Aiki Jujutsu Vs. Bujutsu: Which Is Better?

Aiki Jujutsu Vs. Bujutsu: Which Is Better?

Many people in the martial arts community debate whether aiki jujutsu or bujutsu is the better style. Some people say that aiki jujutsu is more fluid and instinctive, while others argue that bujutsu is more powerful and straightforward.

So which is really better? In this blog post, we will break down the pros and cons of each style to help you make an informed decision. Let's get into it!

The main difference between Aiki Jujutsu and Bujutsu is their focus and approach. Aiki Jujutsu emphasizes using the opponent's energy against them, while Bujutsu focuses more on direct attacks and techniques.

In a self-defense situation, Aiki Jujutsu may be more effective because it allows the practitioner to control and disarm an attacker without causing serious harm. It also trains the practitioner to remain calm and think tactically in high-stress situations. Saving you from going too far and possibly facing legal consequences.

However, Bujutsu may be better for competitive sparring or martial arts tournaments. Its direct attacks and techniques can quickly incapacitate an opponent and win a match.

But let's look at these two disciplines in more depth.

Once we've done that, you can decide for yourself!

What We Know About Aiki Jujutsu

What We Know About Aiki Jujutsu

Aiki Jujutsu is a martial art that involves harmonizing your own energy with that of your opponent in order to redirect it in a way that suits your needs.

Instead of meeting force head-on, Aiki Jujutsu practitioners use Kempo-Jutsu's striking and evasive techniques to position themselves close to their opponents. They then follow up with linear, diagonal, or circular movements to redirect the opponent's energy.

Throwing techniques in Aiki Jujutsu rely heavily on Kempo-Jutsu's Atemi. In some instances, a skilled practitioner can apply Aiki Jujutsu throwing techniques by blending with their opponent's energy.

Aiki Jujutsu can be traced back to the Takenouchi Hisamori's Shinmei-ryu school of swordsmanship, which he founded in the early 1600s.

His student, Takeda Sokaku, is credited with creating Aiki Jujutsu from the techniques he learned from Hisamori. Sokaku passed on his knowledge to his son, Takeda Tokimune, who then continued to develop and teach the art until his death in 1943.

The art was further refined by Morihei Ueshiba, who created Aikido, a modernized version of Aiki Jujutsu.

Even today, Aiki Jujutsu can be used for self-defense or as a form of physical and mental exercise. Its excellent teachings regarding control over one's body and mind have made it a staple in the martial arts community.

What We Know About Bujutsu

What We Know About Bujutsu

Bujutsu is an umbrella term that covers all of the traditional Japanese martial arts such as Kenjutsu, SoJutsu, Jojutsu and so on. Bujutsu was originally the sole preserve of the Samurai, though nowadays, Bujutsu techniques are practiced by many people around the world.

The term derives from the Japanese words for war (Bu) and technique or art (Jutsu), and Bujutsu can be translated to, almost literally, mean "martial arts."

Bujutsu includes a wide variety of different disciplines including swordsmanship, spear fighting, grappling, and stick fighting, as well as more modern disciplines, such as firearms training.

Bujutsu also covers a wide range of different weapons including swords, spears, knives, and even firearms.

Bujutsu techniques were developed over centuries of warfare in Japan, and they were refined through both practical experience on the battlefield as well as through formal training in one of the many Bujutsu schools that existed throughout Japan.

Many of the great Samurai families had their own Bujutsu schools, which were typically passed down from generation to generation, often becoming quite famous in their own right.

In modern times, Bujutsu has experienced something of a renaissance. Many people around the world have begun taking up the study of this ancient martial art.

While the direct practical applications of Bujutsu are obviously somewhat limited in today’s world, the discipline and self-control that it teaches are still absolutely highly valued by those who study it.

Of course, this is only a brief history and understanding of Aiki Jujutsu and Bujutsu, but if you want to go deeper into either art, be sure to check out the following posts:

Now, back to the comparison...

Let's look at the origins of the respective disciplines and then compare the key elements of their practices. You will be able to understand some of their similarities and differences a bit better afterward.

 Aiki JujutsuBujutsu

Key Elements Of Aiki Jujutsu

One of the fundamental principles in Aiki Jujutsu is the use of leverage and balance to gain an advantage over one's opponent. This involves the strategic application of force and momentum to manipulate an opponent's body, making it easier to control and overpower them.

Another essential component of Aiki Jujutsu is the use of body movement and positioning.

By carefully positioning one's body in relation to the opponent, a practitioner can create openings for attacks or defensive maneuvers. This requires a high degree of spatial awareness and precision in movement.

Joint locks and throws are powerful techniques that can be used to subdue an opponent quickly and efficiently.

These maneuvers involve applying pressure to a joint or manipulating an opponent's balance to throw them to the ground. They require a thorough understanding of anatomy and a high degree of technical skill.

One of the most advanced techniques in Aiki Jujutsu is the ability to blend with the motion of an attacker. This involves moving in a way that allows a practitioner to avoid incoming attacks while simultaneously positioning themselves to counterattack.

It requires an acute awareness of an opponent's movements and a high level of skill in evasive maneuvers.

Next, up here in Aiki Jujutsu is breath control. By learning to regulate their breathing, practitioners can maintain their focus and energy levels, even in the face of physical exertion and stress.

Mental focus and calmness in the face of adversity are critical traits for any Aiki Jujutsu practitioner.

And speaking from personal experience, if you're knee deep into a fight, you'll want to know how to maintain a clear head and a calm demeanor, even in the face of obvious danger.

This requires mental fortitude and the ability to stay focused under pressure, the kind that Aiki Jujutsu will teach you.

Finally, one of the most powerful parts of this martial art is its ability to use an attacker's energy against them.

By skillfully redirecting an opponent's momentum, a practitioner can use their strength and force to overpower them. Of course, this requires a deep understanding of physics and a high degree of technical skill--which, trust me, your training will be able to give you in spades.

Key Elements Of Bujutsu

Seishin (spirit):

This is the mental and spiritual aspect of training. It includes things like perseverance, courage, self-control and honor.

All of these things are important not just in a martial art like Bujutsu, but in life as well. Without them, we would never be able to accomplish anything worthwhile. Seishin is what sets us apart from the animals and allows us to achieve great things.

Seishin is something that must be developed through consistent training and practice. It isn't something that you can just buy or have passed down to you. And if you're looking to develop your seishin, then one of the best ways to do that is through kata (forms).

Kata (forms)

Kata are pre-arranged patterns of movements that help us to focus our minds and develop our techniques. They also help us to understand the principles behind the techniques we are using.

Don't be fooled though. Kata training isn't just about memorizing a bunch of moves. It's about understanding the principles behind your movements and applying them to real-world situations. It is also about developing our mental and spiritual discipline.

Kata training is an incredibly important part of Bujutsu, and it's a part that you should practice regularly.

Another thing I think is important to look at is the different rankings and levels in each art. if you are looking to take up either Aiki Jujutsu or Bujutsu, whether as a hobbyist or to compete, you need to understand the different levels of proficiency and what is required for testing and ranking.

Aiki Jujutsu Rankings & Levels

Two young students of relatively low rank and level, about to do some aiki jujutsu.

Aiki Jujutsu has its own ranking system, as you've likely already expected. It starts with the 10th Kyu white belt, which represents the beginner level. As one progresses, they move up the ranking system by earning colored belts and stripes.

The ranking system is divided into two categories: kyu and dan. Kyu represents the colored belts that one earns before reaching the black belt level. Dan represents the black belt levels.

The colored belt levels range from 9th Kyu white belt with a yellow stripe, all the way to 4th Kyu purple belt.

The amount of training required to earn these belts is pretty significant, in my opinion. IT ranges from 2 to 3 months, such as for the 9th Kyu white belt with a yellow stripe, to 15 to 21 months, like for the 4th Kyu purple belt.

The black belt levels start with the Shodan-Ho (Junior Black Belt) and progress to the highest level, which is the Godan (5th Degree Black Belt).

If you ask me, it's definitely not an easy feat to achieve: it normally takes years of dedication and training to reach the highest levels of the black belt ranking system.

If this is all a bit hard to visualize, don't worry; I've made a more detailed breakdown for you to see below:

10th KyuWhite
9th KyuWhite
8th KyuYellow
7th KyuBlue
6th KyuGreen
5th KyuGreen
4th KyuPurple
3rd KyuBrown
2nd KyuBrown
1st KyuBrown

Bujutsu Rankings & Levels

Bujutsu Rankings & Levels

There are different levels and belts that practitioners can achieve in Bujutsu. The highest level is black belt, as you might've already suspected.

Below that, there are brown belts, followed by blue belts. The next lower rank is green belt, and the next lower rank after that is the orange belt.

Lower than that is the yellow belt, and finally, the lowest rank, designated for beginners, is the white belt. There are ten ranks for black belts all-in-all, increasing in their degrees--1st degree, 2nd degree, and so on

Each rank represents a higher level of skill and knowledge, and practitioners must dedicate themselves to continual learning in order to achieve the highest level of proficiency.

Aiki Jujutsu Vs. Bujutsu Attire

This section simply compares the clothing and uniforms that practitioners wear in combat.

Aiki Jujutsu Attire:

Aiki Jujutsu Attire:
Anon (2022). Retrieved 27 October 2022, from - The front panel is tied first (persons: Rikiya and Konami).

In terms of attire, Aiki Jujutsu practitioners typically wear a traditional dogi and hakama. This affords them better gripping and movement during techniques.

Bujutsu Attire:

Bujutsu Attire:

There is no standard uniform in Bujutsu. In general though, you can expect to see a black gi and hakama (a traditional garment worn by men in Japan), since these are the typical garments worn in most martial arts.

Some Bujutsu styles don't even encourage wearing a gi at all. Some schools choose to forgo the hakama altogether.

So it really depends on the school and the style of Bujutsu being practiced.

What A Typical Aiki Jujutsu Training Session Looks Like

What A Typical Aiki Jujutsu Training Session Looks Like

A typical Aiki Jujutsu practice session may start with a few minutes of warm-ups, such as joint rotations and light stretches. This is followed by practicing techniques, which may include throws, locks, and pins. The session usually ends with some relaxation exercises and a cool-down.

One of the most commonly used techniques in Aiki Jujutsu is the wristlock. This involves controlling an opponent's wrist and using their own momentum to throw them off balance.

In addition to physical technique, Aiki Jujutsu also emphasizes mental and spiritual development. This includes cultivating a strong mind-body connection and developing qualities such as patience and awareness.

What A Typical Bujutsu Training Session Looks Like

What A Typical Bujutsu Training Session Looks Like

You can expect a typical session to follow this pattern:

  • Warm-Ups
  • Kihon
  • Kata
  • Randori
  • Weapons Training
  • Cool-Downs

Most bujutsu classes will start with a brief warm-up. This may involve some light stretching, calisthenics, or other exercises to get the blood flowing and the muscles loose. The purpose of the warm-up is to prevent injuries during the more strenuous training that will follow.

Kihon means "basic techniques" and refers to the fundamental movements of a particular martial art. In a bujutsu class, students will spend a significant amount of time practicing kihon.

This may involve striking techniques, throws, joint locks, or other basic moves. Kihon is important as it provides the foundation for all other techniques that will be learned.

Kata are pre-arranged sequences of moves that are performed alone or with a partner. Kata help students to learn proper form and technique, as well as to develop timing and rhythm. There are often many different kata in a single martial art, and students may spend years perfecting them.

Randori means "free sparring" and refers to any type of sparring that is not pre-arranged or choreographed. In randori, students face off against each other and attempt to score points with whatever techniques they have learned. Randori helps students to learn how to apply their techniques in a real-world setting and also fosters an environment of healthy competition.

Next is weapons training. Many bujutsu styles make use of weapons such as swords, knives, sticks, or staffs. In weapons training, students learn how to properly wield and use these weapons.

Students will often practice kata with weapons, as well as engage in randori with weaponized opponents. Weapons training can be both dangerous and exhilarating, and is often one of the most popular aspects of bujutsu for students.

And finally, at the end of most bujutsu classes, there will be a brief cool-down period. This may involve some light stretching or other exercises to help the muscles recover from the intense training that has taken place.

The cool-down is important in preventing injuries and helping the body to recover more quickly.

If the last few sections have been a bit full-on or a bit too technical, you will like this next section! Why? Because who doesn't love a good martial arts flick?

Both Aiki Jujutsu and Bujutsu have been featured in a number of films and TV shows, so if you want to learn more about them, then entertain yourself with the following 👊

Movies With Aiki Jujutsu And Bujutsu

Movies With Aiki Jujutsu And Bujutsu

These are some of the top movies and shows with Aiki Jujutsu in them:

  • The Bourne Identity
  • Kill Bill: Volume 1
  • The Protector
  • Arrow
  • John Wick
  • 13 Assassins
  • The Raid

And some cool movies and anime with Bujutsu in them are:

  • Kenshin: The Legend Ends
  • Princess Mononoke
  • The Last Samurai
  • Takeda Shingen
  • Naruto
  • Rurouni Kenshin

Conclusion: Aiki Jujutsu Vs. Bujutsu

I hope you now have a deeper understanding of Aiki Jujutsu and Bujutsu. In all truth, it is not about which discipline is "better" as they each have their pros and cons.

If you do plan on starting classes for either, please check out my other related posts, as I have tried my best to answer all the FAQs related to the art.

Feel free to share this post and any graphics you like, and of course, if you have any questions or thoughts, drop them below or shoot me an email, and I will be happy to assist 🙂

You can check out other martial arts here!