Cross training in Martial Arts – Broaden your Knowledge

Cross training is a term that refers to training in two or more different martial arts styles either at the same time or one after the other. This additional training can be very beneficial to a martial artist because it provides a broader perspective of the effectiveness of different techniques. Simply put, you can understand the strengths and weaknesses of a martial art if you learn techniques of other styles. Modern mixed martial arts competitors are well known for training in different martial art styles. In other words they “mix” their martial arts. They are constantly learning new skills that will help them in the ring.

Generally, the more different the styles trained in the better the experience. For example, if you have been studying an art that focuses on stand up fighting such as Karate or Tae Kwon Do, you should look to cross train in an art that focuses on grappling like Judo or Jujitsu. The main goal is to broaden your martial arts knowledgebase so that you become a more complete martial artist.

It is much debated as to when to begin supplementing your training with techniques from other arts. The general rule of thumb is that you should attain a level of black belt before branching out into another style. The idea behind this thought is that by the time you have reached black belt in any martial art you have obtained a good understanding of the techniques in one style. After that, you will grasp new techniques much faster in your original style or in a different style. Of course, this is going to vary from person to person as people will have different comprehension rates. The main thing to remember is that you don’t want to get confused between the different styles you may be practicing at the same time.

Cross training in Martial Arts   Broaden your Knowledge

Some martial arts provide a wide variety of techniques that include striking, grappling, and groundwork. These arts are less likely to demand as much or any cross training as arts whose techniques are more segmented into stand-up or groundwork categories. Many of the more modern self defense systems were developed by taking effective techniques from other styles so the cross training is all part of the style.

So, if you want to widen your martial arts knowledge, consider training in different arts. Just remember to do it when you are prepared. The last thing you want to do is impede your advancement in one art by studying too much at one time.