Instructor Encourages Cross Training?

Here is the story. Instructor posts this today on facebook. After reading it I thought, cool because I am training at Krav like I have for a long time but I have also started doing BJJ at a different school that specializes in that aspect of fighting.
My instructor works at the school where I train and is the lead instructor, he also owns his own school in a different area.
I originally fought an MMA fight as and independent fighter because my Krav school does not support MMA. This fight was totally setup by myself and I just asked them to work with me on off days etc to get in better shape and work my ground fighting before the fight. Later on He asks me to take a fight with a different venue and I accepted. He also asked me to wear a shirt representing his own school. I do not train there except for the odd seminar or what not. I mentioned to him that I was training additionally at a BJJ school to get a feeling , not that I care since I pay very good money to train. The school were I do BJJ is the same school my instructor got his blue belt.

I am just looking for everyoneâ??s thoughts on this post. I feel like there is a big contradiction in his statements and not sure If I should just move on somewhere else in my training?

My thoughts are that the primary reason that instructors discourage cross training has less to do with their safety or the effectiveness of the other arts they might be learning, and more of a function of the poor economical environment. I think that many instructors are not totally confident in their own skills (or skills as an instructor) and are worried that if their students go learn elsewhere that they might realize that they (the instructor) don’t have all the answers and might choose to not continue training with them. And, since they make their living from teaching students, less students means a tougher time making ends meet.

I honestly can’t really blame them for this as times are tough and the number of people with the disposable income to seriously train martial arts is limited. However, from a confidence standpoint, I think that any instructor who is truly confident in what they teach/can do would be fine with their students cross training. All that might do is better round their students out, or at worst make the students realize how good/practical their stuff really is.

That said, the first (and last) poster seems to be saying that they are worried that if people train for sport fighting they will create a sport mindset/habits which might come back to haunt them should they have to fight for real. I understand the whole “you fight how you train” concept, but honestly it’s only going to become a real problem if the students don’t fully understand the differences in the first place. Training “sport” arts like boxing, BJJ, wrestling, etc… are only going to make you more effective from a self defense standpoint if the skills learned are kept in context.

Was the original poster in the thread above the same person as the 1st and last response poster?

The first and last poster is the same person. I read this a few more times and found a possible different meaning. I want to say something but dont want to start shit. Maybe just ask for clarification?

I agree with you sentoguy, I feel like a much stronger and smarter fighter from doing mma. I think lots of martial artists have a false sense of security believing they are going to use a particular technique in a bad situation.

[quote]Ranzo wrote:
The first and last poster is the same person. I read this a few more times and found a possible different meaning. I want to say something but dont want to start shit. Maybe just ask for clarification?

Yeah, going straight to your instructor and asking for clarification is probably the best route to take. If he’s a genuine person he’ll appreciate you asking him directly to his face what he meant by those comment(s) instead of jumping to your own conclusions. If he isn’t and gets offended that you would question his omnipotence, they you’ve got your answer.

I agree with you sentoguy, I feel like a much stronger and smarter fighter from doing mma. I think lots of martial artists have a false sense of security believing they are going to use a particular technique in a bad situation.[/quote]

Here is the thing, a lot of MMA skills (and I would throw every combat sport into this category) are about once the fight has already gone physical and both people are still awake after the initial ambush. Many martial arts instead focus on the pre-physical combat stuff or the initial physical attack; they also address situations which you aren’t going to find in an MMA fight (like multiple attackers, weapons, etc…). Both are important if you want to have the best chances of survival.

More Driveling on facebook…

I posted up and asked for clarification… you can see the response I got. Seems wierd to me. I have no plans to be a “MMA Fighter” as most people view it. I am 38yo and have no delusions of how long I would last if I wanted to seriously pursue MMA. I just want to do a fight from time to time as it is very good experience and gives a goal in training. I also feel it translates well in the street if something does go down.

Also as I stated before there was not a lot of “coaching” going on and If he dosen’t want to do MMA and does not teach MMA why would you even want to “sponsor” someone. If wearing a T shirt when you walk out is sponsoring someone. I feel like I am sponsoring the school since I pay money to train there and I can pay my money to whom I choose.

Im sure nobody here really cares about this but I don’t know if I should make another response to the last statements of my instructor or should I just walk away. I don’t feel like I can train there in good conscience now.

It’s a sense of loyalty. You have 2 separate issues he’s addressing. One is fighting, the other is school association. When you fight competitively people associate your wins/losses styles with the school you train at. If you cross train they might think it was the other school that really taught you how to fight. Or the other school may claim they taught you how to really fight. If your purpose is solely self defense then he doesn’t give a rats ass what you do, but if your going to compete then he wants you to represent his click. It’s the same as being a fan of the Titans. He wants you to say to where a Titan jersey. If you were in Atlanta and your friend had tickets to the game, you wouldn’t rock a Falcons jersey just because your in Atlanta would you?


I am having a bit of difficulty following this since I do not use facebook.

First two general points “against” cross training.

1.) Students and teachers can wind up in awkward or even potentially hostile situations:

In an ideal world martial artists would exhibit fellowship, be polite to each other, etc. That is not always the case. Competition between schools is sometimes based on politics, personal issues and the like and can create genuine hostility. If sport “competition” is a goal game plans, strategy, training and coaching methods all sort of become a “secret recipe” in an us vs them situation.

So, teachers may be hesitant to have their students sharing secrets. Also, if the student winds up in a hostile school/gym they may be subjected to abuse. Now, maybe this is mostly a thing of the past, but it has resulted in very real injuries and feuds in the days gone by.

2.) The student may get confused.

This is one I agree with at least to a point. That point is about a year and a half of hard training past when the student thinks they are ready. Honestly, in the beginning stages of learning a skill different “looks”/teachers can sometimes do more harm than good. If the student does not have a decent handle on fundamentals than training with a bunch of different teachers/styles is often a bad thing. It is also huge drain as a teacher if the student is constantly asking “style vs style” questions. It can get ugly and loop back to point one if the answers the student gets are curt.

So, if the student is less than a year in, I really don’t think cross training is as big a benefit. I will go so far as to say the typical white belt should eschew seminars and just get reps in on the basics. On the other hand, advanced students and instructors SHOULD be doing it. If only to pick up different ways of solving problems or teaching. Again, the typical black belt should be willing to miss a class in order to get to a seminar.

Now, I am not saying that either of these apply in your case. I am just offering up a “not all teachers who seem to discourage cross training/cross workouts among their students are wrong/bad” point of view.

In YOUR case I would ask for clarity face to face. It sounds like your Krav Maga teacher (the one that “sponsored” you) is toeing a hard line against “sport” for a reason. If you value him/respect him I would ask the reason. I would not ask it over a public media like face book. It could be a mis understanding between posts, or it could be “I used to let students do this until this other boxing/MMA/kickboxing gym got offended and barged onto my floor and challenged me. Nine stitches, mine, one bit off finger, his, and 20,000 in legal fees down the drain and it just ain’t worth it.”

If you respect and trust him I would give him an opportunity to answer your questions. You may be surprised. If nothing else I think it is the honorable thing to do.


Robert A

Thanks for the replys. Airtruth, I see the two issues he has no problem understanding that. There is a little more to the story and I can get into it later.

Robert A, I will certainly ask him about it as I don’t feel I should say anything else on facebook at this time. We will all be at a fight on Sat. where another student is fighting a debut fight.

All that being said, I will point out that My instructor is not a MMA coach or at least he was not. MMA is something I chose to do outside of Krav. I spoke with him about it briefly for my first fight and he was not receptive and he felt I was not ready for full MMA and would be better suited for stand up or muay thai rules. I agree and he was right but I fought anyway. I only asked if we could work on more ground stuff and sharpen my punches with focus mit work and movement. At no time did I recieve a “sponsorship”. I won the fight, even though it was ugly in the begining. All the leg work, all the supplies, passes everything was set up by me all he had to do was show up really. He got a friend from another school who also trained Krav to wrap my hands.

The same guy who wraps my hands also trains at the BJJ school I go to. This is the same school my krav instructor obtained a blue belt at. So from that I don’t see a lot of lines being crossed really. At a later date I did a fight after my instructor asked me to. I also walked out in his schools shirt and was listed as a fighter from his school which is a seperate entity from where I train. Now I have not fought anywhere since starting bjj training at this new school. I started training there because quite honestly I feel Krav ground fighting is weak sauce and is not taught in a method I can learn easily. I feel that the best way to keep my from getting my face beat in or tapped out is to get real training at a good school that has ties to my own krav school. Also I have no plans of getting in the ring again until next year so i don’t know why this is even a problem.

Even from a self defense standpoint I would want to train ground somewhere else. I you do get taken to the ground and I feel that it can very easily happen in a street scenario these BJJ guys will wear you out very quickly so just from the standpoing of being well rounded I would still want to train somewhere besides Krav for that particlar area.