Free the mind and the rest will follow...
A great deal of the arguments for/against ‘cross-training' are dependent upon mutually exclusive paradigms.
Many people view the Martial Arts, and many other subjects in life, from the ‘outside-in'. They are exposed to something external that appeals to them, which they then seek to acquire - whether it is a skill, object, or some other quality. These people view things as tangible components, some of which they deem incongruent. On the other hand, some people view things from the ‘inside-out', they view the same things as aspects of a continuous whole, which may or may not be developed depending on the individual. Both paradigms are contextually correct, but not absolutely.
Problems arise when we impose this dichotomy upon ourselves, whether consciously or subconsciously, and apply them out of context.
For instance, it is true that Aikido does have a catalog of techniques, all requiring specific actions and/or qualities of the practitioner. It is also true that these actions are unique to Aikido and other directly related Martial Arts. In addition, Tai Sabaki, Kokyu, Ki No Musubi and Awase are arguably a life long pursuit within the context of Aikido. Therefore, cross training may interfere with that process.
It is also true that the human body has a finite number of possible movements/actions. It is also true that these possibilities/limitations are applied martially within the context of an arts cultural origin, so limiting the system developed. It is also true that many elements of these systems are mutually congruent. Therefore, training in other systems may show the limitations/openings of Aikido and the respective systems studied, which cannot be seen within the context of their culturally specific actions, etc., thus improving the process of personal development [within each art and collectively].
It up the individual to decide what course of action is best for them, however, most people never make that decision consciously.
Just my thoughts,
PS I've found ways to switch between Aikido techniques when practicing Muay Thai techniques, and vice versa, which is very unexpected to my training partners. The techniques can fit together in one fluid motion, even though they may seem mutually exclusive Arts on the surface.
Last edited by W^2 : 12-17-2003 at 02:51 PM.