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Old 09-07-2005, 03:17 PM   #26
aikigirl10
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Re: yet another annoying cross training q

Quote:
Charles Hill wrote:
Hi Ron,

To me, aikido practice is doing martial arts to become a better person.

Charles
Other arts can help u be a better person too. Aikido is not allmighty contrary to what u might think. If u think its the only one that focuses on ki practice , u are wrong. If u think its the only one that teaches good morals, u are wrong. If you think that aikido alone will make u the best person you will ever be then you are definitely wrong.

I love aikido and i love practicing it, but it is not the sole axis of the universe (which i know is an exaggeration , but some people make it seem this way)

Good intentions only
-Paige
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Old 09-12-2005, 12:55 AM   #27
Charles Hill
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Re: yet another annoying cross training q

Quote:
Paige Frazier wrote:
Aikido is not allmighty contrary to what u might think.
Paige,

I don`t know if "u" equals me, but I think Aikido is pretty "allmighty."

Charles
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Old 09-12-2005, 06:22 AM   #28
thomanil
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Re: yet another annoying cross training q

Quote:
Charles Hill wrote:
Paige,

I don`t know if "u" equals me, but I think Aikido is pretty "allmighty."

Charles
I'm with Esaemann on this. Personally I don't see crosstraining providing any "shortcuts" in my Aikido- rather it adds context to regular Aikido practice.

For instance: learning some proper basics about punching won't magically make my existing Aikido techniques better, but having some proper understanding of throwing and reacting to a jab, hook and cross will provide some background for my "normal" Aikido practice.

I have this vague impression that we can be an insular lot, invoking the mantra of "Aikido principles will work regardless of the attack! Everything you need is in our art!". Well yes, after a lifetime of practice I'm sure that's the case. However, personally I've found that the instructors that I've trained with and respect the most often turn out to have some breadth of experience in other arts.

To put it another way: I'm more confident that a senior-but-not-Shihan-level instructor can find and correct openings in my technique, if he actually has some background in arts concentrating on attacking those same openings. Does this make sense?

Whew, rambling post...

Thomas Kjeldahl Nilsson
Oslo, Norway
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Old 09-12-2005, 06:59 AM   #29
Michael Neal
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Re: yet another annoying cross training q

Quote:
Eventually you'll just be a jack of all trades and master of sh*t.
Complete nonsense, it is the people that crosstrain that usually are the people who can best use martial arts most effectively. Every martial art has weakenesses and if you become a master of one you will still be deficient in many areas.
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Old 09-12-2005, 07:21 AM   #30
Budd
 
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Re: yet another annoying cross training q

Quote:
Michael Neal wrote:
Complete nonsense, it is the people that crosstrain that usually are the people who can best use martial arts most effectively. Every martial art has weakenesses and if you become a master of one you will still be deficient in many areas.
Actually (since you used my quote), the thrust of my argument is that you should have a base in one style from which to branch . . . (e.g. base in Judo, train boxing, MT, etc.)

What I argued against was training a little bit in aikido, then a little bit in judo, then a little bit in karate . . . as (having been in that boat years ago) not being very beneficial.

Context matters.
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Old 09-12-2005, 01:36 PM   #31
aikigirl10
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Re: yet another annoying cross training q

Quote:
Charles Hill wrote:
Paige,

I don`t know if "u" equals me, "

Charles
wow cant get anything past you can i?
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Old 09-12-2005, 01:44 PM   #32
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Re: yet another annoying cross training q

It certainly helps to develop a base in one art. However, it is not necessarily harmful to search around. It may take you a while to find a fit for yourself.

It is important though, I think, to not become an "experimenter" that is constantly trying a new school all the time and making excuses for it not being "right" and moving on.

I did karate for years and that was my "base" art while I started aikido. Now aikido is my "base" art while I do MMA/BJJ. I think it is good to develop a base that is centered on good principles.

I really started understanding myself and aikido now that I do BJJ better than when I did aikido! Not that I am any better at aikido, but I have a deeper appreciation and understanding of what my teachers are trying to convey. This should not be construed as "aikido is better" only that I have reached a deeper understanding by challenging my paradigm.
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Old 09-12-2005, 02:14 PM   #33
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Re: yet another annoying cross training q

Kevin,

I agree with pretty much all of what you've written. My base arts (that I currently train in as "systems") are aikido and jodo. I initially was a wrestler/judoka as a kid and teenager, then trained in aikido and karate through the end of high school and through college (with some side trips in freestyle and greco-roman club wrestling). These days, I still visit some of the BJJ and Sambo guys to roll, work out some boxing drills with a former boxer every so often, practice my shin kicks, push kicks and elbows on the heavy bag and pads -- mostly because I find the different types of conditioning worthwhile (supplying different shocks to the system) and I enjoy the opportunity to randori and shiai.

The aikido and jodo are my systems that I am committed to learning. The other stuff, it's pretty much informal learning lab type things to keep other skills in play, polish some things and generally have a good time with some fun people in settings that can be less formal than a traditional dojo (adult recess, maybe?).

I think a distinction maybe needs to be made between folks that train with commitment in more than one thing -- versus -- "Experimenters" and "Tourists" that don't hang around any one place long enough to develop any real skill at anything. I agree that trying things out can be a necessary step, but the best martial artists (and combat sports players/fighters that might not consider themselves as such) that I've known have had their base experiences in one or two systems, then branched from there.
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Old 09-12-2005, 08:13 PM   #34
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Ai symbol Re: yet another annoying cross training q

Quote:
Mark Uttech wrote:
Don't bother cross training. That is just another desire for some sort of 'shortcut'. There are no shortcuts.
I'm a very new member to the list, but I've read it for some time. This argument comes up quite regularly as most of us know.

My experience has been that several of the best Aikido practitioners have multiple Dan rankings. They practice them separately, by that I mean I don't see judo in their aikido, or vice versa.

That being said, I would ask Mr. Uttech whta he means by a "shortcut". I would guess he means a "shortcut" to improving in aikido. But if the person mearly wants to learn a different martial art, separate from aikido, how is that different from someone who enjoys playing basketball in the winter, and golf in the summer?

If Mr. Della has decided to cross-train I would recommend the art that has the best groundwork, which I have always felt aikido missed. But if Mr. Della is considering cross-training, I would suggest he be sure he knows what his goal is, and consider carefully whether either of the other arts will really get him there.


Bill

Last edited by wmreed : 09-12-2005 at 08:24 PM.

William M. Reed
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Old 09-12-2005, 08:30 PM   #35
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Re: yet another annoying cross training q

Yep, my cross-training "short-cut" has only lasted 38 years. Guess I got lost on the journey and just started enjoying myself.

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 09-12-2005, 10:09 PM   #36
Nathan Gusdorf
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Re: yet another annoying cross training q

I have no experience cross-training so I can't speak from experience. Many people have in other threads, however, said that studying two martial arts is like studying two languages. I am currently in French 3 in high school and I have been studying Hebrew for a while as well out of school. I plan to continue to do this however it is impossible to not speak in one while studying the other. I was at a hebrew camp over the summer and now in french class i understand everything but it can be extremely frustrating because often the word i need, even if i know it, will not come to mind. Even when my teacher asked me something in english i responded in hebrew by accident. If this truly is similar to studying two martial arts then I personally would not want to start cross training until i had a very solid base in aikido. I would want to be certain that i could immediately think of the required technique in one art without having to concentrate really hard to overcome the tendency to apply a different martial art. I imagine that it would also be difficult to do the technique relaxed if you are having a hard time thinking of it.

It also seems to me that it is necessary to examine your real motive for cross-training and make sure that deep down it really isnt a shortcut to better aikido but truly a desire for more martial arts ability even if it may be a more difficult path.

Quote:
Eventually you'll just be a jack of all trades and master of sh*t.
On that note, I would love to be a 'jack of all trades', let alone aikido. After all there cant be that many masters. Doesnt it take many many years of studying to become a true master? I'm sure you can become a master of aikido by studying only aikido, which is by no means an insignificant goal. But then again, an aikido master cannot do the five point palm exploding heart technique. Oh and Jet Li trained in a ton of styles of kung fu as well.

I guess in the end its possible to be an excellent martial artist whether you study one or many types of martial arts, as there are many examples of both. What really matters is your devotion to it, and not committing yourself to something that will hold you back be it practicing just one or many types of martial arts.
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Old 09-13-2005, 03:37 PM   #37
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Re: yet another annoying cross training q

I don't buy into "base styles" anymore. To put it in Matt Thornton's terms (not to say I agree with everything he says, I know nothing about him other than what I've read in one or two of his articles), I'm more concerned with delivery systems.

Training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, judo, sombo, etc. at the same time isn't going to confuse you or cause conflicts in your training because the delivery systems are so similar; if you trained in any of them you could expect to learn essentially the same positions, submissions, etc. Obviously there will be differences, but that's why they compliment each other as opposed to being exactly the same.

I don't train in aikido, but the impression I get is that it is just another part of the puzzle. I don't mean to offend anyone but I think it's one of the less-important parts. IMHO if someone wants to get better at fighting/self defense (I realize many people train for different reasons), then they needn't worry about blending, wrist locks, etc. right away. I think learning the fundamentals of striking, clinching, and ground-fighting are the most important. Something like aikido would probably be a lot easier to apply after having a solid base in the other areas of fighting.

To paraphrase Steven Richards, systems that have a narrow bandwidth of techniques are best learned after having a wide base in the other areas of fighting. (IIRC he said something to that effect in regards to learning mixed martial arts before moving on to more complicated Chinese martial arts such as southern praying mantis.)

Last edited by Pankration90 : 09-13-2005 at 03:39 PM.
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Old 09-13-2005, 04:00 PM   #38
Mark Uttech
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Re: yet another annoying cross training q

I don't understand why you come to an aikido website to post this, unless it is already clear that you do not understand aikido at all. In gassho.
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Old 09-13-2005, 05:17 PM   #39
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Re: yet another annoying cross training q

While Phillip doesn't train Aikido, I agree with much of what he's said. Is it so unlikely that other martial artists may have ideas that we may benefit from?

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 09-13-2005, 09:14 PM   #40
Mark Uttech
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Re: yet another annoying cross training q

We can learn from just about anyone. That is true there. I simply reacted to his observation that aikido was a "less-important" part of the martial arts puzzle.
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Old 09-13-2005, 09:34 PM   #41
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Re: yet another annoying cross training q

Well it's a fair point I think. Can anyone here, hand on heart, say that if someone were to come to them asking what they should study to become an effective unarmed fighter as quickly as possible, that Aikido would be the reccomendation?

If someone wants to get better at fighting/self defence, he's quite right, Aikido type technique isn't your first stop. We sacrifice speed to effective self defence in favour of other benefits. Do we not?

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 09-13-2005, 10:05 PM   #42
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Re: yet another annoying cross training q

Quote:
Michael Fooks wrote:
Well it's a fair point I think. Can anyone here, hand on heart, say that if someone were to come to them asking what they should study to become an effective unarmed fighter as quickly as possible, that Aikido would be the reccomendation?

If someone wants to get better at fighting/self defence, he's quite right, Aikido type technique isn't your first stop. We sacrifice speed to effective self defence in favour of other benefits. Do we not?
I can't buy that at all, the idea that martial art means only fighting. If that's someone's interpretation then I would say they DON'T get what aikido is all about. I would even venture to day they don't really understand what martial arts are about.

The ability to win a conflict DOES NOT mean you must fight.

William M. Reed
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Old 09-13-2005, 10:50 PM   #43
Aristeia
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Re: yet another annoying cross training q

*sigh*
re read my post. I'm not saying winning fights is all martial arts is about. I would however contend that functional fighting skills must be at least a part of it. Beyond that it's a bit silly to say what martial arts are or are not about, or complain that some people don't understand what they're about. Because it's entirely subjective. Personally I don't train to protect myself physically - that's a skill I seem less and less likely to need as I get older. But I do beleive all the other benefits I get from an art, I get in large part because it is effectively martial.
If someone wants to train because it makes them happy and some sort of a better person and knowing how to fight isn't important, all well and good, but who are they to say their motivations should be everyone elses.
In this particular case, what I'm saying is that when you choose Aikido as your art of choice, you give up a shorter time to physical proficinecy. And the reason you do that is because of some of the other benefits you get that are beyond winning a fight. People that do Aikido obviously think this is a fair trade.
But we also need to understand why people like Phillip would say that Aikido waza is less important to the make up of a fighter than some of the other skills he mentioned. Because he's quite right.
In other words there's a trade off that is happening and it's not a bad thing if it's happening conciously.

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 09-14-2005, 06:40 AM   #44
Keith R Lee
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Re: yet another annoying cross training q

Quote:
Michael Fooks wrote:
*sigh*
re read my post. I'm not saying winning fights is all martial arts is about. I would however contend that functional fighting skills must be at least a part of it. Beyond that it's a bit silly to say what martial arts are or are not about, or complain that some people don't understand what they're about. Because it's entirely subjective. Personally I don't train to protect myself physically - that's a skill I seem less and less likely to need as I get older. But I do beleive all the other benefits I get from an art, I get in large part because it is effectively martial.
If someone wants to train because it makes them happy and some sort of a better person and knowing how to fight isn't important, all well and good, but who are they to say their motivations should be everyone elses.
In this particular case, what I'm saying is that when you choose Aikido as your art of choice, you give up a shorter time to physical proficinecy. And the reason you do that is because of some of the other benefits you get that are beyond winning a fight. People that do Aikido obviously think this is a fair trade.
But we also need to understand why people like Phillip would say that Aikido waza is less important to the make up of a fighter than some of the other skills he mentioned. Because he's quite right.
In other words there's a trade off that is happening and it's not a bad thing if it's happening conciously.
Agreed. 100%

Again, people who train in Aikido and only Aikido tend to have a rather insular viewpoint about this topic. Cross-training isn't a bad thing, it's really only going to open someone up to new possibilities.

Keith Lee
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Old 09-14-2005, 07:14 AM   #45
Michael Neal
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Re: yet another annoying cross training q

Quote:
Budd Yuhasz wrote:
Actually (since you used my quote), the thrust of my argument is that you should have a base in one style from which to branch . . . (e.g. base in Judo, train boxing, MT, etc.)

What I argued against was training a little bit in aikido, then a little bit in judo, then a little bit in karate . . . as (having been in that boat years ago) not being very beneficial.

Context matters.
I agree with that, you should have a good base in at least something
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Old 09-14-2005, 08:22 AM   #46
Ron Tisdale
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Re: yet another annoying cross training q

Someone said:
Quote:
Something like aikido would probably be a lot easier to apply after having a solid base in the other areas of fighting.
Someone responded:
Quote:
I don't understand why you come to an aikido website to post this, unless it is already clear that you do not understand aikido at all. In gassho.
Actually, the first statement is exactly how many of the founder's first students came to aikido...with a solid base in judo, jujutsu, boxing and other arts. It seems to me that such a base informed them well. To me, one of the real challenges in aikido today is taking someone with no real fighting or training experience and teaching them the martial art aspects of aikido. Of course that is not the only focus of our training. The training may extend far beyond that. But if Budo is your vehicle to whatever, martial seems to be at least some part of that. The trick is finding a teacher and school whose balance of these factors approaches what you are looking for.

As to coming to an aikido web-site to make that statement...why not? The more input and exposure the better, as far as I'm concerned. Even if I don't always agree.

Best,
Ron

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Old 09-14-2005, 09:19 AM   #47
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Re: yet another annoying cross training q

I think this is an interesting discussion as we're touching on several areas from goals for training, training methodology, cross-training and martial effectiveness.

As far as goals for training -- if you're training because you want to become an awesome hand-to-hand fighter, then I'd recommend someone go train in BJJ and Muay Thai (or some other combination of grappling and pugilism), as that will cover the primary three ranges of unarmed fighting -- standup, clinch and ground. If you're training to learn a sophisticated system of taijutsu that involves throwing and pinning, while also including a philosophical bent towards harmony and reconciliation, then aikido might be for you (just postulating, reasons for training can be much more simple or complex).

Training methodology, as supposed to martial systems, I think, is the cruxt of what I've read from the SBG stuff that Matt Thornton teaches. I think he says a lot of good things, but I don't necessarily agree with all of his conclusions. I do think he's a great salesman and makes some good points on "alive" vs. "dead" training drills. Some guys I work out with have been to his seminars and say good things. Having said that, the talk of delivery system seems just newer buzz words for training methodology (kata and randori in the traditional unarmed arts). I think that as long as the training methodology is congruent with the stated goals of practice (e.g. If you're training to fight, then you'd better fight . . . If you're training harmony through blending, then have concrete definitions of such and train towards that end), then there's at least a core honesty in what you're doing (even if your goal is as simple as, "I train in art X under Sensei Y because I like the art and the teacher!").

Cross-training is one of those topics that causes a whole host of blanket responses (yup, I've used some of them) from "Aikido is all you need!" to "Learn groundfighting and striking!", but I think it again comes back to your goals of practice. I won't go over the ground already covered in Ellis Amdur's essay, "How Tough Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up" (from 'Duelling with O-Sensei'), but I think an additional trend has been "Let's Add Striking and Grappling to Aikido". I'm of mutlitple minds about this -- certainly some teachers (examples such as Tomiki Sensei with Judo Nishio Sensei with Karate and Kuroiwa Sensei with Boxing) have blended other arts with aikido. I know I'm not arrogant enough and nowhere near capable of trying to "fix" aikido myself by adding stuff I've picked up from sports grappling and pugilism (nor do I think that aikido necessarily needs "fixing" in that manner) -- but those other skills I still have in my sandbox, they aren't going anywhere if I maintain and polish them through supplemental workouts. I'm not training anymore to compete in the ring or on the mat for trophies or money, I train because it's part of who I am and I enjoy it.

Martial Effectiveness (see the poll that's up) is of importance to me. I, however, am still working on what it means, to me, to be and train in a martially effective manner. Part of it comes from what I get from my teachers. Part of it comes from my own experiences (competition, bouncing, etc.). I suspect if I ever get arrogant enough to think I know, for sure, what it is to be martially effective, then someone will no doubt come along to prove me wrong. As it stands, I like to mix it up with the guys that train to fight (it's fun and I love the shiai). I like to train in aikido because of the ranges of responses to conflict that are built into the techniques and philosophically ascribed to the martial system -- and I believe my dojo does an excellent job (thanks to the instructors) of teaching aikido in a martially effective manner. I don't think those things have to conflict nor do I think they are necessarily the same.

So for the others that train that are participating (in favor or against cross-training), what are your goals for training and how does cross-training factor in (if at all)?
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Old 09-14-2005, 11:06 AM   #48
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Re: yet another annoying cross training q

I haven't sorted out the entire thread, but to address whether cross-training is good or bad...

I tend to advise against cross-training if the student shows difficulty differentiating kata between the martial arts. I don't want to see a jujitsu-style kotegaeshi when I am in aikido class and I don't want to see judo when we are practicing koshinage. To some, this is not a problem; to others, this is a problem. I would not swing a golf club like a baseball bat, or tackle my ultimate frisbee partner, so I find it difficult to justify cross-training if it affects kihon waza technique (what I sometimes call kata). I do find that some people actually have this sort of problem, so I wouldn't be so bold to say it wasn't a problem or unimportant.

That said, I have no official position about integrating other martial systems in freestyle training. I would hazard a personal observation that freestyle technique is "free of style;" other fighting systems would probably be invited, if not expected in this kind of training.
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Old 09-14-2005, 11:21 AM   #49
Ron Tisdale
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Re: yet another annoying cross training q

Hi Budd, I think I already answered that on the first page. If not, maybe you could ask some specific questions?

Best,
Ron

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Old 09-14-2005, 11:34 AM   #50
Budd
 
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Re: yet another annoying cross training q

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
Hi Budd, I think I already answered that on the first page. If not, maybe you could ask some specific questions?

Best,
Ron
Hiya Ron,

I liked your response to the initial post in this thread (though I am curious, since I read somewhere else that you're an ex-wrestler, if you still do any close grappling). Since some other responses have been of the "Cross-training is good/bad/depends" variety, and my own postulation is that such a thing is dependent on what one's individual training goals are (also recognizing that such things change over time) . . . I'm curious to see how others will respond.

So, questions for you, specifically, Ron Tisdale:

1) Still grappling *grin*?

2) We gonna see you at Itten anytime soon *another grin*?

3) Is the "Hidden in Plain Sight" thread over at AJ making your head spin, too?

Best/Budd
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