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NeoPhoenix
February 8th, 2002, 07:51 PM
I was thinking of taking a Martial Arts class for defense and offence (when it's necessary), as well as exercise. The thing is though, there are so many different styles out there, and I was wondering if some of you here could tell me what some of the major differences are between them, or throw a few links to me that would help clarify. Thanks. :D

Draconis

Myst
February 8th, 2002, 08:01 PM
Even amidst the different arts there are different styles. If I were you I'd use google (http://www.google.com) and spend lots of time (ie. hours and hours) looking through different types of martial arts, and different styles. Cross ref this with your phone books listings of teachers in your area.

You see while a lot of people are into one or a couple martial arts to find someone who's proficient in more then one or two is probably almost impossible. Thus it would be impossible for someone to go "well this style is great because of ____ and ____ but this one has _____ and ____" etc.

That being said I just know someone's going to dance in here and try to tell me they know 12 different styles and their pro's and con's *sighs*

amberlaine
February 8th, 2002, 08:34 PM
ARe you male or female? THat actually makes a differnece in selecting the art that's right for you. POwer arts can be a lot more difficult for women, for example, than men. ARe you large or small? DO you want low or high impact? Do you want to learn to hit and kick, or throw? WHat are you looking for? That will help someone help you determine what art would be best for you.

NeoPhoenix
February 8th, 2002, 09:39 PM
Originally posted by amberlaine
Are you male or female? That actually makes a difference in selecting the art that's right for you. Power arts can be a lot more difficult for women, for example, than men. Are you large or small? DO you want low or high impact? Do you want to learn to hit and kick, or throw? What are you looking for? That will help someone help you determine what art would be best for you.

Well I'm male, toned though I'm not buff, and tall. I would have to say I would rather have high impact. I would like to have an equal proficiency in hitting, kicking, and throwing, if at all possible. Are there any other specifics that are important?

Twilight Garden
February 9th, 2002, 12:13 AM
I have a few family members that are heavily involved in martial arts. I took Cuong Nu for about a year in my teens. Anyway, I was going to say that some martial arts are more spiritually taught. As in, it's a major aspect of the class. If you are looking to keep that, and utilize that aspect as well, I would advise steering clear of Tae Kwon Do because it has pretty much been americanized. It is very rare to find a class in TKD that focuses on the spiritual side as well as the phisical art form itself. I'm sure there are those that may disagree, but I've heard this from most people, including those involved in it.

Myst
February 9th, 2002, 03:27 PM
That also removes Tai Chi. :p

flar7
February 11th, 2002, 04:07 AM
I would recommend Tae Kwon Do, it teaches most of what you
want. But the best thing is that it is a very good workout for
your cardio-vascular needs. I see nothing wrong with american
Tae Kwon Do, every instructor is different. Ours comes from
Jhoon Rhee, the father of American Tae Kwon Do. TKD emphasis is on striking, and in the hopes of defeating an opponent with one
blow. Also, the strike, so that you can escape is taught. One
blow, foe incapitated and you can flee.
The self confidence is one of the most important parts, as well as
the discipline. I have never been involved in a fight since taking
TKD. I dont avoid them, they just dont happen around me
anymore?

Instructors vary, ours did teach some grapples, and holds.
I would choose a striking school if you want more of a work out
as far as the cardio aerobic thing goes. And meditation during
and after working out is important to chi recovery.

Good luck in whatever you choose!

P.S. also, women do very well at TKD if they put in the time.
If equal in skill they will out kick your butt consistantly!

BlueFaery
February 16th, 2002, 03:23 PM
My first instinct is to tell you to try Isshinryu Karate. It's an Okinawan style. Of course, that's because that's the style that I train in and I absolutely love it.

But I think that the best advice that you could get is to find a few dojo's that you are interested in and sit in on a couple of classes. Most instructors will let you sit and watch without having to pay. That way you can get a feel for the class.

Most schools will also let you try out a few classes for free. Not all do, but most will. That way you can see if you will like it.

You're right that there are so many styles out there. Some are going to be more effective than others. But even if you find a style that is extremely effective, if you don't mesh with the Sensei and the rest of the class, you probably won't learn much. You also probably won't enjoy yourself.

I guess shopping for a karate school is like shopping for pants. The fit has to be good, not just the look. Horrible and cliche, I know. But true as well.

Oh! One more thing. Some places will make you sign a contract. That means you have to guarantee payment for anywhere from six months to three years. So if you start taking those classes and then three months later something comes up or you decide that the school/style just isn't for you after all, you still owe the instructor money for a long while.

Okay... I'll just step down off my soapbox now... I hope you find a school that you love! Martial arts is /so/ much fun!!

NeoPhoenix
February 19th, 2002, 02:17 AM
Thanks BlueFaery that was the best advice by far, thanks, I can't believe I didn't think of that. Thanks again. :D

Also thanks to everyone else who posted too, it all helped. :D

WaterLilly
February 28th, 2002, 05:08 PM
I have to put in my two bits... (By the way, this is going to be totally lame!)

My brother and brother-in-law are REALLY into video games. (I promise this has a point!) More and more, I've noticed martial arts fighting games giving extensive bios for their characters that include their fighting style. These video games are so detailed nowadays you can actually get a good idea of what some of the martial arts styles emphasize. (You obviously have to disregard the bits where a kick causes someone to fly 50 feet into the air, but I think you know what I'm talking about.) Some of the characters on those games fight in styles I've never heard of, not that that's saying much though... but anyway, I told you this was going to be pretty lame. If you do think it's worth a try though, as sort of a visual catalogue of martial arts, I would suggest renting an X Box and the game "Dead or Alive". ( I think it's version 3) They've got a wide range of styles portrayed and in really realistic manners, you know... for a video game.

Hoping I don't get beat down for this one,
--Water

mato
February 28th, 2002, 08:33 PM
I cant recomend a particular style but I can recommend a few books that might help you find one that you like. arts of strength... (http://shop.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?userid=17Q9E9PE37&mscssid=1G741CRFK56G9HJ3DRJ552UTXVP607Q1&sourceid=00192453834983061358&bfdate=02%2D28%2D2002+19%3A17%3A49&isbn=0834803763) this book gives a brief description of sevral martial arts that might be of intrest...
Dynamic strength (http://shop.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?userid=17Q9E9PE37&mscssid=1G741CRFK56G9HJ3DRJ552UTXVP607Q1&sourceid=00192453834983061358&bfdate=02%2D28%2D2002+19%3A17%3A49&isbn=0865680132) this one will help you before you start practicing your chosen art to get into the martial arts frame of mind.

A purely for fun book is secrets of the samurai (http://shop.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?userid=17Q9E9PE37&mscssid=1G741CRFK56G9HJ3DRJ552UTXVP607Q1&sourceid=00192453834983061358&bfdate=02%2D28%2D2002+19%3A17%3A49&isbn=0785810730) a wonderful book if you dont mind the bluntness in which the subject is taken. Further there is my personal fav. Living the Martial Way (http://shop.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?userid=17Q9E9PE37&mscssid=1G741CRFK56G9HJ3DRJ552UTXVP607Q1&sourceid=00192453834983061358&bfdate=02%2D28%2D2002+19%3A17%3A49&isbn=0942637763) a no nonsence book on the martial arts in philosophy, it is not a picture book and it will not give, as he put it so nicely "How to kill in three easy steps" as that is not the spirit of the martial arts. (ok yes it is but only in honorable combat.)

Myst
February 28th, 2002, 08:53 PM
I wouldn't trust a video game to teach anyone anything about martial arts.

WaterLilly
March 1st, 2002, 11:52 AM
See, I knew that would happen if I said anything.


I swear, I was just playing it last night. I know there is fantasy in video games, but each character has obvious differences in everything from series of moves they would execute in a sparring match to fighting stances. That game has really made an effort to accurately portray each character's martial arts.

You see, I've got to defend my point now just to keep from sounding stupid. If you actually look at it to see what I'm talking about you might agree.

Myst
March 1st, 2002, 12:45 PM
I looked at it. My fiance is a bodybuilder and a brown belt in karate. He would *not* agree that you should learn anything about martial arts from video games. You have no guarantee the people who made the game may or may not have any knowledge of arts - you really can't know, right?

The best thing to do is do some research and go in and observe some martial arts classes, and speak to senseis/teachers/etc.

WaterLilly
March 1st, 2002, 12:49 PM
I was just suggesting it as a casual type thing, like flipping through a book of photos of fighting styles might be. I wasn't suggesting that someone choose a martial arts to pursue just based off a game. Gosh, you must really have it in for me!

WaterLilly
March 1st, 2002, 01:23 PM
Sorry Myst, that last statement kind of came out a bit stronger than I think I had intended. I'm just being sort of sensetive because I think the advice I gave was really sort of wacky and I was worried that it might produce a reply like yours. And since I don't want to sound like a moron I've been trying to defend my advice, but it is pretty silly after all, isn't it? As long as I feel secure that in future conversations you'll be able to take me seriously after all of this I'm sure it'll be fine.

Anyway, I'm afraid my comment has taken a bit some of the attention off of the question. So, sorry. In my experience (really serious now..) it's been hard to find a martial arts school that puts as much emphasis on the spirituality of the abilites as the fighting, but I re-read your post and saw that you didn't say particularly that that was important to you, so in which case I'd do just what Myst and the others had suggested. Just go visit people. I wouldn't however, use the internet to look. I've tried that and it's really a pain. You waste so much time and learn so little. Best thing I've ever done is just go walk into the establishment during classtime (or ask permission to do so) and watch for a while. Usually the head of the class is good about leading you in the right direction if he/she isn't busy. I've found that teachers actually will go to great lengths to help a student find where they might want to go to learn martial arts, even if it doesn't end up being at that particular teacher's school. Hope that'll help. (this time) :)

Hrafnhilde
April 26th, 2002, 11:07 AM
I... hrm... play around a bit.

I've recently started training in Krav Maga.

I've also had a goodly amount of training in Shintaido Bojutsu, Kendo, and Iaido. When we moved, I never could find another Iaido instructor in my area (should sword styles be your thing, Kansas ain't the place to learn). So, I'm still doing it on my own and probably picking up a whole myriad of bad habits. ;)

mythril
May 6th, 2002, 01:50 AM
Hi there, i thought i could add something to the conversation.

I have been practicing tai chi chaun for a few years now and find it to be a verry divers and deep art, that is if you can find a good sensei who teaches traditional forms.

It can be high impact or really soft depending on many factors.
So you can addapt it for your own build.

For example, while practicing the solo forms, one can take really low stances which is extremely dificult considering the slowness of the solo form.
Alternatively one can practice the postures without straining, that is why it is safe for the elderly.

And i must add, practicing the weapon forms are really tough if that is what you want, lots of stretching involved.

happy searching

Myst
May 6th, 2002, 02:04 AM
Sorry WaterLily, not sure if you're still around or what, but I didn't mean to attack you.

I'm coming from the point of view of a martial artist who bases his spirituality and religion on his teachings in karate over the past several years. So to me, it's a very spiritual thing.

WaterLilly
May 6th, 2002, 02:05 PM
It's ok Myst. Martial arts are a very spiritual thing to me too, so I know what you're saying.
Draconis, any luck with searching around yet?

blindsight
May 28th, 2002, 05:19 PM
I have never had any formal training in a martial art, but i do have some knowledge of biokinetics and how the body moves. i have studied basic principles of many martial arts and found that eastern martial arts are far more recognised than some of their equally effectic european counterparts. i believe that martial arts is also more than just a step by step guide to defense but has a spiritual aspect. Meditation is an excellent way to hone concentration and breathing is essential.

Basically I find 4 key aspects to martial arts
1. Knowledge- essentially meaning you need to know something of how the body moves, and how to increase efficiency of movements, including knowing your intent in fighting, be it to defend, or discourage attackers, some even use martail arts ritualistically.
2. Understanding- taking what you know and applying it in practice until a definite pattern evolves, then creating attack and defense styles based on how YOUR body moves. everyone is built differently so everyones style differs.
3. Execution- learning to use it properly and optimise its effectiveness, mastering proper breathing to insrease metabolism thereby increasing speed of execution, and accuracy, isolating and mastering attack specific targets on your oppenent.
4. Justification- understanding the ramifications of your actions, realizing that martial arts are more than just physical, but also deeply spiritual.


I am sorry if you do not agree with these, I posted them because It worked well for me. I am 5'6" and 100lbs and have not had to worry about physical attack since, and when it did occur i was well prepared, as I said, each person differs. the preceding poins are ment to be a sort of ladder of progression, the fourth being the pinnacle of understand your art.

WandererInGray
June 5th, 2002, 12:33 PM
Has anyone tried their hands at Shao-lin Kung Fu?

*smiles* I'm thinking of looking into it, and have found a few places in my area that teach it (I think, still have to go into the place and talk to someone) but I thought I'd pump people's brains here as well.

Regulus
June 23rd, 2002, 03:27 PM
I trained for about two years in shao-lin Tiger Kung Fu. I loved it. Very physical and spiritual at the same time. Twenty minute work out first then the actual training. Very simple stuff at first. I don't know, some like it some don't as with anything. I enjoyed it a great deal. Thats all i can really say.

WandererInGray
June 27th, 2002, 12:26 PM
*nods* Thanks Regulus....that's one of the things that draws me is the blend of physical and spiritual.

It's hard to find that in most classes, which is why I end up doing yoga by myself. :)

skatha_mare
December 23rd, 2003, 01:05 AM
I do Shoalin Kempo Karate. If you are looking for a good physical workout this is it (at least at the school I go to). It mixes a variety of styles (including judo and arnis) into a form that can be used effectively for self-defense (one of our senseis and two of our blackbelt instructors are police officers). What we study is similar, but not the same as Villari's Kempo. The villari's website (http://www.villari.com/fvhistory.htm) does have a lot of info about the form if you are interested.

Disclaimer: This is not necessarily an endorsement of the Villari studio-it is for info purposes only, as with all things one should check out the local options to find the right fit.

Toby
December 27th, 2003, 12:32 AM
I've trained in Chito-Ryu for a few years. Its pernouced Stir-roo. I suggest it to you.