View Full Version : when to pick up other art

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01-01-2006, 07:35 AM
I have been doing aikido for about a year now, and would like to explore other arts as well, but have heard that it might be best to stick with one art until you get more experience in it, before starting others. For those of you that train in multiple arts, how experienced were you when you started the second?

Kevin Leavitt
01-01-2006, 08:47 AM
I had about 5 years experience. It really depends on your goals, skill, and abilities IMHO.

01-01-2006, 12:16 PM
also i think it does depend on the second art your looking to go into some might be of help to your aikido others might hinder it, there are a lot of variables to your question i am sure if we had more of an idea as to what you intend on doing someone will be able to better answer your question

01-01-2006, 12:45 PM
i had about 6 years experience when i started shaolin (aikido being my 1st). I dont think it really matters a whole lot when you start. If you think you feel comfortable starting another art then go for it. I think it all just depends on the type of person you are and if you think you can handle studying two martial arts at once. Personally i dont think its that hard , of course my 2 arts are totally and completely opposite of each other.

Anyway, just do what you feel is right for you and dont let anyone else tell you what to do. IMO i think you'd do fine. You can always stop training in that art if it becomes too difficult.


Mark Uttech
01-01-2006, 04:10 PM
I followed a principle of training for ten years before looking at another art, and then after ten years, I decided to go another ten years. Now I am into my third round of ten years. Cross training is something that Jesus did.

Jeanne Shepard
01-01-2006, 05:47 PM
Cross training is something that Jesus did.



James Kelly
01-01-2006, 07:21 PM
i waited till after my shodan before starting a second art (also Shaolin). i wanted to start sooner, but i kind of made a pact with myself to wait and i'm glad i did. I came to shaolin with much better martial fundimentals and the different movements of shaolin didn't mess up my aikido so much. Then i waited till nidan before i started capoeira (dropped shaolin when i moved). Here i kind of wish i hadn't waited so long as capoeira is so different from aikido (and yet still the same...) that you have to start at :square:1. or is it :circle:1?

Jorge Garcia
01-01-2006, 08:46 PM
I trained 10 years in Aikido, then I started Aikijujutsu and Iaido. I see my self as an Aikidoist adding to my overall knowledge of my primary art by studying related arts.

Devon Natario
01-01-2006, 10:49 PM
I usually train two arts at a time. I have been doing this from the start.

Boxing and Shotokan Karate
Isshin Ryu and Jujitsu
Shaolin and Jujitsu
Aikido and Judo
Muay Thai and BJJ

In my opinion it doesn't matter. A lot of instructors say to get a base in one art, and then start another, but it really does not matter because every art you learn- guess what?- a new base.

Amir Krause
01-02-2006, 03:48 AM
Only you can answer that, it is a question of talent and intentions.

If you are very gifted, you can learn several M.A. without one interfering to the other, other people (self included) may find it takes them 5 yrs to 10 yrs to be able to learn another M.A. without generating significant problems in their main art. For example, when I tried Karate after 3 yrs of Aikido, I lost my softness in a few months, and I was learning both M.A. with the same teacher.

Different purpose is also a factor, some people focus on a single M.A. due to issues related to their purpose of learning, others would insist on multiple M.A. from the same reasons. This is a matter of belief and concept rather then fact, making any argument moot.
Personally, I believe one should focus on his main M.A. and teacher, but try to learn other M.A. and from other teachers once every some while do enrich his knowledge and prevent himself from getting locked on a single concept ind/or view.


Lyle Bogin
01-02-2006, 07:18 AM
I personally think it is a good idea to study many martial arts training methods, techinques, and cultures. It's just that the timing needs to be right.

01-02-2006, 12:03 PM
Cross training can be good and bad.
It is probably best to wait until you are more advanced in Aikido and have a good solid foundation.
Then it will be best to find an art that complements Aikido, like Judo and certain Karate styles like Goju Ryu.
You make a lot of mistakes and make bad habits when you are starting out in any art. Trying to learn 2 at once will slow your progress in both.
When training in Iaido and Aikido at the same time I went away to Iaido camp and kept slowly moving back into my Aikido stance. My Iaido teacher kept walking by telling me to move my feet closer together. When I got back to Aikido class, Sensei kept walking by telling me to get my feet further apart.
On several occassions after training with someone, I asked them what style of Karate they train in. They always ask "how do you know I take Karate". And I always answer "by your stances". They may just be new to Aikido or they may be trying to learn both arts at once. It would be interesting to see if the drift into Aikido stances druring Karate training.

Like has been said though: It depends on your goals.

01-02-2006, 02:29 PM
i studied wado ryu karate for ten years and have just completed my first year in aikido and i struggle almost every session with stances flowing movements ect, and i don't consider myself a slow learner.

01-02-2006, 05:36 PM
In addition to the points that have already been noted (wait until you have a solid foundation in one art, choose complimentary arts), it is important to consider the teaching methods in your prospective new art in the context of the goals of your practice.

Consider the art, and what you hope to gain from its practice. By picking it up, as suggested in the thread title, you could be making a lifetime commitment. You have to ask yourself if you can make the commitment required in order to gain the results you seek.

It is a worthy goal to seek to improve particular skills such as punching better, cutting better, breathing better. However, to find these things within certain arts will take a lot of study. In fact, you can pick any of these skills and find arts which to a large extent focus on perpetual improvement of that particular skill. However, the path of study may require substantial mat time to get particular subtleties that make all the difference.

You should also consider whether those same things you seek can be found within aikido.

I had been practicing aikido for about seven years when I started practicing iaido

01-07-2006, 09:40 AM
Thanks guys, I will consider waiting until actually picking up anything else, but I think I'll go ahead and attend a class or two in several things, because I am curious about them.

Paula Lydon
01-09-2006, 09:14 AM
Hi Virginia,

I'd been in my first martial art about five years before going off into others. That time frame seems to allow you a chance to get a feel for what you're presently doing and also for what you find lacking in either the art or yourself. I would ask you, though, to examine why you are considering switching or branching out after only one year. Something inside you prompted this question and, I believe, your answer is already there waiting for you. Then you will know what to do and one year or twenty was never the answer to your real question.

Good luck :)

Steven Gubkin
01-09-2006, 01:07 PM
I would say that if you are doing Aikido, and have not experianced any other martial arts, you should definately at least try some other ones for a couple of weeks. I would reccomend trying Judo or BJJ in particular. Taking up one of these arts would be a tremendus complement to your Aikido (because you get to experiance grappling in a fully resistent enviroment).

01-09-2006, 05:46 PM
You'll have to make some honest assessments about how much training time you need to improve. I've heard several sensei say that for each student there is a frequency of training which will help them grow, and training less than that tends to leave them running in place. For me it's about three times a week (I prefer four) and that wouldn't leave time for a second art. But I have at least one training partner who can comfortably improve with one session a week, so it would be much less disruptive for him to add a second art.

I deal with my wanderlust and desire to see new things by sampling different styles of aikido instead. That's been a lot of fun.

Mary Kaye

Tim Heckman
01-09-2006, 06:09 PM
I deal with my wanderlust and desire to see new things by sampling different styles of aikido instead. That's been a lot of fun.

Mary Kaye

I definitely agree with Mary Kaye. I'm fortunate to be in Chicago, where Aikido comes in 47 flavors. It's really neat how you can drop in on and practice with total strangers.

James Smithe
01-10-2006, 02:59 AM
Boxing and Shotokan Karate
Isshin Ryu and Jujitsu
Shaolin and Jujitsu
Aikido and Judo
Muay Thai and BJJ

A mixed martial artist huh?

01-10-2006, 09:54 AM
I went through a period of exploring other martial arts about 2 years after starting aikido, wanting something to 'compliment' my aikido. Although it helped to see what others do, I abandoned my search since I found that the training method in many other martial arts tends to induce a different fight response which I found to be unhelpful. I still practise kicking and striking techniques and read up lots on other martial arts, but I would have to find a special class to deviate me from the aikido training method.

Basically, if you feel you want to, then the time is right!

P.S. I hate to see aikido or any other martial art as part of a 'cross-training' exercise. I think that it suggests that people are learning a long list of techniques or responses. Although its good to train with other martial artists I think many 'cross-training' officianados will miss the point of aikido (all the aikido techniques are in other martial arts anyway - it's the principles and training method which are most important).