Questions about switching arts

Kittan Bachika

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There are a ton of famous masters who studied various styles. I always wonder for those who have switched styles, do you remember or practice what you learned in the past?

There are some teachers who say that if you switch to another style you should forget what you learned in the last style because it will hurt your training. Is this true?
 

clfsean

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There are a ton of famous masters who studied various styles. I always wonder for those who have switched styles, do you remember or practice what you learned in the past?

There are some teachers who say that if you switch to another style you should forget what you learned in the last style because it will hurt your training. Is this true?


Empty cup vs Full cup...
Building onto as opposed to starting from the ground up...
Learning hinderence vs Learning accelerator...

Flip a coin & depending on who you speak to, you'll get a different answer.
 

searcher

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I have maintained pieces of each style I have trained in and all from others. I have to admit that when it came to a couple of styles, I was only after small components.

I incorporate the "pieces" into what I teach.
 

Mark Jordan

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There are some teachers who say that if you switch to another style you should forget what you learned in the last style because it will hurt your training.

The problem is you might confuse the 2 different styles. That's why some would advice that you forget what you learn in the last style.

However, training other styles can also be good as long as you do it to complement or you do it to fill in some parts you find lacking.
 

xfighter88

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I am a huge proponent of multiple styles. It is a great way to see what works best for you as well as filling in gaps that other arts leave. In general survival punishes the specialist and cuts the well rounded some slack. If you look at MMA you will see this as well. There are people who favor striking but they better know how to stuff a takedown.
 

dbell

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It depends on your wants, what you learned to date, why you are switching styles, how far you got initially, and a bunch of other variables.

No one can "forget it all" and move on to a new art, especially if you have been at it a while.

I think adding to your training after you get a very solid base in one art by training in a second art is a good thing to do. I do recommend that you get solid, say 2nd/3rd Dan in one art before moving to another art, but at least have a couple of years in the one art, and talk it over with your instructor so he or she can direct you to an art that complements what you are doing now, or adds skills not taught in what you are learning now.

I started in Judo, and after two years my Sensei started me in Aikido and Kendo within a couple of weeks of each other, but maintained the Judo training as well. I was a Judo white belt for 10 years though before I began moving up the Judo belting with my Sensei's OK, although in both Aikido and Kendo, I tested as the time came up to test. (Yes, for the first year in Judo, all we did was fall (and all first year students of my Sensei fell for a year, then for me, the next nine years were spent on learning the first five throws inside and out. I'm still the best at those five throws, but good at the rest as well.)

If you want to add other styles to your knowledge base, know why you are doing it, and be ready for differences, which you need to accept.

People say that you need to "empty the cup", but that is an impossibility, you need to learn to adapt and adjust to the new art, but you will not be able to "forget" what you have already been trained in. Just remember not to use it until you have the permission of your new Sensei to integrate it into what you are now learning. (And don't take what you are now learning back to the other style's training until that Sensei says it is OK.) It takes doing.
 

jks9199

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I think it's more about dumping your preconceptions and expectations. I've had new students with training in various other arts come in, and when something is presented, you get the "I already know how to punch/kick." Maybe... they know from their old system -- but they may not know how I want them to do it and the way they're doing it may not fit with my system. When I go someplace to learn about another art -- I try to do what they're showing, the way they're showing it... not something similar I already know.
 

Grenadier

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Good martial arts is still good martial arts at the core.

Keep in mind, that there are only so many ways to (mechanically) correctly throw a punch or kick, to throw someone, to lock someone's joints, etc. Also, just about any respectable martial arts system is going to teach you to how to use the whole body to accomplish a task, instead of, say, punching with the arm only.

Things like the above won't change the core techniques from one system to another. While the method of execution may be slightly different, if you've had good instruction before, then it will certainly translate to you picking things up more quickly in your new art. Body mechanics are still body mechanics, when it comes down to it.
 

MJS

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There are a ton of famous masters who studied various styles. I always wonder for those who have switched styles, do you remember or practice what you learned in the past?

I switched from one Kempo style to another style of Kenpo. Do I still train my old stuff? No, my current focus is on my current material. Do I remember the old stuff? Yes, there are things that I do remember, however, there are also things that I don't. I dont lose any sleep over it though. My original Kempo style was with the Villari system. After that, my background was in Parker and now Tracy. The Villari stuff is what I rarely work on.

There are some teachers who say that if you switch to another style you should forget what you learned in the last style because it will hurt your training. Is this true?

IMO, I disagree with this. Alot of things are the same, the application is different. I mean, there are front kicks and side kicks in Kenpo and TKD. Differences may range from the terms that're used to describe the kicks, to how they're thrown.

Another example: There are slight differences in the Kenpo systems that I've studied...Parker and Tracy. I havent forgot the way the Parker system does their techs. In fact, many times, when teaching techs during class, I'll take 2 techs, that're basically the same from each system, and teach them both, showing the differences. The students like the differences. I always tell them that I'm not expecting them to remember any of this. If they do, if they want to keep training that way of doing the tech, great! :) If not, thats fine too. I look at it as just a slight difference, nothing more.
 

Shifu Steve

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There are a ton of famous masters who studied various styles. I always wonder for those who have switched styles, do you remember or practice what you learned in the past?

There are some teachers who say that if you switch to another style you should forget what you learned in the last style because it will hurt your training. Is this true?

Not forget what you learned but be open to what you're going to learn and that it will contain some differences that will be difficult to deal with. When I trained in a new art after training in my primary one for years, I found the biggest challenge was some of the things I thought were the "right" way to do something were done differently. The hardest part was to assimilate the differences and execute them correctly. For example, if you were taught never to cross your feet in your old art and then you start training in a new one and that's the primary footwork they emphasize, this will be a challenge for you.
 

Flying Crane

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I've studied a number of things over the years, and for a long time I attempted to keep connected to at least a couple of them. Recently that's changed, and I've begun to let a lot of things go and focus on one thing exclusively. It's OK to spend some time experimenting and exploring different things. No system is the best system for everyone, and you need to find what's best for you and go with it, even if that means leaving some things by the wayside.

Training in more than one system presents some challenges. First, you only have so much time to train. Time spent training one system is time NOT training the other. You are spreading your energy and time out, and that is probably going to make your progression in both styles slower, and possibly cause you to hit a ceiling sooner than you might. I don't feel there's any two ways around that, but if you recognize that reality and you accept it, then OK no worries, it's your choice.

The other issue is that different styles can actually conflict with each other. For example, I study almost exclusively Tibetan White Crane now, but I've learned some Shaolin stuff along the way, most of which I've now let go. In White Crane, we have a very specific way of punching, which includes a very extreme turn of the waist to drive our power. In the Shaolin material, there is also a turn of the waist, but not as extreme as in White Crane. These two methods are similar, but with that crucial difference which makes them conflict. When I practice Shaolin, I am practicing a method that is wrong by White Crane standards, and vice-versa. I am engraining habits that harm my development in the other system. If I practice White Crane, and habit causes me to only pivot as much as is proper in Shaolin, then my white crane is wrong. If I practice Shaolin, and I turn all the way like we do in White Crane, then my shaolin is wrong.

Practicing these two systems together ingrains habits that conflict. Since White Crane is what I focus my efforts on, it doesn't make sense to practice Shaolin as well. Shaolin practice hurts my white crane practice, so I dropped it by the wayside.
 

Shifu Steve

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The other issue is that different styles can actually conflict with each other. For example, I study almost exclusively Tibetan White Crane now, but I've learned some Shaolin stuff along the way, most of which I've now let go. In White Crane, we have a very specific way of punching, which includes a very extreme turn of the waist to drive our power. In the Shaolin material, there is also a turn of the waist, but not as extreme as in White Crane. These two methods are similar, but with that crucial difference which makes them conflict.

In a similar experience, I have studied a style of Jujutsu for years however recently I have been attending a Judo class to gain a different perspective on balance breaks. Some of the differences are so subtle, yet emphasized in one style over the other. It's these subtle differences that make it so challenging. The nuances of "style" lie in the details. If you want to study more than one, and they conflict as in these examples, you may find it difficult to manage the differences.
 

chrispillertkd

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There are a ton of famous masters who studied various styles. I always wonder for those who have switched styles, do you remember or practice what you learned in the past?

I've continued to train in some of the stuff I've learned in other styles, particularly Praying Mantis, over the years in addition to Taekwon-Do but, sadly, I haven't remembered everything I've learned (I wish I had). What I remember I try to practice on a fairly regular basis, although it obviously gets short shrift compared to Taekwon-Do.

There are some teachers who say that if you switch to another style you should forget what you learned in the last style because it will hurt your training. Is this true?

You should forget what you learned? Heck no, not if they mean it literally. Suer there's that whole "empty your cup" thing. (Was it Bruce Lee who coined that saying? I can never remember.) And one should definitely be courteous enough that when training under a different teacher they do their best not to simply fall back on the training they already have and should try to do their best at learning the new material. But instead of having an empty cup I prefer to think of it as just getting another cup!

Pax,

Chris
 

Gaius Julius Caesar

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Tae kwon Do, Karate and Kung Fu all had lot's of stance training whereas Jujutsu does not allthough many of those stances are found in the techniques, so my past exp. helped me as a beginer and still helps to this day. I take the time with students to teach them each stance and some basic stance movement drills.

Now I no longer do any of the head kicks from the past but I do practice low and some mid level kicking from past studies as well as hand strikes.

When I spar or fight, my past training and exp. is going to come out, be it in a easily visable way or subtle.

Even though I am an instructor with a Dojo, I am going to put my kid's in Judo as their official art but I will also teach them basic Karate/Kung Fu technique and things from the past that I found helpfull as well as let him hang about or Dojo, do a little Boxing training while there and learn from osmossis=).

A base in Judo, basic Karate/Kung Fu and some Boxing training will put him in good stead for future Jujutsu training from a mechanics, power generation, conditioning to contact and learning skills standpoint as well as make him a good Uke and understand how others might fight.

So I wont want him to forget any of it while training Jujutsu, but if I want a specific JJ technique trained I weant to see that technique. If sparring or doing a reaction drill, do whatever comes to you as long as it makes sense and can work.
 

chinto

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what I have changed to is a similer style and so no, you do not want o forget what you learned... at least in my case. I would say the answer is up to you. I personally would maintain what I know and then learn the new.
 
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