Last night we had a kickboxing class at our BJJ club. Once a month we are fortunate enough to have an amazing kickboxer (and instructor) teach us the basics of striking.
In general, I’m not of the opinion that it’s a good idea to begin your martial arts career by training MMA. I think for most people, given restrictions on training time, it’s better to focus on getting really good at one aspect of the fight game, rather than training multiple martial arts and being mediocre at all of them. However, cross-training with other martial arts helps to gain understanding of which techniques work in different circumstances. On a personal level, it also keeps me grounded – I don’t want to become one of those people who thinks BJJ is a perfect, unbeatable martial art. While it’s certainly one of the most effective martial arts going, it has certain areas of weakness, and it’s important to be aware of them.
Even though I’ll continue focusing most of my energy and time on getting better at BJJ, I think it’s important to cross-train with other martial arts – at least to some extent.