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Author Topic: Martial arts anyone?
Politius
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Just read the interesting thread from Daruma about martial arts. I thought it would be interesting to start my own. I'm wondering if anyone else who does martial arts belong to an organization that has shifted from martial arts-training to money-making (e.g. making competitors buy new equipment every 2 months and creating ludicris new programs such as XMA/Taekwondo which chost $2000 that are now required) one?
On that note, does anyone else done (or do) martial arts? Just leave your name, style, rank and any particularly interesting accomplishments you've done in your "field"!

Terry Hsieh
Taekwondo & Kendo
3rd black decided & Go-dan (respectively)
Going to World Champs next year. Triple-crown state champ 2004 TKD.

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ATW
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My daughters were in Taekwondo. There were some equipment cost I wasn't thrilled about but no repetitive purchases for no apparent reason.

Instead of gouging on equipment and such, they held game nights and sleepovers at the dojo. Building up the event to the students before letting parents know it was going to happen made it extremely difficult to say no regardless of how expensive the event was.

They stayed in until orange belt when the sparring really started. My oldest daughter didn't like the impact of people hitting her or the impact of blocking. Can't say that I really blame her. (Though at least I have medical conditions which make it a bad idea to let people hit me. [Smile] )

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RickyB
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You sound bad ass, Politius [Smile]
Rechavia Berman
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Hisardut ("survival" - an Israeli/south african-developed style mixing Gojo-Rio karate, judo and jiu-jitsu. Very full contact, no Katas. Their boast is that a green belt in hisardut can kick the ass of a black belt in most other disciplines. It's pretty accurate).

I've also studied a little bit of regular karate (some gojo-rio, some ****o-rio) and a tiny biy of wing tsun kung fu).

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Daruma28
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What Ricky, no Krav Maga?

I really like their street smart mentality and practicality of their techniques versus gun and grenade wielders.

Much of what I've seen is very similar to the Kenpo I study.

Oh, and I've seen *many* martial art styles and schools that make various claims that their color belts could kick the ass of another style/art's black belt.

I contend that it is not the art that matters - but the artist.

Oh, and ANYONE can be knocked out. Hell, even a goon that never been in a real fight in his life could land a lucky punch on a 3954324th degree black belt.

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Gary
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After some kickboxing, Tae Kwon Do, Kuk Sool Won and Tang Soo Do, I settled on Tukong Moosul. The first TM school I went to had a full contact, no holds barred sparring session that was truly educational.

I have worked out with some dedicated Krav Maga students and been to a number of their classes and I like that a lot too. The heavy focus on fitness the classes have is really good.

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RickyB
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That's very true, Daruma, but when one style practices actual full contact from almost the first minute, and other styles still pull punches and mark when sparring amongst brown belts, then the brown belts may have the prettier moves, but they'll lose at actual kumite. If you've never been punched and kicked in earnest by someone whi knows what they're doing, you probably will have trouble dealing with it. If you're used to going home black and blue from practice on a regular basis, you'll be far less fazed by getting hit.

As for Krav Maga - Hisardut is like the next generation, and many of the black belts at hisardut teach self-defense in the army. When I was 17 or so, this 13 year old kid from Hisardut made all the papers for beating off two Arabs who tried to kidnap him and his friend at knife point.

I also suggest that you're exaggerating wildly qith your last comment. A real high ranking master would have to be asleep, or at least simply not be aware that a punk wanted to attack him, for the punk to even connect, let alone knock him out. In other words, it would have to be a sucker punch totallyu out of the blue. I've seen a real 7th dan master demonstrate. Time moves differently for these people.

I once went to practice at a NYC dojo while visiting my dad. This dojo was (maybe is) run by a Japanese master named Mori, I think. Shi-to-rio style. Anyway, I was lucky enough for the master himself to demonstrate one of the times I worked out there. So he wants to demonstrate a block and tells me to attack him - and I couldn't. He had to tell me three times before I could get over this aura of "stay away" the guy has around him. It was like a physical shield.

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musket
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Wing Chun, no rank, traditional school didn't have a formal ranking system (to judge by the romanized spelling of what RickyB studied, he's referring to the system developed by Leung Ting, which does have ranks). Also some Hung Gar and Liu Ho Pa Fa (a "soft" Chinese system similar to Taiji), prior to taking up Wing Chun.

Studied Wing Chun for six years, became an instructor at the school, but no martial arts activity since moving to the boonies. The few systems that are available to me here don't interest me. I can take care of myself if need be.

Wing Chun is not a complete system, in that it doesn't include grappling techniques, but it's very good for learning how to punch somebody's lights out. Or put their eyes out.

I agree with Daruma... it mostly boils down to the practitioner, not the style.

[ December 01, 2004, 07:27 PM: Message edited by: musket ]

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Haggis
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No martial arts. But I can run really fast. Which will be my tactic if I ever tick any of you guys off. [Smile]
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Daruma28
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quote:
If you've never been punched and kicked in earnest by someone whi knows what they're doing, you probably will have trouble dealing with it. If you're used to going home black and blue from practice on a regular basis, you'll be far less fazed by getting hit.
lol, so true.

I think this is the biggest thing one can develop from training. One must learn how to take pain in order to give it. Once a person gets over the fear of getting beaten up (mostly because when you train in an intense school, it becomes "been there, done that.") they become much more dangerous as a fighter.

Yes, I was wildly exaggerating, but their is truth to it. There is always somebody out there that is better, faster, quicker, stronger or just plain luckier than you.

The "aura" you are talking about? Call it "exuding confidence." as in "I am confident that you will regret attacking me."

In the case of those that are advanced ('masters') like the one you describe, I think it goes beyond exuding confidence....more like it's exuding "absolute certainty," or "I am absolutely certain that you will regret attacking me." [Big Grin]

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Daruma28
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Haggis - what are you going to do if/when you are cornered and have nowhere left to run?

Students often ask me about the purpose of training. I like to use the analogy that training your mind and body is similar to keeping a spare tire in your trunk. You hope you never have to use it, but if you do, it's there.

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Haggis
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quote:
Haggis - what are you going to do if/when you are cornered and have nowhere left to run?
I'm thinking I will severely damage your fists and feet by constantly pummeling my face against them. That'll teach ya.
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Sancselfieme
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All of my sons expressed interest at various points in martial arts, and all of them wanted to take taekwondo until they saw hapkido. I showed them a few moves while they were growing up but it has been a long time since I was in training. While I was in it though, and looking around very long ago, I found hapkido to be superior to all forms of martial arts I had seen, even Bruce Lee's jeetkeendo(sp?). There are many reasons I chose hapkido but the most important one and the first one I had was the level of power I saw utilized in it. It quite simply has the most powerful moves in martial arts I have ever seen. My Master for most of the time I was in it was quite possibly the strongest, most disciplined man I have ever met. Thank you Master Chae wherever you are.


Brian Moresonner
Black Belt 2nd degree
14 great years of hapkido

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Daruma28
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Ahhh....blocking with ones face is a common technique employed by beginners. [Wink]
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Adam Masterman
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quote:
Ahhh....blocking with ones face is a common technique employed by beginners.
When Woody from Cheers lost a fist fight, Norm consoled him by pointing out "at least you left little bits of face in his pinkie ring."
[Big Grin]
Adam

[ December 01, 2004, 08:59 PM: Message edited by: Adam Masterman ]

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Everard
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Heh. I follow haggis' theory of self defence. I'd love to learn to defend myself, but my body will never let me. I have very poor muscle memory, and a general lack of coordination. I always KNOW what I'm supposed to do, physically, but can't usually do it. The exceptions have been running, and pitching. Pitching, of course, is something that I control the pace of, and can think about for every action. Self defence... isn't like that. I've generally learned how to avoid fights, be safe, and find the escape route when necessary. Living next to a state police barracks helps of course *grin*

I've only been in one situation where I've actually been attacked, and that was a school bully when I was a freshman in high school. He hit me in the face, I stood there, and looked at him, he got confused and ran off.

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Ivan
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I trained in a Viet Namese style for about 7 years I suppose. Sadly, when I left for College, there wasn't a dojo anywhere within an hour of my school, and I havn't been able to get myself to to train on my own. I tried to start up a club on campus and teach people, but with a tiny (mostly hippie) population, there wasn't much interest and it didn't stick. Oh well. I definitly enjoyed the years I spent training, and perhaps I'll go back one day when its remotly near convenient.

The style I trianed in is called Cuong Nhu, and its something of a schmorgasboard of other styles. The guy who created it (Grandmaster Ngo Dong) brought it over to the US after he fled with his family (who still run the show) from Viet Nam. Most of our lower-level stuff is based in Shotokan, but in the upper levels, we learn judo techniques, some Wing Chun stuff, Aikido, American-style boxing, as well as weapons training and grappeling. It's a young style, but the members are very dedicated. There are dojos in most major cities along the south-eastern coast of the US (especially Florida), but other schools are scattered across the US. I would recommend it to anyone. The children's program is great, but there's also plenty of sparring, etc. for college kids. [Wink]

Matt Avery
Black Belt (not 1st degree, just black belt)
Cuong Nhu

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Sunil Carspecken
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I'm planning to take up Aikido. Throwing people/getting thrown sounds fun. =U
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Lewkowski
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"Haggis - what are you going to do if/when you are cornered and have nowhere left to run?"

Most people are never going to get into a serious fight unless they did something to provoke it.

If someone is truly worried... well thats why we have the NRA! [Wink]

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RickyB
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Daruma said:
"The "aura" you are talking about? Call it "exuding confidence." as in "I am confident that you will regret attacking me."

It's more than that. What you're talking about, every black belt worth his salt has. I'm not exaggerating here - I knew this was a demonstration, knew he wouldn't hurt me, and yet I had trouble bringing myself to attack him. Almost like a religious reverence.

Musket - the style I'm talking about is pronounced like yours, and I think the guy credited with its formation (or at least popularization) is a master named Yip. IIRC, the style was originally developed in China by a woman. Bruce Lee studied it, before he added some fancy footwork for the camera's sake. The basic technique is referred to as "sticky hands" (and "sticky legs"). Is that what you studied?

I didn't practice it formally. My roommate for 5 years in NYC used to study from the Yip man and knew a lot, and he taught me some. I'd really love to get my hands on the wooden dummy they use for training.

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RickyB
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"If someone is truly worried... well thats why we have the NRA!"

Yeah, cause it's better to maybe stand trial for manslaughter, maybe just have to live with the death of a person on your conscience, than to show some self-discipline and learn some basic techniques... [Roll Eyes]

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Lewkowski
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Would that involve missing out on quality TV like Desprate Housewives or Survivor?

Anyway martial arts is probably very good physical fitness exercise but its not that big a deal. We don't live in some third world country.

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The Drake
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Well, if you're going to a basketball game in Detroit it could be handy [Smile]
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Plo Koon
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"It's more than that. What you're talking about, every black belt worth his salt has. I'm not exaggerating here - I knew this was a demonstration, knew he wouldn't hurt me, and yet I had trouble bringing myself to attack him. Almost like a religious reverence. "

I saw this on a TV show called Mind, body and kick ass moves. The show was about going all over the world and meeting different masters. The show's host was a black belt in a couple of things, but when he met this 60 year old Japanese master and was unable to attack him.

The show's host reckoned it was his ki/chi. I personally think it was to do with body language. I reckon it is a way of moving that invokes fear and hesitation at the most primitive level in your attackers.

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musket
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quote:
I saw this on a TV show called Mind, body and kick ass moves. The show was about going all over the world and meeting different masters. The show's host was a black belt in a couple of things, but when he met this 60 year old Japanese master and was unable to attack him.
In the Japanese systems, this quality is known as zanshin.

quote:
Musket - the style I'm talking about is pronounced like yours, and I think the guy credited with its formation (or at least popularization) is a master named Yip. IIRC, the style was originally developed in China by a woman. Bruce Lee studied it, before he added some fancy footwork for the camera's sake. The basic technique is referred to as "sticky hands" (and "sticky legs"). Is that what you studied?

I didn't practice it formally. My roommate for 5 years in NYC used to study from the Yip man and knew a lot, and he taught me some. I'd really love to get my hands on the wooden dummy they use for training.

All variants are pronounced the same way. Yip Chun, one of Yip Man's sons, spells it Wing Chun. The late Moy Yat, one of only seven direct and indisputable disciples of Yip Man, spelled it Ving Tsun. Leung Ting, who claims to have been Yip Man's last and "closed door" student, spells it Wing Tsun.

Bruce Lee studied with Wong Shun Leung, another of Yip Man's direct disciples and a famed Hong Kong street fighter.

I did plenty of Chi Sao (sticky hands), but never studied Chi Gerk (sticky legs). The Yip Man version of Wing Chun isn't the only one, btw. I studied both Yip Man Wing Chun and Gulao (Pien San) Wing Chun--

Gulao Wing Chun

And there are yet other variants, check the site overall if interested. Mook Yan Jong (the wooden dummy) are easy enough to obtain. All it takes is dough. [Smile]

Edit-- here is an interesting quote from Bruce Lee's teacher:

quote:
Self-defense is only an illusion, a dark cloak beneath which lurks a razor-sharp dagger waiting to be plunged into the first unwary victim. Whoever declares that any weapon manufactured today, whether it be a nuclear missle or a .38 special, is created for self-defense should look a little more closely at his own image in the mirror. Either he is a liar or is deceiving himself.

Wing Chun kung fu is a very sophisticated weapon--nothing else. It is a science of combat, the intent of which is the total incapacitation of an opponent. It is straightforward, efficient and deadly. If you're looking to learn self-defense, don't study Wing Chun. It would be better for you to master the art of invisibility.

-- Wong Shun Leung



[ December 02, 2004, 09:46 AM: Message edited by: musket ]

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EvanWeeks
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Great quote, Musket.

Currently, I'm studying kenjitsu/iaijitsu under a MSgt here on base who spent most of his early career on Misawa AFB in Okinawa, Japan. The equipment is expensive, but I love the release of emotion, plus the art and science of the way the Japanese Sword works, in all its forms.

By far my favorite style studied thus far is Taoist Tai Chi. It's nice, slow, almost a dance art, but if you're doing it correctly, you can speed it up and envision your opponents as you go through the kata. Very fluid style, and highly relaxing.

As far as functional combat arts go, I achieved 2nd Dan in Aikido before moving on to the korean style Hapkido here in Alabama under a 5th Dan named John Hartinger (ex-navy, spent tons of time in South Korea). He didn't stick around too terribly long, but I learned a ton while he was here, and was wearing red-advanced when he left (red-purple-1st Dan). From there, I've touched on Tang Soo Do, Kook Sool Won, re-read Bruce Lee's "The Tao of Jeet Kune Do" multiple times, and have sort of refined my understanding of combat arts by visiting schools that spar a lot and testing my skills against their higher-level, more skilled students.

One of these days I hope to find a good Wing Chun school. *sighs* It'll probably just have to wait until after I'm done with culinary school.

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JLMyers
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I took Chi Tung Do for a long time from Joe Acton (the guy that used to catch the striking rattle snake on That's Incredible!) But the police techniques my dad taught me were much more effective in street fights. The only time karate realy came in handy was when fighting drunks. Then you could get fancy. I think grappling, that Gracie stuff, would be very useful also.

Daruma is right. Anyone can be knocked out. One of the fights I was proudest of was when a guy hit me from the side while I wasn't looking. Knocked me clean out (shattered my lips). I came-too when my shoulders hit the pavement . I always wondered what I would do if that happened. You know, always yellin at the guy on TV to get up! Needless to say I got up and beat the **** out of him. If I hadn't I wouldn't be telling y'all the story now. [Wink]

KE

[ December 02, 2004, 11:02 AM: Message edited by: JLMyers ]

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PhilM
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This topic is interesting to me.

What would you folks recommend to someone who has never been in a fist fight in his life, that would like to learn some of this?

Keep in mind, I am 34 years old with the flexability of a stick of wood [Smile]

Phil

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EvanWeeks
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Believe it or not, I've been in multiple situations since high school where people were trying to get me to fight, and I end up diffusing the situations some way or another. I dunno, I've been told that I unnerve people because I'm so calm about it when I've decided to stand up and face someone. It's just outward calm. Inside, I'm just focusing the rage on what I need to do, and controlling myself so I only do as much as is needed.

The one time I've been in a fight since I graduated high school, the guy spun me around from the bar and decked me in the eye. Dumb idea, since that's like the strongest part of the face. Tore the skin and stunned me for a sec, but he made the mistake of backing up and turning around to his friends. Bad idea #2. I reached around, knife-handed his upper throat and grabbed his wrist. Before he knew what had happened, he was in a folding-elbow lock with a nice outward wristlock to top it all off. Basically, his elbow was in the small of his back and his wrist was at his neck, hand facing out, with me torquing the wrist towards the opposite shoulder. We had a nice chat about how drunk people shouldn't do stupid things, even when the girl he liked was talking to me. I made it clear that if I saw him again, he would never use the arm again, and released him to sulk.

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EvanWeeks
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Tai Chi is good for flexibility. Lots of slow, open stances with the center of balance shifting over time. Very graceful.

If you're wanting to learn a functional art, I would recommend one of the less-popular Korean arts, such as Hapkido, Hanmudo or Kuk Sool Won. Taekwondo is just too sketchy anywhere you go to find a school. Most schools I've seen teach tournament fighting, which teaches the kids that they use their feet to attack the face, and never hit below the belt. In a real fight, these limitations (you perform the way you practice, period.) can get you hurt or even killed.

As far as functional Japanese styles, Aikido and Kempo are both VERY viable choices. Kempo has a fundamental focus on working against armed individuals, while Aikido is the unarmed-to-unarmed focused style of choice. If you're into weapons, see if you can manage to find an instructor for Kendo (the sport) or Kenjitsu/Iaijitsu (the art of killing), which both deal with Japanese swordsmanship.

However, if you really want to get into the meat, the guts of what martial arts are, as far as functional combat arts go, find a chinese school. Wing Chun Gung Fu, in all its forms, is quite possibly the single most effective, refined style you can hope to find. The chinese are, in my mind, the masters of hand-to-hand fighting in all its forms. The Japanese copied much of their fighting styles to form Aikido and Kempo, as did the Koreans for their state styles.

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musket
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Wing Chun has the great advantage of being a very stripped down system. There are no fancy moves at all, and it is primarily a method of fighting with the hands (fist or open palm). Kicks are employed, but none higher than the waist and most much lower, directed at the opponent's ankles or knees.

I would say that basic competance in Wing Chun is easier to achieve than in most martial arts. But you need a lot more than basic competance in any martial art for real fights. Even full contact sparring isn't the same thing, though it will at least get you used to being hit. Being hit in the nose even with moderate force is a most enlightening experience, believe me.

Western boxing is very under rated by many followers of martial arts, rarely even considered a martial art at all. It most definitely is. Much of Bruce Lee's transformation of Wing Chun into Jeet Kune Do consisted of melding it with both boxing and fencing (far as the hand attacks and general tactics go, obviously the high kicks came from elsewhere). Frankly, I wouldn't bet on most martial artists being able to handle a highly trained boxer... and that includes Wing Chun people.

Fighting with the hands and feet alone probably will not suffice for street beefs, or against an opponent who likes to grapple. If I were serious about becoming a trained all around fighter, I would also look for instruction in the Gracie system, aka Brazilian Ju-jitsu, no matter what "fistic" art I chose to study. I agree with these guys-- most such fights go to the ground in very short order.

A very good example of a karate style adapted from a Chinese style is Uechi-Ryu. The parallels between it and several styles from the Fujian-Amoy area (Wing Chun, White Eyebrow, Southern Praying Mantis) are obvious, but in typical fashion Uechi-Ryu is a much "harder" art.

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Haggis
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Everybody have fun tonight.
Everybody Wing Chun tonight.

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FIJC
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quote:
"What would you folks recommend to someone who has never been in a fist fight in his life, that would like to learn some of this?

Keep in mind, I am 34 years old with the flexability of a stick of wood"

Everything being discussed here is totally foreign to me too, which is kind of funny, considering that I was born in South Korea. I am a cardio-queen and am just happy jogging.
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D Pace
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I guess I'd lean towards the Scottish martial arts of "Fuh-Kyu! -- Which I understand consists mainly of headbutting and kicking people when they're down . . ." cf. Mike Myers
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Haggis
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Hence my penchant for pummeling people's fists with my face. Aye, lad, there's a martial art [Smile] .
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EvanWeeks
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/Agree completely on the Western Boxing comment, musket. Sorry I didn't think of that one. The issue is finding a gym or a program somewhere that isn't just a farm for professionals, meaning they don't take in amateurs just looking to train as a hobby. You just can't find them down here in the south, at least where I am. I did it a lot in High School, but never since. :/

Training in Kenjitsu/Iaijitsu and learning the science behind the arts from MSgt Makoi has helped me enourmously in my understanding of tactics, as Miyamoto Musashi would put it. I know now a lot of the "Why's" behind some of the stuff I learned and employed in Aikido. I think it would behoove any serious martial artist to study at least one weapon in-depth. For instance, in studying kenjitsu, we've branched into using tonfas, countering the Jo, the Bo-staff, chinese spear techniques and tactics, using the Japanese sword as a defensive tool in a multi-melee situation, etc.

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Dave at Work
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I studied Isshinryu Karate for about a year just before I joined the Marines. I had only reached orange belt when I left for boot camp. Several years later while I was still in the Marines I started studying Shaolin Chuan Fa reaching purple belt before I left the Marines. When I returned home I looked but was unable to find a Shaolin Chuan Fa dojo nearby and the Isshinryu dojo had moved out of town. Actually, my sensei had retired and the other instructor had started his own dojo in a small town out in the county somewhere.

I started Tae Kwon Do but that didn't last too long. I was talking with another student about our previous martial arts experiences after a class, when one of the instructors told us that other martial arts techniques were not to be used with Tae Kwon Do and that we should forget anything we had previously learned and not study other styles while studying Tae Kwon Do. This flew in the face of the philosphies of my two previous senseis who both had black belts in multiple arts and were learning new styles even while they tought us. In both cases they brought in black belts from other styles to teach techniques from those styles so that we could broaden our exposure and embrace techniques complementary to what we were learning. Needless to say I agreed with my previous senseis and disagreed with my Tae Kwon Do instructor. I left Tae Kwon Do, which I had studied for about two months, that night and didn't look back. Unfortunately, I didn't go out right away and find another style to study and that delay has led me to stop studying martial arts all together. I really should find a style with a dojo in town and start again. Maybe I will see if the Isshinryu dojo is still active and commute to it.

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musket
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Speaking as someone with considerable experience in Western fencing (though it's been a long time, I was pretty good), I think it would've been interesting to see Musashi Miyamoto fight a duel with Cyrano de Bergerac. [Smile]

A great limitation of many the more hidebound traditional martial arts is that they presuppose a certain type of response from the opponent. Wing Chun is really more a set of principles than anything else, but it still has structural weaknesses.

For example, boxers are much more savvy about protecting their heads. I've free sparred with boxers... it's damn hard to land a blow to the head of a good one; slipping punches is far more effective than trying to block them, and allows for an immediate counter.

I learned that the hard way.

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msquared
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I know Karate, Judo, Kenpo, Akido, Ninjitsu and all those other dangerous Japanesse words. [Smile]

msquared

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nyani
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Go Sunil! Aikido is definitely my favorite martial art. It is really practical and natural feeling. I've always hated really hurting people, and I'm not very big, but in Aikido you use the other person's motion against them, and do most of the persuading by twisting arms and wrists, not smashing jaws.

I moved recently and there's no dojo, so I tried shotokai karate and hated it- just a personal opinion- but it focused too much on style and we never even fought each other, much less threw each other. So that's why I'm in capoeira, which is low-contact but fun to do.

In regards to money, I'm a poor student so I've always joined clubs where I can get taught for free, and I simply don't buy belts or uniforms, which means I don't "advance" ranks at all, but I don't so much care. My unpaid teachers have been some of the most dedicated I've ever met. I don't know what I'll do when I graduate and have to find a real martial arts school. [Frown]

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Aurelius
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Shorin Kempo Ju Karate-do
3rd Degree Brown
Soke Royal Reynolds 7th Degree Black

This is actually an unique style my sensei invented. It's total focus is on practical fighting, so it uses whatever works from different arts. Lota throws, redirectioning, unblancing from Judo and Aikido, lots a hard elements from things like Shorin-ru or Jujitsu, plenty of ground grappling, in close street fighitng, club and knife training, etc. This is mostly what I like about it, cause it prepares you for any situation, from just restraining or calming someone, to potentially lethal weapon fights with multiple attackers (WE dont try to kill eachother tho. usually)

We start sparing from day one. The thinking is, if your here to learn to defend yourself, get at it. White belts dont go as hard as colored ones of course. It's definitely not as tradtional as some styles; we do have kata and so on, but the atmosphere is more like a club. Everyone can train with anyone: I've sparred my sensei numerous times, tho he always creams me even with arthritis, partial blindness, partial deafness, and little feeling in his hands and feet.

I have a bone to pick with Taekwondoists who cant fight close range or throw someone to save their life.

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