Question regarding San Francisco martial arts schools

beau_safken

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Howdy all,

Well I will be moving to the area within the next week and I want to get back into the martial arts very badly. So I figured the best thing I could do is ask those of you that have more experience in the area than myself.

Here is what I am interested in.
1. A school that doesn't care so much about ranks, promotions, etc...those kinds of things. If I have to have some rank or something than its tolerable but I dont want to be a part of a school that has a goal to get everyone to BB or something like that.
2. I like combat martial arts. The sports oriented martial arts just dont do it for me. I'm all up for getting back in shape but I don't want to join a school that might as well be jazzerecise with a gi.
3. I enjoy weapon arts a lot and feel it brings a nice dynamic to my training. Just doing hand to hand is great and all but I just want some variety in my training.
4. Kinda want the dojo to be near the center of san fran or within a realistic distance from it. I won't have a car anymore and will be using the mass transit only. So proximity to BART or a busline is pretty important.
5. Friendly environment. I know we all get serious about our training but I want to be able to laugh and enjoy myself a little.

Well I don't know if that really helps in exactly what I am looking for...but that is kinda how I feel. I have a couple schools in mind but I want to see all there is out there. I don't like making un-informed decisions at all.

Thank you for your time and patience.

Beau
 

Flying Crane

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I train with Sifu Bryant Fong. He teaches a variety of Chinese martial arts, including Tai Chi, Bagua, Traditional exernal systems and Modern Wushu. I focus on Tibetan White Crane, and would love to have a training partner who is interested in working application and fighting skills. I am the only dedicated White Crane student an am always hoping some other people will get interested. Most of the others are doing Tai Chi for health, and the younger people are doing Modern Wushu.

Sifu Fong does not have a dojo of his own. Much of his teaching is thru City College of San Francisco, which has satellite campuses around the city. I train with him on saturday mornings at the Japantown YMCA. This is very centrally located in the City. It is a pretty laid back setting, and the students are very much responsible for their own intensity in training. Sifu Fong does use a ranking system, but it is not at all a focus of the group. I have tested once, in the 8 years I have been with him. He put me somewhere about half way to black belt, but none of it really matters much. I have no idea when I will test again, and I don't really care all that much.

PM me if you are interested in more information. Welcome to the Forum, and welcome to San Francisco. There is A LOT of martial arts in San Francisco, some quite good, some quite bad. But lots to choose from.
 
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bMunky

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And another little peice of advice for you in the city, dont worry where ANYTHING is, the bus goes all over the city and everything in the city is reachable in like 20 min on public transportation, and the bus drivers are really friendly in the city and always help you out if your lost.
 

bluemtn

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I was in SF for a few months, several years ago. Yeah, it's pretty easy getting around on public transportation, and it's a nice place to go. I think you'll enjoy it.
 

Spencer Burns

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When I moved to the city 5 years ago I was fairly frustrated trying to find a school myself. Most of the schools I could find were way to commercial for my taste. In addition, I was looking for Chinese arts and most of the schools were in the Western neighborhoods where the bus commute was going to be very frustrating. Yes, the buses do run everywhere but not always quickly or reliably.

I ended up going to different classes near where I lived and worked until I found the right flavor. I'm a great believer that the right teacher is more important than the right style, so I ended up doing a completely different art than I had expected.

As anywhere else, or perhaps more so, the really good schools are the harder ones to find. I'm sure there are many excellent instructors, especially in the Chinese arts, that I have never heard of.



I train with Gary Moro of Yachigusa-Ryu. We actually meet your list rather well....no ranks, fairly casual, plenty of weapons, and in a garage 4 blocks from BART. http://www.yachigusaryu.com I have no idea whether it fits what you are searching for, but I encourage you to take a look.


A list of schools that I would visit if I were looking.

Andrew Antis ( http://www.goldengatemartialarts.com ) teaches classical jujutsu on Saturdays and taijiquan on Sundays. I've visited his Sat class and liked the way he teaches.

Janet Gee: I don't know if she is taking new students or not, but people I know respect her a lot.

Zen Budokai Jujitsu http://www.zenbudokai.com

Dale Seago of the Bujinkan ( http://www.sfbuyu.com )

There are a bunch of kenpo guys around who I'm told are good, I'd ask around for more details.

I know nothing about them, but for some reason these two schools intrigue me (and are centrally located) http://www.8step.com/ http://undergroundkungfu.com/

Also, I'd ask around about Taiji teachers. Ones who do martial oriented weapons work are rare but definately worth looking for.

--Spencer Burns
 

bushidomartialarts

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karate one on van ness is a fairly combat-oriented school. base art is kyokushin, but they've added a strong kickboxing, grappling and mma curriculum. my brother trains there and is really enjoying it. going for shodan at the end of this month, go bro!

www.karate-one.net
 

MJS

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beau_safken said:
Howdy all,

Well I will be moving to the area within the next week and I want to get back into the martial arts very badly. So I figured the best thing I could do is ask those of you that have more experience in the area than myself.

Here is what I am interested in.
1. A school that doesn't care so much about ranks, promotions, etc...those kinds of things. If I have to have some rank or something than its tolerable but I dont want to be a part of a school that has a goal to get everyone to BB or something like that.
2. I like combat martial arts. The sports oriented martial arts just dont do it for me. I'm all up for getting back in shape but I don't want to join a school that might as well be jazzerecise with a gi.
3. I enjoy weapon arts a lot and feel it brings a nice dynamic to my training. Just doing hand to hand is great and all but I just want some variety in my training.
4. Kinda want the dojo to be near the center of san fran or within a realistic distance from it. I won't have a car anymore and will be using the mass transit only. So proximity to BART or a busline is pretty important.
5. Friendly environment. I know we all get serious about our training but I want to be able to laugh and enjoy myself a little.

Well I don't know if that really helps in exactly what I am looking for...but that is kinda how I feel. I have a couple schools in mind but I want to see all there is out there. I don't like making un-informed decisions at all.

Thank you for your time and patience.

Beau

How goes the search? Have you found what you're looking for?

Mike
 
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beau_safken

beau_safken

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Honestly, I just started a new gig and making my way into the city to live. Currently I'm in Lafayette so its kinda hampered my will to go into the city yet again when I have time. I am more or less still gathering info and making a list of places to check out. I have a sneaking suspitition that I am going to hear about Tibetian white crane on thursday from flying crane...But its all good.

I sure will keep you all informed as to what happens and who I choose and all.
 

Flying Crane

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I didn't realize you are actually living in the east bay right now. Lafayette can be a bit of a hike in to the city. You might want to check stuff out over there as well if you intend to make your home there. I don't really know who is there, but Sifu Chiu Chi Ling is in Alameda, next to Oakland. It is still a bit of a hike, but closer than San Francisco. Sifu Chiu is a famous old-school Hung Gar teacher, he has been in many kung fu flicks, including Kung Fu Hustle. If I was living in that area I would definitely check him out.

There is (or at least was) a very good Aikido school in Berkeley, tho I don't know them at all. My wife had a friend who studied there a few years back and she watched the class. She was pretty impressed, especially with how rough the training was.

Food for thought, anyways.
 
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beau_safken

beau_safken

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No no dude, Im gonna be moving into the city pretty soon...Like within the month. I'm just out there temporarily as I just came to the region. I'm thinking of getting a place like in Nob hill or somewhere nice and in the middle of town.
 

Flying Crane

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beau_safken said:
No no dude, Im gonna be moving into the city pretty soon...Like within the month. I'm just out there temporarily as I just came to the region. I'm thinking of getting a place like in Nob hill or somewhere nice and in the middle of town.

Expensive neighborhood, I think. We can talk about that, maybe I can give you a sense of what it is like in the different areas, with regards to rent and convenience and stuff.
 
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beau_safken

beau_safken

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Sounds good. Im doing the shared thing anyway so its not like im going to be all that concerned about finding a place solo. I'm all about location rather than an extra 5 feet or something. Sounds good man.
 
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