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My original question was about whether Kyokushin Karate and Freestyle Wrestling go well together as cross training.

Now that I have some further insight from a very helpful user, my question is how well would Kyokushin go with Judo as cross training?

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    It is unclear what you want to know. What are your goals? – Sardathrion - Reinstate Monica Sep 2 '16 at 6:18
  • What I would like to know is are those two arts a good combination? My goal would be to be proficient in both. Does that awnser your question? – Drew_Osu Sep 2 '16 at 7:19
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    No, it does not. Proficient for what? Keeping fit? Getting a shodan? Impressing people? Getting a job as a bouncer? Becoming world champion? Becoming a AAA action actor in Hollywood?… – Sardathrion - Reinstate Monica Sep 2 '16 at 7:35
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    Without clearly defined goals, this is unclear thus inviting discussion and opinions. – Sardathrion - Reinstate Monica Sep 8 '16 at 14:52
  • This question seems fine to me. Some martial arts really DON'T go well together while others are similar enough to complement each other. (Karate and Shorinji Kempo? forget it! Judo and Brazilian Jujitsu? Great!) – Huw Evans Dec 27 '16 at 14:11
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Wrestling and kyokushin karate go together fine. Most martial arts that cover different disciplines (e.g. striking/wrestling, or punching/kicking) work fine together because they complement each other.

Arts that cover the same discipline, like Tae Kwon Do and Muay Thai, or wrestling and judo, can be confusing to combine if both arts are new to the trainee. But someone experienced in one could train in the other to see known techniques in a new way.

Basically, most cross-training can be made to work. Asking about specific examples is overthinking things.

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Techincally you can combine any martial arts, but it will be difficult to excel at either of them, unless they're really similar.

Different arts often require opposite reflexes which can (will) be confusing, especially for beginners. My advice is to start with one and after you reach a decent level, choose a second. That way you can place the differences and know when (and mostly WHY) you shouldn't use the basic stance from MA 1 in MA 2 and vice versa.

I actually followed an interesting workshop for MA trainers this weekend about teaching kids basic positions (both for standing up and ground work). There were karate, judo, JJ, BJJ, boxing, ... trainers. The teacher was a BJJ guy. Some reactions from myself and other trainers there clearly show my point:

Exercise: When avoiding a blow (or neck grab), the practicioner had to duck under the arm, go behind his opponent, grab him around the chest and keep him very very close, leaving no space between any part of his body and the opponent's back.

This is how we looked at it:

Teacher (BJJ): if your opponent is behind you, you're in trouble. NEVER show your back to someone. The guy ducking and grabbing from behind is now in the best position.

Me (judo): having an opponent that steps behind my back me makes my fight A LOT easier, I don't have to pull him there or turn, I can just lift my leg, twist my shoulder and throw him. Thanks for the free score.

Boxing trainer: ducks and steps nicely, grabs opponent with arm, but leaves a huge space between him and the opponent's back, standing far away with his legs and hips. -> boxer's are not supposed to get close to each other, it's against his reflexes.

Karate trainer: I'd never get that close to someone, let alone grab them closely.

General examples

In judo (and BJJ) getting close to your opponent is absolutely necessary. And it's difficult to learn. It usually takes years for a young judoka before he automatically brings his hip close to his opponent. This behaviour however, is not good at all in karate, taekwondo, etc.

Also in judo, you're feet should be more or less on one line (usually one stands a bit in front), parallel to your opponent. In karate and taekwondo, for example, you don't align parallel to your partner. You show so much of your body then, so many space to hit... those fighters will stand with one side far away from their opponent and one foot very clearly in front (= free foot sweep for judoka).

In BJJ and JJ laying on your belly is dangerous. You're weak and have no defense. Losing is almost inevitable. In judo, on the other hand, laying on your belly is a very safe and sturdy defense posture. You're not in a position to attack, but you can hold off attacks very well.

Learning to defend well laying face down takes practice. Most judoka that have been practicing for only a couple of years, I can easily turn to their back or get an arm free to lock. Same for the stance with the feet on one line. Most are "afraid" in the beginning and will try to keep one part of their body away from you. Leaving a free foot to sweep. This takes practice.

Now imagine combining the stand up work from karate and judo and the groundwork of judo and BJJ. It gets quite confusing and it will be difficult for the positions to become automatic. Every time you have to think "now I should do it", "now I cannot".

And if you need to think about your position during a fight, well, you've already lost...

Conclusion

So basics from different arts can really contradict each other. Although it all sounds simple, it takes a lot of practice for those basic stances/positions to be automatic, believe me. Trying to mix them will only lengthen this practice time and you might never get the real hang of either of them.

Depending on the goals you have with your chosen MA's, this will or will not be a problem. If you want to know a lot of different techniques and defense/attack situations for real life, combining e.g. judo and karate is great, because they complement each other as stated in the answer above. If you want to be a very good judoka or karateka, you won't fare well by combining them. You'll lack the automatic moves in both to become a champion.

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    There are many things I disagree with in this answer, but the most serious is: "Learning to defend well laying face down takes practice." There is no reason to try to learn to defend well lying face down. The only reason this is effective in contest judo is because referees limit time on the mat to relatively quick progress. In a self-defense situation, if someone tries to defend themselves face down on the ground, you kick them in the head or pick up a weapon to beat them. Even in a contest judo situation, you are better off facing your opponent in a guard position and stalling from there. – mattm Dec 20 '16 at 0:50
  • @mattm that is exactly the point I'm trying to make here. What is the GOAL? Read the italic part at the end of my answer please. Are you looking for something to defend yourself or are you looking to become a champion in a sport. This has a huge impact on your decision. There is CERTAINLY a very good reason to learn to defend well when lying face down. IF you want to win judo competitions. Martial arts are not for street fighting only, you should realize that. Especially not judo, as it is created to be a sport. – Tingolfin Dec 20 '16 at 9:52
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    Maybe the problem here is that the question is unclear thus inviting discussion and opinions? Just a thought⸮ – Sardathrion - Reinstate Monica Dec 20 '16 at 13:08
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    We are definitely in disagreement. It may be expedient for contest judo to avoid learning mat techniques and stall for referee intervention by defending from your belly, but this is not something that should require years of training that would be better spent actually learning to defend. I understand there are high-level competitors that do this, but that does not mean it's a good idea. I suggest reading Learning not to turn your back on ground? and asking a new question if something is unclear. If we simply disagree, that's fine. – mattm Dec 21 '16 at 16:32
  • I can only say you clearly don't teach children. And years of practice doesn't mean they have to do it for 1h every week. It just requires a lot of comments and correction before someone fiiiiinally does it without thinking. – Tingolfin Dec 23 '16 at 9:37
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Very well Indeed!

Karate and Judo are actually more similar than people realize. A lot of the kata in Karate are actually progressions from standing to groundwork and incorporate pieces of judo-like throws. Judo has little or no actual striking but the strikes you learn in judo kata are not dissimilar from those seen in karate.

Kyukosho is no different from other styles of karate In this respect.

I have several friends who combine Shotokan karate with judo and one who combines Ich Shin Ryu with Judo. Both finds that the two complement and reinforce each other very well.

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I would imagine very well, since there exists a hybrid martial art Kūdō which takes its techniques from both Karate and Judo:

Kudo is a martial art created by Azuma Takashi in 1981. Azuma was a black belt in Kyokushin Karate and Judo, saw the potential for a hybrid martial art which was not limited by styles. He decided to merge the two martial arts he knew, and made Daido Juku, where striking and grappling was allowed. Slowly, various other martial arts like Muay Thai, Boxing, Jiu-Jitsu and various other martial arts were incorporated, and fine-tuned to work well in the style. The martial art was renamed as Kudo in 2001, and is accepted as a Budo sport in Japan.

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I am a godan (5th degree black belt) in Judo and nidan (2nd degree black belt) in Shukokai Karate. and I have trained in both for a lot of years. In Karate, there are:

  • atemi waza (striking techniques)
  • nage waza (throwing techniques)
  • kansetsuwasa (joint locking techniques)
  • shimewaza (strangle techniques)
  • ukemi waza (break-falling techniques)

While I have trained Karate for years and have seen a lot of bull---t, I found that Judo mixed with the Karate made me a more complete martial artist. For example, I can see more realistic answers to the questions around the bunkai in the Karate katas, not just the usual kicking/punching/lame take downs and made-up techniques that wouldn't work. All of the above waza (techniques) are in there and you need to know and understand a throwing art to see them. Most karate instructors can't, so they don't teach them.

Knowing and understanding a throwing art has improved my all round Karate and made me a more complete martial artist. I would recommend cross training for everyone, but get your grounding in one art before cross training because it would be confusing to start both.

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