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Karate, Judo, Aikido

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    Karate, Judo, Aikido


    I don't know if this is the right forum for this kind of question, but I hope it is.

    I'm looking into joining a dojo, but I'm at a loss at which style to practice. The city I'm in are small, so my choices are limited to Karate, Judo, and Aikido.

    The reason I think of Karate is because i used to be a green belt (5 years ago or more), and I'm just really interested in going back, and I can deal with the accusations of impracticality, since I'm content with just enjoying what I do (I loved the katas).

    I'd also like to try out Judo for gaining some balance training and Aikido.

    What I'm asking is, can anyone give me basic comparisons of these styles? Or a basic rundown of each of them if you have any experience? I'm not asking for which is the "best", just descriptions that fit or info that you think should be taken into consideration.

    I appreciate the help, and thanks in advance.

    EDIT: Forgot to mention. I'm assuming the karate style is shotokan.
    Last edited by Abbas; 11/23/2011 3:17pm, .

    I recommend judo: splits time between take-downs/throws and ne-waza (ground fighting). if you find a BJJ gym that offers judo than even better: BJJ specializes on ne-waza with less rules.

    Aikido..can be a lot of fun, and like judo, will learn how to fall and roll, but a lot of them could care less about learning how to fight or "defend" them selves in a practical, unpredictable, way. But if your dojo's the rare gem that has effective practices, integrating punches and kicks, then join!

    shotokan karate...might be fun, but many are McDojo-like that do not teach how to fight. join it, only if your dojo actually teach practical fighting ("self-defense" for people that prefer euphemisms) .

    Last edited by charlie echo; 11/23/2011 3:35pm, .


      What do you want from your training?

      Do you want to practice something for its own sake?

      Do you want to learn to fight?

      Do you want to get fit?

      If you want either fitness and or fighting Judo or a full contact form of Krotty such as Kyokushin.

      If you want to practice something for its own sake Aikido and non-contact forms of Krotty such as Shotokan.


        J-uk is absolutely right to ask those questions. You seem happy enough in Kata so you haven't fallen into the trap of just wanting to learn to hurt people. If anything, you seem very relaxed.

        I shan't offer any advice, perhaps except to look at the Instructor. If you like and respect him or her and feel you can learn honestly without fear or favour, then why not go with them?

        Just a thought, so feel free to disregard. Good Luck.


          Thanks for all the advice.

          And yeah, I enjoy kata enough. One thing that also attracted me to the idea was that this specific instructor was recommended to me by a friend (who's into mma) and said he teaches some practical stuff, so I do get *some* practicality out of it.

          I guess if Aikido isn't actually useful in self-defense then I'll ditch it. I think I might go with just going for Karate now and maybe take a break a couple of months in to check out judo for a while to get some basics and come back. Or maybe judo first? I think I definitely want some variety in my style (striking + takedowns would be nice).

          Thanks again for all the tips.


            If you want something that will actually teach you how to fight and consequentially give you the self-confidence, common sense and fitness to not need to fight.

            Then Judo or a full contact Krotty style i.e Kyokushin.


              Karate is typically the most commonly found, so there are obviously more crappy schools out there. Make sure the teachers are capable of detailed instruction and know why it is they teach what they teach. Too many people break off from their instructor and start a school when they are not ready.

              ....This is especially true for aikido. I am a bit biased, but I really hate most aikido dojo I visit...and I've visited many. In particuloar, aikikai based dojo have a progression level that is a bit chaotic. Students are learning through imitating what they see their seniors do, and these seniors are all too often unable to explain why things work; explanations such as 'extend ki' and 'keep weight underside' are not sufficient for my training and I would not train at a place that does not know to tell me how stuff works.

              I'm really new at Judo so I can't offer much advice. Considerations I would make are seeing if they do competition or not (if thats a concern of yours), and watching how they practice.

              All in, try not to base judgement off of watching just one class....often schools have different people teaching different nights; some who like to emphasize different things.

              Take notice of the types of people training...are they all kids, are there adults, do they train in a manner in which you would like to train?

              Anyway man, enjoy and I hope you find a good fit!


                Judo uk has the correct when he asked "what do you want from your training".

                I can only speak for aikido of those three. My advice is to find out if people at the club cross-train.

                If the students do, then you have members from other arts who think they are benefiting from the aikido taught at that school. If the instructor cross-trains, that'll demonstrate something about his values better than what he says when you talk to him.

                I think you could get something great from any of the three styles, as long as you are choosy. If you are going to spend less time or care choosing, then judo has the best odds of being a good club.

                When life gives you lemons... BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD!!

                "what's the best thing about aikido then?"
                "To be defeated by your enemies, to be driven by them from the field of battle, and to hear the lamentations of your women." ermghoti


                  Minor point on the Instructor, remember students eventually tend to emulate their instructor through the training. So try to make sure you get a good instructor at whatever you decide to do.



                    d"If you want something that will actually teach you how to fight and consequentially give you the self-confidence, common sense and fitness to not need to fight.

                    Then Judo or a full contact Krotty style i.e Kyokushin."

                    No offense intended, but I already have the self-confidence and common sense (although there are doubts regarding my fitness) necessary to avoid a fight, so those certainly aren't why I'm looking to join a gym.

                    And unfortunately I live in a small city, so my options are limited, and kyoushkin isn't one of them. But I keep liking the idea of judo.

                    @daishi the karate instructor was held to some regard by the friend who recommended him, saying he taught "street" techniques, so that's a plus. And I share your negative view of Aikido. I took classes for about a month or two long ago, and it just seemed very mundane and rigid. The instructor would just teach us techniques, and that's it. Although I did learn some very useful joint-manipulation, for the most part it felt like memorizing multiplication charts, as opposed to understanding them.

                    Thanks for the thoughts.

                    @Ignorami I like the idea of cross-training, and I agree with you about Judo's chances.

                    @Eddie I will.


                      Judo will give you balance like no other. It's tough though, so be prepared to work a little.


                        Welcome to bullshido,
                        Give judo a try man, its fun and very interesting! (its something different since you've done karate too)


                          Hey man, sorry to mislead. Aikido wasn't my first martial art....or the one I've trained in longest, but its the one I use as my 'focus' art now. I'm just very picky where I train, and a little jaded, likely due to what I am used to. There is literally one person in my aikido class (of the people who's names I remember) that only does aikido. Everyone else AT LEAST trains in a striking art, and many grapple and do iaido.

                          I'm 29 and have been training in martial arts since I was about 10. I don't know about when I began, but I have no real aspirations to train for the deadly streets...its just not a need of mine. Now, this attitude can open up more opportunities for training value to you (like aikido), but you really need to ensure you're getting value out of it. Many aikido places play lip service to all these great intangible benefits, but they really don't ACTUALLY have any way in which to teach it, or understand how these benefits come about. My training has that, which is to say they have a sense of why they do what they do. This could be because my teacher's teacher was Gozo Shioda (among others, after and before Shioda's passing).

                          I love judo and jujitsu. Its a great workout, trains you to be intense and relaxed at the same time, can teach you a great positive mentality (by positive, I mean aggressiveness), and you can always see things to improve on and goals to achieve. By that, I mean, its really hard and you're always working on goals...whereas my karate training became pretty stagnant after about 13 years and I just lost interest (I know, thats a real bad attitude and a deficiency on my part, but whatever).

                          Let us know how it turns out....remember, give em a fair shot and don't be afraid to ask questions while making a good first impression. I know my friends and I always get excited when new blood comes in, if its a down to earth, normal-ass, dude (or chick) who isn't afraid to be a gamer and put forth a little blood, sweat, and tears (you find some weird fucks in aikido).


                            Originally posted by daishi View Post
                            (you find some weird fucks in aikido).
                            During class last night, one of our almost-black-belts had his pinky scratched a little bit by another guy's fingernail in randori. He didn't quit whining and complaining for almost 15 minutes, took a break, and fucking taped it! It wasn't even bleeding. I have never been so close to dropping aikido.


                              That really sucks. Though even good dojo have their "10%" of shitbags in them. I will say that I do get a little perturbed if someone cuts me because they don't take care of their nails (well, I don't like it if someone has nasty nails even if they don't cut anyone)....but whining is never ok. We have an old, rusty, used nail clipper we make people use if they show up un-groomed. Anyway, my last test I had a broken finger, sprained toe, and black eye....if I would have stopped the testing to medically treat myself I doubt I would have passed.



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