Listening is about allowing the information to get into your head in which you can then process the information. In the martial arts we are trained to absorb information because we want to learn as much as possible but, sometimes, we just don’t want to step out of our comfort zones to do that. Over the years martial artists have tried to resist the temptation or consideration in cross training (Kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Reality Based Self Defence) probably because most people are just happy doing what they’re doing or not interested in doing a little bit extra.
If martial artists are interested in the reality aspect of martial arts then there should be no borders in training which means stepping out of the circle but they may not like or appreciate components of other martial arts at first. They’re like an acquired taste and you have to give it time before making long term decisions in other aspects of training.
Most systems/organisations have their ‘core business’, ie karate, hapkido, tae kwon do and are absolutely fantastic with what they offer and teach. I like to think of our school like Europe where you no longer need a visa to cross borders. I remember the days (over 35 years ago as a white belt) when I used to get into a back stance with a knife hand block and challenge anyone. I didn’t really know what I was going to do but I was so confident that nobody would dare have a go at me. The mystical days are long gone and today I like to make sure I cover all bases in my martial arts training.
I take my hat off to people who specialize in one style because it takes hard work and a very long time to become good at the one thing. I became very good at the one thing but it was not until 20 years ago I decided to cross train. I have been crossing the border, since.