Karate-do and Aikido by Tom Muzila (SKA). (extracts) Aikido and karate shotokan popularly are seen like vastly different styles. The form in which they come near to the martial arts pretends to arise from opposed sides of the phantom duro/suave. Aikido considers a smooth style him, whereas they shotokan is considered a style hard. In spite of this they share many similarities. Although many interpret to the Aikido like a passive style, Steven Seagal, instructor of high degree, does not agree. "the fundamental goal of the Aikido arises from the original concept of the martial arts: to kill the opponent, "Seagal lived in Japan by 15 years and study in dojo central on the Aikido in Tokyo. "All abstract the mental and spiritual benefits are acquired from that base. You must have the capacity to kill and to be able to cut all mental fastening to the life to be able to give life." Seagal also emphasizes that the true Aikido is extremely dangerous. A trained individual does not know like falling or following the launchings. In a real battle, anybody trained surely would not break the joints, the back or the neck. On the contrary, most of people it sees the style shotokan like a hard style. Even so, in varied technical and mental levels, they shotokan acquires a smooth appearance much more. Let us see the processes through which a medical instructor of aikido and karate evolve. In a beginning a student of karate normally executes a basic blow only on the basis of the muscular force. He contracts his muscles through all the technique. The muscles are contracted and acted a con the others. After several months of training or a year the medical instructor, in spite of everything, learns to relax through the blow and to only tighten in the end. In a following level, not even tense at the end of the technique, but however, he aligns and he connects his body at the moment that the technique is completed. An individual has had to execute thousands of repetitions to reach this level. The last level finds to the student executing technical relaxed but with a superior connection with its body through all the technique and having a tremendous internal spiritual force completely. This type of blow is seen like smoothest, but in fact he is most penetrating of the four stages. Only a low percentage of the medical instructors of karate obtains east level of technical outpost. Karateka must leave its body finds economic and efficient the form to strike, this through rigorous and diligente training after thousands of repetitions with an appropriate mental state. This concept is very similar to the Aikido. Most of the techniques of aikido, says Seagal, are based or on the square, the triangle or the circle. When a person begins her practice, she will execute techniques based on a square. After six months or years of diligente practice, one will graduate in the triangle. Possibly, between one and two years of training, it will be introduced to the circle. In that level, all the techniques are taught efficiently and economically, with the to be able minimum. The circle evolves to a continuous and fluid spiral. Therefore, although the first years of training of aikido and karate are interpreted in different form, the evolution of the technique is enough similar. In his own way, graduated as each style they go more from a structured and rigid state to a more relaxed, efficient and economic style. Aikido and karate have somewhat different systems of ranqueo, but both adhere to the concept of give (black belt), that indicates mental states, technical and spiritual similars. Both systems are based on a life of practice and personal evolution. Morihei Uyeshiba (often O-sensei call), the founder of the aikido one, was very oriented to the mystic and the espiritualidad. Seagal thinks that O-sensei formed its system of ranks based on the old concept of a Shinto symbol. It said that the nine circles that surrounded the symbol all represented planets. The center circle represented the divine sky on the Earth. Levels in the Shintoismo the system of the founder of the Karate-do, Gichin Funakoshi, is based on five give. The five levels are scattered in a practice life, similar to the ten danes of the Aikido. Funakoshi already used the established system of the judo and kendo like models. The connotado instructor Tsutomu Ohshima, thinks that Funakoshi made the system of ranqueo based on the five levels of conscience of an individual when it evolves in Zen, Budismo and Shintoismo. He is interesting to make notice as the system of ranqueo of Funakoshi is related clearly to the religions (philosophies) Eastern. Shodan (first they give, black belt) indicates that one has acquired a strong base in the basic techniques and the physical senses. In the Eastern religions, it is referred to the learning of the control of the senses -- the Vista, tact, hearing and pleasure. In order to acquire the rank of they nidan (second they give, black belt), an understanding of the combinations is due to obtain and how to apply them strategically. In the Eastern religions, the second level represents the control of intelligence and strategy and to apply them to the life. Sandan requires that one obtains a strong and calmed mind together with the presence of relaxation in shoulders. The goal of the third level in the Eastern religions is to control and to dominate a calmed and meditativa mind. Yodan emphasizes the unit of the mind and the body related to the techniques. The humanitarian works in this rank focus. The fourth level of the Eastern religions insists on the connection mind-body and it focuses in the compassion. Godan emphasizes the impeccable execution in the technique and the moral character. It involves to encausar the spiritual conscience through a disciplined personal character. The espiritualidad and unit with God also are the greater goals in the Eastern religions. Levels in the Buddhism Levels in the Karate Levels in the aikido Shintoismo Although are modeled in a system of 10 give the process that atravieza is very similar to the one of karate. The evolution levels are also incredibly similar to the religions (philosophies) Eastern. The first two levels in aikido emphasize basic and strong combinations, like also an understanding of the strategy. The degrees third and quarter focus in the mind calmed and trusted that it can generate a strong ki (internal energy). Medical instructor in that level emits a calmed and humble mentality. The fifth level puts emphasis in the espiritualidad and the canalization of the internal universe. The five remaining levels continue extending the spiritual essences and the canalization of the inner universe. The ability of an individual to focus the ki and its abilities of sanación also grows in those levels. According to Seagal, very few individuals in the system of the present aikido one can exemplify those abilities. Until the levels of strategy and ability of fight they are exceptionally similar between aikido and karate. The first level of control on your opponent is through combinations. In the following level, when your opponent moves, your or you have overcome it or struck. In the following level, your you are so apabullador that your opponent cannot be moved. A person then learns to eliminate the spirit of fight of an opponent and soon to use her moment against the same one. The highest level is the absolute prevention of the confrontation, in essence harmonizing the situation. Uyeshiba and Funakoshi were very different in character, although very similar in their expressions on concepts and principles of martial arts and their relation with the life. Compare, for example, the following appointments by budoka (martial soldiers) both famous: Uyeshiba: "Through aiki, it extends all your power to obtain a pacific harmony with the world."

Funakoshi:"Siempre remembers the resistance in these three elements, forces and weakness in the power; extension and contraction in the body; rapidity and slowness in the technique." Uyeshiba:"Vencer means to overcome the mental discord in same you. It is to accomplish the mission that has seted out to you."

Funakoshi: "It knows your enemy and conócete to same you; in thousand battles never you will be in danger." Uyeshiba: "To compete in technique, to win or to lose it is not true budo (via single-breasted uniform jacket). The true budo does not know defeat. Never defeated it never means to fight." Funakoshi: "To overcome 100 times in 100 battles it is not the highest ability. To calm to the enemy without fighting is the highest ability." Uyeshiba: "the internal state must be like an ample calmed sea." Funakoshi: "true a great man is not itself insane even though is itself confronted an event or unexpected crisis." Uyeshiba: "the aikido essence of is not in fighting with others." Funakoshi: "a person whom really she trains in this do (via) and really never understands karate-do is taken to a fight easily." It is clear by his expressions, Funakoshi and Uyeshiba exemplifies the importance of not only causing that your mind and body are one, but that your practice and your life are one. The routes of aiki and karate very are opposed in elements specific, but very similar in other ways. There are many paradoxes in the process. Although each footpath is different, one can obtain mental states and technical similars in karate and aikido. Until maneuvers outposts of launchings before attacks and irimi (to enter the attack) they have numerous elements of similar nature. Although there are subtle differences in the way that the arms and legs move, the foundations and basic principles of execution are equal. The similarities between the two arts fall in the following 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 medical instructor must leave his mentality of life before being attacked. It must manage this state to be able to feel and to become one with his opponent. It is the state of not thinking conscientiously, which the Japanese call mushin (without mind). Principles of aikido and karate are used within very similar parameters. In both styles an individual must be able to move in the most efficient and economic way without being able or external resistance. The mind, body and hips, all move like a unit, lead by an incredible sense and internal spirit. Uyeshiba had a saying that describes this experience: "My opponent cannot then clear my force to me nonuse nothing." The person who can acquire this state of "not-force" will reach more speed. It will be able to train by many years to become a fraction of the second fastest one, but in the martial arts that fraction can mean the difference between the life and the death. What happens when one faces an opponent of equal technical and physical ability? As it will be the decisive factor in that level battle? The answer is in the mind - the most important factor of all. One that it has polished his mind until obtaining a luminous crystal shining, without mental ties, that will have advantage. In order to obtain this state, the individual must surpass any influence of pain barriers, emotion, fear and insecurity. Its training will have been one of most rigorous and disciplined of its type. It must experience hell in his training thus to appreciate the paradise. The individual with the mental advantage knows and feels in its mind that has defeated to its opponent still before the encounter has begun. Why it is so difficult stops most of the martial artists to integrate and to harmonize the diverse principles? An individual must have the mental capacity to filter little realistic concepts and theories in its training. It must have good students seniors and instructors to guide it. But more than nothing it must depend on if same seeing the truth in his mental and technical application of the techniques and the life. Translation Striking Mogens Ehlers-Marcussen

On the author: Tom Muzila is a high degree under the direction of Tsutomu Ohshima, in the SKA, Shotokan Karate of America. This article appeared in English in Black Belt Magazine, April 1988.