Finding a Style that Suites Me

Discussion in 'Beginners Corner' started by Hazuki-san, Oct 11, 2004.

  1. Hazuki-san

    Hazuki-san Guest

    I have been researching martial arts for some time now. Though I have read some documentation on various styles, I have yet to receive information from actual practitioners. Here is my chance. What style should I look in to?

    The following is some information that may aid you in giving a response:

    Physique-

    Male
    5'4" or 5'5" tall
    150lbs. in weight
    Most of my weight is due to muscle mass.


    Mentallity-

    Generally passive when possible
    Assertive when need be
    I avoid all out aggression as aggression is a last resort (If it is necessary only)




    I will add more information if it is required. What style/styles should I seriously consider? Please be sure to give an explaination. Thank you in advance.
     
  2. Mark Weiser

    Mark Weiser Guest

    Most here are great in their own MA and will no doubt expouse the excellent qualities of thier respective Arts.

    I for one have studied with the Military Units, Law Enforcement Agenices and Civilian Instructors in several Arts over the years. They being Japanese, Korean and Chinese in nature.

    After all this time I have found that the American System of Kenpo Karate which is Chinese in orgin to be the most effective for myself. The reasons I will try to explain.

    • The approach to teaching is a great factor -- SGM Parker made great insights and strides to make the Martial Arts more adaptable to us Americans and devised a system that is well suited for us.
    • The Principles set forth from SGM Parker aka Concepts on MA at least to me are excellent. Read his Infinite Insights series which I am dong currently. I would also recommend the Zen of Kenpo as well to read.
    • The Art of Kenpo is for me the best suited for Combat on the streets due to real life training with LEO's and Military Police (most use Kenpo or Grappling Arts due to close quarters combat) the movements in Kenpo are excellent for this purpose.
    There are many of us Kenpoist on this Forum and will explain thier views and concepts of Kenpo.
     
  3. Aikikitty

    Aikikitty Master Black Belt

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    Have you considered Aikido?

    I had a guy in my class for years who is about your height and REALLY strong! (He's gone now only because he moved.) However, in Aikido, you never really use strength so he'd have a hard time every now and then--trying to power his way through a technique. Since he's rather short, and very strong, he has a great center of gravity/balance!

    Aikido is often called "the only true art of peace". The techniques, joint locks, pins, and throws that we do can be quite brutal, BUT it's stressed that really breaking/hurting somebody is only a last resort. We learn to use timing, balance, blending, breathing, and distance to our advantage. We use a lot of turns to get behind our attacker and use their own momentum (sp?) against them. Aikido is also supposed to be great against people who are bigger and stronger than you.

    Personally, Aikido has been great for me and my mom because we needed to learn how to defend ourselves from my brother, who was born with Down Syndrome (he's very strong), but has on occasions gotten violent. :( Obviously, we can't hurt my brother as he's not a normal attacker, and he's family so we don't WANT to hurt him anyway! Aikido has been really great at teaching us to take away his balance, get him on the ground, and immobilize him WITHOUT hurting him! I've used it on him before (I'm only 5'3"; 115 lbs.).

    Just a suggestion and my 2 cents. Let us know what art you decide to try. :)

    Robyn :asian:
     
  4. Flatlander

    Flatlander Grandmaster

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    Finding a style for yourself can be an interesting journey all in itself, but more information is required before we can really come up with good, solid reccomendations. What are your goals in learning the martial arts? Different arts have a different focus. What types of training are available to you in terms of accessibility? What's close? What about economic factors? Different dojos will have different price structures that may or may not vary depending on the frequency of training that they offer.

    I think that a good search of your area to determine what is available to you would be a good first step. Bear in mind that many instructors may not teach in professional dojos - I train in a garage, or in the park. They may not all be listed in your yellow pages, so ask around. Do you personally know anybody who trains? What do they have to say?

    As a final caveat, be forewarned that many martial artists are loyal to their style, and will generally endorse the art that they study. Keep that in mind, that you may be able to "filter" out the bias in any response you receive whether personally, on the phone, or on the internet.
     
  5. Hazuki-san

    Hazuki-san Guest

    Goals:

    Increase Discipline
    Raise Self Confidence
    Emotional, Physical, and Mental benefits
    To be able to defend ones self


    Accessability:

    I live in NJ, so...


    Economic Factors:

    Money is no issue


    Actually, I have been considering Aikido for some time now. However, I figured that I still should investigate other alternatives. Even if I do choose Aikido, I will still have the knowledge of what other styles are out there. Anything other recommendations?
     
  6. jdam76

    jdam76 Guest

    Have you looked into Judo or Jiu-jitsu? As someone else said, shorter, stronger guys tend to have good balance. In Judo balance is everything. Also, being a little bit shorter with the strength behind it makes for some powerful throws, and at the same time makes it tougher to throw you. Theres a guy in my BJJ class thats your size, and I have more trouble with him than anybody there. Its extremely hard to get my arms around him and his limbs are shorter with a lot of muscle so its rough trying to get locks on him. Give it a look and see what you think. Good luck.
     
  7. auxprix

    auxprix Guest

     
  8. stephen

    stephen Purple Belt

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    I would at least check out Jack Hoban if you live in NJ, he currently holds the highest rank possible in the Bujinkan Dojo. Check out http://www.livingvalues.com .

    Steve
     
  9. woodyd_69

    woodyd_69 Guest

    I too live in NJ, I take hung gar kung fu. My teacher is just starting out so if you live in South NJ he is willing to give a free class or two to show you the ropes and what we do in there. Also since he is starting out you are going to get a rather decent price compared to what i was getting when I was just shopping around. Also, the southern style kung fu is great for short guys, im 5' 8'' my instructor is 5'6'' and so are a couple other students. Private email me if you want some more info
     
  10. Andrew Green

    Andrew Green Grandmaster

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    "My style, it tis exactly what you are looking for" is what just about everyone is going to say, regardless of what they do.

    Find out what is available. Find out what you can afford, find out which ones actually fit your schedule then go try them out until you find one you like.

    Attitude of members and instructors is FAR nmore important then style in finding what suits you.
     
  11. stephen

    stephen Purple Belt

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    I would be suprised if that's the case, my style is certainly NOT for everyone. Plenty of people think it's crap. Differn't Strokes*.

    Steve

    *Ahh back to the days of "Watcha' talkin' 'bout Willis!?". Remember the "Very Special Episode" with Nancy Reagan. Back in the days where we were the good guys and the "Commies" were the bad guys. Life was simpler then. Now everyone in politics is differing shades of scumbag. Not that anyone was ever perfect, but Reagan made us feel good
     
  12. Gin-Gin

    Gin-Gin Senior Master

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    I agree with Mr. Green. I also did not know which style/system I wanted to try, so I called the schools in the phonebook that were close to where I lived, & found one with a great introductory special. Luckily, after 2 or 3 classes I was hooked. All I can say is go to as many different schools in your area as you can, talk to the instructors and watch at least a couple of classes--you'll know when you find the one. Good Luck in your search.

    Respectfully,
    Gin-Gin :asian:
     
  13. Vadim

    Vadim Guest

    I echo most of the posts above. I suggest seeing what's available in your area and go and try out out some classes. Choosing a martial art is really your own decision and I feel must be made considering what your goals are.
    Whatever choice you do make keep an open mind in regards to your training and absorb all the knowledge your instructor gives you when you eventually join a school. Best of luck in your decision and keep us posted.

    -Vadim
     
  14. scfgabe

    scfgabe Yellow Belt

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    I studied various martial arts for a while before deciding on American Kenpo. I know there are a lot of us that have been recommending Kenpo to you. However, this is because there are some great aspects of Kenpo that we love. My favorite aspects are its innovation, practicality, speed and athleticism. Yet, there are wonderful aspects to every art. Ultimately, I echo what others have said - the MOST important part of your decision is the teacher and school environment. You need to feel comfortable; it needs to be a fit.

    - Good Luck!
     
  15. still learning

    still learning Senior Master

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    Hello, Just my suggestions. First think about the distance to travel, the closer the school is to home,the easier it will to keep up the training.

    Second the cost or price of the tutitions? per month,etc. You may want something that is price in your budget.

    Some schools have more phyical workouts than others, go to and watch the classes before signing up for any of them. See how they train.

    You may want something closer to real fighting. Jujisu,judo,kempo,kung-fu,kick boxing, etc. or something that teaches all around (stand-up and ground fighting).

    Trust your gut feelings after visting several schools and talking to the Sensi's.

    Lastly ,you can always change later if you feel it is not right for you?

    Good lucki...Aloha
     
  16. I, as a tai chi student, suggest tai chi. I am, however, somewhat more circumspect in this than most tai chi students. I took Tae Kwan Do for several months at a HORRENDOUS dojo, and several more at a fantastic one.
    What i experienced at the latter was good. I knew that my sensei was stupendous and he taught very well. He actually got me started (though it would be equivalent to dipping a toenail in it) into internal MA. He told me to move at the hip when i punch. But, long story short, now i take tai chi. There are some differences I immedeately noticed:
    In the first 3 weeks of class I got more experience than all of my months at Tae Kwan Do.
    Tae Kwan Do, Karate, and many other external martial arts, contain HIGHLY unnatural movents. Look at your joints. They rotate. In circles. Does it make ANY sense that MA moves should be linear?
    So you may be wondering, what exactly do you mean by internal MA? Well... There is an energy within that the chinese call energy. This is nothing esoteric or 'out there', i've felt it myself. Despite beleiving in it before hand, I only REALLY beleived it when i felt it, so i'll understand skepticism. But! This energy can charge your body. It can charge a fist, a push, a block, a pull, and it makes these moves INCREDIBLY powerful. Like, be careful you don't hurt someone when you're practicing powerful.
    But isn't Tai Chi some slow things for old people?
    No! The reason it is done slow is to foster the inner connections (internal) that make the use of chi in techniques possible. Doing it slow also increases one's Chi and makes it MUCH MUCH MUCH more difficult. Let me tell you, it may be a relaxed martial art, but it's NOT easy. And! It's definately a good martial art for practical fights. When you speed up the moves (which is quite easy), they can become a variety of debilitating and/or deadly moves.
    If not Tai chi, then i'd suggest Gong fu (actual spelling of kung fu). Gong fu also works a little bit with internal chi techniques, but not anywhere near as much as Tai Chi.
    With Tai Chi you increase your energy, your power, body dynamics, health, lifespan (one of it's main claims to fame), and.... And...... I think that's it, though there's probly more. I'd be happy to answer any questions, if you have any, about Tai Chi (which is actually spelled Tai Ji (extreme skill)).
     
  17. jdmills

    jdmills Guest

    Where in New Jersey? If you are near Philadelphia, I have several kenpo schools that I could suggest. It also depends on what you are looking for in the martial arts. Kenpo, in my biased opinion, develops a decent level of fighting/self defense capability in a relatively short time. I also agree that you should at least consider aikido.

    Good luck!
     
  18. kingkong89

    kingkong89 Green Belt

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    you say that a lot of your weight is muscle, then you could try ju jitsu ther is a lot of power uses in it, especialy grappaling as well, when your on the ground muscle strength helps with tech.123
     

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