Just For The Fun Of It
At times in my martial arts career, I've had opportunities to study material that's way off the beaten path (for me, anyway).
I spent a few months studying Okinawan karate and kobudo forms (I've actually done that twice), I've gone to seminars in Chinese forms, I've attended empty-hand point sparring sessions, and I've learned an awful lot of taekwondo stuff for a person who quit studying it formally in 2010, to name a few instances.
All of these had nothing to do with my rank progression in Arnis or any other thing I was studying (although the Okinawan stuff was related to my kobudo studies, it wasn't in my formal lineage or material I was required to know).
It was just because I could.
I stretched my mind, learned what my habits are as I tried to conform to a different method of training and moving, and had to work very hard at something that was new to me.
It was so darn fun, y'all.
That was the point... having fun.
I study things irrelevant to my style and rank from time to time because it's fun.
Sure, those little diversions off my path do make my Arnis better, and helps develop me into a more well-rounded martial artist. The exposure to all that stuff helps me develop a better understanding of martial arts in general.
But that's not the primary reason to do it.
The reason to do it is that IT'S FUN.
Look, guys, we spend an awful lot of time focused on and chasing rank and status, and perfecting whatever style or path we've chosen as best for us. We sometimes get to a point where we think we're too good to be a white belt in someone else's style. Or we are so wrapped up in our identity as someone who does [x] style martial art we can't imagine spending any time seriously considering another point of view.
I challenge you - no matter what rank you are, no matter what style you study - to try a completely different martial arts style (take a beginner class, a seminar, etc.), and soon. If you've studied a year, or if you've studied 30 years or more.
Break loose, be a newbie again, and stretch your mind.