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08-24-2004, 06:12 PM
I'm sure this has come up before and please feel free to direct me to the appropriate thread.

For the last six months or so I have been training not only at my own club but also infrequently at two other dojos nearby. The other two dojos are of a different style but still aikido.

I'm finding the cross training is helping a lot with my aikido by allowing me to see how others view things and show slight variations in technique, terminology and overall instruction.

Am I wrong to do this? Recently I heard of one instructor telling his students that they must only train in that style and no other while a member of the club. To me this seems inappropriate to aikido philosophy and if nothing else can result in close-minded students who have only ever seen one style. As an example, my club uses coloured kyu grades, a little while ago I was at another club where one of the students asked if I did karate as I was wearing a green belt. I was suprised by this and just sort of laughed and said, no, I do aikido.

I admit that at first, a student should just work on the basics at their own club so that they actually have a foundation to work on, but thereafter I say explore! :D

Your thoughts?

08-24-2004, 07:09 PM
I personally don't cross train, but that is because I don't feel I have the time or the commitment to put into another style the attention it deserves.

However, when students from other styles or other dojos or other disciplines come to one of my classes, I feel I gain a lot by working with them and learning from their body movement, their variations, etc.

So...I am all for cross training.

Another thought is that if Aikido is really based on the "natural" movement of the body, then there should be no conflict when training somewhere else, just a difference in focus and interpretation.
That is, unless you want to argue that other disciplines focus on the "unnatural" movements of the body. I wonder if this is what the instructor you refer to in your post thought. Did they give any explanation of why they didn't want their students training somewhere else, too?