If you have read my earlier articles, you will notice that I am fascinated with Tai Chi.
It enhances my mental energy and improves my overall well-being.
However, I have also ventured out to other forms of martial arts, Aikido being one of them.
As a 33-year old mother, I believe that combining these exercises has both physical and mental benefits.
In this article, I will look at the differences between Tail Chi and Aikido to help you to determine the better of the two.
Definitions and History
Aikido is a Japanese form of martial art, specifically developed for self-defence.
The art has been performed over centuries with different names.
However, it got the name Aikido in the early 20th century.
This name comes from three names ai, ki and do.
Ai means combining or unifying,
Ki means morale, mood or energy
Do means a path or a way
In short, Aikido means “A way of combining with life energy”. It was coined by Morihei Ueshiba, referred to as the ‘great Teacher’ in Aikido circles.
Tai Chi, also called Tai Chi Chu’an, is a form of soft martial art and self-defence technique influenced by Buddhist and Taoist monasteries. It means the supreme, ultimate or boundless fist
This martial art was first practised in China before the 17 century but has spread across the world.
Form of Exercise
Aikido is a whole martial art that is performed for self-defence.
It uses hold, throws and locks to suppress the opponent.
Practitioners also use the opponents’ own movements to stop them on their tracks.
Tai Chi combines martial arts with exercise.
Therefore, you will be learning self-defence while at the same time enhancing your mental and physical fitness.
Movements and Foot Work
Most of the movements in Aikido start from a balanced centre.
They then use sliding footwork to reach the opponent.
However, Tai Chi emphasizes stability and the ability to move feet independently.
In the course of making these movements, you will be forced to hold your body weight on one foot.
Involvement or Breathing and Meditation Exercises
As said earlier, Aikido is a pure form of martial art.
Therefore, it does not have any associations with internal meditations.
However, Tai Chi has several internal meditations and breathing exercises in its training routine.
This helps it provide both mental and physical benefits to the practitioner.
The Goals between the Two
Aikido seeks to have energy and harmony around you.
Therefore, there is lots of footwork and aggressive movements.
Besides, you will learn some grappling methods, including rolling on the floor.
Both mental and physical hardening tactics are performed together.
Tai Chi focuses more on relaxation and redirection of energy. It emphasizes slowing down the opponent with softness and using their hardness to beat them.
This technique is usually performed when the practitioner is standing.
The practitioner blocks, pulls, pushes, and strikes without moving a lot.
Its training involves solo forms (the art part) and fighting forms (that may require a partner).
So, which is better Tai Chi vs Akido?
I believe both are great mental and physical discipline techniques.
However, if you are more focused on your internal health, well-being, physical strength, and energy, Tai Chi is the way to go.
On the other hand, if you are more focused on your agility, self-defence and ability to fight, Aikido is your best bet.
However, if you are like me, take both!