Originally posted by jaxonbrown
My dojo teaches both Aikido and Kempo. Since there's no extra charge for attending Kempo along with Aikido, I was wondering if it's a good idea to take both classes at the same time. Do the two arts complement each other in a major way?
Hard to give a firm answer to that. Depends on what flavors of aikido and kempo you're talking about. Some work well together, some might not be so easily meshed.
In my dojo, we study a system of jujutsu that's similar to aikido in many ways, and that is complemented with a system of kempo that meshes quite nicely.
Many of the waza are darn near interchangeable ... the underlying idea is that A: you have to know how to strike in order to gicve your partner an honest attack to use a pin or throw against, B: a punch is a pin is a throw is a strike anyway, and C: while aiki and jujutsu techniques do give you a wide spectrum of tools, sometimes it's real nice to know how to make a punch that actually works.
Unless the two systems you are studying are already integrated (I understand some of Nishio's folks do this quite well, BTW), I suggest a potential cross-trainer get a strong grounding in one art before attempting to learn a second.