View Full Version : Karate vs. Aikido

August 16, 2002, 08:48 AM
Which martial art is better in combination with ccw?

August 16, 2002, 02:21 PM
There is no button for Krav Maga, so I'll vote karate, since I've never studied akido. Connors/Parker Kenpo did me a lot of good.

August 16, 2002, 02:32 PM
Aikido is pretty useless unless you get really really good at it. At least Karate teaches you fundamentals of striking & kicking up front.

You should seek other MA alternatives.

August 16, 2002, 04:05 PM
Like CWL said, you really need to take Aikido for a while in order for it to serve you well.

August 16, 2002, 04:12 PM
Depends 1% on the style, 19% on the teacher and 90% on the student. And, yes that does add up to 110% effort.

If gven the choice of only two, I would pick Aikido, but try to find an instructor with a leaning toward martial rather than art.

Definatly stay away from McDojo sport karate.

Aikido gives you more options than decking the guy, but a traditional syllabus needs supplementing with other stuff. I would reccomend combatives like Jim Grover's (aka Kelly McCann) ...

August 16, 2002, 04:14 PM
i would have to place my vote for Wing-Chun

August 16, 2002, 07:45 PM
First of all, "Karate" and "Aikido" refer to several different systems or schools with different sets of techniques and philosophies.

If the choices were limited to the two, and assuming the most ideal conditions, I would recommend Aikido as a supplement to CCW, which I believe was the original question.

Most Karate disciplines are largely striking systems where as most Aikido systems are stand-up grappling systems. Aikido techniques evolved from Daito-Ryu Aiki-Jujutsu and other "transitional" Japanese Jujutsu systems that were largely based on sword retention and draw prevention. As such, they can work well with another draw weapon like a pistol.

A caveat: most Aikido schools are Aikikai-affiliated and are more interested in the spiritual and meditative expression of the techniques than in actual applications of them in the context I described above.


August 17, 2002, 12:23 AM
I was just watching "martial arts: the real story" on TLC. I have to agree with wingnutx, krav maga is very impressive. Very quick and very to the point.

What do you think of JKD? How do you think it would hold up?

August 17, 2002, 02:53 AM
Of the two, I would choose Aikido. I took Aikido way back in the 70s. It is purely defensive and is more fine tuned for attacks coming from all directions. Also, strength isn't as much a factor as it is in karate. Aikido is fine choice for women and children as well as the husky HE-MAN.
True alot of practice is required and it's nearly impossible to practice without a partner. ;)

August 18, 2002, 06:26 PM
Aikido: You won't learn offensive techniques in Aikido but you learn principales of hand to hand from the beginning: timing, range, movement. Plus at many schools you will practice with bokkens since techniques are all derived from swordfighting. And as Spectre has mentioned a few times learning to defend against a sword makes defending against empty hand easy. The sword is much FASTER (at the tip) than empty hand (it is a lever) also it takes less force for sword or knife to injure you because it is sharp.

High level CCW/gun schools teach you to get off the line of force/line of attack. This is a key concept of aikido. That you never meet force with force but evade/redirect it. An attack from a gun or knife can not be blocked with naked hand or gun, you need to evade to stay alive and well.

August 19, 2002, 07:34 AM
My comment is, if what kind of martial you did master or study is fine. None is so called this martial art is better than that kind.

As for me, I prefer Karate/Hapkido/Stick Fighting as they are the arts I have mastered in my own way.

Yesterday, I am talking to an aikidoist. He told me he like aikido because even we are old already, still it is effective, unlike to a karate only good if you are young having brute force. I did not say negatively but I told him, my martial arts is Karate and Hapkido. We talk more about martial arts we parted good on the end of the conversation.

August 19, 2002, 12:18 PM
The primary importance is the instructor.

I learned karate. But my instructor also taught some Akidio for close in, Wing Chun, and Jiujitsu.

I think Akidio is more effective for close in than traditional karate. In fact, I would even go as far to say that about 90% of traditional karate or more is useless in actual fighting.


August 19, 2002, 12:20 PM
Oh and I forgot kickboxing which is what we used for normal sparring.

August 19, 2002, 12:41 PM
My vote would go to Jui-Jitsu. A good Jui-Jitsu school has elements of kicking, striking, grappling, throwing, and locks. For self-defense in the short term, I think more people would be able to master some basic techniques more quickly.

Yet, as many people have pointed out both here and in other threads, it's not so much the specific MA, but rather the school, what they can offer and how well they can teach.

August 20, 2002, 01:38 AM
I think Akidio is more effective for close in than traditional karate. In fact, I would even go as far to say that about 90% of traditional karate or more is useless in actual fighting.This is the kind of broad-brush statements to which I object.

What does "Aikido" and "traditional Karate" mean? Is Aikikai Aikido "Aikido"? Is it Yoshinkan? Ki Society? What is "traditional" Karate - Shotokan? Karate is more or less a MODERN (that is post-19th Century) "martial art" as is Aikido. Even Daito-Ryu Aiki-Jujusu is a transitional system at best - that is transitional between Kobujutsu and modern Budo. Kobujutsu was mostly about weapons fighting of the Zi-Samurai.

"90%"(!) of "traditional Karate" is "useless" in "actual" fighting (as opposed to non-actual fighting)? The fact is that the VAST majority of "martial arts" schools do not teach "fighting." Systems such as Tae Kwon Do, Shotokan and Kodokan Judo are today about tournaments and Olympic bouts. Many Aikido schools are delusional about its effectiveness and still teach Kotegaeshi as THE defense against reverse punches to the mid-section (a jab to the head never enters an Aikidoka's mind). "Jujutsu," often referring to Brazilian Jujutsu that descended from Kodokan Judo, can range from sad imitations of Daito-Ryu Aikijujutsu to an evolution of Kodokan Ne-Waza (hardly "fighting" since Ne-Waza was largely developed for contests rather than self-defense). Then there are weapon arts that teach antiquated sword play (Asian or European) or teach knife/stick dueling a la West Side Story. Meanwhile, the grappling craze has passed, and we are now in the midst of the "combatives" craze, of which Krav Maga is a part. Many of these schools offer little except some simplified locking and disarming techniques (many of which cannot be practiced against fully-resistant, non-compliant partners) and some watered-down kickboxing.

My point is NOT that all these are useless. To be sure, there are elements to each "martial art" that can benefit a prospective student who might be interested in learning how to "fight." My point is, rather, that the vast majority of these "arts" is time-inefficient in learning so-called "self-defense." Most people would be better off learning some pointers on situational awareness, verbal and physical cues of dangerous situations and learning to be fit over a lifetime (of course, others like police officers and soldiers can benefit from some training - but such training should be specifically tailored to their job requirements and situations). To actually learn to "fight" using "martial arts" takes a great deal of dedication and learning. To pick up some decent striking skills (say, boxing or Muay Thai) and some ground fighting (BJJ, Shooto or Judo, for example) alone would take signficant time and physical commitments (lots of injuries). And still one would have only covered a fraction of "fighting" (then there are knives, sticks, handguns, etc.).

Yet, most schools advertise "effective self-defense" and other nonsense to people who train 3-4 hours a week and implant delusions of "super-fighting" ability in the minds of their students.

The reality is that, for most people, martial arts should be about fitness and fun (and some testesterone-quenching/spiritual-calming depending on temperament). That is the main reason why *I* train - for fun and physical fitness (weight-lifting 2 hours a day is boring for ME). Even then, for over ten years, I devoted 2-3 hours a DAY training variously in Tae Kwon Do, Kodokan Judo, Aikido, Shooto, Brazilian Jujutsu, Arnis and Muay Thai (some of them for extended periods in Asia). Today I don't quite train 2-3 hours a day, and I concentrate mostly on BJJ, Muay Thai and some Arnis/Kali. But I don't have a shred of fantasy that all this is for "fighting."

At the level of commitment and training we are discussing, it's even more pointless to discuss "Karate vs. Aikido - which is better for fighting" or present similar lines of arguments and statements. To be sure, I put in my two cents about which would be more appropriate as a supplement for CCW (presumably handguns) based on specific orientation of techniques - striking vs. draw prevention and weapon-retention - with serious caveats, but for some to present ideas like "Karate is 90% useless for fighting" is not only unhelpful in addressing the intial question, but also completely misses the point that I present above.


August 20, 2002, 08:53 AM
To answer your question Bahadur being in a deep horse back riding stance while practiciing reverse punches has zero benefit in real combat. It's good for increasing spirit and stamina, but as far as practical actual fighting -- I don't think so.

Most of karate are deep stances. This doesn't help in actual fighting.

Also, most karate when they practice sparring don't actually hit each other and if they do it's on a point system. Once again it has little to do with actual fighting. When you fight you are fighting two fights at one time, you against the opponent while the opponent is fighting against you. This makes it complex.

The way to practice and learn fighting is to actually fight. Very little of karate actually does this.

Most actual fighting is close in and often leads to people on the ground pretty fast. If someone only learns karate once they are on the ground they are finished.

I had the best of all worlds. I learned kickboxing for distance, akidio for short distance, and some jiujitsu for grappeling techniques.

I think akidio is more effective than karate because it's better suited for close in fighting which is most of fighting.

August 20, 2002, 10:39 AM
The one thing that comes to mind as to why I'd lean immediately towards learning aikido is the emphasis on learning how to fall properly.

I haven't gotten into many fights, especially after I gave up hanging out in bars and bad neighborhoods, but I've slipped and fallen on my fanny many times, every time without serious injury, in part because I know how to fall.

When I was attending a western martial arts seminar in Michigan, I noticed that my partner was suffering quite a bit of abuse from getting thrown during some of the drills. It finally dawned on me to ask him if he knew how to perform a proper breakfall. He did not, and was getting the wind jarred out of him every time he hit the ground. Less than 5 minutes of instruction left him with the basics of proper falling and he was able to continue the seminar with a lot more enjoyment.

August 20, 2002, 06:54 PM
The way to practice and learn fighting is to actually fight. Very little of karate actually does this.Gee, that's funny, because very little of Aikido actually does what you described in the first sentence. One of Aikido's great failings is that because almost every technique is "too dangerous" to practice in a non-compliant, resistant manner (meaning, no sparring), the students do not easily develop the ability to pull off the techniques under actual conditions.

Tomiki tried to remedy this by introducing the Judo concept of Randori to Aikido (thus Tomiki Aikido is the only system of Aikido with Randori), but even then the result was awkward at best.


Most Aikido schools or clubs I know emphasize Ukemi considerably, which I think is excellent. A Japanese Aikido Shihan once told me in jest "in Japan, when you learn Aikido, it's Ukemi only for three years. In the US, when you say Ukemi for three years only, the student says 'bye bye.'"


August 21, 2002, 10:50 AM
I agree with what Bahadur has said for the most part. I have 10 years of Shotokan, 5 years of BJJ, and 3 weeks of Aikido. I think it is very safe to say that no one martial art fully prepares you for real fighting.

It is funny. After 3 weeks in Aikido, I am already seeing some of my misconceptions disappear. Many people, myself included, misunderstand arts that they do not train in. For fighting purposes, I think the best advice is to plan to make the martial arts a lifetime adventure. Spend several years in each art and move on to the next. My personal opinion is that I would rather be a "B" level fighter in 7 martial arts than an "A" fighter in just one.


August 24, 2002, 07:49 PM
50/50 so far. I would go with Karate.

Nirel Kassad
August 25, 2002, 09:05 PM
(Yay, first post. Had to register to weigh in here.)

After two years of Ki Society Aikido and some basic DT instruction from an ex-LEO, I would say that Aikido is going to be more useful in terms of the mental end than the physical end. That is, the meditative/"anti-testosterone" (to quote an earlier post) parts are probably going to do you more good than the actual arts taught.

That being said, I think that, with a healthy dose of reality and a sense of what will work in the real world and what just looks pretty on the mats, the arts taught in aikido can indeed be useful in controlling people close-in. It all depends on what your objective is. I work as a campus safety officer, so I when I'm at work may choose to use aikido techniques to control subjects. On the other hand, if I'm just out on my own, I'll probably choose to disengage whenever possible, and if not go for something that's not nearly as ... friendly, as aikido.

On the third hand, I don't have much actual close-fighting experience, so...


August 27, 2002, 07:14 AM
Any art or contact sport will do the job: it's the mind set that defines what it will get you. All serious martial arts as such have the same origin and will lead you to it sooner or rather later.

The surprising part for most people with questions such as this is that there's no way you can go out and buy 700 grams of MA. These are not goods and cannot be measured or tailored for the CQC consumer... :barf:

I'd say, try dedication and growing up some while showing it.

May 24, 2004, 10:07 PM
Though there are many paths at the foot of the mountain, all those who reach the top See the same moon.

May 25, 2004, 08:58 AM
The possible choices are too small to be meaningful. In fact allmost any training that is consistantly taken that works on addressing street encounters instead of forms or one on one tournament preparation will serve.

May 25, 2004, 10:57 AM
I'm partial to the grappling and striking arts of the late medieval Italians and Germans myself. They are well adapted to dealing with open handed, wrestling, and knife/dagger attacks without relying too much on ground techniques. Unfortunately, they are not as available as the Eastern martial arts, so finding a teacher is sometimes difficult.

May 26, 2004, 01:11 AM
Someone asked about JKD. I am a certified instructor in JKD Concepts (which, unlike other arts, is a VERY tough title to attain), and I think there is nothing better. There are some good progressive arts out there, but obviously I chose JKDC because I tried the rest and its the best.

I took Kenpo for a year before JKDC. I can honestly say that Kenpo made me a WORSE fighter by teaching me all kinds of useless crap that didn't work, and putting me into a static box. I would have learned more just gloving up and brawling with my buddies in my backyard for a few hours.

May 26, 2004, 12:51 PM
I can honestly say that Kenpo made me a WORSE fighter by teaching me all kinds of useless crap that didn't work, and putting me into a static box. I would have learned more just gloving up and brawling with my buddies in my backyard for a few hours.

Amen to that. Not only Kenpo though but tons of other martial arts. I love all martial arts, but I think that many of them are studied too soon. My approach is to learn how to successfully defend myself from armed and unarmed assault as best as I can. Once I have those skills in place, only then will I move on to learn arts that may not necessarily increase my defensive fighting skills.

May 26, 2004, 01:15 PM
I'll take whatever martial art the lawyer who was shown on TV evading bullets from his insane client at point blank range by ducking and weaving behind a tree was using.

May 27, 2004, 02:16 PM
Not to start an argument, but I'd like to comment on the generalities I see concerning karate in this thread. First, "karate" has come to be a pretty generic term that many people associate with "a striking and kicking style primarity used for tournament fighting" or something approaching that. While some karate styles and schools do stress striking and kicking over other techniques and are heavily involved in the tournament scene, especially point tournaments, there are other traditional styles and schools that continue to stress the more classic influences that formed the basis of karate originally -- namely, a means of self defense against people trying to kill you, often with weapons.

I have trained in Goju Ryu karate for many years. It is a close-in style that includes not only striking and kicking, but also throws, take-downs, joint breaks and manipulations, linear as well as circular techniques, and is pretty versatile. While some Goju practitioners engage in sport fighting, Goju is better suited to combat application and can be very effective in practical self defense -- just how effective depends on the individual.

As for karate stances, deep and / or locked stances are not intended to be used at all times as primary fighting stances. A stance is locked at the point of impact with the target and in proper use does not detract from the fluidity required in a revolving fight. The low, wide stance is useful when fighting on rough terrain or the side of a hill.

The general term "karate" refers to many styles, some of which are more practical than others, and this post is not meant to promote Goju or any style as better than any other.

May 31, 2004, 02:19 AM
I have been training in Aikido for a few years now. The break falls have really saved my bacon a few times going off my motorcycle. The one time I got into a "fight" since I started training it seemed to work rather well.

Whatever you do what you put into it is what you will get out. I know some Aikidoists that couldn't fight their way out of a wet paper bag. I also know some that could rip your arm off and beat you with it. I have met people from both camps in all sorts of martial arts. Whatever you choose remember that there is a difference between training in martial arts and STUDYING martial arts. You shoudln't leave your Aikido/Karate/whatever you do at the dojo when you leave. You should be trying to learn new things about how to be an effective combatant at every opportunity.

May 31, 2004, 06:21 AM
Brazilian Jujitsu and Muay Thai..

learn something USEFUL to self-defense..

Judo a very distant third.

May 31, 2004, 11:00 AM
Joel brings up a good point with breakfalls. I've saved my butt as well doing breakfalls that I learned in my year-and-a-half study of Aikido.

Scott Evans
June 10, 2004, 05:41 AM
The dedication of the individual practitioner and his mind set are the most important elements in effectively preparing for self-defense. Blind faith in a name tag just because someone else thinks so is silly. There are way too many variables involved to pick a best for all label. Age of the practitioner, background, body type and general physical condition all matter and are all changing for each of us as the years go by. What may have been a solid choice for me at age 20 may not work well at age 50. What works for a 6 foot 190 lbs dude is not likely to work the same for a 5’-6” 220 lbs guy with a bum knee. You have to honestly evaluate where you are and what you are capable of in order to train effectively for likely attackers.

June 25, 2004, 07:04 AM
and after dabbled with many others (Aikido, Bando, Kung-Fu (really hard!), Capoeira)...Well...there are components of any and all that are good(IMHO). Finding a good instructor is pivotal, and they're few an far between...If they know your goals, they should help you learn what you want. I probably lean towards karate(from a self-defence standpoint), but maybe because I had an outstanding instructor, and it was the first martial art I learned. As someone else pointed out, most all martial arts are derived from the same basics (Kung-Fu) but have been adapted in different ways. Also, as pointed out, beware of the "black-belt factories" out there...There are schools near me where you can get a "black belt" in less than a year.... My original instructor would find this laughable...In his school (and maybe that's why he gave it up and went back to the Orient) it would take YEARS of intense work to get a black belt...but it would MEAN something.

Any .45
June 25, 2004, 12:04 PM
I am a practitoner of "Bushido", I am a Yondan (4th Dan) in Aki-jujutsu, I have studied and am Sempai (senior student of Hanshi Sichidan (7th dan) Louis Garcia, who studied under various masters in europe and japan. One important master he studied under for 2 yrs in New york under Hachidan ( 8th dan) Yoshimitsu Yamada. My Sensai has mastered over 8 diffrent Martial ways in his 30 yrs of training and has passed alot of his knowledge to me and his son. I'm not a live in student but do train 5 days a week or more sometimes, and at least 2 hours a day, not including meditation times. As a true Martialist who has studied Battodo, bodo, Iado, Kendo, koryu budo, Jujutsu, aikido, karate-do, and portions of other Bushido ways, have come to realize that all arts are created equal in some way, if you know only karate, and you fight some one that only know ju-jutsu, and are both equal in every aspect, who has the advantage? answer niether Karate is a striking technique which your opponent has to be outside of your circle and jujutsu the opponent needs to be inside and close, so the best thing for one to as kis not karate or aikido, which is better the question to ask is karate or aikido which one would I be better in. beside the fact that all striking arts have become comercial there are still some really good schools that focus more on the way than the art, more on spirituality than fighting, unless needed to defend yourself. I'm 22 yrs young 5'10 300lbs and have no problem performing any of my techniques, I just don't like to jump in the air and spin etc. so my answer for Karate VS Aikido is AIKIDO, because of my body style not that aikido is better or worse than karate.

Any .45
June 25, 2004, 12:07 PM
As to Dfaugh i totally agree i have been studing for almost eleven years and just attained my Yondan one month ago, My Sensei will recieve his Hachidan in a month and he's been studying for 30 yrs. Also to recieve higher rank than Hachi dan he would have to found his own style.

June 25, 2004, 02:37 PM
As a former police officer and now full-time Defensive Tactics Instructor, we teach a blend of Hapkido and JuJitsu for LEO and Civilains. We encourage cross-training and remain non-style specific.

June 27, 2004, 12:46 PM
For a short answer:

Aikido should teach you awareness and non-lethal controling techniques and Karate (non-tournament) is the best martial art to learn quickly.

For a long answer, I would say that Bahadur has some very good points.


June 28, 2004, 03:19 PM
Just like guns, every martial art is a tool in the tool box. You need to pick the appropriate tool for you.