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Kendo and other martial arts?

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  • Kendo and other martial arts?

    I was thinking on taking another art( judo or karate for example), secundary to kendo ( Im a fresh sandan), but i don't know if this can affect my progress or technique .
    some times, i have had the luck to know high grades sensei who do other martial arts, like judo,karate or kung fu, but mainly most of the sensei said that you should only do kendo, another technique is harmles for kendo, even a hachidan ones said that karate is the worst you can do to your kendo
    What do you think ?,what you heard ? Is some art better than other ?

  • #2
    In my view it's about two things. The first is whether you have enough time to dedicate to achieve what you want from these arts. The second is the quality of the instruction/practice and by this I mean aside from the technical instruction are things like work ethic, practicing as shugyo vs sport, overall discipline of the dojo, gumption of dojomates, etc.

    I have seen situations where dojo mates only practice kendo but also get additional practice with other dojos where the approach is more about competitions and it kind of interferes with what the sensei in our main dojo is trying to develop.

    So how you practice is as important if not more important than what you practice.


    • #3
      To be clear I mean that if you have both the time and quality instruction/practice in multiple arts, then pursuing a second art in parallel to kendo is ok, perhaps even beneficial. This is particularly true if the arts are gendai (doing more than one koryu can raise issues). On the other side, if the practice has some undesirable characteristics (like using expedient waza for short term gains at the expense of long term development) then even focusing on one art will fail to reach full potential.


      • #4
        Of course, classically iaido and kendo complement each other well, and I can't think of any kendo sensei who would recommend against that. Striking arts like karate are going to have stances and strategies that are different from kendo. I know teaching karateka we usually have to work on their kamae and often try to get them to be more offensive, especially if they were counter-punchers.

        You might try a grappling art, if that interests you. I train both kendo and judo and I don't think there's any real conflict or confusion.

        As Dillon said, there are also practicalities of how much time you can devote to training.


        • #5
          Assuming that doujou availability isn't a factor...

          It depends on what you want out of your practice. If you're mainly interested in the "physical art" element (what Dillon called "shugyou" above), cross-training in other martial arts is so useful as to be almost mandatory; iaidou is of course a must, and juudou would be a very good addition too. Maybe even HEMA, if the relevant club has equipment to lend you. (I've done HEMA myself and noticed very interesting cross-pollination with my kendou techniques.)

          If you want the sport element... honestly, you might as well go running or cycling or whatever. No need to think; just do what catches your fancy.