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#97477 - 05/18/04 09:30 PM need help choosing style/ not the normal what is best

I am new to martial arts and would like to hear more experienced opinions. I'm not asking which style is best. I want to know which style you would recommend for me.I know that a persons size and other factors are important. So i hoped if i supplied some info that it would not sound like the same question "which one is best". I'm 5'6" 160 lbs. in good shape. i have had some boxing training and train with heavy bag and weights. Since i'm short I dont think TKD or karate is for me. i like the idea of wing chun except for leading strong side first. I think the boxing training I've had may conflict with wing chun. JKD sounds good but i hear there are alot of fakes.I got my neck broke a few years ago in a car wreck. It has healed fine but wonder if Jujitsu or judo would be a smart idea. i used to like to spar so i want that just not to extreme. my fighting days are over. I'm in my 30's and pretty mellow. I want to learn a martial art for several reasons but if i'm going to learn one i want it to be a good one not thai chi or some foo foo that just prepares me to have inner peace while getting my butt kicked or takes a life time to understand. I know its the school or instructor not the style but if all things were equal i do think there is a style that would probably fit me best. Any advice would be helpful.

#97478 - 05/18/04 11:07 PM Re: need help choosing style/ not the normal what is best
laf7773 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/05/04
Posts: 4065
Loc: Limbo
You might look at Wado ryu. They incorperate a little of everything. Same with some forms of kempo. If you already have natural ability and train hard enough any art is effective. If you are looking for an art then kick boxing would be pointless. At 5'6" you would need a good inside game, american kenpo and wing chun would fit that bill. In order to be good all around you need stand up and ground fighting skill. Don't shy away from the internal arts though. You would be amazed at some of the full contact skill some of those guys have. Check out Mike Patterson is said to be one of the best in the internal arts, his students have won a lot of nhb matches in Taiwan. Your best bet is to take a look at what you have available to you in your area and go in for a lesson. Most schools don't have a problem with you taking a free lesson to see if you like it. You might want to also look at Bujinkan and Genbukan. I know, ooohhh ninja! I've seen some really good fighter in the bujinkan and the system is pretty well rounded.

#97479 - 05/19/04 08:42 AM Re: need help choosing style/ not the normal what is best
JohnL Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 03/24/03
Posts: 4309
Loc: NY, NY, USA
First of all, find out what's available close to you. If you have to travel miles to train, you'll give up because of the sheer inconvienience.

That should narrow your search.

Once you've found out what's available locally, ask the question again.


#97480 - 05/19/04 12:27 PM Re: need help choosing style/ not the normal what is best
immrtldragon Offline

Registered: 05/22/03
Posts: 1540
Loc: Just outside Philadelphia, PA
I agree with JohnL about finding a place close. With that said, I saw that you mentioned Judo. If there is a place close to you I would recommend it. Only exception is the thing you said about your neck. There is a lot of resisting, twisting, and pulling on the body so it may aggravate it. I am similarly built (5'7" & 170 pounds) and the art seems very good for my build. If there is a place close, you may want to check it out. Of course be careful if your neck starts bothering you.

#97481 - 05/19/04 02:38 PM Re: need help choosing style/ not the normal what is best
MartinR Offline

Registered: 01/14/04
Posts: 109
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC
As you pointed out, the instructor is extremely important. Look at several schools before deciding. I'm also in my 30's and only a little bigger (5'9", ~180 lb), and all else being equal, my top choices would be Judo or Brazilian Jui-Juitsu if available - just be more aware of your neck.

I woundn't necessarily eliminate all karate (or even TKD) styles because of your size - you are probably tall for most of the traditional oriental practitioners.

With your background in boxing, you might consider Tai Boxing. It seems like it would be a fairly easy transition (but then, I don't study it [IMG][/IMG] )

One other idea would even be the "fitness kickboxing" - mainly to keep in shape. I've seen classes all over the place. It wouldn't be my first choice, but they have become popular and can give you a great cardio workout. (Some martial arts schools are better in other in that regard).

Good luck.


#97482 - 05/19/04 04:50 PM Re: need help choosing style/ not the normal what is best

thanks for the advice. I work all over the city and have almost every style to choose from so I'm not limited to just a few choices. Hapkido has alot of places but I know nothing about them. There is various karate but I disagree with high kicks. When I used to box I trained at a karate school.Can't remember style, does "traco" mean anything to anyone? I was impressed how the good ones could block most body shots with there legs. I should probably look more at kempo. I havent done much research on it yet. I'm not knocking softer styles and may be better with for my neck. I probably need to be careful there are metal brackets back there now but he said I "should" be stronger than before the wreck. I have to admit common since tells me brazilian jujitsu, judo or something similar seems to dominate but I'm betting it would be too rough on my neck. I don't like too much repitition so i want to avoid kata. Hard work doesnt bother me. So far I'm thinking win chun, muay thai, bjj, judo but any advice would help. I dont know much about styles yet but with your guys help who knows.

#97483 - 05/19/04 05:05 PM Re: need help choosing style/ not the normal what is best
joesixpack Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/04/02
Posts: 2282
Loc: Australia
spurn Tae Bo and it's clones the way you would spurn a rabid dog

find a dojo that is traditional, not bounded by tradition, fights at all ranges full contact with and without gloves, takes techs from everywhere, practices self defense (different to "sparring") and weapons, traditional and in a "sportive" manner (like kali sticks with full protective gear).

make sure they work you like a lowly maggot too, and have great people to train with and a caring instructor who pushes you.

style doesn't matter. our dojo is the best in our style, but otherwise I wouldn't necessairly train in it. it's not that the style is weak, but some dojos come and go, not enough numbers, etc. They also don't have a culture like us.

#97484 - 05/19/04 05:15 PM Re: need help choosing style/ not the normal what is best

Thought I would add that sport kickboxing isnt what I had in mind, I do want an art. Not mixed martial school of ground and pound or tkd usa incorporated. belts dont matter to me. I want to feel confident that i could defend against average one on one. The haymaker and tackle. The small number of fights I've been in have been much larger guys with no skill. I have done alright so far but wouldn't it be nice to know its gonna be ok. I think I may want to avoid the death strike schools though.

#97485 - 05/24/04 11:35 AM Re: need help choosing style/ not the normal what is best
otobeawanker Offline

Registered: 06/08/04
Posts: 192
Look Kick boxing is about taking your steel shin and putting it accross your opponets leg, not his face. Height is irrelavent. And in Muay Thai there are only two kicks to learn.

[This message has been edited by otobeawanker (edited 05-26-2004).]

#97486 - 05/24/04 06:53 PM Re: need help choosing style/ not the normal what is best
joesixpack Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/04/02
Posts: 2282
Loc: Australia
Sez you....anyway, we have a few guys who are old boxers....but there is more to MA than ring fighting. Even Johnny Kogas trains "self defence".

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