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Old 07-09-2009, 09:27 PM   #1
Tomas Grana
Dojo: Aikido Yoshinkai Ottawa
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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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Old 07-09-2009, 10:54 PM   #2
phitruong
Dojo: Charlotte Aikikai Agatsu Dojo
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Re: Best karate style for aikido?

off the top of my head, i would say: shorinryu, isshinryu and gojuryu although many of the gojuryu schools seemed to be more go than ju. the current shotokan tends to be rather linear with lots of muscle power. they missed much of the teaching from Funakoshi.

personally, if you find a systema school near by, i would go with that. but then their training methodology might messing with your yoshinkan aikido and that's a good thing.
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Old 07-09-2009, 11:28 PM   #3
swalsh
Dojo: Watanabe dojo/Australia
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Re: Best karate style for aikido?

Tom,

After years of Goju ryu, I went to Aikido a few years ago to add some Ju to the whole lot of Go I had. I find the 2 compliment each other and a lot of similarities in how power is generated, taisabaki, atemi waza, even kuzushi waza.

That said, I think you would most likely get the same from any other karate system. I would recommend an Okinawan based system however.

Regards,

Stu
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Old 07-10-2009, 03:48 AM   #4
seank
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Re: Best karate style for aikido?

I found it particularly hard to let go of Kyokushin, which I had trained in for quite a number of years, when starting Aikido. Probably the subtle difference in shuto and the likes, but more likely learning not to aggressively attack any and every opening.

That said, I found that there were a large number of similarities and it complemented my understanding of Kyokushin over time.

All in all, I would suggest its a worthwhile cross-training style, but caveat that by sayings its always a challenge to climb to mountains at once
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Old 07-10-2009, 09:32 AM   #5
lbb
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Re: Best karate style for aikido?

I don't think it ought to matter, to be honest. Just pick a karate dojo that is a good representative of its style and a style that is a good representation of karate -- not a style and school that's aikido with kicks and punches. Karate is karate and aikido is aikido, and if you need the two to be as much like each other as possible in order to train in both, then maybe you should reconsider whether you should do both. I also think it's totally barking up the wrong tree to try to figure out which approach is "doing it right". They're two different paths up the same mountain, and if you want to look at it a certain way, each one is going to be missing some things that you encounter on the other path.

I trained in karate (shotokan) before I trained in aikido, and I switched to aikido for the sole and simple reason that I moved and aikido was all there was. There were many things in aikido that didn't make sense to me for quite a while -- things where I thought that the karate solution to the problem made more sense. The aikido way makes sense to me now, but that doesn't mean that the karate way doesn't make sense -- it's not an either-or thing. Each approach has its tradeoffs. If you can understand that, I think you can benefit tremendously from training in two martial arts (under some circumstances -- a lot of other things have to fall into place too). If you're constantly trying to make one into the other or figure out which is better, IMO you're wasting your time. A lot of people favor this approach because it sounds like taking the best from both worlds, but it isn't. It's constantly cherrypicking, never integrating, always criticizing, always looking for the fly in the ointment instead of accepting things as they are in the hope of coming to an understanding through practice. It's a waste of time.
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Old 07-10-2009, 09:52 AM   #6
Marc Abrams
Dojo: Aikido Arts of Shin Budo Kai/ Bedford Hills, New York
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Re: Best karate style for aikido?

If you have not seen dvd's or trained with Ushiro Sensei of Shindoryu, then you should. His utilization of Ki in his karate is unlike anybody else out there. It is simply to best compliment to help your Aikido.

Marc Abrams

pm me if you want the particulars on how to train with him or get his books or dvd's
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Old 07-10-2009, 11:17 AM   #7
ninjaqutie
 
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Re: Best karate style for aikido?

I don't know if you have this style around, but you may want to check out aikijitsu/aikijutsu/aikijujitsu (and many more variations to spell it). I trained in that before doing aikido and I have been able to carry over some stuff. My teacher didn't focus too much on the aikido aspect, so that is new to me, but other teachers in the style do a lot of aikido. There are lots of joint locks and fun throws in the style along with lots of fun weapons. It will help a lot with your ukemi and it isn't a "hard" style. Well... it CAN be, but it isn't for the most part.

~Look into the eyes of your opponent & steal his spirit.
~To be a good martial artist is to be good thief; if you want my knowledge, you must take it from me.
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Old 07-10-2009, 01:53 PM   #8
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Best karate style for aikido?

I think it is less about the style of Karate and more about the teacher. If the teacher is teaching correctly and understands principles of movment etc...then that is who you study with.

These days I am less about style of ANYTHING and more about the quality of the individual.

If I had a choice, I'd follow Marc Abrams advice and check out Ushiro Sensei.

Also I think alot of the Uechi Ryu traiinng (Okinawa) stuff is good IF you have a good teacher.

Unfortunately alot of Karate/TKD is "McDojo" and IMO for your money is a waste of time. Save it, go to some decent seminars with some good instructors.

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Old 07-11-2009, 03:40 AM   #9
gdandscompserv
 
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Re: Best karate style for aikido?

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
I think it is less about the style of Karate and more about the teacher. If the teacher is teaching correctly and understands principles of movment etc...then that is who you study with.

These days I am less about style of ANYTHING and more about the quality of the individual.
I completely agree with Kevin. I would be a student of my Sensei regardless of the style he teaches. Fortunately, it happens to be aikido!
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Old 07-11-2009, 12:51 PM   #10
Lulu
 
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Re: Best karate style for aikido?

I agree with Sean about Kyokushin Karate. I started training Kyokushin Karate and had been training for a few years when I found Aikido. I trained both for eight years and found them very complimentary to each other. Kyokushin was not linear and was a circle & point style of Karate - okinawan based.
I would still be training both but a foot injury forced me to give up Karate, but it still resonates in my Aikido Training and life even now.

I must also say that the statement that Aikido is Akido and Karate is Karate is not what I understand either to be. There are so many different representaions of Martial Arts and Schools that call themselves Karate and are really Tai Kwan Do etc

You need to find the style that is right for you and it is possible to successfully train two Martial Arts and thrive from both.
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Old 07-11-2009, 11:41 PM   #11
CNYMike
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Re: Best karate style for aikido?

Quote:
Tomas Grana wrote: View Post
.... 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
I'd stick with the dojo you're in for the convenience of "one stop shopping." As to your technical question, train in both arts but don't try to think of them at the same time. You'll notice where they're similar and where they diverge on your own in time; try to force it and you'll feel like your head is going to explode. Enjoy your training and remember to wear the right uniform to the right class.

"I am not a big fat panda. I am the big fat panda." --Po, Kung Fu Panda
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Old 07-12-2009, 01:23 AM   #12
Peter Chenier
Dojo: Summerland Aikikai
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Re: Best karate style for aikido?

Hi ya Tomas! :0)

I'm going to recommend something that is very hard to find. The old name was Nippon Kempo Shinpuren. :0) Soft style, circular movements, they play the angles, and are very very difficult to handle in a fight. I trained is shotokan for four years and had never really lost a fight before I had my head handed to me by one of these guys...:0)

Cheers Peter
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Old 07-12-2009, 04:19 PM   #13
aikidoc
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Re: Best karate style for aikido?

kempo has a lot of circularity. Hapkido as well-daitoryu with kicks.
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Old 07-12-2009, 08:27 PM   #14
lbb
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Re: Best karate style for aikido?

Quote:
Lisa Donner wrote: View Post
I must also say that the statement that Aikido is Akido and Karate is Karate is not what I understand either to be. There are so many different representaions of Martial Arts and Schools that call themselves Karate and are really Tai Kwan Do etc.
I wasn't addressing situations where someone labels a martial art by the name of a different style, and I certainly wasn't saying that anything calling itself karate is the same as anything else calling itself karate. I think that's obvious if you take my statement in context, but in case it isn't, the point is that karate is not aikido and should not be aikido, and if you bust your butt to find the most aikido-like karate you can, what's the point?
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Old 07-12-2009, 10:44 PM   #15
Chris Farnham
Dojo: Aikido of Champlain Valley/Hamamatsu Aikidokai/Aikido Shidokai
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Re: Best karate style for aikido?

You might also want to look into Wado Ryu. As the founder of the style was also a licensed teacher of Shindō Yōshin-ryū Jujutsu, I believe they tend to be much more circular than most Karate styles. Furthermore Wado can also be translated as the way of harmony.
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Old 07-12-2009, 10:57 PM   #16
Cynrod
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Re: Best karate style for aikido?

Quote:
Chris Farnham wrote: View Post
You might also want to look into Wado Ryu. As the founder of the style was also a licensed teacher of Shindō Yōshin-ryū Jujutsu, I believe they tend to be much more circular than most Karate styles. Furthermore Wado can also be translated as the way of harmony.
I second Wado Ryu also as it's more circular than any other style of karate. One of the member here by the user name of Ken Zen Ichii teaches Wado Ryu in Nasu Shiobara City, Japan. Maybe you want to send him a PM if you have any question about Wado Ryu.

"For The Secret That The Warrior Seeks: You Must Know That The Basic Principles Lie In The Study Of The Spirit." - Morihei Ueshiba
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Old 07-12-2009, 11:01 PM   #17
Suru
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Re: Best karate style for aikido?

I'm not sure which style of karate he's a high degree black belt in, but I've met a guy who is high ranking in Aikido as well. I was talking a while ago about gut instinct, and mind says he's certainly extra prepared in a street fight scenario. As far as whether karate enhances Aikido (notice I only capitalize the art I do) ;-) , I think it does, mainly when it comes to atemi and high-ranking kick attacks as uke. There is another man I trained with many times at my original dojo in Tallahassee. He's a black belt in Tae Kwon Do (Korean karate), and if he really finds himself in a jam, I've seen a really high kick fly! I feel a little like a hypocrite here, since Aikido is the only MA I've studied, when I know most of the others can certainly make good combos.

Drew
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Old 07-12-2009, 11:11 PM   #18
Tomas Grana
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Re: Best karate style for aikido?

First of all, thanks to everyone for all your comments. At the very least, you've helped me realize that I'm going about this the wrong way. If I keep trying to make my karate training "fit" my aikido training, then maybe that means I should just focus on aikido...

In the meantime I will give my current shotokan school more time with (hopefully) less or no "aikido bias". I will update with any findings sometime in the future.

Tom
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Old 07-13-2009, 07:10 AM   #19
JimCooper
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Re: Best karate style for aikido?

Quote:
Tomas Grana wrote: View Post
I'm wondering if any of you with karate experience might want to share your opinions on cross-training in karate and aikido.
Firstly, I'd say that in my experience getting a firm grounding in one art before starting to train in others is quite important.

Secondly, most karate is taught in a very linear manner (even "Okinawan" styles). This is a hangover from when it was modified to be taught in Okinawan schools back before the First World War, and dozens of students only had room to march up and down the dojo in straight lines. It is also one of the great weaknesses of karate as it is now taught. OTOH, most styles will teach you to strike and punch properly, which is the great weakness of most aikido people. And not just from a self-defence POV - better strikes give your partners a better practice.

But, as always, the instructor is more important than the style, or even the art.
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Old 07-13-2009, 08:22 AM   #20
lbb
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Re: Best karate style for aikido?

Quote:
Drew Gardner wrote: View Post
Tae Kwon Do (Korean karate)
Jeez, Drew. Whatever you do, don't ever ever ever call it that in front of a Korean. No joke.
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Old 07-13-2009, 10:53 AM   #21
JimCooper
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Re: Best karate style for aikido?

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Jeez, Drew. Whatever you do, don't ever ever ever call it that in front of a Korean. No joke.
They do get sensitive about it. Mainly because there is a fair amount of truth in it, I think, which Koreans are not always very happy to acknowledge, given the history between Japan and Korea.
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Old 07-13-2009, 10:57 AM   #22
JimCooper
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Re: Best karate style for aikido?

[quote=Drew Gardner;234549He's a black belt in Tae Kwon Do (Korean karate), and if he really finds himself in a jam, I've seen a really high kick fly!
[/QUOTE]

That's actually not a very effective technique when you're "in a jam" :-)

Not many of us are fast enough to move a foot the 6+ feet it will take to connect with an opponents head without them having plenty of time to get out of the way, or worse, grab hold of your leg. That's not a very comfortable position in which to find yourself :-)
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Old 07-13-2009, 11:38 AM   #23
Suru
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Re: Best karate style for aikido?

Mary, I agree saying that isn't PC or even an accurate thing to call Tae Kwon Do, which is certainly its own art. I actually sensed pain in myself when I typed that, not because it wasn't PC, but because I knew the wrath from other members was imminent. Should there be national pride from one art to the next? Should there be national pride? Hey, I'm glad I popped out in the States, but it could have been Greenland.

Jim, I've seen a Tae Kwon Do kick and a "Japanese karate" ;-) kick (happened to be basically the same kick) launch a foot at 3.0 x 10^8 m/s.

Drew
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Old 07-13-2009, 08:20 PM   #24
lbb
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Re: Best karate style for aikido?

Quote:
Drew Gardner wrote: View Post
Mary, I agree saying that isn't PC or even an accurate thing to call Tae Kwon Do, which is certainly its own art.
That last part is actually debatable, if we're being intellectually honest -- but one reminds the colonized of the "debt" they owe their colonizers at one's peril.
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Old 07-13-2009, 08:25 PM   #25
lbb
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Re: Best karate style for aikido?

Quote:
Jim Cooper wrote: View Post
Not many of us are fast enough to move a foot the 6+ feet it will take to connect with an opponents head without them having plenty of time to get out of the way, or worse, grab hold of your leg. That's not a very comfortable position in which to find yourself :-)
This claim about having "plenty of time" to avoid or trap a kick is often made by those who have never trained in a kicking style. No particular knock on you, Jim, I'm sure you're repeating the words of others, but if that statement were true, don't you think no one would ever land a kick in karate kumite? Think about it: these are people who are used to kicks, who know a lot more about them than an aikidoka, who spend a lot of time trying to avoid or thwart kicking techniques...and they still get hit sometimes. If they get hit, just what kind of time distortion trick is someone who isn't experienced with kicks going to pull in order to have this mythical "plenty of time"?
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