This is my rant and my question. When folks see "flaws" and "lacking" areas in Aikido and try to "improve" it by simply adding things like boxing, Jujutsu, Judo or wrestling tactics is this a reflection of the general level of martial tuition available out there in Aikido, where the student rushes to every other style out there to act as a crutch towards effectiveness instead of taking the time to plumb the depths and learn what truly makes Aikido an extremely effective martial art within its own paradigm?
Larry...excellent thoughts. Thanks for sharing them.
One of the frustrating things that I find when people talk about "needing" to crosstrain (as opposed to wanting to) is that I always understood that one of the precipes of fighting was not to be drawn into the other guys style/system/way of fighting, but to maintain your own and use what you know. To me the idea of "needing" to study something else so that you can approach another person on their home turf/style with some of the knowledge they have seems contrary to that idea and in fact undermines getting better at what your core competency might be.
I posted a note in a thread about a week ago that relates to what you I hear you saying, but it went ignored in the thread it was in. I bring it up again because I was really hoping someone would comment on it and because it mirrors the frustration I see in your post.
I am not against cross-training at all and find it interesting to train with and to compare notes and ideas with people who study other martial arts and, of course, other styles of Aikido. Michael makes some excellent points as to why cross-training should be encouraged. In fact, I was told that one of my seniors at the Yoshinkan hombu was sent there from a ju-jitsu dojo specifically to bring back what knowledge he could.
However, for *me* I don't have the time to dedicate myself to another martial art in the way that I think it should be done. Any extra time I find I prefer to put into something I have already invested 20+ years in...namely Yoshinkan Aikido...in the hope that I will keep improving.
A friend of mine asked me the other day if I had good days and bad days in my training. I thought about it and realized that in the last few years I haven't had any bad days. I have had better days, but no bad days. This guy has been doing martial arts of various flavours for 25 years and nodded and said "consistancy...that's what's important" or words to that affect. It struck me as somehow profound.