Amin Basri wrote:
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
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.