Hi. I am new to the forums so I thought I'd start my first post here. I am currently trying to figure out which martial art I would want to take up, as well as clear up some confusion regarding the martial arts. For the record, I am 19 years old. What exactly does the Krav Maga involve? Apparently, it is a mixture of all the various martial arts, plus it has a few moves of its own, and has a specialised training system. According to many, it is the ultimate self-defence/offence system out there. Does it include pressure point/nerve strike techniques? Deflection? It's one of the arts I am considering seriously, so information on it by those who practise it would be awesome. Aikido is another martial art I am curious about. It is supposedly extremely efficient if practised well, and has both defensive and offensive capacity, depending on one's level of training. How efficient is it against other martial arts as a stand-alone? Would it have to be supplemented, or is it good enough on its own? Does Aikido help tone the body? Wing Chun Kung Fu seems interesting too. It has many aspects to it similar to Aikido, yet its a system entirely of its own, often hailed as the scientific fighting art. Is it as efficient and lethal as its rumoured to be? Does it require long training periods? Are its bases on technique more so than strength or agility? I have actually done a bit of Wing Chun, yet had to stop due to a time-table clash. I was impressed by it and its techniques, even if its 2-in-1 offence/defence system are a bit difficult to grasp at first. I would also welcome all posters to enlighten me about their particular martial art. I would appreciate information as to what it involves, what its bases are ( I would prefer technique based martial arts rather than ones purely based on strength), its efficiency in defence/ offence, and how it compares to other martial arts, its learning curve and its core principles, as well as its physical and mental benefits. Although I am not a woman myself, on behalf of some friends of mine, I would like to ask which martial arts are ideal for women? The Krav Maga and Aikido both pride themselves on having little basis on strength, thus allowing women to excel in them. Kick based martial arts are also allegedly good for women due to their flexibility, good balance and proportionally longer legs. Based on your expertise, which are the most powerful arts a woman could pursue for both self-defence and offence? Another question I have is as to what is the effectiveness of Pilates as a supplement to any exercise regimes imposed by the martial art, and general fitness. The method apparently improves flexibility, posture, breathing and focus. These all are important aspects of maritla arts. Would Pilates thus make a useful supplement? Finally, I have some questions regarding my favourite Tekken character. The game is what got me so involved with martial arts and what inspired me to find out a bit more about them. The character even more so. Nina Williams is the character in question, the game's cold-blooded assassin (http://www.tekkenzaibatsu.com/tekken5/profile.php?id=nina). She impresses me due to her unusual combination of martial arts, namely Aikido (at its highest level, including attack reversals), Koppojutsu (hence her powerful physique), Koshijutsu (together being the Bone Martial Arts) and some insane grapples and kicks (all targetted at vulnerable body parts, such as the neck, shins etc), a level of complexity unusual for female game characters. Theoretically, this combination should make her lethal. In the game, she is. She can end a fight within seconds with little resistance. How would this combination of arts work in real life though? Consider that she has been training since 7 years old (18 years of training), and possesses extreme focus and tenacity. For a person who is not at her level of expertise, would the arts be as effective? Is such a combination a good idea? Her style in-game reminds me a lot of Wing-Chun kung fu due to its sheer versatility. To me, the idea of complimenting Aikido with the Bone Martial arts and a system of kicks and bone breaking grapples seems great, though I suppose this would take a huge amount of dedication and training, as well as focus. Would such a combination be advisable to a non-specialist? Furthermore, are the Bone Martial arts (koto-ryu koppojutsu and gyokko-ryu koshijutsu) even taught much outside Japan (this link explains what they are to those who don't know: http://www.bujinkanbc.com/Ryuinfo.htm) ? I have been considering her combination of martial arts, though it seems extremely demanding, thus my current preference for the Krav Maga. Answers to these questions would be much appreciated.