Aiki Jujutsu Vs. Jeet Kune Do: Which Is Better?

Aiki Jujutsu Vs. Jeet Kune Do: Which Is Better?

Today, we are going to end the long-standing debate of Aiki Jujutsu Vs. Jeet Kune Do! People (especially those online) go back on forth on which discipline is better.

Some say that Aiki Jujutsu is more fluid and instinctive, while others argue that Jeet Kune Do is more powerful and straightforward. So which is it and why?

The main differences between Aiki Jujutsu and Jeet Kune Do are three things. First, Aiki Jujutsu focuses on using the opponent's force against them, while Jeet Kune Do is more about individual expression and improvisation in combat.

Second, Aiki Jujutsu has a strong emphasis on tradition and formal techniques, whereas Jeet Kune Do discards restrictive techniques and instead encourages experimentation and creativity.

Finally, Aiki Jujutsu includes joint locks, throws, and restraining techniques, while Jeet Kune Do is primarily a striking martial art.

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 utilizes harmonizing an opponent's energy with your own internal energy in order to redirect it according to your needs. This is done by blending with the force instead of colliding with it, which would stop it in its tracks.

A practitioner of Aiki Jujutsu uses the striking and evasive techniques of Kempo-Jutsu to position their body close to their opponent before following with linear, diagonal or circular movements to redirect the opponent's energy.

The throwing techniques of Aiki Jujutsu are almost completely dependent upon the Atemi of Kempo-Jutsu. In some cases, with masterful skill, the practitioner can apply Aiki Jujutsu throwing techniques by blending with their opponent's energy.

In most cases, applying an appropriate Aiki Jujutsu throwing technique will disrupt the opponent's balance and send them flying.

The history of Aiki Jujutsu can be traced back to the Shinmei-ryu school of swordsmanship founded by Takenouchi Hisamori in the early 1600s. One of Hisamori's students, Takeda Sokaku, is credited with developing Aiki Jujutsu from the techniques he learned from Hisamori.

Sokaku passed on his knowledge to his son, Takeda Tokimune, who continued to teach and develop the art until his death in 1943.

Morihei Ueshiba continued to develop the art, creating Aikido, a modernized version of Aiki Jujutsu.

Aiki Jujutsu can still be used for self-defense or as a form of physical and mental exercise. It teaches control over one's own body and mind as well as efficiently using an opponent's energy against them.

What We Know About Jeet Kune Do

What We Know About Jeet Kune Do

One of the key principles of Bruce Lee's Jeet Kune Do is to "be like water:" to be flexible and adaptable, to move with quickness and purpose, and to use the opponent's own force against them. This principle is based on Lee's experience in Karate, Boxing, and Wing Chun.

Another principle of Jeet Kune Do is that there are no definitive techniques or stances; it is a constantly evolving art that must be adapted to the specific situation.

This makes Jeet Kune Do particularly effective in combat, as it allows practitioners to quickly adapt their techniques to the changing conditions of a fight.

Due to its practicality and effectiveness, Jeet Kune Do has gained a loyal following among martial artists who value simplicity and efficiency. If you are looking for an art that will challenge you mentally and physically, Jeet Kune Do may be the perfect choice for you.

Of course, this is only a brief history and understanding of Aiki Jujutsu and Jeet Kune Do, 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 JujutsuJeet Kune Do
OriginsJapaneseChinese, US (The founder, Bruce Lee, created it whilst living in the US)

Key Elements

Key Elements Of Aiki Jujutsu Culture Values Practices etc.

Some key elements for Aiki Jujutsu are:

  • Use of leverage and balance
  • Use of body movement and positioning
  • Use of joint locks and throws
  • Blending with the motion of the attacker
  • Use of breath control
  • Mental focus and calmness in the face of adversity
  • Using an attacker's own energy against them

And in contrast, some key elements that make up Jeet Kune Do are:

  • The use of straight-line punches and kicks
  • Economy of motion
  • Simultaneous offense and defense
  • Use of footwork to create angles for attack and defend against attacks
  • The use of hand strikes, kicks, elbows, and knees
  • The use of trapping and countering techniques
  • The use of dynamic movement and fluidity in both offense and defense
  • The use of non-telegraphed movement, which should make it difficult for the opponent to predict your next move
  • The use of grappling and ground fighting techniques

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 Jeet Kune Do, 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

For beginners, there is the 10th Kyu White Belt. This signifies that the student is just starting their journey in Aiki Jujutsu.

As they progress, they will move on to be a 9th Kyu White Belt with Yellow Stripe, which is earned after two or three months of training. The student will then move on to an 8th Kyu Yellow Belt, and so on.

The amount of time it takes to earn each belt will increase as the student becomes more experienced. Eventually, after years of training, the student will earn the coveted Black Belt.

There are several degrees of Black Belt in Kyudo, with each degree requiring a certain amount of training time. Shodan-Ho (Junior Black Belt/Student Black Belt) is earned after 40 to 46 months of training, while the first degree Black Belt, Shodan, is earned after 42 to 48 months.

The higher degrees of Black Belt, Nidan (2nd Degree), Sandan (3rd Degree), and Yondan (4th Degree), require even more years of training.

Jeet Kune Do Rankings & Levels

Jeet Kune Do Rankings & Levels

In the martial art of Jeet Kune Do, there is a common misconception that there are no belts or ranking system. This likely stems from the fact that belts aren't standardized among JKD schools, and that Bruce Lee himself didn't even give belts to his students.

That doesn't mean ranks don't exist though. Jeet Kune Do does have a belt system--it just isn't as formalized as other martial arts.

The belt system in Jeet Kune Do consists of five levels, each represented by a different colored belt. The first level is the beginner level, represented by a white belt.

The second level is the intermediate level, represented by a green belt. The third level is the advanced level, represented by a brown belt. The fourth level is the expert level, represented by a red belt. Finally, the fifth level represents mastery, represented by a black belt.

In Jeet Kune Do, rank is based on an individual's proficiency in the art rather than the amount of time they have been practicing it.

The ranks are not awarded based on the amount of techniques or forms the practitioner has learned, but rather on their understanding and application of the art. Promotion of rank is at the discretion of the instructor, and is based on their observation of the student's progress and ability.

Aiki Jujutsu Vs. Jeet Kune Do 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 allows for better gripping and movement during techniques.

Jeet Kune Do Attire:

Jeet Kune Do Attire:

Jeet Kune Do practitioners typically wear a white or black t-shirt and either black or brown pants. Many practitioners also choose to wear a headband, though it is not required. Bruce Lee himself wore a gi in some of his earlier films.

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 Jeet Kune Do Training Session Looks Like

A Jeet Kune Do practice class will typically begin with a warm-up. The warm-up may consist of light calisthenics, such as jumping jacks or running in place. This is followed by stretching, which helps to prepare the body for the physical activity to come.

The next part of the class will focus on techniques. Students will learn and practice different punches, kicks, and blocks. They will also learn how to use these techniques in combination with one another.

After the technique portion of the class, students will participate in sparring. This is where they will put their newly learned skills to the test by sparring with an opponent. Sparring is done with safety gear, such as gloves and mouthguards, to protect both participants.

A typical Jeet Kune Do practice class will last for about an hour and a half.

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 Jeet Kune Do 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 👊

Aiki Jujutsu Movies

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

  • The Bourne Identity (2002)
  • Kill Bill: Volume 1 (2003)
  • Ong Bak (2003)
  • Daredevil (TV series, 2015-2018)
  • The Wolverine (2013)
  • Arrow (TV series, 2012-2020)
  • John Wick (2014)
  • 13 Assassins (2010)
  • The Raid (2011)

ANd some cool movies with Jeet Kune Do in them are:

  • The Way of the Dragon (1972)
  • Enter the Dragon (1973)
  • Game of Death (1978)
  • The Legend of Drunken Master (1994)
  • The Protector (2005)
  • The Matrix Reloaded (2003)

Conclusion: Aiki Jujutsu Vs. Jeet Kune Do

Conclusion: Aiki Jujutsu Vs. Jeet Kune Do

I hope you now have a deeper understanding of Aiki Jujutsu and Jeet Kune Do. 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 🙂

Learn more about how Aiki Jujutsu compares to other martial arts here!