Aikido vs. Karate



Uyeshiba and Funakoshi were very different in character, yet very similar in their expression of concepts and principles of martial arts as they relate to life. Compare, for example, the following quotes by the two famous budoka (martial warriors):

Uyeshiba: “Through aiki, extend all your power to achieve peaceful harmony with the world.”
Funakoshi:“Remember the contrast within these three elements strength and weakness in power; extension and contraction in body; quickness and slow ness in techniques.”

Uyeshiba:“Winning means winning over the mind of discord in yourself. It is to accomplish your own bestowed mission.”
Funakoshi: “Know the enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles you will never be in peril.”

Uyeshiba: “To compete in techniques, winning and losing is not true budo (warrior way). True budo knows no defeat. Never defeated means never fighting.”
Funakoshi: “To win 100 victories in 100 battles is not the highest skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the highest skill ”

Uyeshiba: “The inner state must be like a great calm sea.”
Funakoshi: “A truly great man is not disturbed even when suddenly confronted with an unexpected event or crisis.”

Uyeshiba: “The essence of aikido does not lie in fighting with others.”
Funakoshi: “One who truly trains in this do (way) and actually understands karate-do is never easily drawn into a fight.”



As evidenced by their statements, both Funakoshi and Uyeshiba exemplified the importance of not only making your body and mind one, but of making your practice and life one. The paths of aikido and karate are very opposite in specific elements, but very similar in other ways. There are many paradoxes in the process. Although each path is different, one can achieve a similar mental and technical state in karate or aikido. Even advanced maneuvers such as throws off of attacks and irimi (entering) techniques possess numerous elements of a similar nature. Even though there are subtle differences in the way the arms or feet move, the basic foundation and principles of execution are the same. The similarities between the two arts fall into these categories: mentality, alignment, connection, timing, distance, hips, and the state of the body. The mentality in which a technique is executed is similar because a practitioner must give up his life mentally before he is attacked. He must obtain this state so he is able to feel and become one with the opponent. It is the state of not consciously thinking, the Japanese call it mushin (no mind). Aikido and karate principles are employed within very similar parameters. In both styles, an individual must be able to move in the most efficient and economical way without any external power or resistance. The mind, body and hips all move as one unit, driven by incredible internal feeling and spirit. Uyeshiba had a saying to describe this experience: “My opponent cannot take my power away because I do not use any.”The person who can acquire this “no power” state will achieve more speed. He may train for many years to become a split second faster, but in martial arts, a split second can mean the difference between life or death.”



About Karate-Do

I investigate about the fundamentals and principles of Karate-Do Shotokai - the practice of Mitsusuki Harada Sensei.
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