David Yap wrote:
Karate has taught me to bring a person down with a strike or a punch or a kick or a sweep. Now what would I do, if the rule forbids me to use any of the above tools that I've learned so well. More so, if I enforce this rule on myself with this objective - whatever techniques I need to use to control/subdue an attacker, I must do it with minimal effort and maximum effect (and reality). Hence, unlike some aikidoka who have no prior MA skill and understanding, I train with a different prospective and I believe I can advance in Aiki-Do at a much quicker pace.
Let me compliment you on a great reply. Let me state the post I made was merely observations from when I was a mudansha under a particular sensei that I wrote about in the "Aikido and Aiki" column. I was fortunate to run into some of these karateka after I had not seen them in a while and the list is what I rember their comments to be, in addition to the fact that the sensei did not win them over (whatever that means). I could see some of their points and others not.
Now, I did mention that I trained 3 different styles of karate as well as some other budo. I highly reccomend that children start out in karate to learn basic kicks, blocks, and stance. Why? It is better when a person already knows the proper way to attack etc. when they come in. However, most karateka I have worked with are top heavy meaning they are used to training light on their feelo due to the kicks and other movements. An aikidoka is planted like a tree stump, immovable if you will. It was always easy to take their balance. Thats ok though, this is true with most everyones beginning.
Having said all this, studying other budo at a young age did help me understand some concepts and prepared me for study in aikido. I do stand by what I said about having to unlearn some of what I learned. Karate is very flawed in my opinion and aikido is much more a mature art.
A high ranking karateka as yourself walked in and afer class I asked a question out of curiosity. I asked how he would defend a shomenuchi knife attack, he displayed the typical high block in karate. I said, dude, had this been a real knife, your forearm would have gotten sliced to pieaces. He said, thats ok, my sensei said at least we will probably live!!!! In my opinioni, facing a shomenuchi knife attact square on with a high block is insane, don't you agree? Things like this is why I foiund the aiki-principles to work much better for me but, if karate works better for someone else, do whatever works for you....I appreciate your reply and I in large, agree.