Brazilian Jiu Jitsu vs Aikido

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Aikido are popular martial art forms which originated and developed in Japan.

As martial arts such as Karate, Kickboxing and Muay Thai become increasingly more popular throughout the western world, more questions are being raised about the sport. 

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu vs Aikido

So, unsure about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Aikido as sports or what one you should support, this guide has it all.

We will go through the differences and similarities of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Aikido and get you clued up on everything about martial arts.

No matter your knowledge level, this detailed guide will take you through all you need to know about the gentle art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Aikido. 

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

 Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, whilst now a cultural phenomenon began as a familial sport.

The Gracie family began Jiu-Jitsu in the early 20th century. When Mitsuyo Maeda, a prolific fighter, linked Jiu-Jitsu with the realities of street fighting, he took it to Brazil.

Carlos Gracie, Maeda’s beloved student, continued to develop BJJ with other family members.

Each family member contributed something to what has now become one of the most popular martial arts in MMA.

BJJ first arrived in the United States in the 1990s, and the Gracie family remains engaged in the sport to this day.


Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is based on the concept of effectively combating large attackers.

The ultimate goal of BJJ is to force your opponent to submit in a non-violent manner.

BJJ emphasizes mental toughness, but in a different way and with a different goal than Aikido.

Fighting Style 

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is primarily a ground-based martial art that employs the principles of leverage, angles, pressure, and timing, as well as a thorough understanding of human anatomy, to achieve a non-violent submission of one’s opponent.

Unlike other martial art tournaments, striking is not allowed within Brazilian Jiu Jitu.

The soft-sport has a large focus on non-violent submissions meaning the act of striking is considered illegal.

Opponents must use forms of grappling in order to dominate their opponents.

The consequence for striking is disqualification and is taken seriously. 

Ranking System 

Bjj has a range of 5 main belts to rank their students. Starting at white the students can then progress through to a black belt.

This is commonly known as the highest rank however, a student can earn a 7th degree ranking.

This is a red-and-black belt (Coral Belt) and will remain the ranking of the practitioner for a minimum of 7 years.

This is often rewarded to those who are addressed as Master within the art. 



Aikido is a martial art that combines philosophical concepts with combat. Aikido is a relatively new martial art, having been founded in the early 1900s.

Aikido is based on the concept of softening an attack rather than active aggression.

In practice, this implies being able to redirect another person’s attack into a strategy of neutralization.

It’s more about practice and philosophy in Aikido than it is about being able to physically overpower someone.


The philosophical nature of Aikido, as well as the purpose of reducing harm by diverting the enemy’s strike, are the main focus of the sport .

Aikido is more about predicting the attacker’s motions and redirecting the attack than it is about perfecting the technique.

When you think of Aikido, you probably think of physical strength combined with mental ability. .

Fighting Style 

Aikido is the technique of negating the effectiveness of another person’s attack by redirecting it in a calm and nonviolent manner.

Morihei Ueshiba’s knowledge in several combat arts, as well as his philosophical convictions, gave birth to Aikido.

Aikido enables a person to deal with an attack or problem while also considering the attacker’s safety.

The purpose of Aikido is to bring a confrontation to a nonviolent conclusion.

Whilst similar to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Aikido places more focus on deflecting an attack, limiting the harm caused to both parties.

Ranking System 

There are just two in Aikido. There are two types of belts: white and black. The “degrees” (or dans) of black belts in Aikido, on the other hand, are regarded as extremely tough to achieve, with the seventh Dan being the most difficult.

Before a person receives their black belt, they are given “Kyu,” which are white belt levels.

Weapons Training 

The usage of weapons is one of the most significant contrasts between BJJ and Aikido. Aikido focuses on three weapons: a short staff, a knife, and a sword.

Aikido was developed during a period of turmoil in Japan, which explains why so many of the techniques used by Aikido practitioners revolve around wrist locks; Ueshiba wanted his students to be able to disarm their opponents in a safe way.


As both styles are considered ‘soft’ martial arts and originated in the same culture they hold some similarities. 


While the aims, techniques, and philosophies of Aikido and BJJ differ, they are both excellent ways to learn and build confidence.

There is always something to build and work towards.. It is tremendously strong to continue to strengthen one’s intellect and body, as well as to know how to defend oneself.

Technique, strategy, strength, and power are rewarded in both arts. 


As Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Aikido have a focus on disarming their attackers, they provide their students with an incredible amount of both mental and physical strength.

Aikido focuses on the practitioner to predict their attackers next move and requires an extreme amount of knowledge and patience.

BJJ has a more inward focus whilst thinking of the next step in protecting oneself from attacks and how to dominate their opponent. 

Both martial arts have created a large sense of community throughout their practice.

Within dojos, studios and tournaments, everyone is part of a welcoming community with a love for the sport.

This strengthens a person’s mental wellbeing as they create connections with like-minded people. 


There you have it! The main differences and similarities between Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Aikido. Let’s summarize: 

  • Both Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Aikido are considered ‘soft’ martial art forms. Neither of these styles permit striking of any kind and focus on disarming their opponent in a non-violent way. 
  • Starting in Japan before being carried to the western world, both practices offer peaceful fighting techniques. 
  • Whilst Aikido uses weapons such as a short staff, a knife, and a sword, BJJ is a grappling focused sport. 

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Aikido are great sports to learn or support. With a welcoming sense of community you’ll instantly fall in love with the sport.

Christopher Anderson
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