Why and how did you get into martial arts?

Styles, training, conditioning, equipment - everything related to Martial Arts.

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Postby pandiriver » Wed May 26, 2004 1:31 pm

Ok, I am no expert but KM certainly does not look like my cup o' tea. I don't doubt it works on a military level but some of their ideas seem a bit unrealistic and a bit unsafe for civilian defence imho (like the one where some guy displayed the amazing way of kicks against knives :roll:) Also I must say some of their "realistic training" seems a bit odd, I was browsing a KM site and it had "week 16: protection against sub machine gun". that put me off quite a bit, and the fact that Fitness Magazine (swedish magazine) had on the front page "train Krav Maga like J-Lo and get a perfect body".. well.. what can I say - I think a lot of the KM schools have sold out and are not worth the effort.. but check it out, you might find a good one! It shares a lot of the ideas the WT system I (minus the flow and straight punches =))am in and the escrima system has - easy and effective movements that are natural to your body- strike where it hurts and get out of there , no need to stay around to do a sweet spinning flying kick and shout kiai all day long.


:edit: ok. I reread that post and thought it was a bit too negative. I am sure it has a lot of the psychological aspects that are necessary, and will probably get you used to the "proper" way of kicking/striking and a bit on how weapons work. which is all good in my book - knowledge makes you a survivor. :edit:
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Postby Rochellita » Wed May 26, 2004 1:36 pm

yep. I have issues with it's origins, but am curious to hear everyone's opinions on it's effectiveness.

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Postby pandiriver » Wed May 26, 2004 1:45 pm

Ya.. it is strange -a lot of clubs say they have no connection at all with the origin still they all have a Israelian flag in their club and a "ritual" saying of "hello" in some weird language. :?

as for it's effectivness - I don't know really - marketing says it works in combat. combat is not self-defense so who knows. marketing says a lot of things though. Any system can probably find some police force that uses the system. I find it lacking in things like proper center line theory and the forward momentum I am have started to getting the feel for. also I have problems with they way they throw their punches and their kicks, seems a bit unsafe and a bit static.. 'course I am heavily biased, being in the Wing Tsun cult and all :wink: I am unsure if KM teaches how to uses weapons to your advantage or just theories on how to do unarmed against weapons. Not learning to use weapons seems like a problem to me - even if you don't have one at the moment when you are attacked you still have an understanding of how the attackers weapon works (much more than just practing drills against armed attackers) and that is always a plus... eeh. just check it out 8)
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Postby pandiriver » Wed May 26, 2004 2:11 pm

here I go again 8)

back to Krav Maga - I was reading some discussion about it on another board and as I "feared" the kicking system comes mostly from kickboxing and the like. Basically it results in the old problem of the bigger person being able to generate that much power because of his muscles, also it featured kicks to the head and upper body which I personally find (in a self-defense situation) 1) dangerous to use and 2) very uneffective. All in all I am disapointed in the system :(
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Postby prenna » Wed May 26, 2004 3:16 pm

There are some aspects of Krav Maga which interest me. The psychological aspect is pretty good and some of the knife work I've seen is alright. It's already been said though that there are some really bad techniques, such as high kicks, which I just don't understand being in a self defence system.

You might be interested in having a read of some of the material about self defence on the following sites:

http://www.tonyblauer.com

and

http://www.nononsenseselfdefence.com
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Postby wannalift » Thu May 27, 2004 2:43 pm

prenna: good call on tony blauer.

in my case i happened to overhear someone talking about a martial art they were taking. it caught my interest and it turned out the instruction was about a five minute drive from my house. it was a closed door system and we practiced in a church rec room and there were never more than 5 students. after i moved away for college, i always regretted not finding a school, then i found one that taught the same style that i was brought up under. i consider myself very fortunate for that.
the style i study, pentjak silat poekoelan cimande, is a very brutal guerrila warfare type of art. it was used by the indonesians to fight the imperial dutch. that is to say it was practiced by the average indonesian 5'5'' 130 lbs to fight the average dutchman 6'+ 200 lbs. in our art we attack the attacking limb to a take down take out. its classified as a death art because all of our defenses are either crippling or fatal. but that is the attitude we choose to have when defending our life. it is very useful defense against mutliple attackers because we assume all confrontations will be that case and we finish our opponents quickly. everything is a strike. no blocks, just counterattacks.
i like the way it is taught so much because we stress each student become an artist and develop it for themselves rather than just following orders and or trying to move like another student. this stresses creative thought and that is like teaching someone how to learn.
dont' have any links off hand, but type UK silat into google and you should come up with something. as for KM, i've only heard good things about that art. i would personally never study an israeli military art, but i would never question its effectiveness. those guys are tough. anyway hope that helped out. cheers.
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Postby pandiriver » Fri May 28, 2004 2:45 pm

I found a KM thread at self-defense forums. if you are interested you might want to check this out http://www.selfdefenseforums.com/forums ... eadid=3235

:D
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Postby pandiriver » Fri May 28, 2004 3:10 pm

also you might want to get some palmstick training and start carrying a nice "kubotan key chain holder". I don't know about the legal status of sprays in the UK but if they are not illegal (like in Sweden) you might want to consider some good spray too. I found a nice one that was basically a kubotan with a spray in it. amazing thing.
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Postby Cuguacuarana » Fri May 28, 2004 4:27 pm

I have done other martial arts at other points in my life, but I got into aikido as a result of my interest in climbing, a sport that requires balance strength and coordination as well as an deep presence of mind. Aikido develpes all of these things, though strength to a lesser extent. I have also, for a long time, been facinated with the idea of the warrior spirit. the idea of forging body and mind, living moment to moment with presence of mind in everything you do.

Aikido however is not what I would suggest for self defense. For that, I really like the philosophy of jeet kun do. The whole principal is exploring martial techniques from anywhere and developing them to fit your body and beliefs. In that way it is very personal.
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Aikido

Postby Daniel » Sat May 29, 2004 3:06 am

I got into my martial art because I believe in nonviolence and cooperative conflict resolution. My martial art is Aikido and it is the physical form of what I previously only new about in a theoretical form.

I studied organizational and interpersonal communications in college and in my studies I learned that research shows cooperation and win/win solutions are more productive than the competitive, winner-take-all solutions that dominate the American culture. This research on cooperative conflict resolution interested me because it conformed well to my belief in equality and nonviolence.

About a year ago I was reading a list describing a number of martial arts when I came across the description of Aikido. Aikido was described as a martial art that had no attacks and did not attempt to stop an aggressors attack, but instead the Aikidoist would blend with the aggressor. This was very strange to me at the time so I attempted to learn more about the art.

Aikido means, "the way of harmonizing with energy." In Aikido you actually work with the aggressor's energy, and you use that energy to lead the aggressor. In Aikido you don't "fight" off an attacker, but instead cooperate with your attacker and work to create harmony. An accomplished Aikidoka (a student of Aikido) can easily neutralize an aggressor's attack without causing the aggressor any harm.

When you first hear about Aikido it may sounds very Utopian. When you see an Aikido master at work for the first time you might think it is a choreographed dance--no more real than the choreographed fight scenes in movies like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. However, when you actually practice it you begin to achieve not only a new understanding of the reality of the martial art but of conflict in daily life.

The founder of Aikido called his martial art a form of "moving meditation," and that is exactly what it is. If you want to be prepared to handle nasty demonstrations Aikido might help. Any martial art may give you skills in self-defense and the confidence to deal with violent situations, but I think Aikido offers a unique benefit for progressive activists.

Aikido is based on the same steadfast commitment to nonviolence that empowered activists like Gandhi and King, who regularly dealt with the type of violent situation one might encounter at any anti-fascist demonstration. It was Gandhi and King's belief in nonviolence and their quest for equality that helped them stand their ground when others may have run. I think Aikido can empower activists to deal effectively with violent situations.

Aikido teaches you to be centered and prepared for an attack from any direction. At a demonstration where violence breaks out you will most likely have to be deal with multiple attackers. Aikidoka are trained to deal quickly and effectively with more than one attacker at a time. At a demonstration it is not likely you'll be able to take on your aggressors one at a time.

Aikido does not require great strength, because you blend with the force of the aggressor. So almost anyone can do Aikido. Large bullyboys do not have an advantage if you know Aikido.

Proper Aikido uses just enough force and energy to effectively neutralize an attacker. Many martial arts are about doing as much damage to your opponent as quickly as possible. With Aikido the advantage is that you are less likely to cause your attacker unnecessary harm. I think that in most demonstration situation you are not going to want to injure or kill your aggressor, because that will potentially harm your social justice message and escalate that violent situation. Also, this means less unneeded troubles with the police and negative press.

I'm not saying Aikido is the best martial art out there for people interested in self-defense. Different martial arts are better at different things. Aikido is a modern form of Budo (warrior way) and is not just a form of self-defense, so rating it as a system for self-defense can be misleading. Those who only want a "quick and dirty" form of self-defense may be quickly turned off by Aikido's etiquette, philosophy and ki exercises.

Budo is not a means of felling the opponent by force or lethal weapons. Neither is it intended to lead the world to destruction by arms and other illegitimate means. True Budo calls for bringing the inner energy of the universe in order, protecting the peace of the world and molding, as well as preserving, everything in its right form. --Morihie Ueshiba
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Postby Cuguacuarana » Sun May 30, 2004 2:35 am

I would like to add that if you are interested in a system that places little emphasis on ranking, aikido is quite possibly the best option. There are ranks, but most schools still follow in the tradition of no colored belts. You wear a white belt as you move through the kyu ranks, and when you reach shodan you wear a black belt. The reason this is the tradition is to take away from the tendency to compare your progress with others. The competition should only be with yourself. The founder is said to have worn a white belt until his death despite the almost superhuman feats he was able to perform.
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Postby Mary » Tue Jun 01, 2004 10:53 pm

I got into martial arts because as a hunt sab I was always getting into positions where people attempted to beat the shit out of me. It happens on demos too, but sabbing the Cheshire Forest for a couple of seasons really brought home to me how dangerous protest could be. Also, as a kid I was beaten a few times, and I had some very unfortunate experiences when I felt utterly helpless. I never wanted to feel that way again.

Anyway, about two years ago now I was badly beaten up by several police men at a demonstration. Fortunately the incident was caught on video, and the police doctor recorded my injuries, stating that they were consistent with my version of events. (The police were saying that I attacked them, and that I had no injuries, so the doctors report was a bit damning.) Given the weight of evidence they dropped charges against me (they had been going to charge me with assault if you can believe it) and I am now suing them for compensation. The reason I have my hair cut short these days is because the police grabbed me by the hair (amongst other things) and yanked me so hard from left to right that I got whiplash. It took me a while to get over the shock of this, but while I was recovering Séamus had started karate. I watched him learn, and wondered for the umpteenth time why I hadn't done it. So I finally got my act together and started learning.

Rochelle, I would learn whatever art appeals. Also, I would go for a teacher before the art concerned. If you find a teacher you can respect, then they can teach you. Someone could teach you Jeet Kun Do, but if they aren't Bruce Lee then you won't necessarily learn as well. (If I ever find a good teacher of Jeet Kun Do I would love to learn it.) On the other hand, you might find a little old Granny who teaches you the martial applications of Tai Chi and really get on with her. One move I learnt in Tai Chi has proved astonishingly useful on a number of occasions - I will just have to show you next time I see you.

Anyway, good luck. I am sure you will enjoy it when you have found the art that is right for you. Oh yeah, ask Steve what he thinks. He is a good teacher, and has been on this forum a few times. He has been talking about touring around teaching people self defence, and he would be a great place to start.
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Postby pandiriver » Fri Jun 04, 2004 10:19 am

no disrespect to all aikidokas here.. but learning aikido to quickly get functional selfdefense on the street?
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Postby Rochellita » Fri Jun 04, 2004 10:36 am

Just an update- decided to opt for training with Prenna's instructor, who teaches practical self-defense using a blend of styles, specifically for hunt sabs and other activists who may find themselves in compromising situations. I'm told it's alot of pyschology, so that should be fun :D

Mary, I did try Tai Chi, but to honest I just didn't really connect with it, first lesson was great, but after the second one I just felt that it wasn't for me.

This certainly turned into an interesting thread :!:

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Postby prenna » Sat Jun 05, 2004 2:44 pm

Rochelle wrote:Just an update- decided to opt for training with Prenna's instructor, who teaches practical self-defense using a blend of styles, specifically for hunt sabs and other activists who may find themselves in compromising situations. I'm told it's alot of pyschology, so that should be fun :D


Good choice! It's not on this Tuesday but it will be the following week.
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