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jxa127's Blog Blog Tools Rating: Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 02-09-2005 02:53 PM
Blog Info
Status: Public
Entries: 109
Comments: 18
Views: 190,854

In General Thoughts on cross-training... Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #25 New 07-24-2003 03:44 PM
Hi all,

I've wondered about cross-training and why so many people find it tempting.

A number of people in my dojo, including me, have prior experience in a striking art like tae kwon do. We've all moved on, for one reason or another, to aikido. We don't cross-train, and we focus on the traditional aikido attacks -- though we strive to make them strong and centered attacks. In other words, despite our previous experience, we haven't found anything lacking with the traditional aikido attacks.

Another reason people cite for wanting to cross-train is that they feel aikido does not offer something that they think they need. While each art has its advantages and disadvantages, my feeling is that aikido is a complete martial art for my needs. People will say that aikido does not use strikes; we practice using strikes as nage during techniques. People say that aikido can't be used aggressively. We sometimes train in an aggressive manner with nage initiating with an attack and then using uke's response to create the technique. We also sometimes preemptively throw uke.

Of course we still work toward peaceful resolution of conflict as our goal. More specifically, although we sometimes look at how to cause our attackers damage, we feel it is important to not harm our attackers if we can avoid it. What we don't do is the stuff I learned in TKD -- blocking strikes and counter-striking. My TKD training was good, and it actually came in handy once or twice, but I hadn't learned how to immobilize and pin, just how to strike and harm. Aikido gives me more tools to use in a conflict than I got from TKD.

Now, I only trained in TKD for a couple of years, so I'm not sure what more advanced study would have taught me. I also feel that my TKD experience has been beneficial for me as an aikidoka. The contrast between the two arts has been informative, and there are similarities.

Having said all that, there are those who cross-train, and they feel the additional training really enhances their aikido. A lot of it, I'm sure, depends on their attitude toward the additional training.

Ellis Amdur cites, in a couple of essays, Nishio sensei as one who has seamlessly combined arts like karate, judo, and koryu weapons work with aikido. But, Ellis has also stated that few people seem to really be able to cross-train successfully. He's said: "I know of only a few people who have truly combined aikido with something else -- most people simply superimpose the second art on aikido creating a mess." (from here).

Finally, time is a big component in the decision to cross-train. If you have the time to train in two arts, would you also have more time in a single art?
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