I do martial arts because I love it and I believe many other martial artists in the past were the same. I use Kata to help remember (“Kata’s are a Kinesthetic filing system” Brad Wells) techniques, timing, mind set or attitude etc.. I learn from other Martial arts systems. The founder of Wudang Kung Fu did many martial arts and monks that train on the mountain today regularly train in Bagua, Taiji, Xing Yi and many other Martial arts at the same time. There are many of the older forms from Sang fang sect like Xuan Wu Quan that combine elements of Taiji, Xing Yi and Bagua. Shoshin Nagamine the founder of Matsubayashi had black belts in Judo, Kendo and trained with many different Karate and Kobudo experts. In Karate many kata like Kusanku/Kanku and Chinto/Gankaku were/are considered complete fighting systems that are commonly combined in most systems today. I think it was very traditional to mix martial arts. Okinawan Karate was/is influenced by many other existing martial arts that had been evolving for many years in China, Japan, Thailand and other countries by palace guards, envoys, wealthy people with money to travel and had time to practice (I doubt they were all just interested in just “beating a Ruffian”) so it makes since to learn common fighting philosophy and methods available now/at the time.
I have students and teachers that are LEO, Military, fighters of many kinds so my training is purposely outside (all legal of course) civil unarmed self defense. Karate is great for fighting other martial arts despite Itosu’s claim “~Karate was not designed to fight a trained opponent” Itosu didn’t design it and wasn’t around when the techniques were designed so how would he know?
These are the main styles I am practicing together consistently while trying to progress in each.
With a partner or instructor:
Eagle claw 5 hours per week,
Karate 3.5 hours class per week,
Jujitsu 3 hours per week,
Arnis 2 hours per week,
Kobudo 4 hours per week,
Mixed martial arts 6.5 hours per week,
Aiki-Jujutsu 1.5 hours per week,
Everyday solo: Wudang Kung fu,Taiji, Xing Yi, Bagua, Matsubayashi katas
These are the main Kata or forms I use to find similar concepts and training methods that can be combined productively:
Matsubayashi - 18 +1 Kata, 13 Yakosoku,
Myb/Shotokan - 26 + 2 Kata,
Okinawan Kenpo Karate - 18 Kata,
Ryukyu Kempo Karate - 12 Kata,
Myb/Okinawan Kenpo Kobudo - 35 Kata and two person sets,
Southern EC 4 forms, applications, push hands, two person sets, northern EC 4 forms
Wudang Taiji 28, Xing Yi 5 element form, Bagua 8 palms,
The stories about Ankichi Arakaki encouraging Shoshin Nagamine to study broadley in martial arts and arts in general to find common principles has been useful for me as well.