Difference Between Aikido and Karate

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: September 21, 2022


Difference Between Aikido and Karate Difference Between Aikido and Karate

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Aikido and Karate are the two most popular martial arts in the world, with many individuals practicing them. The ideals of these two martial systems are opposed to one another. Even though they are two different types of martial arts, they have a lot in common.

Aikido vs Karate

The primary distinction between Aikido and Karate is that Aikido is regarded as a "soft" martial art, whereas Karate is considered a "hard" martial art. Aikido's fundamental idea is to kill an opponent, which is similar to the core notion of combat arts.

The methods are the only thing that Aikido and Karate have in common. Both of their systems are based on triangular, circular, or square motions. Students are taught in a variety of ways, but the growth of tactics is largely the same. In addition, the degrees of fighting abilities and methods in Karate and Aikido are highly comparable. The first level includes a student's ability to manage his or her opponent by movement or a combination of moves, and so on as the level progresses.

Difference Between Aikido and Karate in Tabular Form

Table: Aikido vs Karate
Parameters of Comparison
Developed by
Morihei Ueshiba is the founder of Aikido.
Itosu Ank, Arakaki Seish, Sakukawa Kanga, Matsumura Skon, and Higaonna Kanry all contributed to the development of karate.
Country of origin
Aikido is a martial art that originated in Japan.
Karate began in the Ryukyu Kingdom, which is now part of modern-day Japan.
Main uses
Learning Aikido is mostly for self-defense and to defuse a violent or hostile situation.
Karate is primarily utilized for self-defense, striking, and assaulting an opponent.
Main focus
Grappling and gentleness are the two fundamental focuses of Aikido.
The main focus of Karate is striking.
Predominant moves
Standing holds and locks, soft blocking, takedowns employing joint locks, and exploiting pressure points and nerves are all common Aikido techniques.
Elbow strikes, knee strikes, punching, kicking, palm-heel strikes, knife hands, and spear hands are some of the most common Karate movements.

What is Aikido?

Aikido is a well-known martial art style that originated in Japan. This martial arts pioneer was Morihei Ueshiba. It consists of a blend of serenity, harmony, and self-defense. The individual who pursues this art form is claimed to achieve physical and psychological harmony.

The core philosophy of Aikido is to neutralize an aggressive and violent situation rather than fight. Surprisingly, this martial arts discipline rejects all forms of violence. It instead advises practitioners to utilize the opponent's weight against him to overcome him. To do so, the practitioner must practice discerning the direction of a strike coming at him and using all the momentum he can muster to use the opponent's assault to destroy the opponent.

Morihei Ueshiba developed aikido between the years 1930 and 1960, while also studying various martial systems and honing his skills in aikido. If you can protect by depending on the opponent's power and mobility, this martial art seeks to be a form of your practitioner. Decades went by with no big changes because the teachers in charge were always the current master's sons. This went on for three generations.

Aikido is currently taught and practiced by a variety of police agencies in Japan, as the country's authorities gain more authority. One of his greatest movers throughout the world was actor Steven Seagle, who employed this martial art in numerous of his films during the 1990s.

Not everything is based on physical strength.

This is a martial art that embodies this phrase, with flexibility and motor coordination taking precedence over power.


In Aikido, weapons such as the bokken (wood sword), jo (short stick), and the concept are utilized in addition to empty hands (wood knife). Some of the fundamentals of this martial art, in which one seeks to acquire spiritual equilibrium, include peace of mind and harmony with one's being.

Tag on Aikido

Etiquette and respect are particularly essential among its practitioners, especially in Japan where it is still in its purest form. There are even certain regulations in this regard, such as:

  • Inside the dojo, do not fold your arms or roll up your sleeves, as this is seen as a sign of dissent.
  • Make a monthly payment. After training, it is customary in this martial art to leave an envelope containing money as a token of gratitude for previous instruction.
  • Keep your clothes neatly folded and tidy at all times.
  • As a symbol of respect, make a semi-via at the start of the training, the start of the combat, and the end of the same.
  • Among other things, do not lean against the wall while on the mat.

Aikido Competitions

Unlike other martial arts, this one has never had and is unlikely to ever have a tournament. This is because it goes against martial art's core ideals of mental stability, physical training, and self-defense.

What is Karate?

Karate is a well-known martial art that began in the Ryukyu Kingdom, which is now part of modern-day Japan. Sakukawa Kanga, Matsumura Skon, Itosu Ank, Arakaki Swedish, and Higaonna Kanry are its founders. Knee strikes, kicking, punching, elbow strikes, and other techniques are used to take down the opponent in this martial arts discipline.

There are several methods and styles in karate. The practitioners of this martial arts technique employ a sequence of postures, also known as kata, to take down or beat an opponent. These postures can be defensive or attacking.

Students learn to concentrate all of their strength on their punches and kicks so that when they utilize them against their opponents, it has a significant impact. Modern Karate methods include restraints, throws, grappling, and joint locks in addition to striking.

Anyone may describe Karate's appearance. Those who have participated in some sort of martial arts will have a better understanding of the sport's traditions, as well as some knowledge of its origins and creators. You may not know much about Karate if you are new to martial arts, but it isn't the end of the world. It turns out that learning something new is never too late.

While it is beneficial to comprehend and grasp the basics of Karate, nothing compares to the thrill of becoming involved and mastering the discipline. You will not be disappointed if this is the first move you take in that direction. Karate is a martial art that is much more than that. For many others, it is a way of life. To gain a greater understanding of the work and to have a genuine relationship with it.

Karate was created in the Ryukyu Kingdom.

Okinawa, the biggest of the Ryukyu Islands, is a prime example. 

Karate is practiced by around 100 million people all over the world. 

There are more than 100 million karate practitioners worldwide, according to the World Karate Federation.

The father of contemporary Karate is claimed to be Gichin Funakoshi.

Gichin Funakoshi is considered the "Father of Modern Karate." He was born on November 10th, 1868, and died on April 26th, 1957. In 1922, Funakoshi is reported to have brought Karate to the Japanese mainland.

The term is derived from the words "kara" (empty) and "te" (hand).

"Empty hand" would be the exact translation of Karate.

The art is considered a striking art.

The majority of people are unaware that different martial art systems have varied descriptions. Karate, for example, is a striking rather than a grappling technique. Any kind of striking art that is performed standing up and does not allow grappling – even if strikes are permitted on the ground – is referred to as striking art.

Karatekas are those who practice karate.

A "Karateka" is someone who does Karate. Itosu Anko, Gichin Funakoshi, Yoshitaka Funakoshi, Shigeru Egami, Masutatsu Oyama, and Fumio Demura are among the most well-known Karatekas.

Karate made it to Japan in the early 20th century.

The Empire of Japan annexed the Ryukyu Kingdom in 1879. Not long after, in the twentieth century, karate made its way to Japan. As a result of the large number of Ryukyuans migrating from Okinawa, the art was taught and quickly spread.

There are four main styles of Karate.

Four distinct early Karate styles are well known. Shokotan-Ryu, Shito-Ryu, and Wado-Ryu are three Okinawa-based martial arts styles. The final is Goju-Ryu, which is a Naha-based martial art.

Karate is part of the Summer Olympics.

At the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, karate made its debut (which was held in 2021). Kata and Kumite were the two primary Karate events in the Olympics.

Karate is a discipline as well as a form of self-defense.

Karate is more than just a self-defense sport; it's also a discipline that promotes mental and physical well-being. A student's ability to go from one level to the next necessitates a high level of discipline.

Many individuals throughout the world practice Aikido and Karate, which are prominent martial arts. Their martial art philosophies are on different sides of the softness/hardness scale; Aikido is a soft martial art, whereas Karate is a 'hard' method. However, there are numerous parallels between the two.

Many people assume that Aikido is a gentle practice, yet it is rather deadly. Aikido's fundamental premise is derived from the major martial art notion of killing an opponent. Any untrained individual, according to an Aikido master, does not know how to fall and go with the throws. Untrained people are more likely to break their necks, backs, or joints. Many others, on the other hand, consider Karate to be a difficult skill. Karate, on the other hand, appears milder on the technical and mental levels.

To acquire muscular power, a Karate student must first execute fundamental punches. This basic action also allows a practitioner to relax while hitting, allowing strength to be used solely at the finish. The practitioner must then match his or her blows with his or her body movement. The learner understands how to execute a method that relaxes muscles and has a high level of spirit by the end of the session. The blows thrown during this stage appear gentle, yet they are really powerful.

In actuality, only a small percentage of Karate practitioners reach this level of proficiency. Through intensive training and the correct frame of mind, the Karate stylist must identify the most cost-effective and efficient manner to perform punches.

Main Differences Between Aikido and Karate in Points

  1. Aikido's major concentration is grappling and gentleness, whereas Karate's main focus is striking.
  2. Morihei Ueshiba created Aikido, whereas Itosu Ank, Arakaki Seish, Sakukawa Kanga, Matsumura Skon, and Higaonna Kanry created Karate.
  3. Standing holds and locks, soft blocks, joint lock takedowns, and exploiting pressure points and nerves are the most common Aikido actions, whereas elbow strikes, knee strikes, punching, kicking, palm-heel strikes, knife hands, and spear hands are the most common Karate methods.
  4. Studying Aikido is useful for self-defense as well as defusing a violent or aggressive situation, whereas learning Karate is useful for self-defense as well as striking and assaulting an opponent.
  5. Aikido and Karate are both Japanese martial arts that originated in the Ryukyu Kingdom, which is now part of contemporary Japan.


Aikido and Karate are both Japanese martial arts that originated in Japan. Aikido, in comparison to Karate, is a newer martial technique. The fundamental distinction between the two is that Karate is regarded as a harsh martial art, whilst Aikido is regarded as a gentle martial art. As a harsh art, Karate concentrates mostly on striking, punching, and kicking the opponent.

Aikido, on the other hand, is a gentle art that focuses mostly on grappling, grips, and throws. Aikido is sometimes misunderstood as a passive method because of its classification, however, it is an extremely deadly martial art style. However, the basis of their methods, which are square, circular, and triangular movements, are comparable to Aikido and Karate. Every learner begins by practicing and performing moves in a square shape.

They advance to triangular structures after months of work, and eventually to circular formations at the conclusion. Learning Aikido is mostly for self-defense as well as defusing a violent or hostile scenario. The basic goal of practicing Karate is to be able to defend oneself as well as strike and attack an opponent.


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"Difference Between Aikido and Karate." Diffzy.com, 2023. Mon. 27 Mar. 2023. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-aikido-and-karate-535>.

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