How to pick the right martial art?

Discussion in 'Beginners Corner' started by euphoric, May 8, 2015.

  1. euphoric

    euphoric White Belt

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    Hi all,

    I just wanted some tips, ideas, advice, on how to pic the right martial arts ?

    Thanks

    E
     
  2. crazydiamond

    crazydiamond Purple Belt

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    Off the top of my head:

    What is your objective or goals in taking a MA? (competition, fitness, cultural, self defense, etc.)
    Your health or physical condition
    The school vibe - your fit with the teacher and students (can be as important as what MA they teach is how they teach it)
    The School location - distance can create issues.
     
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  3. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    The short answer is that there is no right martial art. You need to consider your goals, your preferences, your strengths and weaknesses, your budget, and what schools are available within a distance you're willing to travel and with classes at times you're able to attend.
    Once you've considered all of that, go to the schools that meet your criteria and observe a few classes. Talk to the instructors and students. Many (most?) schools will let you join at least one class for free. Do so, when that is an option.
     
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  4. Mephisto

    Mephisto Black Belt

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    As mentioned. Define what you want. Consider what's actually available to you. Another thing to consider is how long do you plan to train? Are you looking to train just over the summer and want some self defense skills fast? Will this be a lifelong en devour?

    Are you interested in losing weight and conditioning? Do you want the ability to hold your own in a fight? Are you interested in a cultural/historical art?
     
  5. Kartate_student7

    Kartate_student7 Yellow Belt

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    Most schools let you do a free trial class just try them and see what you like best, or if you cannot decide I would recommend you doing mixed martial arts my school is called keichu Ryu its a mix between karate judo and street fighting techniques
     
  6. AIKIKENJITSU

    AIKIKENJITSU Yellow Belt

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    You have to do a little bit of mental and physical work to figure out the best martial art for you. I’ve been in martial arts for forty years and I still love the art I picked—American Kenpo.

    I was—and still am—5’2” and slim. I needed something that would work for a very small guy. Jujitsu didn’t work, I wasn’t big enough. I didn’t like the straight line traditional arts, because I didn’t feel I could develop enough power for a good one strike.



    I tried several for a month on each and nothing appealed to me. Here’s the surprise—I stopped looking for a while and one day while I was walking down the block in down town Long Beach, to do an errand, I almost completely passed a door, unaware that it was a martial arts studio, when I hear shouting. I stopped and looked into the door, down a dark hallway. At the end was a large matted room and two guys were doing self defense moves. I went in and watched them. Their strikes were very fast and many strikes were done in one second. I liked the circular motions and how they moved their bodies. The rest is history. Two black belts later on similar styles of Kenpo and I had started teaching for the studio six month after I started lessons. Hope this helps.

    Sifu
     
  7. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Really, it just comes down to personal preference… but to get the most out of your martial arts experience, don't pick the art, pick the school and instructor. That'll come down to what you're (personally) after, what's available to you, where you are, what your budget is, how far you're willing to travel, and so on. In short… you visit as many schools as you can, and make up your own mind. There is no litmus test for "the right martial art"… you might as well as for tips on how to pick the right restaurant or movie.

    Out of interest, and this really is just me being curious, but why do you have a variation on a Japanese art name if you don't, and haven't, trained in anything similar?

    Honestly, this doesn't make any real sense to me… many jujutsu systems really are designed for smaller people… and the idea of traditional arts being "straight line", or based on "develop(ing) power for one good strike" doesn't gel with the vast majority of traditional arts that I'm familiar with…

    The point is that these perceptions might be accurate based on a particular school, but not for the larger picture… which brings me back to the fact that it's not a matter of looking for the right art, but the right school and instructor.

    It's great that you found what you were after… I'm a little unsure of starting teaching some six months after walking in the door, but this was a long time ago, yeah? Oh, and the usage of sifu again is a little… odd… with the Japanese user name… hmm...
     
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  8. Blindside

    Blindside Senior Master

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    The kenpo and kajukenbo systems that came through Hawaii are very eclectic, pulling influences from several different cultures and systems, so it isn't that unusual to see a guy in a black karate gi getting called "sifu."
     
  9. Langenschwert

    Langenschwert Master Black Belt

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    Welcome to what will hopefully be a long and beneficial journey. There are a number of things to consider when choosing a martial art. There are four broad categories which are somewhat arbitrary but helpful in chunking the information into manageable bites. Very few martial arts are all one of these categories, and some hit all four.

    There are:

    1) armed 2) unarmed 3) sporting 4) non-sporting.

    For example, foil fencing is armed and sporting. It doesn't teach you how to use a "real" sword though it would give you a great sense of range and timing. It's so sporting it's not even considered a martial art by most of it's practitioners. Classical fencing is armed and generally non-sporting, the goal being to prepare a fencer for a hypothetical actual duel with sharp weapons. They definitely consider it a martial art. Koryu arts are almost all non-sporting, being concerned with the preservation of actual combat techniques from feudal Japan. They won't help you win a Kendo match with shinai though.

    You could also divide them into "modern" and "classical" based on their time of creation or focus. While Judo has its roots in classical jujutsu, it is a modern, and almost entirely sporting art. It's in the Olympics and everything. Much like how wrestling's pin likely has its origins in medieval armoured combat (in order to deploy a dagger to the visor etc), they don't train in plate armour anymore. So wrestling, regardless of origin, despite being likely the world's oldest martial art, is today entirely modern sport.

    That's not to say that sporting arts aren't good at "real" fights. The most terrifying opponent you'd ever face in an unarmed scrap is a top-notch collegiate wrestler or Judoka.123
     

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