Which martial art should I choose?

Niphredil

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I'm fascinated by oriental philosophies and discipline, and I'd love to study a martial art where meditation and philosophy also plays an important role. I'm especially attracted to Japanese philosophies and martial arts.

While I find the philosophy and meditation important, I still want it to be like a sport; I want to learn kicks, punches and stuff that I could maybe use in an actual fight. Using some kind of a sword would also be cool, but it's not a must. Also, I don't just want to learn meaningless formalities, I'd like to gain actual speed, agility and skill that I could use outside of the trainings.

Also, I'm a girl, and I'm kind of weak (even for a girl) but I'm flexible and quick, so I'm looking for something that requires agility over physical strength.



Thank you for your answers in advance!
 

JohnEdward

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Learn Boxing and take a combative class for the fighting. For the Japanese culture, join a Japanese Buddhist temple, say Jodo Shinsu (popular) or get involve in the local Japanese community if there is one. If not find one. :)
 

frank raud

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What arts are taught close to you that you can choose from? No sense recommending an art you need to travel 8 hours and 3 states away from where you live.
 

Cyriacus

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Good Technique = Power.
You dont need to be tough.
Flexibility wont help you much.
Speed might be useful.

Various Forms of Karate would suit you fine.
Wing Chun would do the trick also.

If you did Karate, you could blend, say, Iaido (Swords) and... Shotokan (Randomly Chosen).
Or some blend.

Wing Chun is a bit hard to explain.


Wanting it to be "Like a Sport" and also "With Meditation/Philosophy" is a bit... Tricky.
This is were Karate might come in.
I know various Forms keep the Sport and Culture Seperate.
Shotokan. Isshin Ryu. Kyokushin. Kajukenbo. Kenpo. A few others.

Wing Chun is Chinese, and will give you everything but the Meditation (Unless its offered offhand, depending on the Lineage).
Karate can either be a Blend, or a Stand-Alone.
Ill leave it to you to look around at any Forms should you choose to.
 

Zealot

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A Japanese art with philosophy and sound martial training, I would recommend Aikido. It blends martial training with philosophy. Ninpo might be another one to look into. If you do go with Aikido, I would recommend the Tomikki method. I hope this helps a bit, but in the end its going to end up what speaks to your personal truth.
 

Pau Diaz

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I'm fascinated by oriental philosophies and discipline, and I'd love to study a martial art where meditation and philosophy also plays an important role. I'm especially attracted to Japanese philosophies and martial arts.

While I find the philosophy and meditation important, I still want it to be like a sport; I want to learn kicks, punches and stuff that I could maybe use in an actual fight. Using some kind of a sword would also be cool, but it's not a must. Also, I don't just want to learn meaningless formalities, I'd like to gain actual speed, agility and skill that I could use outside of the trainings.

Also, I'm a girl, and I'm kind of weak (even for a girl) but I'm flexible and quick, so I'm looking for something that requires agility over physical strength.



Thank you for your answers in advance!

I would recommend Hapido. It does not require great strength and blends striking, locks, holds and throws well.


If you seek balance of body and mind, I suggest Tai Chi.
 

punisher73

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What arts are taught close to you that you can choose from? No sense recommending an art you need to travel 8 hours and 3 states away from where you live.

Completely agree with this. Depending on your area you might have a very limited choice. If you do have choices, ask the instructor to visit and watch a class or try one and see which one matches what you are looking for.

As to the asian philosophy, you can always supplement that on your own and study those parts you want to.
 

Jenna

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I'm fascinated by oriental philosophies and discipline, and I'd love to study a martial art where meditation and philosophy also plays an important role. I'm especially attracted to Japanese philosophies and martial arts.

While I find the philosophy and meditation important, I still want it to be like a sport; I want to learn kicks, punches and stuff that I could maybe use in an actual fight. Using some kind of a sword would also be cool, but it's not a must. Also, I don't just want to learn meaningless formalities, I'd like to gain actual speed, agility and skill that I could use outside of the trainings.

Also, I'm a girl, and I'm kind of weak (even for a girl) but I'm flexible and quick, so I'm looking for something that requires agility over physical strength.



Thank you for your answers in advance!
I seldom recommend any particular art as this is a hugely subjective choice for you as an individual and but please look into Aikido as it contains all of the elements you are seeking or pm me if you prefer.
 

WCman1976

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I hate to blow the horn of the style I practice in, but wing chun would be a good one. So would judo or aikido, as they are two other styles that don't rely on force against force.
 

Instructor

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I also think Aikido would suite you. Hapkido is Korean but has some similarities so might work as well. Best of Luck!
 

ShotoKHAN

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This also all depends on where you live. One place where I was able to explore many martial arts without a huge investment was my community college. The CC I went to had BJJ, Karate, Akido, and Silat to choose from. I actually tried all of them, one semester at a time, for dirt cheap and no contract.
 

oftheherd1

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A Japanese art with philosophy and sound martial training, I would recommend Aikido. It blends martial training with philosophy. Ninpo might be another one to look into. If you do go with Aikido, I would recommend the Tomikki method. I hope this helps a bit, but in the end its going to end up what speaks to your personal truth.

I don't know the different styles of Aikido so I can't recommend one over another. However, based on your comments and questions, that sounds like a pretty good mix for you.

But I also agree with those who say it depends more on what you like when you study, and of course, what is available. If you accept that any particular suggestion you have received is likely a good fit, it makes no difference if it isn't available.

I would recommend Hapido. It does not require great strength and blends striking, locks, holds and throws well.


If you seek balance of body and mind, I suggest Tai Chi.

I can agree with the Hapkido part. It is the art I am belted in. I think if you find a good teacher and learn as it is intended, balance of mind and body will just sort of creep up on you. But that isn't going to be heavily forced on you. You should be given some basic learning in Gi, and how to acheive it, but will then probably be left alone to acheive it on your own. You will learn a lot of blocks, strikes, kicks, throws, and pressure points. As/if you progress, you will learn there is no place on your body you can be touched/attacked, that you don't have defenses against; standing, sitting, or on the ground.

It seems to me the philosophy is a little different from Aikido, in that it is in no way concerned what happens to the opponent, and often seeks to damage or destroy. From the little I know about Aikido, I think it is more likely to be willing to do things that are less damaging if possible (I stand to be corrected by Aikidoists). I don't know, but I think that is something, along with parts of the body that are touched, that turns a lot of women off to Hapkido.

Good luck in your search.
 

Zenjael

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Baguazhang requires no force on your part when it comes to combative situations. If you have a quick mind, you react instinctively, selecting the choice which will give least resistance, and you most control. Temper that with learning the power of the roundhouse kick, and I believe you might find yourself with the most harmonic style for you.

Or you could do karate and punch a lot, punching's sweet.
 

brownie710

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I'm a newbie myself but I can say the easiest way to begin is what others have suggested, find out what schools are within acceptable driving distance. This will narrow down your choices and from there visit the schools and/or check the websites of the school. The instructors should be able to answer your questions about if the school meets your needs or make suggestions if their school doesn't. Good Luck!
 

lifespantkd

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Taekwondo is my art, so I'm naturally biased in its favor. But, my very positive experience with it doesn't mean that everyone finds it a good match for them. Personally exploring your options by visiting the martial art schools available in your area and taking advantage of any opportunities to observe and/or participate in classes for free and/or talk with their instructors and students will tell you a great deal. Depending on which schools are near you and on the opportunities they offer for free introductory classes, such a "tour" will give you personal experience with a variety of martial arts and also with how different schools approach a martial art by the same name (i.e., the nature of instruction in three different schools that all teach Taekwondo might be very similar or very different). Even if you don't like a particular school's approach to an art, checking out another school of the same art is advisable, given the great variation that often exists among schools. You could even spend the next few months just taking advantage of free offers. Who knows? You might find something that you love to do that you didn't consider in the beginning of your exploration!

Best wishes,

Cynthia
 

Argus

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I think Judo would be a very good choice if you're looking for a Japanese Martial art with a sporting element. Aikido and Iaido are also good choices if you are interested in philosophy, and practicing form and meditation. I'm not aware of much sporting element in either of those, however.

I personally enjoy Wing Chun due to it's lack of "sport," and very realistic approach to combat. It's also excellent for people of small build who aren't particularly strong, which is another reason I enjoy it. The same can be said of Aikido and Iaido, in that respect.

If you enjoy the culture, I also strongly recommend learning the language. Language and culture cannot be separated, and you will have a much better appreciation for an art or philosophy if you know the language and culture from which it originated. I began studying Japanese six years ago, and it's certainly been one of the most rewarding endeavors to gain an inside perspective on a culture and language that was once "foreign" and became very familiar. It's also very rewarding to be able to speak to people fluently in their own language, relate to them, and make friends with people who you otherwise wouldn't have been able to communicate much with.

Explore everything, and delve deeply into what you enjoy.



EDIT: I just realized that I responded to a 6 month old thread... Again.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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I would recommend Hapido. It does not require great strength and blends striking, locks, holds and throws well.


If you seek balance of body and mind, I suggest Tai Chi.
Same suggestion with the Tai Chi, but owuld also recommend, if no hapkido places near you, either aikido or wing chun
 

billc

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So what if it is an old thread. They may have something to add to it today, or perhaps they first noticed it today. Other people may just be checking out the thread and find some value in their new contribution. The thread police are everywhere...
 
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