T Nation

Where to Start...


Hey everyone.

So i am looking into starting a martial art. The reasons being are self defense, fitness, and a great interest. Right now i am a 19 year old powerlifter. I am fairly large at 6,3 350 pounds. Not to sure on the body fat percentage but last time it was checked ( 3 months ago) i was at 26%.

i do all my competitions raw. So my numbers are 600/465/650. I dont know if this even matters, but i figured id put it in there. My question is what martial art should i start with? i was thinking boxing maybe. Help me cut down on fat and build endurance? Allot of people said it would be a good base style to begin with. Just trying to find some advice on what a good style for bigger guys is. thanks!


There are many, many, many threads on this. Use the search function, read them, and then come back with more specific questions, if you have any.


You weigh 6,335 pounds? That is impressive! :slightly_smiling:

Yeah, search around, you'll find something... and consider what you have access to that's conveniently located enough for you to train regularly. Be realistic about that.

We'll be happy to help you once you've got some specifics.


Well I have searched. All i can find on the big guy subject is debates on how a smaller guy could kick a inexperienced big guys ass. Maybe I'm missing some? or typing in the wrong things in the search function? So far the places closest to me are.
A. a boxing gym that offers boxing classes and MMA. There MMA arts include: submission grappling, taiji, san da kickboxing, taekwondo, shaolin kung fu, jiu-jitsu.
B. A hapkido dojo.
C. A straight up grappling school, Brazilian jiu jitsu and stuff.

Just looking for help on deciding, So any suggestions would be appreciated!


here are the websites:

Hapkido: http://www.hapkido-usa.com/

Boxing gym: http://www.theboxinggym-stl.com/BoxingGym/Home.html



why don't try it all and see which one you like more instead of asking for opinions?


I plan on doing it all. I was wondering which one to start with, the reason being. The drive and gas. And I only have two days out of the week that i can do this. I guess i could see if they offer a free class and try one of those for each place. Just trying to get opinions from more experienced practitioners.


Which do you enjoy watching the most? If you watch boxing and enjoy it more than other disciplines I would say go with boxing. Just go with what you'll enjoy the most.


Okay I,m going to go with boxing. I love boxing so i will learn that first. Thanks!
Should i wait till I,m in a little better shape? or just have them kick my ass into shape?


You will only get in shape when you start doing the stuff, you won't get a good gas tank to box without boxing.


You can run all you like, but you won't be in boxing shape until you box.

Just get in the gym...believe me when I tell you the trainers will put you through the paces, and you'll know exactly what you have to work on.

I second the thing goldengloves said about taking what you like...that's most important.


Yeah i have a feeling its going to kick my ass. But I,m pretty excited to do this, its something ive wanted to do for a while. Thanks!


Cool man. Get it in and go to it. You won't regret it.


Will do :slightly_smiling:


I just looked at the boxing one you posted and it says you wont actually engage in boxing. Its cardio boxing I believe so skip that. You will get in shape I guess but you wont learn shit in terms of real boxing. If you go to their schedule its all cardio based. No work on technique at all. So really if you wanna learn stay away.

If you can try to find an old school boxing gym one with actual fighters and trainers. You will actually learn something and be able to use it if you ever decide to try amateurs later on. Look up local fight nights for amateur boxing and ask around about where people are at. Thats my best advice for finding a boxing gym.


Well, it seems like there's one or two trainers at that place that actually know what they're doing, the rest are bitches.

But even at the boxing gym I go to, the classes are for the pansies and the women and it's all cardio shit, but if you actually want to box, you go to the head trainer and he tells you "don't take the classes, they're garbage" and then you work out with him and he takes you through.

So I say check it out anyway, just make sure you go to the gym that has this David Gamble guy. He seems to be the only real fighter there. The rest are certified in some bullshit but not actually real.


I see you are in Missouri, which part? I ask because if you are located near St. Louis, Vaghi's is the place to go:


BJJ, Mauy Thai, Boxing (serious boxing with sparring) and MMA training. He recently had a guy get a 5 fight contract with the UFC and has another fighter fighting in Strikeforce. His name is Matt Ricehouse and he just beat Randy Couture's son.

I've trained at a couple of other places and Vaghi's is so much better. Better class structure (BJJ), better instructors and better competition. He'll let you sit in on a free class first night.



There's a list of gyms that will be a better option than the boxing cardio places. There will be some cardio places mixed in so make sure to check them out first. I think the best thing with boxing is the membership to worthwhile gyms is always cheap and it really isn't very expensive to compete in boxing.


It isn't expensive to compete in mma too, people just make it expensive because is all hyped up right now.


Well I think what I will do is go to
A couple of the places people have listed here. Sit through class and see what best fits me. As for where I am I'n MO. Im I'n wildwood so like 45 mins away from the city. I appreciate all the advice and help!