Bridget Chung wrote:
May i point out. Aikidoists have been the MOST open minded of ALL martial arts collectives I have ever met. And I've hopped between quite a few styles too.
Sorry Bridget, I tend to disagree with your generalization. Perhaps you may have meet those aikidoists who have x-trained in other budo before. IMO, due to the non-competitive doctrine of aikido there tend to be more "my dad can beat your dad" characters among my aikido peers. I once had a drink with a visiting instructor after class. He was told that I was a yudansha in karate. When he asked me what was I doing there (in an aikido dojo), I presumably thought he wanted to know why an ex-karate instructor be interested in training aikido. I merely replied in jest that I train for spiritual reason (in an ethical sense). To this, he burst out in loud laughter and said, "You mean there are spirits in your dojo" [is your dojo haunted?]. That was the first time I made my acquaintance with him. A couple of days later, the same person rang up my dojo instructor to warn him not to trust me, thus giving the impression to my dojo instructor that we have been acquainted for a long time.
At a recent seminar, I bumped into a senior instructor from another dojo - one thing he said after our formal greetings was, "Your karate must have reeeaaally improved a lot". All these remarks were made to assume I train aikido to improve my karate skills. I admit x-training do give me better insight and understanding of my budo arts - meaning I can applied various principles that I come to understand (which are almost the same) across my other disciplines - aikido, archery, golf and karate, etc. Because of my prior MA, it took me a relative short time to pick up aikido compared to those who don't. When I first took up the art, the instructor told me "to empty the cup". Having been there, my advice to those who intend to x-train is not to do that but to filter, sort, adopt or discard. Learning needs rationalizing, "monkey sees and monkey does" would not take you anywhere further from where you start. If you are not prepare to this, then don't waste the time and the money. Also, etiquette requires one to follow instructions to the details wherever dojo one trains. Being a "smartass" also means being rude - unless you happen to train a MMA environment keep your MA to the respective class.
In way what I said about gaining spiritualism from aikido is right, it is a test of ones tolerance (keeping ones center so to speak). In other competitive MA discipline, the size of ones ego is always keep in check - skillfully & physically proven.
That's my humble observation.