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Old 05-14-07, 09:21 AM   #1
ModoVincere
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Martial Arts

Lately, I've been thinking about taking some form of MA.
I would like to learn more about self defense, but my primary goals would be increased flexibility, strength and speed.
What are the advantages of different forms?
Thanks in advance for any information.

ps. Asking here since I know several practitioners frequent foo.
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Old 05-14-07, 09:29 AM   #2
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My best advise, from 7 years total of various practice, is to avoid ANY form of traditional martial arts. Anything bound to silly traditions will waste time. If you lived in michigan I could refer you to some very good people, but I know nothing of Georgia.

I found a very good self defense school with teachers with violent pasts who really know their stuff. Thing is, the way a street fight goes down and the way martial arts sparring goes down are fundamentaly different, and thats why I now avoid common martial arts.

On the other hand, if you don't want to learn unarmed combat so much as flexibility and speed, my favorite thing for that category is fencing. As for strength, most martial arts schools will get you some strength, but the key to gaining muscle is lifting weights.
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Old 05-14-07, 09:31 AM   #3
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I know this sounds girly but try Pilates or Yoga. If your wanting to get more flexable this is a GREAT way to do this and strengthen your core
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Old 05-14-07, 09:33 AM   #4
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Find an MMA school.
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Old 05-14-07, 09:33 AM   #5
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I know this sounds girly but try Pilates or Yoga. If your wanting to get more flexable this is a GREAT way to do this and strengthen your core
Or Tai Chi.
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Old 05-14-07, 09:36 AM   #6
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I took Jeet Kune Do for a few years when I was younger and really enjoyed it - non-traditional, improved my body and mind, and gave me some peace of mind. Strength increased, especially in my hands, abs, and forearms. Speed increased greatly. Flexibility increased only modestly, mostly b/c of my body. We did some pretty intense stretching.

I also did a couple of Krav Maga classes a few years ago and had my rotator cuff screwed up by an over-enthusiastic martial arts newbie. I can see strength and speed increasing from KM, but I don't know about flexibility as I wasn't around long enough to know if it's emphasized.
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Old 05-14-07, 09:37 AM   #7
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I'm trying to find a MA here in Austin as well, but wondering if mid 30s is too late in life to start one. If anyone has any suggestions of an Austin school, PM me.
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Old 05-14-07, 09:38 AM   #8
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Isn't Jeet Kune Do Bruce Lee's style?

I forgot about that one. I have no experice with that style, but I agree with its principals for sure.
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Old 05-14-07, 09:48 AM   #9
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Quote:
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Isn't Jeet Kune Do Bruce Lee's style?
Yep.
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Old 05-14-07, 10:07 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cypress
Find an MMA school.
+ a billion.

I studied for about 6 years (Tang Soo Do - like a Korean Tae Kwon Do) - and damned if 1/3rd of it will help in a real-world scrap.

MMA (Mixed-martial arts) will teach you karate, kickboxing, boxing, wrestling, jiu jitsu, whatever, and the defense of each...much more akin to a real-life situation where you don't know what or who you might face.

Core strength and flexibility will be included, by default.

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Old 05-14-07, 10:10 AM   #11
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ps. In a good MMA school, you WILL get kicked, punched, knocked out, and submitted. You will feel real pain, and one of the benefits of that is that if you ever do get into a scrap, you won't be panicked by the pain.

In my years of training, I was kicked or punched with force only a handful of times, and always with padded boots and gloves. Maybe it was the school I chose, or the regimented style of instruction, but I think the instructor kept contact to a minimum to preserve his client base and keep his insurance down.
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Old 05-14-07, 10:13 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mo'Phat
I studied for about 6 years (Tang Soo Do - like a Korean Tae Kwon Do) - and damned if 1/3rd of it will help in a real-world scrap.
Precisely. The only remotely good experience from any form of karate I've seen is sparring, and again, that doesn't have a hell of a lot to do with a real fight.

Siu would also agree with you on the MMA thing, but I think its overly complicated. Although I haven't had time to practice this past school year, the place I studied at most recently teaches directly from Kill Or Get Killed, the Military combat manual. It keeps everything really simple, and very effective. Best of all, they do everything the book covers, unarmed, pepper spray, clubs, knives, and guns. Before his death, many of the teachers studied under the author Rex Applegate. Unfortunately, schools of that quality are extremely difficult to find.
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Old 05-14-07, 10:23 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mo'Phat
In my years of training, I was kicked or punched with force only a handful of times, and always with padded boots and gloves.
Padding is always a good idea. I got kicked real hard in the upper chest by a guy once, breaking a couple ribs. He was wearing padded boots, and I was wearing a vest. Had we not been wearing padding, I can say with confidence that kick would have killed me.
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Old 05-14-07, 10:30 AM   #14
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I've found marital arts to be far more humane and satisfying.
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Old 05-14-07, 10:38 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michigander
Isn't Jeet Kune Do Bruce Lee's style?

I forgot about that one. I have no experice with that style, but I agree with its principals for sure.

He would not consider it a style. That's the antithesis of Jeet Kune Do principles.

I would reccomend reading his book.

If you want it all...seriously consider Aikido.
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Old 05-14-07, 10:39 AM   #16
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What book is that?

My mom is a librarian, and I can get any book I want for wholesale.
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Old 05-14-07, 10:46 AM   #17
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First post here, I should introduce myself, but too lazy. I do have some strong opinions though, because I wasted my time in a school that taught zero self defense abilities, other than doing kata, pumping push-ups, and bowing to the instructor.

Most MAs out there tend to be just there for sports. TKD, karate, etc.

You can't defend you or your loved ones by doing kata, so a martial art that forces people to do kata by rote is just an aerobic regimen, and is screwing its students when a situation comes that needs actual combat skills.

Its hard to find a MA that is actually worth its salt when its needed.
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Old 05-14-07, 10:48 AM   #18
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Its hard to find a MA that is actually worth its salt when its needed.
Again, I humbly suggest Aikido.
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Old 05-14-07, 10:50 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michigander
What book is that?

Tao of Jeet Kune Do by Bruce Lee.

I would suggest a JKD school, but authentic ones are really rare.

The basic principles of JKD and Aikido are the same, however the approaches are very different.

JKD evolved from Wing Chung, and is very explosive with a lot of kicks. Aikido evolved from Bushido/Akijitsu, and is more of a military Samurai-style of martial art with little kicking and a lot of fencing technique.
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Old 05-14-07, 10:50 AM   #20
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You know, I've studied many different styles and trained with people from Rolier Gracie to Ali Elias, and many other well known individuals. Every style (even those with "no-style") have their own strengths and weaknesses, but only one will feel like "home." For me, that is Aikido, but it may well be different for you. Go sit in a bunch of different dojos or gyms and take notes - take an introductory class if you like - My co-Sensei and I never charge anyone for their first month, but we're fairly generous on that score. Then make up your mind.
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Old 05-14-07, 10:57 AM   #21
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Quote:
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You know, I've studied many different styles and trained with people from Rolier Gracie to Ali Elias, and many other well known individuals. Every style (even those with "no-style") have their own strengths and weaknesses, but only one will feel like "home." For me, that is Aikido, but it may well be different for you.

Did you train with Gracie in Miami? That's where I'm from, and met him during Brasil Carnival at the International many years ago.

As I recall, he didn't seem to blink.
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Old 05-14-07, 11:07 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mo'Phat
+ a billion.

(Tang Soo Do - like a Korean Tae Kwon Do) - and damned if 1/3rd of it will help in a real-world scrap.
Tae Kwon Do is Korean...and if you avoid the pitiful Joe Corley style American gyms (calling them dojos is a stretch), then you would be surprised how effective it is in a "real world scrap".

Good luck finding real martial arts training in the states. Avoid any "master" with less than thirty years experience.


To become a master takes ten years to master the motions, ten years to master your mind, and ten years to forget everything you thought you mastered and return to the basics. That's the only way to be qualified to teach another person the basics, to return to white belt.
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Old 05-14-07, 11:08 AM   #23
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Wow, lots of misconceptions regarding MMA here. I would recommend staying away from any MMA school, as most of them are geared towards winning sparring matches and only 1v1 combat. The reason many people who have devoted lots of time to a Karate or TKD program of study feel like they are learning quite a lot when they go to MMA is that most of those previous programs were what is affectionatly known as McDojos.

I always recommend that people try a traditional school as their first school so taht they learn more of an appreciation for their art, and treat it as an art, instead of seeing it as merely a way to kick someone's ass.

Having trained in Okinawan Karate and Budo, some TKD, and 8 years of Aikido (with a three seminars on Krav Maga thrown in) I can definitly say that Aikido is the perfect art to study as a modern self defense mechanism. One of the best parts about Aikido, as opposed to many MMA schools, is that you are not always rushing yourself to the ground - an action that can easily have fatal consequenses if you are fighting more than 1 opponent. Also if done correctly, you can submit your opponent/s with a minimal amount of damage to their person, reducing the chance that you will get in trouble with the law (contrary to popular belief, if someone takes a swing at you and you break their arm and give them a concussion, you arent given a get-out-of-jail-free-card no matter how much you might deserve one).

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Old 05-14-07, 11:13 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serendipper
Tae Kwon Do is Korean...and if you avoid the pitiful Joe Corley style American gyms (calling them dojos is a stretch), then you would be surprised how effective it is in a "real world scrap".

Good luck finding real martial arts training in the states. Avoid any "master" with less than thirty years experience.


To become a master takes ten years to master the motions, ten years to master your mind, and ten years to forget everything you thought you mastered and return to the basics. That's the only way to be qualified to teach another person the basics, to return to white belt.
I can counter pretty much all of this...but let's just say, I disagree.
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Old 05-14-07, 11:14 AM   #25
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*edit*, sorry, I thought Tae Kwon Do was something other than Korean. My bad.
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