Which martial art would suit me best?

Discussion in 'Beginners Corner' started by Cixi, May 14, 2019.

  1. Cixi

    Cixi White Belt

    Joined:
    May 14, 2019
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Hi!

    New here, and new to martial arts. I’m having trouble choosing what art to study. I’m a short female (5’) who is very out of shape and overweight. I’m looking for physical and mental conditioning as well as self-defense, and not interested in a sport/competitive art. I’m a person with disabilities—legally blind and I don’t have great balance or physical strength. Taking all of this into account, what would be a suitable martial art to study? Which should I avoid?
     
  2. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2014
    Messages:
    16,626
    Likes Received:
    3,935
    Trophy Points:
    308
    Bjj or wrestling. Is your strength issue genetic? or just lack of activity.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Cixi

    Cixi White Belt

    Joined:
    May 14, 2019
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Lack of activity and mild cerebral palsy. I can walk, I just don't have a lot of strength in my muscles.
     
  4. Martial D

    Martial D Senior Master

    Joined:
    May 18, 2017
    Messages:
    2,479
    Likes Received:
    776
    Trophy Points:
    213
    Bjj is one where you literally don't need to see to be great.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2017
    Messages:
    2,186
    Likes Received:
    629
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Location:
    Southeast
    Most of the traditional martial arts like any derivative of karate, traditional Tae Kwon Do (not purely World Taekwondo which is sport only)or the Chinese arts. There are a few grappling arts which may work better with impaired eyesight since you start most drills with touching or holding your partner. It is impossible for anyone to say X is the best class for you, there are just too many variables. You likely will not get too deep into mental philosophy from the more modern arts. If this is very high on your list research the head instructor and see what their background is. More than a few have psychology degrees or similar. It is MUCH more important that you find a school that fits your need. Style is not highly important as long as it has what you are looking for.
    I would not be overly concerned about your weight, that is part of why you want to do this right? If concerned, get checked out by your PCP and make sure it is safe for you to workout. That doesn't mean it will be easy, far from it. I would imagine the first several months may be rough. That is not meant as discouragement, but to help you prepare.
    Most every reply here will encourage you to audit several different schools in your area, taking into consideration things like how does the class schedule work with the rest of your life schedule and how far away is the school. If the schedule conflicts with other more important things like taking care of family, etc... or is it is hard to get to class due to distance, that will add undue stress and likely lead to burnout.
    Be patient and don't think the first school you workout at has to be THE one. See what your options are. Talk to other students and be honest about any concerns you have. Look and listen for red flags. Hopefully you will check back in when you have tried a class or two and share your experience with the forum. Possibly someone here will pick up on some things to be aware of or concerned about.
     
  6. DocWard

    DocWard Blue Belt

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Messages:
    258
    Likes Received:
    120
    Trophy Points:
    98
    Location:
    Ohio
    My first question is what schools do you have available to you? I would certainly suggest beginning with a discussion with your primary care provider, as dvcochran mentioned. In so doing, not knowing the specifics of cerebral palsy, I would ask whether participating in a stand-up type of art would aid your balance as well as your strength. Being legally blind is not, as I understand, the same as being blind. Is your vision good enough so that you can see techniques demonstrated so that you may learn them?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2015
    Messages:
    4,625
    Likes Received:
    2,719
    Trophy Points:
    403
    Location:
    In the dojo
    Forget about styles, find the right teacher. The organization I belong to’s headquarters dojo has a program for the blind. They do quite well because it’s headed by people who have some sort of expertise with that population. It’s Seido karate if you’re in the NYC area.

    I wrestled from 3rd grade throughout high school and coached it for quite a while. I saw several blind wrestlers do quite well due to the nature of it and obviously their own determination. I’d imagine Judo and Brazilian jiujutsu would be very similar in this regard. I have no experience with either one though.

    All that said, who’s running the show is going to determine your experience. Find a teacher rather than a style. Make a list of every school in the area and give them a call, or better yet stop in if you can. You don’t know who’s good at teaching people with your circumstances. They may also not be able to accommodate you well enough but know someone who can.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  8. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2014
    Messages:
    16,626
    Likes Received:
    3,935
    Trophy Points:
    308
    But you are not going to fold in half and die if someone sits on you?

    And physical activity will make you stronger?

    We have a guy with some sort of genetic thing doing the beej. He enjoys it
     
  9. Rat

    Rat Brown Belt

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2018
    Messages:
    494
    Likes Received:
    56
    Trophy Points:
    43
    I would just avoid striking based ones, but then i don't recall/know to what degree vision is effected to be legally blind. Try and find someone who goes through the non physical self defence skills. Obviously get a doctor check out and everything for exercising etc and maybe try to find a rehabilitation exercise program post getting checked out and all that.

    You don't really need to see to grapple though.
     
  10. Star Dragon

    Star Dragon Orange Belt

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2015
    Messages:
    64
    Likes Received:
    22
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Based on your description, I would recommend starting out in one of the internal Chinese art, in particular Taiji. Provided you train it often and consistently enough, this should gently get you into shape without overstraining. This art also has much to offer in the way of mental conditioning. Moreover, its partner drills emphasize tactile sensation rather than relying on one's eyes.

    While many would not think of Taiji so much as a viable system of self-defense, it can in fact be devastatingly effective. But you would have to find an instructor that emphasizes Taiji's martial side. (Can give you some hints in what direction to look, if you wish.)

    Once you have reached an intermediate or advanced level in Taiji, you will be prepared better for any of the more taxing arts. Even though I suspect you may like it so much that you will want to stick with it for the rest of your life! :)
     

Share This Page