Stop! I’m really confused now. . .

More than one is a help?

“I think your Jitsu background makes it easier to learn Aikido,” said someone casually to me in the changing rooms last week.  “Really?” came my astonished reply, “it doesn’t feel like it.”

Now I confess that I chose to study Aikido for two reasons.  The first being the very practical realisation that there was an Aikido dojo with certified instructors within a sensible distance from my house.  The second, having started training in Jitsu, there was a certain logic in following in the footsteps of Morihei Ueshiba, who originally studied and taught a form of Jiu Jitsu before developing the start of Aikido.

This blog entry isn’t to delve into what connects and what differs in these two traditions, needless to say they have plenty in common and yet differ by an extraordinary amount.  Yet it’s the first point which causes my confusion because these common points are not quite the same.  Even now under moments of high scrutiny my backwards breakfall will automatically revert to the Jitsu form rather than the Aikido form (and both forms are effective, I have no gripes about them).  Or when dealing with multiple attacks I have to remember it’s not normally the Aikido way to kick people in the kidneys once they are down (just tie them in knots instead).  Or the final application of shiho nage differs in Jitsu and Aikido (still hurts though).

throwing

Image source: http://www.fudebakudo.com/gallery/throwing

At what point in your training of a martial art is it wise to start on another?  Arguably too soon and you lack the grounded basics in the first MA, resulting in inevitable confusion.  Too late and those basic instinctive patterns from the first will hinder the second.

How far do you want to learn?

Some people devote their lives to becoming supremely proficient in a single martial art. Sadateru Arikawa in Aikido or Carlos Machado in BJJ to name but two.

The champion Sumo wrestler Kaiō Hiroyuki  initally trained in Karate and Judo, but chose to focus on Sumo wrestling.  Anderson da Silva  has taken advantage of his training in multiple martial arts to forge a successful career in MMA.

Is there anyone who has become truly great in more than one martial art?  While there are probably many who achieved Dan gradings (or equivalent) in more than one discipline, do they truly feel that they stand a chance of being considered one of the greats in everything they do?  Or does one system have to dominate and choices have to be made?

We can all learn something from other MAs

There is one senior at my Aikido dojo who originally trained in and taught Karate.  The solid posture he maintains when delivering a punch is no doubt developed from the Karate.  Seeing him punch has made me aware that I nearly always over reach when attacking, and I’m working to amend that.  Due to the self –defence aspect of Aikido and Jitsu, teaching the finer points of attacking is rarely covered.  Yet surely I should maintain a solid base be it on the attack or defence?

I’d love to hear from people who train in multiple martial arts, with the advantages and encumbrances these have bought.

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