Seeking recommendations for an MA school

Like the Water

White Belt
Sep 21, 2008
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Hi. This is my first post on this forum. Basically, I just quit my second martial arts school, and I thought it would be wise to do better preliminary research this time around. The first school that I fell prey to was Shaolin-Do, and the second was that of a former Shaolin monk turned laymen disciple. Having studied at Chen Village in addition to the Shaolin Temple, this laymen disciple possessed very impressive credentials, and I did not doubt the legitimacy of his knowledge. Unfortunately, his marketing techniques along with several other factors led me to believe that he had been corrupted over the years and that attending his school was weakening my spirit. Thus, I am now in the process of searching for yet another school and style to study, and I was hoping that some of you could provide some assistance. These are my priorities in studying the martial arts (from greatest to least):

1. Self-defense / Practical Applications
2. Spiritual Development
3. Mental Health
4. Physical Fitness
5. Tradition / Culture (such as ancient weapons, etc.)

Also, I find it essential that my instructor be an honorable one and that the school has moral guidelines which are actually followed. Rank and competition are of minimal interest to me, and in fact, I would rather that these things be completely exempt from whatever system I study. However, I realize that this is not likely. I currently have my sights set on two schools: an Aikido school and a school that teaches both Hapkido and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Any insight on these styles (such as how well they conform to my priorities in studying MA) would be greatly appreciated. Any recommendations for other schools/styles would also be appreciated.

Thanks in advance for any insight and for reading this lengthy post.


Founding Member
Oct 29, 2001
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Kennewick, WA

Posting your location might help people make realistic recommendations.



Sr. Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Founding Member
MTS Alumni
Aug 29, 2001
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Athol, Ma. USA
There are not many schools today that teach spiritual training. Most folks leave this up to the churches. I am not saying that schools did not do this in the past or that you may not find one but I think it will be difficult.

From what you have described as your priorities you should most likely go to the on that teaches Hapkido and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. The Aikido school will take you a longer period of time to develop your Self-defense / Practical Applications.

Both or I should say all three are good systems and a person can learn much from each of them.