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Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Techniques vs. Aikido Techniques: Blending

Updated on May 13, 2011

BJJ: Triangle Choke

Is Blending or Harmonization Possible in BJJ?

While Blending or Harmonization is a fundamental component of Aikido techniques, can such principles be applied in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu techniques? The short answer is yes. Blending focuses on:

- Not meeting the momentum head on or in direct opposition.

- Finding areas or "openings" where resistance is minimal.

- Exploiting the weaknesses with a countering technique to achieve the desired outcome with an effective technique.

Aikido Techniques and Blending

Off the Line: As previously mentioned, blending is a central focus of Aikido techniques. The initial attack is not met directly. Rather, nage (the defender) steps off the line of attack so as not to meet force with force. In the Aikido defensive technique referred to as kokyunage (loosely translated as timing or breath throw) from a shomenuchi attack (an overhead blow), the defender step to one side of the attacker so as not to absorb the direct impact of the blow.

Leading Ki: The ki or energy of the attack is then harmonized with in a way that permits nage to lead uke (the attacker) in a manner that will disturb balance. This often involves applying ki energy through a lead in the same direction causing a disturbance in balance. In the above attack, nage moves his whole body to flow with the direction of the overhead blow and applies ki (force) in the same direction as the overhead blow.

Redirecting Ki: Once balance is upset, the attacker loses stability and power. At this point the technique, whether a throw or a joint lock can be applied. In the kokyunage defense, the attacker's energy is redirected so as to throw him out of balance creating the opening for the kokyunage with minimal effort.

O'Sensei Demonstrating Aikido Techniques

The Sprawl

Can Aikido Principles be Applied to BJJ Techniques?

While the Aikido technique of shomenuchi kokyunage involves the blending and redirecting of the attacker's energy, can any of these concepts be applied to the explosive and dynamic nature of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu techniques? In short, the answer is yes.

Take the defense against a single or double leg takedown. One could try to meet the force head on like a sumo wrestler's initial contact. However, if the attacker's force is below the the defenders center, the takedown will  succeed unless the defender does something else to counter the attack. In reality, one of the most effective defenses is the "sprawl", which is the same as that used in wrestling.

Blending with and Redirecting: If one looks closely, the sprawl involves a beautiful blending with the force and momentum of the attempted takedown.  The defender's lower body moves with, and often ahead of the attacker's upper body preventing a solid grip around the leg or legs.  In addition, the move involves a redirection of the movement from a drive straight at the defender to a downward direction allowing the defender to prevent the force from driving him off balance onto his back.  In addition, a properly executed sprawl may break the grip on the defender's legs permitting him to take a potentially superior position on the back of the attacker - another example of redirecting of force and the advantage that can be gained from it.

In conclusion, the techiques and application of Aikido techniques may not seem to be related to those of Jiu Jitsu.  Yet, key fundamentals make them more similar in the net effect than different. 

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    • aikidk01 profile image
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      aikidk01 5 years ago

      Captainchris, KBEvolve -

      Each art has so much to offer in very unique ways. And, yes, there are so many common threads shared by so many of the arts.

    • KBEvolve profile image

      Kenneth Brown 6 years ago from United States

      It's interesting how similar concepts can have different foundations and terminology in different arts.

    • captainchris profile image

      captainchris 7 years ago

      "Just remember, any martial art in the hands of a skillful individual can be very powerful and effective." So true. Thanks so much for the hub.

    • FransieEvans profile image

      FransieEvans 7 years ago from Manhattan, New York

      Beautiful Hub this!...For more MMA/UFC/BJJ information visit http://m-m-a.weebly.com/

    • aikidk01 profile image
      Author

      aikidk01 7 years ago

      Joe - It is so interesting how seemingly very different arts have similarities. And it is very true that that blending has life applications particularly when one looks at a "typical" response to a hostile verbal encounter. By actively listening and seeking to understand, a potentially hostile encounter can turn into one of respect.

    • profile image

      Joe Anshel 7 years ago

      I think Aikido can contribute greatly to any other art one may want to try. I especially appreciate the way Aikido contributes to one's experience in life in general. Good conversation here.

    • profile image

      The beast 8 years ago

      Aikido tang soo do and russian sambo are the best steven seagal can beat any mma fighter.

    • profile image

      Reddog 8 years ago

      As an Aikido blackbelt that moved over to BJJ, I can say that Aikido will change the way you approach BJJ but it wont make you an instant god at it, it helps/contributes to the way, you mold your game.

    • aikidk01 profile image
      Author

      aikidk01 8 years ago

      My friends, very good comments. Each has truth in it. Just remember, any martial art in the hands of a skillful individual can be very powerful and effective. For example, jiu jitsu can be quite effective one-on-one, but may have some limitations if there are multiple attackers or weapons involved. Jeet Kune Do or Karate may be devastating unless the individual is taken off their feet. Aikido can be quite effective in the hands of a skillful practitioner. Many argue that it is "too soft". However, if an eye gouge was used in the place of an atemi (a distracting hand movement) that can be a very effective set up for a kokynage (momentum throw). You might find my post on "The Best Martial Art".

      https://hubpages.com/sports/The-Best-Martial-Arts-...

    • profile image

      JHONNY AIKIDO STUDENT 8 years ago

      AIKIDO SAVED MY LIFE STEVEN SEAGAL WOULD BEAT ANY MMA AND ALL THE GUYS IN MMA ARE USULLY NOT MARTIAL ARTIST STEVEN SEAGAL WOUD BEAT ANY MMA FIGHTER AND DANA WHITE YOURE SPORT IS FIXED FIGHTER

    • profile image

      JHONNY AIKIDO STUDENT 8 years ago

      AIKIDO SAVED MY LIFE STEVEN SEAGAL WOULD BEAT ANY MMA AND ALL THE GUYS IN MMA ARE USULLY NOT MARTIAL ARTIST STEVEN SEAGAL WOUD BEAT ANY MMA FIGHTER AND DANA WHITE YOURE SPORT IS FIXED FIGHTER

    • profile image

      fRANK P  8 years ago

      AIKIDO AND TANG SOO DO IS THE BEST FIGHTING SYSTEMS IN SEREET FIGTS AND rUSSIAN SAMBO IS BETTER THEN JUJISU

    • aikidk01 profile image
      Author

      aikidk01 8 years ago

      Ju Jutsu Master: Thank you for your very insightful comments and providing your historical insights.

    • profile image

      Ju Jutsu Master 8 years ago

      "Aikido techniques may not seem to be related to those of Jiu Jitsu."

      Well, the word of importance is "seem". In reality Aikido derives from Jiu Jitsu or Ju Jutsu, as it is also called.

      Today Jiu Jitsu, Ju Jutsu, Ju Jitsu may be individual martial arts styles, originally, however, Jiu Jitsu is a general expression for Japanese self defense of former times. Later it was converted into Judo for competitive means, leaving behind all the punches, kicks and weapon techniques.

      During 1905-1907, Takeda Sokaku, founder of Daito-ryu Aiki Jutsu and teacher of Ueshiba Morehei, refused to join the soft competition rules of Kodokan-Judo.

      Ueshiba's Aikido is a rather late development of martial arts styles. Influenced by the horror of World War II it was designed to be a rather pacifist style with the educational intention to create a better human.

      Today of course there are different Aikido styles with different philosophies. Brasilian Jiu Jitsu excels in ground combat which Aikido does not really teach. So there is a big difference. The basic principles of martial arts, however, do apply to both of them. If somebody likes to join the styles, be my guest. It is certainly not an easy enterprise.

    • Steve Bencsics profile image

      Steve Bencsics 8 years ago

      I agree. I think Aikido techniques would be a good addition to other martial arts as well.

    • sukkran profile image

      Mohideen Basha 8 years ago from TRICHY, TAMIL NADU, INDIA.

      i am first time hear about this subject. interesting.