Martial arts for dancers?

Gypsy

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Hi, I suppose I'll begin with the age old question of what martial arts should I study?
I have been interested in martial arts for a while now but have never actually had any experience in it. I'm an 18 yr old female, about 5"1 and 120lbs, fairly curvy but very fit as i'm a dancer (bellydance).


Why I want to study martial arts:
  • self defense
  • weapons training
  • acupressure points
What i'm looking for in martial arts:
  • fluidity of movement
  • more attacking then defense, but have defense as well
  • both striking and kicking
  • not so much as a sport
  • not so much wrestling
  • not so much your own strength rather using your opponents strength
Now I really don't know very much about this and I understand that it is unlikely I will find all these things in one art but the main aspects i want are self defense, acupressure points and weapons training. My friend suggested Baguazhang for me (he does ninjutsu). I'm also really intrested in ninjustsu but as a beginner in martail arts, I'm not so sure I'd be able to do it and from what I've looked at it's not so much about self/street defense. Some other arts that have caught my interets are Shaolin Kung fu and Hapkido. I've also looked at Aikido, Judo and karate but I don't think that's what I really want. I understand that the best way to choose is to go to the schools and see what its like- which I will do as soon as possible. However any advice or prodding in the right direction will be greatly appreciated.

Thankyou for your time!
 

Touch Of Death

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Go with kenpo:) Many hardstyle systems require some real deep stances. Go with a style that emphasizes flow.
Sean
 

MA-Caver

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MA has been used by dancers for a long time... The famous Chinese Opera performers used MA and disguised it as dancing and the other way around for centuries.
I agree that using an art that empathizes flowing movements would do good.

By the way... drop on over to the Meet & Greet section of this forum and introduce yourself... would like to get to know you better... Welcome to Martial Talk. :asian:
 

terryl965

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You should talk to Flying Crane about Caperia, I know he has enjoyed it.
 

Blindside

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"Never give a sword to a man who can't dance."
~various attributions

Weapon training and practical self-defense? I would suggest one of the Filipino Martial Arts (escrima, kali, arnis) or Kenpo but that wouldn't get to weapon training for awhile. And I'll be the first to say I'm completely biased. :D

The standard caveat on any martial arts search is to select the art on the best instructor available, the difficulty is for the beginner to determine who that best instructor is.

You might want to list where your location is so people can offer suggestions on who to study with or who to avoid in your area.
 

Flying Crane

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Hi Gypsy,

I'd recommend capoeira for a dancer, I've seen where a lot of people with a dance background can do well with it.

It's got some problems, however. First is that you can't just find a capoeira school anywhere. They are still kind of rare in the US, so unless you happen to live in one of the areas where there are schools, you will be out of luck. NY City and San Francisco area are sort of the US meccas, but there are some scattered across the nation. Seattle, Madison, Miami, Houston, LA, Boston, etc.

The other thing is that most people train capoeira as a game (albeit a potentially rough and even violent game) and don't really train it with self defense in mind. Neither is there an emphasis on weaponry. So given your description of what you are interested in, I just wouldn't recommend capoeira to you. As a martial art in its own right, however, it is great and has a lot to offer under good instruction.
 
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Gypsy

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thankyou for all your advice
@Blindside: i live in Brisbane, Australia on the southside if that helps and I was also worried a bit about how i am meant to choose a good instructor since i have no experience in this. any advice?
 
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David43515

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I know some guys down in Sydney who Do Silat and Kung Fu. I`ll see if they know of anyone up in your part of the country.

As for looking for an art with good flow and weapons I`d repeat what the others said and reccomend one of the Filipino martial arts (kali, escrima, arnis, etc) or maybe Indonesian Silat. Ba Gua is a great fighting style and works well with weapons and w/o. But it`s very conceptual, so it can be difficult for beginners to grasp. (Or I might be wrong and you pick it up in a heartbeat ).
 

gardawamtu1

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For self-defense, weapons training, and fluidity of movement, I would try Kali/Escrima. It begins with weapons training and, as a musician, I find it very rhythmic. Check out the MA choreography in the Bourne movies -- mostly Kali.

I'd recommend Kenpo and JKD as well for the defense arts.
 

Flea

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I have a background in folk and ballet, and it's one of the things that attracted me to Systema. I felt right at home. It's very fluid and totally improvisational. Check it out! :ultracool

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVznSRbgN3c&feature=related

In the spirit of full disclosure, Systema is the only MA I've studied. But I've been hooked from the first class.
 
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Gypsy

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thanks for all your help
@ flea: it looks really good actually:) i read on one of the sites that it uses pressure points and weapons. is this true? because i haven't found any other info on it
 
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Gypsy

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can't find the edit button so sorry for the double post: Do you think Hapkido would be any good for me? from what i've looked at it seems to have many of the things i'm looking for, is it good for a beginner?
 

Jenna

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Dear Gypsy.. I think there is lots of sound advice already and I would not want to influence your decision and but I would just suggest that as an accomplished dancer you will hit the ground running as it were in ANY martial art you try because the similarities between martial movements and dancing are quite staggering sometimes and I guarantee that for someone like you proficient in dance, you will find that you almost "know" ahead of time where you are to place your body when you are in your chosen martial art. Your progression will be swift I think! So I am sorry I had no specific "which art" advice only know that you will be ahead of the game whatever you choose. I am certain most schools where you are will allow you to observe or try out before you commit to anything. Just go with your gut. You will konw straight away whether the place, the instructor, the other students and the art itself "feels" right for you. If not, just try another one. In a place the size of Brisbane, there is a spot-on match for you somewhere I am sure. Please let us know how you get along yes? All my wishes to you Jenna xo
 
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Gypsy

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thankyou all very much for your help and i will let you know how it goes :)
@Jenna thankyou for the encouragement:boing1:
 

Chris Parker

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Hi Gypsy,

You mentioned an interest in Ninjutsu? Well, Brisbane is a quite decent place to be for that. There is a Genbukan school that has quite a good reputation (Nanzan Dojo), and you also have my Chief Instructor, Wayne Roy. Details on us are found in the website under my signature.

Other than that, I would echo Jenna's comments that there is no real "specific" art that is going to be the best for your background, but you will find one art or another which "speaks" to you in a way that others don't. And that will often be more to do with the particular instructor of the art you study, rather than the art itself. The best thing you can do is to grab out the trusty Yellow Pages, go to the Martial Art section, and look for who is local enough for you to visit, and go visit as many as you can. Talk to the instructors, talk to the students, see how everyone interacts, and see how comfortable you feel with the group.

Good luck with your ventures, feel free to ask anything you want to know (in public or via PM).
 

Em MacIntosh

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I think filipino MA might be a good idea but I highly recommend looking into the ghurka and other indian MA. Abundant weapons training, clever techniques with economy of motion and some well disguised, devastating moves. I'd also reccomend western boxing except for the lack of weapons training.

-Kuttu Varisai
-Varma Kalai
-Silambam
 
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Flying Crane

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I have worked and trained with people in the martial arts, particularly capoeira, who came from a dance background. I will give you this piece of advice: don't hang on to your dance movement, when you are learning your martial art. You must be willing to be a beginner all over again, and learn the martial art for what it is, and not make your martial art into another flavor of your dance.

Sometimes people who are already accomplished as a dancer can have trouble becoming a martial artist. These people are already very good and skilled at movement. But it's a different kind of movement, done for a different purpose. I've seen some of these dancers who continue to look like a dancer when doing martial arts. In doing this, they never develop the kind of martial power needed, and they can't move effectively as a martial artist.

So in some ways your experience as a dancer can help you. But in others it can be a hindrance. Don't expect to move like you already do. Be willing to learn to move in a different way.
 

Xue Sheng

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Hi, I suppose I'll begin with the age old question of what martial arts should I study? I have been interested in martial arts for a while now but have never actually had any experience in it. I'm an 18 yr old female, about 5"1 and 120lbs, fairly curvy but very fit as i'm a dancer (bellydance).


Why I want to study martial arts:
繚 self defense
繚 weapons training
繚 acupressure points
What i'm looking for in martial arts:
繚 fluidity of movement
繚 more attacking then defense, but have defense as well
繚 both striking and kicking
繚 not so much as a sport
繚 not so much wrestling
繚 not so much your own strength rather using your opponents strength
Now I really don't know very much about this and I understand that it is unlikely I will find all these things in one art but the main aspects i want are self defense, acupressure points and weapons training. My friend suggested Baguazhang for me (he does ninjutsu). I'm also really intrested in ninjustsu but as a beginner in martail arts, I'm not so sure I'd be able to do it and from what I've looked at it's not so much about self/street defense. Some other arts that have caught my interets are Shaolin Kung fu and Hapkido. I've also looked at Aikido, Judo and karate but I don't think that's what I really want. I understand that the best way to choose is to go to the schools and see what its like- which I will do as soon as possible. However any advice or prodding in the right direction will be greatly appreciated.

Thankyou for your time!

I believe Bruce Lee&#8217;s answer to the question about what type of athlete did he think would make the best martial artists his answer was a dancer and I believe he based that on strength and flexibility. But you have to actually decide what is best for you and it may be best to go try a few out and see what fits you before you commit to any one.

I dated a dancer (Ballet) that was also getting into martial arts a few years back, more on that in a bit

Baguazhang
http://www.answers.com/topic/baguazhang

Changquan (Long Fist)
http://www.answers.com/topic/changquan


Northern Shaolin
http://www.answers.com/topic/northern-shaolin

Ninjutsu
http://www.answers.com/topic/japanese-martial-arts#Ninjutsu

List of Martial Arts
http://www.answers.com/topic/list-of-martial-arts



I have worked and trained with people in the martial arts, particularly capoeira, who came from a dance background. I will give you this piece of advice: don't hang on to your dance movement, when you are learning your martial art. You must be willing to be a beginner all over again, and learn the martial art for what it is, and not make your martial art into another flavor of your dance

Sometimes people who are already accomplished as a dancer can have trouble becoming a martial artist. These people are already very good and skilled at movement. But it's a different kind of movement, done for a different purpose. I've seen some of these dancers who continue to look like a dancer when doing martial arts. In doing this, they never develop the kind of martial power needed, and they can't move effectively as a martial artist.

So in some ways your experience as a dancer can help you. But in others it can be a hindrance. Don't expect to move like you already do. Be willing to learn to move in a different way.

On that same note I once Dated a Ballerina that was also interested in Martial Arts. She loved Shaolin Forms but was not to good at applications (but those were Sanshou apps since the Sifu was performance Wushu and Sanshou for fighting) but she hated Wing Chun because Shaolin was more dance like than Wing Chun was, her words &#8220;it is too stiff&#8221;. She also did not like Karate for the same reason nor was she to fond of Taiji since it was to slow for her but it did allow for fluidity of movement.

But you could sit and watcher her do a Shaolin forms for hours and it would be a beautiful thing to watch (or maybe that was just me :) )&#8230;.but&#8230;there were multiple areas that no matter how hard she tried you could tell she had studied Ballet for several years. But I will say that all of the forms, particularly the more acrobatic forms of Shaolin came rather easy to her. It was the simple stuff like kicks and strikes where her Ballet background got in the way most.

And I have absolutely no doubt she would have loved capoeira
 
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