REC­OG­NIZE THE DIF­FER­ENCES — AND THE SIM­I­LAR­I­TIES

Black Belt - - SCREEN SHOTS -

Two things dis­tin­guish one art from an­other and one school from an­other. First, all arts fa­vor cer­tain dis­tances be­tween part­ners. Aikido’s fo­cus is pri­mar­ily throws from a mid­dle dis­tance or close up. Judo’s throws be­gin from a close-in po­si­tion, as does the ground­work that fol­lows. Karate and sev­eral styles of kung fu typ­i­cally train at a mid­dle dis­tance, em­pha­siz­ing kicks and strikes. Tai chi em­pha­sizes off-bal­anc­ing at a close to mid­dle dis­tance.

But that’s where it be­gins, not where it ends. The karate ex­pert may use a judo-like foot sweep once dis­tance is di­min­ished. The aikido throw is also a strike done close in af­ter the op­po­nent is tightly held and off-bal­ance. The tai chi stylist may use an aikido-like wrist lock, while the kung fu prac­ti­tioner ends an en­coun-

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