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Old 12-29-2004, 12:24 AM   #1 (permalink)
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What Martial Art?!

Hey, how is it going?

I want to study a martial art, but I am not sure what to choose (in Bay Area California, there are A LOT of choices), and which is most suited for me.

I'm going to start with a description of me, both physical and mental. I don't know if it'll help you put me into a category, but I'll do it anyway.

I'm a mellow guy, and it takes a lot of piss me off. However, when I DO get pissed off, watch out, but by that I don't mean I'm gonna give you an ass kicking. I'm also a pusher... I push myself as far as I can go (sometimes, it seems, TOO far). I don't quit easily, and I just keep going. I'm also very coach able, I listen to what is said and I try to change my ways.

Physically, I'm pretty huge... 6' 3", and pretty strong (how strong? Yesterday a 165 pound friend of mine jumped me yesterday and tried to hold me down. I flipped him over like he was nothing). I'm also overweight (245), but I've slimmed down quite a bit due to exercise (used to be 265!). Oh… I almost forgot, I’m FLEXIBLE! I can bend my legs almost 180 degrees. Calf muscles in the front look kind of weird.

I wanted to learn ninjitsu (the martial arts Ninjas use), but I’m too old for that (have to be young). I want to do something with nanchakus (the two sticks attached by a chain), and the long Japanese staff.

Well, this post is getting pretty long, so I think I’ll wrap it up. Ask me questions if you need to. Thanks for your time. Have a good ‘un!

Last edited by Nachtschleicher; 12-29-2004 at 09:02 PM..
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Old 12-29-2004, 08:33 AM   #2 (permalink)
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You'd probably be the biggest ninja no doubt. I think Judo will be a good practice for you. Karate will have to wait till you slim down some more. Good luck!
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Old 12-29-2004, 08:49 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Nah, you can take karate at any time. If ya eat right, that in itself should trim you up.

I'm in Tang Soo Do and we actually have a few overweight blackbelts that could easily drop you at any time. Weight is definitely not an issue.. it may be in other styles, but I know 100% it doesn't matter one bit in Tang Soo Do.

It's just like with anything else though - you're training. You won't be able to kick above your head your first 6 months, but after 3 years (which is how long it takes to get a black belt), you'll be doin just that without even thinking.
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Old 01-02-2005, 06:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Sashime76, and Stompy, thanks for your replies. Shshime76, if you could tell me more about Judo, I’d appreciate it, and same for Stompy if you’d tell me about Tang Soo Do, that would be nice.

I was reading <a href=http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?isbn=087951759X&itm=9>The Overlook Martial Arts Handbook by David Mitchell</a>, and it turns out I already know a few martial arts moves. I took a “Self-defense and Firearms tactics” class at my local community college, and they taught wrist locks from Jiu Jitsu according to the book mentioned above.

Anyway, I still want to know a form of martial art that uses nunchakus and the Japanese Bo staff. So if anyone knows the name of the martal art that uses this, and/or better yet, an institute that teaches and uses this in the Bay Area of California, please let me know!

Thanks to everyone! Have a good ‘un!
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Old 01-03-2005, 08:47 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I'd find a good Tae Kwon Do school. However, the school you choose is much more important than the fighting style you actually choose. Talk to the school leader about how much they incorporate styles other than the martial art you are taking. A good school should cover it's specialty along with boxing, kickboxing, grappling, judo, weapons, etc.

Check and see if there is an AIMAA affiliated school in the area. They are really good.
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Old 01-04-2005, 11:15 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Judo, Sambo, Sumo (I'm not kidding, its pretty cool), Aikido, Muay Thai or Muay Boran (though you might be too heavy, Muay Boran is similar to Muay Thai but it incorporates some techniques that aren't allowed in traditional Muay Thai, and its a great way to lose weight, but its extremely strenuous), Haganah (its an Israeli-developed martial art focused on defensive maneuvers against punches/kicks/grapples, and also incorporates some muscle tearing techniques for when you really need to drop someone.), there are literally tons of martial arts that would be great for someone your size. I'd go with sambo, its a mix of Judo and Wrestling, there are a few different styles of sambo (sport, self-defense, and combat). Combat (also called Systema or The System) is some pretty bad-ass stuff, Russia's Spetsnaz (their equivalent of NAVY SEALs) and the former-USSR's KGB used it to train their elite forces.
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Old 01-04-2005, 12:49 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by omega2K4
...Haganah (its an Israeli-developed martial art focused on defensive maneuvers against punches/kicks/grapples, and also incorporates some muscle tearing techniques for when you really need to drop someone.)...
From what I've heard, Haganah is pretty powerful stuff. Here's my very limited knowledge -- most martial arts divide into two groups: offensive and defensive. Defensive would describe jiu jitsu and aikido. They mostly use disabling moves and turn the opponents power/weight against them. Offensive would include karate, kung fu and tae kwan do. You take the lead and take out your opponent. Of course, there are shades of grey, and nothing divides nicely.

As far as weapons go, there has to be a kendo school in your area. That would be formal Japanese fencing. Or maybe iaido/iaijutsu which is the art of drawing a sword, attacking, and sheathing the sword (think of samurai movies). Iaido is just the art, and iaijutsu is actual training for a sword fight.
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Old 01-06-2005, 01:25 AM   #8 (permalink)
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since you have no real personal preference and no substantial knowledge on the subject currently, i'd suggest that you try and find a nice tae kwon do school. TKD can teach you how to use the weapons you mentioned and will probably be good for you. there will be 3.14 billion of them in your general area, so try and find a nice one via word of mouth, or drop by to see how some of them work. TKD can be a good springboard into other martial arts once you get your feet firmly planted and decide you wish to look around. my only gripe about TKD is that any school you likely visit will have the entire system hyper-commercialized. regular TKD schools (and other arts too, its just that TKD started the trend and its only really TKD and some karate schools) run their show a lot differently from other places.

p.s.: martial arts are divided into two styles: hard and soft (not offensive/defensive).
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Old 01-06-2005, 06:58 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I've been taking Aiki-karate-jutsu. You sound like you are pretty much the same build as me (a little slimmer, and a little taller), and it suits me well. It combines the hard techniques from karate and some from tae kwon do (blocks, strikes, and kicks) with the soft techniques from aikkido and happkido (throws and joint locks.) It is not a competition sport, but an actual combat art, focused on disabling the opponent smoothly, efficiently, and quickly. It's taught by the black belts from the get go, so even the white belts know how to do some pretty wicked things, and can teach what they have learned.

Actually, now that I think about it, it's a good art for any build. There are three guys in the class my size, and four guys (young guys, like 12 to 14), in the 4' 8" to 5' range. Two of them are three belts away from black. We have a 12 year old, and a 60 year old (with arthritis). The black belts make sure to point out how to change techniques to suit your situation.

The drawback is that it seems to take a long time to get to black belt, because there is so very much to learn (as one might expect from a combined art like this). There are 10 belts, and it takes about 2 years to get half way. Our honshi is an 8th degree blackbelt who has been at it for 38 years.

Yes, they do teach Bo, Jo, and I think nunchaku technique (not so sure about that last - you don't find nunchucks lying around or normally carry them, and the art is focussed on being pepared to defend yourself anywhere at any moment.)

Disclaimer: I am a whitebelt. I have been at it for a couple of months. My gi is still on order. So take it with a grain of salt. On the other hand, as a whitebelt, they've already taught me enough to figure out what it's all about and even to teach some simple things, so that's something right there.
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Last edited by Tophat665; 01-06-2005 at 07:01 AM..
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