Posted by: Eddie deGuzman | November 24, 2008

Karatedo and Aikido

by Eddie deGuzman

I studied karatedo a long time ago and for the last decade, give or take, I’ve been studying aikido.  As such, I tend to see all movement in aikido-like terms.  As an experiment, I dusted off the karate kata and have been trying to infuse them with aikidoーbased movement.  It’s an interesting project.  Thus far I’ve done kata two ways.  First, I tried them with more attention to balance, posture and moving from my center as in the video from November 21, 2008.  The kata are far from polished, but I think it’s a good first attempt.  The only truly negative points I found are that I’m not as fast as I used to be, my hair looks terrible and my aikido gi makes me look fat.  Second, I tried the kata focusing on kokyu(breathing), extension and nagare(flow).  It was very tai chi-like and lacked much, if not all, of its oomph.  Much work is needed if I truly want to convert the kata to help me improve my aikido.(The motivation for the experiment.) Seeing as the methodology of karatedo and aikido are intrinsicly different, I may abandon this idea completely and form original exercises for individual training.  That said,  dynamic karate movement feels pretty darn good after “relaxing” this past decade.



  1. EG, Happy Thanksgiving to you.

    Enjoyed the read and the recent videos. I’m not unfamiliar with doing what you described in your post. An interesting experiment that can both frustrate and excite a student simultaneously.

    I too am old, less hair, but not fat. So I guess I have one up on you.

    Have a great holiday and we’ll chat soon.


    Sticky Rice

  2. Well, hey there and Happy Thanksgiving back at you! I studied both karatedo and aikido from age 20 in the same dojo and found the philosophical and physical dichotomy quite challenging and YES frustrating. This fall I started discussing martial theory with a few guys from the old dojo and it’s a bit difficult to communicate with my aikido accent. Hence, I tried to translate with the recent karate kata video. It’s interesting that after the first ten years, the two outer movement styles started to merge and I was asked by my senpai where I learned to move “like that”. I hadn’t really noticed I’d changed. Now it’s quite the opposite. I know there is a change and where it is and there are aspects of aikido that are just plain smart movement that can lend itself to other arts. Actually, they are probably there already, or should be when done right. And I’m sure the opposite is equally true, that there are aspects of other arts that could help improve my aikido. My how the mind wanders at my age! ; )

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