Before studying Aikido, I spent time in Judo and Tae Kwon Do. Judo happened to be well established in my corner of Washington State,
and many will recall TKD being very popular in the 1980s and 90s, and still doing well.
At first, I expected Aikido to be an extension of Judo, or that the two arts were so close as to be a continuum. I looked at Aikido and its techniques essentially as more Judo, even if there were no contests.
Instead, Aikido is something different. It’s a different kind of practice and a different result. Somehow, I find myself more conscious of my impressions on other people, and less easily “set off” by things that others might do or say.
In that sense, it’s a highly useful art. I need to control myself more than I need to control others. The effect is strong enough that I have to remind myself I’d studied other martial arts!