Martial arts journeys, and finding your "own" style...whats next for me?

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by chrissyp, Jan 23, 2017.

  1. chrissyp

    chrissyp Green Belt

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    Hi there, new to the forum, and I need some advice in my martial arts journey.

    As the title states, i'm in a process of finding my "own" style...to me, this isn't starting a new system, or so much changing styles, but finding out what "works for me", what feels "natural" to me, and the expanding upon that.

    I guess my problem, is figuring that out, other than trial and error.

    I think part of my problem is, not sure what I want out of martial arts anymore...I know I want to develop my skill the best I can. I DON'T know however if I want to compete anymore, which again, makes me confused as what direction to take my training.

    I guess my real question is this: Does anyone else feel lost of confused like this sometimes? I kinda feel really lost in this right now, and any advice would be good.
     
  2. KangTsai

    KangTsai 2nd Black Belt

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    Here's my best: if you can't choose, do all of it. I'm assuming you are on a pretty advanced level to contemplate your "own" thing. You don't decide what's natural for you - it's "natural" for a reason.
     
  3. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Can you give us some background on your training, for context? My response and thoughts will be different depending where you are in the journey.
     
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  4. chrissyp

    chrissyp Green Belt

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    What I that works "Best" for me
    Well as for me, I've been doing martial art 17 years. I started off boxing and wrestling, and then went into tae kwon do...My goal was to be the best fiighter/martial artist out there, like many kids dreaming big growing up. I did this until I could find a good muay thai / MMA school. After being burned out on muay thai, which I did for about 10 years which may partialy be do age/being burned out, I started doing shotokan to think outside of the box, to see new purspective, and that's when things started to "click"

    and by click, I found while I love muay thai, combining elements of Shotokan and boxing Fundamentals work more "naturally" for me....that whatever this "style" is allows me to preform to the best of MY ability with the knowledge that I have. I guess i'm trying to figure out what the past way to hone this, to direct this feeling of what "works for me" to reach y my peak.

    But I think might get the overall message about feeling whats "right" for each individual person, and follwing their heart.
     
  5. chrissyp

    chrissyp Green Belt

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    I guess now partly is finding the right school(S) for me....it feels like to get the most out of what I want to do, I'd have to train a Shotokan/karate school and a boxing gym, to work on both skills...but its finding a place, where I could test them together, ether full contact sparring/kickboxing would be the biggest problem. Do I find a 3rd gym that will allow to come spar and use all my weapons? All this would get costly.

    I think the best gym for me right now, is Karate/kyokushin and boxing which seems like its mind set would have the benefit of all 3 schools blended in. But they also have a high focus on grappling, which I Love, and respect, but don't have the great interest in doing.
     
  6. marques

    marques Master Black Belt

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    I spent almost 10 years the same style, same organisation. Then I quit that organisation. Then I spent 9 years "lost and confused".

    I could not find a replacement to that first discipline. But gained new hope every time I moved to a different town. 'Retired' and restarted many times. Luckily, last year I found (1 min from home) a club where I could do and test my stuff, all together (almost). It was great, for maintenance. Then moved again.

    Currently, I am training Thai Boxing. It is more sport than self-defence (which was my first choice/motivation). It is not the ideal, but good enough for now and perhaps the best option I have. At least I can focus on striking and maintain (improve?) this skill. Grappling was lost in the time...

    I think I should have searched more and keep regular training in a club, at least once a week, all that 9 years. So my suggestion is, even if the ideal situation is not possible or not clear, keep training (if not in 2 or 3 gyms, one). Keep trying. It increases your chances to find your way. Perhaps you can find people with the same interest and train - in parallel since that groups are short-lived - your style or sparring as you want (I also did it and it was great).

    Life is changing. But keep training. :)
     
  7. thanson02

    thanson02 Blue Belt

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    I struggled with this for a while too. What I found helped me was "hacking the systems". It takes work, but once you find out how the body mechanics work in relation to your opponent, you start to see how the pattens work together and you can make it "yours".

    Sent from my XT1096 using Tapatalk
     
  8. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    At this point, with some solid experience in a few different places, there are a few ways you can go. I'll toss a few out - not so much as recommendations, rather as a list of some of the options which are not all mutually exclusive. I'll comment on each as to how it may or may not fit for you:
    • Finding partners to train with who are of similar ability in different arts. This would allow you to explore more by building upon the base you already have. If you can find a few folks to mix it up with on a regular, scheduled basis, you can share ideas, look for ways to pick apart each others' personal style (as opposed to the base arts), etc.
    • Digging deep into one art. This is a natural progression. So much so that many of us follow it without considering other options. There's a lot to be learned from an art once you get the basics down. Digging deep with an instructor and/or other advanced students can help you really start to improve how you use that art. It can also create a great base for borrowing useful principles and techniques from other arts. Based on your comments, Shotokan might be the logical choice.
    • Starting a new art. This is sort of the opposite of the second one. It lets you go back to the beginning, with the view of integrating something new into what you already have. If I were doing this today, for instance, I'd maybe look into Wing Chun or Brazilian Jujitsu. Those would be great compliments to what I have trained in depth, and their principles would almost certainly force me to question some of my current approaches.
    • Teaching. With 17 years across different arts, you may not be near this point yet. I'm not clear how long you've trained in any single art. Based on your comments, Shotokan would be the logic place for this, too. Teaching forces you to take a different perspective on an art. If you have decided your fighting skill is "enough" (not saying you don't want to improve, just if it's not your priority now), then this can be a great direction to go.
    Based on the post after the one I'm replying to, you seem to be pointed toward the 1st and 2nd approaches I listed. You don't have to train deep in both disciplines, though you can. Dig deep in at least one of them, and look to keep your hands in the other. Make friends with some folks at both places, and some will be interested in getting together to test and refine skills in some mixed format. You can probably find a gym that has open time available, where you guys can play together.
     
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  9. JR 137

    JR 137 Grandmaster

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    I haven't seen much, if any emphasis on grappling in Kyokushin nor boxing. Do the individual gyms near you emphasize that?

    I was going to ask if Kyokushin was on your radar, but you answered that.

    Have you thought about taking a short break for a few weeks to kind of mentally unwind and put things into perspective? Maybe do some yoga, as crazy as that may sound?
     
  10. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    How to find "your own" style... in one (not so) easy step: Practice.

    Oh, you want more information? Practice some more. Drill and train and practice some more. Test yourself with people in a variety of situations. Look for the principles that underlie what you're practicing. Examine those principles, figure out why things work, and how they fit together -- and what can change and still be true to the style.

    The heart of finding your own style is understanding how you move, how you use the principles to understand and use the system. That can only be done after you thoroughly understand a style -- and after you've practiced. A whole lot... and then some more.
     
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  11. chrissyp

    chrissyp Green Belt

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    This is a lot of GREAT information! And it makes sense...I just need to look deep into somethings...I think this is also a reflection of me growing as human being, not just a martial artist. figuring out who "I" am, as a person, and it's starting to reflect into my martial arts life. A martial arts soul search if you will, that is parralling a personal one.
     
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  12. chrissyp

    chrissyp Green Belt

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    I think i'm figuring out myself: How shotokan and boxing flow together, feels "right " for me, so I believe that's the route im going to do, focus on those two and work on blending it, with a few muay thai elements...which would the application of kicks/power...train the shotokan in a full contact manner like I would the muay thai or boxing, would give me the best results.

    the reason I chose "boxing" more so than muay thai FYI, is how the stances and techniques seems to flow better for me. I like the fudamentals of boxing; the head work, the foot work, the in and out, the use of angles. which don't always apply to thai boxing, and its hard to find a good thai school around here that can teach good "boxing" that you can adapt to your Thai or other forums of striking.
     
  13. KenpoMaster805

    KenpoMaster805 Black Belt

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    I guess its better you stick to 1 Martial Arts that you like so you dont have to moved to another Martial Arts. I used to do shotokan too way back at Bakersfield California i was a high orange almost green and I win 1st place throphy then when i moved back to my hometowm oxnard i went and do American kenpo karate i was hook like that so ill stick to American Kenpo Karate im now a 3rd degree brown soon to be 2nd degree Kenpo karate is fun and exciting you will learn a lot
     
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  14. chrissyp

    chrissyp Green Belt

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    Well said! Is it fair to say that the heart of finding your own style, roots from knowing and understanding yourself?
     
  15. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I'd say that's a fair statement. It has to come from really understanding yourself and what you want from your MA training.
     
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  16. reddraggon

    reddraggon White Belt

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    Martial arts is a never ending journey. With every new thing, you learn you reach one step closer to infinity. Learn a style which is not your niche. Only then you can test yourself.
     
  17. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    The sparring/wrestling is fun. If you can spar/wrestle 15 rounds daily, you will smile in your dream ever night.

    You want to develop "something" through your life. That "something" will be your "door guarding skills". After you have decided what "door guarding skills" that you want to develop, there are other support "generate skills" that you will also need to develop as well.
     
  18. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    If I grappled 15 rounds one day, I couldn't train the next, nor likely the one after that.
     
  19. chrissyp

    chrissyp Green Belt

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    I love sparring and rolling...my biggest thing, was driving to compete. when I started, I was 15 years old, wanting to be a world kickboxing or the UFC champion. I'm now 32, riddled with injuries and life. lol. As I get older, the fire has gone out, but yet at times it still rages really hard.
     
  20. wingchun100

    wingchun100 Senior Master

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    Sometimes I feel lost, for sure. It's kind of like when you want to find a romantic partner: what if there really is NO ONE that lives around you who would be a good fit for you? The same might be true of martial arts: there might not be a school in your are for the style that would fit you like a glove.123
     
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