Martial Arts Suggestions

Military training. . . The AirForce doesn’t do H2H in their basic training. I don’t know if they offer it otherwise, but the AF bubbas in flight school with me haven’t done anything. The Navy is the same way. The Army is developing a unified system similar but different from the Marine Corps’. I’m a green belt instructor in the MCMAP (Marine Corps Martial Arts program). It is essentially made up of techniques from Western boxing, aikido, BJJ, tai boxing, Judo, plus some of their own things for bayonet fighting and knifes. It’s not a bad program, but they focus too much on learning individual techniques and not the abillity to fight by putting those techniques together.

I do Judo, the disadvantage being that we don’t do strikes or a lot of the “dangerous” grappling techniques in BJJ. It is geared towards the sport. But we get to practice all out and so we know that the technique is effective. you can check out www.judoinfo.com for more info. They also have a wide list of dojos throughout the country/ world.

[quote]gibran wrote:
What do you suggest as a great martial art to learn? I decided id get a book and video on tai chi(yang). Dont have the time/money for a class right now.

What do you guys suggest?

Also, what are some great martial art specific workouts? Such as knuckle pushups(using only index and middle finger)[/quote]

Learn to grapple first. Any well instructed submission grappling course will do. Once you studied that for a while go to a first rate Boxing Gym and learn to punch.

[quote]Sifu wrote:

Also it is best to start with a hard or Yang style like karate rather than a soft or Yin style like Tai Chi. Because it is easier later on to move from a yang style to a yin style than the other way around.

[/quote]

That is an interesting comment. I have been involved in martial arts all my life but somehow I have never heard that before. Do you mind elaborating on this?

[quote]Darshu42 wrote:
Military training. . . The AirForce doesn’t do H2H in their basic training. I don’t know if they offer it otherwise, but the AF bubbas in flight school with me haven’t done anything. The Navy is the same way. The Army is developing a unified system similar but different from the Marine Corps’. I’m a green belt instructor in the MCMAP (Marine Corps Martial Arts program). It is essentially made up of techniques from Western boxing, aikido, BJJ, tai boxing, Judo, plus some of their own things for bayonet fighting and knifes. It’s not a bad program, but they focus too much on learning individual techniques and not the abillity to fight by putting those techniques together.

I do Judo, the disadvantage being that we don’t do strikes or a lot of the “dangerous” grappling techniques in BJJ. It is geared towards the sport. But we get to practice all out and so we know that the technique is effective. you can check out www.judoinfo.com for more info. They also have a wide list of dojos throughout the country/ world. [/quote]

I personally think that the USMC MA program was pretty horrible. Martial Arts is overrated. It takes years of practice and study of many different styles to even be noticeably good. Most martial arts can be mimic’d(sp?) from television.

Kepp in mind the following as I see alot of MMA advice being thrown around on here.

MMA competition is a whole different ball game than real life scenarios. Number one regardless of what you see on Pride etc.

In the real world you are at a distinct disadvantage taking the fight to the groud. IE getting the shit kicked out of you by your opponants friends, your inability to see what is going on around you etc.

Number two most people rely way to much on striking once you break your hand or injure your wrist you are again at a distinct disadvantage in the real world.

If you want to train in MMA go for it but keep in mind putting it all to gether in the Cage takes yrs of training puttting MMA techniques to use in the real world successfully takes much longer and are generaly not what you want to be doing for self defense purposes.

Find good competant traditional training, and keep a tight grasp on what you are trying to acheive and the practical application there of.

[quote]gonta47 wrote:
Sifu wrote:

Also it is best to start with a hard or Yang style like karate rather than a soft or Yin style like Tai Chi. Because it is easier later on to move from a yang style to a yin style than the other way around.

That is an interesting comment. I have been involved in martial arts all my life but somehow I have never heard that before. Do you mind elaborating on this?[/quote]

Actually, I think that you have that backward. It is normally easier to start with a soft style then progress to a hard style. The reasoning behind it is based upon how you strike and receive blows. In soft styles you use strikes that are almost like dead weight strikes (not a very good explanation but the best I can think of at the moment). However, most people have no idea how to employ these types of strikes thus these arts are often seen as spiritual or for old men. Hard styles like karate, boxing, yadda yadda yadda use power and physical muscle to do the damage. Hard styles are much easier to pick up and provide self defense skills fairly quickly. The reason why I say that you are better off starting with a soft style is because it is like riding a bike. You never really forget how to go soft should you need to and it can be fun to do just to mess with guys you spar with :slight_smile: The problem with starting hard is that you tend to rely on your muscles all the time and it is a very very VERY difficult habit to break yourself of.

So if your looking into becoming a life long student of the martial arts you could start with a soft style. However, don’t expect to be roaming the streets as the local bad ass. Chances are good you will get yourself killed. However, you will later have the option to expand to hard styles and you will have another weapon at your disposal.

If you are looking to become a bad ass or develop your body, then go straight to hard styles. However they too have their downside. Many hard styles are rough on the body?s joints.

Well, ive already learned to punch. Boxing got boring after a while because it only focused on the punches alone, which is why I stopped.

I figured soft style was where to start based on my own research :slight_smile: I think its good conditioning before I would jump into hard style anyways.

Maybe I should rephrase my question now that these other perspectives are coming in…

What martial arts should I AVOID?

:slight_smile: Please let me know.

I say try kickboxing or muay thai. Krav maga is also a good choice. As for staying away… well I say anything that’s labeled an “Art”

[quote]machineshop wrote:
I personally think that the USMC MA program was pretty horrible. Martial Arts is overrated. It takes years of practice and study of many different styles to even be noticeably good. Most martial arts can be mimic’d(sp?) from television. [/quote]

MCMAP’s down fall doesn’t come with the techniques invovled, it has good stuff. The trouble is in the way it’s taught. It’s still in development, and I’ve seen big improvements from when it first started.
As far as martial arts being over rated, natural athletisism, strength, and just plain meanness are usually going to beat out someone of lesser physical attributes and a little skill. There is a point though where skill becomes the determining factor and physical attributes a tie breaker.
Martial Arts can’t be mimiced by watching TV as you suggest. It has to be experienced. The time it takes to get good is considerable. If you are trying to turn out lethal weapons at a rapid rate, it isn’t the most efficient way of doing it. Grab a gun and spend a few hours at the range. But if you are looking for a life long endevour, a great way to stay in shape, experience part of another culture, and generally make yourself a better person. Martial Arts are a great way to go.
The Marine Corps developed MCMAP, not because our battles are being decided at H2H range, but because it is an intrinsic part of warrior culture. For the same reason many of us started lifting weights, physical confidence breeds social confidence, and allows you to be more comfortable person in any situation.

[quote]ScrambyEggs wrote:

Actually, I think that you have that backward. It is normally easier to start with a soft style then progress to a hard style. The reasoning behind it is based upon how you strike and receive blows. In soft styles you use strikes that are almost like dead weight strikes (not a very good explanation but the best I can think of at the moment). However, most people have no idea how to employ these types of strikes thus these arts are often seen as spiritual or for old men. Hard styles like karate, boxing, yadda yadda yadda use power and physical muscle to do the damage. Hard styles are much easier to pick up and provide self defense skills fairly quickly. The reason why I say that you are better off starting with a soft style is because it is like riding a bike. You never really forget how to go soft should you need to and it can be fun to do just to mess with guys you spar with :slight_smile: The problem with starting hard is that you tend to rely on your muscles all the time and it is a very very VERY difficult habit to break yourself of.

So if your looking into becoming a life long student of the martial arts you could start with a soft style. However, don’t expect to be roaming the streets as the local bad ass. Chances are good you will get yourself killed. However, you will later have the option to expand to hard styles and you will have another weapon at your disposal.

If you are looking to become a bad ass or develop your body, then go straight to hard styles. However they too have their downside. Many hard styles are rough on the body?s joints.
[/quote]

I agree with what you are saying. As American’s our thought of strength involves flexing muscles. I still have trouble breaking free of this. I have to remind myself that “it is good to be strong, but better to be good.”
However, the hard to soft progression, as I understand it comes from the way KungFu and TaiChi are taught in China. When I was there, it was explained that to beome a TaiChi master, you are expected to learn several form of KungFu first and that the base of knowledge would help your studies of TaiChi to progress faster.
Or it was something to that effect. There was a bit of a language barrier from the guy who was expalining this. He was just a janitor at a school, but his TaiChi demonstration he showed us was more fluid and bablanced than any instructors I’ve seen in the States.

It can take many years of practice in a yin style like Tai Chi before you get good at it whereas in a yang style like Isshinryu you can be dangerous in six months. Especially if you are young, healthy and maybe have some athleticism.

So lets say you spend 5 years in an external (Yang) art like Isshinryu and you do external training like dead lifts, sand bag workouts, bench press etc and Katas (forms). Now you are a killer.

So what then do you do to take it to the next level? This is where internal conditioning comes in.

In Isshinryu usually the katas (which are all black belt level) are performed hard and fast to the point you can hear the GI popping when you kick or punch.

Well if you really slow the form down to the point that you can feel your center (Dan Tien)shifting as you move you get what is esentially Tai Chi. Also if you then take up Tai Chi all the “body discipline” ie stance work, that you got from kata’s will pay a dividend.

Another thing that I learned from my Tai Chi teacher is that as you get older, and your body changes, certain chi channels open up.

For example my teacher had a 70 year old grandmother start taking lessons from him. 6 weeks into it she asks him, “why does this excercise make the top of my head feel like it is coming off? Is it supposed to do that?”

This surprised my teacher because he had been doing the same excercise for a few years and it just barely felt like that to him. But it was because she was a lot older than him.

This isn’t just my opinion either, my karate teacher also says that he hasn’t seen any good internal artists successfully make the transition to being a deadly fighter, but he has seen some real killers change and become good internal artists especially as they got older.

[quote]rholdnr wrote:
I say try kickboxing or muay thai. Krav maga is also a good choice. As for staying away… well I say anything that’s labeled an “Art”[/quote]

jiujitsu transaltes to “gentle art” and BJJ is one of the best MA out there. So I wouldn’t use a name as a qualifier one way or another.
What I would stay away from are places that are cultish. I stopped into a place that claimed that their breathing exercises could CURE cancer, not just prevent it as a part of healthy living, but actually cure it. Rubbish.
Also, places that try to teach too many things as one art don’t usaually seem to work well. I went to a “traditional” jiujitsu school who’s system was based on 3 schools of jiujitsu, judo, a style of Karate, and two forms of weapons. Consequently, I didn’t think they were too good at any of them. I know their Judo was weak.

Scrambly,

Although Isshinryu is a yang style, it is based partly on Chogin Miyagi’s Goju Ryu. Goju means hard soft.

Isshinryu techniques can be used hard or soft.

The reason why most people don’t know how to use the striking you refer to is it takes years of centering excercises to find your center and then figure out how to harness it.

It’s much easier to become an ass kicker learning an external style.
All you need to do is spar, lift weights and do bag work. You can do away with forms altogether.

I’ve been doing the internal excercise known as Sanchin for 30 years and it has only been about the last 11- 12 months that I have really felt like I have it right in a way that I haven’t had it before.

Also this isn’t just my opinion, this is also the opinion of my teacher who has been doing this stuff way longer than I have.

What about Kajukembo? Is that a good mixed martial art? That seems to be the only place near to where I live.

[quote]Darshu42 wrote:
machineshop wrote:
I personally think that the USMC MA program was pretty horrible. Martial Arts is overrated. It takes years of practice and study of many different styles to even be noticeably good. Most martial arts can be mimic’d(sp?) from television.

MCMAP’s down fall doesn’t come with the techniques invovled, it has good stuff. The trouble is in the way it’s taught. It’s still in development, and I’ve seen big improvements from when it first started.
As far as martial arts being over rated, natural athletisism, strength, and just plain meanness are usually going to beat out someone of lesser physical attributes and a little skill. There is a point though where skill becomes the determining factor and physical attributes a tie breaker.
Martial Arts can’t be mimiced by watching TV as you suggest. It has to be experienced. The time it takes to get good is considerable. If you are trying to turn out lethal weapons at a rapid rate, it isn’t the most efficient way of doing it. Grab a gun and spend a few hours at the range. But if you are looking for a life long endevour, a great way to stay in shape, experience part of another culture, and generally make yourself a better person. Martial Arts are a great way to go.
The Marine Corps developed MCMAP, not because our battles are being decided at H2H range, but because it is an intrinsic part of warrior culture. For the same reason many of us started lifting weights, physical confidence breeds social confidence, and allows you to be more comfortable person in any situation. [/quote]

You make a good point.

Just how bad is the Marine Corps martial arts program?

In 1954 when the Marine Corps hired their first Karate instructor they had the best Karate teacher in the world.

That mans name was Tatsuo Shimabuku. He was the top student of three of Okinawas greatest masters, Goju Ryu founder Chogun Miyagi, Shorin Ryu grandmaster Migwa Kyan and Kempo founder Choki Motobu.

It is because of his Marine Corps students, that Shimabukus art Isshinryu, is the most widely practiced Okinawan karate in America.

Shimabuku’s marine students like Don Nagle and the students who came out of his dojo were amongst the most feared fighters in the world. Don Nagle won the top tournament in Okinawa when he was a green belt.

Black Belt magazine’s 1987 teacher of the year Arsenio Advincula was another notable student of Shimabuku’s who has written several articles for black belt magazine who still teaches marines today.

http://www.usmc.mil/marinelink/mcn2000.nsf/lookup/2001329185251

As I read this article it appears that Advincula, is as I suspected one of the main people in the Marine Corps martial arts program.

My first teacher has trained extensively with Master Advincula. Master Advicula has some really good knowledge to share. That’s why I find it hard to believe what machineshop says.

Especially when you make silly comments like “Martial Arts is overrated. It takes years of practice and study of many different styles to even be noticeably good. Most martial arts can be mimic’d(sp?) from television.”

What you see on TV is meant for entertainment, it’s not meant to be instructional or practicle. Also if you have a good teacher you don’t need to go style hopping.

It also doesn’t take years to even be noticably good. Certainly not with Isshinryu. Not unless you have no talent to begin with.

If that’s the case, then I guess it is easier to blame your failings on your teachers than face the bitter reality that you just aren’t any good.

I’ve read about Kajukenbo founder Siju Emperado. The art originated in Hawaii’s asian immigrant community. It took Ideas from KArate JUdo KENpo and BOxing hence it’s name. It sounds like it’s has some versatility. If that’s what is available and you are sincerely interested give it a try.

Isshinryu means Whole Heart Method. If you apply yourself to Kajukenbo whole heartedly you’ll be good.

Sifu, i love you for posting that.

Gracie Jiu Jitsu is great. It has its limits, but that’s why you study many styles and integrate all useful skills.

The most important thing though is having the indomitable fighting spirit. You must refuse to lose.

If you like punching and kicking combinations, muay thai is a great art. If you like kung fu, there are many styles to choose from.

I have trained in Kung Fu, Karate, Wing Chun, Kung Fu San Soo, and Aikido. What you need to understand is that most MA’s are not really realistic in focus. They all have a few good moves that would and do work in a real situation. But it appears that the originators of the Art, who were very good, got carried away in order to make it larger in scope.

In any case, the foundation of self defense contains some truths that you should know to pick the right MA.

  1. An effective offense is your defense - meaning that you are always at a disadvantage if you wait to defend an attack. To adequate defend an attack you have to be quicker in recognizing an attack than your opponent is in delivering his attack, and you have to be quicker in reacting to that attack. The bottom line is that it is better to attack first. Your chances of winning will always be better.

  2. Self-defense is not a sport - there are no rules of conduct.

  3. The bigger faster stronger person will win most of the time - something most MA disciplines are not realistic about. So increasing your strength, speed, and fitness level is a must.

  4. In a real situation only the least complex moves work - when you are under pressure your brain shuts down and only the most basic moves will be functional. The more complex the move the less effective it will be in combat as your brain will not be able to function during that time.

  5. Only perfect practice makes perfect - You must practice a move thousands of time for it to become reaction. But practicing in the most realistic way will get you the best results. So forms and Kata really don?t prepare you for combat. Combat prepares you for combat.

Well, these are my suggestions. In my experience, Kung Fu San Soo comes very close to meeting all these criteria. Aikido in concept is good as well, you just have to look hard to find a system/teacher who understands and teaches a realistic approach.