How do you pick a style?

Kung Fu Wang

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Picking up a style is very simple.
I can only speak from my personal experience. After I have developed my MA foundation from the long fist system in my high school years (I was no longer a beginner), I decided to cross train another CMA system. I had 3 recommendation letters from friends for the following 3 different famous CMA teachers.

1. Shuai Chiao (Chinese wrestling) - Chang Tung Sheng
2. Baji (power generation) - Liu Yun-Qiao
3. Zimenquan (speed generation and pressure points attack) - Xiong Jian Xun.

All these 3 teachers were among the "top 7 best CMA masters in Taiwan" at that time period. If I selected one teacher, the other 2 teachers would reject me (Chinese old fashion way of thinking). Since I could only make one correct decision. That decision was never easy for me. One day, GM Chang who knew that I had 2 more recommendation letters for the other 2 CMA teachers. He asked me, "Have you seen Liu Yun-Qiao yet?" I took out that recommendation letter and tore it apart right in front of his face. I could then see a big smile on that old man's face.

I assume in the modern time, people don't have the same problem as I had before.
 
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marques

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For the vast majority of people, enjoying your training enough to continue is much more important than exactly what art you're training in.
Yes, for the vast majority. The (more) beginners have a long(er) way to go, but also much more options. I also say to others 'try' the most convenient regardless the name they put on what they do. For myself is not so simple. I just want to keep my skills (if not improve), training in a good enough club.

Today's trial class was Kickboxing. I am happy with the instructor, facilities, people there, price... But they don't allow low kicks. I felt like swimming with one arm. :) Surely I can develop high kicks there (and recede low kicks...). But for a practical use (self-defence - my focus), it exposes me to sweeps, grabs and groin attacks... So it can be part of my training, but I still hope to find where I can apply most of my resources (self-defence oriented). Which is not easy*, and I am only thinking in striking, now.

*More sheep than people over here. It may explain some of my difficulty. :D
 

drop bear

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Yes, for the vast majority. The (more) beginners have a long(er) way to go, but also much more options. I also say to others 'try' the most convenient regardless the name they put on what they do. For myself is not so simple. I just want to keep my skills (if not improve), training in a good enough club.

Today's trial class was Kickboxing. I am happy with the instructor, facilities, people there, price... But they don't allow low kicks. I felt like swimming with one arm. :) Surely I can develop high kicks there (and recede low kicks...). But for a practical use (self-defence - my focus), it exposes me to sweeps, grabs and groin attacks... So it can be part of my training, but I still hope to find where I can apply most of my resources (self-defence oriented). Which is not easy*, and I am only thinking in striking, now.

*More sheep than people over here. It may explain some of my difficulty. :D

You become a better low kicker if you train high kicks.
 

gpseymour

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You become a better low kicker if you train high kicks.
I'd tend to agree with this, especially if you have the ability to kick high already (flexibility, etc.) so you don't have to spend a lot of time developing it. Your kicks will get faster, and low kicks will be easier to mask. And high kicks demand a lot more from your balance, which gives you a better base for kicking low.

I think I need to go back and work on my kicks now. Damn you, Drop Bear!
 

drop bear

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I'd tend to agree with this, especially if you have the ability to kick high already (flexibility, etc.) so you don't have to spend a lot of time developing it. Your kicks will get faster, and low kicks will be easier to mask. And high kicks demand a lot more from your balance, which gives you a better base for kicking low.

I think I need to go back and work on my kicks now. Damn you, Drop Bear!

Man I became a head kicker at 40.
 

KenpoMaster805

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well Go to A Martial Arts Near you and Try on which one you like see if it fits ya perfectly you might like it like me I choose american kenpo karate because it fits me and I've been doing it for 3 years im a green belt going on my 3rd brown belt and i also hep teach kids and i love it
 

marques

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You become a better low kicker if you train high kicks.
I put it in my mind, for motivation if nothing else. :) I will continue going there because I liked the people there and the way they train. Let's see how long I keep going...
 

lklawson

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HW1

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How do you pick which style you want to study/learn?

The available schools near me offer Kempo, MMA, Krav Maga, Kung Fu, and Tae Kwon Do. I am not really interested in MMA, Krav Maga, or Tae Kwon Do. I guess it's between Kempo and Kung Fu. I just don't really know how to pick the right style...

Any advice would be appreciated ..
Thank you

I've done both and from my experience, Kung Fu is concept based and Kempo is technique based. This information could help you decide if you factor in what's the best way that you learn, working with concepts or technique memorization. Good luck.
 

oftheherd1

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I've done both and from my experience, Kung Fu is concept based and Kempo is technique based. This information could help you decide if you factor in what's the best way that you learn, working with concepts or technique memorization. Good luck.

Would you mind expanding on that a little?
 

HW1

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Would you mind expanding on that a little?

I'll do my best but understand my examples will be very limited and simplified.

In Kenpo, you memorize consecutive movements called TECHNIQUE strings. Each technique string has a specific name. So when you're fed an attack, say a straight punch, you are asked to perform a specific technique that you have memorized. The teacher says "Show me 'Delayed Blade (or Sword)' and you do it to the attacker. You build up on this until you have a huge library of techniques in your head for every possible attack.

In Kung Fu (I've done Wing Chun and Choy Lay Fut) you're given the ingredients and you build your own recipe. You are shown different ways to parry, block, or check an attack but it's not picky on what you use. If the CONCEPT is to redirect the oncoming attack, it doesn't matter how you do it, as long as you accomplish the concept of redirecting.

So, if you're the kind of person that learns better by memorizing information given to you verbatim then Kenpo is better. If you're the creative type and like to come up with your own different methods based on body movement concepts explained, Kung Fu.

Hope that helps. Feel free to ask more questions and I will answer them if I can. This information is from MY experience with both arts so some people may disagree and that's OK.
 

Flying Crane

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It also depends a lot on the specific brand and lineage of Kenpo. There are a number of systems that go by that moniker. Some are very closely related and very similar, some are completely different and the use of the same word in the name is just coincidence.

Also, many different systems of kung fu, their methods and stylistically can be very different.

So if you know the specific method of Kenpo or Kung fu that would help.
 

oftheherd1

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I'll do my best but understand my examples will be very limited and simplified.

In Kenpo, you memorize consecutive movements called TECHNIQUE strings. Each technique string has a specific name. So when you're fed an attack, say a straight punch, you are asked to perform a specific technique that you have memorized. The teacher says "Show me 'Delayed Blade (or Sword)' and you do it to the attacker. You build up on this until you have a huge library of techniques in your head for every possible attack.

In Kung Fu (I've done Wing Chun and Choy Lay Fut) you're given the ingredients and you build your own recipe. You are shown different ways to parry, block, or check an attack but it's not picky on what you use. If the CONCEPT is to redirect the oncoming attack, it doesn't matter how you do it, as long as you accomplish the concept of redirecting.

So, if you're the kind of person that learns better by memorizing information given to you verbatim then Kenpo is better. If you're the creative type and like to come up with your own different methods based on body movement concepts explained, Kung Fu.

Hope that helps. Feel free to ask more questions and I will answer them if I can. This information is from MY experience with both arts so some people may disagree and that's OK.

Thanks. I think I understand better now what you were trying to say. The Hapkido I learned was something of a blend. We were taught techniques for defense against grabs, strikes, kicks, anywhere on our body. It was up to us to decide, or more properly, our brain to immediately choose, one that seemed appropriate to the attack. Each technique was intended to be learned to a proficiency such that a string was not needed. But as one grows more proficient, one begins to recognize what may be done if a technique doesn't work as planned.

Again, thanks for your explanation.
 

Midnight-shadow

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I'll do my best but understand my examples will be very limited and simplified.

In Kenpo, you memorize consecutive movements called TECHNIQUE strings. Each technique string has a specific name. So when you're fed an attack, say a straight punch, you are asked to perform a specific technique that you have memorized. The teacher says "Show me 'Delayed Blade (or Sword)' and you do it to the attacker. You build up on this until you have a huge library of techniques in your head for every possible attack.

In Kung Fu (I've done Wing Chun and Choy Lay Fut) you're given the ingredients and you build your own recipe. You are shown different ways to parry, block, or check an attack but it's not picky on what you use. If the CONCEPT is to redirect the oncoming attack, it doesn't matter how you do it, as long as you accomplish the concept of redirecting.

So, if you're the kind of person that learns better by memorizing information given to you verbatim then Kenpo is better. If you're the creative type and like to come up with your own different methods based on body movement concepts explained, Kung Fu.

Hope that helps. Feel free to ask more questions and I will answer them if I can. This information is from MY experience with both arts so some people may disagree and that's OK.

That's very interesting, and definitely plays to some people's strengths than others. In the style I practice we do have a few combos of techniques but we don't go as far as to name them and we are always free to pick'n'mix them. I personally prefer the flexibility of that as well as the versatility compared to being held to very specific combos, but I can see the advantage of having a bank of combos ready that you practiced to the point of complete muscle memory.
 
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euphoric

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We would like to hear the results.
I decided last year to start, but covid19 started, so the schools closed, and I didn't feel comfortable over zoom doing online classes. I don't really think it's something you can learn online, especially as a beginner.. Basically, I went to 3 schools that were close to my home, (within 10-15 miles) and I took the advice many of you gave me. I did look at reviews online, but i wanted to see the school, and meet the instructor for myself to get a better idea of the school, the instructor, and the environment. So now I have to make the decision about which one I liked the most, and follow my intuition. Thank you guys for the advice, I will most likely be starting Kempo soon that's the one I enjoyed the most.. I will keep you up to date..
 
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