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

JowGaWolf

Sr. Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Aug 3, 2015
Messages
12,796
Reaction score
5,046
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.
Jow Ga is known for being a practical system. In short it would be a blend of what you see from ole skool fighting and what we see in modern fighting. Some of the things that people think are new are actually old and can be seen in Jow Ga forms and Hung Ga forms. I'm sure other TMA's have similar things. But I can only talk about Jow Ga. Jow Ga's issue in my opinion is that schools lost focus. Early stories about Jow Ga were about fighting. This was around the time of the founder and his brothers were living. Then it shifts to lion dance, and then forms competition. Now you will here more about Jow Ga lion dance and Jow Ga forms competition. Schools do extremely well in that. Lion dance brings in a lot of money. Its an excellent way for schools to make money because the lion dances follow tradition Chinese culture. Opening a new business? Have a Chinese lion dance bless the business with luck while serving as a marketing attraction to get new customers to come in on opening day. The other benefit of the lion dance is that it's great Marketing for the school. Because it allows you to showcase forms.Do yDo

The price of the lion dance goes up with every lion added. If you are charging around $600. Do a couple of these a month and you get a good amount of pocket change for the year. Chinese weddings are a big source of income because the additional money is given by the wedding during the dance. There's also birthdays and special events, so you can see how it would be easy it would be for the focus to change. As for forms competition, a lot of that is simply from the fact that people don't want to get hit in the face. They still want to accomplish things with Kung Fu but they know they can win something without being hit. Jow Ga does well in these competitions often because we are practical. A lot of the coaches don't like the extreme martial arts with light weapons. Both of these help to enhance the reputation of the schools.

Then you have people like me who want to follow Jow Ga from a functional perspective. It's my believe that if this is done, then the rest can be easily done as learning to fight with kung fu is the most difficult of the 3 things that Jow Ga would do. Unfortunately learning how to fight with Jow Ga kung fu doesn't bring money to the school, it can bring the reputation of being a functional system, but that's not going to go far unless students actually fight with what is taught. No one wants to go to a kung fu match or hear that a kung fu fighter is going to fight only to be disappointed to see basic kickboxing. Don't get me wrong. I like the other stuff as well. I just don't think it should be the focus. Function cannot develop without application. Without application, people will be left to guess what works and what doesn't.
 

JowGaWolf

Sr. Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Aug 3, 2015
Messages
12,796
Reaction score
5,046
So basically, slow motion & light Tai Chi for old people. Faster & more power for young.
In a way yes. The slow version is also for young people as well, as it builds strength and balance in a gentle way, which is why western doctors prescribe it to old people. It's more difficult than what it looks like. Think of it like doing a pull up on a bar. You can pull yourself up quickly with no problem. Now imagine doing the same movement but going Tai Chi speed. Try this with basic weight lifting and you'll see that it requires a different type of strength. If you are young and you want to fight with it, then you must practice both ways.

I posted a video of a two handed strike that I thought came from Jow Ga, because Jow Ga is the only thing I spar with and I've used that strike in Jow Ga. I went back and took a look at that form and discovered that it feels more like Wave Hands like Clouds in Tai Chi. I can't say that it's a Tai Chi application of it, but it has that similar movement.

To give you and example @:028. those open hand strikes are Tai Chi (Tij穩qu獺n )strikes, I don't add full body movement to it because I use them for hand conditioning. @1:07 is one arm of the "Wave Hands Like Clouds" but I use a closed fist. The two hand strike that follows as similar movement,

This is the same hand and body I was taught for Wave Hands like clouds. If he were to make a fist with his hands, then it will be the same fist structure that you see in my video. Back hand up top, straight punch underneath.
1645293124353.png


One thumb up the other thumb turned towards me as shown in the video below. One hand strikes high while the other strikes low. The power comes from the waist as the harms do not extend far. This is a close range technique.
1645293709965.png


Here's the video
 

JowGaWolf

Sr. Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Aug 3, 2015
Messages
12,796
Reaction score
5,046
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.
I would take Yoga for the same reason I train Tai Chi. It's something to help enhance and improve my Jow Ga. The concept of being relax all the time and tense when you need it, works well for my Jow Ga. Jow Ga by itself has a tendency to make people tense so Tai Chi is a good relaxation exercise because I have to learn to be relaxed while moving, which is difficult.

Yoga would be my strength and flexibility exercise from the little bit that I do. But I don't think I would pay for yoga unless someone really understood it and how it applies to martial arts. There's a direct connection between Yoga and Martial arts. So I don't want someone to be guessing that aspect. I probably wouldn't go too far beyond the basics. I'm looking to master Jow Ga and so there's no need to master Yoga, but I can use elements from Yoga to help improve my Jow Ga. If I took an Indian Martial arts then I would probably take the Yoga that comes with it.

What I wouldn't do is take a Yoga Class from a "Club Fit" and try to integrate that into Martial Arts training. A lot of that fitness club Yoga is not the same that is usually done with Martial Arts. Those instructors are usually clueless. Similar to a fitness Tai Chi instructor couldn't tell someone the application of Thai chi. For them it's just an exercise so they miss the small things that need to be done in order for it to be functional. Before Jow Ga I wanted to take Tai Chi. The school that I went to wanted $600 a month. He made me do a qualification test. Told me that my balance was bad, that my breathing was bad, and that I would be no good at it. (excellent way to sale a martial arts class to a beginner). I didn't like his attitude and the price so I left. I think he got offended because I told him I wanted to learn that Tai Chi that's used for fighting lol.
 

Gerry Seymour

MT Moderator
Staff member
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2012
Messages
29,090
Reaction score
9,901
Location
Hendersonville, NC
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.
Even with good mats, the way new students fall just makes me cringe.

And, yeah, a good flooring system can make a huge difference. It's one thing I've never had, since I've never had my own space.
 

drop bear

Sr. Grandmaster
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
22,705
Reaction score
7,390
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.

I did a thread about boxing being the fountain of youth when I found it was the martial arts of choice for an extraordinary amount of pensioners who were bashing fools.

 

Wing Woo Gar

Senior Master
Joined
Sep 30, 2021
Messages
2,921
Reaction score
1,499
Location
Northern California
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.
Because Kung fu or gung fu just means hard work. Wushu is a word for martial art. Gar or Ga is a word for family.
 

JowGaWolf

Sr. Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Aug 3, 2015
Messages
12,796
Reaction score
5,046
Do you specifically call your school Jow Ga,
Jow Ga = Jow Family
Jow Ga Kung Fu = Jow Family Kung Fu

Jow Lung = Last name, First name.
Jow Lung is the founder of Jow Ga Kung Fu. If you were to make a fighting system or a combination of then it would be your last name + the martial arts. Gracie Jujitsu would be a recent example. There are a lot of family systems out there some are really good but I've seen some that make me wonder if someone just didn't throw something together for the purpose of creating their on school.
 

Wing Woo Gar

Senior Master
Joined
Sep 30, 2021
Messages
2,921
Reaction score
1,499
Location
Northern California
Jow Ga = Jow Family
Jow Ga Kung Fu = Jow Family Kung Fu

Jow Lung = Last name, First name.
Jow Lung is the founder of Jow Ga Kung Fu. If you were to make a fighting system or a combination of then it would be your last name + the martial arts. Gracie Jujitsu would be a recent example. There are a lot of family systems out there some are really good but I've seen some that make me wonder if someone just didn't throw something together for the purpose of creating their on school.
I would take Yoga for the same reason I train Tai Chi. It's something to help enhance and improve my Jow Ga. The concept of being relax all the time and tense when you need it, works well for my Jow Ga. Jow Ga by itself has a tendency to make people tense so Tai Chi is a good relaxation exercise because I have to learn to be relaxed while moving, which is difficult.

Yoga would be my strength and flexibility exercise from the little bit that I do. But I don't think I would pay for yoga unless someone really understood it and how it applies to martial arts. There's a direct connection between Yoga and Martial arts. So I don't want someone to be guessing that aspect. I probably wouldn't go too far beyond the basics. I'm looking to master Jow Ga and so there's no need to master Yoga, but I can use elements from Yoga to help improve my Jow Ga. If I took an Indian Martial arts then I would probably take the Yoga that comes with it.

What I wouldn't do is take a Yoga Class from a "Club Fit" and try to integrate that into Martial Arts training. A lot of that fitness club Yoga is not the same that is usually done with Martial Arts. Those instructors are usually clueless. Similar to a fitness Tai Chi instructor couldn't tell someone the application of Thai chi. For them it's just an exercise so they miss the small things that need to be done in order for it to be functional. Before Jow Ga I wanted to take Tai Chi. The school that I went to wanted $600 a month. He made me do a qualification test. Told me that my balance was bad, that my breathing was bad, and that I would be no good at it. (excellent way to sale a martial arts class to a beginner). I didn't like his attitude and the price so I left. I think he got offended because I told him I wanted to learn that Tai Chi that's used for fighting lol.
We teach yang long style Tai chi Chuan and gung fu. Tai chi should be iron wrapped in silk. Gung fu should be silk wrapped in iron. The circle in the square and the square in the circle. They complement one another. Soft and hard. Just like the symbol. Thats the complete system. Not one or the other, both. All eight directions.
 

jurat13

Yellow Belt
Joined
Jul 9, 2007
Messages
56
Reaction score
1
Location
Atlanta, GA
Those pictures are little stunts for tourists, not indicators of fitness.
I would be surprised if most modern martials arts in the U.S. would train in this fashion, or would produce this type of output. Due to a variety of factors including lifestyle changes, schedules, and potential liability. In other words, I am not sure if it is accurate to attribute this photo to any particular modern style in the U.S., whether TMA or MMA.
 

jurat13

Yellow Belt
Joined
Jul 9, 2007
Messages
56
Reaction score
1
Location
Atlanta, GA
Whether it is used as a sport or not, the techniques of Boxing, MMA, Wrestling, Muay Thai can certainly apply to non-sport applications. Just as Tai-Chi has non-martial applications that we are mostly accustomed to seeing seniors in the park performing, there are also martial applications to Tai-Chi.
 

Johnkungfu

White Belt
Joined
Jan 13, 2022
Messages
16
Reaction score
4
I assumed the usage here was essentially philosophy - looking for meaning beyond just the combat skills. And it's pretty easy to get philosophical within any pursuit (and any MA). Some arts (like mainline Aikido's peaceful philosophy) are inherently philosophical, but I don't think that means they are necessarily more philosophical than any other.
Spirituality is a?western concept. Cannot apply to a martial art. Simply because morality- god- culture are not western nor created with western culture- mma is a hodge podge of traditional arts mixed together for fighting in traditional marti arts we trained only for defense and always was assumed life and death - and assumed only one would walk away - since the gun and laws and culture changed - martial arts survived by teaching Buddhist concepts and becoming a way of spirituality and i would agree that aikido and even judo. Jujitsu took that path removing randori and watering down the arts - mma to me is a rebirth of martial arts and method of preservation and rebooting old rusty arts - just opinion thx
 

PGadd

White Belt
Joined
Mar 27, 2007
Messages
6
Reaction score
0
I studied Kyokushin for over a decade back in the 70s. If I recall, Obama had studied both Shotokan and Goju, and based his karate in part on both styles. Shotokan was (is?) the classic linear Japanese style, and Goju emphasized more circular movement. The differences are evident in their respective kata. We were taught the linear, direct moves first, and as we got more advanced, started learning the Goju.

Both styles are effective if you master them, but I found the melding of the hard and soft to be particularly helpful.

I know nothing of Tang Soo Doo, so can not comment on that style.
 

Gerry Seymour

MT Moderator
Staff member
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2012
Messages
29,090
Reaction score
9,901
Location
Hendersonville, NC
Spirituality is a?western concept. Cannot apply to a martial art. Simply because morality- god- culture are not western nor created with western culture- mma is a hodge podge of traditional arts mixed together for fighting in traditional marti arts we trained only for defense and always was assumed life and death - and assumed only one would walk away - since the gun and laws and culture changed - martial arts survived by teaching Buddhist concepts and becoming a way of spirituality and i would agree that aikido and even judo. Jujitsu took that path removing randori and watering down the arts - mma to me is a rebirth of martial arts and method of preservation and rebooting old rusty arts - just opinion thx
Proper punctuation would help here.
 

Unkogami

Purple Belt
Joined
Sep 19, 2008
Messages
302
Reaction score
98
Spirituality is a?western concept. Cannot apply to a martial art. Simply because morality- god- culture are not western nor created with western culture- mma is a hodge podge of traditional arts mixed together for fighting in traditional marti arts we trained only for defense and always was assumed life and death - and assumed only one would walk away - since the gun and laws and culture changed - martial arts survived by teaching Buddhist concepts and becoming a way of spirituality and i would agree that aikido and even judo. Jujitsu took that path removing randori and watering down the arts - mma to me is a rebirth of martial arts and method of preservation and rebooting old rusty arts - just opinion thx
You really think judo removed direct, active competition?
 

JowGaWolf

Sr. Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Aug 3, 2015
Messages
12,796
Reaction score
5,046
Spirituality is a?western concept. Cannot apply to a martial art. Simply because morality- god- culture are not western nor created with western culture
Spiritual concepts don't require a religion or a god. They are practices that can and often stand on their own. It's a global concept. Every culture on this planet has some type of spiritualism connected to there culture. The most popular deals with death, birth, omens, good luck, and Meditation. My thoughts are that life takes on a different perspective when you leave the 4 walls of a home and get stuck in the middle of nature.
 

super saiyan 4

Yellow Belt
Joined
Jan 11, 2022
Messages
27
Reaction score
5
No because it doesn't make zero sense. There are different things that can be done for mental and physical health. Alot of the TMA systems have things about health and mental well being that you aren't going to find in a MMA gym. As a matter of fact when MMA fighters want that aspect of it, they go outside of MMA and do things like Yoga. Conor McGregor does Yoga. Yoga is not MMA

You can't get what you get out of Yoga by doing MMA.
I've done both in the past they are drastic ly diffrent
 

lklawson

Grandmaster
Joined
Feb 3, 2005
Messages
5,035
Reaction score
1,665
Location
Huber Heights, OH
You guys arguing about what is and is not "spiritual" crack me up. There's plenty of evidence that various Western origin martial pursuits and organizations included spiritual and even religious elements. You can make anything "spiritual" to you. You can make painting "spiritual." You can make pottery throwing "spiritual." I heard an Orchestra Conductor state that he'd given up actual religious observance and now focuses his "spiritual" fervor through music. I knew one long distance runner who felt that his running was "spiritual."

There's nothing special about Asian martial arts which makes them any more "spiritual" than anything else in the world. If someone can make their MMA practice "spiritual" to them, then good on 'em and you're not somehow more "spiritual" for doing a martial art of oriental origin then someone doing a martial art of occidental origin. The whole idea is silly. Makes me think of Ashida Kim.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 

JowGaWolf

Sr. Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Aug 3, 2015
Messages
12,796
Reaction score
5,046
You guys arguing about what is and is not "spiritual" crack me up. There's plenty of evidence that various Western origin martial pursuits and organizations included spiritual and even religious elements. You can make anything "spiritual" to you. You can make painting "spiritual." You can make pottery throwing "spiritual." I heard an Orchestra Conductor state that he'd given up actual religious observance and now focuses his "spiritual" fervor through music. I knew one long distance runner who felt that his running was "spiritual."

There's nothing special about Asian martial arts which makes them any more "spiritual" than anything else in the world. If someone can make their MMA practice "spiritual" to them, then good on 'em and you're not somehow more "spiritual" for doing a martial art of oriental origin then someone doing a martial art of occidental origin. The whole idea is silly. Makes me think of Ashida Kim.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
Thank Steve for the More spiritual vs less spiritual track. He planted that one lol.
 

Steve

Mostly Harmless
Joined
Jul 9, 2008
Messages
21,453
Reaction score
6,959
Location
Covington, WA
Thank Steve for the More spiritual vs less spiritual track. He planted that one lol.
Wait... what?

Sorry, Charlie, but my point was exactly the same as @lklawson's point.

I think you went there in post #6 in the thread, suggesting that there are no mental benefits to training in MMA, but there are mental benefits in TMA. So, let's be clear. You are the person who went down the spiritual track, and you are also the person who brought up MMA.
 
Last edited:
Top