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Martial arts

Posted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 8:19 pm
by bob
I would like to take up some form of self defense course for personal protection and need some suggestions which ones i should concentrate on. My local college offers a Philippino martial arts calsss but it's already filled. The more i hear about people being attacked and robbed, the more incentive i have to learn a martial arts form. I'm 56 and not as flexible as i once was, but i'm working on that. Thanks.

Posted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 8:33 pm
by pdellorto
It's not the style, it's the stylist. Choose the class by the teacher and the class environment. When it's all said and done, you'll be better off if you like the teacher and have a good teacher-student relationship. You need to like your classmates, too.

Given an equal choice, go for the class that has the most contact. If you aren't actually hitting people and being hit in class, you won't learn to defend yourself very well. You want to avoid what Bruce Lee called "dry land swimming" - classes where you don't learn to use the tools under the circumstances you intend to use them. Learning a non-contact art is perfectly legitimate, but you want to learn for self-defense, so you need to avoid non-contact arts.

Too bad the FMA class filled up, FMA is pretty interesting. I used to do a form of kali silat myself. Brought a few sticks to Japan in case I could interest some friends in trying it...eventually gave the sticks to a new teacher who'd practiced FMA when she lived in the US. None of my Japanese friends seemed interested.

Posted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 8:43 pm
by bob
Thanks for the advice, Peter. I might still be able to take the class. I just have to fill out an add slip. As long as the list isn't too long, i might have a chance to get in.

Posted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 8:58 pm
by bob
I just checked the Fall catalog of martial arts classes. This is what they offer: M.M.A
Filippino M.A.
Jiujistu
Kickboxing
Karate
Jeet kune do
Tai chi chuan
Lots of choices! I think i will talk to some of the instructors to get a feel for the classes and see if i can still get in. Anyway, the classes are only $20.00 per unit. Can't beat that.

Posted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:29 pm
by Jungledoc
I agree with what Peter said, with a couple of additions.

I think it's worthwhile to have experience in both a "striking" art and a "grappling" art. If you're a great striker, you might be pretty helpless once someone gets their hands on you. On the other hand, a judo expert may not have many options when a fist is flying toward their face!

Also keep in mind that in one term of college you will only learn the beginning skills. Most who study martial arts stay with one art for several years. When I received my black belt (in Taekwando) I was told that this belt only showed that I had accumulated the basic tools of the trade. Now I must begin to learn to use the tools effectively.

One last point. There is no martial art that will provide complete protection. If an inexperienced individual attacks me with their hands, I certainly have a better chance of survival than I did before I studied TKD. But if a determined, knowledgeable person attacks me with a knife or a gun, I'm going to get hurt, and I may not survive, martial arts not withstanding. Too many people (especially young ones) study a MA, and end up feeling and acting invulnerable. The image of MA portrayed in movies and TV is often not a realistic one.

Posted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 11:48 pm
by bob
Again, some good advice. I like the idea of learning striking and grappling. My school has beginning, intermediate, and advanced classes in all styles, but i realize this is just a a start.

Posted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 5:33 am
by KPj
Peter made a great point about avoiding non contact. I learned Karate for a lot of my child hood and feel that, well, it wasn't useless - it made me fit and strong for my age - but, when it came to real life, i ended up just losing it - everything I learned got throwin' out the window when it came to it - you just 'wade in' like an idiot.

When I was about 18-ish, not long after I started lifting seriously, I got talking to a boxing coach and ended up going to the gym he coached in. It was one of the best things I done. The training was brutal, in terms of cardio as I was pretty unfit. Felt like my chest was going to explode. But I learned so much. I learned more about myself there in one summer than I did with a good few years of Karate.

But back to Peters point - when I first sparred it was very daunting. But it's not long before you get over the fear of a fist flying towards your face, and you can actually watch it coming and react. You become much more relaxed and natural about the whole thing and personally, I think everyone needs this. On top of that, you'll build some confidence in yourself. Sort of related to Jungledocs point, I think if you lack confidence, the typical bully / trouble maker is drawn to you. I used to think the world was against me, couldn't go on a night out without someone having a go. Since I got stronger, a bit bigger, and learned just a little bit of boxing, NOTHING has happened in years. Strange. But it sort of makes sense. Most troublemakers look for an easy target, if you have that underlying confidence in yourself and your ability, you won't look or feel intimidated.

Oh, and I done boxing just because i've always been a big fan. In terms of self defense, I think your better with a more all round sport i.e. not just using your hands.

KPj

Posted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 8:05 am
by lightningsix
If you have JKD available man I would totally sing up.
Just my 2cents but the art of JKD is very aggressive in forms of contact and speed, totally rocks.

I currently take Muay Thai, I absolutely love the style and the power that comes with it. I only wish I had a JKD program in Austin, I've been looking for a long long time.

-Good luck

Posted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 1:12 pm
by Ubulus Dorsimus
Krav Maga. Modern, practical, covers all ranges (striking, grappling etc..), covers weapons defenses. Plus the classes are fun and get you in great shape.

Posted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 2:19 pm
by pdellorto
Bob, just give any of them a try. I'd recommend contact, and any classes aimed at self-defense, since that's your goal.

The various styles you listed are all potentially combative (assuming it's really T'ai Chi Chuan and not just relaxation-aimed T'ai Chi). Once got my nose broken in a T'ai Chi Chuan class doing contact knockdown practice. Ouch. Surprised the hell out of co-workers who wondered how I got hit doing T'ai Chi...but it was a serious class with contact training.

But your teacher, not the style, will make the most difference. I learned, for example, Shorin-ryu Karate-do and Wing Chun Kung Fu, but I learned them from a former Marine in his garage. Yes, we did kata and drills. But we also had lots of contact training, drilled self defense, bag work, multiple-man sparring, etc. We did head butts and learned to fight with knives and basic gun disarms (for a worse case scenario) - neither of which is traditional for either art. A different teacher would have taught us differently.

Just try them out, and make sure you talk to the teacher about your goal - self defense. You need to find a teacher that'll teach you what you need to learn, not necessarily a style that'll match it. From all I've learned over the years, it's the teacher-student matchup that matters more than the style.

k

Posted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 1:44 pm
by CoreAlex
yes my frist answer post and i can actualy say this from experience, im only 15 years old but ive been doing this stuff since i was 4 years old. the thing is that if you want realy good self defence u got to go for combinations. Do some muay that to get your punching kicking and kneeing to a realy powerful point. then combine it with a ground combat sport like jiu jitsu. if you learn these two ull get into a place where youd beat up a lot of people, i personaly do muay thai, jiu jitsu, wrestling, and tki karate. so all you got to do is combinations, mix it up a little

one

Posted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 1:46 pm
by CoreAlex
one more thing, put it this way a person whos only kick boxed for 2 years will beat the crap out of a person who does regular boxing for 5 years, mixing it up and knowing how to use different attacks is realy good in fighting

Re: k

Posted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 7:51 am
by lightningsix
CoreAlex wrote:yes my frist answer post and i can actualy say this from experience, im only 15 years old but ive been doing this stuff since i was 4 years old. the thing is that if you want realy good self defence u got to go for combinations. Do some muay that to get your punching kicking and kneeing to a realy powerful point. then combine it with a ground combat sport like jiu jitsu. if you learn these two ull get into a place where youd beat up a lot of people, i personaly do muay thai, jiu jitsu, wrestling, and tki karate. so all you got to do is combinations, mix it up a little
The only reason I wouldn't recommend jiu jitsu and wrestling and such is because he's mainly talking about real life defense situations. He needs mainly only striking arts. How many times have you seen a real life fight break out where they began a wrestling or jiu jitsu stance or immediately dropped to the ground to get ready?

Not saying your martial arts exp is wrong because if you're competing or doing other thigns then muay thai and jiu jitsu is an awesome combo.

But he was mainly asking for self defense real life situations. He needs to know how to strike from a standing stance.

Posted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 9:46 am
by TimD
I;ve used many wrestling moves in real life situations. Arm drag/go behinds, headocks and whizzers down to the ground. Get the guy down and incapacitated with anything that works for you. A side kick to just below the knee wuth a scrape down the shin with a hard soled shoe works wonders.
Tim

Posted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 9:51 am
by KPj
TimD wrote: A side kick to just below the knee wuth a scrape down the shin with a hard soled shoe works wonders.
Tim
Funny you should mention that. When at the boxing gym I mentioned in my first post, the coach and I were talking about this defending your self. Normally, in Scotland, before someone goes for you, they say something stupid first ("what you lookin' at" " got a problem etc"). So I asked what he felt was the best approach in that situation.

He said, "kick them in the shin as hard as you can".

Unless they're a freaky Thai boxer with metal shins, I reckon it would be very effective!

KPj