What style would be best for me?

Nightowl76

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Hi all! I'm looking to start up martial arts and I was wondering if you all can help me with choosing what style will be best for me as a noob. A bit about myself. I'm a 40 year old man. I've been interested in martial arts for many years but never got to study like I've wanted to (I took some lessons here and there in my life but something always came up that made me have to stop).

There are a few things that has made me consider getting into martial arts on a regular basis as of late. Self defense (we live in a crazy world where attacks on people are happening all the time), getting in better shape (staying active while learning a useful skill instead of pumping weights or running on a tredmill).

I have some health problems to consider. My low back gives me pain from time to time from an old injury. I also take blood thinners for blood clots. And I deal with some wrist tendon pain but its not extreme.

So what style of martial art would you all recommend for me? Thanks!
 

frank raud

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Something that is close to your home or work so that you can attend regularly. Without knowing what is nearby to you, it is difficult to make a recommendation that would have any value to you. What arts are taught in your area?
 

gpseymour

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Hi all! I'm looking to start up martial arts and I was wondering if you all can help me with choosing what style will be best for me as a noob. A bit about myself. I'm a 40 year old man. I've been interested in martial arts for many years but never got to study like I've wanted to (I took some lessons here and there in my life but something always came up that made me have to stop).

There are a few things that has made me consider getting into martial arts on a regular basis as of late. Self defense (we live in a crazy world where attacks on people are happening all the time), getting in better shape (staying active while learning a useful skill instead of pumping weights or running on a tredmill).

I have some health problems to consider. My low back gives me pain from time to time from an old injury. I also take blood thinners for blood clots. And I deal with some wrist tendon pain but its not extreme.

So what style of martial art would you all recommend for me? Thanks!
I agree with Frank. There are reasons I might recommend one type of training over another, but there are two big factors that matter more than anything else: convenience (so you'll keep going) and it being interesting to you (so you'll keep going). Any decent training you keep going to will help in those areas.

Some food for thought while you're looking at your options:
  • Grappling will likely include some significant wrist strengthening and stretching, which may help that tendinitis in your wrist. Just be sure you don't overdo it, or you'll make it worse. Make sure the instructor knows about it, and eases you into that side.
  • The blood thinners may have some effects worth considering. Talk to your doctor about what you should expect (any dizziness from rolls, etc.?) and what to be careful about.
  • The lower back pain will likely diminish with activity, assuming good warm-ups and good body mechanics. Again, be sure to take it slow and give your back time to adapt. Go too fast, and you'll hate moving.
  • Almost any good training will be useful for self-defense. If you want to focus on that (rather than competition), then look for a place that focuses on that (this consideration should be distinctly secondary to convenience and your interest!).
  • Any activity will help with fitness. If you want to get significant exercise in during class, be sure to watch classes and see that they sweat a fair amount during most classes. The amount of sweat can vary from school to school. The way we learn, for example, beginners don't usually sweat much. Once they get good at their falls and rolls, the pace picks up.
Again, convenience and your enjoyment (even when it sucks) will matter most.
 

JR 137

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See what's in your area and narrow it down. Find the various schools that are accessible (location wise), fit your schedule and fit your budget. This should eliminate several places.

Visit the remaining schools. Who's teaching, how he/she's teaching, and who you're training alongside are usually far more important than styles. Don't get me wrong, you may see a TKD or BJJ school and immediately think that style is or isn't for you.

People get too hard it up on is one style better than another way too much, especially beginners. Let's suspend reality and say karate is better than Judo. Would you rather take karate from a mediocre teacher alongside a bunch of ninja turtle wannabes, or the less superior art of Judo taught by a very good teacher alongside a bunch of hardworking adults like you?

Pick a school, not a style. The more places you visit, the easier the choice will be.
 
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Nightowl76

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Thanks all!

The schools in my area offer bjj, muay thai, aikido, boxing and judo. All are different schools.
 

gpseymour

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Thanks all!

The schools in my area offer bjj, muay thai, aikido, boxing and judo. All are different schools.
All of those are reasonable possibilities. Visit them all and see if one clicks. If you want a description of the strengths of each style, there are folks here who can give you the generalities. The rest will depend upon the training methods used in the school, and the instructor(s) involved.
 

Buka

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Welcome to MartialTalk, Nightowl. Hope you like it here.

The boys are right. And if you're really serious about studying the arts, what you might want to do is spend a couple weeks and go to each place, several times each, and watch classes. (plural) Get a feel for what they do, how they do it, how they train, how the students are with each other. Watch what's being done in several classes as you gauge how it might go with your present physical ailments. Watch the instructors, all of them, the young ones, the older ones, the assistants.

Just going to watch one class isn't going to do it. Classes are often very different. Take home any literature (handouts) and look at the class schedules, how they fit with your schedule.

If you pick one, don't sign up for any long term anything. Just go and see how it works for you. If it doesn't, try one of the others you liked. You'll have the handouts - which you made notes on from your observations.

The way I look at it, if you don't have the time or patience to spend a couple weeks checking them all.....well, you know.

Good luck, bro, keep us posted.
 

pvols1979

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Hi all! I'm looking to start up martial arts and I was wondering if you all can help me with choosing what style will be best for me as a noob. A bit about myself. I'm a 40 year old man. I've been interested in martial arts for many years but never got to study like I've wanted to (I took some lessons here and there in my life but something always came up that made me have to stop).

There are a few things that has made me consider getting into martial arts on a regular basis as of late. Self defense (we live in a crazy world where attacks on people are happening all the time), getting in better shape (staying active while learning a useful skill instead of pumping weights or running on a tredmill).

I have some health problems to consider. My low back gives me pain from time to time from an old injury. I also take blood thinners for blood clots. And I deal with some wrist tendon pain but its not extreme.

So what style of martial art would you all recommend for me? Thanks!

NightOwl, I take Tang Soo Do. I have high blood pressure and I am on meds. I also have bad anxiety problems, which martial arts seems to help with in focus and breathing. I am 37 and I have been training for a little over two years. Regardless what you choose, just talk with your instructor and make sure he knows your medical issues. Most will work with you. But push yourself and find out what your real limits are. Don't back off more than you have to. Good luck.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

JP3

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Having been on blood thinners myself a while back, I very clearly remember my doc talking to me about things to avoid while on them. Very specifically, avoid anything that has any sor t of regular trauma to the head, i.e. boxing, tkd, Muay Thai, etc. as in all those head is the, or at least a, primary target for some pretty serious strikes.

The issue is bleeding, and it being slow to stop. everyone' vessels, particularly the very small ones, rupture from time to time, and the normal, healthy clotting function operates within what is a very fast window to literally block the leak, if you will. Things happen to our bodies all the time that cause micro-hemorrhages, but as they are "micro" the body takes them in course, fixes them in a couple of hours ((entire healing process, not the clotting time) and we go about our merry way. But... if you magnify the trauma you endure, e.g. regularly take shots to the head even if you're in headgear, you exponentially increase the forces to which you are subjecting the skull, and thus that blog of gray jelly in there. Mine's jelly, anyway. Yours may be different.

If your blood thinner decreases your clotting factor by 3x, let's say, then it takes 3x as long for a clot to form after a rupture. Which means thee blood flows for 3x as long, which means the clot size is 3x the size. Those things in your brain are not good for you, at all. His advice to me, which I mirror to you, are to avoid them.

I'd go, personally, based on a lot of personal history which would take way too long to list here, as checking out the judo and aikido schools in your area as everyone's said above. You'll find a "Place and people" you like and prefer, not a "style & school." That's natural, and it's actually preferable, as you'll stick with something to be around people you like, longer.
 
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Nightowl76

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The schools, and styles, that I'm most interested in are aikido, judo and bjj. At this point I think that its going to be one of those 3. I just have to decide which one.
 
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Nightowl76

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If all things are even, great teacher and school, is judo or bjj better for self defense? Also, which is harder on the body in training? Being 40 years old I do have to think about being careful when it comes to injury.
 

gpseymour

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If all things are even, great teacher and school, is judo or bjj better for self defense? Also, which is harder on the body in training? Being 40 years old I do have to think about being careful when it comes to injury.
The Judo is probably harder on the body. If the BJJ includes significant standing work and some self-defense focus (rather than pure competition), that would have an edge. However, I'd still go back to the common reply - go with the one that feels the best fit.
 
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Nightowl76

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Actually looking more at aikido online it seems it could really be a good choice. It seems very self defense based and the training does not look like it would kill a person every class. Am I correct on this?
 

gpseymour

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Actually looking more at aikido online it seems it could really be a good choice. It seems very self defense based and the training does not look like it would kill a person every class. Am I correct on this?
In general, falls aren't as bad as they look - good ukemi takes most of the dying out of them. That said, Most Aikido uses softer falls than the Judo. Some Aikido schools get far from practical application, so be sure to look for practicality and realistic attacks among advanced students if you want to have that self-defense focus for yourself.
 

adpatterson

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Hi all! I'm looking to start up martial arts and I was wondering if you all can help me with choosing what style will be best for me as a noob. A bit about myself. I'm a 40 year old man.
WELCOME, Ive done just the same thing you have. Having a great time researching and getting into the spirit of things. Lot of helpful people here. Have fun!

There are a few things that has made me consider getting into martial arts on a regular basis as of late. Self defense (we live in a crazy world where attacks on people are happening all the time), getting in better shape (staying active while learning a useful skill instead of pumping weights or running on a treadmill).
Aikido is one of my favorites from just a watching stand point. I did try it for about 8 sessions but the falls were often and hard for me. I am quite overweight so I think if I would drop weight the technique and rolls would become much better and less painful. Nevertheless I was rolling about 50-60 time per session and that was way too much for this old man. If you can handle the rolls go for it, it looks like a blast!

So what style of martial art would you all recommend for me? Thanks!
You said there was Muay Thai in your area? Ive watched a good bit of that. My kids took BJJ for two years and there was MT there. I will say, you will not lack for a good workout. That group would fog up the windows they were working out so hard, literally! Also the appeal for me would be the intense cardio, focus is on standing movements, and you can train with others without slowing their progression. Ive also been told when it comes to striking, that nothing can compare to MT. I think most MMAers have MT and BJJ as a must in their bag of tricks.
 

WaterGal

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Of the ones you've listed, I've only tried BJJ, which I started recently. Admittedly I'm in the beginner class, but so far we do very little falling. Most of the techniques start on the ground, and the ones that start from a stand either stay at a stand or the falling is very controlled because you're falling together.
 
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Dylan9d

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I'm a bit biased when it comes to style ;)

I would recommend something complete. So something that covers all ranges.

Age doesn't have anything to do with starting martial arts. One the guys that I'm teaching was 45 when he started. So you are never to old to start
 

gpseymour

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Age doesn't have anything to do with starting martial arts. One the guys that I'm teaching was 45 when he started. So you are never to old to start
Agreed. The last 4 students I started were all over 45.
 

marques

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The schools in my area offer bjj, muay thai, aikido, boxing and judo. All are different schools.
Good options. Now go and try all of them. :)
At your age (and without previous training) I would start by trying BJJ, Aikido or Judo. Boxing or Muay Thai tend to be more physical and to rely more on fitness (speed). On the other hand, there are less falls in these two ones... (Perhaps more falls in MT than in BJJ?) Try.
 

JP3

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Actually looking more at aikido online it seems it could really be a good choice. It seems very self defense based and the training does not look like it would kill a person every class. Am I correct on this?

Generally, I'd say yes. Aikido schools are as different as there are leaves on trees, so you still want to follow the above advice, and physically go and visit and watch class.

If Gerry is right about the BJJ school, and they DO have a stand-up game, which is not simply them standing up to start a roll session, but true stand-up strikes which lead into jujitsu techniques being applied defensively either standing or on the ground, go with that. The problem is, I've trained in quite a few BJJ gyms/schools, and None of them had any regular, organized curriculum arranged each class period for the stand-up portion. It was always an afterthought.

Which is OK, if you will never get engaged by more than one opponent, or attacker.

The problem with that is that most violent attacks in urban environments are multiples, i.e. 2, 3 people vs. 1, for the obvious reason that the force multiple works in favor of the multiple attackers, and therefor ethey accomplish their goal, whatever nefarious thing that may be, easier and with less risk to themselves.

One of the best tactics you can take against being attacked by a group, is to not get IN situations where you expose yourself to that, which seems obvious, but in practice may not be so.

My personal "thing" is aikido, backed by 20 years of judo now (and still going) and before that was TKD/hapkido with 5 years of Muay Thai. Of all of them, I actually think hat Judo, right out of the box, is the best, for relatively simple reasons.

In judo training, you regularly go full tilt with power against people who are doing likewise, so that aspect becomes "normal" rather than surprising. That is a Huge benefit if ever forced into a situation where you have to use it. In practice every day you move in, protect the head and body, grab the dude and throw them down. In the fight, you'd do the same thing, you move in, protect the head and body, grab the dude and throw them down. Same-same, so the body mechanics don't get racheted up, or down, they are the same.

I'm not saying that judo is the best self-defense art you can learn, I've no idea what that is... I am saying that it IS a straightforward one you can learn, relatively quickly, work on physical fitness, develop relationships with generally great people (no clue why judo people are typically very cool, easygoing, productive and smiling folks, but they are...) and as an added benefit if you ha to thorw a bad guy on his head and ruin his entire day, you can do that.
 

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