First a little background here, I've done Karate for 7 years and quit some years back because of reasons I won't discuss here.

In either case I have all this experience build up and recently met someone who is good at aikido. It seems they have really good techniques for locking up your body in all sorts of awkward positions without almost no effort using joints pressure points. This can be really good techniques to use in harmless defense - which in karate is almost non existent.

Jiu-jitsu also seems to have really good techniques to lock other people but they seem less refined imo, they do have a much better ground game.

So I'm searching for a discipline to replace Karate with but am wondering what the best addition to Karate skills would be.

  • 2
    Can't answer this question until OP actually tells us what he wants. "replacing karate" or "adding to karate" are not useful requirements, because too abstract and wholly dependent on the training that was done.
    – Anon
    Commented Feb 2, 2012 at 15:45
  • The last 6 movements of Pinan Shodan (using okinawan naming but japanese numbering) as practiced traditionally are also a basic Aikido/Aikijutsu exercise. The arts are complementary, and should also be supplemented with judo/jujitsu for a complete unarmed system.
    – pojo-guy
    Commented May 17, 2017 at 2:43

7 Answers 7


Aikido, judo and karate are all complementary arts: One (karate) focus on strikes, the others on avoidance, control of the opponent, and using body physiognomy to control/throw. Judo works from grapples and Aikido from a distance. As such, they are all good additions to each other.

Whatever art you chose to do, remember to "empty your cup" before starting to learn. AKA train with an open mind.


Aikido is not simply about locking and throwing, it also has striking (atemi waza).

Aikido complements a lot of other arts; once you have practiced some of the Aikido techniques you will find it very beneficial to your karate blocks (uke), and you will find some of the same Aikido concepts buried within your karate bunkai.


I have a friend who is very near to taking his black belt in Karate and he started Aikido with me just under a year ago.

So far he has found it to complement his Karate very well and often demonstrates how techniques can work together in his Karate lessons.

In learning Aikido he has found it easier than me as he already has a base in some of the concepts and his punches and kicks are already much better.


Aikido is not a good addition to anything. Aikido is a complete budo and a specialized (thus, incomplete) martial art.

That's to say Aikido does give you all means for your psychophysical development as a budoka (m.a. practitioner). At the same time, Aikido technique is very focused and thus:

  • there is no direct linkage between dojo technique and self-defense application
  • many things are missing or almost missing (ground wrestling, kicks, etc).

While your karate experience may give you some of the tools you'd miss from aikido practice alone, you still may be find yourself missing something.

Jujitsu is wholly different beast. There are traditional schools and modern schools, but - usually - the practice covers a much wider technical spectrum than aikido. Its value as a form of "budo" practice, though, varies much from dojo to dojo.

My advice is to clear up your goals: if you're looking for self defense, you may find yourself better with jujitsu or even consider something different like kali, jeetkunedo, and alikes.

Aikido provides something much different and deeper and you should perhaps not embrace it if not interested in it as itself. But trying never hurts.

(basic disclaimer applies: it's smarter choose a sensei than a martial art)


If you practiced Shotokan karate, or one of the very rigid forms, then Aikido provides a balance, with fluid moves and a focus on movement rather than the solid anchor that Shotokan uses, and it trains you in flexibility and the awareness of body, rather than the focused strength and power that karate often aims for.

For those reasons I think it is an excellent complementary martial art.

Unfortunately I know far less about Jiu Jitsu, so can't talk to that aspect.


depends what you are looking for. Martial arts tend to be quite a personal choice. I'd say go try both ( and make sure you do try both, and not start up with the first one you try )

Another choice which can be quite enjoyable for ex-karate is Kali / Escrima / Arnis.

but basically, it's whatever you enjoy doing the most, so try different arts!


No art is the ultimate art. Any martial artist should strive to be well rounded. A good striking art, good ground skills, good conditioning, being able to control your technique and having a true martial arts dojo and great instructor so the martial art phylosophy part is not left out is what I recommend. Any part of the equation left out leaves a hole in the bucket of a complete martial artist.

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