Shorinjikempo/Jeet Kun Do/Aikido/Kuk Sool Won

Soul.Con.Fusion

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Peace everyone!

I'm very glad to have found this forum! My name is Mesha and I'm a 22 year old female college student in NJ. I'm 5'8 and 180+ (i don't care about posting my weight).

(Long post ahead)

I took up karate for about a week when I was very young (probably 7)... My sensei made me do push ups on my knuckles and that upset me so bad that I didn't wanna do it anymore hahah... BUT, I was oftentimes around my karate school anyway because my best friend and her mother were students there. I'd sit in on the sidelines, go to their tournaments, and learned quite a bit. The one time I did sparring, I kicked a younger boy in the jewels and sent him down, crying. And my Sensei sparred with me to see where I was at, and I kicked him in the leg and he said I had some powerful legs!


Sadly, only one of my legs is powerful now lol. Sept 2014 I tore the calcaneofibular ligament in my right ankle (it's the ligament on the outerside of the ankle, basically under the bone). I ended up getting surgery Feb 2015, and from Sept 2014 until July 2015 (10 months) I was on crutches :( by May/June 2015, I upgraded to just one crutch and a boot, but before then, I had a cast on 3 seperate times. I went thru physical therapy for about a month in June 2015, but I had to stop because I started getting sharp pains.

My orthopedic told me to take it easy, to just walk on it to build strength. I've been in pain during this whole ordeal, and recently got custom made inserts for my shoes for support. I wear boots or sneakers with a high ankle, and I always wear a tie up brace and recently got a compression sleeve.

I also started physical therapy again at a different type of practice - Korean traditional medicine. So far I really like how hands on it is and how my PT massages my leg 2x a week :) lol. A few weeks ago, my city has been offering free fitness activities in the park, such as tai chi, yoga, meditation, and karate.

(Side note; I DO NOT exercise YET. I'm very frail for a big girl haha..)

I've gotten into yoga and I've been doing meditation off and on for a few months now, because sadly, I suffer from anxiety and mild depression. I also have severe allergies, asthma, body pain (mostly back and hip), insomnia, and migraines. So I've only done one session of yoga and tai chi, and will do one session of karate next week.

The reason I'm here is because after finding out there will be free karate, it brought back memories! I've always wanted to go back to martial arts, but I wanted to see what else was out there.

I came across over 50 different martial arts styles from around the world and I favor a few, but I just want to ask you all your opinions... I know I can't "compare" them since they're all different. I also understand that I need to visit each dojo/dojang for myself to make the best judgement.

I want to wait until August or September to see if I want to actually start, because I want to make sure my ankle is better.

The first martial art I came across was Shorinji Kempo, and I became obsessed with what I was learning. Then, I also came across Kuk Sool Won, Aikido, and Jeet Kune Do.

I realized that my goal isn't completely to learn how to fight, but I do want to effectively defend myself as a young woman. I am very passive and gentle, so a hard martial art doesn't fully interest me, but I do think a hard-soft martial art would be the best choice so I can defend myself if need be. I also love the idea of not having to seriously injure or kill someone if I don't have to. I like being able to have someone get thrown off balance or something so I don't have to do all the work lol.

The ability to use pressure points/joint locks, throwing, falling appropriately, striking, grappling, (basically most or all types of fighting, BUT it's okay if there are some things not included) and having a peaceful philosophical element is equally important. I want meditation and holistic medicine to be a part of what in learning. I want to have something for the whole self. Weapons would be great but not absolutely necessary if I can't get that. I'm not sure which martial art out of Shorinji Kempo, Aikido, Jeet Kune Do, or Kuk Sool Won would meet my needs closest. Again, I know I must visit because it is MY decision, but any input is going to be a major help because I'm still learning. My main focuses are to gain strength, agility, flexibility, balance, CONFIDENCE, self defense techniques that I can apply if I'm in danger, and a different or better approach to dealing with peace and conflict in life.

Where is the best place to start?

Kind Regards,
Mesha
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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What area in New Jersey do you live in? (Don't necessarily need the college, but a county and how far you could drive would be useful)
 
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Soul.Con.Fusion

Soul.Con.Fusion

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I'm from Newark, NJ in Essex County. I do not drive, but I can take public transport into NYC and nearby towns and cities in Essex, like Maplewood, Bloomfield, Irvington, East Orange etc


What area in New Jersey do you live in? (Don't necessarily need the college, but a county and how far you could drive would be useful)
 
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Flying Crane

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Pick the schools that are close enough to you that you can reasonably expect to attend regularly. Anything farther than that is pointless, if you can't make it in to train, no matter what it is.

Visit these schools, watch some classes, talk to the teachers and the students and get a feel for the vibe of the place. Pick the one that feels most comfortable to you. Take a couple trial classes if they offer them. Do this for a few schools, all that you might find interesting. Then join the one you like best.

If you pick a particular school, we might be able to give some comments. But otherwise, we don't know enough of the specifics to be of much help.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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Unfortunately, I don't know schools in Newark. I know some in other places in Northern New Jersey, however they would be a decent way away for you to travel, and honestly most people trying out will get discouraged if they have to travel too far each time for a class. Would be much better to find a place in Newark to attend.

My suggestion is to find places in Newark, then just follow Flying Cranes advice.

As for your specific preferences, Aikido tends to be similar to what you are looking for, although that would depend on the school itself. I would also 100% recommend the Shorinji Kempo place, but that's my own bias, and there's a chance that they won't focus too much on the holistic/meditative side of things. I have no opinion on the other two.

What would likely work better than either of those is if you can find a good internal martial arts dojo. I don't know any in that particular area, but if you find one, focus on how 'martial' they are vs. how health-oriented they are. Many internal martial arts forget the martial part, which is a shame, but the ones that teach it well should give you everything you want, plus there's a good chance it will help with your anxiety, body pain, and likely any issues that arise from your ankle.
 

oftheherd1

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Kempo and JKD I don't really know anything about. I am a little familiar with Aikido and Kuk Sool Won in that there are similarities with my art, Hapkido. Both are grappling arts. Aikido might be better as I think they a little more spiritual, but that probably depends more on the school than the art in general. It has been many years since I had any contact with Kuk Sool Won, but I think it may be a little closer to Hapkido, but again, individual schools will vary.

In the Hapkido I studied, we were very defensive, focusing on techniques to defend various attacks. That doesn't mean some of our defenses can't be modified to become offensive techniques. I think Kuk Sool Won will be very similar to Hapkido, but will teach use of weapons sooner than Hapkido. Aikido is also defensive, but as I see it has a slightly different 'philosophy' in that they will defend themselves, but not try to hurt the opponent. That doesn't mean they won't, but that just isn't their goal. If they can defend without hurting the opponent, fine. If the opponent gets hurt, well, too bad.

In the Hapkido that I studied, and I think Kuk Sool Won as well, we looked at it a little differently. We intended to defend ourselves, and most of our techniques will damage an opponent, or at least cause great pain. Sort of like we didn't want to fight, but having been forced to do so, we don't want to have to do it again.

Those are rather very broad explanations, and may or may not help.
 

Xue Sheng

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I'm from Newark, NJ in Essex County. I do not drive, but I can take public transport into NYC and nearby towns and cities in Essex, like Maplewood, Bloomfield, Irvington, East Orange etc

Try the classes

Note: I have no affiliation with or direct knowledge of any of these

This is in Roselle Park: Jeet Kune Do
And this is in Newark: Aikido

But based on this

The ability to use pressure points/joint locks, throwing, falling appropriately, striking, grappling, (basically most or all types of fighting, BUT it's okay if there are some things not included) and having a peaceful philosophical element is equally important. I want meditation and holistic medicine to be a part of what in learning. I want to have something for the whole self. Weapons would be great but not absolutely necessary if I can't get that. I'm not sure which martial art out of Shorinji Kempo, Aikido, Jeet Kune Do, or Kuk Sool Won would meet my needs closest. Again, I know I must visit because it is MY decision, but any input is going to be a major help because I'm still learning. My main focuses are to gain strength, agility, flexibility, balance, CONFIDENCE, self defense techniques that I can apply if I'm in danger, and a different or better approach to dealing with peace and conflict in life.

I am wondering if you are not expecting to much from a "martial art"

Also, if you see a Kosho Ryu Kempo school in your area, that too might be something you should check out
 

Buka

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Welcome to MartialTalk, Mesha. Hope you like it here. There's a lot of people with a lot of different experience. And I wish you well on your quest. (and your honest gumption, girl) :)

Consider doing some more of the Tai Chi. I hear it's quite good for the health. Just started it myself.

Keep us posted in your quest.
 

Charlemagne

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Hi Mesha,

In the area you live in you have a ton of options of great instruction so the key, in my view, is what do YOU want to get out of your training. Are you interested in self-defense, self-discovery, stress reduction, fitness, etc.? Once you really narrow down what you are after, that will help you a great deal.

I know of an excellent Jiu-Jitsu school there that a friend of mine who is a police officer in the area trains at. Home - Savarese BJJ He is currently a blue belt I believe.

The same guy is a high ranking black belt in Shorin Ryu Karate, and trains in the area (I can try to find out the exact place if you like).
 
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Soul.Con.Fusion

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Thank you so very much everyone for the warm welcome and information/resources! I really appreciate it! I will be visiting an Aikido dojo in Newark this week (THANK YOU Xue Sheng for the link!!!!!!!) and possibly a Shorinji Kempo dojo in NYC Sunday.
 
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Soul.Con.Fusion

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Also, if you see a Kosho Ryu Kempo school in your area, that too might be something you should check out[/QUOTE]

Thank you; I would like to know why you suggested Kosho Ryu Kempo? It seems very interesting and now I have another art to explore lol there are so many!
 
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Soul.Con.Fusion

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After doing a bit more research and video watching, I still have two visit a dojo. I'm actually more interested in "comparing" Jeet Kune Do and Shorinji Kempo... I've looked at Aikido and just felt it could offer more for what I was looking for, although the idea of using someone else's moves to cause them to fail is interesting.

Jeet Kune Do and SK are at the top of my list now. Does anyone have thoughts on these two, side by side? What are the similarities and differences? Does JDK have any philosophical elements? Does it include meditation and usage of pressure points and healing?
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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The Shorinji Kempo place may concentrate on meditation and healing, but the chances of that are very low. JKD, from what I know, doesn't. If you're looking at that, you will probably need to try an internal martial art.
 
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Soul.Con.Fusion

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Hmm, I'm definitely going to keep in mind your point that every place will differ in what is taught.

JKD looks appealing to me because it seems it is a mesh of different forms of fighting styles. In a way, just from my PoV after watching videos, it could seem more effective if ever in a situation where one needed to fight.

SK as well, but I know it all depends on your technique... I think.

So take away the meditation and healing and all of that stuff. I realized I could just do tai chi and meditatation on the side and having that stuff included in the art isn't *absolutely* necessary.

My goals are to gain confidence, strength, agility, balance, and be able to put a hurtin' on someone JUST IN CASE. So it's not an absolute priority... But I also want to be able to learn something meaningful from the art I'm studying
 

Xue Sheng

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After doing a bit more research and video watching, I still have two visit a dojo. I'm actually more interested in "comparing" Jeet Kune Do and Shorinji Kempo... I've looked at Aikido and just felt it could offer more for what I was looking for, although the idea of using someone else's moves to cause them to fail is interesting.

Jeet Kune Do and SK are at the top of my list now. Does anyone have thoughts on these two, side by side? What are the similarities and differences? Does JDK have any philosophical elements? Does it include meditation and usage of pressure points and healing?

I still think you are expecting to much from a martial art. But as to JKD, my minimal experience with it is that it is a very good martial art, but it is not one you expect a lot of meditation and healing from, as a matter of fact there was none in my limited experience. As for philosophical element. again, it is a martial art and its focus is to fight, if you want philosophy associated with it by Bruce Lee's books.
 
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Soul.Con.Fusion

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NEWARK, NEW JERSEY BRUCE LEE JEET KUNE DO Martial Arts instructor JKD

This might be close to you. I'm not familiar with this particular instructor, but he belongs to a good organization headed up by Paul Vunak, whom I have trained under here in Los Angeles.

Thank you, I just emailed them to see what the tuition and schedule was and to sit in with a class. Let me ask you, I read somewhere that a great MA instructor should be able to trace back the lineage of instructors. Do you know who Paul Vunak was trained by, and so forth? (If not, it's totally fine. Plus, feel free to tell me if I'm wrong about that statement haha.)
 
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Soul.Con.Fusion

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I still think you are expecting to much from a martial art. But as to JKD, my minimal experience with it is that it is a very good martial art, but it is not one you expect a lot of meditation and healing from, as a matter of fact there was none in my limited experience. As for philosophical element. again, it is a martial art and its focus is to fight, if you want philosophy associated with it by Bruce Lee's books.

You're right, I guess I was expecting a lot. You had mentioned before to look into Kosho Ryu Kempo; why is that?
 

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