A whole lot of questions regarding the martial arts

Discussion in 'Beginners Corner' started by Elhan, Feb 8, 2006.

  1. Elhan

    Elhan Guest

    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. :)
     
  2. TheBattousai

    TheBattousai Guest

    Keep in mind that Tekken is a game and that it only takes samples of arts like the new mortal kombat games did, and they are still not fully reallistic since the idea of the companies is to have you have fun playing and buy it more than anything else. They base the games MAs real ones but they only take things they want in the games and add lib to somethings they don;t understand. So keep in mind that what you see in the game will not be the samething in real life. But koppo or koppojutsu is taught outside japan, usually in ninjutsu and nimpo arts, but also in other arts, but under different names. I'll post some more on your questions after some others have there say.
     
  3. arnisador

    arnisador Sr. Grandmaster

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    My opinions follow; others' will vary. Check out the fora here for these arts! Also, are you certain that these are available in your area?

    An effective and streamlined system. Hard training, relatively natural movements, relatively quick to gain some skill at (though no art is 'easy' in that sense). Good for self-defense and fitness. Consider also Jeet Kune Do or kickboxing if available.

    A detailed and fascinating system that takes a loooong time to master. Excellent self-defense...10 years from now. A great system but a lifetime investment of effort. Supplementing it with something else might make sense, especially in the short run. Consider also jujutsu if available (from which it comes).

    Great system, detailed fighting strategy, relatively quick to gain some skill at but not as quick as Krav Maga. I've just started it and really enjoy it. Consider also variants like Jun Fan Gung Fu or (again) Jeet Kune Do if available.

    As to more general questions on the arts, it is helpful to know what is available where you are and what your goals are in training.

    The three arts you mention are all ones I've seen recommended for women. Legend has it that Wing Chun was started by a woman (though there is no evidence for this). For self-defense, I'd recommend Krav Maga or Wing Chun over Aikido because of the length of time it takes to develop sufficient skill at Aikido; if time is not an issue, Aikido is also a good choice.

    I am not familiar with the video game. It is unlikely to provide a useful basis for judging the systems.
     
  4. rutherford

    rutherford Master Black Belt

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    Huh. If I was asked to pick two arts with the least similarities, I think Krav Maga and Aikido would be a good response.

    Welcome to MT, Elhan!

    Have you visited any of the schools in your area? This is where I would start. You gotta feel this stuff.
     
  5. AceHBK

    AceHBK Master Black Belt

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    Really good quesions and I am interested in seeing what others have to say.
     
  6. Sarah

    Sarah Senior Master

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    I prefer Yoga to Pilates. There is a great DVD available of Amazon called "Yoga for Martial Arts".
     
  7. Flatlander

    Flatlander Grandmaster

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    The answers to your questions are very involved, and no one person will be able to answer them all. As was mentioned previously, you need to get a feel for this stuff.

    A few questions to ask yourself are:

    -What do you want to achieve with martial arts training?
    -How much time and energy are you prepared to commit?
    -How much money do you want to spend?

    Many times over, you'll see it posted that the most important choice is in fact the teacher, not the art. Not all teachers are created equal. Irrespective of the art you are trying to learn, if the teacher is of poor quality, then so too will be your experience. So, a more pragmatic approach may be to investigate what opportunities are available, get a little first hand experience at those schools with some introductory lessons, and spend more time at Martial Talk asking questions.

    You referenced that you understood Krav Maga to be the "ultimate self defence / offence system." Sadly, it cannot be said that there is an ultimate. Each of us fit naturally in different environments, move in our own way, and have our own strengths, skills, and aptitudes. The ultimate self defence system is the one into which you apply your best effort.

    You ask: "How efficient is it (aikido) against other martial arts as a stand-alone?" This implies to me that you may anticipate needing to use your skills at some point against another skilled Martial Artist. If, in fact, you would like to improve your self-defence abilities, this is not a scenario you're likely to see. Generally speaking, you're not going to be dealing with a skilled martial artist in a self defence scenario. IMO, anyway.

    You ask of Wing Chun: "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?" Again, lethal and efficient are not the domain of the individual art, rather, a reflection of your intent. A Taekwondo practitioner is as capable of crushing a throat as a Wing Chun practitioner, or a clumsy teenager. Anyone can curb stomp someone, or shoot or stab someone, for that matter. In terms of the "required training period", this will be highly subjective. It will depend on your effort, your aptitude, and the ability of your instructor to tailor the training to your personal needs and attributes. What takes one 5 years may take another 1 year. The best advice I can give is - you control your own choice here. Beyond that, bear in mind that there is no quick fix. Anyone promising you otherwise is misleading you. Beware of this, it's a common marketing ploy. Hard work generates results.

    I study Modern Arnis and Jeet Kune Do, within the same system. Art specific questions are perhaps best answered in the art specific forums, where you're more likely to gain the attention of people specializing in those arts. Please, feel free to peruse the forums, review the content we have, and ask more questions. :asian:
     
  8. Elhan

    Elhan Guest

    I am fully aware of this. As I said, it sparked my interest into doing more research though.

    Thanks for the feedback. I'll look into Jeet Kune Do. The thing that impressed me about the Krav Maga most really was that its training system is centrally controlled, as in it controls its schools.

    Thanks for your answers. I am aware of the whole Master aspect in training. An Art can only be taught as well as the Master can handle it. I'll take into consideration all you have said. So far, I am most impressed by the Krav Maga and Aikido, so I might give both a go. Money and time could be an issue with Aikido, seeing as it takes a lot of both.

    Thanks for all the other answers so far. Most have been quite helpful.
     
  9. rutherford

    rutherford Master Black Belt

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    Mat fees are $10 a month where I study Aikido.

    Elhan, you need to forget what you think you know and get on the mat. There's no substitute.
     
  10. Elhan

    Elhan Guest

    There are no aikido schools here where I am currently. I am going to move to London eventually, so then it won't be an issue. For now, it is. $10 is extremely cheap, yet here its nowhere near as cheap. The other issue is time. Aikido requires a lot of time. This is why I am thinking of studying it in conjunction with another art.
     
  11. Carol

    Carol Crazy like a...

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    Welcome, Elhan!

    I'm still learning about my own art, as well as others...my thoughts are just that of an addicted beginner. Therer are only a couple of questions that I feel qualified to anwer.

    When you visit a school and see the students practicing, ask yourself if it is something that you can stick with. Does it interest you. Can you see yourself doing it. Are you comfortable in the school and how they teach. Does the school have a schedule that fits your life (esp. if you are a student). How do they get new beginners up to speed? The school is very important...the right art won't feel like the right art if it's the wrong school.

    As far as an "ideal" art for women...it depends on the woman's interests and preferences. Me personally, I deeply respect Tae Kwon Do and Akido, but neither were the right art for me when I considered/tried them sometime back. But that's me. For others, they were the right art.

    My art, Kenpo...I think it's fair to say it requires strength and technique. As far as why I like it...the physics of the technique make sense to me. I can't say it has been easy to learn, but it's been possible to learn. I like the way my class mixes technique practices with kicking drills and punching drills. To me, it's a lot of fun. I couldn't stick with Kenpo if I didn't like it...and I absolutely love it. My concentration has improved. I'm getting stronger. I couldn't do pushups before I started Kenpo. Now I can. It's changed me for the better. It's become part of my life and something that will be with me for a long time.

    Best of luck to you, however you decide.
     
  12. Elhan

    Elhan Guest

    I've done that with Wing Chun so far. Whilst I do like the art, I find the defence/offence parallel to be a bit hard to grasp. I'm not the only one apparently. It can be quite difficult for some beginners. So I want to look around and see what else there is, and what suits me. I would really love an art with pressure points, kicks and powerful locks. Oh btw, yes I am a student. That in itself is a problem, especially with the time.

    What does Kenpo involve exactly?
     
  13. Zepp

    Zepp Master of Arts

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    Hi Elhan, welcome to MT.

    This may not answer your questions to your satisfaction, but I think it's more important that I say this first: The instructor is more important than the art.

    Secondly, the right martial art for you is the one you most enjoy training in. Your first line of self-defense are your social skills. If self-defense is really a concern for you, you might want to look into taking a pure self-defense class, as the material will cover a lot more than just the martial aspect (in a good class anyways).

    Regardless of what anyone here tells you, you won't figure out what martial art you belong in without trying out a few of them. Most schools, clubs, and extracurricular classes allow you to try one or two classes for free, so take advantage of that.

    And personally, I prefer the Soul Edge/Soul Calibur series to Tekken. :D
     
  14. Elhan

    Elhan Guest

    Yeah. Many people say this, and I believe this. Its like having a bad teacher; if they can't get the knowledge through to you, it won't matter how useful it is.

    Well I would like to gain all the benefits a martial art has to offer, though self defence is a primary concern.

    Sounds good to me. :) I will try get around some of them.

    They're made by the same company :p Anyway, SC tends to venture far more into the realm of fantasy than Tekken. They're both fun. ^^
     
  15. Carol

    Carol Crazy like a...

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    What does Kenpo involve exactly? Yesterday I was chatting with my instructor said something to the effectthat I am learning how to punch, whip, and kick. He laughingly said "That's all we do, just in different conbinations."

    There are differrent varieties. Mine, Ed Parker's American Kenpo is the most dominant. It has a very heavy base in techniques, and a handfull of katas/forms. Many EPAK schools teach 16 techniques per belt, some teach 24, some create their own curriculum. As far as locks and pressure points...it depends on how far outside the lines your instructors go. One of my instructors is quite skilled at Jiu Jitsu and has occasionally taught us locks, grappling, and certain other techniques. Pressure point fighting is stressed more in the more traditional Japanese Kempo. Both fit in well with EPAK...but how much instruction you receive depends on the school and instructor. If i have made any mistakes here...I hope someone corrects me.

    The attendance requirements of MA schools may be tough to balance against being a uni student...where your schedule is always changing. The MA schools understand when you have exams and need a short break...but most have attendance requirements to stay in belt standing.

    If you want to train when you start school, visit a bunch of schools. Try them out. Wait about 5-6 weeks in to your school year before deciding to train. When you are full in to the demands of your semester and the teacher starts talking about mid-term exams...see if you still feel that you can train.

    Alternatively, if you are not in school over the summer, or taking a lighter load, see if any schools that interest you have a summer program. Many US schools do, not sure about UK.
     
  16. samurai69

    samurai69 Blue Belt

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    Great questions, but equally good answers

    I have trained in both aikido and wing chun and would agree totally, i also teach womens Sd and krav has similar techniques so also very efective....the aikido will take a long time to get the benefits if from a self defence point, but as an art you will benefit straight away



    .
     
  17. TheBattousai

    TheBattousai Guest

    I train in Kempo as well, and yes the styles do very acording with the group/school. My school is not part of EPAK, and all the different systems of kempo/kenpo are different in some way; my school teaches a balance of throwing and strikes, so you'd have to what your area has to offer.
     
  18. Elhan

    Elhan Guest

    I am currently thinking of those martial arts, as well as Bujinkan Ninjutsu. I am going to attend some introductory classes of each martial art to see what each is like. I'll also take a look at some of the other ones, like TKD and Karate. Thanks for your answers.

    Thanks for the info and advice to you as well Lady_Kaur. :)
     
  19. AceHBK

    AceHBK Master Black Belt

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    Ok now with MA they will all take time and can be difficult.
    U have to understand that before you get started.
    If it is quick and easy u may not wanna take it.
    Do u not look for nor want a challenge?
    Any art u learn, the longer you stay in it, the harder it will become, so with that being said, will u quit once it gets too hard or time consuming?
    Also ask yourself how proficient do u wanna be?
     
  20. Elhan

    Elhan Guest

    Of course I want a challenge. What I meant is I don't have time to drive out of town for martial arts not offered nearby. Ideally, I'd like to reach as high a proficiency as I can in my chosen art(s).123
     

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