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Difference Between Aikido and Judo

Aikido vs Judo

A lot of students who are taking up martial arts classes only know few styles. Most of them tend to think of Taekwondo, Hapkido, Kung fu and Karate. In reality, there are hundreds of martial arts and only a few of them are taught in gyms or dojos.

Aikido and Judo are other forms of martial arts that are usually associated with Japan. Although it is quite difficult to make a direct comparison between the two, some variations in strategy or tactics make each one unique.

Morihei Ueshiba developed Aikido based on his philosophy, religious beliefs and martial studies. This type of art is often translated as ‘the Way of harmonious spirit’ or as ‘the Way of unifying (with) life energy.’ Originally, the primary goal of this technique is to create an art to protect practitioners against opponents while doing little injury to their attackers as much as possible.

This kind of martial art is performed by combining the motion of the opponent and redirecting the force instead of opposing it. This technique only requires little physical strength because only turning and entering movements are used.

Aikido is classified as one of the strongest martial arts and it is highly recommended for people who want to learn self-defense. This martial art is primarily focused on defending oneself against opponents while causing few injuries as possible.

The martial art concept behind Aikido is based on a philosophy to encourage self-defense with little effort only and lesser exercise is needed. A lot of parents enroll their children into different martial arts classes that teach Aikido due to its concept. Moreover, learning Aikido techniques can be easily learned and performed by anyone, regardless of one’s strength, agility or size.

Aikido is now taught in different styles, with wider ranges emphasis and interpretation. However, these new styles share the same techniques that were conceptualized by Ueshiba and most of them were concerned on the well-being of the opponent.

Judo is a Japanese combat sport and martial art that was created by Dr. Kano Jigoro in 1882. Its competitive element makes it unique. The practitioner needs to throw the opponents to the ground, make them immobilize, strangle or choke them, or subdue the attackers using a grappling maneuver. Striking the opponents by means of weapons, hands and feet are taught in Judo classes. Judo is taught using widely recognized standards, which are used by all instructors who teach this kind of martial art.

Judo includes various techniques in rolling, falling, throwing, joint-locking and striking. This martial art primarily focuses in throwing the opponents. Throws are divided in two groups: standing techniques and sacrifice techniques. Standing techniques consist of movements that make use of s legs, feet and hips. Meanwhile, sacrifice techniques are styles that will require a thrower to fall into his back or side.

In terms of exercise and fitness, Judo is the exact opposite of Aikido. People can take advantage of this technique to build their stamina and strength. As compared to Aikido, Judo is more intuitive and it primarily focuses in throwing by using an opponent’s momentum and size against him.


1. Both Judo and Aikido originate in Japan.

2. Aikido is a form of martial art that originally intends to defend oneself from opponents while doing little harm on them.

3. Judo is a martial art that needs physical strength in order to throw opponents to the grown and immobilize them.

4. Different Aikido styles are now available but share the same concepts used by Morihei Ueshiba.

5. Aikido may be performed by anyone because it doesn’t require too much physical strength.

6. Judo can help practitioners develop their stamina and strength.

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  1. Not so nice! The writer seems to be a novice. Judo was never about strength. I was under 50 kg when I had a Gorilla of 85+ flying in the air, and I was as surprised as the 100+ spectators who were initially laughing at the match! Only my coach(not even I) had the confidence that I can do such a feat. Well, he was MUCH heavier and even laughed at my efforts when I tried a foot-lock. Then I had to stand back and think before two times I had him in the air flying across me to the mat, with his own mouth open(he couldn’t believe it!). Judo AND Aikido are not about strength. Judo is about use of the other’s inertia and Aikido, the use of inflexibility of joints(along with inertia) to ground an opponent. They both seem like cousins to me. Just a bit of changes here and there in principle. Both are soft arts, and use of FORCE or STRENGTH in Judo will get you a disapproving look from your Sensei! I think one must test effectiveness of a martial art practitioner against a non-art practitioner, though more menacing in brute strength and size. Both Judo and Aikido are like Magic to whoever is watching(or suffering the consequences!). Very scientific, both!

    • Very well put!

    • As a shodan (first degree black belt) I have personally been on the receiving end of a lot of nasty throws by my Sensei who is a godan (5th degree black belt). He is twice my age, 50 pounds lighter, half a foot shorter and a lot less fit and strong than I am. His darn ashi waza (foot sweeps) get me every time!

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