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Old 09-05-2002, 08:17 PM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 44

Today, my math teacher was asking me about Aikido. So, I gave him a very short explanation and, he asked me how Aikido compared to Karate, I then explained as best as I could (I don't know much about Karate) how the two arts differ. Apparently not getting the point, he asked me how I liked studying Karate. My question is, how could I get the point across better if I am faced with that situation again?
Thanks, Jessica
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Old 09-05-2002, 08:23 PM   #2
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 114
Jessica -

Here's basically the way I explain it, especially to those that don't understand much about martial arts. (Now I know it's not completely correct, but it generally gets the point across.)

Karate is more or less strength vs strength, and who can punch/kick the hardest or fastest. Where Aikido uses the other persons strenght/weight to your advantage.

In Karate people will punch their way through the door, in Aikido we help the door out of our way by opening it, and moving past it.

...then again, that's just me.
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Old 09-05-2002, 08:27 PM   #3
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 915
Or we get out of the way of the door as it swings open, and then walk through...
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Old 09-05-2002, 08:36 PM   #4
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 44

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Old 09-05-2002, 10:12 PM   #5
Dojo: Baltimore Aikido
Location: Baltimore
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 586
I tell people (and I know a lot of people here wouldn't agree with me on this): "AiKiDo is a pacifist martial art. It's a martial art that takes seriously the Buddhist [I don't know if it is Buddhist, but this is what I say] idea that any harm you do to another person is harm that you are doing to yourself, and thus works to find solutions to problems of conflict that don't involve anyone getting hurt."

Yours in Aiki
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Old 09-06-2002, 01:42 AM   #6
Bronson's Avatar
Dojo: Seiwa Dojo and Southside Dojo
Location: Battle Creek & Kalamazoo, MI
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,677
I hit 'em with nikyo or throw them on their head


I was kidding by the way.

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 09-06-2002, 08:15 AM   #7
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 135
Ok, punch him in the gut, while he's bent over trying to catch his breath explain to him that was karate.

Then help him to a chair so he can sit and recover, then explain to him that was Aikido.

HA! just kidding....

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Old 09-10-2002, 07:19 PM   #8
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 44
I must say, those last two ideas were interesting, not that I'd use them or anything

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Old 09-10-2002, 09:25 PM   #9
Dojo: Federación Mexicana de Aikido
Location: Mexico City
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 188
I´m not good at charades or show and tell, so I usually invite people who are curious to attend a class and see for themselves.

Last edited by Nacho_mx : 09-10-2002 at 09:28 PM.
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Old 09-10-2002, 09:39 PM   #10
Location: East Coast
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 55
If you want a good example for him, demonstrate the difference between the blocking in the two arts. This was how our tai chi teacher expressed the difference between soft and hard arts. (I'm assuming the sidestep and coming around to your opponents side is the standard blocking procedure for both tai chi and Aikido...at least that's what I think they did in that Aikido class I watched...either way, I'm sure it's different then the standard Karate block with the forearm )

...oh, I ramble don't I
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Old 09-11-2002, 12:29 AM   #11
Jermaine Alley
Dojo: Aikido Of Richmond
Location: Richmond, VA
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 63
Describing Aikido


I think that providing a descent description of what aikido is, is kind of difficult. The idea of inviting your math teacher to a class is a really good one.

Descriptions of aikido depends on what style of school that you come from. Some dojo's stress a more philosophical aspect of aikido while others might concentrate on more of a street effective style per say.

Now, i am not implying that if you concentrate on the philosophical side that you are not street effective, i was just using it as a simple example..cuz those differences do exist now a days.

I tend to tell an interested person about what aikido is made up of. I also like to try to describe the contributing factors that led to its inception.

I don't know how much experience you might have atthe moment Jessica, but trying to read up on the history of aikido and the contributing persons involved will prove to be beneficial in the long run.

But then providing a description really depends on how much time you have..hahaha

so, invite them to class.....

take care.
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Old 09-11-2002, 05:53 AM   #12
Jim ashby
Dojo: Phoenix Coventry
Location: Coventry, England
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 303
I agree, invite them to a class. If they won't/can't come I use the explanation of "human origami".

Have fun.

Vir Obesus Stola Saeptus
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Old 09-12-2002, 07:40 AM   #13
Steve Bland
Dojo: Milton Keynes Sei-Shin
Location: Milton Keynes
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 4
James Ashby (Jim ashby) wrote:
I agree, invite them to a class. If they won't/can't come I use the explanation of "human origami".
Human Origami

I will have to remember that one!
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Old 09-12-2002, 09:38 AM   #14
SeiserL's Avatar
Location: Florida Gulf coast
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 3,886
IMHO, to some people its all karate and trying to explain to people who don't really care about the distinction can be a great exercise in futility. BTW, my grandchildren think I do karate.

Until again,


Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 09-13-2002, 02:07 PM   #15
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erikmenzel's Avatar
Dojo: Koshinkai Leeuwarden
Location: Leeuwarden
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 594
Well, talking to a math teacher I would explain that karate is within the class of continuous martial arts as where Aikido is within the class of infinitly differentiable martial arts.

Erik Jurrien Menzel
kokoro o makuru taisanmen ni hirake
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Old 09-13-2002, 02:36 PM   #16
Kevin Wilbanks
Location: Seattle/Southern Wisconsin
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 788
I tell them that we all put on dresses and pray to a crazy, bald guy who was part of a Japanese religious cult...

Actually, I think most of the above responses are too abstract. The math teacher is probably just trying to get a visual. I tell such people that it's a lot of throws and joint locks, or failing that, that it's like Judo only the attack starts from further away.
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Old 09-14-2002, 04:20 PM   #17
Dojo: Sand Drift Aikikai, Cocoa Florida
Location: Melbourne, Florida
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 824
My current roommate thinks "karate" is the generic term for all martial arts, and was very surprised to that fact when I corrected him. I still don't think he is convinced.

I've told people that aikido is more like Judo but not with all the wrestling, and we tend to stay on our feet more.

Anne Marie Giri
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Old 09-15-2002, 12:41 AM   #18
PhilJ's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Bukou
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 240
"Karate" is the "Coke" or "Pepsi" of MA. Thank you, Daniel-san.

Among some diatribe I share with someone who's curious, I usually ask them if they want to break boards or do body flips -- OR -- would they rather stay standing, smile, and laugh -- when they're 70 years old.

Phillip Johnson
Enso Aikido Dojo, Burnsville, MN
An Aikido Bukou Dojo
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Old 09-15-2002, 05:47 AM   #19
ian's Avatar
Dojo: University of Ulster, Coleriane
Location: Northern Ireland
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,654
I usually say its a bit like a cross between judo and jujitsu, but you blend with your opponent so force is not used - then they ask what jujitsu is. Explaining aikido is futile, I'm still working out what it is myself!


---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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Old 09-15-2002, 06:08 AM   #20
Bruce Baker
Dojo: LBI Aikikai/LBI ,NJ
Location: Barnegaat, NJ
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 893
Math teacher, huh?

Give your teacher the teacher explantion.

Math teacher, science teacher, hisory teacher, music teacher, principal, secretary, janitor are all employed by the school system, aren't they all the same too?
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Old 09-15-2002, 01:47 PM   #21
Brian H
Dojo: Aikido of Northern Virginia
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 102
I just tell people it is the combat form of Jesus's instruction to turn the other cheek.

(Should go over weel if you are at a public school)

Evil triumphs when good men do nothing
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