Noob asking for help

Seven

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Hey everyone, I hope someone can help me out here. I've read a lot of great things here one of which is to be careful of those "mcdojos" that are around. and here's my problem... I really dont want to be taken in by one f these so I'm hoping maybe one or two of you could check their websites to see if you find anything a little funny... I know you wont be able tell everything by these sites and I'll need to visit them but maybe yu guys can see something my noob eyes cant.. maybe just a little something that would put you off going there.

These are the ones close by to me, as I don't drive I can't make it to larger towns and cities too regulary or easily (I live outside of London).

I'm still not sure which I want to train in yet as when I start I really don't want to change my mind I would like to stick with it so I'm being extra careful to choose the one that gives me the best chance to stick it out for as long as possible.

http://www.hemelbudo.org.uk/index.htm

http://www.tomhillhosting.co.uk/goju_co_uk/Pages/Frameset-2.htm

http://www.fudo-shin.co.uk/Fudoshincouk/Welcome.html

http://www.wthemel.co.uk/index.html

So I think the wing tsun and the bujinkan dojo are the two that will be more of my thing than the others.... any dodgy feelings toward any of these sites at first glance? (sorry, I know it may be difficult to tell without visiting the actual place)

Any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks for your time.
 

Thesemindz

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They all look fairly legit to me, nothing jumps out as wrong.

If these were my only four options, I'd probably go to the WingTsun school first, they seem like some dudes in the back of a church, but you might be surprised what you find there. Sometimes you see some real innovation outside the standard commercial model.

Either way, check prices and contract terms, try not to sign anything to long term, and find a place where you aren't getting hurt. If you are getting injured, regularly, leave the school. Some pain is part of learning martial arts, it is a physical, contact activity. But it shouldn't be happening all the time if the instructors are any good.

So find a place where you can train safely and dive in. You probably don't know enough to understand the range of quality instruction there is, so learning anything is better than nothing. Find a school, sign up, and start practicing. You'll learn about your body, and how it works, and what you like and don't like about your new art. And the more you learn about the school you're in, the more you'll know about where you should be.

Once you've learned a little bit about martial arts, like in six months or a year, you'll probabaly have a better frame of reference on whether or not you've chosen the best school.

But the only way to get started is to get started. These schools seem safe enough. I don't think you'd go wrong checking any of them out.


-Rob
 
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Seven

Seven

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Thanks... the wing tsun would have been my first choice. There's some other places about but are more sport orientated and competitive which is not really what I'm after.

Another noob question lol.... is there any major differences between wing chun and wing tsun?.... or are they the same but some call it chun and others tsun?... or maybe 2 different ways of teaching the same thing?

Thanks for your help again.
 

Thesemindz

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Thanks... the wing tsun would have been my first choice. There's some other places about but are more sport orientated and competitive which is not really what I'm after.

Another noob question lol.... is there any major differences between wing chun and wing tsun?.... or are they the same but some call it chun and others tsun?... or maybe 2 different ways of teaching the same thing?

Thanks for your help again.

No problem man. My guess would be that he's teaching some version of what you would call "Wing Chun" kungfu. I saw some references to Ip Man and Bruce Lee. That could really mean anything. Bruce changed what he was teaching throughout his life, and lots of people can claim they're teaching "Bruce Lee" kungfu without sharing much similarities between them.

None of that really means anything until you work with the guy though. He could have great stuff and be a terrible instructor. Or vice versa. My guess is you will learn a standing fighting art that focuses primarily on hand technique. Beyond that it is almost impossible to say without actually attending a class. There's no knowledge like experiential knowledge.

But these guys don't seem like they're running a scam either. You'll probably get some level of regularity in class schedule and billing. They have some type of curriculum and class strucure. They don't seem at first glance to be a generic punch/kick karate school more interested in your dollar than your growth.

What thay call it is almost completely meaningless these days. I trained in American Kenpo, and that term can pretty much mean anything to anyone now. It's like saying Karate, in fact, it's often called that even though the two arts bear almost no historical connection. The names of martial arts are pretty generic any more. Other than giving you an extremely vague impression of what kind of fighting style you might expect to learn, they have little information to impart.

What's important is what they teach, and how, and how much it's going to cost you. They offer two free weeks. You should get at least some idea of what you're getting into within that time.


-Rob
 
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Seven

Seven

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I contacted the guy today and he got back within a few hours and told me rates which he says they structure the price by programmes but it works out about (after converting to dollars) $6 an hour which is ok compared to the others around... and i agree have to check it out in person. I'm glad they offer the 2 free weeks and not just 1... I've booked in next Monday.

Thanks.
 

Chris Parker

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Hi Seven,

Out of all the links you provided, the only one that really leapt out at me was the "Fudoshin Ju Jitsu" one, mainly as there is no listing of what form of "jujitsu" the head instructor has learnt, he claims to have spent a couple of years learning "ninjitsu" (mis-spelled, as was jujutsu, although the jujutsu mis-spelling is relatively common and not necessarily a warning sign unless they claim it as a Japanese system. With Ninjutsu, if it is spelt "ninjitsu", it's a big warning sign), he is actually fairly limited in his experience, having gotten Shodan in 2005, Nidan in 2008, and then "founding" his Fudoshin system.... a fair few warning signs there, honestly. Of course, the only way to know is to visit them.

With Wing Chun/Wing Tsun/Ving Tsun, essentially different branches have different preferenes of pronunciation and spelling (seemingly to differentiate themselves more than anything else), so the basic concepts will be similar between each group, although each will have their own "flavour", as it were.

If the Wing Tsun school and the Bujinkan ones are your prefered, there is acually quite a bit of difference between the systems. For a basic overview and comparison between them (as, for some reason, it comes up every now and then....), see here:

http://martialtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=74812

http://martialtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=74813

http://martialtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=87051

When all is said and done, however, it is the instructor and the school who will be the biggest influence in your decision. I heartily recommend visiting all schools that you are interested in before making your decision, and that way you will be in the best position to make the right choice.
 

Hand Sword

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For me, when reading between the lines and seeing your heart's leaning, I would say that is just important a question. To be committed to anything, and good at the arts, if that's your desire, you have to have your heart in it. If something has your interest more than others, go with it. If it fizzles, you can always go elsewhere.
 
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Seven

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Hi Seven,

Out of all the links you provided, the only one that really leapt out at me was the "Fudoshin Ju Jitsu" one, mainly as there is no listing of what form of "jujitsu" the head instructor has learnt, he claims to have spent a couple of years learning "ninjitsu" (mis-spelled, as was jujutsu, although the jujutsu mis-spelling is relatively common and not necessarily a warning sign unless they claim it as a Japanese system. With Ninjutsu, if it is spelt "ninjitsu", it's a big warning sign), he is actually fairly limited in his experience, having gotten Shodan in 2005, Nidan in 2008, and then "founding" his Fudoshin system.... a fair few warning signs there, honestly. Of course, the only way to know is to visit them.

With Wing Chun/Wing Tsun/Ving Tsun, essentially different branches have different preferenes of pronunciation and spelling (seemingly to differentiate themselves more than anything else), so the basic concepts will be similar between each group, although each will have their own "flavour", as it were.

If the Wing Tsun school and the Bujinkan ones are your prefered, there is acually quite a bit of difference between the systems. For a basic overview and comparison between them (as, for some reason, it comes up every now and then....), see here:

http://martialtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=74812

http://martialtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=74813

http://martialtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=87051

When all is said and done, however, it is the instructor and the school who will be the biggest influence in your decision. I heartily recommend visiting all schools that you are interested in before making your decision, and that way you will be in the best position to make the right choice.


Thanks mate....

I know the wing tsun and bujinkan ones are different.. but within the choices I have (I looked up various sites and youtube and done some research on them all), those were the two that kind of jumped out at me over the jujutsu and goju ryu. It could just be me being so eager about everything martial arts right now that everything interests me and i guess visiting these classes for each will quench that a little until i grow in to what's comfortable for me.

Thanks everyone for your response
 

Chris Parker

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Cool. One of the most common things I hear when a potential new student comes along to check out a class is "it's not what I expected...." Sometimes that's a good thing, sometimes it means it's not what they wanted, so having some idea first is good.

I wish you all the best in your personal search.
 

Tez3

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If it's Goju Ryu you want, quite honestly there's only one place in London to go and it's well worth the effort of travelling. Gavin Mulholland is a brilliant instructor, he's Neil Grove's (UFC but still trains trad karate) coach. It's a traditional place with training being hard but effective.
http://www.goju-karate.co.uk/
 

Laus

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One thing I did when searching for my current dojo was to google the name of the head of the various dojos I was looking into. This can give a general sense of whether or not they are well respected and dredge up any allegations of questionable behaviour.

If you know how to search public legal records that can be informative as well, though maybe thats a bit excessive. Also, unless there was a formal trial you probably won't find anything (I 'm not sure how that works in the UK though). I did such a search on my former school, after parting on bad terms, becuase I had heard many rumours over the years and wanted to see if there was anything to them. Lo and behold I turned up all kinds of information that, had I known going in, would have caused me never to register with the school in the first place. These days I do my homework.
 

Newbie

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hi there, if you're in the london area and are interested in Ninjutsu, have a look here

www.ryuko.co.uk

not sure if any of the dojos are near to you or not
 

Yondanchris

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A big ditto to Thesemindz,

A agree with the WingTsun suggestion, as I too teach out of a Church and not a commercial building (keeping costs down) I have enjoyed "non-commercial" training settings more, although its nice having a dedicated site for training. Like thesemindz check pricing and terms, and ask if they have a "trial-period" or if you can take a couple of classes for free to see if you like it. 9 times out of 10 they will work something out. Also look to see if inexpensive private lessons are available (they certainly helped me out!!)

My humble and ignorant .02 cents

Chris

They all look fairly legit to me, nothing jumps out as wrong.

If these were my only four options, I'd probably go to the WingTsun school first, they seem like some dudes in the back of a church, but you might be surprised what you find there. Sometimes you see some real innovation outside the standard commercial model.

Either way, check prices and contract terms, try not to sign anything to long term, and find a place where you aren't getting hurt. If you are getting injured, regularly, leave the school. Some pain is part of learning martial arts, it is a physical, contact activity. But it shouldn't be happening all the time if the instructors are any good.

So find a place where you can train safely and dive in. You probably don't know enough to understand the range of quality instruction there is, so learning anything is better than nothing. Find a school, sign up, and start practicing. You'll learn about your body, and how it works, and what you like and don't like about your new art. And the more you learn about the school you're in, the more you'll know about where you should be.

Once you've learned a little bit about martial arts, like in six months or a year, you'll probabaly have a better frame of reference on whether or not you've chosen the best school.

But the only way to get started is to get started. These schools seem safe enough. I don't think you'd go wrong checking any of them out.


-Rob
 

RobS

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If you can make it into London then check out bob breen - I met him briefly at a Dan Inosanto seminar in edinburgh back in february and he seemed like a good guy and seems to be highly spoken of by pretty much anyone I mention his name to!

If I end up moving to london that's where I'll go. Bit of a hassle from Hemel though (I'm in york currently so even worse!)
 
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