Re: how much training before...
well my instructor said something like 10-15 years before trying another art, and lo and behold 13 years later....I started SMR Jo, and MJER Iai, and I am glad I did wait the time. Fundamentally different arts, and If I didn't have the confidence/and or background. I might be quick to call one movement "wrong" or "that's not how it is done". Now I just know that they are different, not really better, not really worse. Different tools for a different job, and should be treated as such. I would never chuck Aikido to the wind because SMR jo is more "real" than Aiki Jo. That would be complete ignorance of both arts.