Trying to decide which style for beginner - Muay Thai or Kali

reinhart_menken

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Hiya,

New to this forum. Another style-choosing thread, I know. Bear with me, and please read the whole thing if you will. I have a lot of questions. I thank you in advance.

I'm mostly trying to decide between Muay Thai and Inosanto Kali. I've always wanted to learn martial arts since I was a kid, but never did (so it's not about because I saw this or that in a movie or something). I like the aspect in Muay Thai where it utilizes more then just your fists and feet, so it feels like you have more tools and are less limited (I mean, when you can't use your first, you've got your elbow, you can kick then you can use your knee); and it just feels like it delivers more powerful blows (from vids I've seen). As for Inosanto Kali, I like that the whole form/style encompasses sticks (so IRL - batons), knives, as well as empty hands, so that it's more versatile and you wouldn't need to learn from a separate form just to get hand-to-hand techniques. Plus it seems to be....just somewhat more applicable because in fights your opponents wouldn't just be unarmed. The impression I got from Kali was that it deals not only with how to attack with weapons but also how to block (like knives).

My concern is if Inosanto Kali would be....- I'm not sure of the right description at the moment, but you know how the common perception is that - if you're jack-of-all-trades, then you can't excel at all of them. Would Muay Thai, being that it focuses on empty hand only, have more to teach than Kali in the hand-to-hand area? (I personally view that if there's more technique, than it's better, so I guess my concern is if Kali would have significantly less techniques)

The reason I want to learn is because I feel that it's about time I go do something with my time, and it should be learning martial art. I've spent my previous college years (still in) just wasting away my time during classes and vacations. I've seen a lot of posts everywhere where when people are answering this question, they want to know the goal of an individual. I guess my goal is to be able to actually use it (not to go out and look for trouble), instead of going for 20 years and be a master. I mean, that's the reason why we want to learn things right, so we can actually do it? Plus, it's related to my future occupation (very much so), so there's an added incentive for me to learn it now than to wait for cross-agency/nation training or whatnot (however that works).

I hope I haven't left anything out.

Anyways, my main concern is that Kali seems more versatle, but I'm worried that if it has significantly less to teach in the empty hand area than compared to Muay Thai (just a little bit less, that's okay). Oh, and I know there are various forms of filipine martial arts (I mainly wanted to learn Eskrima at first, and then when I looked it up I found Inosanto Kali), but it seems that Inosanto Kali is more fitting for what I want - batons, knife techniques, hand-to-hand combat; but I don't know anything about other types of filipine martial art or if there's something better suited for what I want. So, if you have any suggestions as to forms, please do suggest.

Oh, and I found these two gyms:
http://www.pmajkd.com/html_muaythai_kickboxing.html
http://www.ultimategymny.com

It seems that the first one offers both styles. I'm a person who like to save time (life is short). I don't know if I can, realistically, with martial arts (pardon me if this just sounds really stupid); but should I even think about taking both at the first gym, since they're one-hour classes? (so I don't need to spend years on one, and then years on another, so I can just spend years on both, together) Or should I at least do one for a certain peroid of time? (if so, how long?)

Thanks for taking the time to read such a long post!

ps. I'm a college student who's very thin, 120 lbs (seems to be within the range of ideal body weight for my height though, so I'm not too underweight). But I do workout from time to time, and I've done jobs that require some lifting. So...- well I don't know if it matters.

ps2. I'm also concerned about half-**** hackjob instructors, as I know there are a lot of wannebes, and some even claim themselves as masters (I don't know if they actually teach). Some of those "instructors/masters" on TV which I've seen perform various "amazing/legendary feats/moves" just seem laughably fake to me (hopefully you know what I'm talking about). So, if anyone have any experience or heard good things about those two gyms...
 
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terryl965

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Well first off what I tell anybody is write down what you really want from training, after that go and list school with your specification. The next step is where people make the mistake take the time to visit each school watch some classes see if they would allow you to try the class and then sit sown and talk to each instructor after that take the tie again to list all the pro's and con's of each school and then pick the best one by your criteria and sign up and enjoy.
 

clfsean

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What Terry said.

Also FWIW... Kali isn't that bad or as "jack of all trades" as you perceive it to be. If you do with a weapon, you do with with your hand. You don't learn two different things because your hand is (un)loaded.
 
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reinhart_menken

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Thanks. Well, I don't really think Kali is bad (after all it's a form), I'm just wondering like...if it would be a bit less than Muay Thai - maybe not as many techniques or whatnot.

I did mention my goals and what I want in the OP, though I'm not sure if I have the correct impression of both forms, and if they're the right form for what I want or if there's an alternative form (like an alternative form of eskrima).

There are lot of other questions I have in the OP.
 

CMS

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Both are great martial arts. Muay Thai is a sport style, however, and if anything, has less techniques to learn than Kali's empty hand cirricula. But might be more exercise. It depends on what you want from studying martial arts. I've studied both, Kali is my preference, mainly because I'm older, have no desire to compete, and I find it more fun. Having more techniques, there are more "toys" to play with.
 
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reinhart_menken

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Easiest/simplest solution... go try both.

Try as in see if I can attend one class free? Or watch? How do these things usually work (in regards to checking out martial art gyms)?

Both are great martial arts. Muay Thai is a sport style, however, and if anything, has less techniques to learn than Kali's empty hand cirricula. But might be more exercise. It depends on what you want from studying martial arts. I've studied both, Kali is my preference, mainly because I'm older, have no desire to compete, and I find it more fun. Having more techniques, there are more "toys" to play with.

That sounds even better!

Well, the first gym I listed has both (maybe some of you miss my question), and both at different times, for one hour each. If I wanted, should I learn both, or should I wait a bit until I have a sense of martial art in general (so like....6 months, a year after starting in one form?)
 

theletch1

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Try as in see if I can attend one class free? Or watch? How do these things usually work (in regards to checking out martial art gyms)?



That sounds even better!

Well, the first gym I listed has both (maybe some of you miss my question), and both at different times, for one hour each. If I wanted, should I learn both, or should I wait a bit until I have a sense of martial art in general (so like....6 months, a year after starting in one form?)
Now you're asking about cross training in two seperate arts and that's a different question all together. I'm of the school that you should have a very good understanding of your primary art before you attempt to cross train...otherwise, you'll tend to screw yourself up on your primary by mixing in the other without fully understanding the primary art. Many would say study the primary until you've reached at least sho-dan and then you should understand one well enough to truly appreciate how the other can complement it. This goes especially for two very dissimilar arts like say, kenpo and aikido. It wouldn't be as big a stretch for kali and MT but still may screw you up a bit. My suggestion (and that's all it is) is to pick one or the other based on having tried out a few classes from both. Go with the one that really clicks for you as your primary. Get a true understanding of the primary and then move on to cross training.
 

clfsean

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Try as in see if I can attend one class free? Or watch? How do these things usually work (in regards to checking out martial art gyms)?

Ask 'em. Most places are pretty quick to let you know what the policy is.

That sounds even better!

Well, the first gym I listed has both (maybe some of you miss my question), and both at different times, for one hour each. If I wanted, should I learn both, or should I wait a bit until I have a sense of martial art in general (so like....6 months, a year after starting in one form?)

Um... no. You shouldn't train IMNSHO in anything but a singular art until you have a pretty complete understanding of it. Expect a couple of years on that. Pick one & go for it. MT may quicker to pick up, but is just as hard to "master" as anything else. Kali you won't pick up as fast as MT for argument sake, but the depth of Kali more makes up for the "lost time to invest" in the art.
 

arnisador

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Muay Thai is excellent for one-on-one, unarmed dueling. It's hard training but extremely effective.

Kali is excellent for encounters involving weapons--using them or having them used against you. It also includes empty hand. It's not a jack-of-all-trades thing--instead, a core set of movements is applied to a wuide vareity of situations.

I'm a Filipino martials art player so I am very favourable about the FMAs, but these are both good options. Visit them both!
 
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reinhart_menken

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Thanks theletch1 and clfsean! Those are precisely the things I needed to know.

And thanks arnisador! Those are some very helpful info on both forms for someone who doesn't know any. It's good to hear from people who've done it and are not teaching it, instead of the gyms or dojos telling you how good they are.
 

Tensei85

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That's great, congrats on your first steps into the Martial Arts! Its a life long achievement.
I would have to say you have some pretty solid advice on styles, but also another thing to look into is the Instructor him/her self.

How can they help you achieve your goals?
Their credentials:
If they are competent teachers that can relay and transmit the knowledge of their system to you in a constructive manner.

Each of these are based on the client perspective, as time goes by you will enter into a student/teacher relationship. Generally that's when the teacher begins to teach you the core of the system. Not that what he/she is teaching before was less or more. But as with anything it takes time to build the trust that the student won't go out and misrepresent the teacher.

So to make it short don't expect everything at once but at the same time keep a list (as you've done) of what you want out of it. And follow through with it.

That's pretty much it, good luck!
 
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reinhart_menken

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Thanks Tensei85,

That's the thing, I'm such a beginner that, having no background, a person could just whip out moves and I'd think he knows something about the art.

As far as credential goes...maybe it's an attitude from living in the cities (or watching too much TV, or whatever) - I tend to think anything could be claimed and faked =/ It's like a lot of commercials and ads, where they claim they have this certification and that approval and some other testimonial from some professionals (who you have to believe it a pro just based on their claiming to be), and a lot of them prolly don't even have whatever they claim to have, or whatever certifications they have are just standard stuff that people in the field don't even care about (since they're such a standardized stuff). In this area I'm mostly skeptical about claims of "oh I'm certified under what association, I trained under who" or other claimed affiliations, I don't know if that's real or if it even means anything.

For example, every Inosanto Kali place seem to say that they teach "Kali as 'taught' to us" by Dan Inosanto, I mean, how is it possible that he went everywhere?

Especially the smaller places (maybe my misconception) with kids there all the time, how do I know if someone's a real master or he just took some years of training and just started teaching? (a new piece of information I learned just researching is that just a black belt is technically good enough to teach, instead of higher degrees of it?)

Anyways, I'm thinking of checking out the Progressive Gym since it's a lot closer to me (should be 30 minutes, as opposed to an hour on another one) and I might actually know where it is. I asked the other gym (Ultimate) and they said they wouldn't reveal fees in email or on the phone, why is that? (I guess...they just want to avoid letting other gyms too conveniently know their fees?)

Fee is another big factor for me - not that I'm cheap, but as a student I just can't afford to shell out rent-equivalent fees per month (and I've heard of gyms that charge only 1xx monthly, though that one's further from me).
 
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Tensei85

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Thanks Tensei85,



As far as credential goes...maybe it's an attitude from living in the cities (or watching too much TV, or whatever) - I tend to think anything could be claimed and faked =/ It's like a lot of commercials and ads, where they claim they have this certification and that approval and some other testimonial from some professionals (who you have to believe it a pro just based on their claiming to be), and a lot of them prolly don't even have whatever they claim to have, or whatever certifications they have are just standard stuff that people in the field don't even care about (since they're such a standardized stuff). In this area I'm mostly skeptical about claims of "oh I'm certified under what association, I trained under who" or other claimed affiliations, I don't know if that's real or if it even means anything.

For example, every Inosanto Kali place seem to say that they teach "Kali as 'taught' to us" by Dan Inosanto, I mean, how is it possible that he went everywhere?

Especially the smaller places (maybe my misconception) with kids there all the time, how do I know if someone's a real master or he just took some years of training and just started teaching? (a new piece of information I learned just researching is that just a black belt is technically good enough to teach, instead of higher degrees of it?)

Anyways, I'm thinking of checking out the Progressive Gym since it's a lot closer to me (should be 30 minutes, as opposed to an hour on another one) and I might actually know where it is. I asked the other gym (Ultimate) and they said they wouldn't reveal fees in email or on the phone, why is that? (I guess...they just want to avoid letting other gyms too conveniently know their fees?)

Fee is another big factor for me - not that I'm cheap, but as a student I just can't afford to shell out rent-equivalent fees per month (and I've heard of gyms that charge only 1xx monthly, though that one's further from me).


Yea, I know that feeling. Man, its the economy. But hey what can you do? (lol), yea I've heard of a lot of gyms, schools in general not letting others know the fee's that are involved as a means to keep the competition out of there business.

As far as credentials, I would say if its a school that claims to teach Inosanto Kali then shoot a quick email to some of the other schools that are credentialed through Inosanto or even send one to Inosanto himself.

Your doing a great job! But from experience its best to do a little research before making a commitment, that way you know that your getting what your signed up to receive.

But personally with everything put aside, I would go with the closer gym as well. That way its more flexible and maybe you can spend more time training as well. Instead of commuting an hour out of your way.

Sorry, to ramble on. Best of luck!
 

Jenna

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Hey there :) Some great advice already. I am not an expert on either of your choices and but I was wondering about your point...
I guess my goal is to be able to actually use it (not to go out and look for trouble), instead of going for 20 years and be a master. I mean, that's the reason why we want to learn things right, so we can actually do it?
Since Muay Thai is primarily (thouh not exclusively) a competitive art and Inosanto's Kali a defensive weapons art (again not exclusively), there is quite a distinction in how you would "use" either art as they were intended to be used. If your focus is on how you will use the art, then I guess your choice depends on what you actually want to use the art for :)

Plus, it's related to my future occupation (very much so), so there's an added incentive for me to learn it now than to wait for cross-agency/nation training or whatnot (however that works).
I wonder what profession or line of work were you intending to enter? That may also have a bearing upon your choice, likewise, there is plenty of expertise here on the forum around various security and LE professions. Just a thought :)

Whatever you eventually choose, I am sure your diligent research will pay dividends and I wish you well with it :)
Yr most obdt hmble srvt,
Jenna
 

jks9199

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You're a student. Have you checked into programs that might be available for free or very low student activities fees at your school?

There is no best martial art. There are plenty of threads here that offer advice and guidance on assessing a school. The bottom line is that you have to go, look at them, and talk to them and finally decide for yourself. And if you're not getting what you want from training -- look elsewhere.
 
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reinhart_menken

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snip

As far as credentials, I would say if its a school that claims to teach Inosanto Kali then shoot a quick email to some of the other schools that are credentialed through Inosanto or even send one to Inosanto himself.

Your doing a great job! But from experience its best to do a little research before making a commitment, that way you know that your getting what your signed up to receive.

But personally with everything put aside, I would go with the closer gym as well. That way its more flexible and maybe you can spend more time training as well. Instead of commuting an hour out of your way.

Sorry, to ramble on. Best of luck!

Heya,

Thanks for the input! And no worries about the "rambling" (though I didn't think they were). I guess sending an email to Inosanto would be a good idea, though I'm not sure a figure like himself would have the time to reply. I'll nevertheless try though :)

snip

Since Muay Thai is primarily (thouh not exclusively) a competitive art and Inosanto's Kali a defensive weapons art (again not exclusively), there is quite a distinction in how you would "use" either art as they were intended to be used. If your focus is on how you will use the art, then I guess your choice depends on what you actually want to use the art for :)

I wonder what profession or line of work were you intending to enter? That may also have a bearing upon your choice, likewise, there is plenty of expertise here on the forum around various security and LE professions. Just a thought :)

Whatever you eventually choose, I am sure your diligent research will pay dividends and I wish you well with it :)
Yr most obdt hmble srvt,
Jenna

Well, martial art could be used for both defense and attack right. I'm intending on entering the army after finishing college, so...useful application in that particular field aside, being able to fight with the form I learn would be ideal. I mean, just in case. Plus, learning it just for learning's sake, it would still be nice to be able to "do it" (properly). I'm mostly learning just for learning's sake though (so...hobby?), instead of preparing for a career.

You're a student. Have you checked into programs that might be available for free or very low student activities fees at your school?

There is no best martial art. There are plenty of threads here that offer advice and guidance on assessing a school. The bottom line is that you have to go, look at them, and talk to them and finally decide for yourself. And if you're not getting what you want from training -- look elsewhere.

My school only have Judo and fencing clubs, and they are mostly held in the hours that I take classes. Matter of fact, I think the fencing club (or the judo) had so little members that they disbanded.

Of course, I know there aren't any best martial art. I'm just asking for more specific infos regarding Muay Thai and Inosanto Kali to better make an informed decision.

Does anyone have any idea which form takes a longer commitment to reach a black belt? My thinking is if one usually takes 3 years and another 5, then I can go with the 3 year one first so I can begin my secondary sooner (I mean, in the bigger picture it's the same amount of time, but at least I would feel the progress sooner and just a little more motivation)

I just happened to see an interview of Gina Carano today (didn't even know who she was until today) and she said she started fighting after 6 months of training in Muay Thai? I thought it takes years (maybe it was because she was training as a pro?) And wouldn't one need to be at least a black belt to fight?

Thanks for all the advices and inputs so far! They're really helpful for someone just starting (well, planning to start)!

Edit: I also saw in another beginner thread where the poster had learned Krav Maga, which I didn't even know were available for civilians (though I had read about the form before, and it sounded interesting); I thought maybe it was only taught during inter-nation trainings or something (I should have know everything that can be commercialize would be). Is Krav Maga a complete hand-to-hand system or does it only have techniques for specific situations? On wikipedia it says that it's not a set of techniques but more a philosophy, and yet on youtube I see clips of very specific techniques. Does it also train in just regular hand-to-hand with nothing-special situations?
 
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CanFightIt

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Muay Thai- is Thai Boxing. You can strike with fist, elbows, knees, and feet.

Mauy Thai is definitely the one of the "in" martial arts of the day, because it is so effective. More than likely you will find all three at the same gym. They all use the same training equipment. Right now I believe that an American style of Muay Thai has developed.

American Thai Boxing, is usually taught by a professional kick- boxer. He just incorporates the elbow and knee strikes. This style is so effective that some of the highest ranked Muay Thai fighters are from Western Countries.

My opinion of Muay Thai is very high. Also, I believe that the Western versions offer better defense, than the traditional.
 
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reinhart_menken

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Any info or advice on Krav Maga?

I called the Inosanto Academy in Cali to check out the credentials of the instructor at Progressive Martial Arts Academy, and got a call back that he's legit.

I also called them beforehand, and they said I could get a free trial of 30 minutes to talk with the instructor and get a little information (so....I guess it's not really a free trial just a conversation). They did tell me though, that the Kali lessons are mixed with Jeet Kune Do, and I'm not sure if I really want to learn a mixed. Is there any pro and cons to taking lessons that have mixed forms and not just the form I want?

I've also checked out other forums, and people said that the fee at the Progressive place is 200 per month for a contract for 6 months, and then you also have to pay extra for each lesson you go to. Sounds hefty and like a rip-off, though I don't know what the rates are for martial art lessons.

I've heard of Krav Maga lessons for around 3xx in some places in NY.
 

clfsean

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First ... why are you asking about schools in CA if you're in NY?

Second... the pricing is outrageous & looks to aimed at those with disposable income... or just stupid enough to drop that kind of $$$.

Third... exactly... what are you after?
 
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