shotokan cross training

ralphmcpherson

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Ive got a bit of spare time on my hands this year and a reputable shotokan club has started running classes out of a hall that is only walking distance from my house. I am due to go for my second dan in tkd anytime from now but thought I might start doing a couple of shotokan classes a week to (hopefully) add to my tkd training. I am just looking for some advice from others who may have done this (I know gorilla will be a wealth of info on the subject),and I am wondering in which ways it will help and improve my tkd and in what areas it may "clash" with my tkd. Any information from anyone who has crosstrained in shotokan, or knows someone who has, would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
 

Gorilla

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It has been great...highly recommend it if the school is good....it has given us a different way of looking at distance and punching...the reverse punch, the jab, hook kick and lead leg have all improved dramatically. The way of looking at pressure and ring control has also improved...if you are able to look at it as two different arts...you will not have a problem!

It's like cricket and baseball....similar but totally different and both very fun!
 
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ralphmcpherson

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How do the forms/kata compare? Also, in general are the kicks done the same way or are there variations to front, side, roundhouse kicks etc, to the way I would do them?
 

Cyriacus

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As far as i know, the way the kicks are used is the biggest difference, which in a way changes how they are done to begin with.
 
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ralphmcpherson

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As far as i know, the way the kicks are used is the biggest difference, which in a way changes how they are done to begin with.
that could be interesting, the one thing I am really looking for is a different perspective, but using the tools I already have. I find when I spar with mates (of all different disciplines) I spar like a tkd guy, which isnt surprising considering Ive spent the last eight years doing tkd. Im really hoping shotokan doesnt contradict what Ive already learnt but may give me a different way of looking at things and broaden my whole approach to the way I train, spar etc
 

Gorilla

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If you are able to compartmentalize you will become a better Martial Artist.

You have to have a open mind to train in two Martial Arts.

You should never compare...let each art stand on it's own.

Don't change what you do add to what you do!

Let each technique that you learn in Shotokan stand on it's own! If you don't it will cause allot off frustration!
 

sopraisso

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Hello, my friend.
I've been cross-training from Kukkiwon Taekwodo to Shotokan in the latest months (I've studied Shotokan for sometime before and I just don't see myself today not going back to karate -- not that I'm going to abandon taekwondo anyway), and I think the cross-training for one who's already ok with taekwondo is a great idea.

The similarity between both arts will make it easy to grasp a lot of things on karate. If you are a KKW practitioner, maybe you'll have a little trouble on the specific way to perform some movements: stepping and turning (the subjects discussed in the thread I started recently -- Kukkiwon does it in straight line), and also the blocking techniques (uke waza / makki). Possibly if you don't change your way of doing things no-one will notice, but the differences could also be a little annoying: if you get used to the karate ways it could confuse you when you do your taekwondo 2nd dan grading test.

Specifically on the uke waza/blocks (the stepping part can be seen more in depth in the recent thread in this forum), the main difference is that the blocks in karate are usually performed with a "reverse" hip rotation (when compared to taekwondo), and the finishing position is with trunk slightly turned to the side, while in taekwondo we usually finish the technique with the trunk totally looking forward. I just don't know why taekwondo does the hip rotations like that, and I honestly prefer the karate way, as it fits better most applications I have in mind (the hip supports the hiki-te/pulling hand and the turned position makes you dodge the attack instead of putting you directly in front of it). By the way, I was just thinking of starting a thread on the difference of both hip rotations and asking the pros and cons of both ways. :D

One thing that is very usual in karate dojos is some stiffness of karate-ka, that is a bad habit that has become common in many places. Don't be trapped by that. Karate -- even shotokan karate -- is not meant to be stiff, and you should be as soft as in taekwondo, tensing your body only in the appropriate momments.

One other thing that you may see is the more frequent use of hands, that's something great I found when cross-training. But in the other hand, the upper limbs are frequently not used the best way, in my opinion (off course not in all dojos). I believe competitions have influenced highly shotokan practice, and because of that it is possible you see a great use of hands, but yet sparring from long range anyway (like starting from a distance, getting in with a few punches and then going out again). If you are concerned with self-defense applications, this doesn't seem a good way of sparring, in my view (even in taekwondo I believe in training for all ranges, but usually give special attention to medium and short).

If you haven't already gone in-depth into bunkai (forms applications studies, roughly speaking), maybe now it is the time. Kata is the soul and essence of karate: all self-defense and fighting principles and techniques can be taken from kata, if you interpret it correctly. Anyway, don't fall into close minded postures of admitting only one application for any part of forms, no matter how good it can be. From my experience, with taekwondo it is much harder to have the instructors accept there are many applications for one technique (example, "down block"), they'd just say "a block is a block". In karate, also from my own experience, this is at least less likely to happen -- I mean it is more usual to see instructors accept there are various applications for most movements, even if it doesn't mean the practitioners dig a lot into getting to know them. While in taekwondo this is some kind of controversial, in karate this is a largely accepted truth. But in all of this YMMV.

Only one last word on bunkai: in my opinion, the principles behind a technique in the kata are as important as the technique itself, or more. Once you understand the principles, you can adapt the movements, you can vary them and you'll be able to use in more different ways and more naturally. And off course, even if it's not "official", that bunkai thing can be done with taekwondo forms (no matter the set/organization/style) as well. However, I must admit I prefer karate forms when I look for applications, and I believe Kukkiwon forms were probably not created much with that part in mind -- instead, it was more on making a gradual progression for learning the techniques and combining them (which is a reasonable idea, nevertheless). I hope not to start another war on this subject, if someone gets ofended with what I just said, I apologize previously, and want to state that all of this is just my opinions and I believe I could be wrong :) (and people are free to correct what I'm saying, although it'd be good not to hijack the thread).

I hope you have a great time with your cross-training.
 

sfs982000

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When I studied Shotokan years ago, my instructor had Dan rankings in both Shotokan and Tae Kwon Do, she incorporated many techniques from TKD into her Shotokan teachings mostly with the sparring techniques. I thought the blending of the two worked really well and now I'm taking strictly TKD and there are times when I'm sparring that I will tend to revert to some of the old techniques that I remember from time to time. I will say that the biggest obstacle for me has been relearning some of the executing of some techniques, namely Roundhouse kicks and sidekicks and some stances I will get busted by my instructor chambering them differently then they teach. Not normally a big deal since they know I have a background in Shotokan, but it's still an bit of an embarassment in class sometimes :)
 
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ralphmcpherson

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Well I now have a few shotokan lessons under my belt and I must say Im loving it and its certainly giving me a few different perspectives on things. It can get frustrating at times due to some subtle differences but I am doing my best to keep the two arts separate. Overall though, I think this is going to be good fun:)
 

Cyriacus

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Well I now have a few shotokan lessons under my belt and I must say Im loving it and its certainly giving me a few different perspectives on things. It can get frustrating at times due to some subtle differences but I am doing my best to keep the two arts separate. Overall though, I think this is going to be good fun:)

Thats good to hear! Out of interest, how do your prior skills carry over?
By which i mean, in any practice of application, not so much technical stuff, do you find that (Im struggling to think of a good example here, so im grasping at a straw) for example, prior experience with striking made it easier to learn a different form of striking?
 
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ralphmcpherson

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Thats good to hear! Out of interest, how do your prior skills carry over?
By which i mean, in any practice of application, not so much technical stuff, do you find that (Im struggling to think of a good example here, so im grasping at a straw) for example, prior experience with striking made it easier to learn a different form of striking?
knowing tkd helps heaps, Im still very much the beginner and I will be able to better answer your question with a bit more experience. Already understanding the actual "strike" means I can focus more on the underlying parts of the technique. Obviously when it comes to kicking, I have a huge advantage. Even though I come from a tkd club that is rather "old school" with a heavier than normal emphasis on punching, we still do far more kicking than a karate class, and tend to analyze every aspect of kicking on a deeper level. I will keep you posted as my journey continues.
 

Manny

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If you are able to compartmentalize you will become a better Martial Artist.

You have to have a open mind to train in two Martial Arts.

You should never compare...let each art stand on it's own.

Don't change what you do add to what you do!

Let each technique that you learn in Shotokan stand on it's own! If you don't it will cause allot off frustration!


Wisdom in those words, thank you because you have show me what I am doing wrong offcourse. I've been doing the oposite of what you wrote above but let me tell you it's very dificult to me to put away TKD when I am doing something else.

Manny
 

Gorilla

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Manny! Most people can't do both because they have a hard time understanding that you can do things in multiple ways.
I see this on the TKD side and the Karate side the have very in grained almost Nationalistic views of the arts that in the end are detrimental for growth!
You can do Karate and TKD! We run into allot of opposition in both! So far nobody has been able to argue with the results!

Manny enjoy both you will become a richer Martial Artist!
 

Manny

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Manny! Most people can't do both because they have a hard time understanding that you can do things in multiple ways.
I see this on the TKD side and the Karate side the have very in grained almost Nationalistic views of the arts that in the end are detrimental for growth!
You can do Karate and TKD! We run into allot of opposition in both! So far nobody has been able to argue with the results!

Manny enjoy both you will become a richer Martial Artist!

Thank you sir, right now I am embarking myself in Aiki-Do, don't know if I will succed, it's too early, but last sunday inside Aiki-Do dojo Isaw how the students were performing self defense against a weapon (revolver) and I asked sensei if I could teach the way (TKD) I do to disarm a bad guy, he let me show his students my techs and even they recogniced my techs vere good they remained working wihgt what they know and discarding my techs, that's when I said.. Ohh well this is an aikido dojo they will do aikido and not tkd.

Manny
 

Manny

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Thank you sir, right now I am embarking myself in Aiki-Do, don't know if I will succed, it's too early, but last sunday inside Aiki-Do dojo Isaw how the students were performing self defense against a weapon (revolver) and I asked sensei if I could teach the way (TKD) I do to disarm a bad guy, he let me show his students my techs and even they recogniced my techs vere good they remained working wihgt what they know and discarding my techs, that's when I said.. Ohh well this is an aikido dojo they will do aikido and not tkd.Manny

And yes I know I will have troubles trying to learn a new martial art, because of muscle memory and that kind of stuff but, I am not in a hurry.
 
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ralphmcpherson

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And yes I know I will have troubles trying to learn a new martial art, because of muscle memory and that kind of stuff but, I am not in a hurry.
Manny, werent you cross training in kenpo? If so, are you still involved with that?
 
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