How do your seniors view cross training?

Discussion in 'Tae-Kwon-Do' started by ETinCYQX, Apr 22, 2012.

  1. ETinCYQX

    ETinCYQX Master Black Belt

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    I'm most interested in responses from school owners but all input is very much appreciated.

    How do your seniors feel about cross training in different styles? I know there are a few here who have trained in BJJ in addition to Taekwondo and some of those are high ranking black belts who own schools. (Andy if I remember correctly, also I think puunui mentioned doing BJJ with Relson Gracie as well) Is it viewed as positive, or as a slight against your seniors?

    My situation is, I've been running a dojang for about half a year for my immediate senior. Since before I started I've been training Judo and it's become a big part of my life, I've competed a few times and traveled for seminars. I do enough Judo now that I'm beginning to develop cauliflower ear. I haven't bothered to tell my master that I've been training grappling. Once I become a student again, maybe I will. There's another guy with him who trains BJJ and is a TKD 2nd dan.

    I'm curious as to how you guys have handled these situations? Has it been an issue with your students? How about parents?

    Thanks
    Ethan
     
  2. ralphmcpherson

    ralphmcpherson Senior Master

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    It depends on the senior. Some are against it, particularly until you have a solid grounding in one art first. Some actively encourage it. My instructor is the type of guy where if I told him I was looking into cross training he would wonder what it is I feel he isnt teaching, he prides himself on offering a quite well rounded class. I remember once commenting to him about the lack of 'ground game' in tkd. I have no interest at all in a ground game but I think he took it as me complaining about it. Anyhow, the very next lesson one of our 5th dans who is very experienced in some form of bjj or something took the class and did a whole lesson on the 'ground game'. Since then my instructor regularly gets him to take a class and teach that sort of stuff. One of our students has recently started in muay thai and our instructor said to him if they teach you anything I havent shown you here please let me know. I think that as long as students cross train and still keep coming back then you know you are offering them something in their training that they feel they need. The problems start when students start cross training then never come back, then you know they feel they have found something 'better'.
     
  3. ETinCYQX

    ETinCYQX Master Black Belt

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    Two of my former students had experience in kickboxing, MMA and BJJ. They kept coming back to my class because they enjoyed TKD and also because I let them spar three times a week. One moved back to Korea and the other is in the next town over learning to drive a truck. Both were excellent martial artists and awesome people. I promoted one guy two belts at once because I thought he deserved it.

    Judo has helped my TKD too and helped my teaching, I'm hoping it won't be taken negatively.
     
  4. andyjeffries

    andyjeffries Master of Arts

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    I'm not a high ranking black belt, but I have a small club. I did cross-train for a while in BJJ, but haven't done recently (mainly due to work pressures). I'll happily give you my opinion.

    I started cross training in BJJ for three reasons -

    1) I found I had no ground game, that I was "concerned" that if a street fight happened and it went to the ground I'd be completely out of my element *

    2) I enjoyed watching UFC and as a spectator I thought I would enjoy watching these sporting events more if I understood it better

    3) I had injured my knee at Taekwondo as was able to do less and less Taekwondo each week as my knee got progressively worse

    * I haven't been in a street fight since my mid-20s (I'm now 37), but I didn't like having a feeling of there being situations where I'd feel completely out of my depth - if they ever did happen.

    I had two instructors at the time - a 5th Dan master living in the same town that I trained under twice per week and an 8th Dan grandmaster living in the far east that I would speak to regularly via email/Skype and train with for intensive 1-2 week periods each year.

    My master was happy for me to do it, it gave me a way to burn calories (I am very overweight, so any exercise I can do is great) but he has little to no respect for "grown men rolling around on the floor together". This is a common viewpoint of BJJ/wrestling/grappling - not one I share. He appreciated the techniques I was learning (as I was also trying to apply them in my Taekwondo practice) and was happy for me to do it.

    My grandmaster thought it was a great idea, more knowledge is always useful. He also saw/spoke more about how I was learning lessons from how BJJ was taught and applying those teaching principles to Taekwondo teaching. He thought this was very useful. As my knee got progressively worse, it felt like (we didn't discuss it in these terms) he got more concerned that I would leave Taekwondo completely and switch to BJJ. Every Taekwondo session hurt my knee even more, even when I wasn't trying anything difficult - BJJ didn't and I was learning new things every week; you can see how I would be feeling negatively about one and positively about the other. I'm sure he felt it would be a waste to have spent so long in Taekwondo to leave it for the "hot new thing".

    Anyway, I got my knee repaired and my Taekwondo then improved in leaps and bounds and my happiness returned. I still have a love/soft spot for BJJ and when I get more evenings free again I'd like to go back, but I think my grandmaster is happy my focus is now back 100% on Taekwondo.

    Neither viewed the fact that I wanted to do it as a negative thing or a slight against my seniors or Taekwondo. I feel the two are complimentary arts and I have learned new ideas on teaching that I'm applying to my Taekwondo club.

    However, I don't know how they'd have felt if I had cross-trained in a more similar art (such as Karate or Tangsoodo). Then it might have been more of a slight as they may be thinking "why do you want to kick their way, when my teaching you to kick our way is much better" or something like that. But I'm completely guessing in this last paragraph...

    Hope this helps, if you have any more specific questions, let me know.
     
  5. Earl Weiss

    Earl Weiss Senior Master

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  6. seasoned

    seasoned MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Cross train to make your initial art clearer, if you are just adding to your art more techniques to make it well rounded, evaluate that art.
    If I was training or teaching in an art that was lacking in depth, then I would cross train with that in mind. But, to gain more understanding of an art that is known to have a well rounded curriculum within it, but you need to fulfill your teaching endeavors, then by all means "cross train".
     
  7. Kong Soo Do

    Kong Soo Do IKSDA Director

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    In an interview in the Journal of Asian Martial Arts, Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming commented that the highest compliment a student can give to his/her instructor is to become more skilled and knowledgeable than themselves. I agree with this philosophy. My senior has always encouraged cross-training and advanced training outside the norms of the art. In this way, the art grows and becomes more well-rounded. I encourage this in my students as well. If a senior or instructor becomes upset at a student seeking knowledge that is beyond the scope of the art they train then perhaps that can be attributed to ego or control. To be clear, one should be very familiar with the original art trained in to see what that art fully contains, then seek that which it does not contain. TKD, as just one example, can contain effective grappling, locking, throwing and ground defense, if one knows what to look for in the art. Just like it's parent art, karate, which contains all of those elements and more. The crux of the matter is, does the instructor have the knowledge base to undertand what the art contains in its entirety and can he/she pass this on to students. An instructor can only teach what they themselves have learned. Which is why a good instructor, in my opinion, is always delving into his/her art to glean the utmost out of it to pass on to students.

    Continuing education is a good thing for all.
     
  8. Gorilla

    Gorilla Master of Arts

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    Great Topic,

    We train in three Martial Arts..

    Tkd...we have a trainer in Las Vegas for sport. An instructor in traditional Martial Arts. Our main coach/trainer is in Virginia. She coaches us at all international events and nationals. We travel to train with her about 4 times per year and speak with her 3 times per week.

    We also train an compete Karate(Shotokan). He provides a yoga and instructor and a judo instructor to help enhance the karate training.

    We work with 6 instructors at 3 different schools. I coordinate it all. My wife handles the travel arrangements and all admin stuff. My kids train about 4 hour per day during the school year and 6 per day during summer.

    The instructors that we work with talk with each other. We have even done cross training seminars together. Today our Karate Sensei will train with us. He is junior to my kids in Tkd so that ads a different dynamic.

    Very few agree with how we train. Some understand why! We have been training this way for about 18 months and it has worked well. Most are waiting for my kids to fail so that they can say I told you so.
     
  9. Manny

    Manny Senior Master

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    I did american kenpo karate for a year been a semior instructor in the dojang of my master, I never told my master this because some masters are a little jaelus about crosstraining. I did crosstraining for several reasons, one is because I wanted to improve my TKD ading new stuff, tow because I was becoming boring of the same old song and third because I wanted to learn something new.

    I am in favor of do crosstraining because it helps to develop new techs and in some ways reafirm the knowledge one has about his main martial art.

    I want to do crosstraining again and maybe it will in akido, I have develope such a feeling that to end a confrontation it's not necesary to smash the nose of your oponent but you can drive him to the floor with a nice tech and letting know you are serius about not to fight.

    Manny
     
  10. ETinCYQX

    ETinCYQX Master Black Belt

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    Training for sport. Just another venue to compete. When I wasn't teaching Taekwondo was just like tennis or basketball to me, Judo is the same. I have no interest in winning street fights.
     
  11. Manny

    Manny Senior Master

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    Ethan I think ading JUDO to you TKD is terrific, you have in one hand the striking/kiking techs (striking sistem) and in the other hand you are learning grapling/trowing/pining techs from judo.

    As you do, I train because I love to with no intention of go to OK Corral looking for trouble, competing is not my thing but it has to be fun to do some mat work (judo) with the guys.

    Go ahead and I wish you success in TKD and if you cna reach BB status in judo the better.

    Manny
     
  12. ETinCYQX

    ETinCYQX Master Black Belt

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    Thanks Manny, appreciate it. I plan on reaching at least brown belt in Judo eventually, shodan may be another story. I know one sensei here who's been a brown belt for 10 years123
     

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