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Old 07-09-2009, 09:27 PM   #1
Tomas Grana
Dojo: Aikido Yoshinkai Ottawa
Location: Ottawa, ON
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 11
Canada
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Best karate style for aikido?

I'm wondering if any of you with karate experience might want to share your opinions on cross-training in karate and aikido. There are a few other threads dealing with this, but none that I found with my specific question....

I started training in aikido (aikikai) about 8 years ago. Loved it right away, was always pretty sure I would stick with it indefinitely after starting. About a year ago I had to relocate to a small town with no aikido dojo. The only budo practice to be found were two karate dojo, one shotokan and the other shito-ryu. Having little to no knowledge of karate, I picked the shotokan one since it was about a block away from my apartment, and had two practices a week versus a single one for the other dojo (yeah, just like that). I tried to keep an open mind and thought "at worst, maybe my attacks as uke in aikido might improve". Right away, I LOVED it. I thought, man, "have I been doing the wrong thing all along?". I decided that when I went back to aikido, I would try to keep doing karate.

Now I'm back in a larger city (Ottawa) where I've started taking aikido again (this time Yoshinkan, which is another story altogether). The same location where I'm training in aikido also has a shotokan dojo, so I thought, perfect, I'll try to balance the two.
The thing is, I'm now starting to find certain aspects of shotokan more and more difficult to follow. I'm OK with the lower stance, the little to no grappling, the shorter (and sometimes longer) distances, and the kicking, well, to be honest, that's the most fun
What I'm having a bit of difficulty accepting is the extreme linearity of it. This may be due to my beginner level, but at my other karate dojo there seemed to be more tai sabaki, which I felt complemented, rather, than clashed, with my aikido training. I've realised that the shihan overseeing that dojo also had a Chito-ryu background, and from what I understand, that style may place a larger emphasis on avoiding attacks (rather than meeting them with force) than other karate styles. I've begun to wonder if what I originally thought was straight shotokan was a mixture of these two styles (which no-one ever alluded to). Or perhaps it was simply a different curriculum within the same style....

Do you have any thoughts on which (if any) karate styles might harmonize with the circularity, for lack of a better word, of aikido, the best?

Thanks in advance for any and all of your input,
Tom
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