Do you know martial art? What kind? What Level?

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by Soph, Aug 7, 2006.

  1. thinman

    thinman Senior member

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    Hey guys,

    Slightly off-topic here but I'm going to start Muay Thai in the fall. Does anyone have any advice on how to stretch for high kick flexibility? I have a month and a half to stretch before I start training.


    "Stretching" by Bob Anderson. Recommended by medical professionals and copied by many others. Contains illustrations of each stretching position, a description of each stretch, general stretching tips, stretching sequences for different areas of the body, and includes sport-specific stretching sequences. Paperback, less than $20 from amazon.com.

    Disclaimer: No association of any kind with the author, publisher, etc.
     
  2. mizanation

    mizanation Senior member

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    get a good health insurance policy

    just kidding

    by the way, it should be obvious to anyone, regardless of experience, that muay thai is far more physical than any other MA, and requires lots of conditioning of the body. i dont know why saying that in different words makes me not know what i'm talking about. you might get better answers mystic from martialartsplanet.com


    check out www.bullshido.com for more about ancient internal chinese martial arts secrets that are only known by select masters who are super deadly.

    i'm saying you don't know what you are talking about because you are giving martial arts advice without having trained at all.

    i have a big secret for you: there are no secret deadly asian martial arts techniques. don't get caught up in the hype. you can say tai chi, bagua, hsing-i are great for relaxation, health, etc. to say that they are great for fighting, is such complete bullshit. it is the martial arts equivalent of intelligent design creationist theory. i'm not trying to be mean, but you have been misled, man.

    also, i am not arguing about muay thai not being more phsyically demanding than internal chinese martial arts. it is. i'm saying, don't say that you will get hurt learning muay thai, because that is not true. don't say that the most realistic self-defense is wudang, bagua or some other deadly internal martial art because that is not true. the only thing self-defense-wise you will gain with those internal martial arts is a false sense of security that will completely fail to protect you when your martial art is put to the test.
     
  3. MysticAura

    MysticAura Senior member

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    Miz,

    Thanks very much for taking the type to type all that out. I'm stoked to start training in the fall.

    I want to start out with some striking skills and move on to some ground work. Initially, I wanted to do Muay Thai because I have always played sports in high school, soccer in the fall, indoor track during the winter, and tennis in the spring. Now that I go to NYU (where there are no sports) I'm quite bored. But now I want to get a thorough background in martial arts, heck why not have it just in case. I'm living in NYC anyways.

    What's the name of your school Miz? I will certainly consider it in the future. Thanks again for the help. I'll let you know how it goes.
     
  4. Gradstudent78

    Gradstudent78 Senior member

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    Miz,
    There are no secret deadly martial art techniques, that is true. However, training in hsing-I, ba gua, and Tai chi can offer fighting skills if that training is based on learning the sound mechanics of those arts, with realistic training methods, and combined with conditioning. If you approach any art thinking that you can get realistic fighting applications without putting the proper time and effort into it your misleading yourself. That is as true for muay thai as it is for any of the internal martial arts. However, the problem is that many more people tend to approach the internal arts thinking they don't have to put the same amount of effort that people who train in muy thai do because the internal arts offer some type of "secret techniques", which just isn't true. The problem isn't with the internal arts, its with the majority of people teaching and training in them.
    -Grad
     
  5. mizanation

    mizanation Senior member

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    Miz,

    Thanks very much for taking the type to type all that out. I'm stoked to start training in the fall.

    I want to start out with some striking skills and move on to some ground work. Initially, I wanted to do Muay Thai because I have always played sports in high school, soccer in the fall, indoor track during the winter, and tennis in the spring. Now that I go to NYU (where there are no sports) I'm quite bored. But now I want to get a thorough background in martial arts, heck why not have it just in case. I'm living in NYC anyways.

    What's the name of your school Miz? I will certainly consider it in the future. Thanks again for the help. I'll let you know how it goes.


    hey mystic, if you want to try ground stuff out, you have a couple options at NYU. they have a great BJJ instructor who is a purple belt. one of my very good friends trains there (NYU film grad). being a NYU student, you can train there for next to nothing. maybe the best deal in NYC.

    also, it might not be for you, but you could train with the NYU wrestling team. it will definitely help your overall game later.

    the gym i go to is ronin athletics, run by my friend, christian montes. we do mixed martial arts training on monday, bjj with gi on wednesday, muay thai and clinch work on thursday, and more informal training on saturday. check out our website: http://www.roninathletics.com

    a lot of the people at our gym also train at the wat.
     
  6. mizanation

    mizanation Senior member

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    Miz,
    There are no secret deadly martial art techniques, that is true. However, training in hsing-I, ba gua, and Tai chi can offer fighting skills if that training is based on learning the sound mechanics of those arts, with realistic training methods, and combined with conditioning. If you approach any art thinking that you can get realistic fighting applications without putting the proper time and effort into it your misleading yourself. That is as true for muay thai as it is for any of the internal martial arts. However, the problem is that many more people tend to approach the internal arts thinking they don't have to put the same amount of effort that people who train in muy thai do because the internal arts offer some type of "secret techniques", which just isn't true. The problem isn't with the internal arts, its with the majority of people teaching and training in them.
    -Grad


    right, i totally agree.

    but what i'm also saying is that if you add realistic sparring, realistic conditioning, realistic techniques to internal styles you will get further and further away from the internal art and what you are left with is something that resembles grappling or boxing.

    there are traditional chinese wrestling styles (and many in india) that train realistically and condition realistically. guess what? they are identical to freestyle or greco-roman wrestling. they have naturally developed the same techniques (sprawl, duck-unders, single-legs, double-legs, fireman carry, pummeling, trips, ankle-picks, hip-heists, bridgeing, etc...). they don't have any internal power blows, they don't have any special pressure point attacks, etc.--all they have are physical (external) techniques that work. how could styles that developed thousands of miles apart look exactly the same? because, when you train realistically, eventually, humans will find the most efficient way of combat.

    the problem starts, to paraphrase matt thornton, when you start adding rituals. you add seniority levels, you add special drills to develop special skills that don't have anything to do with combat. you add mystery and mystique and sacredness and special terms and special bowing and special katas and so on... now you have a system that might have worked before, but doesn't work anymore.

    because almost all traditional chinese martial arts that are taught in america do not train realistically, they develop techniques that do not work in real life (i'm sure there are some that do train realistically, but they are few and far between). sure, they will have many demonstrations of how strong the art is, but they won't have the most important demonstration, which is in actual combat with a completely resisting opponent.

    you could take taebo or boxercise or even pilates, and if you add realistic sparring, technique and conditioning, you will have an effective martial art. but it wouldn't be taebo anymore because it would resemble muay thai or boxing. so, why don't you just do muay thai, bjj, judo, or boxing in the first place?
     
  7. Gradstudent78

    Gradstudent78 Senior member

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    I would disagree that if "add realistic sparring, realistic conditioning, realistic techniques to internal styles you will get further and further away from the internal art". What you get is internal styles that use internal techniques that work. Internal styles should have economy of motion and use techniques that reflect the use of power generated from full body power. In some instances these techniques will resemble those from other arts. Tim Cartmell (a prominent internal stylist) has said that if you want to see xing yi power generation that an excellent place to see the mechanics is in Jack Dempsey's book, Championship fighting. The reason why I study ba gua, in addition to the other arts I study, is that it's circular generation of power and evasion work well for the way I move, additionally I find its footwork, leg trap, and use of knees and elbows particularly effective. I also prefer open strikes to closed fist strikes, as they tend to be safer for the hand and allow a quicker transition into grappling techniques. Each art has its own particular flavor and way of doing things and every person has their own predispositions.

    Not all skills used in training necessarily have anything to do with combat. When I do a pull-up or swim a couple laps, it doesn't necessarily contribute directly to use of technique. What it does is contribute to conditioning, whichs contributes to better ability to use technique.
     
  8. mizanation

    mizanation Senior member

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    a pull-up or swimming laps is not a drill. it's conditioning. doing those exercises are for increasing strength, or cardiovascular fitness, etc. not to learn a skill.

    doing push hands and performing bagua circle walking is meant to develop skill/energy/etc, right? so, this is a skills drill or a skills exercise. you might see some kind of combat application with these drills, but for me, i don't.

    btw, jack dempsey was a master at defensive punching because of body mechanics, which is what generates power. his famous dempsey-roll, like all boxing techniques, are peformed using timing, and body mechanics. if you want claim this is "internal", then, that's your opinion, but i find it a little misleading because, in reality, it is completely physiological. this would mean that bjj, wrestling, boxing and muay thai are also internal styles.

    anyways, if you haven't already, please try BJJ. you will be very surprised how "internal" it actually is. it will probably fit right in with the other stuff you are doing. i'm not going to suggest boxing or muay thai, cuz it might not be your thing.
     
  9. Gradstudent78

    Gradstudent78 Senior member

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    Push hands teaches you to flow and sense an opponents movements, westlers learn the same thing on the ground while they wrestle. Push hands is essentially a sensitivity drill to help to teach those skills for grappling while standing. Basically, what you learn is how to better enter, transition, and counter throws or locks as well as redirect incoming strikes. Circlewalking basically teaches how to enter to an opponent at angles while remaining balanced, as well as teaching leg locks.

    Read the section on body mechanics here:
    http://www.shenwu.com/Internal_VS_External.htm

    Nothing mystical about internal principles (despite what many might say), its just a matter of body mechanics.

    what dempsey calls his "falling step" in punching is basically using internal body mechanics to punch.

    The internal and external divisions of arts is a relatively recent phenomenon. Any martial art worth studying will have components of both to some extent.

    I actually have a background in wrestling, but as of yet no BJJ experience. I might go to a couple seminars when I get a chance. I was actually planning to go to one this summer, but that didn't work out. Currently I've been working on synthesizing some of my ba gua work, learning some boxing, and trying to find a place to study some more kubotan/self defense specific work.



    Just something else thats I've been meaning to comment on... Tai chi, Xing yi, and Ba gua pretty much have nothing to do with the Wudang mountains, and the calling of them "wudang arts" is largely an arbitrary name that was used to contrast then with shaolin arts. If anyone is particularly interested in the mystique built up around the "internal arts" I would suggest reading Chinese Martial Arts Training Manuals: A historical review by Brian Kennedy and Elizabeth Guo.
     
  10. mizanation

    mizanation Senior member

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    i have a long background in traditional arts, both internal and external. for the past 5 years or so, i've trained exclusively in bjj, boxing, muay thai, and wrestling. with all those years training in traditional arts, only a fraction of what i learned has transferred over to my current training. i had to unlearn a lot of bad habits that i developed because these traditional arts are never trained realistically. the best thing i got out of the traditional arts was base level of fitness, but that i could have gotten through doing other sports.

    sorry to beat a dead horse, but wrestlers WRESTLE to gain sensitivity. they don't have a special sensitivity drill. BJJ experts have the highest level of sensitivity i have ever witnessed and they didn't develop it through sensitivity drills. they developed it through rolling. push hands is not beneficial or realistic--and i'm pretty good at it. you will never, ever get that kind of energy from an opponent in a fight. same goes for trapping. trapping just does not happen in a real fight. (clinch does, though)

    if you want to learn how to "enter, transition, and counter throws or locks as well as redirect incoming strikes" why not just train against an opponent with progressive resistance? it's a big difference from push hands. the energy is completely different. you will develop sensitivity but not push hands sensitivity.

    you said you have a wrestling background. if you were the coach of a wrestling team, would you have them practice push hands to develop their sprawl? to develop their pummel? no, you would have them sprawl to develop their sprawl. you would have them pummel to develop their pummel.

    against an unwilling opponent, circle walking goes out the window.

    as far as internal vs. external. i guess we agree that what people call "internal priciples" ARE really just body mechanics. so, why call it internal principles at all? all things are determined by body mechanics which are determined by physics. so there is no internal, no external. saying something is internal is implying that their is a difference between something that is external. very misleading and unneccessary. i read your link, it's very true for traditional "internal" vs. "external". at this point, i deal with neither and only work with realistic systems.

    if you go to a bjj seminar or class, please go with an open mind. i highly suggest you go to an SBGi (straight blast gym) seminar first. i have a good friend who is a very talented internal martial arts expert and gifted athlete, who decided to come to my bjj gym. when he was handled easily by everyone in the gym he had a hard time trying to figure out how come his years of previous training didn't help him. it wasn't very fun for him, but if you have an open mind, it's easy to see why. same thing goes for me when i first stepped on the mats with some good bjj people and muay thai people.

    anyways, thanks for the conversation and discussion. gotta go to work now!
     
  11. Gradstudent78

    Gradstudent78 Senior member

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    Push hands is just an exercise, anyone who does push hands still needs to train all those skills against an opponent. It's just like any other drill. I've done sprawling drills that didn't involve an opponenet that I think helped me tremendiously when I was wrestling, but it was still necessary to do the work with an opponent afterwards.

    "against an unwilling opponent, circle walking goes out the window." I disagree. Just because you may not find something useful, does not mean it is not useful or does not work. The purpose and use of Circle walking has been greatly misunderstood and misinterpreted by many. The one thing it is NOT is trying to walk around an opponenet.

    I already said all arts contain some level of internal and external components. Everything is obtained by physics, but that does make them the same. There are a bunch of different classes of levers in physics, why not just call them all the same, because there not? Do you need to know the different classes of levers to be able to apply those principles when doing locks and throws, no, you can do them just fine without naming them. Some people however have wanted to look deeper into techniques and have looked at what levers are involved with different techniques. Same could be said for internal and external.

    Realistic systems is relative to what's considered realistic. Doing something for self defense is different then doing something for competition, which is different then street fighting. They may have some level of inter-relatedness but their not the same realities.

    I would go to a BJJ seminar wanting to learn, same as any other seminar I attended.

    You should keep some of that open mindedness for yourself and recognize that just because "internal" styles may not be for you, they can and do work for other people.
     
  12. Nonk

    Nonk Senior member

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    A superb point, and one that in my opinion seems lost on many who practice martial arts.

    I remember a cousin of mine, a 15 year old female at around 5"4" informing me that as she held a "black belt" in some form of martial art or other that I cannot remember now, that she would "beat me in a fight"

    At that time I was 25 and 13 stone, broad shouldered and pretty strong and fit. I personally do not think in the "fight" she would have lasted more than a few seconds, but she genuinely believed her skills could make up for her vasty inferior size, strength and aggression. What rubbish are these people being taught?

    Another similar point is that if we are discussing using these techniques in real world environments then ability to take punishment as well as dish it out becomes hugely important. It is all very well scoring points in the controlled atmosphere of a gym etc, especially in those arts that do not actually train and fight "full contact" but this for many can go out the window the moment they actually get battered for real for the first time. All the training in the world will not help if you have never been hit a dig or two before and panic the first time someone draws blood.

    Physical and mental toughness are very important, not as abstract concepts, but as a real ability to carry on when tired, bleeding and in pain.
     
  13. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    A superb point, and one that in my opinion seems lost on many who practice martial arts.

    I remember a cousin of mine, a 15 year old female at around 5"4" informing me that as she held a "black belt" in some form of martial art or other that I cannot remember now, that she would "beat me in a fight"

    At that time I was 25 and 13 stone, broad shouldered and pretty strong and fit. I personally do not think in the "fight" she would have lasted more than a few seconds, but she genuinely believed her skills could make up for her vasty inferior size, strength and aggression. What rubbish are these people being taught?

    Another similar point is that if we are discussing using these techniques in real world environments then ability to take punishment as well as dish it out becomes hugely important. It is all very well scoring points in the controlled atmosphere of a gym etc, especially in those arts that do not actually train and fight "full contact" but this for many can go out the window the moment they actually get battered for real for the first time. All the training in the world will not help if you have never been hit a dig or two before and panic the first time someone draws blood.

    Physical and mental toughness are very important, not as abstract concepts, but as a real ability to carry on when tired, bleeding and in pain.



    one story that I love is having a talk with a friend of mine who was a black belt in akido- he had been studying for maybe 10 years at that time, including summers in a camp in japan, and maybe 3 times a week, but he had only ever studied akido. he had good stamina, but no real power, and was about 130 pounds. we got into a discussion, that was similar to your discussion with your cousin - he claimed that his training was such that I couldn't make him move back over a certain line. I was just a little shorter than him, but I was a great deal more powerful and heavy - and in a matter of maybe a seond and a half, without having to strike him, I had him pinned against a wall 20 feet behind where he was standing. it was almost as though I had changed his religion - he couldn't comprehend that all of this training hadn't achieved the results he wanted. several months later, we were walking down the street in a gay neighborhood, and a car drove by and called us "fags" - he took offense and ran after the car, catching them at the next light. what the fuck was going through his pointy little head, I have no idea, but when I cought up with them, he was getting the shit kicked out of him by 3 or 4 guys. I had the advantage of coming from behind them, and was able to get him away from there without to much trouble. but it was the same type of thing - he was sure that he would have been able to take on these guys, and maybe if they were all wearing pajamas and barefoot, and followed his rules, he would have shown them a thing of two.
     
  14. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    Your friend is just thick. A very å
    one story that I love is having a talk with a friend of mine who was a black belt in akido- he had been studying for maybe 10 years at that time, including summers in a camp in japan, and maybe 3 times a week, but he had only ever studied akido. he had good stamina, but no real power, and was about 130 pounds. we got into a discussion, that was similar to your discussion with your cousin - he claimed that his training was such that I couldn't make him move back over a certain line. I was just a little shorter than him, but I was a great deal more powerful and heavy - and in a matter of maybe a seond and a half, without having to strike him, I had him pinned against a wall 20 feet behind where he was standing. it was almost as though I had changed his religion - he couldn't comprehend that all of this training hadn't achieved the results he wanted. several months later, we were walking down the street in a gay neighborhood, and a car drove by and called us "fags" - he took offense and ran after the car, catching them at the next light. what the fuck was going through his pointy little head, I have no idea, but when I cought up with them, he was getting the shit kicked out of him by 3 or 4 guys. I had the advantage of coming from behind them, and was able to get him away from there without to much trouble. but it was the same type of thing - he was sure that he would have been able to take on these guys, and maybe if they were all wearing pajamas and barefoot, and followed his rules, he would have shown them a thing of two.
     
  15. Gradstudent78

    Gradstudent78 Senior member

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    we were walking down the street in a gay neighborhood, and a car drove by and called us "fags" - he took offense and ran after the car, catching them at the next light.

    If he did this he obviously wasn't paying very much attention when he was learning aikido. The whole point is to eliminate conflict, not escalate it.
     

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