Theory of the Essence of Judo with Aikido

Comment by Steve Billett, ADS

As many of you are aware my original training started in Judo, So my interest in this article stemmed from there, But the comparison to what is happening in Aikido is uncanny, Also look at the date that this article was written, It’s nearly 25 years later and we in Aikido are still arguing whether Tomiki Aikido and Aikido in general is going the right way or not.

Written by Minoru Mochizuki
Copied from Aiki News #65 (December 1984)

The following article is presented with the kind permission of Minoru Mochizuki Sensei, an early disciple of O-Sensei dispatched from the Kodokan in the early 1930’s by Jigoro Kano Sensei. It describes the process leading to the conversion of Judo into a sport and is quite relevant today as similar tendencies presently exist in the Aikido world.

The Bushido Code

Bujutsu implies techniques used for attack, defense, killing and causing injury. As indicated by the character “bu”, bujutsu has a moral meaning of “stopping the weapon”, that is, “stopping fighting”. Therefore, when one used martial power it was necessary to provide justification for the act. When a man unsheathed his sword for the purpose of killing someone, there was a code which absolutely required him to clarify his reasons. The basis for the reason was “bushido” (the feudal military Japanese code of behavior) in Japan, while in Western Europe knighthood, which was similar to bushido, existed. Their codes were, in short, a set of moral principles equally imposed on those who were permitted to carry weapons in public. These morals were considerably more strict than those applying to the general public. However, as a result of the abolition of the warrior class, the decree banning the wearing of swords during the Meiji Period as well as the Japan’s inability to assimilate the thought of advanced western countries and the prevailing financial chaos, it lost its bases in all fields as also occured during the confusion following World War II.