View Full Version : BJJ 'Aikido on the ground'?

Ruairi Quinn
10th November 2000, 10:02
Hi all-

I'm no aikidoka, but I found this pretty interesting link (at http://www.kungfuonline.com, of all places), and I thought I'd see what you guys thought of it. It's an interview with a Yoshinkan 5th dan who teaches defensive tactics around Los Angeles. He's a massive fan of cross-training and thinks that BJJ complements aikido perfectly.


10th November 2000, 12:01
Hi Ruairi.

Well, i am an Aikidoka, and a formaer Judoka, Capoeira Palyer and Karateka. And i think that if he is talking about a COMPLEMENT, he is right. In my home dojo i have some Gracie guys as my students and i do not see any trouble, nor do they. The nature of both arts is very different so in a sense is the same thing as if you have gone practicig football (soccer, i mean) and handball. You do it with balls, you wear almost the same garments, you run a lot, you even have a goalkeeper in both, but they are completely different things, with something in common. Of course i am talking about the physical part, because on the spiritual
part, they have nothing in common, because Gracie Jiu Jitsu is a very simple/practical/realistic art and Aikido is not.
Take no offense, i enjoy Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and i even practice a little bit of it with my students/friends, but, at least here in Brazil, there is no such thing as a "Gracie Phylosophy". What do you think? Ganbatte.

Toni Rodrigues

Ruairi Quinn
10th November 2000, 12:09
Hi Tony-

Thanks for replying. I'm curious whether or not most aikidoka would like to introduce things like ground-fighting into their training. Is there any ne-waza in aikido at all? (not talking about pins here) If not, is this because Ueshiba's knowledge of Budo did not include them, or was it a conscious decision on his part to leave them out of aikido?
Also, the founder of Tomiki style was a high-ranking judoka- is there groundfighting in Tomiki aikido, or was this left out?

Ron Tisdale
10th November 2000, 14:39
Hi guys, great thread. I loved that article. I don't know if some of the more conservative Yoshinkan instructors will ever go for grappling being taught in an aikido dojo, but I do know I'd like to explore that area more someday. My experience in wrestling gives me some comfort on the ground, but frankly, I tried it against good BJJ, and it didn't hold up.

I don't know of any documentation that suggests that aikido has ne-waza as part of its curriculum. Neither of the two books that Ueshiba S. published contain such techniques (at least not the editions that I have). I do know that some of the older Yoshinkan instructors teach some interesting variations of pins that involve more of a reclining posture than I've ever seen in aikido. Amos Parker S., and his main instructor (Terada S., I believe) might be good resources to check out. If ne-waza was taught, nobody seems to be talking about it.

I can't speak for Tomiki Aikido.

Ron Tisdale

10th November 2000, 15:43
Hi all.

Tomiki Aikido has no ne-waza, at least not in the sense of Judo or Gracie Jiu-jitsu. Yes, Tomiki Sensei was a 7th dan in Judo and was set to study Aikido by Jigoro Kano himself, as Minoru Mochizuki. Perhaps Yoseikan Budo has some ne-waza because it is a mixed art,i really don't know, but Tomiki Aikido is not, it only has a competitive aspect on it, but it is technically Aikido and not Judo. I have a book by Tomiki Sensei and he describes Aikido as "Judo at a distance", but he is talking clearly of the tai-sabaki aspect of the art, not the waza. Ganbatte.


10th November 2000, 16:22
yes, Mits has been working on a regular incorporation on BJJ into aikido for some years now. i have always deemed it a personal priority to be a bit familiar with the groundfighting, and i have used some n the application outside of the dojo before with great success. i recommend that any serious aikidoka take a few classes to see the gist of the strategems employed by a good groudfighter.

Mark Jakabcsin
10th November 2000, 16:29
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Arashi
[B]Hi all.

"I have a book by Tomiki Sensei and he describes Aikido as "Judo at a distance", but he is talking clearly of the tai-sabaki aspect of the art, not the waza."

While this is a off topic I have to disagree with what Tomiki Sensei ment in that comment. IMHO, there are a great deal more similarities between Judo and Aikido than just the tai-sabaki. In Tomiki's book "Judo & Aikido" (early editions titled "Judo Appendix Aikido"), he states that judo and aikido share the same main principle which is the principle of gentleness. Both arts are built off of this principle and it is the fundemental building block of each art. Furthermore, as I study the movements and shape of movements in each art there are numerous similarities. The affective range of each art is the greatest difference which can make the arts look very dissimilar, however, a close study shows that the similiarities are vast and numerous. Throughout Tomiki S. book he points this out in subtle ways.


Tom Douglas
10th November 2000, 16:58
Really interesting thread . . . there are no developed "groundfighting" waza in Aikikai, Tohei (Ki Society)or Tomiki aikido. Getting down on your knees for the pin is about as close as you get. From the practical/martial/self-defense perspective, I'd have to go with the idea of BJJ as perhaps the ideal complementary art to aikido. Simplistically put, aikido properly trained and executed handles getting the opponent (I know, I know, there are no opponents in aikido, or rather, the only opponent is myself), and BJJ deals with the opponent on the ground.

There is some overlap, in the sense that BJJ does have limited stand-up and takedown techniques, and aikido does have on-the-ground pins. Both arts when well-executed show definite flow with and around the opponent's energy.

One well-known 6th-dan Aikikai teacher, Bruce Bookman, also studies (and teaches) BJJ as a complement to his aikido teaching, although in a separate class. I don't know if he ever teaches flowing from an aikido takedown into a BJJ submission. Maybe an aikidoka from the Seattle area would know more about that.

While BJJ may not espouse a specific, coherent and overarching "spiritual" philosophy, many members of the Gracie family follow a decidedly spiritual approach to health and physical fitness, in the sense of careful attention to nutrition, diligent conditioning, and concern for health over the long run. I remember an interview years ago with Carlson Gracie in which he reflected that such appreciation of the body as temple for the spirit (not in those exact words) extended at least back as far as Helio Gracie. Unlike the founder of aikido, the Gracies don't seem to regard themselves as divine incarnations or even necessarily moral exemplars for their students. If they lead at all, it's by practical example.

10th November 2000, 22:11
Hi all.

Mark, i completely agree with you. I was just giving a more simple answer, that's all. Ganbatte.