T Nation

martial arts info

I have noticed that there is a large amount of martial arts practitioners on this forum and I have a question to pose.I am looking to start practicing one and would like some advice on what to choose.I am lokking for one that contains the aspects of balance and flexibility,and harmony, but also has a good carryover for practical use in matters of self-defense.So far, I have found three different styles around me within a reasonable driving distance tae kwan do,hapkido,and aikido.I know a little about tae kwan do and from what I have seen it seems to me like it is more show than go insofar as practical usage.The other two I know nothing about.Any suggestions provided would be greatly appreciated.

Best thing to do is to go to the different MA schools in your area and observe the different classes. A good school will allow you to do this. Ask questions. While you will hear the usual “MY form is the best…” type of jargon, even here on the forum. In the end, it’s all dependent upon what your needs are, and what you want to learn and how comfortable you are with the MA school you decide on.

First, none of the styles you mentioned are really effective, and there will be a slew of people who are going to tell you this in other posts. That being said, is effectiveness an important consideraiton to you? If it is then I would reccomend a hybrid style (mixed martial arts/ no holds barred style), that incorporates grappling (wrestling/jiu jitsu), kickboxing (preferably Muy Thai), and western boxing. If the three you mentioned are your only choices, I would probably go with the Hapkido, as it is a combination of the other two you mentioned, and would give you some punching/kicking and grappling/ submission experience.

I wouldn’t practice any of those arts. Tkd is good if you are just interested in competing in a sport. Hapkido is mainly TKD but with stand up grappling and aikido is mainly stand up grappling but as far as I know the techniques only work with willing opponents.

If you have a college near by then go learn wrestling. Boxing would be good as well. Boxing gyms are usually everywhere and relatively cheaper to train at.

I would say forget TKD. I studied it for 2 years when I was younger, and found that it has little practical application. For one on one fighting applications, a combo of Boxing/Kickboxing and some sort of grappling style (BJJ etc.) is probably best. While probably not the most effective style, my personal favourite is Kyokushin Karate. It is a very hard style, and when you train with a real Kyokushin practitioner, you will know about it. Puke on the floor was a common sight in our dojo. Also, that fact that you are continually sparring in Kyokushin teaches you very quickly your strengths and weaknesses, and to control your fears. (My first experience of my psychotic Sensei chasing me around the dojo with a Bokken taught me how to deal with fear and intimidation!) When I get older, and my body cannot handle the punishment anymore, I intend to turn to Aikido, a much softer style. I don’t have a decent Kyokushin dojo near me at the moment (In Amsterdam), so I am currently looking for a boxing club to join. I find that kickboxing schools in general tend to be full of egomaniacs. Sorry if I offended anyone.

Yep, here goes my predictable response, similar to KO’s. Boxing, wrestling (folk, freestyle, greco), Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, and the seamless blending of the four have kind of emerged as the superior styles. If you don’t have ANY of those option available, then go ahead and try some of the ones you mentioned, as they will make you a little more athletic, but they’re not effective.

Bruce lee recomended that someone take at least one year of boxing, one year of wrestling, then one year of fencing before even bothering starting in to martial art (modifyed wing chun).

makes ya think

Oh yeah, I start boxing on Monday. And agree with the others who have mentioned it here: why not boxing?

Thanks for the advice y’all,I’ll keep looking and see if I can find some of those around me.Boxing is good as I have done a little bit of it, and regularly work out on the bag.The real world application is not the most important thing for me as I don’t routinely get into fights or look for them.I am more taken with the art, but don’t want something so soft that it has very little of the martial, so to speak.

Have you looked into Ninjutsu? These schools are hard to come by, but if you can find one, definitely look into it. The art is based on very natural body movements, and is very effective as far as self-defense.

Don’t join a ninjitsu school. I really doubt you will find one that is any good

TKD was not very effective for me, it seemed to be overly rigid. I’m sure it’s the right style for the right person, so no offense to anyone.
I think that boxing/kickboxing combined with some form of groundfighting would be the most effective.
None of the styles mentioned could be considered “negative” they all have something to offer. Just stay away from any teachers with a “god complex”
And if nothing else, try some old time hockey- nobody messes with Domi!

Another predictable response, Muay thai, BJJ, boxing and wrestling are all great.
I’ve noticed there are some natural punchers, natural grapplers, natural kickers and such so if you do well in one area pick something that will nurture that. Also, pick instructors or schools over styles. Focus on one thing at a time and get a weapon, like a really solid leg kick or a great take down. Once you do that just add some other skills and cross train. I train with a BJJ club but we all get help from Muay Thai, boxers and wrestlers, the best thing about the school is the atmosphere, everyone tries to make everyone else better, it’s all about the team. This is the type of place you want to go.

I just started with Muay Thai recently. I was also interested in getting into BJJ. Would you guys recommend focusing on the Muay Thai for a while, then start cross training with the BJJ, or just cross train both from the start?

I’ve been looking here in Houston and so far I have had no luck with most of what was mentioned,It seems like you can’t throw a rock without hitting a TKD school, or cardio kickboxing, although I am pretty sure that is not what y’all are talking about.Actually, since I am in Houston I’ll just go over to George Foreman’s house and diss his lean.mean grilling machine until he comes out and beats the hell out of me,I’ll just do this every day, or everyday after I get out of the hospital until I learn how to box him back.Oh well back to the drawing board,I think I have had to much caffeine tonight,Thanks again everyone for all the input.

Your could probably study both if you weren’t lifting, but as you are on this website, you probably are. I believe that you should really be training your martial arts three times a week. (If you want to progress quickly in the sport.) If you were studying two styles at two different schools, you would probably have to make this five times per week for both. On top of your lifting, I think that this will lead to overtraining. Try a mixed martial art school that incorporates grappling and kickboxing three times a week, and you should then be able to add your lifting inbetween.

Heres a link to a list of Houston schools, I have no idea how up to date it is or which schools are good, but it’s a start.

www.txmma.com/ modules.php?op=modload&name=Web_Links&file= index&l_op=viewlink&cid=6 (delete space)

You’re right, I probably would be overtrained if I tried to progress quickly in both since I lift 4 days a week. I’ll just stick with the Muay Thai for now, since I’m really enjoying it. The school also offers BJJ classes, so I’ll start working on that later when I’m somewhat solid with the Muay Thai.

Thanks for the link ko.So far I haven’t found much on the web or in the yellow pages.

I studied Hapkido for a while, and it seemed quite comprehensive to me. There was plenty of grappling work, and we did a mix of standing and on the ground. Basically it wss a mix of judo and Aikido with punching and kicking in addition.

But honestly I think most of your success is going to depend on the quality of your instructor.