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Old 11-26-2002, 07:08 AM   #1
Amin Basri
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 16
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cross-training

Hi,


I am a beginner in aikido and i am planning to take up ninjado as well.Should i train a few more years in aikido before taking up ninjado or can i train both at the same time.Can i have your views and advice on cross training in other martial arts while doing aikido.Thanks


Regards,
AB
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Old 11-26-2002, 08:09 AM   #2
Tim Griffiths
Dojo: Nes Ziona Aikikai
Location: Suzhou, China
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 188
China
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Re: cross-training

Quote:
Amin Basri wrote:
Hi,

I am a beginner in aikido and i am planning to take up ninjado as well.Should i train a few more years in aikido before taking up ninjado or can i train both at the same time.Can i have your views and advice on cross training in other martial arts while doing aikido.Thanks

Regards,

AB
This question comes up quite a lot - try a search on crosstraining for peoples opinions.

I'll assume you're talking about just the unarmed fighting (taijitsu) of the common ninja schools, rather than the whole bundle of 'ninja' arts: ninjitsu (stealth), kenjitsu (swordwork), shurikenjitsu, and almost any other weapon with '-jitsu' on the end.

There are some problems with crosstraining:

1. Aikido is aikido and ninjitsu (ninjado) is ninjitsu. To do both you should understand both. As a beginner in both, your aikido won't work in the ninjado dojo, and your ninjado won't work in the aikido dojo. You'll just annoy people in both.

2. Some things will be directly opposite. For example aikido rolls will be soft and finish standing, ninjitsu rolls are like ju-jitsu rolls - a big slap and you finish lying down. There are good reasons for both, but it'll be confusing until you understand why, and you will start doing one kind of roll in the other, again causing problems for you and your partners.

3. Aikido is hard. Really hard. One early guide to Japanese martial arts described it as 'very good, but impossible to master'. Your aikido won't start to work well for a few years at least. In the same amount of time you can learn enough ninjitsu to cause problems for most of the aikido students in your dojo. The higher grade ones, on the other hand, should be able to wipe the floor with you. I don't recommend you try.

4. Because crosstraining causes confusion, instructors generally don't like it. I don't stop students crosstraining, but I do get cross when they start showing other people "what a ninja would do" in the middle of my class. Confuse yourself, fine, but don't confuse other students.

5. Its dangerous. Beginning aikido students don't expect an augmented strike to the temple halfway though a technique, and won't block it. Equally, ninjitsu students won't know to move with a kotegeishi, and can break their wrist.

Personally, I didn't do another art until I hit 3rd dan, and that was only for fun and mild interest. There's so much in aikido you should never get bored, and in general the people who say that aikido is limited or lacks depth, just having been training long enough to see what there is.

So my suggestion is to wait, at least a couple of years (say until shodan). Maybe then, you'll also realise you don't have to study anything else, or at least have a firm enough grounding in aikido that the ninjado will complement it, not damage it.

Tim

If one makes a distinction between the dojo and the battlefield, or being in your bedroom or in public, then when the time comes there will be no opportunity to make amends. (Hagakure)
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Old 11-26-2002, 09:00 AM   #3
SeiserL
 
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Many people cross train. IMHO, being a beginner in both can slow down your pogress. I feel Tim gave you some excellent advice. If you choose to cross train, keep them separate. Don't even try to integrate too soon, it will happen of its own. I have only been in Aikido 8 years, but FMA for 15.

Until again,

Lynn

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 11-26-2002, 09:45 AM   #4
MikeE
 
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Dojo: Midwest Center For Movement & Aikido Bukou Dojos
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I agree with Lynn and Tim.

I am also in the unique position to train with Bujinkan practitioners on a fairly regular basis.

I think the largest problem you will run into is the application of (almost) the same technique is done with a completely different mindset. In Bujinkan, Omote gyaku is very much like our Kote-gaeshi, but instead of controlling uke, you are looking to smash the wrist if possible.

IMHO, I believe when training in two arts that have such common roots and many similarities in technique (if not philosophy) you will be setting up road blocks for yourself, and will slow your understanding and practice of either art.

So, I guess in a nutshell...

Pick one art and when you are at a decent level of competency, see what the other has to offer.

Mike Ellefson
Midwest Center
For Movement &
Aikido Bukou
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Old 11-26-2002, 11:55 PM   #5
Amin Basri
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 16
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Hi,

Thanks everyone for your views and great advice.Now i'm planning to concentrate on aikido fully and try to achieved at least a shodan.But could you tell me what martial arts really complement aikido in case i would like to take up another martial art in the near future.Thanks

Regards,

AB
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Old 11-27-2002, 03:14 AM   #6
Tim Griffiths
Dojo: Nes Ziona Aikikai
Location: Suzhou, China
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 188
China
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Quote:
Amin Basri wrote:
Hi,

Thanks everyone for your views and great advice.Now i'm planning to concentrate on aikido fully and try to achieved at least a shodan.But could you tell me what martial arts really complement aikido in case i would like to take up another martial art in the near future.Thanks

Regards,

AB
Its very much a matter of choice for you, and in what area you want to aument your aikido. Not enough groundwork? Try Judo. The weapon work isn't 'real' enough? Take kenjitsu or jodo. Feeble atemis and no kicks? Karate or TKD. Want to fight in a phone booth? Try wing chun or a silat form. Focus and meditation? Try iaido or tai chi. Need to hide for hours in trees? Ninjado's for you!

Personally, I'm not very flexible and have an injured back, so TKD and Capoeria are not for me. I prefer to do aikido on the ground, not judo. I did learn some karate, so I could kick and punch that way (most Japanese sensei use karate punches, as they would've learn karate at school). I did iaido for a few years - it isn't really considered cross-training, as there's no real confict with aikido movements). Western fencing was great for getting a feel for learning to control ma-ai and timing - that helped my aikido more than anything else (and its competitive ).

I'd suggest avoiding chinese MA's, as the way of standing and moving is very different (not keeping the toes on the ground). I'm sure there are people here who do them, though.

Tim

If one makes a distinction between the dojo and the battlefield, or being in your bedroom or in public, then when the time comes there will be no opportunity to make amends. (Hagakure)
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Old 11-27-2002, 07:50 AM   #7
MikeE
 
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Tim, (IMHO), is right about staying away from the Chinese arts, at least for the time being. With the possible exception of Wing Chun which has a nice formless side.

Before starting Aikido I trained for 8 years in Ryu Te (Ryukyu Kempo). The atemi and kyusho-jitsu are very much a part of my Aikido.

I have spent the last 5 years training in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu (Rickson Gracie IJJA), and have found it is just like Aikido on the ground.

Find what works for you and run with it.

Mike Ellefson
Midwest Center
For Movement &
Aikido Bukou
Dojos
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Old 11-27-2002, 08:10 AM   #8
opherdonchin
Dojo: Baltimore Aikido
Location: Baltimore
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It's interesting what people are saying about staying away from Chinese martial arts because a lot of people in a different thread said they had sucessfully cross-trained in Tai Chi. I cross-trained in Tai Chi for a while and found it very beneficial.

Another place where I'm not sure I agree with a lot of what's been said is that, while it's true that cross-training may slow you down, I'm not sure that's necessarily a bad thing. The question is what you are trying to get out of cross-training and out of Martial Arts in general. If the goal is to be 'good' as quickly as possible, the cross-training would not be the thing. For other goals, it may be just thing thing. Why is there any hurry?

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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