Looking To Get Started

Discussion in 'Beginners Corner' started by JMulford, Feb 9, 2017.

  1. JMulford

    JMulford Yellow Belt

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    Hey everyone,

    I'm a 37-year old who has just re-discovered my love for physical fitness. I had taken a handful of years off for various reasons. One thing I have found about myself is that I tend to fall off the wagon when I don't have something outside of the gym to focus on. In my younger years, it was always basketball. I would play hours of pick-up games throughout the week. At my age now, I will still pick up a ball from time to time but because of a few reasons, I don't really consider that a serious option going forward.

    When I was younger, I did kickboxing for about two years, but at this point, I have basically forgotten 99.9% of it, so that's pretty moot as far as my experience goes. I have always had a passion for martial arts but for a variety of reasons(time and financial being the two big ones), I was never able to fully embrace them over the years.

    Now, I am financially fine and while I'm not loaded with free time, I can certainly squeeze in 3-5 classes a week. The thing now is to discover what art may be the best suited for me.

    Currently, I am 37 as mentioned above, and am 6'3"/225 pounds. By the time I start anything up, I anticipate being below 220.

    I have multiple reasons that I want to join a dojo/club/gym. One is physical fitness, another is to test myself against others, certainly some self defense although I hope to never need it, and another is to set a goal through either a belt system or competition system. I'm pretty goal oriented and it's what tends to drive me in every aspect of my life, so while I know a belt isn't what an ultimate goal should be, it's certainly something I can use for a personal motivation tool.

    I consider myself of average fitness currently, although I am on the path to be at least a little above average. I've always been a pretty good athlete through the years. Nothing exceptional, but I can hold my own in most areas that I have applied myself.

    I have essentially narrowed my options down to a few arts/gyms and I do fully plan on going to watch a few classes at each. I would just like an opinion or two on what might fit my frame/goals/age. Below I will list the gyms that I am looking at. These all fit into my time frame and I will list the art I am interested in there on the side. Any thoughts on the instructors if you may be familiar with any of them would be greatly appreciated as well.

    Soma Jiu Jitsu Academy - BJJ

    Dayton MMA Academy - Kickboxing/BBJ

    Main - Tama Martial Arts Center - Kenpo/Kickboxing

    GiYu Dojo - Judo

    http://sgbjj.com/ - BJJ

    Dayton Kali Academy Schedule - their overall program


    I feel fortunate as most of these gyms seem to have pretty legit leadership, but I would still like any thoughts and/or suggestions that can be given to me. Thanks everyone for your time and I look forward to being a part of the group.
     
  2. Aiki Lee

    Aiki Lee Master of Arts

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    Personally I recommend the judo or the BJJ classes based off what you say you are looking for.


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  3. kuniggety

    kuniggety 2nd Black Belt

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    Personally, S&G really jumped out at me because they have multiple black belt BJJ instructors and a judo instructor too. The same for Dayton MMA... gi and no-gi, BJJ, Judo, and Muay Thai if you decide to do some striking. A little judo cross-training would help any BJJ player.

    As much as kali is a great art, it doesn't seem to fit the bill of what you're looking for with a rank structure and competition.

    I would really recommend just visiting all of them and see which throws off the best vibes to you.
     
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  4. Buka

    Buka Sr. Grandmaster

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    Welcome to MartialTalk, bro.
     
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  5. oftheherd1

    oftheherd1 Senior Master

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    Welcome to Martial Talk.

    As to your question, I really can't offer much advice. I haven not taken any of the arts you mention, and am not really familiar enough with them to suggest them, and then give reasons. Inasmuch as my art is a grappling art along with striking and kicking, I could only suggest Judo, or a Kenpo school that does both grappling and striking.

    Good luck in your search.
     
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  6. KenpoMaster805

    KenpoMaster805 Brown Belt

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    Irecommend kenpo kickboxing
     
  7. KenpoMaster805

    KenpoMaster805 Brown Belt

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    welcome to MA
     
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  8. WaterGal

    WaterGal Master of Arts

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    Welcome! Thanks for posting links to the places you're looking at - a lot of people come on and are like "I live in LA and want to take martial arts, where should I go?", which is practically impossible to answer. Your links narrow it down a lot.

    I don't know anything about Kali, so I can't speak to that. The GiYu page was, I dunno, their Judo may be fine, if they're part of the US national Judo org, but the overall vibe of the site was.... weird. For example, there were a odd amount of Kendo uniforms and equipment, for a place that doesn't teach Kendo.

    I think the SG and Soma places looked like they have the best adult programs from their websites. But you can't really know until you go check them out.
     
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  9. JP3

    JP3 Master Black Belt

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    I also recommend Judo or BJJ to fill this desire. I'll warn you though, if you go with BJJ, you should probably adjust the initial goal to reaching your Blue Belt. The BJJ crew is very proud of the black belt rank, and in their paradigm of what it means, I totally get it.

    You'll have to wrk hard, and you'll sweat a LOT getting ajudo black belt, don't worry about that. Either art is a good fit for the size/structure. I've BT/DT on the kickboxing, and I did hapkido instead of the kenpo, and while I'm not comparing the arts, the workouts are in the same galaxy, but at the age you are (I can say that as I'm older than you, Ha!), I'd really recommend a grappling art over a striking art. But, that's just my opinion.
     
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  10. Monkey Turned Wolf

    Monkey Turned Wolf MT Moderator Staff Member

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    What about kenpo/kickboxing do you think fulfill his goals the best? Preferably with something more than your usual "I like kenpo so he will too"...
     
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  11. JMulford

    JMulford Yellow Belt

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    Thanks for the responses guys. I really appreciate the input and the time. I do have a few more questions as I am narrowing my choices. I am down to three of the schools now in my choice and my questions are in direct relation to each school.

    (1). I know it's not unusual to cross-train sports but if a class is 6-7 and the next class is 7-8, would it be inappropriate or unusual to duck into the later class as soon as you can(after the other class ends of course)?

    (2). How much should I consider lineage? For example, a BJJ instructor I have the choice of got his BB from Pedro Sauer, who got his from Rickson Gracies. That's a pretty direct link to the Gracie family. Is that something to strongly consider or just an added bonus or not important at all?

    (3). I watched some video footage of the Judo place I was looking at and noticed them rolling in a few of the scenes. From what I have read, it seems that this is something a lot of people would appreciate from their Judo class but don't get all of the time. Is this a big plus or more of a personal preference thing?

    (4). This is probably a personal opinion but I'd still like to hear them. Do you consider BJJ or Judo a better physical workout in terms of cardio and overall body work? I am still considering cross-training Kickboxing but I kind of expect that to be the heaviest workout in terms of cardio, although I readily admit that I could be wrong since I don't really know anything. :)

    Thanks again for all feedback. I may end up with a few more questions and I'd prefer to keep it in this thread rather than starting a bunch of new posts to litter the board with.
     
  12. JMulford

    JMulford Yellow Belt

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    Yeah, the GiYu page is a bit different but from what I gather, the Judo guys just rent out space there and because of that, they link through that page. There's another art that is run by whomever owns the building and that's what the webpage seems to highlight the most. The Judo guys train and participate in tournaments and are affiliated with US Judo from what I researched.

    Also, I read through quite a few threads before posting, so I kind of knew what to post to get a positive reaction. I definitely didn't want to be "that guy" with my first post. Other than that, I'm just the typical new guy looking for advice and most people I have read on here seem to be passionate and knowledgeable.
     
  13. Monkey Turned Wolf

    Monkey Turned Wolf MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Are you referring to two classes at the same place? If so, they probably have it set up that way so that you can do exacrtly that! If it's two different places, it wouldnt be rude to cross train, but being consistently late will probably start annoying them.

    Lineage is nice, but in reality not that important. If a person is focusing too much on his lineage and not enough on what he can do, that might be an issue. If an instructor is hidign his lineage, that also might be an issue. Otherwise it doesn't really matter.

    You absolutely do want a place that rolls. That's a large portion of Judo, and the schools that neglect it are neglecting a part of the curriculum. Definitely a big plus. (Plus, rolling is hella fun)

    The answer you will probably hear is that grappling is the better workout. However, I don't necessarily think thats true. They both work out different muscle groups, and when you start with grappling you will be using a lot of energy to make up for your lack of technique, so you will be exhausted from about 15 seconds in. And a lot of striking places will ignore cardio because 'it isn't as important as technique'. However, if the kickboxing place goes hard on the cardio (even just making you do multiple 3 minute rounds in a row), and the judo/bjj place has you doing randori or rolling fairly often, then both will get you a pretty good workout.



    Out of curiosity, which are the 3 schools you've narrowed it down to?
     
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  14. kuniggety

    kuniggety 2nd Black Belt

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    1. Totally normal for folks to do back to back classes and roll into the second late because of the first. The beginning of classes are typically warm ups anyways and you'll be plenty warmed up from the first class.

    2. All of the BJJ schools you listed have legit instructors. I wouldn't worry about it too much. The Gracies have been the biggest proponent of BJJ but there have been others and even within the Gracies there are different methodologies and even some serious feuds.

    3. I would say it's a good thing because it makes you a more overal good grappler. Some judo schools just focus on Olympic style competition which is very standing focused.

    4. Both are great cardio. Judo is a little more fast and furious with BJJ bouts usually not being quite as intense (i.e. You're not being slammed on the ground as much) but they last longer. BJJ is a little easier on the body.
     
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  15. Tames D

    Tames D RECKLESS

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    If I were in your shoes, based on the choices you presented, I'd go with Tama Martial Arts Center. They have been there for 40 years, and I like their line up. You're getting a good mix of fighting systems: Muay Thai Kickboxing, Kenpo Karate, Traditional Chinese Martial Arts-Tien Shan Pai Kung-Fu, Tai-Chi, Kobudo Training, Filipino Kali, Aikijutsu, Traditiional Jiu-Jitsu and Qi-Gong.
    Of course, I would check it out in person and see if it's a good fit for you. And I wonder if all these arts are taught as a mixed martial art system or individually by separate instructors specializing in the respective art.
    I just glanced over the website, so it might have this info.
     
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  16. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I can strongly recommend the Dayton MMA Academy and SGBJJ as having very good BJJ. I think they're both pretty sport-oriented, though. I don't know the instructor at Soma BJJ, but he comes from a Pedro Sauer lineage so you might get more of the self-defense application included there. Either way, I'm confident that he knows his stuff. If you're interested in BJJ I would visit all three schools and see which suits you best in terms of atmosphere and teaching style. BJJ will give you an incredible workout and plenty of opportunities for competition. Belt promotions tend to come several years apart, though, so if you need those for motivation it might not be ideal.

    I'm not sure who currently teaches the kickboxing at Dayton MMA. A friend of mine (Oscar Kallet) might be taking over that position, but I'm not sure if he's officially in that role yet. He's a good coach who has been around for quite a while.

    I took classes at Tama for a few months about 25 years ago. Wasn't really to my taste. It was a very commercial atmosphere and the head instructor spent most of his time in the office letting junior instructors run classes. I don't know what it's like now. You cold visit it and see what you think.

    I don't know the Judo folks, but one of the members here at MartialTalk, @GiYu - Todd, is an instructor at the dojo the Judo club rents space from. He might know something about them. Judo is a great art and offers both competition opportunities (bonus - Judo tournaments usually cost less than BJJ tournaments) and belt advancement.

    I don't think I know the folks at the Dayton Kali Academy. (They do list an Alex Kolodesh and I know an Alex Koldesz who is very good. Not sure if it's the same guy.) It looks like a good school, but probably not much in the way of competitions or belts.
     
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  17. Ironbear24

    Ironbear24 Senior Master

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    I recommend everyone in the world takes Judo. Out the womb onto the matt. Karate is great too of course but there are many styles of it that I am still not too familiar with. Kenpo is a great one though.
     
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  18. JP3

    JP3 Master Black Belt

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    (1). I know it's not unusual to cross-train sports but if a class is 6-7 and the next class is 7-8, would it be inappropriate or unusual to duck into the later class as soon as you can(after the other class ends of course)?

    Agree with the above, if the 2nd class is in the same facility, just sticking around is probably not only OK, it may be encouraged. If not at the same location, you'll end up being late for the 7 class every day and that will get you the growly face after a bit of it.

    (2). How much should I consider lineage? For example, a BJJ instructor I have the choice of got his BB from Pedro Sauer, who got his from Rickson Gracies. That's a pretty direct link to the Gracie family. Is that something to strongly consider or just an added bonus or not important at all?

    It is a "thing," just as the instructor's personality is a "thing," and how they interact with students on and off the mat is another "thing." You should consider all these things. If a guy doesn't want to talk about his instructor's lineage, his instructor may be a sham, OR perhaps that guy does not want to get involved n any of the politics that goes on in an association. Believe me, there can be a lot and it's all a distraction from the goal of training.

    (3). I watched some video footage of the Judo place I was looking at and noticed them rolling in a few of the scenes. From what I have read, it seems that this is something a lot of people would appreciate from their Judo class but don't get all of the time. Is this a big plus or more of a personal preference thing?

    A huge plus to get regular rolling. Also a big plus to get regular stand-up randori time, and to separate the two so as to force the student to work on the weaker section of their game. We usually worked our way through warm-ups, then went into the groundwork part of class at the front end on purpose, as groundwork is, for the beginning student, exhausting. Once you feel like you can't really walk, and your arms feel like spaghetti noodles, THEN it's time to work on throws - when you literally can not use power to make them work. Technique is the thing. Going Mongo is to be avoided, but I digress....

    (4). This is probably a personal opinion but I'd still like to hear them. Do you consider BJJ or Judo a better physical workout in terms of cardio and overall body work? I am still considering cross-training Kickboxing but I kind of expect that to be the heaviest workout in terms of cardio, although I readily admit that I could be wrong since I don't really know anything. :)

    It depends on what else you've done for fitness as to which one will be the most challenging workout. For me, the BJJ workout was the most grueling, as we had that initial body conditioning portion of the class designed to build up endurance at the front of the class, lasted about 45 minutes of a 90 minute class. For me, in my experience, that is way harder to do, until you get used to it (like anythign else) than the standard 2-hour judo class. In the end, since both judo and BJJ are about being relaxed and not using energy to get things to go and happen, I'd betcha that the kickboxing routine will in the long run be the hardest, as one can always just add more to it, i.e. add extra shadowboxing rounds, increase the number of kicks per set/round, increase the effort needed to perform drills (like adding a jump in between each and every single kick, like that...).

    The above is my experience. Get a guy who came up in high school wrestling, and they'd probably have a much different opinion.
     
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  19. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Nothing wrong with that at all. I always like seeing students do that.

    The only concern for lineage is to verify that the instructor is legitimate. Any legit BJJ black belt can tell you his lineage, typically back all the way to Mitsuo Maeda. Most of them go through the Gracie family at some point, although there is also an Oswaldo Fadda lineage which is just as valid. All three of the schools you listed have instructors with legitimate pedigrees. (Full disclosure - Mike Patt, the head instructor at Dayton MMA, was my first regular BJJ instructor before I moved out of town.)

    Big plus.

    The biggest difference comes down to the individual instructor and how they run class. A class aimed at developing champion competitors will be a lot harder than a class aimed at casual hobbyists. All other factors being equal, I consider Judo to be the most demanding in terms of conditioning. I should note, however, that grappling and striking typically work different energy systems, so one person might be able to handle kickboxing class easily and gas out quickly in BJJ while another person might be the reverse. It depends on what you're used to.
     
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  20. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    That's not even on his list.123
     

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