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#126613 - 08/06/03 04:29 PM Karate hard, Aikido soft?

I don't know why people say Aikido is soft.

Being a Shotokan man, I know kicking high in a real fight isn't wise. Kicking is used mostly for stopping the opponent. Best when combine with trapping and even when combined with locking. I wouldn't waste my time kicking below the waist the only point worth kicking when fighting someone bigger is the groin.

Kicking was effective in the fights of the old days when the sword and the staff was used. It was a great tool to reach the opponent while keeping at bay.

That leaves me with the devastating punches, the blocking, pivoting, trapping, elbows and knees. <<That's all we've got!

I don't why people say Karate is hard and Aikido is soft. When it comes to the street the Aikido practioner has the advantage because he has more (useful and realistic) tools at his disposal: Throws, locks, resistance training, takedowns, elbows, knees, blocking, devastating punches, pivoting, trapping.

No offense to other karate practioners but this is just my opinion.

[This message has been edited by Shotokan (edited 08-06-2003).]

#126614 - 08/07/03 01:59 AM Re: Karate hard, Aikido soft?
senseilou Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/14/02
Posts: 2082
Loc: Glendale, Az.
I am not sure what kind of Aikido you have seen, but in all my years I never saw an Aikidoka use elbows, knees have a devatating punch or use blocks. These are not incoporated with the Aikido that I know of. Not saying that Aikido ca'nt be street effective, Shioda Sensei, Chiba Sensei have spent all their years doing street worthy Aikido. Most practioners however don't view their Aikido as a self defense system, there is more to their philosophical and spiritual side, which is why I think they are viewed as soft. Also when you look at it compared to other arts, its not as diect and has the attakers well being in mind. However the system of Aikido you describe I have not seen, most schools stay away from atemi waza, but if they do its mainly punches. As a kyu, I did a front snap kick during Randori and almost flunked my test because of it. I have never seen elbow strikes in Aiki period.

#126615 - 08/07/03 03:04 AM Re: Karate hard, Aikido soft?

Yeah yeah yada yada why do you think Aikido was used so extensively in the war. Why do you think the US army and the Navy Seals include Aikido in their hand to hand training. Because it's been proven to be effective to them in real combat situations. Aikidokas do strike, they just practise them seperately from Randori because of the dangers involved.

[This message has been edited by Shotokan (edited 08-07-2003).]

#126616 - 08/07/03 01:32 PM Re: Karate hard, Aikido soft?
senseilou Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/14/02
Posts: 2082
Loc: Glendale, Az.
Once need to re read your history or check your sources, son. you are way off. SEALS have never used Aikido and by the nature of the art is not based on combat. You constantly make damaging statements. I suggest you either study the art, or contact a serious student of the art before making you ludicrous statements. To show you how ridiculous your statements are, The Japaneese didn't use Aikido during WWII but soldiers were taught Judo instead.If they didn't use Aikido why would we, beside Aikido was not officially an art till after the war. Aikido in Viet Nam, I think not! I suggest you study before you engage in these posts as you are doing more harm giving out bad information, than causing discussion. I studied Aikido and Jujutsu for over 20 years, so I know what I am talking about.

P.S. Most Navy SEALS use a combination of arts, but their striking art is Muay Tai, and of late, alot of Krav Magra has seeped in. Get your story straight!

#126617 - 08/07/03 02:25 PM Re: Karate hard, Aikido soft?
Cato Offline

Registered: 10/13/02
Posts: 1636
Shotokan, you won't find a more staunch supporter of aikido than me, but I don't think even I would go as far as you have [IMG][/IMG]

It is very refreshing to hear such an unbaised appraisal of an art by a practitioner of it, and I commend you for you honesty, but I think perhaps you are underselling karate as a form of self defence. I also wonder if perhaps you have seen one of the many aiki jujutsu variants, or perhaps Hapkido, being passed off as aikido, as I have never seen aikidoka use elbow strikes, nor does they use blocks in the usual sense of the term.

I accept that I am no expert on aikido and if you have seen aikido being done as you say then I apologise. I would be very interested to know which ryuha it comes from though, because it does seem to have some serious clashes with traditional aikido, particularly as regards philosophy.


PS I read somewhere that US special forces were taugght Hapkido during the Vietnam conflict. I think shotokan is confusing the two.

#126618 - 08/07/03 05:29 PM Re: Karate hard, Aikido soft?
Raul Perez Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 08/08/02
Posts: 2806
Loc: Lake Ronkonkoma, NY, USA
I must concur with Senseilou both in the points he presented and the tone of his reply back to you Shotokan. For someone who uses a Traditional Japanese Martial Art as their User Name which holds its essece in character development. You showed none of that in your opening remark in "Yeah Yeah Yadda Yadda".
As for your statement that the US Army and Navy Seals use Aikido in hand to hand training. I have a Brother-in-law who is a radio field operator in the 42nd Snipers Platoon in the US Marines (Cpl. R.W. Wahl). He was stationed in Iraq and was involved in Operation Iraqi Freedom. I have had several discussions about his hand to hand combat training during basic and as he has progressed through the ranks. At no point has he made the claim that he had been learning the art of Aikido.
Please keep in mind that the military uses an eclectic blend of martial arts techiques that are (a) easily learned in the shortest amount of time and (b)easily retained and (c)lethal and efficient.
To make the claim that the US Military would spend the time and the money to learn an entire art that takes years to be proficient at is misleading and ignorant.
A more accurate statement would have been...The US Military has incorporated some Aikido techniques as part of its hand to hand combat training.

[This message has been edited by Raul Perez (edited 08-07-2003).]

#126619 - 08/07/03 07:21 PM Re: Karate hard, Aikido soft?

I was merely returning the same attitude that SensiLou showed me. Just because your brother never mentioned it doesn't mean they don't use it. I did my research. They training in Shotokan, BJJ, Aikido, Judo, TKD, JKD, Karate (Different from shotokan), Hapkido, Wing Chung, Kung Fu etc.

Maybe your brother isn't a Navy Seal special opps member.
Just an average soldier.

They have incorporated some of everything they have taken all of the nonsense out of all of the martial arts and adapted what works for them. These men are busy they don't have time to do katas and learn a hold bunch of techniques it's a waste of time to them. Never the less Aikido is combat effective.

See: For Military and Law Enforcement uses.

[This message has been edited by Shotokan (edited 08-07-2003).]

#126620 - 08/07/03 09:06 PM Re: Karate hard, Aikido soft?
Raul Perez Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 08/08/02
Posts: 2806
Loc: Lake Ronkonkoma, NY, USA
OK. Your first couple of responses seemed to imply that the Navy Seals and US Army just focused on Aikido. Now that you have clarified your position I agree with your statement that the US military uses techniques from various martial arts systems, including Aikido.

Now in defense of my Brother-in-law --- like you didn't know it was comming [IMG][/IMG]. No he is not a Navy Seal. As I had stated previously he is in the Snipers Platoon for the Marines. No average Marine is accepted into this platoon. And the training program for this platoon is extensive and brutal. He was apart of several special operation missions during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

As for the links... not bad but I was aware that many law enforcement agencies nationwide were encorporating a form of Aikido due to the system's more humane way of subduing an assailant without doing permanent injury (ie less lawsuits against the police force). But your link to back up the Navy Seals use of Aikido leaves me still a skeptic. Now before you take this to heart hear me out first. My reason being is that your link is referring to a commercialized video tape at which the developers of this tape are bent on making a profit from it. Because of this, in my opinion, it hinders its credibility as a source of information. Think about it... if you were making a tape and trying to make a profit from it wouldn't you say just about anything to market your product to create a demand for it? Therefore I am going to need a more credible resource to convice me about your Navy Seals claim.

I agree with you that Aikido is combat effective.

Quote: "Kicking was effective in the fights of the old days when the sword and the staff was used. It was a great tool to reach the opponent while keeping at bay."

Why would you kick someone who has a 3 foot razor? Doesn't seem practical.

Quote: "That leaves me with the devastating punches, the blocking, pivoting, trapping, elbows and knees. <<That's all we've got!"

Not entirely so my friend. Check this link out by an accomplished British Shotokan Karate-ka Ian Abernethy:

And this article found on this website by Joe Swift:

Quote: "I don't why people say Karate is hard and Aikido is soft."

Please give me your definition with regard to Hard and Soft martial arts.

Kind regards,


You are probably not aware of this, but Marines prefer to be called Marines. Soldier is the term used for the Army. Out of respect of our Military personnel it is proper for us as civilians to address them in the proper way.

[This message has been edited by Raul Perez (edited 08-07-2003).]

#126621 - 08/07/03 10:49 PM Re: Karate hard, Aikido soft?

I'm not talking about the Marines/the regular Army these are two different divisions. I'm talking about the elite Navy Seals. The link doesn't lead to much, but If you check inside karate magazines you'll find more. The fact that it was used by law enforcement makes it proven in the streets againsts criminals. That's all that's required. The argument isn't about if karate has throws or not. Throws isn't a focused part of Karate training, although it is a lost art of our style. Aikido is a not aggressive martial art, and it's good that it doesn't cause injury. That's a good thing, because you can get in a lot of legal trouble if you go too far or behave too savagely when fighting someone. The concept of Aikido is to not hurt him, while making sure at the same time he doesn't hurt you. Nevertheless, Aikido combined with strikes can be deadly. Even the throws can cause internal injuries. I read about a founder of Traditional Judo who trained with Funakushi, the founder claimed that he could throw someone and break their legs at the same time.

The issue is if Aikido is street effective, despite it's reputation as a soft art.

Basically hard martial arts relies more on muscles, stamina, strength, and to a lesser on Ki. Naturally these are art adapted well to sports oriented commercialization of the arts and gained more publicity.

Soft martial arts require less external energy and more relaxation to release Ki or Chi as the Chinese call it.

According to what I've read chi is the element of which everything is made up of. It's existense can be proven by Tai Chi, Chi Gong, Wing Chun, Chi-Na, Chinese wrestling arts, in general chinese martial arts and the tricks thought in grappling such as the unbendable arm etc.

Hard martial arts almost uses raw strength and speed.

Soft martial arts harmonizes the mind, the body, and the spirit to accomplish a task.

According to one Aikido site Ki is positive thinking.

We Shotokan practioners are encouraged to learn Aikido to complement our fighting skills because it is effective. We are related arts both derived to some extent from Traditional or original Ju Jitsu.

Aikido Deadly:

My regards


I am sure you are proud of your brother but, Marines are nothing compared to the Navy Seals. The Navy Seals are trained mainly in assassination, they are trained to kill with their hands and ninja like weapons. That's the difference between an average Marine or Army personnel and a Elite Navy Seal (Special Operations Division).

[This message has been edited by Shotokan (edited 08-07-2003).]

#126622 - 08/08/03 01:30 AM Re: Karate hard, Aikido soft?
senseilou Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/14/02
Posts: 2082
Loc: Glendale, Az.
Here we go again..........Just because you do a wrist lock like Sankyo or Kotegaeshi, doesn't necessarily mean it is Aikido. If you study the art, you will know that the utmost principle within Aikido is the entering movement and how you achieve the lock. You can watch an Aikido person do a Sankyo, an Jujutsuist do the same lock or an Aiki-Jujutsuist do the same lock and they may all look different. To say the locks of the SEALs is Aikido, rules out that it could be Jujutsu. Aikido entrances deal more with the attackers energy and redirect it. In combat, there may not be the time to accomplish this. All the articles in the world can not take the place of doing techniques for real, and then when attacked for real. Its easy to say what works and doesn't in an article, or video, but in practice is entirely different.
I know a Master who was a SEAL. He was at least a 6th dan at the time when he was leaving the teams. He approached the SEALs about teaching them some of his art, not only would they not let him, but wanted him to go to school for 18 weeks to learn how to teach the teams. When I asked what they learned he said hand to hand combat, not style and nothing very complicated. Silent kills, broken necks, quick chokes etc, he said a SEAL doesn't have the time to play with joint locks etc. He has to be quick, silent and deadly. He said also that Krav Magra, the real stuff from Israel, not what we see here, is becoming more and more accepted in the teams. He said that is because the Israeli's have used it for years and have had more hand to hand combat than most armies. Having said that, he was shocked that most arm forces are employing their own spin to training special forces. The Airborne Rangers of England are doing Russian Sambo techniques in their studies. Truth is no one but the teams know what they are doing, but one thing can be sure, by adding punches to Aikido technique, or using the locks of Aikido means they are practicing Aikido at all. The same locks of Aikido are in Jujutsu, Kajukembo, ROSS system in Russia, San Jitsu, Lua, Lima Lama, and in some Kempo styles. So this does not mean they are Aikido locks in their training, I can't imagine having to kill someone with an Aikido mind set, how do you be harmonious when you are in battle. Your not, and its not Aikido in the trenches.

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