The article below has been selected from the extensive archives of the Online Aikido Journal. We believe that an informed readership with knowledge of the history, techniques and philosophy of aikido is essential to the growth of the art and its adherence to the principles espoused by Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba.
Aikidoka sometimes see shortcomings in their art in comparison to other martial arts. Consequently, it is tempting to debate “what if” scenarios in discussing the effectiveness of aikido techniques. But are we really training to be able to defeat a championship karateka, a professional boxer, or an Olympic wrestler? How will channeling our energies toward such goals help us in our lives to prepare for the kinds of attacks we might be exposed to? There is no real way to rank the arts in some hierarchical order of efficacy because no objective standard can be devised to measure their relative merits. This mental exercise may provide good grist for bulletin board discussions, but the hypothetical nature of any matchup makes any conclusion purely speculative.
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