What martial art should I learn?

Discussion in 'Health & Body' started by TheIdler, Oct 17, 2007.

  1. TheIdler

    TheIdler Senior member

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    I've been considering taking up a martial art. Do you have any recommendations on how to choose one that might be right for me? Self-defense is important, but I'm also attracted by the idea of mental discipline and learning a more traditional system, maybe even some meditation. I want a competitive sport, but I'm in my mid-thirties, so minimizing injury risk would be cool. What do you guys think?
     


  2. ken

    ken Banned by Request

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    I think it's a very good idea but have precious little experience with the subject. There's plenty here that do, though.
     


  3. tiecollector

    tiecollector Senior member

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    If you are in Spain I think they all practice El Correr, should be easy to find. I'm looking to get into some Jiu Jitsu and submission style stuff. You've opened a can of worms with this thread though. Every other month a thread like this pops up it seems.
     


  4. retronotmetro

    retronotmetro Senior member

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    You've opened a can of worms with this thread though. Every other month a thread like this pops up it seems.

    Right. Next we will degrade into style vs style arguments, in the midst of which someone will buzz in to say that only psycho workplace shooters and black helicopter fearing survivalists train in martial arts.
     


  5. tiecollector

    tiecollector Senior member

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    Right. Next we will degrade into style vs style arguments, in the midst of which someone will buzz in to say that only psycho workplace shooters and black helicopter fearing survivalists train in martial arts.
    Followed by a globetrotter anecdote demonstrating their futility in his presence during the 80s.
     


  6. FidelCashflow

    FidelCashflow Senior member

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    It's a tough call. If you want discipline and a competitive sport with meditation and minimal risk of injury. Tae Kwon Do, Karate, and Kung fu are good options. I have a brown belt in TKD and a blue belt in Bando Karate (its a fusion of Karate and Burmese Boxing, which is pretty rare in North America.) But I've been out of practice for along time. TKD was great for discipline, useless for self defense. Bando karate, was less disciplined because of our instructor, but moderately valuable as self defense.

    But if you want a sport thats heavy on the self defense and makes you into a fighter thats really ready for anything, you may be better off studying brazilian jiu jitsu or some other form of mixed martial arts. They will train you to fight like an animal, but there will be no elements of discipline or meditation, and a great risk of injury. The brazilian jiu jitsu classes I've seen are really like UFC training camps, with all the testoterone filled jock attitude that goes with it.
     


  7. TheIdler

    TheIdler Senior member

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    If you are in Spain I think they all practice El Correr

    Wow, I've actually never heard of that. I'll look into it, but I think I'd be more interested in an East Asian martial art. Thanks though.
     


  8. mizanation

    mizanation Senior member

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    hi theidler,

    a couple questions for you...

    what makes you think that mental discipline is obtained by practicing a traditional system--or any martial art?

    what makes you interested in an east asian martial art, specifically?

    when you say competitive sport, do you mean a martial art with tournaments? or competitive meaning, you can compete against someone at the gym?
     


  9. tiecollector

    tiecollector Senior member

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    Wow, I've actually never heard of that. I'll look into it, but I think I'd be more interested in an East Asian martial art. Thanks though.
    I'm kidding man. I'm poking fun at girly Europeans. El Correr means "Running". Actually the French have a style of kickboxing called Savate, but they look really gay doing it.
     


  10. Gradstudent78

    Gradstudent78 Senior member

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    I've been considering taking up a martial art. Do you have any recommendations on how to choose one that might be right for me? Self-defense is important, but I'm also attracted by the idea of mental discipline and learning a more traditional system, maybe even some meditation. I want a competitive sport, but I'm in my mid-thirties, so minimizing injury risk would be cool. What do you guys think?


    Find out what is available to you. You'll be better off finding a good match between yourself and a particular school/teacher then having us recommend a particular style and then having you go find them. You'll end up getting a bunch of different recommendations and even if you were to settle on one based upon what people say here, it may not be available to you and even if the style is available, it doesn't mean the person teaching it is any good or that they are a good match for you. So like I said, find out whats available and then go watch some classes + talk with the instructors.

    The only exception I would make to this is if someone knows a particular person in Spain that sounds like a good match for you.
     


  11. TheIdler

    TheIdler Senior member

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    I'm kidding man.

    I thought it was something they used to fight bulls, maybe.

    what makes you think that mental discipline is obtained by practicing a traditional system--or any martial art?

    It seems to me that a lot of martial arts training lends itself to developing the mind as well as the body in a way that's different from, say, playing squash. Plus, just about everything I've read so far about martial arts seems to say the same thing. But your phrasing indicates you think otherwise?

    Well, as I said, I'm also interested in the mental/meditation aspects, and the Chinese/Japanese traditions seem more in line with this than, say, Krav Maga. It's also, at least where I'm living now, easier to find schools that teach these.

    Either of those.

    FidelCashflow, thanks for your input. I'm much more like what you described in your first paragraph. The whole self-defense thing is actually pretty low on my list of reasons for doing this. To be honest, I can't imagine how long I'd have to train before fighting ever became a better option than running.[​IMG]
     


  12. FidelCashflow

    FidelCashflow Senior member

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    FidelCashflow, thanks for your input. I'm much more like what you described in your first paragraph. The whole self-defense thing is actually pretty low on my list of reasons for doing this. To be honest, I can't imagine how long I'd have to train before fighting ever became a better option than running.[​IMG]

    No problem, TheIdler. Your best bet is to look up local classes in your area, and just go to them and have a look. When I was looking for martial arts schools, all of them would let you come and just watch a class to see if it was something you might be interested in, as well they usually offer introductory classes before you're committed to anything.

    When you go to a gym, really focus on the quality of teaching and how the students are performing. Sometimes people get caught up in how state-of-the-art the gym is and what kind of amenities it has. I've been in state of the art gyms where training was average, and some very spartan gyms with little equipment where the quality of training was excellent. Also keep in mind that just because the instructor is an amazing practitioner, it doesn't mean he's an amazing teacher. Some people know how to do, some people know how to teach, you want someone who can do both.

    But as a very general starting point, you should decide if you're looking for a grappling art or a stand up fighting art. Typically each art is focused on one or the other. Grappling arts are like wrestling and judo, require lots of ground fighting, and tend to work best for bulkier guys. Strand up fighting is a completly different ball game, and focuses more on kicks and punches, and is more suited to people with quick reflexes and greater flexibility (needed when hitting the higher kicks to the head.) Thats not to say that you must pick based on your body type, either way they will train you as long as you're committed.

    Let us know what you decide!
     


  13. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    I'd suggest krav. lots of fun, great for self defense, good for fitness, works around your personal physical abilities and weaknesses.
     


  14. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    Right. Next we will degrade into style vs style arguments, in the midst of which someone will buzz in to say that only psycho workplace shooters and black helicopter fearing survivalists train in martial arts.

    you can't leave your martial arts lying around so some kid shoots himself with it, and you can't fire through your neighbors wall with a martial arts because you thought it would be cool to have one that is way to big for you.

    no, I am all in favor of martial arts, myself.
     


  15. Gradstudent78

    Gradstudent78 Senior member

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    But as a very general starting point, you should decide if you're looking for a grappling art or a stand up fighting art. Typically each art is focused on one or the other. Grappling arts are like wrestling and judo, require lots of ground fighting, and tend to work best for bulkier guys. Strand up fighting is a completly different ball game, and focuses more on kicks and punches, and is more suited to people with quick reflexes and greater flexibility (needed when hitting the higher kicks to the head.) Thats not to say that you must pick based on your body type, either way they will train you as long as you're committed.

    That's not necessarily true, Aikido and and many japanese jujutsu styles include primarily stand up grappling (with some strikes), with relatively little or less focus on ground fighting.
     


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