Your advise please

Restraint

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First off I want to thank this community for such a great site and all of the helpful information that can be found here.Second, sorry for the large post but I am a complete rookie, and to be honest sometimes the deeper I get the more confused I get.Ok I am 39 years old. I am looking to martial arts as a means to keep my body AND mind from getting stuck in an office. I am out of shape. :) To increase my cardio I plan on running. I would like to find an art that is not heavly dependent on kicks. I think I would do fine with low defensive or control type kicks, but right now my leg will be nowhere near someones head unless they fall down. I am very interested in the "traditional" and traditions of martial arts. I believe from the reading I have done I would like to study the Chinese Arts. My long term goal would be to possibly study a "striking" type art then down the road possibly more of a "throw" or "wrestling" form. As of right now I am really thinking of taking Wing Chun, but that is also why I am here. If I am going to dedicate the time and money in studying, I would like to have a little comfort in knowing the school I have chosen is at least somewhat legit. I live in Columbus, Ohio and have read several post on the forums about local schools, but there are three I can not seem to find much information on. I would LOVE to have any feed back if you have experience with any of these instructors/schools or if you don't mind take a look and see if their lineage's ring a bell. There are a couple Akido schools in my area, I may head down that path if the Kung Fu schools do not pan out.I apologize if my ignorance of the arts screams in this post. I will continue to read here and hopefully in the next few months have started my journey with a school.Here are the schools I am looking at:The only Wing Chun school I can locate close to me- Dr. Wu's Institute-Wing Chun, Qi Gong, Pa Qua Chang, & Tai Chi Chuan http://drwumartialarts.com/institute.html. This school seems to offer a wide varity, thought I may be able to experience more here, Ho-I Kung-Fu & Tai Chi Academy http://www.mastermatt.com/index.htm. I have not researched this style to get an idea of the amount of kicking involved, but this school is very close to my house.Wah Lum Kung Fu & Tai Chi http://pickwahlum.com/template/index.php?page=aboutUs. If anyone is aware of schools I am missing, please let me know. I believe all of these schools offer a free session so I will most likely attend. Thanks for taking the time to read my post, and I would GREATLY appreciate your feed back, especially if you know anything of these school, as I am having a hard time with that decision.
 

Steve

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I don't know much about chinese martial arts, but I would encourage you to visit all three schools. If possible, take a class or two at each and then make a decision.

While I would recommend trying out several styles, to include styles you aren't sure you'd like, I also believe that the best style for you is the one you will keep training in.

Also, be honest with yourself about what you're interested in. If you're interested in fitness, take a good look at the guys training. If they don't look fit, that might not be... ahem... a good fit.

Good luck, and keep us posted. I'd like to hear where you decide to land.
 

David43515

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I`m originally from the Toledo area so although I don`t know any of the instructors personally, I do know a bit about one of them. Matt at Ho I Kung Fu is an excellent teacher and competitor and has a good solid reputation for traditional kung fu.

The Wah Lum group is run down in Florida by GM Chan Poi. He`s another great instructor from a big martial arts family back in China. I beleive his Uncle was the head instructor for the Chinese paratroopers for many years. If he says the guy in Columbus is good enough to teach and be on his demo team, he`s probably very good.

I`m not familiar with Dr. Wu`s group. But that in itself isn`t any kind of red flag. The only thing I might see as a drawback is that they`re the only ones in the US they know of teaching their substyle of Pa Kua Chang. So it might be difficult to compare them to other schools or continue training if you move out of the area.

All 3 seem to be very legit. (I know for sure the first one I mentioned is.) Most traditional Chinese styles aren`t going to have you kicking high anyway, or at least it`s not a requirement. I`d just say visit all three, and if one stands out because the location or pricing is convenient, or you like the instructor, that`d be the one to go with.
 

oaktree

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Hi
I will try to add my two sense.

The first school mention is Dr. Wu's school which I think is run by Steven Madafarri.
Dr. Wu has an impressive resume:
Doctor Fred Ming-An Wu, a student of Li Zhuang Fei 李狀飛 and Han Mu Xia 韓慕夏(both disciples of Gao Yisheng) taught Gao Bagua in Ohio.
Dr. Wu received private instruction with Sun Xi Kun 孫錫堃 in 1937 in Nanjing. Sun had been a student of Cheng Ting Hua’s eldest son, Cheng You Lung (Cheng Hai Ting). In 1940, Dr. Wu began studying with his second Ba Kua teacher, Li Zhuang Fei in Chongqing. Li Zhuang Fei was a student of Gao Yi Sheng and Han Mu Xia. Dr. Wu studied Guang Hua Mountain Ba Gua Zhang with Li Zhuang Fei from 1941 until 1946.
The Baguazhang is Cheng and Gao style pretty cool.
I have no idea what Taijiquan they teach but the website does not jump out as anything strong. Oh and Dr. Wu is from Guangzhou hmm I wonder where in Guangzhou he is from.

Second site.
I have no idea what 9th black sash 2nd grandmaster in Shaolin tiger system is. I think the Chang Taijiquan style comes from Ch’ang Tung Sheng who is famous for Shuai jiao.
I have no idea what temple Qigong is. Should say what type of Qigong like Ba duan jin or Longmen Nei gong or something.

I don't see to much of a problem learning Shuai Jiao but everything else being taught I would not train in.

Third site.
Wah Lum has a good reputation.

For me I think I would go with the first school but I practice Baguazhang, Taijiquan and Xingyiquan. and I like that the line comes from respectful line from the Gao style and Cheng style and through Guangzhou.

But visit all of them see what you are looking for each of the schools offer something different so one might be a better fit.
 
OP
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Restraint

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Thank you for your replies. I appreciate all of your input. I plan on visiting the schools over the nest couple weeks. I will post my experience as others in the Columbus area may find it useful.

Meanwhile, any other experiences or guidance is welcome.

Thanks all!!
 

Lion666

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You may want to give judo, wrestling or some other type of grappling training. Grappling takes much more then just strength, It takes a great deal of stamina and flexibility. All of which you will build up at any GOOD dojo or gym. From what you say about your problem with kick control it sounds like you have a bad balance issue. Judo can help with that due to it's way of manipulating the opponents body and momentum. This will greatly improve your own balance. I am a big guy as well and I find that for a lot of us it's simpler to start with grappling then working our way to striking.
Hope I helped and have a good one
 

OKenpo942

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American Kenpo might be along the lines of what you are looking for as well. It has some Chinese influence, but more importantly is not a kick heavy striking art. There are some schools in Ohio and one I read about in another thread that is in Columbus. This school is run by Andrew King who is a Sublevel Kenpo guy affiliated with Doc Chapel. There are others in the surrounding area that he posted as well, but they are a little further (45 min. - 1 hour away).

You can go over to Kenpotalk and look for the thread titled 'Kenpo schools in Ohio?' There is some info. on schools in your area.

Anyway, since you are in the trial stage of finding a school/art, you should give it a look too.

James
 

Zealot

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I agree, I have studied various forms over the years, and it seems that for the original poster, I would recommend American Kenpo. The style itself is dynamic and will help you get great fundamentals. I dont study the style myself but my 2 best students have come from Kenpo backgrounds. I love following their classes and watching their technique.
One piece of advice, is no matter what style you decide on, dont worry about how high you kick right off. Trust me, you will reach full extension through practice. No one expects a novice student to be jumping up for 9 foot high kicks.
 
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Restraint

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Well here is my first update. Again thanks for all of your input. I did do some research on Kenpo and I do agree it looks very appropriate for my current condition, seems to be a very practical martial art. The problem is all of the schools I can locate are a good distance from my house. With my current schedule, I almost feel guilty taking the time to start training. I want to be fair to myself, the instructor and other students at the facility I end up training at. As excited I may get about a style or school, if it is an impractical distance to travel, I fear it my fall to the wayside and I will have let down myself and others.

This leads me to the next part, my first experience or lack of experience with the first school. I had high hopes for the Wah Lum school, as it is about 15 min. from my house and seems to have a very legit lineage. I have sent a couple emails, left a couple phone messages, and they have not replied at all. Now I can drive to this school, but the lack of response is, in my opinion a poor practice for a business owner. Not a good first impression.

Oaktree I agree with you about Dr. Wu's he seems to also have a very proper clean, history. In fact after chatting with local practionars he had a great reputation. Yes I am to understand Steve Madafarri runs the school now, and was one of Dr. Wu's top students. This is where I will proabably look next.

Master Matt Mollica at the Ho I Kung Fu also has a good reputation in Columbus. My biggest concern here is what exactly he teaches. Most of what is on his site I can't seem to find any information on. It seems there are a lot of "adaptations" or "hybrid" arts out there and I need to decide for myself how important it is to me I stick with a traditional or pure martial art. I did track down where the "Shaolin Tiger System" is. I found this school in a town not far from me and I believe this is the systems origin or Master. http://www.shaolinirontiger.com/. Again I think this is a hybrid, and I cannot find much on Grandmaster Greenlee. Anyone have input on that one?

I also found a new one to check out I would love some opinions on.http://pataskalaninjutsu.webs.com/

I'll be honest it seems like to me the guys over at the Ninjistsu forums seem to be a tough crowd. :) Kinda admire the crowd for being so protective of their art. Well basically the gentalmen above earned his rank from Mr. Hayes in Dayton Ohio. From what I can tell that seems to be a plus. Then he also talks about studying for a good bit with Jizaikan Aiki-Ninjutsu, that once again from what I can tell, is a "adaptation" and does not seem to get rave reviews.

I still would like to study Wing Chun, and Dr. Wu's is my only choice for that. Wing Chun from what I have studied, "makes sence" in my mind. The stances, theories about striking, trapping, center lines, really seem clear in my mind. I really like the fluidness (not sure if that a word) of the Chinese arts. And man when I say this I MEAN NO DISRESPECT but the majority of Japanese and Korean arts seem blunt, almost choppy. I know they are VERY effective arts, just for some reason Kung Fu appeals to me more. So if my Kung Fu schools do not pan out I do like what I see from Ninjitsu or To Shin Do in this case (are they the same?) seems like a good mix of joint locks, striking, takedowns, etc.Sorry for the huge post.

I really love anyone's imput. Ha, this is a big decision, once I start I want to stick with it. I almost feel apprehensive about jumping in. Just want to get it right!!
 
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Restraint

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Alright.....I am not a big forum poster. Can someone tell me why I enter my post with paragraphs but when I post them it turns into a huge block of text? Wow that makes them hard to read! Sorry about that on the last post
 

Bob Hubbard

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Alright.....I am not a big forum poster. Can someone tell me why I enter my post with paragraphs but when I post them it turns into a huge block of text? Wow that makes them hard to read! Sorry about that on the last post

Are you entering them directly, or copy-pasting? What OS and browser are you using?
 
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Restraint

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Entered directly, copy/paste links to sites. I am using an IPad. Seems to only happen with Safari mobile. I edited that post (which was one big paragraph) with a different browser to put it back as intended, and it worked fine. Other browser allows you to identifiy as other browsers, such as Firefox, instead of Safari mobile. That seemed to take care of it.


Thanks!
 

pgsmith

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Now I can drive to this school, but the lack of response is, in my opinion a poor practice for a business owner. Not a good first impression.
The thing is that the vast majority of traditional martial arts schools are NOT businesses as such. Most of the instructors have regular jobs, and teach in the evenings. There could be a dozen reasons for not getting a response.

My take on on your hunt is that you seem to be doing a lot of looking, and not much doing. It's one thing to research a martial art and read about generalities. It is another thing entirely to go and experience the class. The single hardest thing about any martial art is going in to class regularly. Therefore, the most important thing you can do is to find a place that you really enjoy going to. Every dojo and martial art center is different, and will have a different feel to it. Every instructor will teach and train a bit differently. It is important to go and see if you like a particular place more than a particular art. A good instructor that you can connect with will keep you going much longer than a terrific art with a mediocre instructor.

Stop reading and wondering, and go see about watching some classes. Go watch a class at a number of different places and arts, then you'll have a better way of comparing your different training opportunities than the generalities that are all you'll get from reading about them.

That's my input on it, since you asked. :)
 
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