How Do You Do It?

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Discussions' started by Ben, Jul 20, 2012.

  1. Ben

    Ben Master

    The other day I went to an introductory Gung Fu class. Although it turned out to be more about personal training then about the martial art itself (long story). So yeah I was at Karate training, still pretty messed up physically from the night before (karate was the very next day) and all my joints were in amazing agony. Of course, that night, we had to run through sparring. :p Nearly every block that was put up against me caused AMAZING hurty pains. I ended up having to explain the readon that I was so weak was because I took the Kung Fu class. After the Karate lesson, sensai politely advised me not to seek out tutoring in other styles before I get my Black Belt, saying that its easy to get confused between training. And really, its true. Even in like the 2 minutes of form work we did in the Gung Fu class, I found myself using Karate stances. But since I joined Karate I've wanted to take up several different styles, and I'm already 19, looking to move out and get a job and everything. By the time I get my Black belt, I'll be 21. When the hell am I going to have the time to wait for all those years to take up the Martial Arts I want to do, if not all at once? How do you guys that train in several different styles at once do it and make it seem so easy?
  3. ghost

    ghost Disciple

    I didn't train in other styles until I had a good foundation in one art. Focus on developing skill, rather than belts. If you're still "belt" conscious, the more skill you develop the more belts you'll get. You're 19, for Christ's sake.
    Aaron, Deborah and D. WOODS like this.
  4. RJ Clark

    RJ Clark Tree Ninja Staff Member

    haha! Definitely work on controlling the impatience of youth. :) If you can't wait to train in another art/s then perhaps you should choose a grappling style. That way you'll have a well-balanced skill set and there won't be nearly as much confusion for you from one class to the other.
    Mario Paul and Deborah like this.
  5. KeithW

    KeithW "Just keep training..."

    I just got my first black belt (June 30th) and I'll be 43 in 2 days. Trust me. You have PLENTY of time...
    Aaron, Mario Paul and Deborah like this.
  6. RJ Clark

    RJ Clark Tree Ninja Staff Member

    Congrats, Keith!
    KeithW likes this.
  7. D. WOODS

    D. WOODS Shaolin Toad

    Mixing styles is very hard to do if you do not totally understand your base style yet. ANd I was into my base style 15 years before I understood the the art truly because my master wanted me to slow down and understand the movements not just be able to do them. Add the true problem with studying true karate and true kung fu is that they are antithesis of each of each other and you are trying to force straight line energy and circulare energy to coexist in a way that violates both arts.
  8. Justin

    Justin Initiate

    It depends on what you're looking for in your martial arts. If you are interested in your particular style of karate, then yes you should stick with it until at least 1st dan before cross training. If your interest lies more in the practicality of combat, and the martial arts in general, then by all means go and cross train in whatever style you want whenever you want. Remember, it's YOUR journey. I started my training with 4 years of muay thai and never once was graded, so I left there with only a white top (white belt equivalent). I then did Ninjutsu for 2 years; only graded the once, so I left there with a yellow belt. Since then I've been doing Korean martial arts, mostly Hapkido, and only received my first black belt less than 12 months ago. Naturally, my training in Korean martial arts has been heavily influenced with the thai boxing and ninjutsu, but I wouldn't change a thing. Hapkido as a style itself has a lot more room to "make it your own"as opposed to the more strict techniques of Japanese karate stances, blocks, strikes, etc. though....

    Also, I personally don't think it was right for your instructor to suggest you steer clear of cross training. Entitled to his opinion? Yes. But not to push it. If one of my students did some cross training in other styles I'd be begging them to show me what they had learnt!
    Deborah and RJ Clark like this.
  9. David Manson

    David Manson Disciple

    My advice is slow down. Learn one thing and learn it well, then try something else. You have plenty of time. Your gonna burn yourself out and wreck your body. At test time you'll get the two mixxed up.
  10. RJ Clark

    RJ Clark Tree Ninja Staff Member

    Actually, I should have asked what your goal is to train in multiple arts/styles. When someone wants to cross-train, typically it's for practical reasons - to become a well-rounded fighter. Perfectly understandable because one-dimensional means you're easily dispatched as soon as you're brought outside your comfort zone. Even if where you train has a well-balanced curriculum of striking and grappling, you still need to get out and spar with new people to continue to grow as a fighter.

    If that's not your goal then perhaps you should stick to one style at least until you are close to earning your black belt.
  11. Bruce

    Bruce Samurai

    Young man (and I'm not being conderscending:)). I was 26/27 and I think 3rd Level (dan) when I started cross training so brother chill, you have more time than most of us have left - and I'm still looking.

    Personally, I think maybe you're pushing too hard, training, teaching, trying to fit workouts in at home, now looking to cross train. Listen to your body first, your teacher next, build a good solid foundation, which is your shotokan yeah? Once you have your foundation then start building/sculpting with outside techniques, concepts and styles.

    I understand this is not what you want to hear, but slow down, your gonna be no use to yourself, your sensei, your classmates or to us in the forum if you burn yourself out.

    Take the time to map out what you want, but look at years, not weeks or months. There is no harm in looking at other styles, but do it at home via the internet, put down a list of the syles/people you want to meet.train in but wait, curb your enthusiasm
    you have time!

    All the best.
    Ben likes this.
  12. Sensei Martin

    Sensei Martin Warrior Monk

    Hi Ben.

    It's true you should always work on your foundation work ... but if you do have the ability to keep an open mind and remember that both karate and kung fu is different, cross training will work. I know as I was trained in Canada Kempo style (not the same at all as American Kenpo, btw.) We started with linear, karate and kick boxing concepts - and karate katas and kumite + kick boxing sparring -- then at green started to learn the softer, less linear 5 Animal Hung Gar moves. It was ying and yang - you learned and could respond via either hard or soft - straight or circular ... and this worked very well.

    As a result, the karate was "softened" somewhat and the kung fu seemed a bit more linear than "pure" styles. IMO, it was all still 80% karate, but I often would go to other karate dojos and they had no knowledge of the other kung fu moves.

    Most Sensei's will tell you to focus on your basic art until at least 2nd degree - but if your art is 100% pure karate, it should not hurt you to dabble in additional kung fu or another art.
    Ben likes this.
  13. Deborah

    Deborah Ninja

    hahahaaa I have to say what all my fellow cronies are telling you is true, you ARE still very young. You have all the time in the world to master the arts. I tried to have a similar conversation to someone who is the same age as your good self only he took offence to me saying about his youth. Experience comes in time so take heed....PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE
    I honestly have found myself doing the exact same thing when training Muay Thai, with my usual art being JKD, I still find myself falling back into JKD and using Jit tek (one of the great kicks used in JKD) only to find my training partner or opponent looking at me slightly perplexed!! As I already said, you are just at the very start of your martial journey of which I am slightly jealous of!, but you have sooooo many vast and learned experiences still to encounter.....sit back Ben, do not stress it WILL all come IN,peace and respects my wee monkey warrior xxxXXXxxx
  14. WonderingFist

    WonderingFist Disciple of Mind

    Keep your mind on principle when training, and prepare to be harassed.

    I understand your frustration...
    When I tried out Hapkido, my interest in other arts carried through, so I was never standing shoulder-to-shoulder, I never twisted with the locks and throws, I never turned my feet 180 degrees when kicking and I never opened my hands when doing elbow strikes.

    There was a lot more that I just couldn't do, and even after it was explained why I had to do it, it still didn't work for one reason or another...

    So I just looked at the principle of it. "What are they trying to achieve?", "Why do they perform it this way?", "Where does this lead?" and just work from there.
    If you don't plan on mastering Kung Fu and teaching it as it's own style, or you don't plan on being a World Champ in the style, then it really doesn't matter. You're doing it for you.
    Deborah and Ben like this.
  15. Ben

    Ben Master

    Thank you everyone. I love this forum, I actually get the advice I need :)
    Deborah likes this.
  16. MadoreGojuRyu

    MadoreGojuRyu Master

    congrats on the black belt, may it serve you well and may you show it the respect it deserves.
    KeithW and Deborah like this.
  17. NWPSNZ

    NWPSNZ Disciple

    Its for that very reason that is actually part of Nam Wah Pai's rules and regulations that you do not actively train in any other style of martial art why actively training our style.. people that come along to training that have studied another art (especially the japanese ones) stick out like a sore thumb. in some ways they are harder to teach then complete newbies
    Deborah likes this.
  18. Eric M. Miller

    Eric M. Miller Samurai

    i muay thai'd first. then i krav maga'd with it. (the best i can describe it is about 40% of krav maga is Muay thai, so they go well together) and once i had that foundation, about a year and a half ago i started taekwondo and hapkido, which are also a good pair together, both being korean arts. my dabbling in my dad's arts aside, those are it. you want arts that are "good pairs" is the best i can describe it.
    Aaron likes this.
  19. Joe

    Joe Disciple

    I find it, that when I walk into another martial art I "forget" the movements of one (i.e Tkd) but I keep the footwork. When I walked into Boxing, I used a lot of footwork, but I consciously punched.

    I found that different gear helps- Hand wraps for boxing.
    Hand wraps and shin pads for Kick boxing.
    Tkd sparring gear for tkd ( too much gear to name lol)
    Eric M. Miller and Deborah like this.
  20. Joe

    Joe Disciple

    I am also, 19 Ben. It can be done, just take it in your own time. No need to rush. Hell, we have our whole life ahead of us :p
    Deborah and Ben like this.
  21. shyquille graves

    shyquille graves Warrior Monk

    i understand totally where youre coming from im 20 i get impatient to because i want it to all come to me now but i have been told to be patient because i think i moved to slow istarted training when i was 15 and i got my black 1st degree black belt when i was younger and i have another promotion coming up but im not telling you these things because im trying to be cocky or arrogant manit seems like i feel like im behind the curve i study and train hard its the hunger and passion for the arts isnt bad but if you move to fast in the arts and branch out to fast sometimes you miss the beauty and other things of your original art and and dont worry about belt ranking either i make that mistake is you miss out on the fact that u have made so much progress over the years when i look back and remember how i was when i first started im happy with all the progress i have made the belt does not make the martial artist the martial artist makes the belt i ow a few peoplalot of martial artist running with balck belts and they wouldnt even be considered as brown belts in other systems i do suggest u get a good strong solid foundation in your karate before branching out to other martial arts and you have to just make time if its really important to you you will make time for it especially if its something your meant to do dont rush it sometimes slow and steady win a race and the further u go in karate you will be able to pick up other martial arts quicker so there is alot of time
    Deborah and Ben like this.

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