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gmgkungfu

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Ever since I was a young child I have always loved martial arts mostly from watching it on television and movies but I grew up thinking of it more as a hobby unless I were to move across the world and study it full time learning from a master. The passed few years of my life have been somewhat tough and I have undergone much change (for the better) but I have almost forgot my love for martial arts as I never thought it was a possibility for me to become great at it. In the passed few weeks I have been doing some research and realizing that I can make it my life like I once wanted. I have been looking online at some schools in the East that have grabbed my interest and could use a little help. I am a small build, but athletic and commit myself to what I enjoy, as well as have good hand eye coordination, balance, and am somewhat quick and agile, all with room for improvement. I would like to make a life out of martial arts and am really considering moving to the East (currently live in USA) and studying martial arts full time. I am 19 years old and my parents will fund my schooling as if it were college if I am serious about it, which I am. I have been starting workout routines to begin to build myself into shape so I can start serious training possibly at the start of next spring/summer. My main goal is to make a life and career of martial arts as well as have the ability to defend myself should the need ever arise and possibly compete in competitions. This brings me to the reason I am typing this, my questions:


1) What are some good schools you know of or have researched? (Can be a 10 student live-in disciple program or 2,000+ student school and anything in between, please provide a website link if possible.)

2) What are some careers someone can have after mastering an art (other than teaching to students)?

3) What are some martial art styles that someone of my build would excel at? (more speed/skill and not purely strength oriented)

4) About how many years of training daily for many hours a day would these arts take to master or become very good at? (I know it varies from person to person and trainer to trainer, I just need an idea if possible.)

5) What are your favorite animal forms and why (i.e. Eagle Claw, Snake, Crane)?

6) What are some good workout routines to get me ready for serious training? (improve endurance, flexibility, strength, balance and so on)

7) What are your experiences training full time or under a master like I am looking to?


Please add anything else you can to help me out and answer any number of questions you can whether it be one or all, thanks alot for your time!
 

Flying Crane

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Ohh, where to start...

I am 19 years old and my parents will fund my schooling as if it were college if I am serious about it, which I am.

GO TO COLLEGE. Get an education outside of the Martial Arts. You have no idea if you will be able to make a living in the MA. Get a good education, it will help you be successful either within or outside of, the martial arts, wherever life takes you.

1) What are some good schools you know of or have researched? (Can be a 10 student live-in disciple program or 2,000+ student school and anything in between, please provide a website link if possible.)

You didn't say if you have been training with anyone already. From your opening paragraph, I get the impression that you have not, and your interest stems from TV and movies and perhaps books. It seems like you have no training experience.

Find a good school in your area, and study there. For a long time. Do not even consider giving up your current life and travelling to the East to dedicate yourself to this training, until you have a LOT of experience and have a real and genuine sense if you really want to do this. You are in absolutely no position to do this right now. You are in the fantasy stage, and you need to get your hands really really dirty first before you consider doing this.

2) What are some careers someone can have after mastering an art (other than teaching to students)?

very few, but bodyguard comes to mind. Personally, I won't take a bullet or a blade meant for someone else, no matter how much they pay me. No thanks.

Movie/TV actor/stuntman. Good luck there. I think it's a tough line of work to get into, and get any success. Get some acting training, as well as stage fighting, so you know how to act-fight for the camera. Hollywood is chock full of wannabies hanging around waiting tables, waiting to be discovered. You can be one of them.

Professional full contact fighter. Again, no thanks. I don't need to subject my body to that kind of punishment, and my ego doesn't need it.

3) What are some martial art styles that someone of my build would excel at? (more speed/skill and not purely strength oriented)

It's not so simple to state this. Find a good teacher in your area, regardless of style, and learn from him.

4) About how many years of training daily for many hours a day would these arts take to master or become very good at? (I know it varies from person to person and trainer to trainer, I just need an idea if possible.)

It never ends. You are never as good as you want to be. You never feel you are ready. Don't ever stop. Keep training, for the rest of your life.

5) What are your favorite animal forms and why (i.e. Eagle Claw, Snake, Crane)?

Um, kind of irrelevant. What may be MY favorite may be something you hate. Lots of styles exist out there. Find a good teacher in your area, regardless of style, and learn from him.

6) What are some good workout routines to get me ready for serious training? (improve endurance, flexibility, strength, balance and so on)

training in martial arts is a great workout and gives you the skills you need to be good at martial arts. Find a good teacher in your area and learn from him.

7) What are your experiences training full time or under a master like I am looking to?

none, very few people do this, very few opportunities to do this exist. You've been watching too many movies. Your perception has been mislead. Find a good teacher in your area and learn from him. And keep a life outside the dojo as well, or you will become an emotionally and mentally stunted and maladjusted adult.

Please add anything else you can to help me out and answer any number of questions you can whether it be one or all, thanks alot for your time!

I don't mean to burst your bubble or crush your enthusiasm. I love your enthusiasm. But you are looking at this entirely in the wrong way. Find a good teacher in your area and learn from him. This will get you the farthest. Maybe eventually you will genuinely desire to go to the East and train full time, and you might even be able to swing the finances to do it. But you simply are not ready to make that committment at this time.
 

jks9199

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Ohh, where to start...



GO TO COLLEGE. Get an education outside of the Martial Arts. You have no idea if you will be able to make a living in the MA. Get a good education, it will help you be successful either within or outside of, the martial arts, wherever life takes you.

If you're not reasonably sure college is the thing for you right now -- and it's perfectly reasonable to feel that way! -- don't go to college. Learn a real trade; work in a real job for a while, or even join the military, Peace Corps, or Job Corps. Learn to support and take care of yourself. Build up some of your own money... Times are tight. They're going to be tighter. You might feel real good knowing that your folks didn't spend their savings so that you could shave your head, wear a bedsheet, and dance around... only to find you had no chance of supporting yourself from that.

You didn't say if you have been training with anyone already. From your opening paragraph, I get the impression that you have not, and your interest stems from TV and movies and perhaps books. It seems like you have no training experience.

Find a good school in your area, and study there. For a long time. Do not even consider giving up your current life and travelling to the East to dedicate yourself to this training, until you have a LOT of experience and have a real and genuine sense if you really want to do this. You are in absolutely no position to do this right now. You are in the fantasy stage, and you need to get your hands really really dirty first before you consider doing this.
Let me just echo this. Before you pin your future on a dream... experience it a bit for real. Find a good, HARD training school, not a martial-flavored day care or new age club. They're out there, though you'll have to look for them.

very few, but bodyguard comes to mind. Personally, I won't take a bullet or a blade meant for someone else, no matter how much they pay me. No thanks.

Movie/TV actor/stuntman. Good luck there. I think it's a tough line of work to get into, and get any success. Get some acting training, as well as stage fighting, so you know how to act-fight for the camera. Hollywood is chock full of wannabies hanging around waiting tables, waiting to be discovered. You can be one of them.

Professional full contact fighter. Again, no thanks. I don't need to subject my body to that kind of punishment, and my ego doesn't need it.
Even in the "true" martial callings like the military or law enforcement, there's little call for a person whose sole skill is beating someone up with their hands. Soldiers and cops have guns and Tasers and all sorts of other things for a reason.

There are ways to allow your martial arts to be a part of whatever your calling is, rather than trying to shape your calling to your martial arts.
I don't mean to burst your bubble or crush your enthusiasm. I love your enthusiasm. But you are looking at this entirely in the wrong way. Find a good teacher in your area and learn from him. This will get you the farthest. Maybe eventually you will genuinely desire to go to the East and train full time, and you might even be able to swing the finances to do it. But you simply are not ready to make that committment at this time.

Enthusiasm and dreams are great and vital. But they need to be shaped and grounded in reality. Orville and Wilbur Wright had a dream of flight; they grounded that dream in hundreds of thousands of hours of hard work and preparation. Because of that -- they succeeded in their dream.
 

Xue Sheng

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Good advice so far

Figure out what you mean by east China, Japan, etc.

Go to college and learn the language of that country.

Then if you are still interested there are teaching jobs that you can get in those countries that give you time to train with a sifu and it you are talking China they will give you a place to live as well.

Now if you speak the language and live there already you can go find a real sifu that will at least take you a bit more seriously since you speak the language.

There are also colleges in China that will teach you Wushu and sanshou.

GO TO COLLEGE FIRST.

Go now to a large school and you're just another Westerner with money to burn and many waiting to spend.
 

JadecloudAlchemist

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As the others have said go to college. Getting a degree is going to help you in the long run with life.

But I will try to answer your questions because some people like yourself may not follow the advice.

1) What are some good schools you know of or have researched? (Can be a 10 student live-in disciple program or 2,000+ student school and anything in between, please provide a website link if possible.)
Easier for you to mention an area or style and then go from there. It is almost impossible to list all the schools that are bad or good or in between. I know live in student programs and famous schools too but they may not be the style you are looking for.

2) What are some careers someone can have after mastering an art (other than teaching to students)?
If you really got the essence of the art you should be able to apply it to anything.

4) About how many years of training daily for many hours a day would these arts take to master or become very good at? (I know it varies from person to person and trainer to trainer, I just need an idea if possible.)
It will happen when it happens. Martial arts is a lifetime journey not something you can master in a set time. The teacher will let you know when you have become good not you.

6) What are some good workout routines to get me ready for serious training? (improve endurance, flexibility, strength, balance and so on)
Join a Gym or a martial art school and you will start to improve all you asked about.

7) What are your experiences training full time or under a master like I am looking to?
They are not kind but grueling mean humorist people. Also if you asked any of these questions You will most likey be shown the door. You do what you are told don't ask stupid questions and maybe after a couple of years he will actually teach you something. BTW the humor part is usually because you are the butt of the joke.
 

jks9199

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4) About how many years of training daily for many hours a day would these arts take to master or become very good at? (I know it varies from person to person and trainer to trainer, I just need an idea if possible.)
It will happen when it happens. Martial arts is a lifetime journey not something you can master in a set time. The teacher will let you know when you have become good not you.

I'm reminded of a story...

Many years ago, a man went to a great master of the sword. He asked, "How long will it take me to master your style, if I practice an hour every day?".

The master replied "2 years."

"Well, if I train for 2 hours every day, how long then?" he asked.

"Four years," replied the master.

Rather chagrined at this, the man asked "And if I train for 4 hours twice a day, every day?"

"Ten years. The more you focus on the destination, the less attention you will give to the journey, and the longer the journey will take."
 
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gmgkungfu

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Thanks for all the info so far guys, my main thing is I'm not really cut out for college. It's not that im not smart, it's just that I can't stick with school work unless I focus completely from the start, which usually goes okay for a month or so then I start to slack off. Hypothetically speaking, if I were to move to a little more remote setting in a sort of small enviroment I'm 90% sure I would stick with the training if it was appropriate for my skill level, which is beginner. Currently I am doing workout routines at home daily to increasre my endurance and flexibilty mainly, I might be doing strength also soon and if I stick with this till the end of the year I will probably be joining some classes near me just to make sure I'll enjoy the class training enviroment and so if I do follow through with this I'll at least have some experience instead on none.
 

Flying Crane

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Thanks for all the info so far guys, my main thing is I'm not really cut out for college. It's not that im not smart, it's just that I can't stick with school work unless I focus completely from the start, which usually goes okay for a month or so then I start to slack off. Hypothetically speaking, if I were to move to a little more remote setting in a sort of small enviroment I'm 90% sure I would stick with the training if it was appropriate for my skill level, which is beginner. Currently I am doing workout routines at home daily to increasre my endurance and flexibilty mainly, I might be doing strength also soon and if I stick with this till the end of the year I will probably be joining some classes near me just to make sure I'll enjoy the class training enviroment and so if I do follow through with this I'll at least have some experience instead on none.

well, you may feel you are not cut out for college, and that is for you to decide. It sounds like your parents are in a position to help pay for it, and that is a HUGE thing so consider this option very strongly before you disregard it. Many colleges have martial arts clubs or part of the phys-ed curriculum, so many opportunities abound there.

It was also suggested that you simply get a job, learn some skills, get some "life" experience being on your own. Get an apartment, move out of your parents home if you haven't done so yet. You are at an age now where that could be an option. And find that good instructor in your area under whom you can begin learning good martial arts. I would suggest you follow this route for at least two years, preferably 5, to make sure you can take care of yourself in the real world, and that you truly love the martial arts enough to drop everything in life in order to move East to train full time.

It was also suggested that you take some language courses in preparation. So consider two or three years of Mandarin (or Japanese, or Korean, or Thai, or Cantonese, wherever you really want to go) at your local community college (again, if you go to full-time college you may have access to these classes as well), if available, during this time. And during this time, do some research and find out what programs may be viable. Understand that a full-time, live-in opportunity where quality martial arts are being taught may be a rare thing, and you may not find it. That doesn't mean you can't find a good teacher with whom you can train daily or at least a few times a week. It just means that you will need to see to your own housing and food and economic needs. I understand that English teachers abroad, esp. in places like China can do fairly well in this regard, so that may be a way to make it work. And having an ability to speak the local language will be that much better for you in every way, as well.

Think this thru carefully and plan it out, and DON'T BE IN A HURRY. If you do it right, this could be an incredible experience. If you screw it up, it could be a living nightmare.
 

Xue Sheng

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It was also suggested that you take some language courses in preparation. So consider two or three years of Mandarin (or Japanese, or Korean, or Thai, or Cantonese, wherever you really want to go) at your local community college (again, if you go to full-time college you may have access to these classes as well), if available, during this time.

Can't stress this enough gmgkungfu if you are going there to live and train


LEARN THE LANGUAGE
 

jks9199

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Thanks for all the info so far guys, my main thing is I'm not really cut out for college. It's not that im not smart, it's just that I can't stick with school work unless I focus completely from the start, which usually goes okay for a month or so then I start to slack off. Hypothetically speaking, if I were to move to a little more remote setting in a sort of small enviroment I'm 90% sure I would stick with the training if it was appropriate for my skill level, which is beginner. Currently I am doing workout routines at home daily to increasre my endurance and flexibilty mainly, I might be doing strength also soon and if I stick with this till the end of the year I will probably be joining some classes near me just to make sure I'll enjoy the class training enviroment and so if I do follow through with this I'll at least have some experience instead on none.
Nothing wrong with not feeling like college is the route for you today. In fact, recognizing that and not wasting your time is great.

But -- you're still in kiddie dreamland. You want to go "study martial arts" but haven't even looked at what's in your area. You're still apparently letting mom & dad support you. Take that step out of your comfort zone, and start working. Go to a trade school or get into an apprenticeship program or just get a job that can lead somewhere. Get out of your parents house, and pay your own bills. And find the karate/kungfu/silat/muay thai/whatever school in your area that feels like a decent fit. See where that leads you -- and don't wait till you're "fit enough" or "strong enough" or whatever enough. And if you don't like the first place, go to another. (Avoid long term contracts until you're pretty sure.) If it's your dream -- start SOON.
 

Cirdan

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gmgkungfu, you seem to have great passion for the arts and we should all pursue our dreams. It is also good that you plan to start taking lessons in MA now. Keep in mind however that making it to a high level in the arts can be every bit as demanding as college, probably much more so. I know people who are training in the East now and have met some who have realized the dream you have. What all these did first was to learn the language and develop an interest in the culture of the country they were going to. Also unless you want to become a monk, career pickings for a professional martial artist are slim. Gain a basic understanding of the arts (join a MA club) and study the choices before you in some depth. Then make your decicion and go for it whatever it might be.
 

Drac

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Can't stress this enough gmgkungfu if you are going there to live and train


LEARN THE LANGUAGE


Listen to Xue...It would be hell to be in a city where you don't understand anyone, and they don't understand you....Grab a copy of BlackBelt magazine..In the back there has been a school looking for MA students..Their wording suggests that its not a get-away weekend or a seminar but a serious MA school..You train everyday and you spar everyday..Strict dormatory life is one pharse I remember from the notice...Its supposed to be a freebie, you just sign up and commit..If you cant find it I look in my past issues as soon as I dig a path to the garage...
 
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Xue Sheng

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Listen to Xue...It would be hell to be in a city where you don't understand anyone, and they don't understand you....Grab a copy of BlackBelt magazine..In the back there has been a school looking for MA students..Their wording suggests that its not a get-away weekend or a seminar but a serious MA school..You train everyday and you spar everyday..Strict dormatory life is one pharse I remember from the notice...Its supposed to be a freebie, you just sign up and commit..If you cant find it I look in my past issues as soon as I dig a path to the garage...

Also, in China, they take you a bit more seriously if you show up there at least understanding basic Mandarin. Some have Mandarin programs incorporated into the training but I tend to have my doubts about many of those. Some are ok but most are just for taking money from Westerners.
 
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Drac

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Also, in China, they take you a bit more seriously if you show up there at least understanding basic Mandarin. Some have Mandarin programs incorporated into the training but I tend to have my doubts about many of those. Some are ok but most are just for taking money from Westerners.

Yes..How can you understand Sifu's, Sensei's, etc...etc instructions/commands if you dont speak or understand the language???
 
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Lilyth

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Thanks for all the info so far guys, my main thing is I'm not really cut out for college. It's not that im not smart, it's just that I can't stick with school work unless I focus completely from the start, which usually goes okay for a month or so then I start to slack off. Hypothetically speaking, if I were to move to a little more remote setting in a sort of small enviroment I'm 90% sure I would stick with the training if it was appropriate for my skill level, which is beginner. Currently I am doing workout routines at home daily to increasre my endurance and flexibilty mainly, I might be doing strength also soon and if I stick with this till the end of the year I will probably be joining some classes near me just to make sure I'll enjoy the class training enviroment and so if I do follow through with this I'll at least have some experience instead on none.

Ummm...just a few things here. You say you're not cut out for college because you can't FOCUS, that you want specific conditions for your training, ie. remote setting in a small environment, and you'll be trying out classes to make sure you ENJOY the class training environment.

Right then, I think your desire for the martial arts has a great start, but from the very beginning you're short-changing your ability to be successful. I'm new to the martial arts but even I know that to be successful you need focus, adaptability, and endurance. The martial arts isn't just about the physical training, it's about the mental training as well, you simply can't have one without the other. If you're willing to throw college away just because you can't focus, if you need to have the perfect environment to train in and if it has to be something you enjoy all the time, then do NOT go over to China! If you can't handle the challenges of a local martial arts school, then what makes you think it will be better in another country?

Let's say you're not meant for academics, then consider a degree in physical education or kinesiology, something that will help you understand and build up your body better and that gives you knowledge that you can share with others? Train at a local martial arts school and learn patience and endurance. In classes, sometimes you have to be patient when you want to learn faster, sometimes you have to endure when they're doing strength exercises that are NO fun. Learn to be less particular and more flexible, be the dragon with an open heart and mind to find learning all around you.

Just my two cents, though. Honestly, I'm just a beginner and need my own advice more than I need to give it!

Best wishes,
Lilyth
 

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