Difference Between Aikido and Kung Fu (With Table)

Aikido and Kung Fu are martial art techniques, and they have different origin countries. Martial art is a systematic fighting technique and is for self-defense. It is a tradition to teach and learn these techniques for martial artists. Other than self-defense, martial arts is a way for physical, mental, and spiritual development.

Aikido vs Kung Fu

The main difference between Aikido and Kung Fu is that Aikido is a self-defense technique. On the other hand, Kung Fu is a fighting technique. They have different origin countries. Aikido’s origin is Japan. On the other hand, Kung Fu was originated in China. Kung Fu is a Japanese fighting technique.

Difference Between Aikido and Kung Fu

The term Aikido means a way of harmonizing energy. Though it is a martial art technique, the main goal is to protect oneself. Instead of fighting, it teaches a way of self-defense. The main objective of Aikido is to avoid any violence or impulsiveness. A few Aikido techniques are- Aikido ikkyo, Aikido nikyo, Aikido Sankyo, etc.

Kung Fu is a Chinese martial art that means a skill or discipline achieved through practice. There are many types of Kung Fu such as Shaolin Kung Fu, Wing Chun, tai chi, dragon style, white crane, etc. Though the origin of Kung Fu is a controversial topic, the majority believe China is the origin country of Kung Fu.

Comparison Table Between Aikido and Kung Fu

Parameter of ComparisonAikidoKung Fu
DefinitionAikido is a self-defending Japanese martial art.Kung Fu is a Chinese martial art for attacking or fighting the opponent.
Origin countryThe origin of Aikido is in Japan.China is known as the origin country of Kung Fu.
TypesThere are many kinds of Aikido like- Aikido ikkyo, Aikido nikyo, Aikido Sankyo, etc.Some Kung Fu techniques are- Wing Chun Shaolin Temple Style Wushu, Tai Chi, etc.
ObjectiveThe main objective of Aikido is self-defense or to protect oneself from any attack.Kung Fu is mainly oriented around fighting. It is for violent fighting.
Advantages Self-defense.
Helps to improve physical and mental health.
Effective impact on proper breathing technique.
Builds self confidence and discipline.
Relieves stress and anxiety.
Improves stamina and cardiovascular strength.
Enhance body reflexes in muscles.

What is Aikido?

Aikido is a Japanese self-defending form or technique. Fighting is not the goal of Aikido. The main idea of it is to protect oneself from sudden attacks. Aikido is not for attacking the opponent; it is only for avoiding an attack. It can be called a non-competitive technique.

It helps in self-improvement and improves the body both physically and mentally. One interesting fact about Aikido is that it tries to avoid hurting the opponent or attacker, though the first goal is to protect oneself. It includes circular movements rather than kicking or fighting.

It might be known as a martial art, yet it gives the mind power and increases meditation. Aikido also emphasizes spiritual discipline. Aikido techniques do not affect depending on age, gender or strength. Aikido is easier to learn than other advanced martial arts like Taekwondo. The unity of political and religious ideologies invented Aikido. Japanese martial artist Ueshiba Morihei is the inventor of Aikido.

What is Kung Fu?

Kung is one kind of Chinese martial art. It focuses on attacking the opponent with several attacks like kicking, punching, etc. Not only for fighting, but Kung Fu is affectable for increasing stamina energy and taking care of spiritual health. In the ancient period, Kung Fu was a skill or discipline achieved by practice and hard work.

But after coming through different stages, now Kung Fu is mainly known as a kind of martial art. Many think that Kung Fu is similar to Karate. But, Kung Fu has more various techniques than Karate. Bodhidharma was the pioneer of Kung Fu. That is why there are controversial topics on the actual origin of Kung Fu.

A group of people demands that Kung Fu was first created by Indians, while the other half thinks China is the origin of Kung Fu. But actually, the techniques were taken from Indian martial art and developed in the form of Kung Fu, so its origin is China. Shaolin temple in China is famous for its unique techniques in Kung Fu.

They are called Shaolin temple Kung Fu. It is a fighting technique, but it also improves the health and mind. Monks of temples who teach Kung Fu believe that it refines one’s spiritual health.

Main Differences Between Aikido and Kung Fu

  1. The difference between Aikido and Kung Fu is that they have different purposes. Aikido focuses on self-defense techniques, but Kung Fu teaches to fight the opponent.
  2. Aikido is based on Japanese martial art. Kung Fu is Chinese martial art invented by Bodhidharma.
  3. Aikido does not support the idea of hurting the attacker, and it teaches to avoid the situation or fight back when needed to protect as a self-defense technique.
  4. The techniques of the former are not for fighting. Kung Fu techniques are fighting back (kicking or punching) the opponent using hands and legs.
  5. Ueshiba Morihei, a famous martial artist, invented the Japanese martial art technique (Aikido), but the basic skills originated in the 14th century. On the other hand, Bodhidharma created Kung Fu techniques. The basic of Kung Fu was seen earlier in the Zhou dynasty.


In conclusion, martial improves both physical and mental health. And both Aikido and Kung Fu are a part of martial art. They were originated from different countries and with purposes, help in muscle flexibility, self-improvement, healing mental health, and spiritual growth. Kung Fu is a world-famous martial art technique used for attacking a rival.

There are many different techniques in Kung Fu, whereas Aikido techniques are limited and very few compared to Kung Fu. Besides mental enhancement, Aikido improves self-awareness. And Kung Fu techniques enhance muscle reflex and relieves stress. Although the Japanese technique Aikido is specialized in self-defense, Kung Fu can also be a self-defense technique.

As a result, after developing through centuries, both techniques improved their defense techniques. These martial arts were invented based on the basic skills of the ancient period. Those skills were only developed in a new way to attack the opponent to learn self-defense. Though learning martial art is not necessary, it might help one’s self-growth, which will help to live a healthy life.


  1. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11365-013-0248-5
  2. https://scholarworks.sjsu.edu/econ_pub/39/