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Old 09-02-2012, 11:33 AM   #1
nerez3
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Training TKD/Karate while taking aikido?

I have recently became interested in taking up a striking art while taking aikido

Reason is I am fairly young, and would really like a bit more of a physical workout. Yes I know the gym would be more effective but I feel it is a waste of time to go to the gym 1 hour a day when you can learn a new art in that amount of time.

Right now I am stuck between 2 dojos.

One is a TKD dojo, owned by a 6th dan. Seems to have a decent amount of staff all ranging in around the 4th dan range.

The other is a Shorei-ryu style karate dojo, owned by a 8th dan called john sharkey. Apparently he has trained many world class karate-ka and is an exellent instructor.

I am veering a bit towards the karate, simply because of a higher caliber of an instructor there. What I was wondering is which art would least mix up with aikido. I am looking to not mix up half-learned techniques with another art only to make myself more confused. I have heard that this is a major problem while taking 2 arts.

On one side you need a large amount of balance to pull off some of the kicks in tkd, and it increases flexibility. But it is largely focused on kicks which only set to offbalance you(50% balance lost when standing on one leg)

On the other side karate just seems like a more complete system to me. Blocks, strikes, and kicks, instead of relying just on kicks.

Which one is more of a "workout" per-se?
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Old 09-03-2012, 08:51 AM   #2
Dan Rubin
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Re: Training TKD/Karate while taking aikido?

If you want information about karate and TKD, you should post your question on a karate or TKD website.
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Old 09-03-2012, 09:06 AM   #3
nerez3
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Re: Training TKD/Karate while taking aikido?

Yes but I am asking about which one would least interfere with my aikido FROM the viewpoint of an aikidoka.

Thank you for your extremely obvious information though. I never would have guessed to check a KARATE/TKD website before asking about KARATE/TKD.............
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Old 09-03-2012, 10:05 AM   #4
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Re: Training TKD/Karate while taking aikido?

Hi Nikolay.

I don't know much about taekwondo. But it looks like the weight is mostly on the back foot. That is different from most aikido.

I like karate and I know several people who have got to very good levels in both aikido and karate. A few of the techniques even have similarities. A while ago I wrote a blog post called ashiwaza and aikido in the same sentence. It was mainly about ashiwaza from judo but there are some karate techniques in there at the bottom of the page too. And you have the coherence of a similar cultural background and the Japanese language in both aikido and karate.

One word of warning. In Japanese there is a saying, if you chase two rabbits you end up not catching any. You have to learn new habits and if you start something else too early your body might just be confused. So I personally think after shodan is a good time. It might be worth talking about it with your aikido teacher. There might be ways to do more aikido training instead.

But in the end it is your training and only you can decide what's best for you. Visit both places and see which dojo and which instructor you like better.

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Old 09-03-2012, 11:03 AM   #5
Chris Evans
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Re: Training TKD/Karate while taking aikido?

if I may, I have trained, for years, in "traditional" taekwondo (TKD), emphasizing American kickboxing, and in Seido karate, years, with a bit of Kyokushin karate jissen kumite (knockdown sparring). I've had brief exposure to MMA sparring (can't get enough, that's awesome experience). I consider hapkido as my "base" art. I have competed in Sport (point) karate and in WTF TKD. I have only started training in aikido.

WTF TKD can teach you habits that can hurt you in a protection/self-defense/saving-life/unarmed combat -- please pick your own euphemism.

"traditional" martial arts oriented TKD dojang are hard to find: good luck with that. Most of them play "foot boxing" -- looking to win in games or in "fighting," but if they are ernest with head punches and leg kicks in a continuous sparring along with some time devoted to self-defense drills then you've got lucky.

kartate or TKD, IMHO, are easier to learn the basics then aikido, judo, jujutsu, or jiujitsu (BJJ): I recommend full hearted training in an aiki-budo, iwama aikido, or any aikido dojo that relishes hard training with attention to atemi -- striking or distractions. Many aikidoka are even worse than moving-yoga-kararteka with fostering delusional and overly comfortable skills, but it's hard to know when you just need to relax and first learn the physics or when to apply resistance and unpredictable movements. Watch out for pajama dancers in either dojos that are welcomed for paying the bills.

learn a martial art first then play martial sports, but to learn any basics, you may want to invest a few years at one art, four to six times a week, under the direction of a decent, open minded, sensei and their advanced students. Rarely does one art at a fee based public dojo will you get you a complete base.

If I was your friend, I'd say try aikido first then cross train in boxing, kickboxing, or muay Thai or a place that works on head punches and kicks to legs.

aikido and judo teaches you how to fall, utemi, that's very useful in life and prepares/toughens you well for any other martial arts, including full and continuous contact karate.

Cheers

Last edited by Chris Evans : 09-03-2012 at 11:09 AM.

"The state that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting by fools."
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Old 09-03-2012, 12:43 PM   #6
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Re: Training TKD/Karate while taking aikido?

Thank you, I have also heard about the "footsie" mcdojangs. My friend went to one for half a year and told me it was the biggest waste of time and money! The owner literally had them doing kicking drills and forms for the whole class, sparring was outlawed and so was tournaments.

There is also a second option for me to take extra aikido classes at another dojo. My current one does not offer any extra aikido classes exept private(which cost a pretty penny) classes. With that schedule I would be taking around 10 hours hours of aikido per week. I do not have any iwama dojos near me, and as far as I know my current sensei DOES teach atemi for practical purpose, but we never do it in drills, we are only shown how to apply eye,groin gouging and punch/kneeing. Both senseis at both dojos are 7th dan respectively.
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Old 09-03-2012, 02:24 PM   #7
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Re: Training TKD/Karate while taking aikido?

IMHO, Karate and Aiki are Japanese.
TaeKwonDo is Korean.
Karate may be culturally less confusing.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 09-03-2012, 02:42 PM   #8
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Re: Training TKD/Karate while taking aikido?

My thoughts as someone with nearly 20 years of training karate and aikido.

I started with karate some years before aikido, so I wasn't trying to learn two arts from scratch.
The ryuha I trained in (primarily shotokan, but I was doing shito ryu at the time I started aikido) are so very different from aikido at the base level that it was impossible to get techniques mixed up.
FWIW, there are a few ryuha with aikido-type movement (Motobu-ryu is said to be so, Shindo Jinen Ryu was influenced by Ueshiba) and these may be even more complimentary to aikido.

To the original poster, shorei sounds like an Okinawan system, and may therefore teach (so some extent) Ryukyuan kobudo as well.

Hope this helps.

Warning: Do not bend, fold or otherwise abuse... until we get to the dojo..


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Old 09-03-2012, 04:28 PM   #9
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Re: Training TKD/Karate while taking aikido?

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
IMHO, Karate and Aiki are Japanese.
TaeKwonDo is Korean.
Karate may be culturally less confusing.
Actually, Karate is Okinawan.

I think that the technical links between Tae Kwon Do and Karate are a lot closer than either art would care to admit...

Best,

Chris

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Old 09-03-2012, 08:04 PM   #10
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Re: Training TKD/Karate while taking aikido?

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Niall Matthews wrote: View Post
I don't know much about taekwondo. But it looks like the weight is mostly on the back foot. That is different from most aikido.
.
not quite. their weight is on both feet. they trained to kick with either foot from any position. so for TKD, they balanced on both feet. they tend to bounce up and down on both feet so they can switch their feet in mid-air and kick you with either foot or both feet at the same time.

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 09-03-2012, 08:12 PM   #11
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Re: Training TKD/Karate while taking aikido?

TKD is quite good with kicking, if you get into the right school. their kicking repertoire is quite extensive. the sport TKD gives you lots of bad habits. might be good to learn kicking as aikido folks don't usually know what to do with their feet.

Karate is ok if you pick the one that might complement aikido. but in essence, karate isn't all that much different from aikido.

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 09-03-2012, 08:48 PM   #12
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Re: Training TKD/Karate while taking aikido?

I've got some years experience in both TKD and karate (shotokan), so that's my perspective. If your goal is fitness, create a fitness program for yourself, or get a trainer to design one for you. If that's your goal, it's not a "waste of time". Instead, it is using your time to do exactly what you say you want.

See, this is the problem with the reasoning that says that two styles are twice as good as one, or that depends on some hypothetical advantages of one style or another based on a cursory and generalized understanding ("higher caliber of an instructor" (presumably because he has a higher number next to his dan ranking...in a completely different style...um, right), "you need a large amount of balance", "it increases flexibility", "50% balance lost", "karate just seems like a more complete system", etc.). In real life, every one of these seemingly logical arguments is quite likely to be completely wrong. As a generalization, however, I'll make two observations:

1. Because of rank inflation and focus on tournament sparring, it is indeed quite hard to find a good TKD school these days. However...
2. Based on a google search of "John Sharkey shorei", he would not be my choice. Mind you, I have no personal knowledge of the guy...but I tend to avoid self-proclaimed "Master"s with an 8th dan who say nothing about their lineage, dojos where the students wear gis of varying colors and belts with stripes, multiple schools run by the same instructor, schools that claim to teach four dramatically different styles (including something called "Xtreme Martial Arts" which is apparently "a combination of techniques, methods of movements, and philosophies from all martial arts styles blended together with high-flying acrobatics, gymnastics, and the hottest Hong Kong "Chop-Saki" action").

A plain old gym looks like a pretty good option.
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Old 09-04-2012, 09:59 AM   #13
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Re: Training TKD/Karate while taking aikido?

Sadly the "legitimacy" you described is apparent in most dojo's around my area. Usually most of the dojo's have "striped belt systems", are mainly focused around their "little dragons" ages 3-5 program, and teach the actual art in a very limited way. I do aikido because there is no "sideline" programs that I have to deal with, just learning the pure art without screaming 4 year old black belts. The problem is most of the karate and TKD schools are focused around the whole "mcdojo" economic logic,not to say that that discredits the owner's knowledge of his own art, it just dulls the feel that you are actually learning something when 90% of the dojo is focused around teaching little kids as a form of babysitting. I almost cried when I saw a nat geo documentary of a japanese karate dojo, and their training and conditioning methods. Fact is you would get nothing close to that in America because the general martial art business has shifted from pleasing the customer instead of actually teaching them something
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Old 09-04-2012, 10:49 AM   #14
Chris Evans
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private karate

Quote:
Nikolay Petrov wrote: View Post
Sadly the "legitimacy" you described is apparent in most dojo's around my area. Usually most of the dojo's have "striped belt systems", are mainly focused around their "little dragons" ages 3-5 program, and teach the actual art in a very limited way. I do aikido because there is no "sideline" programs that I have to deal with, just learning the pure art without screaming 4 year old black belts. The problem is most of the karate and TKD schools are focused around the whole "mcdojo" economic logic,not to say that that discredits the owner's knowledge of his own art, it just dulls the feel that you are actually learning something when 90% of the dojo is focused around teaching little kids as a form of babysitting. I almost cried when I saw a nat geo documentary of a japanese karate dojo, and their training and conditioning methods. Fact is you would get nothing close to that in America because the general martial art business has shifted from pleasing the customer instead of actually teaching them something
I am grateful to be have been invited to a semi-private dojo, that practices karate the kyokushin way, knockdown conditioning and always on mats: they are kind by being seemingly mean and punishing. And I have no doubt at the effectiveness of this dojo's training.

The reason for me to mention this is that if you seek sincere knowledge, is willing to "eat bitter" for real "gung fu" training, not just for pleasant pajama dancing yoga, teachers will reveal themselves, but be careful what you want, because you may get it.

aikido, jiu-jitsu, jujutsu, or judo people are impacting on the mat frequently and interacting with a training partner every class, but the training at a karate or taekowndo schools can vary greatly, but training in boxing, kickboxing, or muay Thai schools are fairly consistent, FWIW.

BTW taekwondo (TKD) or karate physics are very close, if not nearly the same. That WTF/Olympic TKD bobbing is a telegraphing way to spar when grabbing, face punching, and leg-kicks are allowed in a more realistic martial arts sparring dojang, not wearing hogu (WTF TKD chest/rib pads) - for example, no one in MMA, Enshin, Kyokushin, or kickboxing does that.

Last edited by Chris Evans : 09-04-2012 at 11:03 AM.

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Old 09-04-2012, 12:17 PM   #15
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Re: Training TKD/Karate while taking aikido?

Quote:
Nikolay Petrov wrote: View Post
Sadly the "legitimacy" you described is apparent in most dojo's around my area. Usually most of the dojo's have "striped belt systems", are mainly focused around their "little dragons" ages 3-5 program, and teach the actual art in a very limited way. I do aikido because there is no "sideline" programs that I have to deal with, just learning the pure art without screaming 4 year old black belts. The problem is most of the karate and TKD schools are focused around the whole "mcdojo" economic logic,not to say that that discredits the owner's knowledge of his own art, it just dulls the feel that you are actually learning something when 90% of the dojo is focused around teaching little kids as a form of babysitting. I almost cried when I saw a nat geo documentary of a japanese karate dojo, and their training and conditioning methods. Fact is you would get nothing close to that in America because the general martial art business has shifted from pleasing the customer instead of actually teaching them something
Yes, well. If you're talking about what "most of the karate and TKD schools" in your area are "focused around", I'll take your word for it; otherwise, I'd caution against making sweeping statements about styles you haven't studied.

Here's the thing, Nikolay: you're trying to do what almost all newbies do: that is, make a decision based on abstract information and generalizations. While this information has some use, it all has to be taken with a grain of salt, and liberally supplemented with facts in order to be helpful in making a decision about where to train. Also, sometimes when we generalize, we're choosing the wrong thing to generalize around. Thus, when you say that most karate and TKD schools are based around kids' programs, I think you're missing the point: it's not karate and it's not TKD, it's what most martial arts schools of any style in the US are doing (with exceptions for a few styles that are completely inappropriate for children). Sometimes it's obviously a bit of a travesty; on the other hand, there are good martial arts schools that have children's programs, without the Crayola Big Box belt colors and tests every two weeks. You will find plenty of aikido dojos that have children's programs, which can be critical to a dojo's ability to stay open.

Finding a good dojo is a bit like finding a good restaurant, only harder. For every good restaurant, there are a few dozen fast food joints. It's worse with martial arts, because while a lot of people enjoy a good meal in a good restaurant, not many people enjoy martial arts training. In the United States, parents mostly regard it as just another activity for their kids, like afterschool soccer or piano lessons -- it's something for the kids to do, with no expectation that it will turn into anything. It's not seen as an activity for adults. Adults go to work, go home, get dinner together, watch TV, put the kids to bed...maybe get a babysitter and go out on the weekend. If they're young and single, maybe they go out every night. But they don't go to a dojo -- that's seen as very odd. So it's very hard for a dojo to survive exclusively on dues-paying adults unless it's somehow subsidized (like a university club) or is located in a large population center, ideally both. The percentage of adults who want to study martial arts is low, so you need a large population to get enough to students to keep a dojo going. If you're not located in a large population center, most of the time you're just plain out of luck. If you can find a single good school in any style, you're lucky. Hoping for two or three is probably unrealistic.
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Old 09-04-2012, 01:03 PM   #16
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Re: Training TKD/Karate while taking aikido?

If the Aikidoka here do not mind, I would like to contribute in a small way?

1. For the original poster, have you actually sat in on an adult class in both dojos and seen something that you like? And, as in Aikido, have you crossed hands with the sensei/sempai to discern the quality of teaching? Those two things matter the most, more than lineage, or style.

2. As a Goju stylist with a strong interest in Aikido and CMA, I think that there is much to these arts that complement each other. Personally, while you want to get something that doesn't interfere with your Aikido, it sounds like you want to 'fill in the holes'. To learn to kick and punch just takes time and practice - time away from Aikido. I personally wouldn't join a dojo for those singular reasons.

3. Why bother with any art that is going to hinder your base art? Meaning, any art that focuses on low-stances, not-moving, not-blending, and filled with too many katas/time wasters? What I read about the karate school you're looking at doesn't bode well. For a long-term committment, I'd consider a karate style that will lend insight into your base art. Of course, being biased, I'd suggest a sound Goju school.

Last edited by Narda : 09-04-2012 at 01:06 PM.
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Old 09-04-2012, 02:52 PM   #17
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Re: Training TKD/Karate while taking aikido?

Well my 2 cents is that cross training. (striking or grappling) is a great addition to your Aikido, but first you have to be fully grunded in Aikido. That means that you have trained long enough so that to some extent the Aikido is now natural to you and you understand not only how to do specific techniques but also the principals of Aikido. I train in Xing Yi as well as Aikido and I have found it very to be valuable, but my home art is Aikido and I bring the Xing Yi into it to augment and explore. You didn't say how long you have been training in Aikido, but my sense was not that long. Again, I think to really get value out of the cross training you really need to make sure you are grounded in the Aikido first. Again, just my 2 cents

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Bruce.
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Old 09-04-2012, 03:01 PM   #18
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Re: Training TKD/Karate while taking aikido?

Quote:
Bruce Wells wrote: View Post
Well my 2 cents is that cross training. (striking or grappling) is a great addition to your Aikido, but first you have to be fully grunded in Aikido. That means that you have trained long enough so that to some extent the Aikido is now natural to you and you understand not only how to do specific techniques but also the principals of Aikido. I train in Xing Yi as well as Aikido and I have found it very to be valuable, but my home art is Aikido and I bring the Xing Yi into it to augment and explore. You didn't say how long you have been training in Aikido, but my sense was not that long. Again, I think to really get value out of the cross training you really need to make sure you are grounded in the Aikido first. Again, just my 2 cents

Thanks
Bruce.
That's the conventional wisdom, but I wonder if it's really true.

We don't tell kids in Little League not to play football because it might mess up their baseball if they don't have a firm grounding in it.

They might be advised not to to both at the same time, but that's more a matter of allocation of resources than anything else.

Aside from the time restraints - it hasn't been my experience that it's any problem at all.

Best,

Chris

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Old 09-04-2012, 03:17 PM   #19
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Re: Training TKD/Karate while taking aikido?

Thank you for all your responses.

To clear some things up I am a 4th kyu, my solidity in the art could use some work.

Currently I am thinking of simply taking extra aikido lessons so that once I do get to the point where I can train in another art without it interfering much.

Thank you for your opinions, it really helped clear some misunderstandings and questions!
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Old 09-04-2012, 07:25 PM   #20
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Re: Training TKD/Karate while taking aikido?

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
That's the conventional wisdom, but I wonder if it's really true.

We don't tell kids in Little League not to play football because it might mess up their baseball if they don't have a firm grounding in it.
But little kids don't practice/play baseball during the times that they're also playing/practicing football. It's a seasonal thing. And, at the point that it becomes a not-seasonal thing (i.e., if the kid gets involved in year-round travel teams in some sport), the other sports fall by the wayside. So I don't think your analogy holds here.

Quote:
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They might be advised not to to both at the same time, but that's more a matter of allocation of resources than anything else.
...he said airily

The ultimate equalizer is the 24 hours that we have in a day. No one has more, no matter how wealthy or privileged, talented or fortunate. The best resource allocation and time management skills in the world will not give you more than 24 hours; it's an absolute hard limit, and you can only tweak your schedule up to a point. At that point, you simply have to choose.
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Old 09-04-2012, 07:34 PM   #21
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Re: Training TKD/Karate while taking aikido?

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
But little kids don't practice/play baseball during the times that they're also playing/practicing football. It's a seasonal thing. And, at the point that it becomes a not-seasonal thing (i.e., if the kid gets involved in year-round travel teams in some sport), the other sports fall by the wayside. So I don't think your analogy holds here.

...he said airily

The ultimate equalizer is the 24 hours that we have in a day. No one has more, no matter how wealthy or privileged, talented or fortunate. The best resource allocation and time management skills in the world will not give you more than 24 hours; it's an absolute hard limit, and you can only tweak your schedule up to a point. At that point, you simply have to choose.
A lot of kids, and even adults play more than one sport at the same time - I don't think that I've ever heard coaches worry much about one sport confusing another.

Even if you do it by seasons - I think the same reasoning holds. Why doesn't playing football in one season and hockey in another mess you up for baseball in the summer? Why don't all those different ways of using your body interfere with each other?

The interference argument one of those things that teachers often say (IMO, to convince people not to wander off to other styles that they might like better, more often than not), but for which there is very little real evidence, and a great many counter examples in modern sports.

I agree - time is the limiting factor, but if that's the case then why not say so instead of trying to make it about one type of training interfering with another (which is how it usually goes) ?

Best,

Chris

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Old 09-04-2012, 09:30 PM   #22
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Re: Training TKD/Karate while taking aikido?

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Christopher Li wrote: View Post
A lot of kids, and even adults play more than one sport at the same time - I don't think that I've ever heard coaches worry much about one sport confusing another.

....,

Chris
Minor point. Say you run track as a sprinter and play soccer at the same time. The running styles are different enough, head position for the most part, that track coaches can easily spot soccer players. Eradicating soccer habits is a very difficult problem.

Enjoy,
Mark
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Old 09-05-2012, 07:51 AM   #23
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Re: Training TKD/Karate while taking aikido?

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Christopher Li wrote: View Post
A lot of kids, and even adults play more than one sport at the same time - I don't think that I've ever heard coaches worry much about one sport confusing another.
No, but they do worry about the time involved. When a basketball coach sees a kid with potential, they don't want them playing football in the fall and running track in the spring -- they want them playing basketball year round.

Again, 24 hours in a day. That's what it comes down to.

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Christopher Li wrote: View Post
The interference argument one of those things that teachers often say (IMO, to convince people not to wander off to other styles that they might like better, more often than not), but for which there is very little real evidence, and a great many counter examples in modern sports.
But are you simply asserting when you say "there is very little real evidence", or do you have data? Physician, heal thyself!

Any argument can be distorted and misused; that doesn't mean it is invalid. I think there's something to the interference argument -- its only shortfall is that it doesn't apply all the time, in all cases. Particularly when you have someone who hasn't been very active and/or hasn't ever really thought about functional body movement, the truisms of different styles absolutely can contradict one another and certainly have the potential to confuse a newbie. Just think about the preferred stances used in different styles and the logic behind them. In the absence of the empirical data gained by time training, a newbie looks for rules: this is right, that is wrong, this is good, that is bad -- and will hear those statements even if what the instructor is actually saying is more nuanced. That changes with time, but as a beginner, sure, I can see confusion resulting.

But as you say, why go there? To me, the "do you really have the time to train six days a week on an ongoing (i.e., not just playing around with it for a couple of months) basis?" reality check is more than sufficient.
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:31 AM   #24
Chris Li
 
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Re: Training TKD/Karate while taking aikido?

Quote:
No, but they do worry about the time involved. When a basketball coach sees a kid with potential, they don't want them playing football in the fall and running track in the spring -- they want them playing basketball year round.

Again, 24 hours in a day. That's what it comes down to.
Depnds on your goals - most leagues don't run year round anyway. But anyway, I'm not arguing the time problem - like I said - almost everybody brings up the "interference" argument first.

Quote:
But are you simply asserting when you say "there is very little real evidence", or do you have data? Physician, heal thyself!
Actually, there have been a number of studies on cross training. Are there any studies for the interference argument?

Quote:
But as you say, why go there? To me, the "do you really have the time to train six days a week on an ongoing (i.e., not just playing around with it for a couple of months) basis?" reality check is more than sufficient.
Training in two arts doesn't necessarily mean that you train 6 days a week (although I train 7 days a week, and have for many years).

Anyway, I'm not arguing the time restrictions, just the interference part. I think that it's a red herring, and mostly used to try and keep people from branching out.

How many arts did Morihei Ueshiba train in? Didn't he take keppan in Kashima Shinto-ryu specifically so that his students could train in more than one art?

How many arts did Minoru Mochizuki train in?

How about Kenji Tomiki, Hiroshi Tada, Shoji Nishio, etc.?

Were they set back by this problem with interference?

Best,

Chris

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Old 09-05-2012, 10:02 AM   #25
BWells
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Re: Training TKD/Karate while taking aikido?

Well a couple of thoughts. When we talk about cross training in sports, each sport has different skills and different purposes (except winning of course ). In martial arts we are dealing with how do you respond to an attacker, and this is mostly regardless of the martial art you do, so while I understand the cross training comments for sports I'm not totally sure it fits with martial arts.

My main thought though is that while there can be real value in martial arts cross training at any stage in the training, when you are really grounded in an art you start to be able to intergrade other arts in to that art more naturally. I'm sure there are folks out there who are able to do that early in their training, but I certainley was not Kinetically gifted enough to do that until I was much further into my Aikido training.

Thanks, Bruce
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