Doing Different Styles at the Same Time?

An Eternal Student

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Im currently having a debate with my other martial artist friends about this.
They maintain that its better to dedicate yourself totally to one style.I prefer to mix styles and let them blend togethor.

Im currently training in four styles.Wado-Ryu Karate.Ninpo.Aikido and Wan Hwa Do (A Korean style thats like a cross between Tae Kwon Do and Aikido)
I train 5 nights a week, and train at home as well a lot.About 2 hours a day usually.I find that my training progress more smoothly and I pick up things more easily.As well as that Im gaining a greater understanding in to the diffrent types of movement and philosophy.

Whats your opinion?
 

MA-Caver

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So how are you NOT confusing one style with the other?
Cross-training is a good idea but mixing? Well, that ends up creating a whole new Martial art doesn't it?
Many of the MA's in here I've seen have found a BASE style and stuck with it and mastered (or are in process of mastering) it. They sometimes cross train for different reasons; experience a different style to help compare their base against, to be a more effective fighter, WHATEVER!
But from what I've seen sticking to your base helps to learn discipline, focus. Mixing styles up that's like trying to learn five different languages at the same time.
It wouldn't be something that I'd recommend to everyone.
I'd like to hear a bit more about how you're coming to "understand different types of movement and philosophy". How long have you been doing this extensive, mixed training?
 
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An Eternal Student

An Eternal Student

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Im still fairly new to martial arts, only been training for 5 years.But I took up the different styles at roughly the same time,(Apart from Wan Hwa Do, started about two years ago) when I realised how much fun martial arts were.Whenever I train, I still retain the distinctness of each style.But whenever Ive been forced to use my training (ie been attacked), it all flows togethor into a mix between them.
I find it helps me understand the philosphies and movements better, because each style has its own unqiue philosophy behind it.But there are still similarites enough that they havent conflicted.I just find that by comparing and contrasting them it helps build a clearer picture of how they work.
I dont think this would work for every style, Im sure theres some that would be incompatiable.
 

MJS

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I see nothing wrong with doing more than 1 style. I do feel though, that the student should have a very good base in 1 art first, before taking on something else.

As for the mixing...I'd be carefull with that. If anything, I could see taking an idea or concept and adding that, but let me explain what I'm talking about. I take concepts and methods from boxing and Muay Thai kicking, and add that to the kicks and punches that I already to. Now, if I was teaching a Kenpo class, I will not teach the Thai style, but instead the Kenpo style of kicking. I'm doing this solely to benefit me..not with the intention of trying to create a new style or art.

The problem with mixing, or taking on 2 arts at the same time is the fact that the ideas, methods of executing punches, kicks, etc. could be different. For the beginning student, they're going to have a hard enough time trying to remember the basics from one style, nevermind trying to remember a second.

Mike
 

Dragon Fist

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MJS said:
I do feel though, that the student should have a very good base in 1 art first, before taking on something else.
I agree with MJS that you should have good base art first. This will better prepare you in understanding the other arts that you are interested in.


I agree with you too that there are allot of similarities among the arts.
 

Raewyn

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Where I train we do TKD, but we also do rolls, locks, grappling etc, which is why my Dojo is called TKD, Incorporated Martial Arts. We tend to incorporate a few basics from other styles I have taken up Juijistu as a side training to help me with my rolls etc to help me out with my next criteria for my next belt level. its great that you are interested in other MA. I havent been doing MA that long enough to know if it is detrimental to your main art that you are studing.
 
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For me, I wouldn't train in another style until I'd gotten my black belt in my first style. I'm contemplating taking BJJ in about a year's time, but for now I'm concentrating on getting my TKD BB.
 

jfarnsworth

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I would say that you should stick with one style until you reach at least black then wonder off into another style. If the arts have conflicting stances, terminology, body mechanics etc. how would your body remember which studio you were in when your mind just reacted? You need a stable base and understanding of the basics before moving on to something else. At least that's my opinion.
 

Adept

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There is only one art, and the different styles are simply different facets of the same thing.

Take what works, and leave the rest.

However, you need to be experienced and knowledgable enough to know what works and what doesn't.

The only problem with doing mutiple styles simultaneously is that you can pullute the hubris of each art. You may not use the 'correct' stances during your basics, you might confuse movements in your patterns, etc.
 

Dragon Fist

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For me, It's not about how many techniques I know. It's about understanding natural law. The human body can only move in its natural way. If we understand this, it doesn't matter what techniques you use. They all can be very effective.
 

Eldritch Knight

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I have a few mixed opinions on this based on my own experience. After studying TKD for 4 years and getting my 1st dan, an international move coupled with some bad timing managed to make it impossible for me to continue my formal TKD education for another 4 years, though I had a 3rd dan instructor who kept my basics up. When I got back to the states and took up kung fu, I found most of the stancework and attacks to be pretty easy, and didn't have to put much effort into translating my previous knowledge into kung fu techniques.

However, come sparring time, even though I make a strong effort in trying to use proper kung fu technique, every once in a while I pop out a head-level sidekick, or a roundhouse back kick combination, sheerly out of instinct. Now I'm hoping that with enough practice I'll be able to have a purely kung fu style of fighting, but its to note that even with a good amount of exposure to one art and with strong basics, the habits of one art (especially those in which you have a strong background) have a tendency to leak into the style of another.
 

bignick

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Adept said:
why not?

Some people have the belief that you can "only follow one master". Others believe that if you don't study multiple styles you'll never be well-rounded and won't be able to handle some situations. I think both roads have their merit...and I choose to walk a middle path. I can certainly see the benefits of devoting your entire life to one style, I only have to look at my taekwondo instructors for that. Every art is deep enough that you can spend your entire life studying it without knowing all there is to know. If you could, martial arts would be really boring. On the other hand, some people don't like sticking with one style and prefer to gain a wide base in as many systems as they can to become what they consider well-rounded. Both ways have their drawbacks as well. If you dedicate yourself entirely to one art you may close your mind off to the rest of the world and think that your way is the only way of doing things. On the other hand, people that hop from art to art "taking what works" may not have the experience or knowledge to know what works...or just as important, why it works. If someone doesn't study long enough to understand why it works they will have problems passing it on to others.

Obviously, if you look at my profile, it's clear that I study multiple arts. I have studied taekwondo for a little over five years total and have been doing judo and jujutsu each for two years. However, I don't do judo to supplement my taekwondo and I don't do taekwondo so I can add to my jujutsu techniques. I study each art on it's own for it's own merits...not what it can do for my other studies. Do they help each other? Sure. I can throw and fall better than pretty much anybody in my taekwondo school, and I can strike better and am more flexible than almost everybody in judo and jujutsu. Does this make me a better martial artist than them? Not even close. Does it make me more well rounded? Maybe, but it also causes setbacks. I have been training in judo for two years and I am still a yellow belt (first after white) and in jujutsu I'm a green belt. Jack of all trades...master of none...as the saying goes. To this I look at my judo and jujutsu instructor who has been training for 40 years in three styles as well. He is a 5th dan in jujutsu, 4th dan in judo, and a 4th dan in karate. His depth and breadth of knowledge is amazing. I try to follow that road. I dedicate myself as fully as I possibly can to all my endeavors and my golden rule is that I can continue training in them as long as they don't interfere with each other. In my opinion, training in other styles is great. But only if you are completely dedicated to each art for it's own reasons and not just as a training aid for another art. The same goes for just training in a single art as a "hobby" - there needs to be a serious commitment for serious benefits. If I didn't have to sleep, eat, study or work, I would spend every minute of every day studying every possible style I could. Aikido, hapkido, karate, arnis, kali, kenpo, and many others interest me. But I have found that three is all I can handle. Just as focusing on a single style may cut you off from other ways of doing things, trying to study too many styles may make you overlook the depths that each art has to offer.

That's one of the great benefits of the board. It allows me exposure to innumerable arts and the experiences of their practitioners. It gives the smallest taste of these other arts quickly and easily from my own home.
 

Adept

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bignick said:
What I was getting at was where he said "I find myself throwing a head-high side kick...etc" like it was a bad thing.

If his TKD training allows him to spar with a wider range of attacks, and more effective combinations, why would he try and limit himself strictly to kung fu?
 
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An Eternal Student

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Thanks for the feedback, some really good opinions there.Im not doing this with the intention of creating a new style or teaching, in fact even if I do get a black-belt in a style, I doubt Id be capable of teaching.Im not just cut out for it.
This is a completly personal thing for me, trying to learn as much as I can.Admittedly some stuff from each style has crept into my sparring, but my Sensei doesnt mind.He encourages us to to cross-train because he says people arent going to using competion rules in a street-fight and we should learn to deal with as much as we can.Im not very big on the sporting side of it eithier, so thats not going to be a problem eithier.
 

MA-Caver

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An Eternal Student said:
Thanks for the feedback, some really good opinions there.I'm not doing this with the intention of creating a new style or teaching, in fact even if I do get a black-belt in a style, I doubt I'd be capable of teaching. I'm not just cut out for it.
This is a completly personal thing for me, trying to learn as much as I can. Admittedly some stuff from each style has crept into my sparring, but my Sensei doesnt mind.He encourages us to to cross-train because he says people aren't going to using competion rules in a street-fight and we should learn to deal with as much as we can. I'm not very big on the sporting side of it either, so that's not going to be a problem either.
With many arts as a student progresses, they learn how to teach. Some arts I know of usually have their pre-black belts start assisting the lower-ranking students in their studies. With Kenpo for example; Brown-belts are expected to begin teaching the yellows to greens, this helps them two-fold.
1. To acquire teaching skills that aren't always natural to an individual. Some folks do have a talent for teaching, others have to learn how-to. Either way it does take practice. Just like everything else in life.
2. As they teach (beginner) students they are reminded of the simpler forms and are repetitively re-learning each one as they teach them.
These truths are evident with whatever skill you impart to another. Be it Martial arts, selling stocks and bonds, welding, rock-climbing (yes caving too :rolleyes: ), police work, whatever! Remembering the basics and hearing them out-loud (as you teach) keeps them fresh in your mind and you learn inwardly how all of those simple moves, forms, techniques are incorporated into the higher ones as you progress to your black and beyond.
You'll also hear your own insights and be amazed at what you've learned about the art(s) and (more importantly) yourself, over the months and years.
Don't shy away from teaching whenever you become qualified. It's truly beneficial in more ways than one.

Martial arts is personal with every one of us here I think. No-one would be studying it if they weren't personally motivated. While the reasons are different the main purpose is the same. For ourselves to be better than who we were.
:asian:
 

MJS

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An Eternal Student said:
Thanks for the feedback, some really good opinions there.

You're welcome! :asian: Thats what this forum is here for...discussion about the arts, asking questions, etc.

Im not doing this with the intention of creating a new style or teaching, in fact even if I do get a black-belt in a style, I doubt Id be capable of teaching.Im not just cut out for it.
This is a completly personal thing for me, trying to learn as much as I can.Admittedly some stuff from each style has crept into my sparring, but my Sensei doesnt mind.He encourages us to to cross-train because he says people arent going to using competion rules in a street-fight and we should learn to deal with as much as we can.Im not very big on the sporting side of it eithier, so thats not going to be a problem eithier.

Don't let teacing get the best of you. Its definately not something that happens overnight. Usually new instructors start out the main instructor by teaching small parts of the class, such as the warmups or punches/kicks. Its rare, if ever at all, will they throw ya to the lions!!! When I started teaching, thats what I did...small portions of the class, then eventually larger portions, then eventually the entire class.

Some schools make it part of the requirements for BB.

Again, don't worry about it, as I'm sure you'll do fine! Rome wasn't built in a day, and the teaching process certainly won't happen in a day either.

Good luck!! :asian:

Mike
 

Eldritch Knight

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Adept said:
What I was getting at was where he said "I find myself throwing a head-high side kick...etc" like it was a bad thing.

If his TKD training allows him to spar with a wider range of attacks, and more effective combinations, why would he try and limit himself strictly to kung fu?

I train kung fu to learn kung fu, not to integrate it with my TKD. Unlike some others, I'm do MA for the spiritual understanding, and without fully understanding the unpolluted spirit of the martial art that I practice, I feel that I don't progress on my path. Sure, the high side kick is a fast, strong technique, but it isn't a part of my style of kung fu (as far as I've seen), so I'd like to avoid it until my kung fu is strong too.
 

shane23ss

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I have not yet started training in different styles, but have thought about it a lot. I probably will as soon as I can find a school I think is right for me. My thoughts are that if some one has a good base system, they should "cross-train" to further their skills. For example, in my case, I am a Kenpoist and would really like to be more advanced in stretching and kicking. My plan is to try to train in a "kicking" system to further my base system. I think it will help me with my Kenpo skills.
 

jfarnsworth

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shane23ss said:
I have not yet started training in different styles, but have thought about it a lot. I probably will as soon as I can find a school I think is right for me. My thoughts are that if some one has a good base system, they should "cross-train" to further their skills. For example, in my case, I am a Kenpoist and would really like to be more advanced in stretching and kicking. My plan is to try to train in a "kicking" system to further my base system. I think it will help me with my Kenpo skills.

I would suggest JJ for good rolling abilities on the ground. For kicking and stretching you just need the right person to help you out with kicking set. :asian:
 
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