Sunday, April 12, 2009

Is Ju different than Aiki? Part 1

Short answer - no, they are pretty much the same thing.

Before I start on a tanjent let's go back a bit to the founder of Judo, Jigoro Kano. Lets look at his demonstrations and see if we can find anything that looks similar to Aikido.



All the films I can find of Kano, he is playing very softly. He seems to be very much into the name sake he gave Judo - Soft Way.

Here he is practicing the Ju no Ri kata - The principle of softness. I think this is even soft for Aikido standards!




In the next two clips he is demonstrating the Koshiki no kata.

Dr. Kano preserved the techniques of this kata from the Kito-Ryu School of jujutsu, because of the extent to which these techniques embody the principle and techniques of Kodokan Judo. Since the Forms Antique were intended for the "Kumiuchi", the grappling of armored warriors in the feudal ages, it is essential to perform the movements imagining that you are clad in heavy armor. The kata is separated into two parts, omote (front) and ura (back). Also known as the Kito-Ryu No Kata, it consists of twenty-one (21) techniques. These techniques are of a high order and highly refined, and their practice brings insight into Judo theory.



So at this point, I am willing to state that Kano Sensei's version of Judo is somewhat removed from the modern sports practice. Like most martial arts, Judo runs the gambit from being uber soft to brutally hard. I believe the founder's practice and goals are clearly illustrated in these videos. He was truly searching for softness and effortlessness in his technique. His methods are very Aiki is you ask me.




So, while these videos do not completely answer the question, are Aiki and Ju different, I believe it clearly shows the founders intention was different than what many people now practice. Kano was searching for Aiki! Kano was searching for Ju! He was truly a man of softness, looking to blend and harmonize his energy! He was a true genius that many Aikidoka, and even Judoka for that matter, ignorantly ignore his methods and innovations.

2 comments:

  1. beautiful to see Kano's demos-- it think they do a good job of illustrating your point-- might also include Itsusu as being aiki as well -- heres a little modern work that caught my eye recently

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNRXC-K6vgM

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