Picking up old habits

MeDemitto

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Hello everyone, this is my first post on MT.

I am interested in starting (and resuming) studies in the Martial Arts. As a young child I studied Taekwondo up to green belt and MMA a bit later in life for a relatively short period. I've not had a lot of luck finding a school that I'm happy with and am looking for some advice.

I live in a very very rural area (basically middle of nowhere) and the school selection is extremely limited. I am interested in beginning a sort of self study program, and am wondering if anyone has any preferences for media (books, dvds, training programs, et cetera).

I am primarily interested in more percussive arts with an emphasis on the kicking aspect. (Taekwondo, karate, savate, muay thai, certain aspects of kung fu, are some I have been particularily interested in). I am exclusively interested in open hand combat; and again have little interest in grappling or lock-type maneuvers.

I would appreciate any advice or references anyone could give. Particularily interested in those who've been around the block a little bit and maybe tried a few of these packaged programs and can offer some feedback on a few.
 

Hawke

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Greetings MeDemitto,

Welcome to Martial Talk.

May I ask what is your intended purpose for your study of the martial arts?

Exercise? Self defense? To preserve the art to hand down to another generation?

Depending on your purpose your mind set will change. You will look at the art in a certain way.

There are many people teaching martial arts online or through mediums such as youtube (Choson Ninja comes to mind). Some places have a distant learning program where you video tape yourself and send the recording to the teacher for review (Silat Serak comes to mind).

I personally prefer a live instructor. Some of the techniques require a feedback to see if your technique will work. DVD is great for review of material or to make you think. You may miss out on some of the tiny details because you may not be aware of them or cannot perceive them.

Living in BFE is tough. You can see what your library has to offer, search the internet, look up arts in Youtube. The moves you learn without a live instructor may look super cool in your mind, but the reality may be totally different.

Here are some of my favorites either for explanation or execution of technique.

Silat:
Bobbe Edmonds (yes I spelled it right)
http://youtube.com/user/PendekarBobbe

Maul Mornie
http://youtube.com/user/Maul565

Kenpo:
Mr. Joshua Ryer
http://youtube.com/user/True2Kenpo

Geoff
http://youtube.com/user/kenpogeoff
 
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MeDemitto

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Thank you: I would say that my interest is a little bit of everything. Primarily self defense, and conditioning, as well as general self betterment.

I am also interested in Tai Chi as a form of physical exercise as well as mental. I am however concerned with the amount of commercial "hog-wash" out there on the end shelves of grocery stores and in wall marts.
 

Hawke

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For self defense you really want to make sure your techniques work.

You will need a good instructor. This is more important than the art.

You will need live training partners. Practicing on different body types will help refine your techniques.

May be go to class once a week/month and watch the DVDs at home? Your training might be slow, but you will get feedback.

You need live feedback from a qualified instructor.

You need to feel the techniques.

You will want to know your techniques work before you find yourself in an unhealthy situation. You want real confidence. Some places give out false hope which is dangerous.

Hope this helps.

There are plenty of other helpful people on this forum that are better qualified than me to help you out. I hope I got you to think carefully about pursuing a martial art.
 

Kacey

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Self-study is fraught with difficulty. After a certain rank (usually black belt) students have enough knowledge to train on their own - but given your relative lack of training, and the length of time it's been since you were in active training, I'm not sure this is a viable option for you. There've been repeated discussions on this topic, and the general consensus has been that, until you've trained your muscle memory to a certain point (varies by style, instructor, and practitioner) you're setting yourself up to develop poor habits due to the lack of immediate feedback. There are some very subtle movements in any martial art that are generally not visible on video - both because they are that subtle, and because there is no one available to point them out to you, or to tell you when you are or are not performing them correctly. Books, videos, and other media are great as training aids, but generally cannot replace a qualified instructor.

This thread, Learning Without An Instructor., this one, distance learning, anyone?, this one, pros and cons of distance learning?, and this one, No schools close, what about videos? , discuss this topic, and cover some of the pros and cons members of the board have previously discussed, which may help you understand various peoples' viewpoints on this topic.

Good luck to you, whatever your decision!
 

jks9199

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This has come up again and again...

The simple truth is that there is no substitute for a real live instructor able to look at what you're doing, help you correct it and give you other feedback as you learn. Even after more than 20 years, I sometimes need my teacher or someone else to look at what I'm doing and tell me why it's not working right. As a beginner, it's absolutely essential.

I understand being far away from anything else, and having difficulty finding a school. Have you looked beyond the commercial storefronts? Look for clubs or someone teaching quietly out of their garage or in a park; you might be amazed at what's there that you don't know about unless you go out of the way to find it. Or, find the school you want that you can travel to once or twice a month. Your progress will be slower -- but you'll have that essential guidance.

Because unless you're a very, very rare individual, you'll have a very hard time learning solely through videos or books. Especially if you don't even have a training partner...
 

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