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Old 08-17-2005, 11:38 PM   #1
chuckmeitner
Dojo: Milwaukee Aikido Club
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learning 2 arts at the same time

I have a question regarding learning aikido and another martial art at the same time. I'm fairly new to aikido and have never studied any other martial art but I'm thinking about possibly studing Kendo or something else. Part of my decision would be base on the schedule of the other discipline. I'd try to find a dojo that has classes that don't conflict with my aikido classes.

Would learning 2 things at the same time be mutually beneficial or would I get confused? Would it matter at all? Does it matter what kind of dicipline? I was also thinking about yoga instead for the stretching, flexibility and relaxation/stress relief benefits it teaches. To my mind, that would help my aikido practice a lot.
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Old 08-18-2005, 12:15 AM   #2
Joe Bowen
 
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Re: learning 2 arts at the same time

Since you are relatively new to Aikido, I recommend you just study Aikido for a while. The length of time is ultimately determined by you. This is your walk of life. But, if you commit to something, don't do if half-way, and Aikido training is not just on the mat. It can consume all of your time, whether you are at the dojo or not.
Then again maybe not......
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Old 08-18-2005, 03:19 AM   #3
UnholyFracas
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Thumbs down Re: learning 2 arts at the same time

I've studied Aikido for 6 years now and have just (in the past month) started Iaido. I'm not getting confused so far, but then I think they're different enough in style to keep fairly separate.

As a new Aikidoka, starting another martial art might get a bit confusing but then you can always stop at a later date... I tried three other MAs before settling with Aikido.

I think Yoga would be a great thing to study in parallel though. I've never done it myself, but everyone I know who has swears by it... It's more than different enough to benefit without confusing you!!

Good luck anyway, what ever you decide to do...

We see things not as they are but as we are...

Katsumoto can rescue me anytime.
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Old 08-18-2005, 03:47 AM   #4
crbateman
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Re: learning 2 arts at the same time

I do know people who cross-train, but for many, the lines get blurred. Some can handle it, and others can't. Since a proper foundation is crucial in beginning any martial art, I recommend that you stick to Aikido for a year or two, and then venture out elsewhere if you feel comfortable. By that time, you'll have enough Aikido under your belt to know if your other training is having a negative effect on your Aikido. If you do cross-train, let both instructors know, so that they can watch for and recognize any negative influence in your technique. Also, choose your "second" art carefully, as there are many which are akin enough to Aikido to make it an easier undertaking than it might be with other more contrasting arts.
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Old 08-18-2005, 03:59 AM   #5
Robert Townson
 
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Re: learning 2 arts at the same time

I started training in Iaido about 6-8months after starting Aikido. I found that there were no negative effect from training in both at the same time.
They are both different enough to not conflict with each other. I would imagine that it will be the same for Kendo.

When it comes to other open hand arts, for example Karate, JKD or Wing Chun for striking, Judo, Jujitsu or BJJ for grappling i would recommend that you practise in Aikido for a while first so that you have the base prinicial understood. This why you don't get confuse or cross over from one art to the other.

But at the end of the day the choice is yours, and u never know till you try

Thanks,
Rob

"You are not truly dead until you are totally forgotten."

"Courage is the mastery of fear, not the absence of fear."
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Old 08-18-2005, 05:14 AM   #6
Mats Alritzson
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Re: learning 2 arts at the same time

I've been practicing Yoga parallel with Aikido since January and I feel it's very rewarding. As it's not a fighting art it don't think it will conflict with your Aikido. I believe it improves your balance, stamina and awareness. It also makes you more flexible and relaxed, which helps your ukemi. The breathing is a little different, in Aikido we're taught to breath into the nose and out through the mouth, in Yoga we're always breathing through our nose.
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Old 08-18-2005, 06:42 AM   #7
BenjaminH
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Thumbs down Re: learning 2 arts at the same time

I have studied karate for years, and am now taking up Aikido about 5 months ago.

Initially people had to really stress the concept of blending as I've been trained to parry and destroy with my blocks.

So as a result,my karate is becoming a lot softer, and that's by choice.

Also I never realized how much energy was head on energy in karate. I always felt I was redirecting my oponent. Boy have I learned differently.

The good news is because of karate I can take a hit and dish one out as well, but with enough Aikido I can hopefull avoid getting hit at all.

So.. right now no problems x training.. though the traditionalists in Karate may not like what I am becoming
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Old 08-18-2005, 06:59 AM   #8
Esaemann
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Re: learning 2 arts at the same time

"Some can handle it, and others can't."

Amen to that. It depends on the person, and what else you study.

It seems Kendo would definitely help with your weapons.

Tai Chi has been very helpful with my aikido practice. Sometimes, I even try to incorporate one into another during practice. It also helps if your sensei has an appreciation or familiarity with the other art.
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Old 08-18-2005, 07:22 AM   #9
aikigirl10
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Re: learning 2 arts at the same time

I dont think there is anything wrong with cross training as long as you have enough of a concept of both in order to seperate the 2 or however many. I would suggest taking Aikido for a little longer before starting though. Aikido can almost act like the building blocks for other martial arts too. It really helps with speed , foot movement, reflexes, timing, agilitly, and so on. Not too say that aikido isnt good enough to just do it ( believe me i've done it for 7 1/2 years , it is good) But i think doing aikido first teaches you what most martial arts are about and it will make doing other martial arts in the future a whole lot easier.

Also ask your sensei about other arts before switching to one. I told my sensei that i had started doing shaolin last year and he goes "You're doing shaolin? I love shaolin , i had a brown belt in it when i was a teenager." And he also has a black belt in Judo and he's studied a handful of other arts too. Surprisingly enough , his favorite is aikido. So talk to your sensei , he may know alot more than u think.

I think cross training is great , you just have to pick the right time to start doing it. But then again like Eric said, "some can handle it, and others cant." Very true.

-Paige
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Old 08-18-2005, 07:27 AM   #10
Esaemann
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Re: learning 2 arts at the same time

That was actually Clark's quote. I haven't figured out how to do the fancy blocks to attribute to others yet.
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Old 08-18-2005, 08:12 AM   #11
Dirk Hanss
 
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Re: learning 2 arts at the same time

Clark,
personally, I would not propose to start 2 martial arts at the same time not having already some background. Give one at least a year's time to get used to it.
If you want to rush in grading, you might prefer one art training full time until sufficient grade (shodan?) and then add the other.
In all other cases start the second, whenever you feel comfortable with the first one. Some have problems, if arts are too similar, some if they are too different. Try what fits your needs best and have much fun

Dirk
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Old 08-18-2005, 03:46 PM   #12
Mark Uttech
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Re: learning 2 arts at the same time

It is really better to stay with one art for ten years and then see if after ten years you are interested in taking on another art. If you are still not sure, train in the one art for another ten years.
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Old 08-18-2005, 05:04 PM   #13
Aristeia
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Re: learning 2 arts at the same time

While I think that a 10 year minimum is pretty over the top, I would reccomend sticking with just Aikido for a little while at least. The instinct is to say that Kendo will help with weapons but I'm not convinced that's the case. From what little I've seen of Kendo it's quite different to aiki ken and may well cause confusion for you. With any art I'd reccommend getting a solid understanding of the basic movement before cross training anything else.

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 08-18-2005, 06:32 PM   #14
chuckmeitner
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Re: learning 2 arts at the same time

Okay everyone - thanks for the advice.

In case your curious, I think I'll stick with Aikido as my only martial art for at least a few more years. I'm coming up on 9 months now and before I'd be starting anything, I'd probably be around a year anyway. I'll wait about 4 more.

I do think I will do yoga though. I think the cross training benefits win out, plus from what I've heard/read, you can still get enough out of it with only 1 or 2 classes per week. That seems to work with my schedule okay. Now, I need to find a class that isn't all women.......or maybe that's one of the benefits. Either way, that's a post for a different website at another time.

Thanks for the advice.
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Old 08-18-2005, 09:41 PM   #15
ald1225
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Re: learning 2 arts at the same time

Two of my Aikido instructors are yoga instructors too. And another instructor have done Tai Chi, another trained in various martial arts too. In our dojo, there are Tai Chi classes too. It's really interesting, to see their perspective coming from different arts, because when I do a technique they would say... where you're open for an attack... etc. Sometimes the yoga instructor incorporates aikido principles to his yoga class... at least that's what I heard.

I think doing yoga, aikido and Tai Chi seems to complement each other nicely.
I'm in Ki-Aikido, I'm not sure what style you're in but this Tohei Sensei's principles has helped me to become more calm and at peace more than anything.
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Old 08-21-2005, 08:00 AM   #16
Amir Krause
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Re: learning 2 arts at the same time

Quote:
Some can handle it, and others can't
I agree, some can handle 2 arts from day one, others need a few years of practice in one art to benefit from learning another in parallel.

Amir
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Old 08-21-2005, 08:02 AM   #17
Lyle Bogin
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Re: learning 2 arts at the same time

What about the idea that there is only one art to be studied? Martial art? Does this mind set help or is it an illusion (or an advertisement for mma/jkd schools )?
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Old 08-22-2005, 08:43 AM   #18
CNYMike
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Re: learning 2 arts at the same time

Quote:
Chuck Meitner wrote:
....Would learning 2 things at the same time be mutually beneficial or would I get confused? .....
When you took math, English, a foriegn language, and gym in high school, did you get confused? No, of course not. When the math teacher said "Solve for X" you didn't spend 25 minutes writing an essay before you realized you should have been doing a math problem. And when you had to write an essay in English class, you didn't have to do it twice becuase the first time was in French.

I think the potential for "confusion" is overstated. Yeah, sometimes things in your muscle memor from one class can pop out in another, but that can be more of an annoyance than anything else. I've been doing Kali for seven years, and the whole time I was and am doing Japanese karate. Some "karate isms" pop out in Kali, but never to the point where I'm not sure what I'm doing.

There is a running gag in Kali class about confusing ettiquettes and courtiesies, but it's more an annoyance or a joke than anything else.


Quote:
..... Would it matter at all? ....
I don't think it matters. Some people think it's a total showstopper, but I doubt it.

Quote:
Does it matter what kind of dicipline? I was also thinking about yoga instead for the stretching, flexibility and relaxation/stress relief benefits it teaches. To my mind, that would help my aikido practice a lot.
Hey, do yoga and kendo and aikido if you can! And do them now if you want. I also look askance at the "get grounded in one art first before learning another." That's like saying "get your bachelor's in math before doing English." I'd been doing karate for only a year and a half when I first took Aikido; no one in either class remarked on a negative effect on me for doing that. So do what you want to do when you want to do it and don't let anyone tell you different.
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Old 08-22-2005, 12:59 PM   #19
chuckmeitner
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Re: learning 2 arts at the same time

Quote:
Michael Gallagher wrote:
When you took math, English, a foriegn language, and gym in high school, did you get confused? No, of course not.

No, but I speak a number of languages, German from school, and Spanish from working in a kitchen. I don't speak German very often anymore though, simply because of a lack of need. Someone asked me the other day, "Sprechen Sie Deutsch?" (Do you speak German?) and I replied out of reflex, "Un Poco" (a little bit, but that's Spanish). We both got a little laugh out of it but I demonstrates my lack of mastery over both languages. That's what I want to avoid.

Thank you for your advice. I think I'll do the yoga/aikido things and that'll be it for a few years. I still want to do Kendo but I'm a fairly patient person and I'll wait until I'm certain I can handle it all.
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Old 08-22-2005, 03:23 PM   #20
Aristeia
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Re: learning 2 arts at the same time

Yeah the school subjects thing is a good analogy. If the subjects have enough obvious diffrences (english/maths, standup/groundfighting) then there's no confusion. But when they are a little closer (spanish/french, aikido/judo) it can be more likely to lead to confusion, particularly in the early stages of learning.

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 08-22-2005, 04:03 PM   #21
Charles Hill
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Re: learning 2 arts at the same time

The kendo and aikido basic stance are quite different. I often have trouble in my iaido training because I keep going into a kind of aikido hanmi. Nishio Sensei and Hikitsuchi Sensei both adopted a kind of kendo stance for their aikido. I suppose their students would have much less a problem doing both.

Charles
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Old 08-22-2005, 05:07 PM   #22
aikigirl10
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Re: learning 2 arts at the same time

Quote:
Michael Gallagher wrote:
When you took math, English, a foriegn language, and gym in high school, did you get confused? No, of course not. When the math teacher said "Solve for X" you didn't spend 25 minutes writing an essay before you realized you should have been doing a math problem. And when you had to write an essay in English class, you didn't have to do it twice becuase the first time was in French.

I think the potential for "confusion" is overstated. Yeah, sometimes things in your muscle memor from one class can pop out in another, but that can be more of an annoyance than anything else. I've been doing Kali for seven years, and the whole time I was and am doing Japanese karate. Some "karate isms" pop out in Kali, but never to the point where I'm not sure what I'm doing.

There is a running gag in Kali class about confusing ettiquettes and courtiesies, but it's more an annoyance or a joke than anything else.




I don't think it matters. Some people think it's a total showstopper, but I doubt it.



Hey, do yoga and kendo and aikido if you can! And do them now if you want. I also look askance at the "get grounded in one art first before learning another." That's like saying "get your bachelor's in math before doing English." I'd been doing karate for only a year and a half when I first took Aikido; no one in either class remarked on a negative effect on me for doing that. So do what you want to do when you want to do it and don't let anyone tell you different.

Good post Michael. You had a very good point about the high school subjects.

But depending on the martial art, different languages are spoken too. This is what causes confusion for me because i take one Japanese art adn one Chinese and the terminology i have to remember can sometimes be slurred with the other art.

The physical part for me is no problem , no confusion or anything like that at all , but if you are going to do 2 different arts of 2 different origins then sometimes remembering the terminology can cause problems. But hey thats just me everyone is different.
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Old 08-23-2005, 01:29 PM   #23
toyamabarnard
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Re: learning 2 arts at the same time

I believe that training in two arts would have definite negative effects (with the exception of the sword arts). The tecnique and movment of other arts are completely different. I understand many of the strikes in Aikido are based on the principle and angles of Japanese swordsmanship. Part of my "problems" with completely understanding Aikido came as a direct result of my training in other unarmed arts. I find myself forced to unlearn what I "know" before I can perform correctly (or as close to correct as I can). This is mostly a mental issue, I have to "stop thinking" Karate before I can "start thinking" in Aikido (although this statement violates all my strictures of no mind, I hope it says what I mean). I have found Aikido to help clarify some parts of Iaido and the other way around. That could just be me though, after all I'm a "sword guy"............
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Old 08-23-2005, 02:23 PM   #24
CNYMike
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Re: learning 2 arts at the same time

Quote:
Chuck Meitner wrote:
.... Someone asked me the other day, "Sprechen Sie Deutsch?" (Do you speak German?) and I replied out of reflex, "Un Poco" (a little bit, but that's Spanish). We both got a little laugh out of it but I demonstrates my lack of mastery over both languages. That's what I want to avoid.
I've come across that argument before: If you do more than one martial art, you will never achieve mastery in either one. But martial arts masters don't portray themselves as such; if anything, they still look at themselves as beginners. O Sensei did AFAIK. Guru Dan Inosanto has the same attitude; at a seminar in March, he advised us to "take a white belt" attitude to learning new arts. That's what he did. Anyone want to suggest he hasn't mastered anything?

When you start to think "I am a master," you're probably not. Other people may call you that, but I doubt anyone who's worth it will call themselves that. So IMHO, it's another straw man.

Quote:
.....Thank you for your advice ....
You're welcome; glad I could help.
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Old 08-23-2005, 02:24 PM   #25
Aiki LV
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Re: learning 2 arts at the same time

Hello,
Just a couple things to think about before you make a decision.
If you choose to practice two arts at once make sure the philosophies are not contradictory to one another. (This will mess with your head something terrible ) Also as others have stated earlier keep the two arts separate in your mind and in physical training. Remember they are not the same. In addition, this is my personal opinion you should choose one art to start with and make sure you really have a solid knowledge of both physical technique and philosophy. That way when you choose a second art to study you know exactly what you want and don't want. Thought I'd share some things I've learned along the way. Do as you like
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