View Full Version : Cross Training

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12-10-2002, 07:01 PM
I have been practicing judo (on and off) since I was 5 years old. I'm now 30. I don't remember exactly, but sometime between 1994 to 1998 I've practiced Aikido two and sometimes three times a week. Currently, I'm still practicing judo and brazilian jiu-jitsu which I have been practicing for a year. Judo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu are a great complement to each other. One focus more on nage-waza (throwing) and the other more on ne-waza (ground). I don't practice for purposes of self-sefense. I enjoy practicing and I love the game of throwing, pinning, submitting and so on. I intend to continue practicing both judo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu for the rest of my life because it is great fun.

I'm sorry for the long introduction, after all this is a Aikido website. But the question I'm trying to ask is: Why is it not really accepted for an Aikidoka to practice another art?(please accept my apologies if my statement is incorrect, but that has been the impression that I've got during my years in Aikido). In the future, when my working schedule easies, I would love to practice Aikido as well. I miss practicing Aikido. I use to enjoy doing it as much as I do with judo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu. I don't see either Judo, Brazilian-Jiu-jitsu (with a gi) or Aikido as a martial Arts. Judo is a great sport, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu with the enfases that I practice is also a great sport and Aikido is a great form of Budo.

Why should I have to give up Judo and Brazilian Jiu-jitsu if I go back to Aikido? After all they are not the same thing. Someone once told me that because the focus should be on one thing. But if that is the case, and if judo and brazilian jiu-jitsu are sports, should Aikidokas not bike, play soccer, swim... ? Should Aikidokas not have professions ?

PS: I know that there are people who practice different styles and when they go to another Dojo, they like to show off or they are resistant to do things in a different way because that is conflicting with how he or she learned before. I don't do that. When I go to a Dojo, I go with the open mind to do as they do.

Thanks for your reply!
Marcus Vinicius

Kevin Wilbanks
12-10-2002, 08:37 PM
There are good reasons to cross train, and there are good reasons not to cross train. It all depends upon what you want to do. Unless your Aikido sensei requires you to stop practicing your other arts, who cares whether other people frown upon your decisions? There's always going to be someone trying to tell you how to live your life. Unless they are in a position to force you, why pay attention to them?

12-10-2002, 09:36 PM
I think the statement is incorrect. Aikido is no more likely to frown on cross training then any other martial art.

Besides - why is it their business what you do as long as you know how to keep things separate.

Jeff Tibbetts
12-10-2002, 10:54 PM
actually, in our dojo it's not frowned upon at all© We have a guy in our dojo who is pretty expierienced in Karate, our Sensei used to practice Kung Fu and a few of our other members have other expierience© I know this is not uncommon, and I think that it actually makes things better during practice© Sometimes I seek out the resident Karate guy just because his attacks are that much more focused, and oftentimes one member or another will offer a piece of information pertaining to another art that proves very helpful© I can see how some people may look down upon cross-training only if your body has a tendency to constantly block instead of enter or whatever else, or if you keep doing rolls the way another art does, but I don't see that happening so it's a non issue where I practice©

12-10-2002, 11:38 PM
cross training is accepted at my dojo too. why wouldnt it be??? in fact my sensei has seminars planned for this year to be taught by teachers from different martial arts specifically for us training in aikido. he feels that a knowledge of as many martial arts possible is a good thing to know from a self defense point of view.

after all, didnt morehei ueshiba himself train in many martial arts?

12-11-2002, 09:54 AM
I think people only frown on cross training if the student is likely to get confused (i.e. less experienced). Also, there is a difference between training on seperate nights and trying to do lots of different things in one session. Just as a strike to the face would be unacceptable in Judo, excessive grappling is considered inappropriate in aikido.

Since in most clubs aikido is self-defence orientated getting used to tight situations esp. with floor work is usually not considered appropriate since it enables other attackers to strike lethal blows or chokes. Also, it tends to make people forget that striking (esp. atemis) are often essential to keep the distance between attacker and defender (as you'll know close quarters grappling almost always gives the heavier person a great advantage).

Saying this, I tend to promote cross-training and an understanding of different options and also the ways other people will attack or respond.


12-11-2002, 01:20 PM
Thanks for the replies. The general feeling that I'm getting from all the replies is that although it might not be ok to cross-train in some styles of Aikido or maybe at some Dojos, if I wish to continue training Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu when I go back to Aikido, it will be possible to find a style or school that will be ok with that.

Another point that I like to make is that when I cross-train Judo and BJJ, I do with the intent of improving my game on both since they are both competitive sports with somewhat similar rules. But when I cross-train that pair with Aikido, I don't do with the intent to bring anything form one side to the other. If there is a natural improving coming from one side to the other fine, but I'm not in search of it. I want train the first pair for what it is and I want enjoy it. I want to train Aikido for what it is and I want enjoy it.

12-11-2002, 02:54 PM
I've been studying non-competitive Tomiki Aikido for six months now and absolutely love it. Before Aikido I studied Kempo Karate. My kempo instructor told me Aikido would cure bad habits I had.

I've been doing research on the web about other Tomiki Aikido dojo's here in the U.S. and I haven't found a competitive dojo yet. So if you want the competition aspect you'll most likely have to continue with judo and BJJ.

My instructor holds black belts in Aikido and jiu jitsu, and most of the senior students actively crosstrain in jiu jitsu.

I think that when you start training in Aikido again you'll find your judo and BJJ skills will improve. Kempo makes more sense to me now.

Best of luck training.