Again its been a long time since my last blog post and this time my excuses range from being too busy teaching, training and running things within Shinri and just having too many thoughts to blog and not deciding which to post first!
This blog is titled "cross training" and I wish to talk about cross training across other disciplines for martial artists. Lately this is something I have been doing a lot of and personally I have found it very very useful. If I was to nail my colours to the mast I would suggest that any martial artist or karate-ka of any standing should try some sort of cross training or other.
Whilst I am most definitely a Shotokan karate practitioner and instructor in the last year or so I have regularly trained in Goju-Ryu karate, Wado-Ryu karate, Mixed styles impact training and even sports karate/kick boxing. I can absolutely say that I have enjoyed all the other arts I have trained in and been made to feel very welcome in all the dojos and clubs I have attended (actually more welcome than at other Shotokan dojos!). I also have made so new friends and contacts within the martial arts circle.
One thing I will say about cross discipline training is that you must always remember the style that your foundations are based within and use the extra training to complement your techniques and theories. On this basis I would also suggest that cross training is only really suitable for karate-ka of a certain level of experience (this is a very difficult thing to gauge but I would say 10-15 years experience is necessary).
Another great thing about training at a different dojo from time to time is that it can be a superb way to validate your own training and abilities. If you can keep up with the other Dan grades in the class for fitness, speed, sharpness of technique and so on then you know that you must be doing something right. If you somehow fall short then you also know that you must step up your game (or take the easy route out and never go back!).
For instructors it can also be a great way to gain ideas on syllabus, warm up techniques, motivating your class and even the business side of running a dojo.
I feel I must finish my post by thanking the dojos and instructors that have welcomed me into their training sessions.
Huw at Deanshanger Goju-Ryu, Paul Button at Toddington Sepoy Karate, John Hurley at Luton Higashi Wado-Ryu and Peter Consterdine at the BCKA in Ossett.