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#290997 - 10/05/06 10:20 AM Cross-training ...the way Karate used to be.
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
Cross-training in other Arts and even other styles within Karate was the way of almost ALL of the founding pioneers and inheritors of systems.

Only until post-WW2 did the concept of 'style-loyalty' become prevailent in Karate practice. This manufactured loyalty had more to do with organizational and finacial commitments than so-called keeping lineage 'pure'.

Martial Art lineages are never 'pure'...masters of their Art hardly ever have the opportunity to pass on 100% of their knowledge to one person. often they pass it on over a period of time to multiple people - each person takes away their own 'version' of what they absorbed...and so on. Thats not even mentioning the fact everyone has different influences during their lifetime study. Those influences add and change their 'path'.

anyone trying to sell 'true' or 'direct' lineage is doing just that: SELLING.


let's take a look at some Karate pioneers/founders and inheritors martial resumes PRIOR to them fully developing their system.

Shoshin Nagamine - studied karate when a kid in a neighbors backyard, style unknown. took Kendo in high school. trained another type of Karate with Kotatsu Iha. after H.S. he became a student of Taro Shimabokuro and later Ankichi Arakaki. later, training under Chotoku Kyan, then Choki Motobu. He also corroberated and cross-trained with Chojun Miyagi and his large circle of influences. Initially from Funakoshi's writings, he began to see and add a larger philosophical meaning to Karate...eventually leading him to serious Zen study.

that's seven or eight sensei prior and during his formation and development of his Art that is passed on today.


Sokon Matsumora
Had several instructors, influences and corroberations.
Chinese Kenpo
various Fukien boxing methods
influences from Kusanku via Tode Sakugawa
white crane

and who knows what else or from whom.

Kenryo Higaonna
studied under Sheisho Aragaki
then various art influences and instructors from Fuchou, china
His influences to and from others back on okinawa were too extensive to list. The Art he taugght was VERY eclectic.

In fact, it might be easier trying to find ONE significant Karateka which did NOT have multiple influences and teachers.

There is a rich heritage of sharing Arts in Karate ...not necessarily to the public, but within trusted and advanced circles regardless of 'style' (which didn't have as much meaning then since everyone was a bit of this and that).

All karate under it's surface is the same, the variations are in the way that base knowledge is prioritized and expressed.

The ONLY reason instructors now address cross-training in the pejurative saying things like:
"student of many, master of none."
"dojo hoppers."
"watered down."
"impure lineage."

etc...the only reason why it is just now frowned upon is because either:
1. They have bought into it from their sensei telling them the same.
or
2. They have a business/reputation to protect their 'product'. They see their Art as a trademark not the mark of a trade.
or
3. Student retention. If an instructor's Art can stand on it's own, they need not fear their students to be aware of what else is out there. an instructor telling students: "you need full comitment to THIS art...or you'll get nowhere in your path" -is frankly, full of doo-doo.

next time they say that, ask them what influences their style founder had...and why the style-loyalty rule didn't apply to them for gaining proficiency in Karate.

I once asked my current instructor: "Do you mind when I meet and train with others and of dissimilar arts?" he said: "Heck no...if you see something good, share it and we'll take a closer look at it."

I think thats the way it once was.

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#290998 - 10/05/06 10:29 AM Re: Cross-training ...the way Karate used to be. [Re: Ed_Morris]
BrianS Offline
Higher rank than you
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 5959
Loc: Northwest Arkansas
ooooh good post!

You know I hate the whole 'pure okinawan lineage' thing,blegh!!
Myagi's goju was influenced by several arts as well. I'm glad to see that the old masters were all for seeking better or different training just as I am.
_________________________
The2nd ammendment, it makes all the others possible. <///<




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#290999 - 10/05/06 10:37 AM Re: Cross-training ...the way Karate used to be. [Re: BrianS]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
Brian, Here is the perfect argument ender to these 'pure lineage' guys....ask them:

"Name ONE Okinawan Karate instructor in history which only had 1 influence and passed on 100% of their teacher's Art."

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#291000 - 10/05/06 10:54 AM Re: Cross-training ...the way Karate used to be. [Re: Ed_Morris]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!
Prolific

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
Good point, Ed. The whole "pure = better" argument seemed pointless to me in light of the good instructors that were not "pure". Good training is good training, no matter where it comes from.
_________________________
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

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#291001 - 10/05/06 10:54 AM Re: Cross-training ...the way Karate used to be. [Re: Ed_Morris]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
One of my sempai used to describe aikido as 6 blind men trying to describe an elephant - everyone has a piece of the puzzle. What he didn't mention, was the other blind men outside of aikido also had a small piece of the puzzle.

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#291002 - 10/05/06 10:56 AM Cross-training ...the way Karate used to be. [Re: Ed_Morris]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3116
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello Mr. Morris:



I cannot say as I was not there myself. But I wonder (and its pure speculation obviously) regardless of the art/teacher whether those folks studied in the manner which many (sic. too many) are today "cross-training"?

If I started in -te and then went to college and picked up kendo, then after university get employed at a third locale forced to study new things did I study each of those things at the SAME TIME ?

I studied them intensively, and seriously... each and every one. But did they do them simultainously...???If I have experience, a foundation on which to filter/build I might learn a new practice/art more easily. But I am required to learn them in the same way the beginner does. If I don't then I get pieces of the core receipe... Not bad but only a snippet of what deeper experience provides. Cross training is excellent, but far deeper training in a few things seems best.

When they switched from art to a new practice and back again. What kind of martial foundation did these people possess when they did so ? And were the "new additions" haphazard or specific for particular reasons I wonder...?

J

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#291003 - 10/05/06 10:59 AM Re: Cross-training ...the way Karate used to be. [Re: eyrie]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3116
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello Eyrie:

<<6 blind men trying to describe an elephant - everyone has a piece of the puzzle.

Did/do they speak the same language ???

Jeff

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#291004 - 10/05/06 11:01 AM Re: Cross-training ...the way Karate used to be. [Re: Ed_Morris]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
Great post! But I suppose it depends on what you're looking for.

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#291005 - 10/05/06 11:49 AM Re: Cross-training ...the way Karate used to be. [Re: harlan]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
true...but not necessarily. what if someones Art was without predefined destination? just a 'I'll find what I find' approach. not wandering, but actively exploring.

ever walk a trail regularly and then one day notice there are actually several less worn paths branching from the well-worn one? isn't it interesting to learn where they lead? ...maybe even follow one for a while ...to just see what you see.

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#291006 - 10/05/06 11:55 AM Re: Cross-training ...the way Karate used to be. [Re: Ed_Morris]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
Many paths/streams, but only one Source. Again, it depends on what one is looking for. I recall a story about Miyagi traveling with his students to check out a teacher with the reputation of having an unbeatable style. Call that 'cross training'. As far as learning something new, it turned out to be a less than satisfactory trip. But what I find intriqueing was a comment he made to one of his students on the way back to town. 'Still no teacher.'

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