Aikido is a martial art with a huge amount of affinity for the wristlock, something that has often been neglected in BJJ, even sometimes by those who’ve earned a black belt. But where Jiu-Jitsu might be seen as not paying enough attention to one of the smallest collections of bones in the human body, Aikido can be said to be putting way too much focus on them. The dozens of variations on a few primary wristlock mechanics make up the bulk of Aikido’s curriculum, along with a heavy dose of throws and takedowns for good measure.
It’s for this reason that there’s an interesting dichotomy between Aikido and BJJ, centered almost entirely around the use of the wristlock, along with the necessity of live sparring in classes. Despite the comparative rarity of wristlocks in BJJ, there have still been several notable uses at the highest levels of the sport. Just last year Nathan Orchard defeated Todd Walling with a wristlock at the Combat Jiu Jitsu Lightweight World Championships around a month after Tom Mcmahon submitted Brian Sheehan with one on the main card of F2W 155.
The majority of these instances still come from what are regarded as Jiu-Jitsu positions, usually stemming from another joint-lock like a Kimura or an Armbar. For that reason, it’s very interesting to see how the more traditional Aikido wristlocks will fare against a fully resisting BJJ black belt in a video that comes courtesy of the official YouTube channel for Martial Arts Journey. In the below video, a current BJJ practitioner with 15 years of training in Aikido puts his wristlocks to the test: