I have studied Aiki-jiujitsu, Aikido, and Japanese Jujutsu. I don't claim to be an expert in any of them. But, I do have some basic first hand knowledge about them (and I have studied research about them too). Aiki JJ is bascially just like Aikido (or my school was anyway).
Aikido does take a long time. Once you get up to the black belt level (or close to it) you have some decent skills. You watch an Aikido black belt and it's hard not to be impressed with their skill. But, that is like 8 years of Aikido training to get there. Aikido is mostly unique over the other martial arts because it is concious about not overly hurting your attacker. It's focus on defense and restraint make it good for people that requrie that. But, sometimes in a wild and wooly attack, Aikido's perfect-like neatness may not be good enough. One glaring promblem with such a strong attack is Aikido's lack of groundfighting skills. What is an Aikidoka going to do when he is mounted by an attacker?
A lot of martial arts look great and neat in the dojo. I have seen demostrations of Brazillian Jiujitsu done by the Gracie Brothers. Their demonstraion looked really clean, neat, quick, crisp. Now, I have seen those exact same Gracie brothers in MMA cagefights. In those cagefights there technique didn't look as clean at all. Their technique in those fights was very good, yes, but, not as pure as in a demonstration. Now, apply that to Aikido. Aikido isn't going to look so pretty in an actual street attack. An Aikidoka won't be able to do everything exactly like how he wants to. The attacker will resist him in anyway he can. Will Aikido be able to cope? What if an attacker starts landing some heavy strikes on the Aikidoka? Will the Aikidoka be able to handle them (when his training has not prepared him to take a hit)? What if the Aikidoka finds himself on the ground and his attacker standing above him (Aikido has no preparation for this position either)?
Now, a good Aikidoka can always improvise. He doesn't have to have exact preaparation for every eventuality. I read in an Aikido book of an Aikidoka facing a Muay Thai boxer. The Aikidoka had never dealt with that style and had never dealt with kicks. Subsequently, the Aikidoka took the MT boxer down and submitted him. So, there is one example of Aikido improvising. But, Aikido, needs a long time in the cooker (to meld together, perfect moves and strategies) to be able to handle itself so well. On the lower levels it isn't that strong.
Now, Japanese Jujutsu is different. I have found it more practial than Aikido. It does have Aikido-like wristlocks and throws. But, that is just a part of JJ. JJ also has many moves like Judo and Karate. These extra elements are what puts it above Aikido in my opinion. The availability of different options. As I mentioned above, Aikido's arsenal of moves is limited. JJ's moves as a whole cover a lot.
So, you start learning practial moves that can work off the bat at white belt level. Aikido doesn't become that effective until much later. You will have moves you can use and a wide buffet of choices to choose from.
Now, the "problem" with JJ is sometimes their traditional approach to sparring and/or competition. The more traditional schools won't allow sparring like in Judo. It will be cooperative sparring so, no one can get hurt. You will be allowed to do your techniques but, your opponet won't be resisting you 100% like they do in Judo. They will cooperate to make it safe. Some JJ schools do this, mine does. But, some will practice sport Jujutsu or Judo to make it more practical, depends on the school. So, if your school does just the traditional approach, you need to be aware of the pros and cons of cooperative sparring vs. full-contact sparring.
Japanese Jujutsu is "better" than Aikido in my opinion. It takes a lot less time to get down, has a lot more moves that can apply to different situations, has groundfighting, and approaches things from a street self-defense point of view. It would be a better choice unless you want to take the time the longer amount of time to learn Aikido.
· 10 years ago