Picking an MA or a dojo

Discussion in 'Strategies, Tactics, and Training' started by mercop, Oct 20, 2010.

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  1. 45Fever

    45Fever Member

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    Hello Gunkid, when did you get out?
     
  2. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator Staff Member

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    Hey I just saw this post..

    I am a Krav Maga instructor and would be glad to talk to any of you guys about Krav and what it is and would love to have you come down to the gym. I am located in the South Denver/Castle Rock area of Colorado.


    Here is our website.

    http://www.kravmaga-crossfit.com/

    PM me for details.
     
  3. Geno

    Geno Member

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    Wonderful thread, and great read. Thank-you for starting it.

    I have been in martial arts for about 45 years now, and have been a certified instructor for about 32 years. My personal favorite martial art (of the approximately 3,300 that exist) is Chang Hun Taekwondo. There is no way to say which martial art is "best", but this is the one I have most enjoyed.

    There are, however, deeper considerations even than martial art style. There is the consideration of the very tenets and intent of the organization. Specifically I refer the 2 decades back mutation of the ATA from Chang Hun Taekwondo to Sohng Ahm Taekwondo. I personally am a certified instructor of both styles, and still prefer Chang Hun. My reasons go very deep, and we haven't time here to address both politics of the ATA and differences of the styles. The USTA, when formed in about 1984, adhered to the traditional Chang Hun style, and so did I.

    I managed one of the USTA’s National Centers for two summers. In my professional opinion and experience, the USTA produces emotionally well-balanced practitioners who are among the best combatants I ever have met. The ATA used to, up through the mid 1980s when the powers that be decided to make the ATA about $$$, and not about Taekwondo. Lest I be perceived as simply an opinionated know-it-all with an axe-to-grind on the ATA, I was the 1984 instructor who Master Hang Ung Lee offered a contract to instruct at ATA National Headquarters in Little Rock. I rejected the offer and went with the USTA and managed one of their National Centers in Knoxville. The ATA had lost sight of Taekwondo for defensive purposes, and I was not alone in that view. When I left the ATA in 1984, approximately 45% of the ATA broke off and formed the USTA. Ugly history.

    My point in this "rant" is that there are differences even with-in styles. These differences are reflected in, and will be enforced within the organization one joins. My suggestion is research the very organization, not simply the style. Then, research the instructor. Not all instructors are created equal. The ATA instructors of old (inception through 1984) are impressive. The organization had 350,000 members, and only 1,000 certified instructors. If you can locate an instructor of old in the ATA, they should be good. If they are more current product of the ATA...run for your life!!! The USTA has mutated into a new organization (new name). It seems that the pursuit of excellent quality instruction has become more difficult as instructors and organizations have turned away from Taekwondo as a way of life, to a way of $$$.

    Sorry if this sounds off-track, but I thought I would share my impressions based on my four and a half decades of martial arts experience. For me, the combination of Chang Hun Taekwondo, Advanced Tactical Shooting and a Glock 19C are pretty durned potent. Of course, I still tote my G26 on my ankle as back-up. (Had to keep it gun-related). :D

    Great thread! Thanks again!

    Geno
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2010
  4. SSN Vet

    SSN Vet Member

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    When making a choice about martial arts and or dojos, keep in mind that learning defensive / combative skills and becoming a martial arts practitioner are imho are not necessarily the same thing...though they are related.

    For some, martial arts are a "way" of life.

    Learning the "way" has many intangible rewards.

    I spent some very enjoyable time on that path a very long time ago and can tell you that it changed my life for the better in many ways.

    Unfortunately, I did a number on my knees and thumbs however, and then ran into some philisophical problems with our head instructor. Career constraints and personal issues sealed the deal. But I often miss those times.

    I hope to set up an excersize room in the basement for the family, perhaps I should go with a foam padded floor and reclaim my heavy bag from my buddy.
     
  5. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator Staff Member

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    Krav Maga....

    Is not a traditional martial art in fact it isn't a martial art really at all. It is 100% about combatives, self defense and fighting. If you are looking for a great self defense system this is it. If you are looking for a tradition, gee's, belts, honor, respect for your sensi don't do Krav.

    I got totally burned out on the whole traditional martial art scene years ago you'll find quite a few guys like me doing krav. Guys who are looking for real life fighting skills that transfer to todays world 100%. We have quite a few ex traditional martial artist doing Krav because it's all about the meat and potatoes with none of the frosting that many traditional martial arts insist on.

    If you are going to do Krav look for either a Krav Alliance or a Krav World Wide sanctioned school these are both the real deal when it comes to Krav. If it is a non sanctioned school be VERY VERY careful. There are a lot of schools offering Krav as a side deal and they really don't teach Krav just some martial arted up version there of.
     
  6. uspJ

    uspJ Member

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    Whatever you choose, I would suggest picking a style or system that is natural to your current style of fighting. What I mean is if your more of a natural striker then you should go with disciplines or schools that will help you maximize your natural abilities while still giving you a basis for improvement on areas your weak in. I'm more of a grappler myself and I trained for a while with a coworker who was a purple belt in bjj and had previous training in submission wrestling. There aren't any schools near where I live and this was a good way for him to still practice and for me to learn.
     
  7. quatin

    quatin Member

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    The thing about Krav is that it's hard to practice the techniques that separate it from other ring sports. IE Eye gouge, crotch,throat strikes. If you take out all the techniques that you can't use in sparring for the safety of your sparring partner, you get something pretty close to current MMA rules anyways. MMA training is as close as you can get to a street fight with reasonable safety. The difference is the quality of training partners and coaches will be much more diverse with MMA being a competitive sport.

    I have trained in TKD then Krav in conjunction with sport kick boxing. I see Krav as a supplement to a kick boxing base. It's good to know some techniques that is otherwise illegal in a ring fight, but a ring fighting skill set that you constantly use in sparring trumps anything else. In a fight, you default to what you do best and you can't get better at fighting unless you actually fight. Therefore techniques that can't be practiced in a sparring match aren't useful to me. This doesn't mean a Krav school can't teach you solid fighting basics. I just hate seeing people degrade MMA, BJJ and boxing/kick boxing as useless on the streets, when they really are the basics of fighting. A fighter trained solely in MMA is still a force to be reckoned with. Ground and pound is still an effective strategy on the street. There's no mystical technique that allows you to overwhelm someone with a solid fighting base.
     
  8. wheelgunslinger

    wheelgunslinger Member

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    This bears quoting:
    Great thread.

    I don't have much else to add except that you have to know yourself. If you don't have the stomach for tearing tendons or gouging eyes, don't go learn a grappling art. And so on.
    Be honest with yourself and pursue training that will lead you where you want to be mentally and spiritually as well.
    Many don't care one way or the other, but some do. Be honest with yourself.
     
  9. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    There are many of us that are living proof that this is completely and utterly incorrect. By using what we've learned to actually defend ourselves on the street we've shown that being "REALLY fit" and spending "hundreds of hours" on the mats isn't a fundamental requirement to improve your chances of survival.

    Some traditional martial arts certainly will take longer to learn practical applications for self defense than some others, but some applications can be learned in just a few classes if the instructor is intent on teaching them. Some schools are not as well run or well instructed as others, but any dedicated student of self defense will put the minimal effort into learning about the SD applications even if you're going to a McDojo.

    Fitness is certainly an advantage in anything, but not a complete necessity when it comes to SD. There are physically handicapped MA students that I've personally known that early on in their studies we able to defend themselves against an attacker that thought they weren't "fit" enough to defend themselves. There are plenty of MA students who are NOT "fit" by todays gym bunny standards (short, round and red is a quick description for me) who none the less are more capable of defending themselves than the gym bunny with no SD training.

    So, most emphatically NO, you do not have to be "REALLY fit" nor do you have to spend "hundreds of hours" before you can learn effective self defense techniques in the right MA school.
     
  10. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator Staff Member

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    I have to say that this qualifies as one of the most ridiculous posts I've ever read on THR.

    The ole throw your dentures at the assailant then kick em in the leg routine ehh? Really, no REALLY?:rolleyes:

    The number one rule about any self defense technique is if the instructor uses these words "This works every time." Don't walk, rather run away from that instructor he knows not what he speaks. Nothing ever works every time, no technique is ever 100% there are simply to many variables in a real life fight or self defense situation on the street.

    Master who ever's little darling technique might well work every time he sets it up for demo in his "dojo" with his trained assistants but the only thing that you can be sure of on the street is that nothing will go as scripted.
     
  11. Bluenote

    Bluenote Member

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    Great thread , except for the brief emergence of GunKid , but hey every kitchen has a roach wander in sometime 'eh.


    I'll add some things to the McDojo thing.

    If you go to view a class at any given dojo ,dojang or kwoon and the word 'contract' comes up............

    WALK.

    If you watch an upper ranks class/workout and their movement and stances are crap..............walk.

    If the upper ranks spar with no contact or only light contact and point tournament style.....................walk.


    If they emphasize going to the ground and obtaining the submission or mount over every thing else.....................walk.


    If at any time the claim is made that the given system is a 'system uber alles'............................walk.


    As has already been pointed out it well behooves one to choose a 'combat' system as opposed to a 'sport' system.

    In my experience such systems will also produce a more competent fighter in a shorter amount of time , though that facet is highly individualistic.

    Krav Maga has alreadly been mentioned , Kempo through a competent practitioner , along with it's derivatives i.e. Wun Hop Kuen Do ( Al Dacascos) , Kenpo ( Parker , Tracy system and others) Kajukenbo ( preferably as close to the Emperado lineage as possible) are all worth a look at the given school.

    Beware of mishmash watered down Kempo disguised as 'SHaolin Kung Fu' by certain McDpjo type chains and the empires built by the socalled 'grand masters'.


    Other systems that are well worth a look are the Pinay and Indonesian systems , Arnis , Escrima , Kali offer hundreds of individual quite simple pure combat systems , the Silat systems equally so.


    Danzan Ryu , Hakko Ryu ( Wally Jay 'small circle' preferably) and some other traditional Jiu Jitsu systems offer much of value as do Muy Thai and western boxing and wrestling.

    There is no panacea , seems like folks end up with certain favorite moves/techniques from whatever sources regardless of origin or how they started out.

    It's sometimes rather amazing too , within the context of some of the Okinawan , Korean and Chinese systems where almost identical moves/techniques show up , likewise the similarities between certain systems as brought to the U.S. by folks like Peter Urban ( Goju Ryu) , Jack Long and Ed Parker ( Kempo originally later Kenpo) and myriad and sundry others.


    Hhmmmm , got off on a ramble , apologies for that. Anyway it's quite obviously whatever the individual makes it via training , it's good to remain rather pragmatic about ones chances and abilities.


    'Course now this new ' Denture Fu' might be the be-all-end-all though.
     
  12. Ben86

    Ben86 Member

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    It is best to decide were you want to go as a martial artist before joining up. The three main groups of schools, from my observation, are:

    Sport/MMA oriented: You get the most well rounded training at these types of schools. It's dualistic training, but usually well rounded dualistic training. Greatest emphasis on physical fitness.

    Traditional: Dualistic training that at times is far detached from reality, but that's not always the case. Lots of flowery techniques that may be a waste of time, again that's not always the case though. Moderate emphasis on physical fitness.

    RBSD: Reality based self defense, this focuses almost strictly on the nitty gritty self defense encounter. It's most realistic, but doesn't much prepare you for a dualistic standoff that has it's place in a martial artist's skill set. Lesser emphasis on physical fitness.

    A well rounded martial artist is a healthy mixture of all three.
     
  13. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator Staff Member

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    Could you define dualistic for me? I am a bit confused with your use of it above. I don't know about other reality based systems but Krav is very fitnessed oriented.
     
  14. Bluenote

    Bluenote Member

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    Could you define dualistic for me? I am a bit confused with your use of it above. I don't know about other reality based systems but Krav is very fitnessed oriented.
    ............................................................................


    I'd hazard a guess that he's refering to either the ,standing/matwork or the inside the rules /outside the rules nature of MMA.

    And yes the MMA 'systems' have much of value , the caveat being that they operate within a set of *rules* , if you're training for competition you will operate within those 'rules' almost automatically.

    There are NO rules on the street ( obviously) , additionally if you are very ground oriented then you need to keep in mind that taking someone to the ground in a real world environment risks opening yourself to the opportunity for bystanders/friends of your assailant to kick your head off your shoulders.

    This is not to say that ( as I stated) there is not much of value within the construct of MMA , takedowns are a wonderful thing away from the world of nice soft mats , or even tatami , the pavement jumping up and slamming an opponent often gives one the opportunity to do the wiser thing and make tracks posthaste while they pick themselves up.

    Serious students eventually become cognisant of the fact that there is no one system that's the be-all end-all , seems like all the very long term folks I know personally ( and I know quite a few) even if they're within a traditional system ( say Shotokan...either JKA or SKA) have added many techniques robbed from other sources.

    Something I've always remembered from long , long ago as a 14 year old blue belt attending my first Ed Parker seminar , I asked him the theoretical ' what would you do IF?' question , his answer was ( and I quote) ' Whatever the hell works. ' to which I queried ' but what of it's not from the Kenpo syllabus?' his answer being ' does it matter where it's from if you're walking away and he isn't? Isn't your syllabus the world of what works for YOU?'..........


    Something else , it's become fashionable in some circles for folks to slag off certain highly traditional systems as staid , archaic , not offering enough variety , boring , too limited etc. That's a mistake , there's a firearms analogy that applies quite aptly.

    " Beware the man with only one rifle , he just may know how to use it well."

    Similarly beware the Shotokan , Shorin-Ryu , Shuri-Te , Uechi-Ryu etc. practitioner who has practiced only three kata all his life and in sparring seemingly has an arsenal of only a reverse punch , backnuckle , front thrust kick and slideup side kick , about the time he stuffs you into the wall with a front kick and bangs you with a backnuckle.reverse punch combination as you come off the wall you might find a clue that he's learned how to use 'em after twenty years of practice. Humbles you right damn quicklike , even more so when the guy is twice your age and smaller than you are ( Nishioka sensei).

    Personally in my street/defense oriented drills I tend to favor simple fast moves that can have multiple practical applications , though I tend to favor avoidance most of all. Avoid the situation if at all possible in the first place , if it's unavoidable then break the assailant down as quickly as possible and seek an avenue of escape , don't play John Wayne and stick around whipping their ass and leaving an opportunity for something worse to develop.

    And the whole 'out of shape' facet , ok sure it helps to be in shape , but a good many of us here have seen individuals who were ' out of shape ' and very , very efficient on the mat or in the real world. Taking any given opponent lightly based upon physical appearance is a very drastic mistake that can have potentially serious consequences.

    At it's most basic core practical self defense is sorting through the quagmire of available systems/techniques for what works for the given individual and putting in the practice and drill time , at that particular juncture who really cares if it crosses 'system lines' or offends traditionalists , if it works for you it works , eh?

    You can be darned sure that though I come from a Kempo.boxing/wrestling base I learned that front thrust kick from Nishioka afterwards , thirty years later I still practice it religiously , not as hard on old knees as snap type kicks either.

    That's something else , your technique arsenal will change as you age , it does for most folks I've known.

    Certain traditional training techniques have quite a bit of value too , even in a modern world , the old Okinawan hammer exercise and the jar lift and carry. And I still enjoy banging the makiwara , all these decades and I'm still in search of the perfect reverse punch. Heavy bag work and hook bag work are invaluable too , and speed bag work can be of benefit.

    And skipping rope, some road work , though after boxing for way to long I ain't about to *ever* pick up a damnable jumprope again not bloodyfreakingever , I'll leave that to pigtailed little girls that will blow your tail in the weeds jumping rope ( it's hell to get old).
     
  15. Bluenote

    Bluenote Member

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    It is best to decide were you want to go as a martial artist before joining up. The three main groups of schools, from my observation, are:

    Sport/MMA oriented: You get the most well rounded training at these types of schools. It's dualistic training, but usually well rounded dualistic training. Greatest emphasis on physical fitness.

    Traditional: Dualistic training that at times is far detached from reality, but that's not always the case. Lots of flowery techniques that may be a waste of time, again that's not always the case though. Moderate emphasis on physical fitness.

    RBSD: Reality based self defense, this focuses almost strictly on the nitty gritty self defense encounter. It's most realistic, but doesn't much prepare you for a dualistic standoff that has it's place in a martial artist's skill set. Lesser emphasis on physical fitness.

    A well rounded martial artist is a healthy mixture of all three.
    ..................................................................................


    Very succint and straight to the point poste.


    I will say though that sometimes as we evolve we eventually find the combat techniques hidden within some of those 'flowery moves' that initially appear to be useless. The combat Tai Chi systems being a prime example.

    But then too I find myself returning to basics and certain simple but efficient items I learned long long ago as opposed to 'prettier' and more complex technique , hey ya get old you forget things , better the k.i.s.s. principle 'eh?

    And often isn't the simplest applicable technique 'run Forrest run.'?

    Remove ones self from the vicinity of the threat and the question of 'will an elbow across the chops stop this guy?' becomes a moot point.
     
  16. Ben86

    Ben86 Member

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    By dualistic I mean two guys assume their desired fighting stance at set distance and square off, dancing about, moving to and fro in a melodic back and fourth exchange. It has it's merits but it is what it is.

    In contrast many RBSD systems make you start out of your comfort zone in less than ideal situations.

    I also don't mean to say that people who practice only RBSD are out of shape, or don't care about fitness. It's just that the amount of time they spend on it compared to the sport related martial arts is less. They care more about results than lasting 5 rounds.

    What I said were just my generalized observations based on my experience over the years.
     
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