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.
Another of the most frequently advocated solutions to this thorny issue is the introduction of competition to add a realistic dimension and provide a quantifiable way of measuring one’s skills against an opponent. The argument is often framed in such a way that the measure of a martial system is based on how exponents fare, or presumably would fare, in a match situation. For example, who would come out on top if fifth dans in judo and karate were to match skills? Is taekwondo superior to kung fu? Can an aikidoka with no cross-training in another art hold his own against an exponent of any of these more combat-oriented martial arts? Such speculation is endless and has failed to lead to any sort of consensus.
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