of defense.

But Gozo Shioda of Yoshinkan Aikido apparently said that Aikido was seventy percent atemi and thirty percent technique, or was that O Sensei Ueshiba?

I notice in the book I have on daito ryu,(Omiya's.) that they seem most unreluctant to smack their attacker at any and all opportunity, as well.

Could it be that, in our common enjoyment of atemi, we have common ground at last?:D

'N' That's what you get for that crack about your karate brethren slacking off and taking the lazy way out, by punching the mugger's lights out.Okay, we're not proud of it, it isn't fancy and it certainly is not ANYTHING APPROACHING AN ELEGANT SOLUTION(UNLESS SIMPLICITY IS ELEGANCE), but a the end of the day it worked.:-)

Wasn't an Aiki Nage, but it worked , okay.

[Edited by kusanku on 10-07-2000 at 10:18 PM]

8th October 2000, 06:48
I probably deserved that.:D And some of the most beautiful technique I've ever seen has come from a boxing ring in Las Vegas. A solid connection with a right hook to the jaw is pure wonderment to behold.

According to most folks I know simplicity IS the most elegant solution. There's less to go wrong with a simpler plan of attack.

PS: All of my jujutsu sensei hold dan rankings in some form of full contact karate and a family member teaches Goju-ryu here in Vancouver. Disregarding a good hit is something I try to do (usually unsecessfully) fairly often.:cry:

Nathan Scott
9th October 2000, 23:58
[Post deleted by user]

2nd September 2001, 21:14

Just a quick question. Whats the difference between the two?

Hope you can help.Thanks.

Aaron Fields
3rd September 2001, 05:38
oh boy.......this thread has been tossed about before. (Pre-crash?) You don't know what yo've stepped into Burt:cry: You may look at the thread archives. If the thread isn't there just wait, they will come.:laugh:

Brently Keen
5th September 2001, 05:38
Aaron is right about this subject being discussed before, but there's no need to make too much of it. The answer is really fairly simple:

Literally jujutsu means soft, flexible or pliable techniques. Actually, jujutsu is a rather generic term that refers to armed and unarmed grappling arts. Jujutsu is generally characterized by joint locking and manipulating techniques including takedowns, throws, breaks, and pins, as well as all sorts of striking and choking techniques.

Aikijujutsu is both distinct and different than jujutsu. Literally, it's soft, aiki, techniques. Generally though, aikijujutsu refers to the application of aiki techniques/principles to jujutsu or jujutsu to aiki. There are some more particular delineations in Daito-ryu as well as varying interpretations of what constitutes aiki among different schools and teachers, but this explanation is probably general enough to satisfy most.

To apply most kansetsu waza (joint techniques) and/or nage waza (throwing techniques) in jujutsu, it is necessary to grab your opponent in some way in order apply the techniques. In jujutsu the principle of leverage is applied to most all techniques, so that one can use less effort. With aikijujutsu it is not necessary to grab your opponent at all to apply the techniques, nor is any strength needed. Doing so more often than not will actually prevent the techniques from working properly. Relaxation is absolutely essential, for effective aikijujutsu. In fact, no strength is necessary at all. Aikijujutsu is also characterized by very subtle, minimal motion techniques. So much so that it is usually very difficult for even experienced martial artists to "see" what is happening in aikijujutsu techniques.

Okamoto sensei of the Roppokai describes Daito-ryu aiki techniques as having three necessary components: 1.) en undo or circular movement 2.) joken hansha or conditioned reflexes, and 3.) kokyu-ho a particular breathing method. Each of these three also have more extensive details and particular explanations.

Brently Keen

5th September 2001, 06:04
Mr. Keen wrote:

With aikijujutsu it is not necessary to grab your opponent at all to apply the techniques, nor is any strength needed.

I assume that physical contact is still needed?
If not maybe it's a virtual technique :laugh:
No offense ment.

Is the principle of leverage not used in Daitoryu Aikijujutsu?

- Kim Johansen.

Brently Keen
5th September 2001, 07:09
Yes contact is still needed, it may or may not be physical though.

I personally have no interest in virtual techniques at all.

Simple leverage is used in Daito-ryu jujutsu as in any other jujutsu, in Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu the use of levers is less obvious and more sophisticated. To discover further distinctions between jujutsu and aikijujutsu really requires that one seek out a qualified instructor and just train! I'm learning that virtual explanations of finer distinctions are generally lost or misunderstood on BB's like this more often than not.


Brently Keen

Aaron Fields
5th September 2001, 23:04
Ju-jutsu guys grab because anyone worth their salt isn't going to hold onto someone while they apply their technique (Also grabing is an offivensive application.) The aiki guys I have seen grab if they need to. In addition, no system of combat I have seen discounts strength. (This is not to say we practice using all we have.) Size and muscle do matter.

I think that many folks misunderstand the concept of relaxation. Muscle/speed combined with technique is a "come out on top" combination.

My understanding (albeit limited within the realms of aiki) is it really seems to be a matter of lineage and technical focus. I agree that both terms (aiki ju-jutsu and ju-jutsu) are very general, and would take more space and time to explain the differences.

The best way to figure it out is just to go watch, a picture is worth.......

Aaron Fields
5th September 2001, 23:06
sorry one last thing...

"Sophisticated" is a dangerous term as it implies better. "Stupid and simple" work just fine.:D

Kit LeBlanc
6th September 2001, 00:29
Too Late....

Here we go again....



6th September 2001, 16:02
Hey Kit,

I'm not sayin' a word. ;)


Hey buddy. Hope alls well with you guys up there in beautiful Seattle. Sorry I missed you last month.


Aaron Fields
6th September 2001, 18:10
Me say a word....nawww...well ok maybe one or two....but thats it no more.

Toby, hope all is well your guys that came up were well behaved )though they smelled to good to be in my dojo. :laugh: )

See I told you I wasn't sophisticated (sorry Kit)

Neil Yamamoto
6th September 2001, 19:49
Whats the difference? Well here's my take.

Aiki is like a beautiful flower that blooms once every decade in the dead of night. Only those with the dedication and patience can see it.

Jujutsu is a peasant art. Low squatting postures- obviously drawn from planting rice and using the benjo ditch, smelly clothes and much grunting. Yabe ryu as Aaron teaches it is a perfect example. ;) Think "Schreck" and you have jujutsu.

Toby is a perfect example of some one who can explain the differeces. As a native Texan, he is of peasant origins, but as a professional photographer, he has developed his artistic nature and has the sensitivity needed to understand aiki. :p

Seriously, no one has offered an explanation yet that someone else contradicts and says is full of smelly brown stuff. I don't think you will get a decent answer to satisfy you on this.

Some closing thoughts on Aiki I have heard over the years.

Kick him in the nuts and apply aiki - Don Angier

Aiki is when your opponent can't fight anymore because you have lovingly beat the s**t out of him-Bernie Lau

Don't talk about it, use it-Sadao Yoshioka

If I wanted to see men dancing in dresses, I would have gone to a gay bar - Jon Bluming when he visited the aikido honbu dojo

Kit LeBlanc
6th September 2001, 20:05
Originally posted by Neil Yamamoto
Whats the difference? Well here's my take.

Aiki is like a beautiful flower that blooms once every decade in the dead of night. Only those with the dedication and patience can see it.

Jujutsu is a peasant art. Low squatting postures- obviously drawn from planting rice and using the benjo ditch, smelly clothes and much grunting. Yabe ryu as Aaron teaches it is a perfect example. ;) Think "Schreck" and you have jujutsu.

Toby is a perfect example of some one who can explain the differeces. As a native Texan, he is of peasant origins, but as a professional photographer, he has developed his artistic nature and has the sensitivity needed to understand aiki. :p

Seriously, no one has offered an explanation yet that someone else contradicts and says is full of smelly brown stuff. I don't think you will get a decent answer to satisfy you on this.

Some closing thoughts on Aiki I have heard over the years.

Kick him in the nuts and apply aiki - Don Angier

Aiki is when your opponent can't fight anymore because you have lovingly beat the s**t out of him-Bernie Lau

Don't talk about it, use it-Sadao Yoshioka

If I wanted to see men dancing in dresses, I would have gone to a gay bar - Jon Bluming when he visited the aikido honbu dojo

Ohmigawd! At last we have found the working definition of Aiki!!! Neil, why didn't you just say so in the previous Aiki wars??

Burt, you probably don't know what you stepped in.

Sorry if these replies have not answered your question, but pretty much everyone that has posted here went through the Aiki-wars, wherein this very topic was debated, ad nauseum, several times (they spilled over the e-borders onto Bugei as well....) and all for naught. What was left over was
a lot of "you can't understand...," a bunch of erased and edited posts, and a total lack of common ground on what the difference between jujutsu and jujutsu-con-aiki is...... really.


6th September 2001, 21:31
Are we going have a discussion to get into how Aiki and Kiai are opposing sides of the same coin. Harmonization vs Good blunt force trauma. Inquiring minds want to know.

C. E. Boyd

Neil Yamamoto
6th September 2001, 21:34
CE Boyd,

I already answered this, see Bernie Lau's comment I included.:toast:

6th September 2001, 21:39
:nono: Neil, you’re holding back on these fine e-budo readers.

Folks, the true way to tell if it is aiki or not is if uke is barking like a dog.;)

Mark Jakabcsin
6th September 2001, 22:46
Neil wrote: "As a native Texan, he is of peasant origins,"


Tobs may have been born a Texan but this is much more to his family tree than you might think. He can trace his family history back several hundred years. Oh yeah, he is not the first one in his family to wield a sword.


ps. Cheers Sir Tobs

6th September 2001, 23:05

Neil calls me a peasant...

Mark makes obscure references to my family descendents...

But Aaron, now he's a gentleman....one barbarian to the other.

Wheres Nathan been.....he ought to be pickin on me by now?

(Neil ...you are a one man show....pretty funny for a small squinty eyed guy pretending to be Japanese.

Tobs :smokin:

P.S. Guys, imagine Neil with blond hair and in drag.....he'd look just like a Japanese Eddie Izzard

7th September 2001, 07:13
You mean that isn’t a “special aiki training uniform” that Neil wears on the mat? I’m ashamed, dismayed... and scared.:cry:

Neil Yamamoto
7th September 2001, 16:35
Tobs, Kit, Doug...

Well, if it weren't for me, no one would have a comparison of what to tell their students not to do.

Sensei to student: You stop that, you doing technique like Neil does. Not good. You funny though!!

Eddie Izzard. Now that's funny.

7th September 2001, 19:44
Originally posted by Walker
:Folks, the true way to tell if it is aiki or not is if uke is barking like a dog.;)

Wow, and I thought it was if uke is sqealing like a pig (remember "Deliverance"?). :moon: :eek:

-Robert Cronin

Henry Walker
10th September 2001, 20:44
Neil, a one man show? Seems like I've heard this before. Neil, is your personal life creeping into your social life?

(queue the japanese music)

You dishonor my master And stole my rice cakes! Your taunts waft about like the stench from a dead pig! Now you must face the fury of the b'ttocks of death!

No wait, it would seem you have faced this fury several times in the past!

Neil Yamamoto
10th September 2001, 22:20
Now this is really thread drift, it's turned into an insults to Toby Aaron and Neil thread. Granted, I started most of it.

Henry, come up to Seattle with Tobs and John, Aaron Field's can show you the secret "Stinky thumb of death" technique.

Beer is on me.

Henry Walker
11th September 2001, 12:27
:toast: I'm in like Flynn!

Aaron Fields
11th September 2001, 23:22
Have I been insulted?

Lets review tha facts;

I am of low birth,

My ju-jutsu does use low squating postures,

We practice hard, so our uwagi have a unique odor,

In a pinch (excuse the pun) we will use the "stinky thumb" or a good loogie in the eye,

uhhh so far only thing I have seen is the truth.

"I ain't puttin' on no airs, its all good."

john rey saavedra
12th September 2001, 06:02
Hi all,

I like the way Neil Yamamoto (how are you related to Ayako Yamamoto of Daito Ryu Rengokai?) explains aiki principle.

In my country, it takes me a mile in arriving at a better, straightforward, down-to-earth, layman's termed, etc., explanations to my co-aiki jujutsu practitioners.

Even I explained it to them through comparison of executing the technique using aiki and plain jujutsu, I really find a hard time giving it out my idea about the principle.

But when I say to them: "In aiki, it is where when your 'uke' move, you move." This "he moves-you move" principle has raised several questions in the use of the other elements of aiki system of Daito Ryu. It is there when your uke grabs your hand or give launchpunch, or give you a shomen uchi that you should respond immediately. The response there is your technique. This is truely very clear in ippon dori, gyaku ude dori, kirikaeshi, etc.

These elements would help the practitioners in acheiving his aiki through constant and unselfish practice, to wit:

1. aiki - spirit or energy unification
2. kuzushi - off-balancing one's uke
3. metsuke - eye- contact or focus
4. kokyu - proper breathing
5. ma-ai - distance
6. zanshin - mental alertness

The explanations that I have exhibited above are rather a layman's term, and this is how i help my co-practitioners in understanding the principle.

John Rey Saavedra
Kogyokan Dojo
Cebu, Philippines

Nathan Scott
12th September 2001, 20:21
[Post deleted by user]

Gil Gillespie
14th September 2001, 18:53
Brently! Your post was beautiful. I know all the busting of chops that followed was good natured, and that's all to the good. But your thoughtful piece is among the pearls that filter to the top sometimes to justify this whole crazy website! Thanks.

Neil, your closing line re: Bluming gave me a good belly laugh. Startled my daughter & that's tough to do. I printed your golf/ aikido post of some weeks back & hung it in my dojo. I loved that one! Too bad the ones who need it most ignored it first!

Brently Keen
14th September 2001, 19:53
Thanks for the kind words Gil,

I enjoy the good natured stuff too. It's a welcome deviation to the usual more serious banter. It is from my own experiences studying Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu Roppokai and my genuine desire to promote it that I continue to share my thoughts here.

To pick up on an earlier part of this thread before it took it's comedic tangent...

The reason we don't need to grab in aikijujutsu is because it's not necessary. Grabbing hold in most aiki techniques will actually hinder the effectiveness of the technique. Aiki techniques generally do not require grabbing at all.

The comment that some "aiki guys" still grab when they "need to" shows that either they're really doing jujutsu, or they lack the confidence or ability to execute aiki techniques properly without grabbing. It is rather sophisticated, how the aiki works without grabbing.

One of the reasons aikijujutsu is unique and distinct from jujutsu (and other martial arts) is because unlike other martial arts it truly does not require muscular strength, nor is it improved with the addition of more strength/speed. Strength is a simple force, leverage (jujutsu) is more complex and requires less strength, aiki which uses even more sophisticated levers, requires delicate subtlety and timing rather than strength/speed.

Finally, I agree that most people do not understand relaxation either. However, the best way to find out about these things is not to watch and see for yourself, but to seek out a qualified instructor and actually participate in training. If you do so with an "empty cup" you'll start to feel and discover (over time) the distinctions for yourself.

As Musashi said, "The way is in training", but if I could be so bold, I'd also add, "... under the guidance of a master".

Brently Keen

Aaron Fields
14th September 2001, 23:35

I mean this without offense, but you crack me up. What happens when I let go. or am a 275 lb Div. I defensive lineman who can do the splits, dunk a basketball, and has great technique (whom you can practice with at my club.)

As I am not an aiki-guy I am don't have the answers. But, according to the aiki guys I know, they disagree with you. Maybe I am misunderstanding what you are saying?
Sophistication again shows up....? I'm sorry I don't understand, but as Neil mentions I am not very cultivated.

As you have spoken for ju-jutsu, I am inquirying to your level of experience?

Its all in fun

(Neil maybe you can explain to me what he is saying and I'm missing. No muscle, or speed, but timing?)

Gil Gillespie
15th September 2001, 02:46
Hi Aaron

First off all praise to you for your firefighter post on another thread. I applaud your profession and we all sit in humble gratitude before you and all the other everyday heroes at your side. Like Mike Collins' dad, my dad also was a fireman, and that defined so much of my childhood. Words don't adequately acknowledge our debt to firemen right now. In gassho.

Returning to Brently's thoughts, first I have to qualify myself by explaining that I really suck at aikido! Really & sincerely & for a long time now. But only my wife and family do I love more. All I can say in support of his views is that I've felt it! In the hands of great nages over the years I've felt myself swallowed up & spit out, or driven effortlessly into the mat, and strength and speed had nothing to do with it. (Of course I've felt that, too, so I know the difference.)

It does take years to master, even to attain delusions of adequacy. And as incongruous as it sounds, speed & strength can mitigate really effective aiki technique. If I hadn't felt it I wouldn't defend its possibility. I know when I'm having my arm yanked off, and when I'm having my attack taken over by really refined hara, kuzushi, awase, musubi, kokyo. . .

And as for what happens when you let go? Funny you should ask. My sensei's theme just last week was that with proper emphasis and proficiency in the above principles it should make no difference if uke lets go. If nage loses the connection, then he's not doing a correct aiki technique. It was a real eye opener of a class.

As far as nage letting go, that's interesting, too. I like Chuck Clark's analogy of hands as connectors, not enablers; and application of hands as pipe wrenches, not vise grips. We often train with knife edges of our hands or extended fingers as our only connectors. Not as effective technique, but as training exercises to get us away from over reliance on grabbing.

Just some thoughts. And I'm certainly not clever enough to make any of this up! It may not be me, but there's folks out there who do what Brently's talking about. They're real. I'ts possible. That's the challenge.

Kit LeBlanc
15th September 2001, 04:56
See, I warned ya!


Brently Keen
16th September 2001, 04:16
No offense taken or intended, Aaron.

But your response cracks me up as well. Because I wondered the same thing when I started training in Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu Roppokai.

At any rate, the same things will likely happen whether you (or a 275 lb Div I defensive lineman) try to let go. Who can do the splits and dunk basketballs is totally irrelevant. For those who have trained diligently for some time in Daito-ryu it usually becomes rather obvious. Not everyone gets it though. If some disagree, perhaps it illustrates a difference in their understanding of Daito-ryu aiki.

Frankly I'd rather not divulge the details any further on a public BB, but I've got no problem explaining or demonstrating it if a student asks, or if it seems to be a problem.

I stand by my previous notion that aikijujutsu is sophisticated. Heck, I've still got a ways to go before it all seems simple to me. And while I'm not exactly dense, I wouldn't say I'm all that "cultivated" either. Flame away guys (now where's the smilie that turns into a target?).

As for my level of experience, I'm still learning. But besides Daito-ryu, I have a working knowledge of both jujutsu and aikido. Prior to that, I was pretty involved in wrestling. I wrestled in the Olympic Trials as a junior in High School, and later coached several undefeated Far East Asia HS champions at the Christian Academy in Japan.

Now please understand me, speed and strong muscles are not bad things. They're great when used in their proper context. It's just that Daito-ryu aiki is operating with another set of rules.

As for getting better explanations, perhaps Neil doesn't want to give his "secrets" away too easily. I suggest you offer to buy all his drinks next time, and be sure to find out his favorite(s) a head of time. :toast:


Brently Keen

16th September 2001, 09:49
Tobs may have been born a Texan but this is much more to his family tree than you might think. He can trace his family history back several hundred years. Oh yeah, he is not the first one in his family to wield a sword.

Oh, is that right. I can trace my family history to the early 1600s and I can assure you all I am NOT the first one who has NOT wielded a sword.

Sophisticated. Nice word, especially when judo was/is considered sophisticated compared to most jujutsu, aiki or no aiki.

Aaron's club just plain stinks, OK? I even left an obi there because it had fallen off and was mixed in the soil and oil which makes up the bulk of his floors, not to mention a couple of his students. Taking ukemi from his senior student[s] are quite capable of mixing gray matter and blood into the mix. No that is "high quality dojo" to borrow a phrase.

Neil, well Eddie Izzard is not only funny, but caught in the correct light, Neil and Eddie, well, you know how everyone has a double somewhere?

And as to the aiki wars, well, interestingly, J. kano and S. Takeda were the same age, so Ol' Jigoro says to himself he says "I think I'll invent a martial art which will become a sport," and, oh yeah, wasn't it Kano who actually developed Kuzushi, timing, speed, and tai sabaki all those little do-dads claimed today by other, older jujutsu schools? Something most of the Japanese jujutsu hadn't seen and were using muscle, size, and weight, as Aaron does? Weren't many of that time causing fights and general mayhem to practice their "art?" (The Bluming affair at Aaron's place, with a pre-affair liquoring up at Neil's, was pretty much a brawl).

Tokimune Takeda, when wondering how his father had wandered outside without him knowing it, came upon a cousin or other relative, and was informed: "Don't you know? Ours is a family of 'wallpassers.'"

Was it Kit who said "I told ya?" No, "barking at the moon" can be claimed by the "Tobster" in the second, but abruptly cancelled aiki war II. When you get to a third war, this is usually the replacement, everyone assuming one is correct, then the nice-nice is played, and now it breaks up into laughfests.

BTW: Wasn't it Jon and Donn, when refused the special opportunity to receive ukemi from the Late Morihei Uyeshiba and son Kisshomaru who said "This is fairy sh*t" when advised it was much too dangerous? But Neil's Bluming quote is much more "sophisticated" than mine.:+)

Mark (the one who capitalizes the first letter in his name as an affront to e.e. cummings, not to honor him) (he had a point, but old habits die).

Didn't want anyone to take me for "sophisticated.:eek:

16th September 2001, 10:04
BTW: Aaron, in all seriousness, thanks to you and all firefighters. I also am getting some not so serious remarks in email for not making the Angier seminar, but I'll be back.


Dan Harden
16th September 2001, 12:58

Interesting comments, though I agree whole heartedly with Brently. I have seen it to often and have done it with men of diverse experience to doubt it anymore. It is absolutely not an "Aiki-bunny" technique or principle. Were they willing, there are several dozen men of a very wide and diverse rather martial oriented background, who view these boards and yet will not post or contribute, who could bear testimony to the fact.

The mechanics of it can be explained, shown, and taught. But, after all that- it requires many thousands of hours of a rather narrow scope- hands on training venue, spanning years- to get that soft, that immediate, that consistant, and be able to pull it off in any other venue than a cooperative setting. On your way to that level of pre-emptive capturing of their center, there are many things you learn to do with more static grab judogi style grappling, the more common "hand to wrist grab" or with (my favorites) punches, jabs, and siezing techniques.

A whole other- and veerry interesting topic is how these principles and tactics of "capturing energy" relate to the more common notion of "blending" energy.
It is pointless to go into any detail, as it leads nowhere on these boards. Even being shown "one on one" it takes so long and its such a frustrating and completely humbling process, that few stay with it, and fewer still explore any real combative venue for its use. Nothing will come of the current discussion at all.
Other than the typical
"I just don't buy it."
"I'll just have to take your word for it"
"Horse puckey to all of it"
"I'll have to find someone and try it for twenty years."

blah blah blah......

At any rate, I would classify these as wholly different in approach and application to other leverage based jujutsu principles and tactics-much less techniques, though its all part of a single ideal .



Now Aaron....... ALL seriousness put aside...... I wish to comment on your questions about size. Since you have commented on your size and background, and size is freqently mentioned on this BB- I thought I would throw in my own observations on it.

Your comments relative to size are partially true. I am a somewhat large man myself and I have had many years of diverse experiences as one..........

It is frequently stated by some that: "Size doesn't count-it's how you use it."

I have found that if you are relaxed and patient, and know how to move, then size-for the most part- doesn't count.
But if you talk to people who have played with the larger size, they will often tell you that size, in conjuntion with the very same patience and relaxed movement mentioned above is quite enthralling and hard to resist.
Most discussions about it seem gender biased. Why... I have heard several women friends tell me that they have been spoiled for wanting to play with normal size men after trying the larger models....

Next we could talk about how body size and height relates... and a REALLY interesting topic would be how size pertains to Budo ;)


Aaron Fields
16th September 2001, 18:23
I am not that big, I was talking about one of my students, though there are a number of big guys in the dojo.

Nathan Scott
17th September 2001, 21:18
[Post deleted by user]

Brently Keen
17th September 2001, 22:07
"Jujutsu can be performed to a chair, whereas Aikijujutsu can only be performed on a living being"

This is a true statement and I agree completely. Aiki, by definition requires a "harmonization of ki". A chair would not possess any ki itself, and would only be susceptible to physical force, leverage, and the like.

However, a chair (or any other inanimate object) could certainly be used when applying aiki on another person. :D

Brently Keen

Dan Harden
18th September 2001, 01:40
Nathan, please don't be offended bud......but

I don't think you should qoute people who are alive and who actively teach- when they don't appear here to clarify. It does a disservice to both them and their students.

I don't know- but perhaps you are quoting something that goes beyond the mans intent.
While I appreciate the comment on its own- I doubt you would get Don to "exactly" agree with this quote. It is more "likely" a simplistic statement made to engender a visual aid to stress a point. I hardly doubt -from the comments of his students- that the man would be that stiff in his approach.
I rather think he would have an in-depth and rational explanation to back up the statement.


Leverage based techniques are not static things to be applied in a linear manner are they?
Good jujutsu is based not only upon applied leverage but upon spherical rotation combined with linear motion. To hyper-extend a mobile joint in a linear fashion is one thing. To perform the lock in an "open" 120 deg. leveraged angle while being relaxed enough to feel his rotation and counter with a dual rotation of your own-with perhaps a linear displacment either front to back or vertical to a drop is another. And to cause that lock to feed into multiple joints and freeze their ability to rotate thus "locking them" (Don calls this cumutative locking - I don't use a name) and enabling me to steal their center- is not something I would try on a chair.
And that can STILL be all skeletal and muscular jujutsu in nature.

And what about throws? Responsive, flexive training with good posturing and relaxed shoulder manipulation that lasts from entering to counters is a venue best applied in a relaxed state of muscular movement with no ultimate single muscle group flexing to rigidity-and THAT is good jujutsu.

And again that is basic, good, responsive, jujutsu. NOT AIKI

This doesn't even touch upon an applied liner force that creates a spherical response in a multiple jointed human.
Try that on a chair.
How about manipulating bases-while quadrenting and rotating an upper or lower joint simultaniously?
Chokes while using a leg to base, then rotate a shoulder to cause a frozen kuzushi?
Pressure point manipulation?

That won't work on a chair either.

Jujutsu is not the crude leverage only, or primarily joint lock oriented-muscle (strength) applied art that people understand it to be. It can be highly refined both in gross motor movement and fine motor movement attacks and defense.
Jujutsu is best left for and applied upon a human neuro-muscular skeletal system. As THAT system will respond to both singular-and mulitple stimulus. Stimulus that can, and does, cause involuntary rotation in an upper or lower joint while being based in other areas. Stimulus that (as mentioned above and quite important) can cause MULTIPLE and differentially displaced spherical and linear movement together in a multi-jointed being.

Sorry-I know that sounds rather heady and wordy-but its hard to describe.

All of the above while not being of an Aiki connection in the strictest sense, can appear very Aiki-ish. In fact the minumul motion techniques can deconstruct a static or fluid attack posture with little effort- the more agressive the effort the better the result.....anyway, its still jujutsu.

Peoples bodies can be quite fun. Chairs.......not so much.
I prefer to just sit on them. Actually I just prefer to sit

Nothing personal here and not casting aspersions-just another view


Content edited in for further clarity

Brently Keen
18th September 2001, 06:15

I hardly think Don would mind, if he did in fact say that. Certainly Richard or Toby could clarify or correct us if Nathan was off-base regarding Don's alleged comment.

I respectfully concur with your very technical observations, while still maintaining the essential truth of the statement. Knowing Don, I would say that this kind of comment would obviously be a simplification to illustrate a point. Jujutsu as we all know, spans a wide spectrum from very simple to very complex and even sophisticated movements, principles, and techniques. And no, they should not be static things, applied only in a linear manner.

While the distinctions between aiki and jujutsu may differ slightly between Yanagi-ryu and Daito-ryu, I think the statement was broad enough to cover both understandings. Which is why I agreed with it. At any rate, one of the primary distinctions according to Don is the psychological and/or mental component in aiki. I think the comment merely serves to point this out. But I certainly would defer to Don or any of his students if they'd like to clarify this from a Yanagi-ryu viewpoint. I can only speak from my own personal perspective having trained mostly in Daito-ryu Roppokai as well as in aikido and some other jujutsu.

The generic description of jujutsu that I hear most often in Daito-ryu defines it as being primarily composed of kansetsu waza. Obviously jujutsu also includes among other things atemi waza, nage waza, and osae waza too, and they can all be further sub-classified as well, but generally when we refer to jujutsu we're mostly talking about joint and/or limb locking and manipulation techniques. And no, we're not saying that jujutsu is made for or good to use on chairs. It's obviously for people, but it's design and/or emphasis is primarily on the common muscular/skeletal frame (or physique of the body) that all people share.

The Gracies also say that jj is all about leverage. Now of course it involves more than that, there are training methodologies, and fighting philosophies, strategy, and mindsets, as well as subtle and sophisticated movements too. But in simplified terms, jujutsu is all about applying leverage and pressure to the weak points of the muscular/skeletal system (body).

Leverage and pressure can be applied to inanimate objects (like a chair) as well as to humans. Aiki cannot be applied to inanimate objects, but can be applied to humans (and perhaps some animals). I believe that was the point (and the truth) of the statement. The statement does not mean (imo) that you can apply a shiho-nage or kotegaeshi to a chair.

As for the more complex descriptions of "good jujutsu" I whole heartedly agree that it is not only based on applied leverage, but also on spherical rotation combined with linear motion(s). But all the linear and spherical motions are still employed to achieve leverage.

Now some of those applications you described just might work on some chairs, I was thinking of a recliner, or a barber's chair, or an office chair with wheels, an infant seat, or a wheelchair, or what about ejection seats?

Moving and manipulating those types of chairs all involve different dynamics, but we would still be applying various amounts of force and/or pressure through any combination of linear and spherical movements to: pick up, move, turn, rock forward and/or back, roll around, spin, break, scoot, tilt, tip over, throw, drop, strike at, grab hold of and squeeze, sit down in, stand up on, jump onto or off of, strap into or wrap up, or eject the chair.

One thing I've learned from the aiki wars and participating in general on these BB's is that no matter how skilled we are at verbalizing or explaining the details and distinctions of the arts we practice, it still doesn't fully sink in for folks who don't already know what we're talking about. The only real way to find out is to go train with someone who can explain and demonstrate in person, and teach those distinctions. Which is why I prefer to save the more technical: "manipulating bases-while quadrenting and rotating an upper or lower joint simultaneously" explanations for Q & A sessions in the dojo.

Finally, hasn't every kid who's ever sat at a bar stool, applied linear force (to the counter) to get a spherical (centrifugal) response from the stool, and hence screwed up the equilibrium of his own multiple jointed body?


Brently Keen

Dan Harden
18th September 2001, 10:22
Oh for gosh sake......listen young man

I'm not going to get into a "jujutsu on chairs" flap:D

I'm still trying to make it work on people better or on better people or better working people....

see..... ya got me confused again!
One of these days I'm gonna call your father and have a very long talk with him.

Richard Elias
18th September 2001, 16:25
OK, I didn't really want to get into this conversation, but you asked.

Personally, I find this whole Aiki debate thing to be rather tiresome.

In regards to Don's comment:

Yes it is a simplification.
It's is simply an example that in order to apply "Aiki" (in Yanagi ryu this pertains to psychological techniques of distraction and misdirection) the subject has to be a normally functioning sentient being.
The jujutsu is purely physical and the principles of physics can be applied to all things. Including, but not restricted to, chairs. :rolleyes:

Don has even said that it is sometimes difficult or even impossible to get "Aiki" to work on persons who are under the influence of drugs or who have mental deficiencies.

Understand please that this perspective applies to the Yanagi ryu take on aiki and doesn't necessarily gel with what is taught in other styles.

Brently Keen
18th September 2001, 19:29
Thanks for your input Richard. So far we're still in agreement, no debate, argument or aiki hostilities from me. Our schools may have slightly different interpretations and definitions of some things, but with regards to Don's above mentioned quote, I think we're all in agreement.

I also strongly agree that aiki will often not work on people who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or have diminsished mental and/or nervous system capabilities. Situations with those kinds of individuals would obviously require a jujutsu response.


I'm flattered that someone thinks I'm still a young man, :cool: as I've been starting to feel a bit middle aged myself lately. My relative age not withstanding, please don't take me too literally or seriously - I never advocated actually practicing on chairs instead of people. :rolleyes:

However, I'm sure my father would be happy to speak with you sometime, although I'm not sure what it would accomplish. I'd have to warn you he's very intelligent and would probably defer to me on this matter since he has a rolling chair in his carpeted office, and understands the additional forces that are required to manuever from his desk to the computer editing suite. :D

Brently Keen

Dan Harden
18th September 2001, 21:55

That was the clarification that I thought it would be.

As to a debate-there really doesn't seem to be one does there?

There is a difference between what some arts define as "Aiki" as oppossed to others. Your art has had several members state that your definition of Aiki is something other than a physical principle or technique. Other arts have techniques that are "Aiki techniques"
What you may call minimul motion jujutsu others may call Aiki-yet both may share distractions and misdirections as being Aiki as well.

Definitions aside- personally, I feel there are, percentage wise, very few guys out there who are very, very, soft in their approach and execution and can manipulate an opponents committed attack in an ev-ading or in a decidedly in-vading, posture breaking, control. It is my belief that the best ones stem from a jujutsu (grappling, Judo, call it what you will) basis in order to exhibit that type of full body control.
Others...not so much

I, for one, really don't care what anyone calls it. If they can maintain posture, stay relaxed and control themselves and make it work (instead of the "leading man dancing" in skirts) they're several steps ahead of most of what's out there.

Sweating in the Dojo has a peculiar effect- in that it washes away and cleans up any mud slung in useless debates.

Richard Elias
19th September 2001, 03:53
Maybe debate wasn't the right word to use.

It's just that, as mentioned much earlier in this thread, this subject has been hashed to death many times before, on this and on other boards.

I just figure there's not much more to say that hasn't been said already.

19th September 2001, 16:28

I was just sitting here reading this thread and I fell off my chair.. What do we call that?

I know ..I know. We call that "Tob's a klutz"....Yuk, Yuk


Nathan Scott
19th September 2001, 19:45
[Post deleted by user]

Brently Keen
19th September 2001, 21:48
LOL! :laugh:

Dan and I were secretly working together to see which one of us could knock Tobs out of his chair first with internet aiki. It apparently worked, but neither one of us knows for sure who did actually did it. Where has Neil been? :look:

Seriously though, I agree with Nathan and the rest of you, enough said already.

Brently Keen

Dan Harden
19th September 2001, 22:10
Last week I had someone pull a chair out from under me.
Lets see...... I was visually distracted
and my arse was misdirected.
My intent was to sit...... I ended up flat on the floor!

uh oh!


running and ducking...I'm outa here :wave:



Perhaps you could have an automatic answer button for the Aiki question that says.

Neil Yamamoto
20th September 2001, 00:56

I don't enjoy debating aiki, we have all been through this before. I said my piece earlier in the thread, as well in some of the previous aiki wars and that's good enough for me.

I will stay in my hiding hole under a rock and remain the cockroach of aiki here in Seattle.

That's all folks!

edited for silly spelling errors.

Brently Keen
20th September 2001, 04:58
Just like the guilty to lay low and play innocent, Neil.

I wasn't wondering where you stood in the latest round of aiki conversation (thankfully we havent reached the point of renewed war debate just yet). But I was wondering where you might have been, and just exactly what you were doing at the moment Tobs fell out of his chair, hmmm? Busy, you say?

Yea right, some of us remember your esteemed ability and powers to affect some folks over long distances with nary a few choice words or psychic glances. I don't know about Dan, but I just have no idea yet how you do it. :cry:

Brently Keen

26th September 2001, 14:34
I'm not getting out of ths chair... no matter how long it takes.... I shall not move from this spot till I can get my screen reader to properly pronounce "Angier." It's a crime against humanity, and I want it stopped.... Just thought I'd share.

Just some guy
7th March 2002, 10:31
Okay, I know that this has probablly been asked at least 30 thousand times but I thought I'd just go ahead and ask again. I was wondering what is the real difference between Aikijujutsu and simple normal good jujutsu. I've had the chance to see Daito Ryu in actionand have studied some Aikido myself (though I do know that Aikido and Aikijujutsu are two very difference animals) and though I was very impressed with everything I saw, I have yet to quite understand what is exactly so different. I have heard Aikijujutsuka speaking of what makes it special and it always sounds like direct quotes from what I hear any really good jujutsu instructor say. The techniques I've seen sometimes look like photocopies of Techniques I see Manaka Sensei do. I'd be greatful for any enlightening answers.
Thanks in advance,

Dan Harden
7th March 2002, 12:02
Dear Chris
A perusal of the archives will tell you much. Argued from the inside and the out.
There is nothing to talk about-go do it. Try to find more than one instructor. Like every other art- they are not all the same.
In the fullness of time you will answer your own question.

Anything anyone says about any art here will be countered and argued-both from the inside and the outside. Since no one agrees- its rather pointless talking about it. I have yet to see any measure of uniformity in any art that I know or have seen. These days I am far more interested in an individuals expression of an art-then the art itself. It's the only measure of uniform ability I can find.
People find what they want to find.
What they think they have found may be based upon their experience level at the time.
They may find one of the greats
And other times they are self-deluded.
Why do you suppose some people go to experience Teacher A and they are quite impressed. Others go experience Teacher A and they yawn. Its not about the teacher then is it?
So, who's doing the experiencing?

Go do something-anything, It doesn't matter. Do it for half your life. When you have formed an opinion-start sharing it- everyone will be delighted to argue with you. :)

It's not about the art-it's about the man.
And you may never be the man.
Just train


7th March 2002, 13:51
Anything anyone says about any art here will be countered and argued-both from the inside and the outside. Since no one agrees- its rather pointless talking about it.

Come now, what fun is that?
And Chris, Dan is right, I think you'll find a ton written about this topic in the archives.

Arman Partamian
Daito-ryu Study Group

Brently Keen
7th March 2002, 16:21
If the aikijujutsu you've seen looks a lot like jujutsu then it probably doesn't have too much aiki in it. A lot of what is called ajj these days really isn't.

That's just my opinion, but don't get me started on it, I don't have a lot of free time at work today. My views are well documented in the archives here.

Brently Keen