View Full Version : More the merrier?

Joel Simmons
4th February 2002, 17:54
Aloha all,

I have a question to ask for anyone who knows more about martial arts than me (which is just about everyone).

Is it good to study more than one art at a time if you consider yourself to be a novice? I'm studying Takeuchi-ryu, but my initial experience with martial arts was with Okinawan karate. Participating in a traditional art such as Takeuchi-ryu has revived my interest in karate, but I don't know if I should begin to study karate again since I'm only a beginner in Takeuchi-ryu. I talked it over with my sensei, and he told me that its okay to study more than one art, just make sure that you can differentiate between the two arts. He also told me that if a person studys more than one art, eventually one of the arts will become the dominant art and the other(s) will become secondary in focus.

I completely agree with what he has told me. I guess I'm just asking for some other personal accounts of how difficult/enjoyable it may have been for someone else to study two arts.

Neil Hawkins
4th February 2002, 22:31
Different people learn differently, I've found it preferable for student to stick with one thing until they get to the stage where that becomes natural, then you can start doing other things without confusion.

I personally did jujutsu for nearly ten years before I started looking into other arts. I found that I picked up the others fairly quickly because of my background in jujutsu, but now, another ten years later, I find that pretty much everything I do is based around the jujutsu rather than the other things I played with.

I enjoy training with different instructors in different styles and believe it helps me improve. I especially would suggest that after a few years you add a weapons art to your empty hand ones, a weapon is really good for improving distance and timing and improves your jujutsu appreciably.



5th February 2002, 19:39
you should study one art until you are profecient at it. two new arts at the same time can be confusing. it is correct to sy though that one art will dominate over the other, my jujutsu is very karate oriented. and my judo is very jujutsu influnced. but i studyed karate for about 15 years before i moved into jujutsu for the last 8 years and studyed judo for the last 2 years. when i do my self defense skills you can see all three arts. i have very strong blocks and strikes, than i transition into my jujutsu locks and jujutsu/judo throws. many of my pure judo friends have a difficult time going from punch to throw as well as my karate friends who can't throw worth a damn. so yes ity is good to train in diffeent arts, but have a foundation in one first from which you can build from.

5th February 2002, 19:48
I didn't mean to send that post yet. Excuse the proof reading please.

Anyway make sure you have a good foundation in one art first before you move into another style. Judo and jujutsu go together well, karate and jujutsu go together well, but wushu and bjj may not blend so well. So if you do study two different arts make sure the are similar. It can get confusing. Best way I can illustrate this is, let say you want to become a Christian; you don't want to study Catholicism and southern Baptist at the same time. It can become confusing.

Joel Simmons
5th February 2002, 21:11

Thank you both for your insight.

Rsamurai - you obviously have a sound foundation in karate and I wouldn't dare compare my 2 year stint to yours, however, I remember all the kata and still practice them on a near daily basis. This is still two years after I moved away from the dojo. Personally, I would consider myself a karate man, yet when I came here to Hawai'i, I didn't know where to find a good sensei, and I'm very wary of opening the phonebook and attending a McDojo. So, I went down to the community center here and found a traditional jujutsu (takeuchi ryu) style being taught. Now that I participate in the traditional martial arts again, I'm finding myself with more and more contacts to Okinawan karate senseis. Like I said above, I've been practicing my kata without a sensei for two years, and I'm very tempted to ask to attend a dojo to hone my skills.

I love the jujutsu I'm learning, but it has also awakened my affinity for karate. I must seem real confused to you guys. :)

Mr. Hawkins - Do you feel that your 10 year study of jujutsu allowed you to learn HOW to learn martial arts, or is it just that you may be gifted in being able to learn an art quickly? Did you acquire skill in jujutsu quickly and it just took you 10 years to decide on another art, or did you feel that after 10 years of jujutsu you were now ready to learn another art? I hope that made sense.:)

Neil Hawkins
5th February 2002, 23:24

I had no inclination to train in any different arts aside from traditional weapons based ones. I attended a few seminars in various styles during the years and found nothing that really seemed to offer anything that I thought I needed. I was working in the security industry at the time (bouncer) and had ample oportunity to discover the weaknesses inherent in various styles and was happy with what I had.

The only reason I changed was because I moved away from my instructor with work (military) and had difficulty finding another jujutsu instructor to train with (there was lots of jujutsu, but it wasn't the same as what I'd done and in my opinion inferior). I had a friend doing Ashihara Karate who let me use his dojo to practice in, we played around for awhile, and I gradually learnt his katas (without really intending to) and joined in some classes. He presented me with a Brown Belt after about six month's and during a visit by some other instructors, I kinda got involved with the forming of a break away style (the reasons behind this are a long story).

I actually began teaching the karate because I got moved again. I did not have authority to teach jujutsu, I could teach the karate, but put a jujutsu spin on it. Over the space of five years I became a 3rd Dan without really concentrating on it.

As I was moving I did some Aikido, which fitted well with my jujutsu, did some Chinese stuff that was interesting but didn't suit me, played with some of the Bujikan Ninjutsu stuff, again it didn't really sit well with what I'd already done. I busted my knees pretty bad and had to slow down, I was out of the Army, but still moving so I settled on Jodo, which I can practice by myself in between visits to my instructor and the Jujutsu which I rarely practice these days, but I return to my instructor as often as I can to train or grade, depending on his whim.

I never really chose any of the styles I've practiced, I just kinda fell into them. I still regularly train with Aikidoka, Wing Chun exponents and some karate guys, but mainly for the exercise.

Hope this helps.


The one thing that must be taught
but cannot be learnt is understanding

Joel Simmons
6th February 2002, 01:16
Aloha Neil,

I guess me moving away from my karate dojo and stumbling across a jujutsu sensei is somewhat similar to your experience, just vice versa.

I think I'll just see where everything takes me.