T Nation

Complete Beginner, Looking for a Disciple

Hi Guys,
Looking to start a combat sport, I’m a beginner with no experience. Previous sports are Rugby and Rowing. I’m 5’7 and circa 164 lbs. I am initially drawn to wrestling, because; I study the Ancient Greeks and its a sport they invented, became more interested when Martin Rooney said in his recent article how it was part it was part of the ancient pentathlon, and I just think it is a cool sport.

There are few coaches in ireland and none close to where I live, is it easy to learn from a book? If so which book would be best?

But that’s just my initial interest, if there is an easier combat sport to start with I’m all ears.

Also, I was looking at getting one of Martin Rooney’s books, looked through ‘Warrior Cardio’ looks good but needs some equipment that I don’t have access to (prowler, sleds etc.) Has anyone used ‘Ultimate Warrior Workouts’ what’s it like? Did you find it useful?

Any help is appreciated, Thanks guys.

To be perfectly honest man, there are no legitimate martial arts or combat sports that can be reliably learned from books, or watching videos. Yes, those things can be good supplemental learning aids if you are already training under a qualified instructor, but they can’t replace one.

Generally, the most widely spread and reliably found options are (not in any specific order and availability will vary with location):
-judo (depends on the area I suppose, but still fairly widespread)
-wrestling (at least here in the states)
-Krav Maga (not really sport/competition based though)
-Muay Thai

I’d look around and see if you have any of those options available to you and then try out a few classes at a few different places (if you have more than one option) to see what you seem to enjoy best. Most places will let you do a couple trial classes (some even have trial weeks) to see if you like them before you are asked to sign any type of contracts (at least that’s the general business model over here).

The conditioning stuff though you can probably get away using books and/or videos online to help get you started. But, no, I’ve never specifically done Rooney’s conditioning stuff, so I can’t speak on it either way.

Good luck

Everything Sento said is true.

If you are looking for a grappling based sport you may have the most luck finding a Judo club. My impression is that they are more common in the UK than BJJ or wrestling. Boxing is also pretty damn “traditional”, although the modern form is vastly different.


Robert A

Solid stuff from the guys above. All I’d add is that the right sport for you is whichever you can train regularly, with the best available level of instruction.

Agree with LondonBoxer, the best sport is one near you that you’ll practice regularly. Quality instruction is next on the list. Realize that most combat sports have history behind them, even MMA could be related back to Greek pankration, where the only off limits move was biting.

You’re not going to pick up any fight sport well without a partner to practice against and a coach who can correct your mistakes. They can be the same person. Books will never hit you back, sprawl out of your double leg, or tell you that your feet are out of position.