Aiki Jujutsu Vs. Capoeira: Which Is Better?

Aiki Jujutsu Vs. Capoeira: Which Is Better?

Aiki Jujutsu and Capoeira are two martial arts that have been around for centuries. Both have their own unique history, and both have vast and undisputed benefits.

So which is better? There's still quite a fair bit of talk regarding Aiki Jujutsu Vs. Capoeira, and people are deciding which one to take. Let's take a closer look at each one to find out.

The main difference between Aiki Jujutsu and Capoeira is their origins and overall purpose.

Aiki Jujutsu originated in Japan as a form of self-defense and combat, while Capoeira was developed by Africans who were enslaved in Brazil as a way to hide their practice of traditional martial arts.

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 Capoeira

What We Know About Capoeira

Capoeira is a Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance, acrobatics, and music. It was developed in the 16th century by African slaves who were brought to Brazil.

The slaves used Capoeira as a way to defend themselves against their masters and to rebel against the oppressive system they were living in.

Today, Capoeira is practiced all over the world and has even gained recognition as a sport. It promotes physical fitness, self-defense skills, and cultural awareness.

Many practitioners also see it as a form of artistic expression and a way to appreciate African culture or connect with their African heritage.

While some may view Capoeira as solely a form of entertainment, it should not be underestimated. Its fluid movements and quick reflexes make it a formidable martial art in combat situations.

Regardless of its origins, Capoeira continues to evolve as a multifaceted practice that can benefit anyone who chooses to learn it.

Of course, this is only a brief history and understanding of Aiki Jujutsu and Capoeira, 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 JujutsuCapoeira

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 Capoeira


Like I mentioned, the history of Capoeira is a long and complicated one, with roots in Africa, Brazil, and Europe. A big part of what makes Capoeira... well, Capoeira, is in no small part due its history, so it's well worth it to familiarize yourself with this.

Capoeira was born out of the struggle of African held in captivity in Brazil. It was originally used as a form of self-defense and rebellion against their oppressors. Over time, it evolved into a complex martial art that combines dance, music, and acrobatics.


Music is an integral part of Capoeira. It sets the pace and tempo for the game, and provides a backdrop for the movements.

The music of Capoeira is upbeat and lively, with a strong rhythm that drives the action. The instruments used include drums, guitars, and tambourines.


Movement is the heart of Capoeira. Its fluid, acrobatic maneuvers are easily what sets it apart from other martial arts.

Capoeira is all about movement and counter-movement. It is a game of evasion and attack, with both partners moving around each other in a dance-like fashion.

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 Aikido or Capoeira, 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

Aiki Jujutsu Rankings & Levels

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

Capoeira Rankings & Levels

Capoeira Rankings Levels 1

Capoeira is a Brazilian martial art that has many different levels and ranks. The highest rank in Capoeira is the Mestre, which is a Portuguese word that means "master." There are only a few people in the world who have achieved the rank of Mestre in Capoeira.

Below the rank of Mestre, there are a variety of different levels and ranks in Capoeira. These ranks include Professor, Contra-Mestre, and Capoeriaista. Each rank has its own set of responsibilities and duties within the Capoeira community.

The level of a Capoeirista is determined by how well they know the art form, as well as their ability to teach and lead others. Those who are dedicated to learning and teaching Capoeira are typically promoted to a higher rank over time.

Aiki Jujutsu Vs. Capoeira Attire

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

Aiki Jujutsu Attire:

Aiki Jujutsu Attire:

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

Capoeira Attire:

Capoeira Attire:

Capoeira practitioners isn't strict with its attire, and capoeiristas wear clothes that allow them to move freely and remain comfortable while practicing.

Common clothing items worn by practitioners of capoeira include T-shirts, shorts, and sandals. Some people may also choose to wear a headband to keep their hair out of their face.

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 Capoeira Training Session Looks Like

What A Typical Capoeira Training Session Looks Like

The first thing you can expect at a typical capoeira practice class is a series of warm-up exercises.

These exercises are designed to help you loosen up your muscles and prepare your body for the physical activity to come. The warm-up may include some light stretching, jogging in place, or jumping jacks.

Once you’ve warmed up, the next thing you can expect is to learn some basic capoeira movements. These movements include kicks, punches, and sweeps.

You'll likely start with simple movements and then progress to more complex ones, at least as you become more comfortable with things.

Another thing you can expect at a capoeira practice class is to learn some traditional capoeira songs. These songs are typically sung in Portuguese and are used to keep rhythm during the game of capoeira.

The lyrics of the songs often tell stories of famous capoeiristas or describe the history of capoeira itself.

Once you’ve learned some basic movements and songs, you can expect to participate in some traditional capoeira games.

These games are played between two people and usually involve one person trying to kick or punch the other person while they dodge or block the attacks. The games are usually played for points and can be quite competitive.

And finally, at the end of the class, be ready to do some closing exercises. These exercises are designed to help your body cool down after the physical activity of the class. The closing exercises may include some light stretching, jogging in place, or jumping jacks.

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 Capoeira 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 Capoeira

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

  • The Bourne Identity (2002)
  • Kill Bill: Volume 1 (2003)
  • The Protector (2005)
  • The Matrix Reloaded (2003)
  • Ong Bak (2003)
  • 13 Assassins (2010)
  • The Raid (2011)

And then here are some movies with Capoeira in them that you can check out:

  • The Martial Arts Kid (2015)
  • Only the Strong (1993)
  • City of God (2002)
  • The Princess and the Warrior (2000)
  • Blindness (2008)

Don't forget to also check out documentaries about Capoeira, such as:

  • Songs from the Heart: A Journey into Capoeira (2012)
  • We Love Capoeira (2013)

Conclusion: Aiki Jujutsu Vs. Capoeira

I hope you now have a deeper understanding of Aiki Jujutsu and Capoeira. 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 🙂

Here in No Wrong Moves, we love Capoeira! You can read more about it here!