Please help me decide between these three Martial Arts schools in my area

Gerry Seymour

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But if I'm in my 20's to 30's, I really don't want to train things structured for old people, esp. those in their 80's. Most TMA schools I've been to, just about everybody gasses out way before I do, and I'm doing their thing while being 20-30 years older than most of them.

BJJ: 90min. 25min warmup exercises that are mostly actual techs. 30min drilling of 1 or 2 techs being taught. 30min of sparring.
Muay Thai: 90min. 25min of hard cardio. 25min of pads. 40min of training tech/drilling & maybe sparring.

Average TMA's who come in to try it out, usually can't complete the warmup ex. w/o gassing & taking breaks. The gassing throughout the remainder of the class. The ones who stick with it, get in much better shape then when they first came in.

Couture is not a good example as he trained at the highest level for a very long time; achieving World Champion status. Most people in MMA, train for fitness and as a hobby. Maybe 0-5 fights in Muay Thai or MMA or compete in BJJ only; continuing training to stay healthy.
It's dangerous to judge a group based on what you experience outside that group.

Most of the folks who've come to my classes from other arts are looking because they aren't currently actively training in that art, for whatever reason. I'd expect most of those folks to be less fit than they were when actively taking classes.

I've been to some TMA schools that were incredibly rigorous. Some seemed more focused on fitness than anything else, turning every drill into a stamina exercise. Of course, how hard anyone went in those exercises was entirely up to the individual.

But then, it also matters who you're trying to cater to. And some schools soften over time, as the instructor softens. I know the energy level at the dojo I trained at for years went way down over time. I don't know if that was because the chief instructor was getting older, because the average student was older, or for a combination of those and other reasons.
 

Gerry Seymour

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BJJ charges about $150-180/mo for 3 (90min) classes per week, usually with a 1yr contract + $150-300 signup fee.

Yeah, Connor McGregor probably has a personal Yoga instructor & a bunch of other Trainers for fitness, health, nutrition, etc. b/c he's a multi millionaire. But I do not want to learn Yoga after paying all of that $$; and esp. not meditate for any part of that, paid 90mins.
Those prices may be where you are, but won't be everywhere - they wouldn't hold up in this area. And contracts (and signup fees) are exceedingly rare around here. And BJJ schools would be among the last places I'd expect to find them.
 

Steve

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It's dangerous to judge a group based on what you experience outside that group.

Most of the folks who've come to my classes from other arts are looking because they aren't currently actively training in that art, for whatever reason. I'd expect most of those folks to be less fit than they were when actively taking classes.

I've been to some TMA schools that were incredibly rigorous. Some seemed more focused on fitness than anything else, turning every drill into a stamina exercise. Of course, how hard anyone went in those exercises was entirely up to the individual.

But then, it also matters who you're trying to cater to. And some schools soften over time, as the instructor softens. I know the energy level at the dojo I trained at for years went way down over time. I don't know if that was because the chief instructor was getting older, because the average student was older, or for a combination of those and other reasons.
I still think BJJ is more of a TMA more than some TMAs. The tradition in BJJ runs deep, and the art is older than many modern TMA styles.

All of that to say, I agree with you that some TMA schools are rigorous.
 

Gerry Seymour

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I still think BJJ is more of a TMA more than some TMAs. The tradition in BJJ runs deep, and the art is older than many modern TMA styles.

All of that to say, I agree with you that some TMA schools are rigorous.
Yeah, this is one of those times when the vagueness of TMA causes problems, as does ignorance (mine) of tradition in other styles.
 

jayoliver00

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Those prices may be where you are, but won't be everywhere - they wouldn't hold up in this area. And contracts (and signup fees) are exceedingly rare around here. And BJJ schools would be among the last places I'd expect to find them.

Lowest in NC is around $130, but that's rare. Gracie gyms in NC charges $150 easily though, probably more.
 

JowGaWolf

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But if I'm in my 20's to 30's, I really don't want to train things structured for old people, esp. those in their 80's. Most TMA schools I've been to, just about everybody gasses out way before I do, and I'm doing their thing while being 20-30 years older than most of them.
This has nothing to do with the system. As you stated. "Things structured for old people" Tai Can be structured for young people and young people can go at it just as hard as someone training to be a professional fighting. It can also be structured as an activity for seniors. Same system approached differently based on one's ability to put in the work. It's still Tai Chi. I used to take formal classes in Tai Chi and I had more injury from Tai Chi than from Jow Ga Kung Fu and those injuries were from Tai Chi push hands and getting my elbow locked and hyper-extended. People in their 80's are not going to train Tai Chi like I trained it in my 40's.

Average TMA's who come in to try it out, usually can't complete the warmup ex. w/o gassing & taking breaks.
This used to be the case in the school where I used to train Jow Ga. A Sanda school had far superior stamina. I gassed out. That bad performance led to a change in our training. A weekly sparring class was created and the training in that class was design to address the gaps that we experienced during that first sparring session. How much did it changed? In the sparring class all students almost remained in constant movement for 1 hour. From warm-up to , strength building, conditioning, and sparring. We were moving, kicking, punching, doing push ups, sit ups, shadow boxing, working techniques. When it came to sparring. We did round robins so there was always one person who had to go against fresh opponents. Training on that day often lasted 2 hours even though it was scheduled for 1 hour.

How do I train now? I still train Jow Ga. 1 hour working techniques on and off the heavy bags. 1 hour working weights. If my son could handle it, we would be 1 hour worth of techniques. 1 hour of plyometrics, and 1 hour of weights. My current 2 hour workout schedule is the beginner workout plan. The reason I share this is because it's up to the person to put in the work.

One thing that all of my martial arts teachers told me. "Training at school is not enough. You should also train hard at home."
 

JowGaWolf

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BJJ charges about $150-180/mo for 3 (90min) classes per week, usually with a 1yr contract + $150-300 signup fee.
From a marketing standpoint. BJJ is a premium. It's the luxury car. TKD is a premium. Martial Arts that have good marketing and a large popularity will always be a premium. When my school was open Jow Ga was $60 for individuals and I think $70 or $80 for family plans. If you have 5 kids 2 adults, then the price would be that family plan price. A lot of our parents trained with their kids. Some Jow Ga schools are more expensive but they have a reputation in that market place.
 

Steve

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This has nothing to do with the system. As you stated. "Things structured for old people" Tai Can be structured for young people and young people can go at it just as hard as someone training to be a professional fighting. It can also be structured as an activity for seniors. Same system approached differently based on one's ability to put in the work. It's still Tai Chi. I used to take formal classes in Tai Chi and I had more injury from Tai Chi than from Jow Ga Kung Fu and those injuries were from Tai Chi push hands and getting my elbow locked and hyper-extended. People in their 80's are not going to train Tai Chi like I trained it in my 40's.

Yeah, folks shouldn't presume systems are only for young or old people, as though a 60 year old would train any style the same as a 20 year old. Some guy was posting some real bunk earlier talking about longevity in some systems. I can't even remember what his actual point was, it was so obviously biased. I wish you'd go back to that guy and tell him what's what.

This used to be the case in the school where I used to train Jow Ga. A Sanda school had far superior stamina. I gassed out. That bad performance led to a change in our training. A weekly sparring class was created and the training in that class was design to address the gaps that we experienced during that first sparring session. How much did it changed? In the sparring class all students almost remained in constant movement for 1 hour. From warm-up to , strength building, conditioning, and sparring. We were moving, kicking, punching, doing push ups, sit ups, shadow boxing, working techniques. When it came to sparring. We did round robins so there was always one person who had to go against fresh opponents. Training on that day often lasted 2 hours even though it was scheduled for 1 hour.

How do I train now? I still train Jow Ga. 1 hour working techniques on and off the heavy bags. 1 hour working weights. If my son could handle it, we would be 1 hour worth of techniques. 1 hour of plyometrics, and 1 hour of weights. My current 2 hour workout schedule is the beginner workout plan. The reason I share this is because it's up to the person to put in the work.

One thing that all of my martial arts teachers told me. "Training at school is not enough. You should also train hard at home."
 

Gerry Seymour

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Yeah, folks shouldn't presume systems are only for young or old people, as though a 60 year old would train any style the same as a 20 year old. Some guy was posting some real bunk earlier talking about longevity in some systems. I can't even remember what his actual point was, it was so obviously biased. I wish you'd go back to that guy and tell him what's what.
The one exception in my mind is training that involves a lot of falls. It is difficult for new folks to learn the falls after a point (new young students are mostly fearless, so not so tense and learnt the falls faster). The falls - even static practice - are hard on the body until you do them reasonably well. The less cooperative the drills, the more true this is (Judo/NGA falls vs Aikido featherfalls).
 

Steve

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The one exception in my mind is training that involves a lot of falls. It is difficult for new folks to learn the falls after a point (new young students are mostly fearless, so not so tense and learnt the falls faster). The falls - even static practice - are hard on the body until you do them reasonably well. The less cooperative the drills, the more true this is (Judo/NGA falls vs Aikido featherfalls).
Are we talking about a 60 year old, life long couch potato? I didn't have that in mind at all.
 

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Are we talking about a 60 year old, life long couch potato? I didn't have that in mind at all.
Average 40-year-old who has never taken those kinds of falls, even fit ones with other training. Experienced hard-stylists have a particular problem learning to relax properly to reduce the impact.
 

drop bear

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Name one spiritual benefit from MMA. I'm not talking about something spiritual that someone brings with them to MMA. I'm talking about something spiritual that is taught in MMA. What is the spiritual teaching that MMA brings to the world.?

Stoicism is probably the closest philosophy that is developed through MMA.
 
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drop bear

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Happiness
Sort of. I had a conversation about happiness vs fulfilment with one of my coaches. And his view is while people say they chase happiness it may not be as satisfying as chasing fulfilment.

The example was on the day of the footy finals you could choose not to play and subject yourself to whatever pressure the day brings. You could go out drink eat have fun instead and that would be chasing happiness.

Or you could play the game, forgo the pleasure's and achieve something that would give you a longer lasting sense of self worth. And that would be fulfilment.

And it is supposed to be linked to mental health and stuff.

 
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drop bear

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Alright. To the OP, I will just say train at whatever school you like. If the school delivers to you what you are really looking for, great. But make sure you will be doing what you want to learn. If you want to learn to fight, make sure the school fights. If you want to learn kata, make sure that the school does a lot of kata. If you want to learn weapons, by all means learn those weapons.

And conversely, if you don't really need to learn to fight, by all means look at some other styles where fighting isn't really their thing. If you LIKE the idea of being a ninja or a kung fu master (and I get that), being able to actually defend yourself might not be a priority. Just be honest with yourself about what you're learning and what you're not learning. Don't fall for the sales pitches.

And this bologna about some being more spiritual than others is complete bunk. Anything that is hard to do, that requires you to grow mentally and physically, and that makes you feel more confident and happy is filling up your spiritual cup.

As I said before, there is much spiritual, emotional, and mental benefit to all exercise. The more the activity focuses on just spirituality, the more skeptical I would be that it will deliver (In my opinion). So, if what you're learning checks all of your boxes, you are golden.

Some MMA specific articles:



This one talks about the neuroplasticity that @drop bear and @Hanzou have both mentioned over the years.



Here are a couple on martial arts that don't seem specific to TMA to me. I read the articles and everything mentioned applies equally to boxing, sambo, wrestling, BJJ, MMA, Muay Thai or any other style, as well.



And some general articles on the benefits of any regular exercise:






There is specific references to MMA and dealing with PTSD as well.


Which is I assume the practical definition of spirituality where you become a more resilient more capable person.
 

jayoliver00

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From a marketing standpoint. BJJ is a premium. It's the luxury car. TKD is a premium. Martial Arts that have good marketing and a large popularity will always be a premium. When my school was open Jow Ga was $60 for individuals and I think $70 or $80 for family plans. If you have 5 kids 2 adults, then the price would be that family plan price. A lot of our parents trained with their kids. Some Jow Ga schools are more expensive but they have a reputation in that market place.

Interesting. Why is that? Jow Ga would prob. be the only Kung-Fu style that I'd be interested in as it looks more practical in a real fight. I also spar with Jow Ga dudes in a sparring meet. Do you specifically call your school Jow Ga, and not Kung-Fu? Wonder if that's why, b/c most people are ignorant and goes by movies at the beginning.

I've known a Shaolin Hung Fut school for over 30 years, and they're legit w/a Sanda program but charges $140-200/mo. TKD about the same too. Judo is like $60.
 

JowGaWolf

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Stoicism is probably the closest philosophy that is developed through MMA.
Thanks. I agree with your statement and the ones made in the video. While listening to it, I could think of ways that TMA doesn't apply to it, but I couldn't do the same with MMA.

Which is I assume the practical definition of spirituality where you become a more resilient more capable person.
It's possible to become more resilient through spirituality but I wouldn't classify resiliency as a definition of spirituality. There's some wild stuff in the world of spirituality and not all of it is healthy. Not all of it will make you resilient. Some of it will do the opposite. I'm saying this from experience with watching my wife go through "Finding herself" and "Finding meaning in the world." The more I tried to correct her path the more she dug in and the more her spirituality damaged her mentality. The only thing I could do for her was to "let that plane crash" and it did and she saw the truth of things. Now's she's in a better place. When people are like that, they will believe strangers before their family. Some of that stuff is like one step below a cult.

For example, did you know there's a spiritual thing where people stare into the sun each morning? They say that by staring into the sun one can soak in the sun's energy and something happens with the soul and blah blah blah. I couldn't get past the "Stare into the Sun Part." I was pretty much on the page that says "Why in the F would I do that." That part I had to fight against. There are con-men and con-women who will exploit people's weaknesses especially in spirituality. So with all of that in mind. I wouldn't say that building resiliency is a characteristic of spirituality. That only exists when the spiritual thing being done is actually beneficial and helps create a healthy mindset.

Tell me something that helps me to better deal with hardships of life without being harmful to my own well-being then I'll look into it. All of that other stuff is just poison.
 

jayoliver00

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This has nothing to do with the system. As you stated. "Things structured for old people" Tai Can be structured for young people and young people can go at it just as hard as someone training to be a professional fighting. It can also be structured as an activity for seniors. Same system approached differently based on one's ability to put in the work. It's still Tai Chi. I used to take formal classes in Tai Chi and I had more injury from Tai Chi than from Jow Ga Kung Fu and those injuries were from Tai Chi push hands and getting my elbow locked and hyper-extended. People in their 80's are not going to train Tai Chi like I trained it in my 40's.

So basically, slow motion & light Tai Chi for old people. Faster & more power for young. I can do this with Boxing & Muay Thai & BJJ for MMA, which are proven styles rather than Tai Chi. When I hit 80, I can also do slow motion Muay Thai. Not saying that Combat Tai Chi can't work, just not the best proven road based on the current evolution of MMA.

Having said that, I would pay $60/mo to learn Jow Ga & Tai Chi from you....b/c it's reasonable & I'm at a point in my base knowledge of MT & fighting, that I'm willing to learn different things to up my game. But if this was during my beginner to intermediate stage, I wouldn't want to pay $150ish at an MMA gym and get taught Yoga + Tai Chi as part of the curriculum (when it's free at LA Fitness). Yoga is def. good for BJJ, but maybe just a few minutes of it for stretching, etc.

This used to be the case in the school where I used to train Jow Ga. A Sanda school had far superior stamina. I gassed out. That bad performance led to a change in our training. A weekly sparring class was created and the training in that class was design to address the gaps that we experienced during that first sparring session. How much did it changed? In the sparring class all students almost remained in constant movement for 1 hour. From warm-up to , strength building, conditioning, and sparring. We were moving, kicking, punching, doing push ups, sit ups, shadow boxing, working techniques. When it came to sparring. We did round robins so there was always one person who had to go against fresh opponents. Training on that day often lasted 2 hours even though it was scheduled for 1 hour.

How do I train now? I still train Jow Ga. 1 hour working techniques on and off the heavy bags. 1 hour working weights. If my son could handle it, we would be 1 hour worth of techniques. 1 hour of plyometrics, and 1 hour of weights. My current 2 hour workout schedule is the beginner workout plan. The reason I share this is because it's up to the person to put in the work.

One thing that all of my martial arts teachers told me. "Training at school is not enough. You should also train hard at home."

True. I like this. I've often neglect weight training, my weakness.
 

jayoliver00

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Average 40-year-old who has never taken those kinds of falls, even fit ones with other training. Experienced hard-stylists have a particular problem learning to relax properly to reduce the impact.

I wonder if that's why Judo & Wrestling is so cheap $50-60/mo. compared to BJJ $130-200/mo.

Knowing what I know, I wouldn't want to start my first MA at 35 with Judo nor Wrestling; that will usually wreck you worse than BJJ & Muay Thai....esp. if they don't have good mats & flooring setup in the $10k range. And my gym is owned by a lifelong, Judoka lineage.
 
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