building a base



Someone brought up cross training in another thread. I thought I would bring it up on a thread of its own.
When is it okay? When is it not okay? Shouldn't you build a very solid base first? The more and more I see of Kenpo the more awsome I am impressed with it as a system and art.

I am no where near, nor will I be for a long time Im sure of having a solid understanding of the "base" of our art. Why would I go learn something else to only scratch the surface on when I have barely broken the surface with what Im doing?

Some of you guys have been around a loonngggg time. How much time in a base in general is okay to venture out? I hear a lot of people talking about FMA and incorporating them into Kenpo how did this start? Is it something we are truly lacking? It was my impression if you understood motion and hands you could impliment a weapon if you knew what you where doing with your base.

Thanks for the future input ;)

i'm a supporter of building a base before you branch out, but it really seems to be a matter of opinion and personal preference. i think even the people who will tell you that you should do as much as you are able to do started with some kind of base first whether they realize it or not. seems to me that it's more of a maturing phase where you are also developing the mind along with the body. i'm not speaking spiritually here or about any mystical crap, i'm just talking about getting to see the martial arts or mma or nhb or boxing or whatever you may call it from one perspective, and then being able to compare it to others...see how they differ, what makes them better or worse to you in your view.

the Kenpo/FMA's not that one or the other is lacking, it's more that they compliment each other so well and blend together quite seamlessly. still, it would be better i think to get a good base in one or the other before you take on the second of the two.

i'm not saying you should master the system you're in or be a 2nd black before you train in something else...but at least have a fairly good understanding and ability in the your first art. unless you totally hate it of course and are just looking to switch completely.
It's easy to get in the mode of wanting to learn other things such as FMA when you train. Its best to have a very solid understanding of Kenpo as it has the most to offer out of any style... The concepts of FMA do "fit" well with Kenpo but it is easy to pick up bad habits and not give yourself as much time as is needed to devote to Kenpo. Kenpo has so many concepts to learn and understand that at your or my stage of learning its best to concentrate one one thing... I know from my personal experience that you can't learn everything at once and the better your knowledge is in Kenpo the more use you will get out of anything you do. As you progress you will have some opportunity to learn Kenpo sticks and that is a good foundation for realistic stick fighting (not saying the FMA isn't realistic).
Weapons are extensions of your hands and if you can control your hands first you will have more luck later with a weapon....also we can't carry sticks around but you can carry your hands (unless you are in Iraq and they cut them off). I would agree that you could use the concept in FMA with Kenpo (stances in Kenpo are much better, simultanious use of low kicks, off angleing, and much more) but at least I don't have enough time to fully understand all of the concepts Kenpo has. Think about the unbelievable resource that you have at your school and try to learn all you can while you can there first....I had to understand that to---we can get together and work with Kenpo concepts and sticks if you like there!
I think one lifetime isn't enough for Kenpo!!
peace in Kenpo
Ron Smith:D
I believe in developing a base, but there are styles that cross-training will not interfere with.

I would not recommend taking two stand-up striking arts together for instance, there would be some inherent problems. But I could easily recommend taking kenpo and BJJ, the predominate stand-up striking will not interfere with the BJJ range and techniques of ground-grappling.

Another reason for cross-training early on is exposure to different ranges. When I was a blue belt in kajukenbo I had zero experience to grappling, no high school wrestling, nothing, so I went searching for a solution. After 6 months of pretty intensive training in BJJ, I could match most high school and college wrestlers that came in the door. I was playing a different game, but it was a match against my most likely opponent. I am no expert at BJJ, heck, I'm not even much past a beginner, but I am now exposed to the range and I have a gameplan.

Same goes with weapon ranges, if I can get to marginal competence against a stick or knife specialist, then going back to defenses against the standard untrained knife and club attackers seen in kenpo is relatively easy.

I like kenpo, it is an excellent art, and I can spend a lifetime working on getting better at it. But if my focus is self-defense, and cross-training can shorten my time to competence, then I will cross-train whenever and wherever I feel it is necessary.

Just my opinion,

I tend to agree with blindside. Kenpo does have a lot built into it but focuses rather heavily on the standup aspect of the fight. I would wait until you get your black belt in kenpo before starting anything else serious. Something like BJJ will require a little more thought and patience than kenpo because it's a totally different world than what you're used to. Also the FMA's are heavy into sticks and knives, so if you are looking to broaden your exposure to these particular weapons then you should give the FMA's a look ( I recommend anyone from the Presa's Modern Arnis lineage).

The thing is that each of these being an art unto itself would require a lifetime to master INDIVIDUALLY. Kenpo depending on with whom you study, can take 3-5 years just to get a black belt and that simply means that you've learned all the material that doesn't mean you've MASTERED it. The fastest I've ever heard of someone achieving B.B. rank in BJJ is about 10 years, but those are the hard core guys. Many never make it beyond blue which is the belt above white, but don't be fooled a white belt can do some serious damage.

At this point in my training I've learned all the required techniques sets and forms (at least until Mr. Mills releases the next level for everything) so at this point I'm working on refinement and understanding. This gives me an opportunity to go back and develop aspects that were, in my case, previously lacking. Ground work, freestyle (obstruction clearing, takedowns, clinch), etc... But none of this would mean anything to me if I didn't have some type of delivery mechanism or backbone. For me, kenpo is the knowledge base and the rest of these THINGS are simply tools that I can plug into my kenpo. There is a lot of information out there, you just need to decide how and what will benefit you the most.

Good Luck
I believe a base is necessary. But I also see nothing wrong with supplemental training. As long as it's kept supplemental. Go to seminars outside your system. When you're traveling, don't be afraid to visit schools of other systems. Maybe even visit another class on a regular basis. But it should all be seen as supplemental training.

I think all arts draw from the same pool of concepts and principles. What differentiates the arts/systems is the approach they take to the pool and what aspects of it they emphasize. So your supplemental training should be geared toward looking at the pool from different points of view. By doing so, you can gain deeper understanding of the elements in the pool and, by extension, your own art and it's perspective on the pool.

I think the problem arises when people get too hung up on the differences in perspective and overlook the fact that they're still looking at the same pool.

That's the title of one of my favorite martial arts books.
In it the author suggests that one shouldn't try to study anything else but the base art until after 2nd or 3rd dan or so. THEN one should find the "Holes" or strategic weaknesses of the base art, find a suitable art that would fill these holes and train in it until at least the black belt level of proficiency.

Sounds like a good way to go, if you want to do that sort of thing.

I've got FAR to long to go in Kenpo, way too much left to learn and digest before I could ever begin to really consider this.... IF I do; though I've got NOTHING against those who do.

Your Brother

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