Choosing a martial art and Fibromyalgia

shaolin_al

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Hello everyone I apologize if you are getting tired of these "which style should I do?" threads but I am stuck at this point. I have developed fibromyalgia over the last year or two and was wondering if anyone else on this forum has this health issue? It is similar to arthritis in some ways. I am only 28 and have not trained martial arts for over two years. I live in far northwest phoenix in an area called surprise near peoria,az. I basically have knotted muscles in my shoulders, arms, and back which pinch my nerves. Most people recommend taijiquan to me. I would like some advice on styles which you think I would be able to train and why. thanks for any help.
 

celtic_crippler

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I had a student who developed fibromyalgia. He now happily preactices Tai Chi and the isometric movements seem to actually help him.
 

blindsage

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Taijiquan would actually be an excellent choice with the focus on relaxation and body alignment. Other internal Chinese styles would probably work as well i.e. Baguazhang and Xingyiquan since they are based on the same basic principles, but depending on the intructor they could be a little tougher (especially Xingyi depending on how quickly you get into sparring.) Aikido may also be good for similar reasons.

A lot of styles could probably be adapted to work for you, aside from these, but it would depend on the instructor's willingness to do so.
 
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shaolin_al

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Thanks for the replies and hello blind sage I think we may have chatted a bit before. I was looking at a couple of schools in my area and there are aikido schools but do you think that the holds and throws could possibly make my fibro worse? Blind sage are you familiar with shi yan ming of the u.s. shaolin temple and what's your opinion of him? I really want to return to martial arts but i've been weary due to my health. not training is driving me crazy though.
 

blindsage

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The throws and joint locks could definitely be a problem with the wrong teacher. You would need to make sure that they would take your condition into account. Some Aikido instructors go hard all the time which wouldn't be helpful to you (and isn't always helpful to their fully healthy students either). But Aikido is similar to Taiji in the focusing on relaxed movement and body alignment.

If you train Taijiquan as a proper martial art (if you're lucky enough to find that rare qualified instructor- not easy) you would eventually run into some of these same problems since Taiji has some chin na (holds, joint locks etc.) and is very much about takedowns, pushes, and throws. But every art has contact and impact components that will likely be an issue for you, the difference with Taiji is that, when trained properly, the relaxation and body alignment principles can have actual positive effects on most physical conditions. This can benefit you in both your ability to train the style as a 'martial' art and in life in general. This is why Taiji is recommend so often in situations like yours. You can get similar benefits from training Baguazhang properly, as well as Xingyiquan (as long as you have a teacher that really focuses on the basic principles and doesn't push you into sparring before your ready).

As for Shi Yan Ming, I met him once in NYC at his school. Very nice, humble man. Don't know much about the quality of what he teaches (I would guess pretty damn good) or whether teaches what we call Wushu versus a more traditional actual fighting style, and I have no idea of the quality or level of his Taiji.
 
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shaolin_al

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so you think taiji or a good aikido teacher? this guy who learned from shi yan ming teaches chen and another guy near me teaches yang one day a week. Not sure about the quality of either. So what about external kung fu or tkd/karate?
 

HKphooey

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so you think taiji or a good aikido teacher? this guy who learned from shi yan ming teaches chen and another guy near me teaches yang one day a week. Not sure about the quality of either. So what about external kung fu or tkd/karate?


Personally, I think a great teacher adapts to the student. Try a few classes with a few schools. See how you feel after a few classes and how the teacher and students accept you.

A bow to you for going for it! :)
 
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shaolin_al

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Yes the teacher makes the difference but I definitely still have preference in styles, 5 animals/chen tai chi, kalis ilustrisimo, taekwondo/yang tai chi/hung gar (weird combo), and aikido are what is available in my area. Any thoughts on those? Also what about kempo hkphooey, I was just wondering how rough the training is for that?
 

bowser666

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Yes the teacher makes the difference but I definitely still have preference in styles, 5 animals/chen tai chi, kalis ilustrisimo, taekwondo/yang tai chi/hung gar (weird combo), and aikido are what is available in my area. Any thoughts on those? Also what about kempo hkphooey, I was just wondering how rough the training is for that?


Try the TKD, Yang Tai Chi/ Hung Gar blend, That is a balance of good footwork, hand striking, chin na, qi Gong etc....... Hung Gar and Tai Chi ( traditional) all have shuai jiao and chin na applications, so you also get a great SD root as well. Let us know where your road takes you.


I personally do Yang Tai Chi, Southern 5 animals, and Northern Longfist to get a similar blend to cover, short, medium and long range fighting.
 
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shaolin_al

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I'm stuck between that school, azshaolin, and the wc. do you think kali or krav maga would be bad for me?
 

bowser666

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What i would do is decide what you hope to accomplish from this training ? Self -Defense , traditional training/lifestyle/culture etc.... , cardio workout and overall fitness ? Typically any MA program can provide a basic level of all of these, you just need to decide what you want to get out of it and take it from there.
 

blindsage

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Any of those styles could work for you, as HKp said it depends on the quality of the teacher and their willingness to adapt to your needs. You need to go into the schools that interest you and talk with the teachers, explain to them your situation, and see how willing they are to work with you. This could be done in any of the above styles, but may not be done in any of them depending on the instructor.
 

yak sao

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Try Wing Tsun.
WT is soft like tai chi, but still is very martial in its approach. also there is a great deal of body mechanics involved much like tai chi. In fact, one of my old si-soks described WT as tai chi at warp speed.
You may also find the chi sao very therapuetic.

Geezer is from Arizona, he may be able to help you out.
Also Robert Jaques is an old Leung Ting student who is I believe in the Phoenix area.

Good luck
 

geezer

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Try Wing Tsun.
WT is soft like tai chi, but still is very martial in its approach. also there is a great deal of body mechanics involved much like tai chi. In fact, one of my old si-soks described WT as tai chi at warp speed.
You may also find the chi sao very therapuetic.

Geezer is from Arizona, he may be able to help you out.
Also Robert Jaques is an old Leung Ting student who is I believe in the Phoenix area.

Good luck

Hey Yak, and Hi Allan. Actually Yak, I did work with Allan one afternoon, but as you know, there's some tension involved in getting your positioning right in SNT and the stance at the beginning. Correct me if I'm wrong, Al, but I believe that straining to get into correct alignment for the form really aggravated your condition. Perhaps we overdid it a bit, too.

At any rate I'm so glad to hear that you haven't given up on the martial arts. And, based on our brief experience training, I'd also recommend that you investigate Tai Chi. Good luck and drop me a line sometime to let me know how you are doing. --Steve
 

Tensei85

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I would also 3rd or 4th the Taiji Quan, maybe some type of Qi Gong as well would be helpful. I've found a lot of great benefits from Taiji & Qi Gong training personally.


Best of luck!
 

jeorf

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As usual, choosing the teacher/school is more important (in general) than choosing the type of martial art. We have people in our school with rheumatoid arthritis, hip replacements, knee replacements, fibromyalgia, other chronic pain conditions among others. (We ALL have some sort of physical or mental or emotional disability that we will be up against in the martial arts anyway!) Our teacher allows this to be normal and part of what we are.

Check out the schools - if they feel right, then take a class. You shouldn't have to sign on for life without checking it out.
 
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