Which martial arts is right for me?

Vespura

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I am not the biggest guy in the world, but not small. About 185 lbs, 5'10, mesomorphic body type. I am particularly interested in self defense for real life/street application, but also would prefer something that promotes self-discipline and confidence. I am also a highly spiritual person, and an art that promotes spirituality/inner peace/inner balance would also be preferable. I am looking for something that primarily focuses on hand-to-hand combat, but also teaches ground defense, and is useful against multiple attackers and attackers with weapons.

All suggestions welcome. :)
 
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Paul_D

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Try everything in your area, pick the one you enjoy the most, as if you enjoy it you are more likely to stick with it and therefore get good at it.

MA is only one very small part of SD though, most of it is non physical. Depending on where you are in the world I would recommend you take a look at either The Little Bkack Book of Violence by Lawrence A Kane and Kris Wilder, or Dead or Alive by Geoff Thompson. Despite their rather dramatic titles they will teach you the non physical side of SD which is equally, if not arguably more important.
 

Midnight-shadow

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As Paul_D says, try whatever is in your area. That said, you need to understand that there isn't a single Martial Art that will give you everything you are looking for. I can't think of a single Martial Art that:

1. promotes spirituality
2. teaches stand-up hand-to-hand combat
3. teaches ground fighting
4. teaches you to fight multiple opponents
5. teaches you how to use/defend against weapons
6. is self-defence orientated

Now, there are some arts that will touch on all of those aspects, but most of the time they will focus on just 1 of them, and use the rest as flavour. For example, in the style I practice (Southern White Crane), we focus mostly on stand-up hand-to-hand combat and although we do a bit of takedowns and ground fighting, we don't do them nearly as much or as well as your average BJJ club. So when you are looking around, try not to look for the art that does everything you want, as you will always be disappointed. Try out everything and see what you think will benefit you the most, and (more importantly) what you will enjoy the most.

Good luck and let us know what you decide to train in.
 

Charlemagne

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I agree with the above comments. There really isn't much that would cover all of that, except perhaps maybe certain styles of Silat. My suggestion would be to see what is in your area, if you have the time to explore more than one art to satisfy your needs, do so, and go from there. Perhaps leave the spirituality to Church, though I do find that working hard and gaining the confidence in my skills does help to promote "inner peace".

Where do you live?
 

Chris Parker

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I am not the biggest guy in the world, but not small. About 185 lbs, 5'10, mesomorphic body type. I am particularly interested in self defense for real life/street application, but also would prefer something that promotes self-discipline and confidence. I am also a highly spiritual person, and an art that promotes spirituality/inner peace/inner balance would also be preferable. I am looking for something that primarily focuses on hand-to-hand combat, but also teaches ground defense, and is useful against multiple attackers and attackers with weapons.

All suggestions welcome. :)

Where you are is an important factor.... there's no point us promoting or suggesting anything if you'd need to travel to the other side of the world for it...

As Paul_D says, try whatever is in your area. That said, you need to understand that there isn't a single Martial Art that will give you everything you are looking for. I can't think of a single Martial Art that:

1. promotes spirituality
2. teaches stand-up hand-to-hand combat
3. teaches ground fighting
4. teaches you to fight multiple opponents
5. teaches you how to use/defend against weapons
6. is self-defence orientated

Er... actually, I can think of one. Mine. That's pretty much a description of us. I'd say "personal development" rather than "spirituality", although that can be touched upon, and is present if you know where to look... the rest is, yeah, us. For the record.
 

Bill Mattocks

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I am not the biggest guy in the world, but not small. About 185 lbs, 5'10, mesomorphic body type. I am particularly interested in self defense for real life/street application, but also would prefer something that promotes self-discipline and confidence. I am also a highly spiritual person, and an art that promotes spirituality/inner peace/inner balance would also be preferable. I am looking for something that primarily focuses on hand-to-hand combat, but also teaches ground defense, and is useful against multiple attackers and attackers with weapons.

All suggestions welcome. :)

Make a list of local training facilities. Investigate them and their instructors. Go to them and watch a class or two. Consider your resources.

The best one is the reputable school which you like and will continue to train at.
 

drop bear

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MMA.

Learn some weapon disarms.

Ok. Better Explanation.

There are a few different ways you can approach MMA. Which will depend on how you train it.

An idea that might appeal is MMA is a community of different martial arts. This means that you can take the direction of your progression in to your own hands. While still having a a system to springboard off.

So if you want to incorporate specific ideas into MMA you can. In fact it is encouraged.
 
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MI_martialist

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I agree that you are limited to what is available to you. You need to see, experience, and feel what is happening there to make a decision.

For everyone...what makes hand to hand combat different from ground fighting?
 

drop bear

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I agree that you are limited to what is available to you. You need to see, experience, and feel what is happening there to make a decision.

For everyone...what makes hand to hand combat different from ground fighting?

Ground fighting would be a sub set of hand to hand.

But otherwise meh... I get what he means there. Punch, kick and grapple.
 

gpseymour

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I am not the biggest guy in the world, but not small. About 185 lbs, 5'10, mesomorphic body type. I am particularly interested in self defense for real life/street application, but also would prefer something that promotes self-discipline and confidence. I am also a highly spiritual person, and an art that promotes spirituality/inner peace/inner balance would also be preferable. I am looking for something that primarily focuses on hand-to-hand combat, but also teaches ground defense, and is useful against multiple attackers and attackers with weapons.

All suggestions welcome. :)
From a self-defense standpoint, I'll make some suggestions of what to look for. Ideally, I think you want something that has both grappling (standing and ground, preferably) and striking. You want to see some level of resistive training (people trying to stop each other from performing the techniques - sparring, etc.). I prefer places that train specifically for self-defense over competition schools in general, but there are definitely some competition schools I'd choose over some "self-defense" schools, since not all schools/instructors are equal.

Beyond that, it's a very personal and individual choice. Visit some schools. Watch some classes. I recommend at least watching one full class with both beginners and intermediate students. You should be able to tell the difference (even if you're inexperienced) - the intermediate students should look like they know what they are doing most of the time. Watch the instructor you'd be training under. You're looking for a class that looks interesting and/or fun to you, a school that is convenient to you, and an environment that seems inviting to you. Those will matter more than which art you choose.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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Ground fighting as a subset of hand to hand...then what does hand to hand mean?
Hand to hand is any fighting not including weapons. So grappling and striking or probably the two broadest/most recognized subsets of hand to hand.
But when the op said hand to hand I'm willing to bet he meant striking.
 

gpseymour

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Ground fighting as a subset of hand to hand...then what does hand to hand mean?
Hand to hand would - to me - mean any empty-handed (weaponless) fighting. For some, it may be synonymous with "grappling", which would include stand-up and ground grappling.

In either case, "ground fighting" is a term I've only ever heard used to refer to when both participants are on the ground (kneeling, sitting, lying down). That would leave out any hand-to-hand that has either person standing.
 

JowGaWolf

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I would recommend keeping your spirituality away from Martial Arts. If you want spirituality then find a religion that fits your needs. I've seen people try it get their spirituality from Martial Arts and it rarely turns out to be good. Like everything else, a person's spirituality has to have a good foundation. The other thing is that Martial Arts isn't for peace. You can find peace in the training, similar to how athletes find peace in their sports, but the actually use of Martial Arts as a self-defense is the opposite of peace.

If you want to learn how to fight against weapons then it's best to find a school that teaches weapons so that you can understand weapons, how someone may try to use it against you and the techniques that are required to deal with that weapon. A Filipino martial arts school would be my first choice because they would have more time training and defending against weapons and a kung fu school would be a close second because if you can find a good school then you can get some insight on the weapon.
 

drop bear

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I would recommend keeping your spirituality away from Martial Arts. If you want spirituality then find a religion that fits your needs. I've seen people try it get their spirituality from Martial Arts and it rarely turns out to be good. Like everything else, a person's spirituality has to have a good foundation. The other thing is that Martial Arts isn't for peace. You can find peace in the training, similar to how athletes find peace in their sports, but the actually use of Martial Arts as a self-defense is the opposite of peace.

If you want to learn how to fight against weapons then it's best to find a school that teaches weapons so that you can understand weapons, how someone may try to use it against you and the techniques that are required to deal with that weapon. A Filipino martial arts school would be my first choice because they would have more time training and defending against weapons and a kung fu school would be a close second because if you can find a good school then you can get some insight on the weapon.

Depends on what you consider spirituality. A lot of what you see is manufactured spirituality. As if some sort of ritural will just give it to you. Or that it comes with a belt or a pair of magic pants.

So here is some Nietsche to consider as I find martial arts gells very well with that kind of spiritual journey.


 

lklawson

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I am not the biggest guy in the world, but not small. About 185 lbs, 5'10, mesomorphic body type. I am particularly interested in self defense for real life/street application, but also would prefer something that promotes self-discipline and confidence. I am also a highly spiritual person, and an art that promotes spirituality/inner peace/inner balance would also be preferable. I am looking for something that primarily focuses on hand-to-hand combat, but also teaches ground defense, and is useful against multiple attackers and attackers with weapons.

All suggestions welcome. :)
If only there was some sort of Newbie's Guide to Martial Arts... ;)

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 

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