I am very new to Yoshinkan Aikido, having only been learning for one month. Obviously every martial art has its strengths and weakness. From what I have been reading in books and in the forums, aikido has its weaknesses as well. Since I have time on my hands, what would be a good complementary martial art to take along with aikido? Something that would compensate for the weaknesses of aikido. I love aikido, both the philosophy and the practice, but I would like to be able to defend myself reasonably from most, if not all, forms of attack. Thanks for the responses, I respect all the artists on this forum greatly!
I'm going to take a slightly different direction than the replies you've received so far. Please indulge me just a bit...
Yes, every art has its own strengths and weaknesses. There are several good choices for "complementary" MA's that would supplement aikido nicely.
However, considering you have only one month of aikido experience, I strongly recommend that you do NOT start another martial art at this time.
Your body and your mind are learning completely new ways to behave -- new ways to move, to stand, to act.
Trying to learn TWO different paradigms simultaneously -- and being brand new in both -- would make it much
more confusing and difficult.
Very likely, the lessons you learn in two arts will, at best, disagree, and at worst, completely contradict one another.
I would recommend that you pick one art and stick with it until you have attained some degree of proficiency before you start cross-training in another martial art.
Doing this, the lessons of your "primary" art will be ingrained enough that you can learn something new without completely screwing up the original one.
Also, it will likely give you a better perspective to understand both the differences and the similarities of the two arts. I think it will make you a better martial artist in the end.
To be specific, I'd suggest you get your shodan in the first art before you start the second. If you can't wait that long, try and hold out until ikkyu...
These are just my opinions and suggestions. Feel free to heed them, or ignore them. Your choice, of course. Just some food for thought.