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The Benefits and Drawbacks of Focusing on One Martial Art vs Cross Training in Multiple Disciplines

After spending a few years in Karate, I once tried a fun Sumo fight, and it just took a moment (the brutal way) to realise that I am far from the balance sumo fighters have. Similarly, my first fight with a boxer and a wrestler made me realise (the hard way) that my way was not the only way.

These experiences helped me tighten up my game and gain a broader perspective.

Martial arts are a popular form of physical exercise and self-defence practised for centuries. With so many different types of martial arts, it can be challenging to decide whether to focus on one discipline or cross-train in multiple arts. Both options have benefits and drawbacks; ultimately, the decision boils down to goals and preferences. In this blog, we will analyse the pros and cons of focusing on one martial art versus cross-training in different arts and provide tips on making the best choice for your needs.

Wrestling, Judo and Kickboxing workshops at Kombat Hall

Cross-training in different martial arts can be beneficial in many ways, but there are also some potential disadvantages.

  • One major issue is that it can be challenging to master multiple martial arts styles simultaneously, as each often requires a significant time commitment for proper training and practice.

  • Additionally, some techniques and movements may conflict, leading to confusion.

  • It's also important to note that some martial arts may differ in terms of their philosophies or training methods, which could make it challenging to combine them effectively.

While cross-training in different martial arts can offer many benefits, it's also essential to consider the above potential drawbacks.

The best martial artists go into the depth of one martial art and are always ready to explore every chance to train in other martial arts.

Here are some advantages that such martial artists achieve.

  • Improved Performance: Cross-training in different martial arts enhances your overall performance by providing various techniques and skills you can use in multiple situations.

  • Increased Flexibility: Cross-training allows you to develop flexibility in your body, which is essential in martial arts. You can learn different stretches and movements to improve the range of motion and injury risks.

  • Better Self-Defense: By combining techniques from different martial arts, you can become a more well-rounded and effective fighter. You can learn to defend yourself in different situations and against opponents.

  • Mental and Physical Challenge: Cross-training in different martial arts offers a psychological and physical challenge that can help you push yourself to new limits. It can also help you stay motivated and engaged in your training.

  • Increased Confidence: As you learn new techniques and skills, it provides more confidence in your abilities, helping you in your personal and professional life, as you will have a greater sense of self-assurance.

  • Community Building: Cross-training in different martial arts allows you to connect with a broader community of practitioners. You can learn, share experiences and build lasting relationships.

Overall, cross-training in different martial arts improves physical and mental health, enhances your skills and techniques, and builds a strong sense of community.

Whether you are a beginner or an advanced practitioner, there are many benefits to exploring different martial arts and incorporating them into your training regimen.

Here are examples of some best martial artists I know and how they cross-train (as available on the internet and to the best of my knowledge).

  • Soke Tamas- Karate, Judo, Ju-Jitsu

  • Sensei Yashpal- Karate, Grappling, Kempo

  • Shihan Judd Reid- Karate, Kickboxing, Muay Thai

  • John Wayne Parr- Muay Thai, Boxing, BJJ

  • Sensei Subodh Dhiman- Karate, Yoga

  • Sensei Seth Rosario- Karate, Boxing, BJJ

Amongst the coaches at Kombat Hall

  • Sensei Shushant- Karate, Boxing, Wrestling, Kickboxing, BJJ

  • Sensei Aman- Karate, Muay Thai, BJJ, MMA

  • Sensei Poonam- Karate, BJJ

  • Sensei Varun- Karate, Yoga

  • Me- Karate, Kickboxing, Boxing, BJJ, Judo

At Kombat Hall, every batch has exposure to MMA or BJJ to make you comfortable fighting distance. Karate or Kickboxing helps to control striking distance, whereas BJJ or MMA helps to prepare for close distance.

Kombat Hall may be the only dojo to have such a batch structure. Let's all be proud of it.

Keep training hard, digging deep and asking questions not just in the base art, albeit keep attending workshops and seminars to maintain a beginner mindset and an open view of the world.



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