Which martial art would suit me best?

Cixi

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Hi!

New here, and new to martial arts. I’m having trouble choosing what art to study. I’m a short female (5’) who is very out of shape and overweight. I’m looking for physical and mental conditioning as well as self-defense, and not interested in a sport/competitive art. I’m a person with disabilities—legally blind and I don’t have great balance or physical strength. Taking all of this into account, what would be a suitable martial art to study? Which should I avoid?
 

drop bear

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Bjj or wrestling. Is your strength issue genetic? or just lack of activity.
 
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Cixi

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Bjj or wrestling. Is your strength issue genetic? or just lack of activity.

Lack of activity and mild cerebral palsy. I can walk, I just don't have a lot of strength in my muscles.
 

Martial D

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Hi!

New here, and new to martial arts. I’m having trouble choosing what art to study. I’m a short female (5’) who is very out of shape and overweight. I’m looking for physical and mental conditioning as well as self-defense, and not interested in a sport/competitive art. I’m a person with disabilities—legally blind and I don’t have great balance or physical strength. Taking all of this into account, what would be a suitable martial art to study? Which should I avoid?
Bjj is one where you literally don't need to see to be great.
 

dvcochran

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Most of the traditional martial arts like any derivative of karate, traditional Tae Kwon Do (not purely World Taekwondo which is sport only)or the Chinese arts. There are a few grappling arts which may work better with impaired eyesight since you start most drills with touching or holding your partner. It is impossible for anyone to say X is the best class for you, there are just too many variables. You likely will not get too deep into mental philosophy from the more modern arts. If this is very high on your list research the head instructor and see what their background is. More than a few have psychology degrees or similar. It is MUCH more important that you find a school that fits your need. Style is not highly important as long as it has what you are looking for.
I would not be overly concerned about your weight, that is part of why you want to do this right? If concerned, get checked out by your PCP and make sure it is safe for you to workout. That doesn't mean it will be easy, far from it. I would imagine the first several months may be rough. That is not meant as discouragement, but to help you prepare.
Most every reply here will encourage you to audit several different schools in your area, taking into consideration things like how does the class schedule work with the rest of your life schedule and how far away is the school. If the schedule conflicts with other more important things like taking care of family, etc... or is it is hard to get to class due to distance, that will add undue stress and likely lead to burnout.
Be patient and don't think the first school you workout at has to be THE one. See what your options are. Talk to other students and be honest about any concerns you have. Look and listen for red flags. Hopefully you will check back in when you have tried a class or two and share your experience with the forum. Possibly someone here will pick up on some things to be aware of or concerned about.
 

DocWard

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My first question is what schools do you have available to you? I would certainly suggest beginning with a discussion with your primary care provider, as dvcochran mentioned. In so doing, not knowing the specifics of cerebral palsy, I would ask whether participating in a stand-up type of art would aid your balance as well as your strength. Being legally blind is not, as I understand, the same as being blind. Is your vision good enough so that you can see techniques demonstrated so that you may learn them?
 

JR 137

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Forget about styles, find the right teacher. The organization I belong to’s headquarters dojo has a program for the blind. They do quite well because it’s headed by people who have some sort of expertise with that population. It’s Seido karate if you’re in the NYC area.

I wrestled from 3rd grade throughout high school and coached it for quite a while. I saw several blind wrestlers do quite well due to the nature of it and obviously their own determination. I’d imagine Judo and Brazilian jiujutsu would be very similar in this regard. I have no experience with either one though.

All that said, who’s running the show is going to determine your experience. Find a teacher rather than a style. Make a list of every school in the area and give them a call, or better yet stop in if you can. You don’t know who’s good at teaching people with your circumstances. They may also not be able to accommodate you well enough but know someone who can.
 

drop bear

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Lack of activity and mild cerebral palsy. I can walk, I just don't have a lot of strength in my muscles.

But you are not going to fold in half and die if someone sits on you?

And physical activity will make you stronger?

We have a guy with some sort of genetic thing doing the beej. He enjoys it
 

Rat

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I would just avoid striking based ones, but then i don't recall/know to what degree vision is effected to be legally blind. Try and find someone who goes through the non physical self defence skills. Obviously get a doctor check out and everything for exercising etc and maybe try to find a rehabilitation exercise program post getting checked out and all that.

You don't really need to see to grapple though.
 

Star Dragon

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Based on your description, I would recommend starting out in one of the internal Chinese art, in particular Taiji. Provided you train it often and consistently enough, this should gently get you into shape without overstraining. This art also has much to offer in the way of mental conditioning. Moreover, its partner drills emphasize tactile sensation rather than relying on one's eyes.

While many would not think of Taiji so much as a viable system of self-defense, it can in fact be devastatingly effective. But you would have to find an instructor that emphasizes Taiji's martial side. (Can give you some hints in what direction to look, if you wish.)

Once you have reached an intermediate or advanced level in Taiji, you will be prepared better for any of the more taxing arts. Even though I suspect you may like it so much that you will want to stick with it for the rest of your life! :)
 

CB Jones

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I third the Tai chi and will add maybe Aikido

Do you have any spasticity or tone problems?

I think Tai chi would actually help stretch out your muscles and building strength. Akido would teach you more how to use your attackers strength against them using feel.


Good luck....my oldest son has CP.....I am interested in how your training goes....hope you will keep us updated on your progress. :)
 

JR 137

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This week’s sign of the apocalypse:

KempoMaster805 recommends something OTHER THAN American Kempo.

What’s next, Jobo makes amends to all the overweight women in the world?
 

drop bear

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This week’s sign of the apocalypse:

KempoMaster805 recommends something OTHER THAN American Kempo.

What’s next, Jobo makes amends to all the overweight women in the world?

Do Aiki........

Nup can't do it.
 

jobo

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This week’s sign of the apocalypse:

KempoMaster805 recommends something OTHER THAN American Kempo.

What’s next, Jobo makes amends to all the overweight women in the world?
that's making me out as having gender bias, I'm equally scathing of obesity regardless of age, gender or sexual orintation.
 

Rat

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that's making me out as having gender bias, I'm equally scathing of obesity regardless of age, gender or sexual orintation.

But the heavier you are the easier it is to grapple. :p
 

jobo

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But women take it more personally :)
one of my favourites, is when I'm stood in the queue at a coffee shop and the women in front orders a SKINNY latt'e, always loudly and proudly like their announcing there self control to the world, I say equally loudly, il have a fatty latt'e please and stick a load of that whipped cream on as well, always get glared at
 

DocWard

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This week’s sign of the apocalypse:

KempoMaster805 recommends something OTHER THAN American Kempo.

What’s next, Jobo makes amends to all the overweight women in the world?

Note to self and others: Coffee doesn't feel so good when it comes out your nose.
 
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