What style suits me?

DoubleZ711

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Well I am 17 years old, not in good shape, but I am still young, so getting into shape wouldn't be a problem. I am going to be going out on my own pretty soon, and I want to have the satisfaction of knowing that in the event of an unavoidable confrontation, I'll be able to protect myself and others around me. I have a 2-3 year background in boxing, and while it may not actually help in an eastern martial art, I do know the importance of self-discipline and technique. So here's what I am looking for. A martial art primarily focused on blocking/ parrying attacks and countering with a quick powerful strike, practically ending the fight as soon as it starts. Basically I would want to end a fight quickly, kind of like a cliche Bruce Lee type of thing I guess. I was thinking of kick boxing, but looking into the sport it doesn't really seem to be focused on defense as much as I would like. I would also like to learn how to thwart someone with a knife. One thing I need to note, I am not some kid who wants to be able to fight like his action movie idols or anything. I know that the best way to end a fight is to leave before it even starts, but sometimes that might not be possible.
 

terryl965

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Best thing to do is write down what you are looking for go dood to doof at dojo's watch and ask the instructors lots of question, go back home write down the pro's and con's and make a good decission. Best of Luck.
 

Bill Mattocks

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I know that the best way to end a fight is to leave before it even starts, but sometimes that might not be possible.

Well, you seem to have good intentions and a good grasp of the concept of self-defense.

A lot of 'it depends' here - and I'm not expert, so I'm probably not qualified to give expert advice.

But some general thoughts...

Consider where you live. Different areas of the US have different concentrations of styles, I've found. TKD, WC, and various Okinawan karate styles seem to be more prevalent in some areas than others. It always helps to have a place you can actually go nearby, as it increases the chances you'll actually keep going back.

Consider the background of the training center you're considering, including the teachers. Their background is something you may wish to consider, such as from whom they learned, what styles they learned, what advanced belts they were awarded and from what associations or schools. Some careful googling should help.

Consider checking out the local BBB for complaints. You never know.

Check out the dojo/kwoon/etc in person. Ask to observe a training session, and if you get a chance, ask if you can speak to a few of the students before or after training. Ask them what they think of the place, what they feel they've gotten out of it, how long they've been students, anything they wish they had been told before signing up, etc.

One of the things that usually gets me is when an instructor starts out by talking what I might expect in terms of belt level within a given period of time. I'm not saying this is bad, but it gives me visions of belt factories, and it tells me that the teacher thinks I'm primarily interested in getting a belt, instead of getting training. And although there is nothing wrong with contracts in general, I prefer not to sign one - or at least, to have the option of breaking the contract for a minimal fee if I attend for awhile and discover it just isn't for me.

Do some reasearch on the style in question. Most have short summaries on Wikipedia, etc. Each has distinctive traits that may or may not be to your liking or suit your particular body type.

Good luck with your search. It may take some time to find the right style for you - nothing wrong with trying different styles. But also remember that sometimes you just have to give a style some time to get used to it before you can fairly judge it. You have the benefit of time - relax and enjoy this.
 

LordOfWu

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All great replies, only thing I would add is to try them out. You aren't going to know if it's right after 3 or 4 classes, but you might find out if it's not right. If a school won't let you go through a free class or 3 (never heard of it, but you never know) probably not a place to stick around.
 

still learning

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Hello, I always believe in JUDO for everyone....

with Boxing background...go to any Kempo or kenpo classes and watch them....You will like what they do....may fill your requirments too!

Aloha,
 

Drac

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Whatever discipline you choose will be right for YOU...
 
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DoubleZ711

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One more thing, which type of style is best for a short guy? I forgot to mention that I am only 5'6 lol.... so i'm thinking a martial art with a heavy emphasis on kicking would not be good for me.
 

Raynac

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Im a shorty 5'5" bordering on 5'6"

I have Alot of advantages in ninjutsu.
 

bowser666

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Welcome ! I would look into Kung Fu ( Any style) or perhaps Krav Maga. If you are looking for convenient though then the place right near where you live is probably a good place to start and get your feet wet. Provided they provide quality training. Good luck in your decision and I am sure you will make the best choice.
 

blindsage

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In terms of what you are specifically looking for- blocking/parrying, countering with good striking, + possible knife defense- I would suggest looking for filipino stick fighting (arnis/escrims/kali), wing chun kung-fu, silat (indonesian style), hsing i (or xing yi), or krav maga. All of these provide the basics of what you're looking for in a relatively short amount of time, but are also quite different.

The school you are looking at could be pretty good, but it's hard to know without visiting it. I'm not a big fan of Okinawan karate personally, but a good ju-jitsu instructor will teach a lot of parries into joint-locks, holds, and throws, and if the taijitsu comes from a good teacher there can be good counters, entries, strikes, locks and throws. But a good instructor is hard to come by in most styles and of taijitsu, I think, this is particularly true. If you have an instructor that knows Taijiquan fighting applications well (very, very, very rare) then you can learn a lot of parries, entries, opponent control, take-downs, and throws, but it's unlikely you'll find someone who teaches that element of Taiji very well. Aikido is kind of the same. Lots of parries, joint locks, take-downs, opponent control, throws, but you need a really good instructor to learn the useful application of these techniques. If the person being demonstrated on by the instructor flies throught the air a lot when joint locks are being applied, smile, nod, and go somewhere else.
 

JadeDragon3

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May I recomend snake style kung fu. The strikes are fast and to vital areas such as eyes, throat, groin, etc... It's very effective in blocking and evading and is very deceptive when striking.
 

Bangis

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One more thing, which type of style is best for a short guy? I forgot to mention that I am only 5'6 lol.... so i'm thinking a martial art with a heavy emphasis on kicking would not be good for me.

I'm 5'6'' 127lbs. and study Muay Thai. Your boxing training will go great with it. The Thais are short too so i believe we fit in just fine!

good luck.
 
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You already said you weren't too interested in kick boxing because of the sporting aspect so that probably goes for MT as well (which is a shame because it is a good style). With a boxing background and looking at your check-list, I'd say an FMA or possibly Wing Chun. Boxing is great for striking, but FMA and Wing Chun will help you with bridging, weapons and some kicking. If you want to be an all-rounder, maybe look at some Judo or Jui-Jitsu, possibly even BJJ (though your check-list seems to be more in line with a stand up game).
 

irishwolf08

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Just like everyone else said, research!!! Research everything you possibly can.
If you want to focus on self defense, do Krav. You actually may like JKD as well. Do they have any schools like this in your area?
 

girlbug2

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I'll second Irishwolf08. Add to that the fact that a lot of the striking techniques in Krav Maga are taken directly from western style boxing, and you already have a great base to start from.
 
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