Crosstraining: to what extent?

while we are all surely in agreement that you need to cross train to be effective, either in sport MMA or on the street, my question is to what extent should you take the cross training mind-set?? To illustrate by way of an example; would it be better to simply train 2 arts, eg muay thai and BJJ and train both say twice a week, or would it be better to train say 4 arts, (with the addition of boxing and wrestling to the above 2) but training each only once per week??
I ask because this is basically the dilemma I'm in - there's just too many damn clubs near me for my own good! I can't decide whether to pick a bit from each or become strong at just 2. Help please.....

Well, I'm not speaking from experience here but I think that the more stles you add to your training the more they should overlap and compliment each other. Like if you're doing BJJ, well then you're doing a lot of groundwork. If you also take up Judo..whenever you're training in either one you're getting good at the other, and at the same time are learning skills from two different (but similiar) styles to combine together.

Same for stand-up styles...if you learn to kick hard in thai'll probably excel faster learning some other style that uses strong kicking as well.

In theory..for any one technique or skill that you can practice in two styles in one week, you'll get twice as much work done on that skill while still exposing yourself to what each individual style has to offer.

Spend more time integrating if that is your goal...integration.

Adam wrote a post a while back about the problems with cross training. He actually posted against it as it is currently understood or used to define the integration of delivery systems.

A sport specific coach should be there to strengthen parts of your game but if your goal is within the MMA then it is sometimes more prudent and productive to work directly with an MMA coach if you will.

Another point that should be made is stressing your positives or negatives as they relate to your available time to train and your specific goals.

One of my guys who graduated from last year's ICC class Leo, is 42 and though he thrives on improvement and development, he isn't trying too much to work on his boxing for example. He just boxes to improve his wrestling and Jits in the context of the MMA. He realizes he can only train twice a week now and his first love is Jits so it takes precedent.

Another athlete Derek, is 28 and a pro boxer who wants to fight NHB soon. He does not have the time to train pure jits so instead he rolls specifically to improve his odds to sprawl, strike, and avoid subs. His stance, movement and clinch has already improved dramatically as it relates to MMA where as he probably would be making all sorts of mistakes if he was trying to put together stuff he learned at a BJJ gym with his boxing experience on his own. Both the boxers and jits guys would not be providing him the proper field or platform from which to work the delievry systems as they relate to MMA.

If you are a great wrestler, why change or confuse that too much. Same thing if you are a great striker. Instead focus on improving your particular strengths as they pertain to the MMA. At least that's my approach for older adults. My kids, teens and young adults work everything because they have all the time to work on weaknesses as they haven't really developed or found their specific strengths yet.

Gotta head out but I'm sure Adam can contribute much to your question as he coaches guys who have to really put it all together.


Good post.

IMO pick somethign you want to be strong at and do it, concentrate on it. Integration is good and all but a good BJJer who focused soley on bjj and is athletic, even with shitty takedowns, will tear up someone who has a bit of wrestlign and a bit of Boxing and a bit of BJJ, its not enough, you have to focus on one or two things at a time IMO. Its actually been my biggest problem in improving overall, my lack of focus on the fields i am participating in.

That said, someone good at boxing, bjj and wrestling is a bad bad individual usually and the one dimensional specialist (BJJ, wrestling or boxing) should in theory and usually in practice get chewed up.

So i say its wise to do 2 and do each twice a week until you get better at them and feel competent.

Why would I need to add anything to your words. The summary of my original post was as follows:

To many people try this:
A+B+C+...=Good allrange fighter

However it is not as simple as this.

We need to focus on the aspects of A and B and C that actually do add up to being a good fighter. This is where an experienced coach comes in. With that being said it also depends partial on your goals to determine the right mix of what. Lastly I think that having a better than average foundation in one range allows you to build a strong fighter on top of it. Every top fighter right now has that one range where they can dominate most other guys.


thanks for the responses so far lads. Well thought out and very uselful.

This is an awesome thread. Excellent posts.

I currently train in bjj and muay thai. I try to incorporate sprawls and takedowns whenever I can, but unfortunately it's pretty rare. As a result, my over-all "wrestling" game (both standing and on the ground) is pretty poor.

Well right after New Year's I went to Montreal a couple of weeks ago to visit family and trained at the Tri-Star Gym (for the first time). I was pretty surprised when I walked in and saw a whole bunch of UCC champion fighters like Steve Vigneault, David L'Oiseau, Firaz, Victor, Phil Hughes, etc. These guys train all aspects of the game individually but also train and spar mma.

I was taking privates with Firaz and he was showing me just how much different you have to fight when you do mma. Fighting with a purely one-dimensional aspect will get you ko'd or tapped out fast! In other words, you can't fight standing the same way as you would in muay thai or you'll get taken down very quickly. You can't grapple the same way as you would in bjj because you'll get your face pounded in. You can't use takedowns the same way as you would in wrestling because you'll end up choked out. You get the idea.

Training at Tri-Star really opened my eyes as to how much different MMA as a "style" is in contrast with its root arts (bjj, wrestling, boxing, muay thai). It is distinctly different and it should be trained accordingly if this is your goal. Attempting to use strictly one art for one range without properly meshing them together will result in sub-standard performance.

This truly is the cutting-edge of hand-to-hand combat. I really believe that we are witnessing in fighters like Tito Ortiz, Frank Shamrock, Chuck Lidell and Rory Singer just how far the evolution of this game has come in creating the best and most complete fighter possible. This is only happening, however, because people finally began to actually put their abilities and styles to the test back in '93 instead of continuing to boast about how "deadly" their attacks would be. It keeps coming back to Aliveness!

Now that the message is out, it's up to all of us to further that evolution and continue to improve upon it. The bar is continuously being raised higher and higher so the next generation of fighters are going to keep having to get better and better to keep up. As a fight fan and a fighter myself, I couldn't be more over-joyed to be living in this crucial stage of martial arts history. The future is looking bright...


Please take rorys name out of the list of those great champions. He would be flatered but he has much work to do to be mentioned in the same breath.


LOL my brother would say the same thing about me. LOL

I think instead of the A+B+C example, perhaps better formula for effective cross-training is "+" compliments "0"(zero), and "-" compliments the first 2 elements to create a complete whole.

Actually I included Rory based not so much on his fighting prowess but on his training methods. It wasn't my intention to compare Rory's skill level with the other fighters mentioned. My point was that he, like them, is training with the right idea in mind. Mainly, to train using all aspects of the game at the same time instead of training each art individually and then trying to piece it all together afterward. Does that make more sense?


All necessary steps towards an inevitable evolution of fighting arts. Good to see it finally mainstream though. I think it'll take a generation or two for it to really catch on though I think (as in...the TMA-only people will cling to their beliefs).

Just a side-note thought on the evolution of training methods. It makes sense not to train each style individually..I think (based on theory only!) that the real trick is to train for all ranges and tactics at once, but not to become too generalistic and afraid to take some risks in your techniques. Otherwise is becomes basic GnP too much. That's what I gather from many of the uFC fighters. Despite the distinct blending of styles..I would still like to see someone just execute some clean strikes or ground-tactics. I find the ground submissions tend to be very well executed, whereas a lot of these UFC guys aren't that good at stand-up.

Technique vs. bruce force I guess..Tank is the best example of no "distinct" technique, yet there is a lot of logic to the way he moves when he's in GnP.

I agree that Rory is not as "highly rated" as the other great fighters mentioned. But, he demonstrated the best display of striking from the bottom I have ever seen in a pro fight. I only saw the clip, but it's right up there with Vitor's boxing blast KOs, or Royce's submitted Severn (after 15+ miutes on the bottom) in my book!

Hey... I just tried to find the Matsui x Singer clip on Sherdog. Is the Sherdog site down? What's the story?


Kevin, how did Rory's striking from the bottom compare to Rutten in his UFC fight with Randleman? IMO I thought Rutten did an incredible job in that fight and won, over-all.


I think the same Lautaro Rutten did an excelent fight and all the time strike in the worst positions nad Randelman was pasive the mosty fo the fight but won by courage.

Quispe: Yo siento lo mismo. Si la pelea habia sido mas corto, yo creo que Randleman hubiera ganado porque puso Rutten al suela tantas veces. Pero mas adelante, Randleman ya no tenia mas energia para attacar y Rutten seguia attacando durante todo la pelea. Que peleador increible!


I just went back and watched UFC XX.
Bas did a great job off of his back.
It was pretty much back and forth (IMO) up until about the last two minutes of regulation time... then Bas started to drop some big strikes on Kevin.
Btw... Bas did get the judges decison in this fight.

I haven't seen Rory vs Matsui for a while, but from what I remember Rory seemed much more in control (of course he didn't have Randleman on top of him! :), and was "boxing" off of his back.

Both guys did great jobs, but I just got a little more of a "kick" out of Rory's performance. Just personal preferance I guess?

One thing... I believe I saw Bas try to knee Randleman to the head (from his back) several times... he got a "plum" on Randleman's head... made a little space with his hips... and tryed to sneak the knee up the middle. Hard to see clearly from where I sat... but, I think that's what he was doing. Never seen anybody make a conscious effort to do that before. Anybody seen that before? Hmmmm....


Hey Kevin, the reason I said I thought Rutten won IMO was because there was some contraversy about the judge's decision. In fact, my friend and I both feel differently. He feels Randleman won, I say Rutten won, overall. Rutten continued fighting for the entire duration of the fight and did extremely well off his back, constantly working, while Randleman did the "lay and pray" due to exhaustion towards the latter portion of the fight.

As for the knee strikes from the guard, I don't remember that, but it's been quite a while since I saw the fight. I wouldn't be surprised though, coming from Rutten. He's the MAN! :)


Buen espaƱol Lautaro, si realmente Rutten is the MAN .....and whats your opinion about his best student Bang KO. Pulver.