Returning to martial arts. Can't make up my mind which.

shaolin_al

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Hi everyone it's been a little over 2 years since I last did any martial arts. At the time I was doing some northern shaolin off and on and before that I did taekwondo. In my area I have these choices available:

Taekwondo school where the BB's move to Hung Gar
Shorin-Ryu ( School hasn't returned my emails or phone calls )
Kali
Krav Maga
Ninjutsu
Shaolin Temple Kung-fu / Tai Chi (Chen, 5 animals, luohan etc..)
Ed Parker Kenpo
Chinese Kempo

I know that it's best to focus on the quality of the school and not the style. I'm also looking for an art where I can take it easy at the beginning since i'm only 28 and have arthritis in my upper body. I'm going to go take a look at some of these places and maybe try a lesson out. My questions are, doesn't it seem like a bad sign if a school doesn't return any attempts to get info? Also based strictly on these styles (not asking which is the best art), do you believe would be a good fit for me? Also, there is a total of 4 different FMA instructors to pick from, kali ilustrisimo, villabrille largusa, decuerdas and bujinkan are taught together, and rene latosa. Self-defense isn't my primary concern but is somewhat important. I am looking to get bakc into shape and learn some fun skills. Thanks for your help beforehand.
 

Xue Sheng

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Welcome to MT

And anyone would do, but I would choose Chen Taijiquan, depending on the focus of the school and background of the teacher. But then I am rather partial to Taiji and neijia styles:)

You are already on the right track, IMO, with the taking a look and taking a lesson approach.
 

terryl965

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Welcome to the site, your question is easy right down what you are looking for and then go to several schoolls, watch ask and talk. Go home do the pro's and con thing and make the best decission that way, it is always best to see what they offer before signing and taking the time to talk to the Instructor and parent and adult already taking classes.
 

Raynac

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NINJUTSU... but im pretty biased. oh well i say try it for one class if they will let you. It was definiatily different in a postive way from my karate lessons.

which style of ninjutsu do they teach also?

the style relys on you not muscling your moves so it will be easy on your body... but then again im not sure what movements hurt your arthritis... you would get thrown on the ground alot but they teach you breakfalls to absorb the impact so it feels like nothing. once again im not sure how well it would work with arthritis.

That beign said im not sure how well it would help you get back into shape as it is not workout intensive, but it should over time it might give you more flexability, and good balance. Ninjutsu has alot of fun skills IMO rolling being one of my favorite ones (right after throwing people hugely bigger than me with ease) but im not sure once again how your arthritis affects you.

i hope my editing helped to inform you better. ^_^
 
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Bruno@MT

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Bujinkan, Genbukan and Jinenkan are legit ninjutsu systems.
I am in Genbukan and I like it a lot. I like the fact that the style covers everything: strikes / kicks, locks, rolling and breakfalls, throws, etc...
It's just personal preference.

If I was interested mainly in kicking, I'd choose TKD for example.
So it really depends on what you like, and your reasons for wanting to train in MA.

And yes. If a school doesn't return your inquiries, it can be a bad sign imo. Not saying that it is, but barring technical problems, it shows that they don't care enough to have someone respond to email inquiries.
 
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shaolin_al

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I really wanted to study some karate, but the first place closed due to the economy and like I said before the Shorin-Ryu school never replies to any attempts of contact. I think I would literally have to go in there during a class to talk to someone. Also they have a 'black belt' club. Do you guys/ girls think the whole word 'black belt club' is suspect when choosing a school?
 

still learning

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Hello, You may want ot look at both Kempo schools , best to visit and see them in action...

I believe after watching...them you will sign-up....Aloha
 

blindsage

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In terms of the issues your presented:

TKD w/BB in Hung Gar- interesting combination, but you basically know what to expect, lot's of kicking, and then some kicking, and then kicking some more. Hung Gar has lots of low stances for leg strengthening, and most schools do some for of partner hitting drills, like hitting fore arms.

Shorin-Ryu- You say this is what you would really like to do, and though an unreturned phone call is really bad business practice, it isn't necessarily, a sign of a bad school. If you are really interested go check it out in person. It's sounds like you already have a good idea what to expect from the style.

Kali- Your going to start with stick from day 1, empty hand almost always comes later. A minority of schools in the U.S. still train the old way by striking to the hands, so if your arthritis is a problem there, you might want to check this out first and be careful. They also, usually, work a lot with footwork, entries, parries, disarms, and striking hard and fast.

Krav Maga- This is a lot of hard, rough and tumble self-defense. Lots of techniques adopted from a variety of styles, but designed to be quick, hard and to the point. You will probably come away with a lot of bumps, and bruises, so you might want to check out how willing to accomodate your arthritis they would be.

Ninjitsu- I'll defer to Raynac and Bruno's comments.

Shaolin KF/ Chen Tai-Chi- With the variety of styles in Shaolin you could find one to focus on that would suit you and your issues, but the quality of the instructor would be really important. Chen Tai Chi might be one of your best bets for your physical issue, but I would suggest checking out some clips on youtube because it is noticeably different from the usual strictly slow version (Yang style) you see most of the time. There are a lot more dynamic movements, low-stances, and some jumping.

Ed Parker Kenpo- If your interested in karate, you may really like kenpo. There are some obvious influences, but it's less traditional, with a little more focus on street fighting applications. But, again, given your stated interest, I'd give it a try.

Chinese Kempo- This could refer to one of a couple of styles. Kempo in Japan refers to Chinese kung-fu, and this could be a Japanese school of kung-fu, which do exist. More likely this is a school of similar descent to Ed Parker's Kenpo, such as the Kara-Ho Kempo system, so given your interest, I say check it out as well.

Hopefully this helps.
 
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shaolin_al

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That helps a lot, thanks blindsage. I agree you always have to check a place out. I've decided to avoit the ninjutsu due to my health issue, but all the other places are fair game. My first two stops is the tcbd/hung gar and the shaolin temple school. This thread has already become interesting, thanks to everyone for your help.
 

Drac

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Welcome to the site, your question is easy right down what you are looking for and then go to several schoolls, watch ask and talk. Go home do the pro's and con thing and make the best decission that way, it is always best to see what they offer before signing and taking the time to talk to the Instructor and parent and adult already taking classes.

Good advice....Personally I would go with the Shorin-Ryu...
 

bowser666

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Personally I would go with the Shaolin Temple School. Chen Tai Chi and 5 animals is a good blend and you can really develop your internal aspects through these stylels. Also chances are they probably practice Qi Gong, which is great for circulatory benefit as well as other benefits to your arthritis etc......... Just remember that 5- Animals style is not a easy style but it is fun. There is a big emphasis on hand movements, IE blocking, striking, trapping , china na, etc...... LOW and I do mean LOW stances so your legs will get really strong.

I practice Longfist, and Tai Chi ( Yang Style ) as well as Southern 5 Animals. Its a great blend and I love it.
 

blindsage

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I've noticed a large percentage of "come try out my style, it'll work the best for you" comments on this thread. I'm wondering if people really think this is best way to help this person? I'm not trying to create an argument, I just don't see the benefit of these kinds of responses.
 

Xue Sheng

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I've noticed a large percentage of "come try out my style, it'll work the best for you" comments on this thread. I'm wondering if people really think this is best way to help this person? I'm not trying to create an argument, I just don't see the benefit of these kinds of responses.

serious response

It all depends on the person and the school and the teacher of that school

Go look, go try and find out what fits you best. Beyond that there is not much to say.
 

FeederOfTrolls

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I've noticed a large percentage of "come try out my style, it'll work the best for you" comments on this thread. I'm wondering if people really think this is best way to help this person? I'm not trying to create an argument, I just don't see the benefit of these kinds of responses.

I understand where you're coming from. They answer that way to provide advice to the OP that says "Hey, this form does work. It worked for me". Given the subjective nature of the OP's question it is as good an answer as any.
 

Raynac

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I've noticed a large percentage of "come try out my style, it'll work the best for you" comments on this thread. I'm wondering if people really think this is best way to help this person? I'm not trying to create an argument, I just don't see the benefit of these kinds of responses.

Is mine one of those =(. I'm sorry I tried to put it in a fair light, he wanted to know which one would best fit him so i tried to answer his question with a focus on my area of expertise, I did meantion about how his arthritis may come into play (i should add it probley will even more if someones practicing a move on you, there is alot of manipulation of joints)
 

Ronin74

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Welcome to the site, your question is easy right down what you are looking for and then go to several schoolls, watch ask and talk. Go home do the pro's and con thing and make the best decission that way, it is always best to see what they offer before signing and taking the time to talk to the Instructor and parent and adult already taking classes.
I'd have to agree that this would be your best bet. I myself am getting back into training, and the truth is, it's worth it to do your footwork and homework by checking out the schools, and weighing out the pros and cons. Make sure you listen to your goals too. In the end, taking your time to do the research will benefit you.
 
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shaolin_al

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Thanks for the replies everyone, I appreciate the information. I wasn't trying to start a style vs style thread in any way. I kind of already knew I would be seeing people recommend their own styles. I was trying to get some information from a student point of view. The Shorin-ryu school requires a year agreement to take all the classes. Once you reach black belt level you must pay an additional $20 dollars a month for the weapons class. They do not do kiddie parties though and I don't think there's many young black belts there. It's so tough for me to tell a mcdojo from other schools sometimes. Take a look here, Morning Star Karateand let me know what you think. Thanks. Also has anyone heard of youn wha ryu and is it b.s.? Also i've noticed there seems to be no korean stylists who have posted yet.
 
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