What style?

Greb0603

White Belt
Joined
Dec 10, 2008
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
Hello All

I am new to Martial Talk and I have a query. My mate has called me from a new town that he has move to and has asked my advice on martial arts.

I wants to have a go but doesnt know what to try. His choices are Shotokan Karate and WTF Taekwon-Do. He has visited them both and likes them in equal measure, both schools are into self defence as opposed to sport, which is what he wants.

Problem is he wants a style to stay with but he is 40 and although fairly flexible he has a dodgy knee after a motorbike accident last year.

Its not a case of one style being better than the other, its case of what would be better for him long term.

How should I advise him??
 

ljdevo

White Belt
Joined
Dec 9, 2008
Messages
16
Reaction score
1
Shotokan yeah, bad knee ad TKD could result in misery me thinks
 

Grenadier

Sr. Grandmaster
Lifetime Supporting Member
MTS Alumni
Joined
Mar 18, 2005
Messages
10,826
Reaction score
617
Another nudge for the Shotokan school...

Shotokan Karate typically doesn't use many high kicks. They focus more on lower stances, but this isn't too hard on the knee, as long as the muscles are doing the work, and not the joint (correct mechanics).
 

dancingalone

Grandmaster
Joined
Nov 7, 2007
Messages
5,322
Reaction score
281
There is such a term as "shotokan knees", so I don't think picking karate over TKD is a no-brainer. Frankly you can injure yourself with any martial art, tai chi included. Heck, I've strained my leg muscles doing yoga!

The key is to know your body and only push yourself as far as you can safely go that day. Some days you will feel stronger and more flexible than other days.

I think your friend should pick his martial art based on which school offers the better teacher in his opinion. Good teachers know when you are trying as hard as you can and will not be callous to your friend's physical constraints.
 

Flying Crane

Sr. Grandmaster
Joined
Sep 21, 2005
Messages
15,262
Reaction score
4,973
Location
San Francisco
Go with whatever one he likes best. A good instructor in either art should be able to help him work around his knee problem. Since both schools focus on self defense and not sport, he might actually find them to be pretty similar.
 

shihansmurf

Black Belt
Joined
Dec 10, 2007
Messages
685
Reaction score
104
Location
Casper, Wyoming
As a related question, how similar are the kata in the two systems?

I know that Tang Soo Do and Shotokan have several kata that are nearly interchangeable, and I was under the impression that at some point TKD used Kata (patterns or hyungs?, is that the term?) that were essentially the same.I have spent quite a bit of time sparring and judging with the ITF guys at open tourneys and such and had limited exposure to the ATA (shared a building, not a good experience, but I chalk it up to that one school/techer)but that is about the extent of my contact with the Korean systems. If they were close to the same, or essentially were, then why the change to the ITF style forms? Politics? This is, if as I assume, the ITF is doing newer forms.

As to the op.

In the interest of disclosure, I am a shotokan blackbelt. I don't, however, have a vested interest in where your friend trains so take my advice with as much salt as needed.

There has bees some great adice dispensed in this thread but I gonna have to point out a couple of comments.

dancingalon is dead on with the reference to "shotokan knees". The killer is the front stance. it puts about 70% of the body weight over the front leg with the leg bent at about 45 degrees. You spend a lot of time in this. You should'nt, for a host of reasons that are outside of the scope of this post, but you so. Shotokan uses a lot of low, deep stances, that look very pretty, and while they, in theory, strengthen the leg, they are hard on the knees.
As long as your buddy trains intelligently , pays attention to what his body is telling him, keeps thing in perspective, and takes care of the small injuries that will arise and giveself proper recovery time to heal for a man of his age ( this is a concern with aging athletes, an issue we see in the Army with an interestine frequency, its hard to admit that you don't really head up at 35, or 40 the way you did at 18, or 20. The funny part is that you'll hear guys talk and joke about it almost as a badge of honor untill it actually come time to really swallow their pride and not do as many push ups at PT, or hump as far on the ruck march) and ultimatley it won't matter what school he joins.

Flying Crane Well said. Sometime we seem to overlook the simple fact that when all is said and done there is nothing wrong with making a choice based on the criteria of simply liking something best.

Mark
 

Sukerkin

Have the courage to speak softly
MT Mentor
Lifetime Supporting Member
MTS Alumni
Joined
Sep 15, 2006
Messages
15,325
Reaction score
493
Location
Staffordshire, England
I'd concur with the votes for Shotokan too.

The stances do not have to be taken to extremes to be effective in self-defence applications and with a sensei both knowing of a 'problem' knee and commited to practicality there really should be nothing to stop your friend developing and enjoying karate.

If it wasn't for the fact that you state the town has none available, I'd also suggest a Kung Fu style, such as the Lau Gar I trained in for more than a decade. I had to stop because of a motorbike accident that essentially wrecked my right arm but a damaged knee would not present the same problems perhaps.

Likewise for the sword arts. I've been training in iaido for a while now and hold my nidan (second degree black belt) and it has been invaluable in helping me with both the strength in my (badly) reconstructed arm and in nullifying the constant pain I used to have from it.
 

arnisador

Sr. Grandmaster
MTS Alumni
Joined
Aug 28, 2001
Messages
44,573
Reaction score
456
Location
Terre Haute, IN
I'd agree that with a bad knee the risk is less (but not zero) in Shotokan. Of course, TKD is typically better for sport!
 

Sylo

Purple Belt
Joined
Sep 2, 2008
Messages
337
Reaction score
11
Hello All

I am new to Martial Talk and I have a query. My mate has called me from a new town that he has move to and has asked my advice on martial arts.

I wants to have a go but doesnt know what to try. His choices are Shotokan Karate and WTF Taekwon-Do. He has visited them both and likes them in equal measure, both schools are into self defence as opposed to sport, which is what he wants.

Problem is he wants a style to stay with but he is 40 and although fairly flexible he has a dodgy knee after a motorbike accident last year.

Its not a case of one style being better than the other, its case of what would be better for him long term.

How should I advise him??

Honestly. Its just a matter of preference. Shotokan would obviously go alot easier on his knee than TKD will, but my TKD class has people who are about 60 years old in it, and they do just fine. Its all about what you enjoy. I'd advise just trying out both, and then making a choice from there. Shotokan and TKD are pretty different in terms of the patterns and the way you do things. I prefer TKD because I like to move fast, and I enjoy kicking more than hand techniques. Its just a personal preference. If both schools are self defense oriented.. just go with the one you like best. The best instructors, nicer students, etc. Alot more to choose by than just style alone.
 

Guardian

Black Belt
Joined
Nov 11, 2007
Messages
635
Reaction score
23
Location
Wichita Falls, Texas
Hello All

I am new to Martial Talk and I have a query. My mate has called me from a new town that he has move to and has asked my advice on martial arts.

I wants to have a go but doesnt know what to try. His choices are Shotokan Karate and WTF Taekwon-Do. He has visited them both and likes them in equal measure, both schools are into self defence as opposed to sport, which is what he wants.

Problem is he wants a style to stay with but he is 40 and although fairly flexible he has a dodgy knee after a motorbike accident last year.

Its not a case of one style being better than the other, its case of what would be better for him long term.

How should I advise him??

Correct me if I'm wrong here, but isn't the WTF TKD mostly the sports side of TKD? I guess it would depend on the instructors teaching of it. But if it is, then Shotokan is the best alternative in that case with the knee problem.
 

Sylo

Purple Belt
Joined
Sep 2, 2008
Messages
337
Reaction score
11
Correct me if I'm wrong here, but isn't the WTF TKD mostly the sports side of TKD? I guess it would depend on the instructors teaching of it. But if it is, then Shotokan is the best alternative in that case with the knee problem.

WTF can be sport oriented. It isn't always. Some schools teach both.

I'm ITF and we are totally self defense.

I've seen WTF schools that are total self defense as well.

The olympics gives the bad name that all WTF schools are like this.

ATA would be a better comparison to this, as I don't know 1 that is self defense based. Everyone I have ever seen, was all about showmanship.
 

jkallend

White Belt
Joined
Dec 17, 2008
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
My opinion for almost any one is learn a style that is intrest. STudy and look around. I think the grappling arts are by far the most powerfull. I have done Karate and Tai kwon-do, i also did boxing for sevral years but none of them teach you how to fight klike grappling. But i do beleive a good understanding and skill level of stricking is very usefull. There are also many good self defnse techniques taught in these styles, however grappling teachers you to improvise in any given situiation. By understanding the principle of how the body works (which grappling basicly tries to manipulate) you can work out how to best re-act to any givin situation. I dont mean to sound pro garppling and anti-anything else, i think for full mastery of self defense grappling is vital tool to have on your side.

Anyway just a suggestion.
 

CDKJudoka

Purple Belt
Joined
Dec 18, 2008
Messages
346
Reaction score
13
Location
Hicksville, NY
Shotokan definitely. I have been doing TKD for almost 20 years now, and my kness are starting to feel it, so if he has knee issues to start with, Shotokan is teh way to go.
 

Latest Discussions

Top