T Nation

Looking for a New Martial Art


Hey guys,
I hope thats the right part of the forum, if not sorry bout that.
Like youve already read in the title Im looking for something new. My problem? Well… Im basically the definition of a ectomorphic bodytype - tall af but pretty thin.
Ive already tried out various types of sports (Im pretty good at running, started boxing about 2 years ago which made me faster, tried out a couple of armed and unarmed types of martial arts and so on…), tho I just dont seem to find the right one for me. Im looking for something thats relies on speed, precision and tactics instead of power since I feel like Ive kinda gotten to my limit there which made boxing pretty boring for me.
Could someone recommend me something there?


Welcome to our little corner of the boards. What are you hoping to get out of your training? Are you more interested in sporting competition, personal protection etc? Sounds like you’re more interested in striking than grappling? What is available where you live? What did you try? What did you like/dislike about what you did try?

As far as a MA that relies on speed, precision and tactics and favors a tall skinny guy with a big reach, it seems like you could do a lot worse than boxing really. You say boxing is boring for you as you feel you have maxed out on power. What about timing, distance, accuracy, footwork, evasiveness etc? Not trying to re-sell you on boxing. If you don’t want to, don’t. Just trying to narrow it down a bit.


hey, thanks for your response.
So far ive also tried fencing, stickbased fighting, something that heavily relied on grappling (cant remember the name tho, its been a while) and some freestylething that was basically a mixture of a lot of stuff. Most of those were atleast kinda fun, tho they werent what ive been looking for. I just didnt want to be limited to one weapon or just grapple (which was kinda boring imo) or have this pure but also kinda dumb aggression of freestylefighting.
At the end I just started boxing with some friends of mine to get in better shape and have some fun.
Im open for something that involves kicks, grappling or weapons, tho i dont want to do something that mainly consists of only one of those or isnt practical at all.
Oh, and since i live near and study in a big city weve got basically everything, so availability shouldnt be a problem at all.


Well, if you have access to a good RMA (reality-based martial arts)/combatives school that would be my suggestion. A good school will cover situational awareness, survival mentality, pre-contact strategies, avoidancce/evasion de-escalation, ambush response, stress inoculation, practical and inprovised weapons, striking, grappling, ground fighting, multiple assailants, legal/ethical/psychological considerations and will include at least some ‘live’ force on force training as well as at least a basic firearms component.

The problem is that ‘good’ RMA schools are not always easy to find. The discipline is not that well established and is something of a flavour of the moment (along with all things tacti-cool). As such there are plenty of bullshido types trying to cash in. Krav Maga is probably the most recognizable subset of RMA, but IMHO quality of Krav instruction is very hit or miss. Set your BS detector to high.

Sentoguy is a member on here who seems to be hooked into a very good network of RMA schools. If it’s of interest he may be able to help point you in a direction.


If you fancy something a little more traditional, you could look for a Kojukenbo school or a Japanese Jiu Jitsu style like Heike Ryu. There are some Karate schools that teach Kabuto as well. Any of these would incorporate striking, throws, grappling and various weapons training; although, I would say that kojukenbo is the most realistic IME.

Edit: What city do you live in?


Ok, thanks for your response, guess Ill check those out then
Ive been thinking about trying krav maga for a while too, so Ill propably start there
Atm Im living near Munich & some smaller citys (moved to germany to live and study there for a couple of years since Ive got some relatives there and studying here is only about 230€ per semester (about 200€ for public transportation)).
Im not planning on living here for the rest of my life, tho i started to love munich. There are lots of options to chose from for everything and it has none of those “shady” areas you dont want to be in at night.
Anyways, munich has a great variety of mas, thats for sure, and since i speak fluent german getting into a school is no problem for me


Don’t have any direct contacts in Munich at the moment, so can’t give any personal referrals.

Like Batman said, Krav has become big business and has splintered into several “factions,” some of which use less strict/ethical methods of selection for who will teach their method than others. As such you can find Krav instructors that are good, skilled teachers, and have useful experience to impart to their students; but you can also find Krav instructors who just took a weekend seminar, simply paid the money to get certified to teach, have minimal experience, no real combative skills, no real teaching skills, and therefore teach in ways which dishonestly “prepare” their students for the realities of combat.

If you decide to go with Krav, there are several questions that I would suggest asking the instructor:

  1. Who did they get their rank/certification from? (You should be able to fairly easily look up someone’s lineage and/or accomplishments)

  2. What generation student are they? Generations describe the instructor’s separation from the source of the system; for instance I am a Fourth Generation Masaaki Hatsumi student/Black Belt; Third Generation Bruce Lee student; Second Generation Joe Lewis, Bill Wallace (Black Belt), Luigi Mondelli Student; and First Generation Walt Lysak Jr and Richard Ryan student/Black Belt/Certified Instructor.

  3. How often do their spar/roll/engage in fully resisted situational training? You can’t learn to swim without getting in the pool, and likewise you need to actually start accruing experience dealing with people that are doing everything in their power [within some restrictions or limitations, and with appropriate safety gear, especially at the onset of training] to defeat you if you ever want to gain any kind of true combative skill.

  4. At what rank/level do students start engaging in “live” (see above) training? If the answer isn’t “immediately”/as soon as possible, then walk away. Unfortunately, in order to appeal to soccer moms, business execs, and other non serious students who are looking for the newest “workout trend” and/or to gain (unfortunately false, but they don’t know this) confidence in their “ability” to defend themselves without ever being truly challenged or exposed to the realities of combat, some Krav associations don’t introduce real/live training until the student has reached a certain/higher rank/level. This is likely because they realize that most people who start Martial Arts don’t last, and that the longer they can hide the realities of their skills from them, the longer they can protect their fragile egos and keep them coming back for more. Don’t get me wrong, some will stay even once real/love training is introduced, but they would have stuck around had it been there from the beginning and they are fewer in number.

Good luck.