The Importance of Cross Training.

SensibleManiac

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I was thinking deeply about the importance that cross training has played in my development and martial arts skills.
The understanding both as a striker and grappler, from Muay Thai, to Judo and BJJ and MMA has helped my skills develop beyond what any individual striking and grappling art could have given me.
I have vastly improved my striking skills from getting comfortable in the clinch by training in Greco roman wrestling and Judo. And vice versa.
I honestly feel that to truly develop as a martial artist you need to experience different arts and teachers.
Has anyone else realised similar benefits through cross training?
 

Ironcrane

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Cross Training has helped me a lot. First off, I should confess that my training has been lackluster for the most part. (Honestly, I don't know how most of you can afford your training) But with what I do have, I've gained a greater range to work with. I'm unsure of how I'm going to seam Judo into the greater whole of it, as I don't wear a heavy gi most of the time. But once I get a better grasp on it, I should be able to figure it out.
 

Korppi76

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Cross training gives always new viewpoints and of course all training is good for you :)
I think I must be slow learner because I have noticed it many times that when training other arts I suddenly might get insight how things I have trained in other arts works.
 

terryl965

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Cross training is a must for most people to feel like they are well suited for the streets.
 
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bluekey88

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I'm a strong advocate. I find now, after training in a number of different arts...my curretn training has helped me to understand aspects of my old arts that I was unable to grasp before. I currently study TKD and Taijutsu...but my understanding and application of my Aikido has become vastly improved recently.

I'm finding that I'm coming to a place where all these disparate "styles" are feeling more and more alike in execution. That is something I would not have expereinced but for cross training.

Peace,
Erik
 

Drac

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For LEO's, Security Guards and Bouncers cross training is a must..Not evey interaction requires a punch to the head or gut or a devistating kick..
 

hkfuie

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I think there's value in specializing in one style. Some people do that. I think learning an entire system and passing that on can be good for some people and good for an art. Some people are lucky enough to be able to train with one teacher for a long time...

Of course, I am not that person. My primary art is TKD. It is like my native language. But one thing I love about cross training is that I am all the time hearing the same things my TKD instructor taught me. Also, just like everyone else, it helps me to fill in the gaps.

Plus, that's the only way I get to train regularly with other people. :)
 

IcemanSK

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For me, crosstraining has always brought a fresh prespective to my training. Training in my primary Art can get stale, sometimes. Crosstraining helps to me not only learn something new but to step back & rediscover my own Art in a new way.
 

harlan

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Depends on your goals and training situation.

True story. A long-time karate student started crosstraining on the side...in the MA de jour 'MMA'. It started to show in his regular karate classes, moving differently, and mostly with 'what if...' questions coming out of the exposure. At one point, he wanted to try something...and was totally owned by the sensei...a 7th dan in Goju.
 

hkfuie

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But he learned from the trying. :) He was probably owned by that sensei before he started crosstraining!
 

harlan

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Perhaps what he learned is that he should he should get better at his primary art before trying to add in other stuff. ;)

To my way of thinking, if you are training with a bunch of good ol' boys, or lower skilled people, cross training might be a good thing. But if you have some solid training available to you it's...'rude'...to bring that back to the dojo under a certain level of skill.
 
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SensibleManiac

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Harlan, no disrespect here but I think the view you hold holds true to someone who has only been training for a very short period of time and only has a very limited understanding of their art to begin with. Under those circumstances then yes I could see how what you're saying makes sense.
But for anyone one who has several years of training in any art or like myself who has over 15 years of training in many arts, then getting different feels of grappling and striking and mixed arts has greatly benefitted my skills all around.
Like I stated, training in a grappling art will greatly improve a striking art as well and vice versa. Anyone who says otherwise is only hiding something or in denial.
I remember years ago when a fellow BJJ student who had trained and competed for many years in Muay Thai matches told me that his Muay Thai instructor wasn't pleased when he told him he had started training in BJJ as well. He told his instructor I just want to get more well rounded in case I<m ever taken down, and his instructor told him, If someone tries to take you down just kick him! This sounds so absurd today, but back then this was common thinking by many strikers.
Now everyone knows that without experience in someone shooting on you, trying to counter them with strikes is next to impossible, but with cross training that becomes very possible.
 

harlan

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No disrespect taken...you are spot on regarding my noob status. :)

Do you think it matters regarding the timing of crosstraining? Crosstrain from the start, or after a few months/years?

The way I look at it, it really is an individual choice...what is best for them and their goals.
 

thesandman

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I've always enjoyed cross training for a variety of reasons but STRONGLY believe that it should start only after you've gained a reasonable proficiency in your chosen system. My rule of thumb is no cross training until after you've earned your 1st degree black belt or equivalent at a minimum. Ideally, I'd wait until 3rd degree.

This is for many reasons, but mainly I think because in order to really be able to get as much as possible out of a limited exposure to any particular art, a deep understanding of your own fundamentals and of the martial arts in general is required.

This also provides the kind of perspective needed to be able to judge what is and is not useful to you as an individual. Too early and frankly you're just not qualified to make any kind of judgment.
 

KempoGuy06

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i feel cross training is good. I hold rank in SKK and have studied BJJ on and off for the past couple years. Im also about to start training in baguazhang. Like other people have said, to be prepared for the streets you need to have more in you arsenal then just punch/kick.

B
 

MJS

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I think this brings up an interesting point....at what point or how long does someone have to wait before they 'get it'? Now, I know this sounds like i'm advocating some shake n' bake program. No, thats not the case at all. IMO, I do not feel that someone should have to train for 30yrs before they're able to use something effectively. Now, I'm not saying that the 3mo. newbie is going to be able to take on someone whos trained in the art for 20yrs., but if we think about it, I doubt the crackhead who tries to mug me at the ATM is going to be a 4th degree BJJ black belt, a 4th degree Kenpo, TKD or (insert any other art).

I'm often asked what else is there to learn once you reach black in Kenpo. I usually reply that there are some things to learn, some advanced techs., maybe a kata or two, but thats about it. The majority of it is time in grade and looking at what you already know, digging deeper into it.

But, should the digging, limit you from expanding your own knowledge? I've always said that having a solid base art FIRST, then looking at something else, is much better than training 3 mos in art 1, then another 4 in art 2, then 3 in art 3, etc. Despite what some say, I don't believe one art has all the answers. Of course, everyones entitled to his/her opinion, so if someone feels their art does, great, I'm not holding anything against you. :)

The arts I train in...Kenpo, Arnis and BJJ, blend very well together. I'm training for the learning experience, thats it. I don't give a rats behind about my next rank. Sure its nice to get a promo, but when it happens, it happens. So someone may look at me and ask how I could possibly train and really learn anything. I do learn, its at my pace and I enjoy the training..simple as that. :)

Additionally, I use the crosstraining, to make my base art better. An art that specializes in something, is probably going to give me a more in depth idea. Ex: Arnis is a weapon based art, so I use the ideas from that, to improve my Kenpo weapons work. The same with BJJ. If I can use my Kenpo takedown defense, which was tweaked by BJJ...well, look at how much better I just got. :)

Like I said, I'm in no hurry. I hope to continue to train until I no longer can. I've found the arts that I enjoy, the ones that work for me. I enjoy the crosstraining, all of my training partners and instructors do it, so I just keep plugging along.
 

zDom

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... and his instructor told him, If someone tries to take you down just kick him! This sounds so absurd today, but back then this was common thinking by many strikers.

On the other hand, isn't that exactly how GSP beat Matt Hughes? :)
 

bluekey88

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However. GSP is no slouch on the ground. For him, getting taken down is not necessarily as bad for him as for someone else with lesser grappling skills. He's also a well-rounded fighter whose crosstrained...pretty much the poster boy for cross training I'd say.

Peace,
Erik
 

zDom

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However. GSP is no slouch on the ground. For him, getting taken down is not necessarily as bad for him as for someone else with lesser grappling skills. He's also a well-rounded fighter whose crosstrained...pretty much the poster boy for cross training I'd say.

Peace,
Erik

Oh, I completely agree!

But it just goes to show that there is more than one way to skin the shooting cat, so to speak, and far from being "absurd", a well-timed strike (foot or fist) is just as valid as the other options.

Granted, being skilled enough in striking to deliver a well-timed strike during a shoot probably takes a whole lot more training than a sprawl, for example.

But I can easily see how a MT instructor would be inclined to give that sort of answer: from HIS (or her?) perspective, it would be the most natural and for HIM (or her) the most effective solution.
 

bluekey88

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Exactly...the point I was trying ot make (and I think totally didn't) is that part of how GSP and other succesful strikers can get away with a strike defense to a shoot is that they are confident enough in their ground game to take the risk of kicking or striking at a grappler shooting in.

I know I'm not a good enough grappler to do better than sprawl...thus risking going to my back from an unsuccessful knee or something is too risky for me. I'm better off gettign the upper hand with my size through a sprawl and then a scramble back to my feet and THEN striking.

If my groundgame were better...my stirking would be more ocnfrident because i wouldn't ahve to worry as much about takedowns. Hopefully that makes sense.

Peace,
Erik
 

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