Best Martial Art for a Puny Asthmatic?

RMShilpi

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Hi, my name is Mia, and I'm new here. :) I'm short, tiny, and asthmatic, but also flexible, agile, and acrobatic. What martial art would you recommend I get into?

(I looked around and could not find a thread like this. If there already is one, please let me know and I'll delete this one.)

I used to do taekwondo as a kid, and learned a smattering of nothern shao-lin kung-fu, but that's the limit of my experience. The last time I really practiced anything was about a decade ago (I'm 23, now).

It'll be a while before I actually start - after a year of inactivity (knee problem), I have to rebuild what little strength and stamina I can get. Besides which, it'll also be a while before I'm financially stable enough to afford training. On the bright side, I'll likely be living in Los Angeles once I am, so I figure I'll have a lot of options.

I want to get back into martial arts half for athletic purposes, and half for self-defense purposes. On the one hand, I am a firm believer in the usage of diplomacy, mediation, and avoidance as the best self-defense mechanisms. On the other hand, I "look" Muslim (even though I'm not), and while I got lucky the last time some homophobes jumped me, and I do not want to count on that luck if it happens again. Given the events of the last two months or so, I have some very legitimate safety concerns. That said, I don't want my training to be only about self-defense, but also about staying fit and having fun. Doing anything purely out of fear, even martial arts, is letting the bigots win.

I'm 5'0", ~110lbs, and I have asthma. My endurance is shot, but I'm very agile. I can't run a mile without keeling over wheezing and I'd be lucky to bench press 50lbs. But I can kick above my head no problem, I twist myself into a pretzel in my sleep (literally!), and I'm double-jointed - I have yet to meet a pair of hand-cuffs that I can't slip out of.

While I'm too old to get back into it now, I also used to do some gymnastics as a kid, so getting into a martial art that utilizes or leaves room for acrobatics also appeals to me. In the long run, I actually hope to learn some parkour, too - are there any martial arts that can help prepare me for that, or make for good cross-training with parkour?

So far, I've been looking at Krav Maga, Judo, Jiu-Jitsu, Aikido, Muay Thai, Capoeira, and MMA. I'm not really interested in returning to Taekwondo or Kung Fu.

Krav Maga, Muay Thai, and MMA appeal to me for their effectiveness and aggression, but look like they rely a lot on physical strength and endurance, which I don't have. Aikido may be the one most suited to my body type, but it seems rather passive. (And I've seen it heralded as the form of Judo that doesn't harm opponents, but given the kind of people most likely to attack me, that...does not appeal to me. At all.) Judo and Jiu-jitsu both seem to involve a lot of ground work, which I'm fine with athletically, but wouldn't be practical as far as self-defense goes. Not to mention they seem to focus on holds and temporarily disabling someone, but given that I'm a very slow runner, I would like a form of self-defense that puts attackers down and makes sure they stay down long enough for me to get away. Capoeira doesn't seem to have much self-defense utility, if any at all, but it does look like the most fun.

Any ideas?

Thank you for all your help! :)
 

Chris Parker

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Hi, my name is Mia, and I'm new here. :) I'm short, tiny, and asthmatic, but also flexible, agile, and acrobatic. What martial art would you recommend I get into?

(I looked around and could not find a thread like this. If there already is one, please let me know and I'll delete this one.)

I used to do taekwondo as a kid, and learned a smattering of nothern shao-lin kung-fu, but that's the limit of my experience. The last time I really practiced anything was about a decade ago (I'm 23, now).

It'll be a while before I actually start - after a year of inactivity (knee problem), I have to rebuild what little strength and stamina I can get. Besides which, it'll also be a while before I'm financially stable enough to afford training. On the bright side, I'll likely be living in Los Angeles once I am, so I figure I'll have a lot of options.

Hi Mia,

In the end, there's only one actual answer here… the best school for you is the one you'll be able to attend, and that you'll continue to attend. What exactly it is doesn't matter so much… and there's really no art around designed for a single person/type only, as they can all be adapted to your personal needs.

When you are ready, and know where you'll be, look around, see what's available to you, visit the schools, and see which teacher/school appeals to you the most. That's really the only answer that is realistic for you.

On the other hand, I "look" Muslim (even though I'm not), and while I got lucky the last time some homophobes jumped me, and I do not want to count on that luck if it happens again.

Er… okay… and why would "homophobes" attack you for "looking" as if you're Muslim (not that there's really any justification for attacking you, of course… just that the motivation seems at odds)…

But I can kick above my head no problem, I twist myself into a pretzel in my sleep (literally!), and I'm double-jointed - I have yet to meet a pair of hand-cuffs that I can't slip out of.

Er… okay… are we meant to take that as you've encountered some legal issues, and escaped them, or that you've had more "recreational" exposure to handcuffs, or… uh… right…
 

Buka

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Welcome to MartialTalk, Mia.

Like Chris, said, visit schools and see which ones strike a chord with you.
Reading your description of yourself, I think a Tenth Planet Jiu-jitsu dojo would fit you like a glove.
 

Tez3

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Chris, I don't know if the OP is in the UK or not but the past couple of weeks since the EU referendum here, 'foreigners', Muslims and anyone from another country ( yes, Americans, Canadians and Aussies too) have been attacked verbally and physically. Attacks have almost tripled, we've had arson attacks on Polish owned shops, beating up and verbal abuse on public transport. It's disgraceful, shaming and I really hope this country isn't going. At lot of people have been seeking advice on how to defend themselves and how to deal with people when verbally abused. Racism After Brexit: Teenagers Hurl Abuse At American On Manchester Tram

I'm double-jointed - I have yet to meet a pair of hand-cuffs that I can't slip out of.

I would get checked out for Ehler-Danlos Syndrome. I had a student who was 'double jointed' when young but went on to suffer problems through it.
Ehlers Danlos UK - Hypermobility Ehlers-Danlos syndrome
 

Chris Parker

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Yeah, I'm aware of such… activities. My point was not that she was assaulted (as mentioned, no possible justification for that), it was that the attackers weren't identified as racist for attacking someone who "looks Muslim", it's that they were identified as "homophobes". That's all…
 
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RMShilpi

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Chris and Buka, that is exactly what I will be doing, but I do want to know where to start looking, and which martial arts to start researching. I'm the kind of person who likes to go into situations with as much data as possible. :)

Chris, the "Muslim" thing and "homophobe" thing are two separate events/motivations. I'm a bisexual woman of South Asian descent, so I'm getting hatred from a lot of directions. I've been dealing with homophobia for years, and over the last several months I've also had to deal with a lot of Islamaphobia due to my physical appearance. As for your other concern, my schools have had a lot of cops that like to try and mingle with students or give little lectures and sometimes let students try on hand-cuffs as a joke, and I have a lot of friends who like to see the look on a cop's face when I hand their cuffs back to them before they 'free' me. ;)

Tez, that my double-jointed-ness is medical hypermobility is something I've known for a long-time (though I don't know if it's this particular syndrome). It's just a lot more people know "double-jointed" than they do the medical conditions, which is why I phrased it that way. But thank you, it's been a long time since I've paid attention to my joints medically, and it's something which I should probably do before starting any martial arts.
 

Chris Parker

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Chris and Buka, that is exactly what I will be doing, but I do want to know where to start looking, and which martial arts to start researching. I'm the kind of person who likes to go into situations with as much data as possible. :)

I understand that… the problem there is that, to be completely blunt, the only way to know is to do. Reading doesn't tell you what the art is like to train, nor does watching videos… the only thing that can help you decide is to visit the schools themselves, join in, and see how you go. I mean, with regards to your asthma, there's no art that's going to take that into account… but plenty of instructors certainly will. And that always comes down to the school itself, rather than the system or art.

Chris, the "Muslim" thing and "homophobe" thing are two separate events/motivations. I'm a bisexual woman of South Asian descent, so I'm getting hatred from a lot of directions. I've been dealing with homophobia for years, and over the last several months I've also had to deal with a lot of Islamaphobia due to my physical appearance.

Thanks for the clarification. I was just a bit confused by the assigned motivation.

As for your other concern, my schools have had a lot of cops that like to try and mingle with students or give little lectures and sometimes let students try on hand-cuffs as a joke, and I have a lot of friends who like to see the look on a cop's face when I hand their cuffs back to them before they 'free' me. ;)

Ha, fair enough!
 

Tez3

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At the moment, just having someone think you are different often for no reason at all is enough you get you attacked/abuse.
 
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RMShilpi

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Tez, that's why I'm here. ^_^ I refuse to cower, but that means having to prepare for the worst, just in case.
 

Flatfish

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Regarding your concerns about strength and endurance. Any MA will benefit you with this if you stick with it but have you thought about filipino martial arts if there are any available in your area? They place a lot of emphasis on weapons but also empty hand skills. Just thought I'd throw this out there.
 

WaterGal

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Chris and Buka, that is exactly what I will be doing, but I do want to know where to start looking, and which martial arts to start researching. I'm the kind of person who likes to go into situations with as much data as possible. :)

I'm not trying to be a smart***, but googling "martial arts schools near [your town]" is probably the best place to start looking.

See what classes the schools near you offer for adults, and which of them fits your schedule. That should narrow down your options a lot. At that point, it makes more sense to research those styles and schools to see what looks the best for you. Keep in mind, though, that there are good and bad teachers in any style, and schools with good and bad environments, and you need to visit a place and see what it's like before you can really determine if it's for you.

Also, I'd keep an open mind about grappling-based styles. While it's true that a small person has a big disadvantage on the ground, at the same time, grappling is about leverage, and with enough skill, you don't need to be extremely strong. (Plus, if you want something that puts your opponent on the ground and keeps him there while you get away, choking someone out or breaking their arm are pretty effective ways to do that.)
 

JowGaWolf

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Don't be concerned about the physical stuff you have to do. There will always be conditioning requirements for any type of self defense training. Worry less about your power vs someone elses power and focus more on your ability to execute techniques in a real world setting.

Martial arts is well known for having weaker opponents defeating stronger opponents by executing technique with efficiency.
 

Kickboxer101

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Any of them. Any style can potentially be good for you, as for your concerns about mma and mauy Thai don't worry not everyone in those gyms are Brock Lesnar size. Mma and mauy Thai have smaller people that's why they have loads of weight classes to accommodate everyone
 

JR 137

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I'm quite sure there's no shortage of excellent martial arts schools in LA. I constantly say this, so bear with me...

Forget about which art is best for you; there is no best art.

Find which school is best for you. The most important style is the teacher's teaching style. It doesn't matter how "good" the art or the teacher is if the teacher can't teach YOU effectively.

Who you're learning from and training alongside of is far more important than the art itself. I don't want to train with a bunch of kids who think they're Ninja Turtles or Power Rangers, and I don't want to train with a bunch of adults who are trying to out do each other.

Keeping that stuff in mind, if say, Krav Maga was inherently better than karate, what if the local Krav school had a horrible teacher and a bunch of kids training with you, meanwhile the local karate school was taught by a renowned teacher that you can relate to, and the students were serious adults training hard and cooperatively, which is the better fit for you?

A good instructor will be able to teach you how to minimize your weaknesses and maximize your strengths.

Google search martial arts schools in your targeted area. Eliminate the ones your schedule conflicts with and the ones you can't afford. Visit the rest. You'll see a wide range of instruction and students training. After seeing several places, you'll get where I'm coming from. The most important things are the teacher and classmates.

I don't know exactly where it is, but if I was in the LA area, the first place I'd look at is Gokor Chivichyan and Gene LaBelle's Hayastan Dojo. Those guys' credentials speak for themselves IMO. No idea if it's accessible and/or affordable to you, but it's a place I've always been interested in. Being in NY, there's no chance for me to train there.
 

drop bear

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Do anything submission wrestling. Double jointed people are insainly awkward to deal with in those arts. And capoera is a lot of fun.

Fighting relies on physical strength and endurance. Martial arts is a reflection of that. Not the cause.
 

donald1

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Hello! Nice to meet you...

Tai chi is nice slow, calm, and good for health.
Xingyiquan is a fast flowing style that uses flexibility that may be something worth looking into.
 

Kevin__Huang

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Hi, my name is Mia, and I'm new here. :) I'm short, tiny, and asthmatic, but also flexible, agile, and acrobatic. What martial art would you recommend I get into?

(I looked around and could not find a thread like this. If there already is one, please let me know and I'll delete this one.)

I used to do taekwondo as a kid, and learned a smattering of nothern shao-lin kung-fu, but that's the limit of my experience. The last time I really practiced anything was about a decade ago (I'm 23, now).

It'll be a while before I actually start - after a year of inactivity (knee problem), I have to rebuild what little strength and stamina I can get. Besides which, it'll also be a while before I'm financially stable enough to afford training. On the bright side, I'll likely be living in Los Angeles once I am, so I figure I'll have a lot of options.

I want to get back into martial arts half for athletic purposes, and half for self-defense purposes. On the one hand, I am a firm believer in the usage of diplomacy, mediation, and avoidance as the best self-defense mechanisms. On the other hand, I "look" Muslim (even though I'm not), and while I got lucky the last time some homophobes jumped me, and I do not want to count on that luck if it happens again. Given the events of the last two months or so, I have some very legitimate safety concerns. That said, I don't want my training to be only about self-defense, but also about staying fit and having fun. Doing anything purely out of fear, even martial arts, is letting the bigots win.

I'm 5'0", ~110lbs, and I have asthma. My endurance is shot, but I'm very agile. I can't run a mile without keeling over wheezing and I'd be lucky to bench press 50lbs. But I can kick above my head no problem, I twist myself into a pretzel in my sleep (literally!), and I'm double-jointed - I have yet to meet a pair of hand-cuffs that I can't slip out of.

While I'm too old to get back into it now, I also used to do some gymnastics as a kid, so getting into a martial art that utilizes or leaves room for acrobatics also appeals to me. In the long run, I actually hope to learn some parkour, too - are there any martial arts that can help prepare me for that, or make for good cross-training with parkour?

So far, I've been looking at Krav Maga, Judo, Jiu-Jitsu, Aikido, Muay Thai, Capoeira, and MMA. I'm not really interested in returning to Taekwondo or Kung Fu.

Krav Maga, Muay Thai, and MMA appeal to me for their effectiveness and aggression, but look like they rely a lot on physical strength and endurance, which I don't have. Aikido may be the one most suited to my body type, but it seems rather passive. (And I've seen it heralded as the form of Judo that doesn't harm opponents, but given the kind of people most likely to attack me, that...does not appeal to me. At all.) Judo and Jiu-jitsu both seem to involve a lot of ground work, which I'm fine with athletically, but wouldn't be practical as far as self-defense goes. Not to mention they seem to focus on holds and temporarily disabling someone, but given that I'm a very slow runner, I would like a form of self-defense that puts attackers down and makes sure they stay down long enough for me to get away. Capoeira doesn't seem to have much self-defense utility, if any at all, but it does look like the most fun.

Any ideas?

Thank you for all your help! :)
I would recommend aikido because it doesn't use a lot of strength.

Sent from my D2305 using Tapatalk
 

Brian King

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Hi, my name is Mia, and I'm new here. :) I'm short, tiny, and asthmatic, but also flexible, agile, and acrobatic. What martial art would you recommend I get into?

(I looked around and could not find a thread like this. If there already is one, please let me know and I'll delete this one.)

I used to do taekwondo as a kid, and learned a smattering of nothern shao-lin kung-fu, but that's the limit of my experience. The last time I really practiced anything was about a decade ago (I'm 23, now).

It'll be a while before I actually start - after a year of inactivity (knee problem), I have to rebuild what little strength and stamina I can get. Besides which, it'll also be a while before I'm financially stable enough to afford training. On the bright side, I'll likely be living in Los Angeles once I am, so I figure I'll have a lot of options.

I want to get back into martial arts half for athletic purposes, and half for self-defense purposes. On the one hand, I am a firm believer in the usage of diplomacy, mediation, and avoidance as the best self-defense mechanisms. On the other hand, I "look" Muslim (even though I'm not), and while I got lucky the last time some homophobes jumped me, and I do not want to count on that luck if it happens again. Given the events of the last two months or so, I have some very legitimate safety concerns. That said, I don't want my training to be only about self-defense, but also about staying fit and having fun. Doing anything purely out of fear, even martial arts, is letting the bigots win.

I'm 5'0", ~110lbs, and I have asthma. My endurance is shot, but I'm very agile. I can't run a mile without keeling over wheezing and I'd be lucky to bench press 50lbs. But I can kick above my head no problem, I twist myself into a pretzel in my sleep (literally!), and I'm double-jointed - I have yet to meet a pair of hand-cuffs that I can't slip out of.

While I'm too old to get back into it now, I also used to do some gymnastics as a kid, so getting into a martial art that utilizes or leaves room for acrobatics also appeals to me. In the long run, I actually hope to learn some parkour, too - are there any martial arts that can help prepare me for that, or make for good cross-training with parkour?

So far, I've been looking at Krav Maga, Judo, Jiu-Jitsu, Aikido, Muay Thai, Capoeira, and MMA. I'm not really interested in returning to Taekwondo or Kung Fu.

Krav Maga, Muay Thai, and MMA appeal to me for their effectiveness and aggression, but look like they rely a lot on physical strength and endurance, which I don't have. Aikido may be the one most suited to my body type, but it seems rather passive. (And I've seen it heralded as the form of Judo that doesn't harm opponents, but given the kind of people most likely to attack me, that...does not appeal to me. At all.) Judo and Jiu-jitsu both seem to involve a lot of ground work, which I'm fine with athletically, but wouldn't be practical as far as self-defense goes. Not to mention they seem to focus on holds and temporarily disabling someone, but given that I'm a very slow runner, I would like a form of self-defense that puts attackers down and makes sure they stay down long enough for me to get away. Capoeira doesn't seem to have much self-defense utility, if any at all, but it does look like the most fun.

Any ideas?

Thank you for all your help! :)

Good luck in your search. Good news and bad news - you live in LA. This is one of the Mecca's for martial arts. Good news is - You will have hundreds of great training opportunities near you. Bad news is - You will have hundreds of great training opportunities near you.

The Academy in Beverley Hills has great programs and world class instructors. Martin Wheeler I can personally recommend and do. I have not yet trained with Rigan Machado but hope to some day be able to do so.

The Academy Beverly Hills

Good luck
Regards
Brian King
 

Charlemagne

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Weapons are a great equalizer for someone who is small and might lack in physical prowess. Perhaps you could consider something that teaches the use, and defense against, weapons in addition to their empty hand skills?

Just a thought.

Good luck!
 

Langenschwert

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With conditioning, your asthma will be less of a hindrance. I'm asthmatic can can out-endure a lot of people... my gas tank is seldom my limiting factor.

Find something you like and a teacher you enjoy. Those are the most important things.

If I had to suggest things not knowing you, boxing is always a good choice. You will learn to maximize your damage to weight ratio. You will also get results quite quickly.

Judo is a great (perhaps even ideal) companion to boxing, though results are generally not as quick. BJJ is another good choice.

An MMA gym would also cover a lot of bases for you. There is certainly no shortage of options for you.

And small people should learn to use force multipliers more than anyone else.
 

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