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Cross Training; Yes or No?

People who do not practice To-Shin Do cannot figure out why there is so little cross training done by our students. Here are three thoughts as to why we find so little cross-training:

  1. Our base martial art is so old, that we predate the Meiji separation of martial disciplines into striking, throwing, sword, etc. specialties. We demand training in all areas of potential conflict. As part of our art, we have to train in grappling, striking, kicking, choking, sword, cane, gun, etc.

    When I practiced karate in the 1960s, I never practiced weapons, throws, locks, chokes, etc. We just hit and kicked. Judo practitioners at the same time never practiced strikes, kicks, sword, etc. They just threw and choked. We had to “cross-train” to find out what we missed. Obviously, this is not so with To-Shin Do.

  2. Advancing skill in To-Shin Do demands even more sensitivity to fitting in to what the attacker is doing. His aggressive movements are captured and guided to his defeat.

    We don’t rely on extremely fast movements to “beat him to the punch” or overpower or out-trick him. We keep our back upright and apply accommodating leverage. We don’t hunch over and jerk around. This is extremely unusual in other cruder martial arts.

    Cross-training in most other martial arts is likely to contradict excellent To-Shin Do. Awkwardly, it will lead to confusion and diminished To-Shin Do ability.

  3. People are so busy these days. It is rare that a well-balanced person has time to faithfully and fully pursue more than one martial art. This ends up with dabbling in many martial arts; never getting beyond the basic or intermediate lessons in multiple martial arts. Therefore, the depth secrets are never even approached. True mastery is impossible. You will remain mediocre your entire life.

But then, what if your chosen martial art is inferior or crude or just too simplistic? There are a lot of home-made arts out there these days. Without cross training and exploring, you will never know how yours compares. You might devote your life to a simple art that truly can be totally mastered in two and a half years. Tragic. What a waste of a lifetime. So maybe there is a case for cross training after all?

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