The Difference Between Judo and Aikido Ukemi

The Difference Between Judo and Aikido Ukemi

Here is a nice demonstration of the classic Aikido form of Ukemi. Let me begin my comments with an admission that I am clearly biased, with over 30 years of Judo practice and only about 2 years of cumulative Aikido experience. That said, I have found the precise application of the Judo style to be more protective than that of Aikido. I have observed two fundamental differences, each of which is highlighted by comparing the various demo videos posted on this site.

First of all, the Aikido version has Uke tuck the off-direction leg under the other closer to the buttocks. This has the effect of somewhat facilitating a roll to a standing position, but it fails to protect either the ankle bone, or one leg from impacting the other upon significant impacts. This leg tuck also has the effect of decreasing the angular moment of inertia, and can do nothing to slow the rate of rotation and thus better control the landing position.

The other fundamental difference is that the Aikido style seems to rely on being relatively in control of the fall from the beginning with more use of hands for gentling the falls than does the Judo variation. Ultimately, I have found that the Judo techniques can protect a body from a wider range of falling situations that start out farther from control.

Those very minor details aside, it is clear that the fundamental principles are very similar, and it is very possible that there are larger differences from instructor to instructor than between the two arts.


1 Comment

Filed under Martial Arts

One response to “The Difference Between Judo and Aikido Ukemi

  1. Guido

    Hi, nice article, but i would like to give you my cent…

    I practice aikido for 12 years and i’m pretty sure aikido falls are very well protective based. Not saying aikido falls are better or anything, just pointing that aikido falls are not made to work only in a tatami… all falls are developed to be made in any hard ground.

    As practicer of Aikido, i can guarantee you that we do not intend to “being relatively in control of the fall” .. we intent to be in TOTAL control of our fall, and we don’t do it using hands to make it softer.. we use the whole body.

    The guy in the video… i know hin, Sensei Manuel Ortega. I saw hin doing all thouse falls in a corridor once… never saw any other teacher do that.

    wish u best,

    Guido Ratti

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s