How did you choose the MA school and the art you study currently?

Blade96

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Ok I read all the web stuff that says its the teacher, not the art, and the 'right and good way' to choose a MA school, but there must be ways people chose a school and an art that did not follow those rules.

and for rookies out there wondering how to choose a school and a MA according to what i read mine was the wrong way to choose a school so i must have just got lucky so avoid my way lol :p

But How did I choose my shotokan dojo and choose Shotokan.

Well I got sick in april 2009 and suffered an allergic reaction to the meds. so i was sick the whole summer and was practically bedridden. so when i got better around august i grabbed a bunch of movies. 3 of them were my Blade trilogy. For some reason I got interested in Snipes so I started doing reading on him. I didnt plan to become a MA; just woke up one day and had a thought I wanted to look for whatever snipes did. Didnt know the name of it then. I found a ma dojo of karate which was pretty much the only MA I knew of. I looked and it wasnt what Snipes did but I signed up for two months while looking. I learned at that time that this Karate was called Kenpo and the Kenpo sensei mentioned this other kind called Shotokan. By pure luck I was reading through a newspaper and saw an ad advertising a Shotokan dojo. It was the last time it was advertised in that newspaper which was the only one I read at that time. Pure luck. Still didnt know if it was what Snipes did. So I went to take a look and met the man who is now my sensei and always has been. The moment I saw the class start, I had an "aha!" moment. It was what I'd been looking for. It is what snipes does in blade movies. Signed up that day (september 10, 2009) and never looked back.

Odd thing It wasnt planned. Its like it was planned for me, like I was meant to become a Shotokanka. I told my sensei this story and he's like You were meant to meet us and to do this. Its called destiny"

Only after did I find out about everything the internet says you should look for. Everything is legit and good and everything I wanted and needed. :) Has insurance for example and a rich lineage going back to Funakoshi himself. :)

But there must be lots of different ways and such that people find an art they love and a school to study in. Besides the right way the Net tells you I mean. How did you choose yours? Mine I looked for an art, not a teacher. I got lucky, I think.

I am just thinking it might help other people find a school and an art too if people said how they found their ones. :)

Oh. and i quit the kenpo school after the 2 months was up. :)

But I thought this topic might be nice to know how people chose their school/art and it might be helpful to rookies looking how to choose a school/art and to read how other people chose theirs. :)
 
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Laus

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I was brought to my first karate dojo by an old friend who I had run into randomly after having not seen him for years. I had always been interested in the martial arts but hadn't gotten myself to actually try it - he gave me the push. I moved shortly after and transfered to a dojo within the same organization without much consideration as to who was running the place, which would prove unfortunate years later. I left that dojo and the organization, on the surface because I moved to a city where they didn't operate, but in reality more than a little by my own design.

The Aikido school am now with I ended up at because its held at the Y I workout at. I had always wanted to try Aikido, and being disillusioned with karate and in a new city it seemed like the right time. It turned out to be fortuitous - I found the Sensei and the art far more in tune with my own philosophies and opinions about how training should be done and how a Sensei should relate to his students than what I had experienced previously. After a time I found my faith restored and went in search of a new karate school.

I was more selective this time around, looking into pretty well every dojo in my area and seeing what they offered and who was in charge. There are no schools that teach my former ryu here, so that meant looking for a new style as well. When I found a school that fit my needs, I scoured the internet to make sure there were no rumours of anything questionable related to the Sensei or the school (experience is a fine teacher, no?). Once I was satisfied I went in for a trial class. You can tell a lot about a Sensei by the way his students behave, and I was very impressed with their reaction to me (some strange Dan they've never seen before), and with their behaviour toward each other and their Sensei (and his toward them). I have been training there ever since, as well as continuing with my Aikido Sensei, to whom I am eternally grateful for reminding me why I love doing this.
 
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Big Don

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I wanted to get my son involved in something that would both instill discipline and toughen him up. I'd seen this place in our (3 block long) "downtown" and called and spoke to the owner. My son started on a Monday, the next Tuesday, I started, and the only regret is that I didn't walk through the door sooner. People have come and gone, but, there is a core group that is closer in some ways than family.
 

ralphmcpherson

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I hit 30 years of age and wanted to do a martial art with my daughter. The only thing I knew for certain was that I wanted to be part of a large reputable club that had been around for a long time because I had known a few people who had started an MA and dedicated a lot of time and passion to it only to have the club go broke or change location and leave them searching for a new club. I had done karate in highschool and didnt really enjoy it (nothing against kararte, it just wasnt for me), and my mates at the time all did tkd at the club I now train at. I seemed to enjoy training with them more than I enjoyed karate classes mainly due to the full contact sparring but also I found the moves to feel more fluent and I liked the emphasis on kicking (not showy kicks, but just the speed and precision of their kicks). Anyhow, about 15 years later when I wanted to start an MA with a view to doing it for a long period of time the first thing I did was look into the club my mates had trained at all those years ago. They were still around after 30 years and had grown to 4000 members and had several clubs in my area alone. I went along with a mate to do our first free class and was very impressed, the instructor was a 6th dan and the club had a real emphasis on self defence and what would work on "the street". Anyhow, quite a few years on now and Im a black belt and have only ever missed 1 or 2 classes since I began and as long as I stay fit and healthy I can see me sticking with it for years and years to come.
 

mook jong man

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I also wanted to do what Wesley Snipes did.
Until I found out that they put you in " The Big House " for
TAX EVASION. :lol:
 

Xue Sheng

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I had a falling out with my first sifu and I decided to go out and look for a Xingyiquan school or a Chen style Taijiquan School and I found that there were none in my area. A friend of mine, who also had a falling out with the same sifu, had found a legitimate Yang Style Taijiquan school so I ended up there.
 

Bruno@MT

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Me, I started ninpo by accident.
My dojo advertised itself as a traditional ju-jutsu school on the flyer I saw. I was looking for a dojo to start MA again, and since my previous experience is modern jiu-jitsu, this new dojo less than 5 minutes from where I live sounded ideal.

It was only when I'd already asked the sensei for a try-out lesson that I found out that they teach ninpo. Genbukan does both ninpo and ju-jutsu. But since the dojo is new and everybody is a beginner, they currently teach ninpo only.

I started getting second thoughts, because I met a fair share of wannabe ninjers when I was still practising MA, and I really didn't feel like becoming one. But I figured it wouldn't hurt to get that free lesson, especially because I had already agreed to drop by, and thought it would be lame to just stay away. The lesson was great (hook, line and sinker ) and from a weekend of googling I learned that genbukan is indeed a legit ninpo organization. So I joined.

It's funny. If I had known about the ninpo up front I might never have joined But now I am loving every minute of it :yaay: Only a handful of people know I practice ninpo. I generally just say I practice jujutsu to avoid having to explain the whole 'ninja' thing to people who don't practice MA themselves.
 

kkallio88

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I always wanted to get involved in some sort of self defense. I had no idea where to look or how to look. I kept this desire to learn self defense in the back of my head and always thought it would be nice to someday get involved with a MA. Then a friend of mine told me that he had started taking MA classes the town over from where we live. That martial art turned out to be Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu, which at the time, not having any MA experience, I had no idea what it was. So I checked out the dojo, started taking some classes, and I really enjoyed it. I've been there for two years ever since.
 

Aikikitty

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I was the biggest ninja turtle fan in the 80's and early 90's. I wanted to try martial arts so bad but didn't get to until years later. Probably a good thing as I would have probably wanted to quit the moment it got "too hard" for me as a kid.

Long story short, my down syndrome brother became mentally ill and occasionally became violent. My dad is out of town a lot for work so it was just my mom and me. We found out from a friend about his best friend teaching an Aikido class. That martial art seemed perfect for us in the way that we could learn to control my bother without hurting him. That's all we knew as we've never even heard of Aikido before and I didn't know much about different martial arts. We went on trusting our friend and basically doing no research. My mom and I visited our Aikido dojo on Saturday, July 15, 2000. We were both so nervous, but I laughed when I saw an autographed picture in the dojo of a ninja turtle (first movie) with shredder's right hand man. We planned to just watch, but was talked into trying a class. Two months later we had our gis. A lot has happened over the years with people coming and going, but my mom stuck with me for 8 1/2 years until she stopped with a shoulder injury and never came back. I keep encouraging her, but now she complains of being too old at almost 60. My senseis are older than her. The few guys who are left are like family and we really are blessed having such great teachers! Despite the reason for needing to get involved in MA, I'm so glad that we did for a thousand+ reasons.

My best friend got involved in martial arts when she was 8 because she was diagnosed with A.D.D. Her mom did some research and learned that Karate was very helpful and signed her up. She didn't find out until later that "Karate" was really Tang Soo Do. She was very involved for about 7 years until she had to quit at red belt. I share her story because she told me that she new other kids that were also put in martial arts because of the A.D.D. thing.

Robyn
 

xJOHNx

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After dropping out of previous martial arts because of bed juju. I wasn't really planning on doing any martial arts again. Met too much weekend warriors, sofa fighters and arrogant people. Combined with some of the basic crap around politics, I was actually sick of doing it.

I was just reading up on the internet one night when I came across a vague video that was shown of loval television when Manaka Sensei visited Ghent. I decided to go have a look.

Sensei was hard, fair and very open about his way of training. Hooked ever since.
 

CoryKS

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Robyn, I'm curious to know if your aikido training has helped with your brother. Have you had to use it with him, and were you able to handle him without hurting?
 

Bill Mattocks

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I went to Google Maps and plotted my apartment on it. Then I searched for 'Isshin-Ryu' in 'nearby businesses'. There were two dojos within ten miles of my apartment. I did Google searches for both of them to see if I could find any complaints, comments, or other potential 'issues' with either of them. One had a few negative comments, so I visited the other one first.

I went in an introduced myself to one of the sensei who was working out that night, got some basic information and history, found out the prices, and went home. Did a little Google research on the main sensei, liked what I found out. Signed up, started taking classes.

That's it. I'm awfully happy and would not change for the world. I've moved now, and it's a bit of a longer drive to get to dojo now, but I don't care. I feel that my dojo has become another home to me, and my dojo-mates are like family. I'll never leave if I have anything to say about it.

PS - Oh, and why Isshin-Ryu? Because I was a Marine on Okinawa and worked with Master Angi Uezo (not as a karateka, just a coworker) and I felt strongly that Isshin-Ryu is the best. And it is. So there.
 

Blindside

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When I was a kid I chose Isshin-Ryu because my best friend did it and it was at the community center.

When I was in college I chose Goju-Ryu because it fit with my schedule.

I chose Kajukenbo because the teacher was good, the cost worked for me, the self-defense focus, and it was the first place that I walked into because I saw a sign saying "karate lessons Tuesday and Thursday."

I chose Kenpo because it was similar to Kajukenbo and it was the only game in town in podunk Wyoming. That it happened to be a fantastic school was a happy coincidence.

I sought out the Filipino Martial Arts because I wanted a weapon oriented art the was practical in the modern world. I looked for instructor(s) who were experienced in real world application of the arts and was very happy with the results.
 
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Blade96

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hey robyn, i was a ninja turtle fan too back then! The cartoon series and i had other people making fun of me for it.

Didnt know anything about martial arts then and wouldnt until, as I said, 2009.

btw hope everything worked out with your bro.
 

Aikikitty

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Robyn, I'm curious to know if your aikido training has helped with your brother. Have you had to use it with him, and were you able to handle him without hurting?

Yes, it has. Since aikido takes longer than many other arts to become proficient, one of my sensei (who has a wrestling background) showed my mom and I a choke hold--I think it might be called triangle or sleeper??? Just being taught that technique early on (non-Aikido though it be) and learning the basics of controlling someone's balance made a huge difference! Several times in our first few years of training, we had the need to control him. We would get him off balance, get him to the ground and immobilized with a pin, or make it so I can get behind him to apply the choke. We let him up after he calmed down. He never got hurt beyond a small bruise and we were okay too. Each time he also got a new respect for us because we didn't run and hide like before. His newer medication takes the edge off of him so we haven't had a real incident in years. Part of me is curious how well I'd do now that my technique has improved, but I don't want to find out that way either.

Robyn
 

Aikikitty

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hey robyn, i was a ninja turtle fan too back then! The cartoon series and i had other people making fun of me for it.

Didnt know anything about martial arts then and wouldnt until, as I said, 2009.

btw hope everything worked out with your bro.

Just saw your post. :) During the Ninja Turtle days, I often played Turtles with the boys on the playground, but they always made me "April". >sigh< Leonardo was always my favorite. Still is...

Eh, like I just said in my above post. No real incident with my brother in the last couple of years, but he really needs to go in a home. He's still not "safe" and now that I'm married and out of the house...the last 3 weeks my dad has been out of the country on business and I've spent many evenings over at my parent's house so my mom wouldn't have to be alone with him for so long. >sigh< Everyone has different trials in their life though.

Back to topic! Great thread Blade96! It's interesting to hear everyone's stories.
 

clfsean

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I checked his lineage & then checked his hands. That was all I needed to tell me where I needed to be from there forward.
 

Balrog

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I started TKD with Jhoon Rhee's organization when I was 17. Never got my Black Belt but always retained an interest in m.a. I got restarted with the ATA when I was 38 and I've stayed with them ever since, because the life skills they stress resonate deeply with me.
 
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