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    Default Martial Arts in the Playground

    I noticed that there wasn't yet a topic about martial arts, combat sports and self-defence training here, and as I myself am interested and looking into getting into it right now I created this topic to see if there are out there who want to talk about this.

    Maybe even give tips or tell me what their favourite one is so my choice in picking one of them becomes even harder. Currently mainly looking into judo, karate, taekwondo and boxing.

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    I also occassionally LARP and would be interested in finding martial arts that utilize weapons that are roughly similar in practice to LARP fighting. This is of course definitely not for self-defense, nor for exercise, but purely for the fun of it. A friend of mine does fencing, but I've noticed that it heavily depends on which of the three fencing styles you use whether they're appropriate in LARPs or not. I thought kendo might work, but I think that focuses too much on hitting the head? I've also been told of Wu Shu, but that is more of a broad term. Are there any others?
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    Default Re: Martial Arts in the Playground

    Right now I am looking into joining up with a local judo club, I have always been interested and I have the proper body type (short and broad). The only other forms I have taken throughout the course of my life were: Karate (too young to focus so I was pulled out) and standard wrestling (would have kept with it but i changed schools). I also have the ability to study western martial arts witha group called The Knights of the Northern Realm but alas I do not have the money to be able to afford all of the equipment (full suit of era accurate armour) otherwise I would learn swordfighting.
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    I did Taekwondo for two years in college, and Hapkido for three years when I was young (age 8-11).

    Between the two, I think looking back that Hapkido was much more broad. It taught strikes, kicks, holds, and a couple throws at least going up through a red belt, which is kinda the upper part of the different colors before black belt. Taekwondo was much more competition-focused and really taught the moves one would use in an olympic or college match, mainly assorted kicks and such. Both arts also had longer forms that are used for shows and practice, but that obviously aren't practical.

    I will say, in Taekwondo's favor, that because it was competition-focused, they did a little more to work on general endurance and muscle training, and I was definitely in the best shape of my life during senior year of college (before going to law school and realizing I had no time for nonsense like getting enough food or sleep ).


    My brother has done some Kung Fu and Tai Chi as well, and he found those to be the least practical, but also much more spiritual and he tells me that it contributed a lot to his overall well-being and happiness. He also does Tai Chi to work out still, which is much easier to do than the harder, more intense martial arts.
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    Default Re: Martial Arts in the Playground

    I am a fan of Aikido and Tai Chi, myself. For fun when I'm at home, however, I hit the indoor archery range(yes, I chose an apartment based on the fact it's immediately next door... shut up), and knife throwing. May sound strange, but I find those two relax me, where as Aikido and Tai Chi center me.

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    Honestly, the best tip I can give you is to find a Dojo for each art your interested in and see if the instructor will allow you to observe a few classes. Some instructors will allow this, others wont, so be forewarned. If that fails, its never a bad idea to join a dojo even for just a month or two to get a feel for the art to see if you like it. The various forms of martial arts very widely in their fighting style so its important to learn which style is right for you. For example, Judo plays a heavy emphasis on grabs, throws, and take-downs, where Taekwondo focuses on powerful kicks.

    Another thing to take not of is whether or not the martial art is a hard-style or soft-style. A hard-style, like Taekwondo, involves a lot of external power and body conditioning, which could a plus if want to get in shape, or it could be a negative if your body is ill-suited to that type of work out. a soft-style art involves using internal power with heavy emphasis on manipulating pressure points, so body conditioning and muscle building isn't as necessary to be effective in your art.

    Personally, I've been taking Chinese Kenpo, not to be confused with American kenpo AKA the Parker system, for the last 6 years. This art's primary focus is self-defense and is not intended for competition, though it can be modified for such. It's a soft style that incorporate the use of pressure points, Tai Chi, animal forms, and weapons. It also places a heavy focus on mental training, which I believe is an important aspect of any martial art.

    One last thing to consider, if you decide to meet with an instructor, ask them how long it usually takes to achieve black belt. it can be very telling about how involved a martial art is. For instance, in Chinese Kenpo, the average time for achieving black belt is 8 years. So if an instuctor promises that you can be a black belt in just a year, or even in just three years, it usually means that there isn't much to learn and is thus, an inferior art.

    Sorry for the long post,

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    Default Re: Martial Arts in the Playground

    Most important thing is knowing what you want to get out of the training. If you're looking for self-defense, many things are straight out as the set of rules is too restrictive to prepare you for a real fight on the street. Elbow and knee attacks for example, and some arts don't cover ground combat and grappling, something you definitely want to be prepared for, as well as throws, holds, chokes and joint locks.

    I started Jujutsu last semester with university sport, as I think the style suits me and my body type. But more important I think is having a good teacher; finding the right martial art taught by someone not that good at it isn't worth much. I'm quite lucky, as our teacher is five time German champion and one time world champion. And I'm not even paying for the training!
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    Default Re: Martial Arts in the Playground

    Martial arts is one of those fun topics where everyone has a different set of criteria. There is a real trend towards lauding the aggressive, violent and combative over the nonviolent. Arts which can do more damage, faster, in more situations, are "better". It blurs the line, and there really needs to be a focus on whether you want to learn how to maim and kill people, and handle morality and ethics elsewhere, or if you want to learn martial arts for other reasons. The two are vastly different, but both fall under "martial arts", which really makes it hard to notice differences.

    Kajukenbo was a nice all-around style, from which I benefitted by having both teachers willing to teach dangerous things, and an atmosphere that did't reward dangerous behaviour. As a standalone art, it's pretty good (if a misnomer, since it is a mixed martial art in it's own right). If I wanted to learn how to hurt people again, though, I'd go straight to kick boxing, an round it out with a gapply bit.

    For conditioning, chin-na was amazing. I learned a lot about how my body worked and used that to correct small issues, and I learned a lot about relaxation and acrobatics - relaxation because it's better tha hard resistance, sometimes, and acrobatics because there were a couple twists I would rather jump, flip, an land on my head than suffer through. I polan on learning either aikido, capoeira, or maybe both in the near future, purely for fitness and a sense of wholeness.

    Don't discount tae kwon do, Anarion, there is a lot that can be solved by a decisive kick to the face. And by leg muscles hardened enough to run.

    Dakshaar, the length of time to a black belt could mean many things. A well conditioned practitioner could rise in the ranks pretty fast, since early levels are fitness, coordination and knowledge. All of these can be gained outside of a martial art, or transport from one ot the other. It could alsao be a sign of a bad school or teacher, rather than art. Too short, and the teacher may be promoting people faster to get his name out there. Too long, and the teacher could be milking you for fees without really teaching all that much. And a black belt is only the half-way point, not a goal in itself.


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    Quote Originally Posted by SiuiS View Post
    Don't discount tae kwon do, Anarion, there is a lot that can be solved by a decisive kick to the face. And by leg muscles hardened enough to run.
    I don't disagree with you. However, if you're selecting your martial art by which one would be most useful when being accosted by a mugger, I assure you that Taekwondo is on the low end. Also, if the name of the art ends in "do" (i.e. judo, taekwondo, kendo etc.) it generally means that the art had most of the lethal techniques removed and was refined into more of an exercise, training, and mentality type of art.

    Quote Originally Posted by SiuiS View Post
    And a black belt is only the half-way one quarter point, not a goal in itself.
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    Default Re: Martial Arts in the Playground

    Quote Originally Posted by Morph Bark View Post
    I noticed that there wasn't yet a topic about martial arts, combat sports and self-defence training here, and as I myself am interested and looking into getting into it right now I created this topic to see if there are out there who want to talk about this.

    Maybe even give tips or tell me what their favourite one is so my choice in picking one of them becomes even harder. Currently mainly looking into judo, karate, taekwondo and boxing.
    There was a previous Martial Artists in the Playground thread, but it died.

    As TheFallenOne said, what discipline you pick up is entirely what you want out of it. Do you want self defence, thinking about going into competition fighting, a way to keep fit or want to learn a traditional art?

    After that, it depends on how much time you're willing to give to achieve your goal - if you just want to be as effective as quickly as possible, boxing or some other specialised 'self defence' class would be ideal.

    TKD is good for competition and keeping fit, but of limited use for self defence.
    Depending on which style of karate is available and the sensei, it can hit all four markers.
    I haven't done enough judo to speak of its advantages/disadvantages, so leave that for more experienced people than me.

    Another thing to bear in mind when choosing a style is whether it fits your body shape and temperment - someone very aggressive and heavily built wouldn't be well suited for Tai Chi for example.
    I studied Shotokan karate for about a month before I gave it up - while the style of punching was extremely efficient, I couldn't wrap my head around leaving your arm fully extended for longer than a fraction of a second (I studied southern mantis beforehand and was taught never to do that).

    Finally as others have said, the school/class environment itself can be a factor. Some hypermasculine, testosterone fuelled gym dedicated for amateur and professional competition could well be what you're looking for, while other people prefer a more relaxed 'keep fit' style of class.
    The instructor is also a major factor - at my aikido class, there was one sensei I simply could not learn from, since he insisted on getting the technique right from the get-go and stopping to correct your form after every attempt, whereas I learn better by drilling through the entire technique repeatedly and correcting any errors as I go along.

    Neither is right or wrong, it's just different ways of learning.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dakshaar View Post
    Another thing to take not of is whether or not the martial art is a hard-style or soft-style. A hard-style, like Taekwondo, involves a lot of external power and body conditioning, which could a plus if want to get in shape, or it could be a negative if your body is ill-suited to that type of work out. a soft-style art involves using internal power with heavy emphasis on manipulating pressure points, so body conditioning and muscle building isn't as necessary to be effective in your art.

    One last thing to consider, if you decide to meet with an instructor, ask them how long it usually takes to achieve black belt. it can be very telling about how involved a martial art is. For instance, in Chinese Kenpo, the average time for achieving black belt is 8 years. So if an instuctor promises that you can be a black belt in just a year, or even in just three years, it usually means that there isn't much to learn and is thus, an inferior art.
    I thought hard styles were basically the striking ones, whereas soft styles were more like grappling, locking and such? And there is also the distinction (in Chinese martial arts) between "internal" and "external" arts, where the internal ones are basically focused around spirituality and breathing techniques and such, like Tai Chi.

    On the latter, I agree with SiuiS. While an art that takes a long while to get your black belt in can mean it has a lot to teach you, it could also be because of a lot of other factors. Plus the fact that it is basically just the halfway point, after which you prettymuch got the basics down in most cases, which shouldn't be too hard for me, as I'm a pretty fast learner.

    Sorry for the long post,
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    Quote Originally Posted by SiuiS View Post
    Martial arts is one of those fun topics where everyone has a different set of criteria. There is a real trend towards lauding the aggressive, violent and combative over the nonviolent. Arts which can do more damage, faster, in more situations, are "better". It blurs the line, and there really needs to be a focus on whether you want to learn how to maim and kill people, and handle morality and ethics elsewhere, or if you want to learn martial arts for other reasons. The two are vastly different, but both fall under "martial arts", which really makes it hard to notice differences.
    I've studied philosophy for a total of 6-7 years. I'm not looking for that, I assure you.

    I'd like a pretty all-round style, but without the lethal moves. I'm mainly in this for the exercise, self-defense second, with possibility of killing someone with it wayyy at the bottom.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Oni View Post
    There was a previous Martial Artists in the Playground thread, but it died.

    As TheFallenOne said, what discipline you pick up is entirely what you want out of it. Do you want self defence, thinking about going into competition fighting, a way to keep fit or want to learn a traditional art?
    A way to keep (or rather, get) fit primarily. Self-defense would be an extremely welcome bonus though. I haven't thought about competition fighting, but I have the time for that now anyway now that I'm out of a job and no longer got a study to dedicate myself to.

    Traditionality I don't care about as much as the other parts, at least for now.
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    Default Re: Martial Arts in the Playground

    I would love to take up karate or some sort of sword-based martial art if I had the time. Sadly I do not right now, but for future reference, are there japanese, chinese, etc. sword based martial arts? What are they? What are they like? I'm particularly interested in Japanese forms. Thanks to anyone who cares to answer.
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    If all you're looking for is getting in good shape, I'd strongly suggest a grappling-intensive style; freestyle wrestling, jiu-jitsu (either brazilian or traditional), judo (to a certain extent). Something like capoeira could work too; lots of movement and a bit of acrobatics.

    Self-defense (you said was secondary) styles, hmm.... western boxing is good, and muay thai will put a hurt on somebody real quick. Both are basic in their movements but subtle in their mastery, and make extraordinary use of kinetic linking. You'll want to round out with at least some basic training in a grappling style too though. Muay thai only really covers the clinch and boxing has virtually no grappling techniques at all.

    For taking people out. Any of the various styles of ninjutsu or kung-fu, as all of them were developed originally as weapons of war and haven't changed all that much in the interim, coming from such traditionally minded cultures. I favor a blending of a couple styles of ninjutsu myself, as they included teachings on how to read and manipulate an opponent before they even realize you're a threat. Not that you're particularly interested in taking people out.

    The martial arts have always been one of my primary interests and I'm kinda violent-minded, though fortunately very even-tempered.

    You might also consider some cross-training in parkour or freerunning, to help with cardio and getting familiar with how your body moves through space. Bonus points: it's hella-fun to pull moves that make your friends go " that was awesome!" without having to punch them in the head or throw them to the ground.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riverdance View Post
    I would love to take up karate or some sort of sword-based martial art if I had the time. Sadly I do not right now, but for future reference, are there japanese, chinese, etc. sword based martial arts? What are they? What are they like? I'm particularly interested in Japanese forms. Thanks to anyone who cares to answer.

    Kendo
    is the most well-known sword style that is Japanese, although you don't actually use a sword, you use a wooden stick. Nevertheless, it's completely a sword style and you'll probably feel like a samurai while you're doing it, albeit one being knocked on his butt repeatedly until you get good.

    Several variations in modern Wu Shu make use of traditional Chinese weapons. It's possible, depending on the studio and teacher you find, to specialize in a weapon, including one or two broadswords. This type of Wu Shu is mostly for show and exercise, not for cutting people with swords.
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    Default Re: Martial Arts in the Playground

    I've studied jujutsu, wing chun, boxing, and some traditional western weapons training: basic fencing, bow and arrow, throwing axe, spear fighting, and bayonet fencing.

    My favorite weapon to train with was, by far, the quarterstaff. I studied the Bō when I was a boy, although most of my technique was flash and flair... meant more for katas and competition than for combat. My wife is trained in knife fighting and the horseman's morningstar. She's pretty awesome with them... I wouldn't pick a fight with her.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riverdance View Post
    I would love to take up karate or some sort of sword-based martial art if I had the time. Sadly I do not right now, but for future reference, are there japanese, chinese, etc. sword based martial arts? What are they? What are they like? I'm particularly interested in Japanese forms. Thanks to anyone who cares to answer.
    There is my favorite, iaido, which is the samurai fast-draw thing. It has the benefit of being entirely non-combat based, without suffering for it.

    EDIT: Shinai are made from bamboo, which I feel I should point out is a type of grass, not really a wood. But rattan is dried vine, so.
    Man, that always gets me, when people call bokken "kendo sticks" and the like. I'm such a nerd.

    Quote Originally Posted by inexorabletruth View Post
    I've studied jujutsu, wing chun, boxing, and some traditional western weapons training: basic fencing, bow and arrow, throwing axe, spear fighting, and bayonet fencing.

    My favorite weapon to train with was, by far, the quarterstaff. I studied the Bō when I was a boy, although most of my technique was flash and flair... meant more for katas and competition than for combat. My wife is trained in knife fighting and the horseman's morningstar. She's pretty awesome with them... I wouldn't pick a fight with her.
    Your wife terrifies me. Both knives and flails cando a lot of harm in very short time spans in even moderately skilled hands.
    Last edited by SiuiS; 2012-10-07 at 01:34 PM.


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    Quote Originally Posted by SiuiS View Post
    EDIT: Shinai are made from bamboo, which I feel I should point out is a type of grass, not really a wood. But rattan is dried vine, so.
    Man, that always gets me, when people call bokken "kendo sticks" and the like. I'm such a nerd.
    I'm not sure why you're bringing up bokken, since those are legitimately made of wood.
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    Decent instructors/clubs will let you try a first class for free. Try them all out and see which one works best for you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Worira View Post
    I'm not sure why you're bringing up bokken, since those are legitimately made of wood.
    Because if you have the information to know they're cost, you know they are bokken/bokuto. It's a separate example of the same thing.


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    I read title as "Marital Arts". I am foolishness.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kelb_Panthera View Post
    You might also consider some cross-training in parkour or freerunning, to help with cardio and getting familiar with how your body moves through space. Bonus points: it's hella-fun to pull moves that make your friends go " that was awesome!" without having to punch them in the head or throw them to the ground.
    Ha! That'd indeed be awesome. I'd first have to majorly increase my stamina and strength though. I've always been pretty low on stamina. Even during the years I played hockey I was worn out by the end nearly all the time. When I run with my brothers, who are very fast, I can easily keep up, but afterwards I'm so winded I nearly just about pass out.

    That being said though, I'd be interested in doing it, but unless it's something you can do on your own without a club or a group, not likely for me to do as I doubt there are such ones around here. And I believe just running up and jumping onto random buildings would be frowned upon.

    Also, is there an actual difference between parkour and free-running?

    Anyway, thanks for the advice on some martial arts. I wasn't aware modern forms of ninjutsu were any sort of common though. Very curious.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    Several variations in modern Wu Shu make use of traditional Chinese weapons. It's possible, depending on the studio and teacher you find, to specialize in a weapon, including one or two broadswords. This type of Wu Shu is mostly for show and exercise, not for cutting people with swords.
    Ahuh. I always was under the impression Wu Shu was primarily an armed style?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mutant Sheep View Post
    I read title as "Marital Arts". I am foolishness.
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  21. - Top - End - #21
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    Default Re: Martial Arts in the Playground

    Quote Originally Posted by Morph Bark View Post
    I noticed that there wasn't yet a topic about martial arts, combat sports and self-defence training here, and as I myself am interested and looking into getting into it right now I created this topic to see if there are out there who want to talk about this.

    Maybe even give tips or tell me what their favourite one is so my choice in picking one of them becomes even harder. Currently mainly looking into judo, karate, taekwondo and boxing.
    Hello.

    Please decide for Self what you are searching for: Art, exercise, or combat training? The first two can be had very easily. Tae Kwan Do fits into both of these. Tai Chi does also.

    Combat training, however, is a little more complex. Wrestling skill is a must because most combat falls to the ground very quickly. Tae Kwan Do is...not very good in this instance. The general truth is that your body is unique and will require a custom mix of arts to bring out its full potential. Studying different arts and philosophies for combat will help you make your own style.

    I have heard reputable things about Jeet Kun Do. Hwa Rang Do. Chin Na. Mui Tai. Uechi Ryu Karate. Capoeira. But the best choice to make for combat training is to find a brawler. Find some-one who has been in many fist-fights. A former Military Police, perhaps, and speak with them.

    There is a difference between an artist and a fighter. Once Morph Bark has made that choice, then may-be, we can be of better help.

    Please have a nice day.

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    Default Re: Martial Arts in the Playground

    I've had good experiences with Ninjutsu (though unfortunately none of them involve creating glowing balls of chakra to throw at people). Its pretty small as martial arts go so there probably isn't a dojo in your area, but if there is you should check it out. For self defense it seems pretty effective. I haven't been in a fight so I don't know for certain but wikipedia says it pretty good for self defense and the techniques I seen seem like they could quickly end a fight. For exercise it seems okay though probably no better than any other martial art. Other than exercise and self defense benefits include: being able to legitamately claim that you are a ninja, rolling, spending 2 minutes explaining whenever someone asks "what martial art do you do?"and sword (and a few other weapons) training.
    Drawbacks include: spending 2 minutes explaining whenever someone asks "what martial art do you do?" and Ninjutsu not having very many martial arts competitions. The lack of competitions might just be from my personal dojo, I don't know if it extends to the rest of Ninjutsu as well.

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    Default Re: Martial Arts in the Playground

    Quote Originally Posted by Morph Bark View Post
    Ahuh. I always was under the impression Wu Shu was primarily an armed style?
    Wu Shu is an especially broad label and has been used to refer to a whole variety of Chinese martial arts. It includes several unarmed styles as well most traditional weapons.

    Also, I have a friend who served a little while in the Israeli army, and he suggests that Krav Maga is about as good as it gets as far as actually being able to severely harm someone that attacks you.

    Edit in response to Brother Oni: I definitely don't recommend Krav Maga. It's about really hurting people and it's only good if self-defense at any cost is what you're going for.
    Last edited by Anarion; 2012-10-07 at 06:38 PM.
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    Choosing a martial art massively depends on what your goals are since there are so many different activities that fall under the "martial arts" banner. Self-defense? Health and fitness? Sporting competition? History and culture. Decide what you want to achieve before setting out.

    Secondly, be aware that martial arts, moreso than almost any topic in the world, are full of bulls**t. There are so many ridiculous claims and counter-claims bouncing around that are hard to dispel because the only proof is in actual fighting which is generally frowned on in polite society. That said:

    Anyone who claims that you can learn to fight without regular high intensity contact sparring is lying.

    Anyone who claims they are teaching a historically accurate method of fighting with a thousand year lineage is lying.

    Anyone who claims that belt colours (or belts in general, especially black belts) are relevent in any but a handful of cases (like legit BJJ schools) is lying.

    Anyone who claims they are "too dangerous" or "too deadly" to back up their claims is lying.

    In general, shop around with a sceptical eye and a mind to your goals and you shouldn't go far wrong.

    My personal experience is in BJJ, boxing and muay thai, all of which are great choices IMO. That said, for a good combo of fitness, effectiveness, culture and availability you can't really go wrong with Judo.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Morph Bark View Post
    I thought hard styles were basically the striking ones, whereas soft styles were more like grappling, locking and such? And there is also the distinction (in Chinese martial arts) between "internal" and "external" arts, where the internal ones are basically focused around spirituality and breathing techniques and such, like Tai Chi.
    Eargh. It's a correct interpretation, but it's only a partial interpretation.

    With Chinese martial arts, all styles start either hard/external or soft/internal, but then as you progress through, they move round to the other side of the hard/soft divide.

    For example, Mantis starts very hard and external, with lots of conditioning and muscle building work. As you become more advanced, more time is spent on the internal side, breathing techniques and the like, to supplement the earlier hard stuff (the 'steel jacket' technique being a good example.
    Conversely Tai Chi starts very soft, but then progresses towards more physical actions (however in my experience, it's very rare that Tai Chi classes get that far and most remain stuck on the soft side).


    With regard to your other hard/soft distinction, I feel it's a bit of an arbitrary one - I know a number of locking techniques from Mantis which would be about as far removed from 'soft' as you could get.

    Quote Originally Posted by Morph Bark View Post
    A way to keep (or rather, get) fit primarily. Self-defense would be an extremely welcome bonus though. I haven't thought about competition fighting, but I have the time for that now anyway now that I'm out of a job and no longer got a study to dedicate myself to.

    Traditionality I don't care about as much as the other parts, at least for now.
    I second most of Kelb_Panthera's suggestions, although for a fitness focus, I would suggest boxing and kick boxing. Standard cardio work like running would also be recommended, unfortunately (I personally hate running).

    No offence intended to Anarion's friend, but I don't think Krav Maga is what you're looking for, since as he says, it's intended to put your enemy down as fast and quick as possible.

    Story Time's comment of mixing and matching styles for your body shape and temperament is more relevant for competitive and street fighting, but no less true. I would suggest having a firm basis in one style before branching out though, especially if you have no martial arts experience beforehand.

    Quote Originally Posted by Morph Bark View Post
    I wouldn't at all mind sparring with the missus after I'd be married.
    Speaking from personal (and painful) experience, if your missus is anything like mine, wear a groin guard if you do.
    Last edited by Brother Oni; 2012-10-07 at 06:16 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Morph Bark View Post
    Ha! That'd indeed be awesome. I'd first have to majorly increase my stamina and strength though. I've always been pretty low on stamina. Even during the years I played hockey I was worn out by the end nearly all the time. When I run with my brothers, who are very fast, I can easily keep up, but afterwards I'm so winded I nearly just about pass out.
    Actually, a big part of why I suggested the running arts (I don't know if that's a real term, but I'm using it anyway) is that practicing them will improve your endurance in a way that's far more entertaining that just straight running. They also help immensely with developing the ability to quickly size up your surroundings for the purpose of moving through them in the most efficient and least painful way possible. As long as you don't try to push too far past your limits you can do something at almost any level of fitness, even if it's nothing but simple precision jumps.

    That being said though, I'd be interested in doing it, but unless it's something you can do on your own without a club or a group, not likely for me to do as I doubt there are such ones around here. And I believe just running up and jumping onto random buildings would be frowned upon.
    It's best to always have a spotter just in case, but otherwise parkour and freerunning are things you can teach yourself. I'm doing it with no shortage of success. Like all athletic endeavors just always remember that safety comes first and be aware of your limits. Also, technique is everything. How you move is much more important than how fast/strong the movements are.
    Also, is there an actual difference between parkour and free-running?
    It's mostly a subtle difference. As I understand it, mind you I'm a bit of a novice, the difference is that parkour is more about moving through your environment at optimal efficiency and is a bit more philosophical, while freerunning is a bit more about the tricks and flair. I invite anyone more experienced to correct me if I'm mistaken about that.

    Anyway, thanks for the advice on some martial arts. I wasn't aware modern forms of ninjutsu were any sort of common though. Very curious.
    You're most welcome, and yes there are still some styles of ninjutsu taught here and there. It's a much less widespread group of styles though. You may have trouble finding an instructor.

    Edit: If you do decide to take up the running arts, make sure you learn to fall properly first. A video clip just reminded me of the importance of that skill. Falling properly is the most essential skill in any athletic art where falling is largely unavoidable in the ultimate sense. Fortunately, it'll be one of the very first things you're taught in any grappling intensive martial art.
    Last edited by Kelb_Panthera; 2012-10-07 at 11:27 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Story Time View Post
    There is a difference between an artist and a fighter. Once Morph Bark has made that choice, then may-be, we can be of better help.

    Please have a nice day. [/SIZE]
    I think this is a misunderstanding of how the words art and artist are used. An art is a skillset, really. A martial art is a skillset which can be applied to fighting. Tai chi is a martial art, even as exercise, because it's balance, proprioception and breathing can improve your fighting ability. First aid, field medicine and paramedic training are martial arts because they directly apply to a fight, either in how to fix what's done or how to do something hard to fix. A street fighter who has even a semi-codified understanding of what he is doing, even if the difference is as small as "jab, hook, cross, uppercut, elbow" is a martial artist. He has an art which is martial.

    As far as avoiding frippery because it's all flash and no substance, however, I agree. Unless flash is what you want, of course.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    Wu Shu is an especially broad label and has been used to refer to a whole variety of Chinese martial arts. It includes several unarmed styles as well most traditional weapons.
    Wushu is about as indicative as martial art is. Wushu is often sold as being the Chinese cultural version of professional competitive cheer leading, but some wushu people are sad about it.

    Also, I have a friend who served a little while in the Israeli army, and he suggests that Krav Maga is about as good as it gets as far as actually being able to severely harm someone that attacks you.

    Edit in response to Brother Oni: I definitely don't recommend Krav Maga. It's about really hurting people and it's only good if self-defense at any cost is what you're going for.
    I suggest avoiding krav maga. Or anything, any dojo or dojang or whatnot, where they work on your killer instincts. Those are hard to get rid of. I'll have to get thanqol in here, his classes are pretty sweet.

    Quote Originally Posted by Liffguard View Post
    Anyone who claims that you can learn to fight without regular high intensity contact sparring is lying.
    I disagree. It's entirely possible to instruct the framework without sparring. You jut won't be able to compensate well for subtle changes. This requires thinking about hurting people far more than I feel is healthy though.

    Anyone who claims that belt colours (or belts in general, especially black belts) are relevent in any but a handful of cases (like legit BJJ schools) is lying.
    I don't think most traditional schools even use belt colors, actually. It may be an entirely American invention.

    Anyone who claims they are "too dangerous" or "too deadly" to back up their claims is lying.
    I disagree here as well. Developing lethal force is easy. Developing intros of it is harder. Refusing to hit someone is often the height of self-control. Using this as a badge to earn points is tacky, but at that point you should already see signs the person is a snake oil salesman.

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    Default Re: Martial Arts in the Playground

    @SiuiS: while you're technically correct about what a martial art is, the generally accepted colloquial meaning is a codified, or semi-codifed, fighting system.

    Under that definition it is indeed possible to make a distinction between an artist and a fighter. The distinction lies in emphasis on either practical application of technique, or mastery of form. I lean very heavily toward the former and would probably be more correctly defined as a fighter than an artist. I'm definitely a martial artist though.

    @Story Time: Morph Bark has stated that he wants to be an athlete. I suspect that leans a bit more toward artist than fighter, though he's indicated at least some interest in practical application of technique as well.

    In general, the distinction between artist and fighter is more of a spectrum than an either/or kind of thing.
    Last edited by Kelb_Panthera; 2012-10-07 at 11:09 PM.
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  29. - Top - End - #29
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    Default Re: Martial Arts in the Playground

    I contend it is a colloquialism that doesn't deserve promulgation. I would rather it go away, as it's a very small distinction that only serves to create a false dichotomy. People hear Art versus Fight and they assume that one is superior to the other. Fight is better, and it's more worthwhile in your life to learn how to maim and murder people than it is to be a good person and have the skills to defuse a situation. Schools of good martial artists go out of business while scam artists who hit too hard on the dojo floor "to make it gritty" make a killing by selling themselves as authentic murder dealers.

    All in all, it's an undertaking that can only be detrimental. Whether you're a martial artist or a fighter doesn't come down to how you fight, it's apple and oranges. Both a brawler and a martial artist will be willing to collapse trachea, puncture eyes, dislocate knees, rupture testicles and in general be willing to do what need be done to survive a back alley ambush. The martial artist however, would be aware that a back alley is a dumb place to walk alone at night in an unfamiliar neighborhood, and take the street instead. Who really wins?

    Martial arts are about more than just the fight itself. It's a meta level thing. Beig aware of when and how a fight can start. That's not separate from a fighter at all. It's synergising other skills into fighting. Hell, kajukenbo was founded by guys who would start bar fights and street brawls. They just took notes on what happened, what worked and what didn't afterwards.


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    Quote Originally Posted by SiuiS View Post
    There is my favorite, iaido, which is the samurai fast-draw thing. It has the benefit of being entirely non-combat based, without suffering for it.

    EDIT: Shinai are made from bamboo, which I feel I should point out is a type of grass, not really a wood. But rattan is dried vine, so.
    Man, that always gets me, when people call bokken "kendo sticks" and the like. I'm such a nerd.



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