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The elections are over and I need a sanity break. I have a lot of stress to work out in my life and am looking to work it out through martial arts. I don't expect to run into any trouble in the streets, so practical self defense is not a major concern. I am looking for the martial art that enhances fitness, instills mental discipline and, most importantly, lets me BREAK STUFF!! My son recently started karate, but I also want to keep my options open to kung fu, taekwondo and other. So, what do you practice? Thanks a lot!!

Originally posted to RandySF on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 04:52 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Karate with a mix of everything else (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RandySF, Aquagranny911

      I started with the idea of beating the crap out of somebody or defending my family in a crisis. You quickly get over the aggression as it leads to conflict and all martial arts deal with ending conflict.
      We do a 45 minute set of exercises before we start training. Warming up, loosening up, and stretching.
      You can get injured easily if you aren't loose and stretched.
      All arts are valid, you just have to pick one that suits you. Remember Kung Fu Panda: it is your path so you get to choose.
      Good luck and enjoy the journey.

      I don't hit. But I do hit back

      by mcgee85 on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 05:59:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Tai Chi (3+ / 0-)

    If you want to kick up your self defense quotient go to a school that has a kung fu component as well.

    Change happens because of you...Barack Obama

    by Adept2u on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 05:02:48 PM PDT

  •  I used to do Tae Kwan Do (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    janmtairy, Aquagranny911

    But I got disillusioned with the emphasis on tournaments. I'd have been better off just being as good as I was, instead of being pressured to do tournaments.

    The wolfpack eats venison. The lone wolf eats mice.

    by A Citizen on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 05:07:44 PM PDT

    •  I do Tae Kwon Do (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aquagranny911

      First Degree Black Belt with my 9 yr old son.  We get to break stuff.  We're part of the ITF which does not focus as much on competitions.

      This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

      by DisNoir36 on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 07:03:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I found Tae Kwon do... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    janmtairy, Ezekial 23 20

    to be fun and a great workout.  And you get to spar, which is always enjoyable.

    Just be warned that it is virtual useless for self-defense.

    Hell hath no fury like a cat ignored...

    by Gatordiet on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 05:08:56 PM PDT

    •  Strongly disagree about useless for self defense (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aquagranny911

      The basic stuff may be but the advanced stuff can easily be used to kill someone if they attack you.

      This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

      by DisNoir36 on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 07:05:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I recently (0+ / 0-)

    took about 6 months of muay thai classes (one day a week) coupled with two days a week of western boxing.

    I am very happy that I did it, but do not have other martial arts experience to compare it to.

    The muay thai classes are very very rigorous and very physical.  In fact my research puts them as the most taxing martial art.  I am happy that I learned it but am thinking that next year I will likely look at learning another martial art.  It pretty much took me a half day to recover from an hour long class!  

    If fitness and the "breaking stuff" portion of martial arts are what you are looking for my guess is that muay thai is your best bet.

  •  Budo Taijutsu or (0+ / 0-)

    Brazilian Jujitsu.

    Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man.

    by NMDad on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 05:18:06 PM PDT

  •  My style is better than your's n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gavodotcom, janmtairy

    "Es mejor morir de pie que vivir de rodilla." E. Zapata

    by Mas Gaviota on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 05:18:31 PM PDT

    •  hehehe (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mas Gaviota, janmtairy

      no your style sucks because you have your elbow this way when you strike, whereas can you see how my elbow does this?  also, you will notice my stance.  my style is clearly superior.

      Madam, if you were my wife, I would drink it.

      by gavodotcom on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 05:27:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Almost 20 years ago (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gavodotcom

        I switched from kyokushin karate (true high form, Mas Oyama 100 Kumite) to Tae Kwan Do (it was geographical -- I had moved and was looking for a teacher more than a style).  And, yes, it was all about where you held your hand in relation to your elbow.  Both were fighting styles, which I was looking for.  

        I really loved to fight.  I quit in my late 30s for other reasons; but I miss the kumite a LOT.

  •  The right martial arts program? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aquagranny911, Ezekial 23 20

    Well, you don't get to break stuff, but Kendo (Japanese fencing) lets you burn off amazing amounts of aggression in combat by whacking lightly armored opponents on head, throat, wrists or ribs with a flexible bamboo sword called a shinai. More cerebral but even more esthetic is Iaido, the art of drawing the Japanese katana into lethal cuts against an (imaginary) opponent in one single smooth and precise movement. The katana is fortunately a blunted-edge practice sword called an iaito until you reach a level of skill where you are deemed skilled enough to handle a live (razor-sharp) sword called a shinken.
    There are only two disadvantages - a good Kendo/Iaido dojo may be hard to find in many parts of the country, and the equipment can be expensive - although you do not have to invest until you have developed a certain level of skill, and by that time you will know whether your sticktoitiveness makes the investment worthwhile. Also, while there are of course very serious practitioners out there of all of the various martial arts forms, I have found that the majority of dojos that I have seen, particularly of karate and tae kwan do, are basically glorified day care centers where parents send their kids to keep them busy - I am far happier with Iaido/Kendo.

    Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    by drybones on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 05:20:26 PM PDT

    •  European fencing is great too (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aquagranny911

      The European martial art is fencing, and it has similar benefits of Kendo. There are three weapons in fencing: foil that is point only and targets the torso, saber that is point and edge and targets from the hips up (including head and arms) and epee, which is point only and targets any part of the body.

      I loved the mental agility required from fencing, and my specialty was foil which is extremely fast. One thing that I also found satisfying about fencing is physically striking your opponent, it's quite a release. The safety equipment is good enough that injuries almost never happen, and even bruising isn't much of a factor once the participants achieve a certain skill level.

      It may not be what you're thinking of, but I believe it's worth considering.

      Are you shaking or biting the invisible hand?

      by puppethead on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 07:28:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I found a dojo in SF (0+ / 0-)

      I think I will try it out.

  •  Krav Maga or boxing... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aquagranny911

    If you really want to hit things and work off aggression. I've done Kung Fu, Tai Chi, boxing, and Muy Thai, but recently started at a Krav Maga gym with a weekly boxing class.

    What I like about Krav and boxing is that in both you connect your punches. You don't throw punches in the air; there's always a heavy bag or focus mitts to hit so you use more energy and there's nothing more satisfying than really pounding a heavy bag. I do both several times a week at my integrated Krav gym (has boxing, muy thai, cardio MMA, and crossfit) and it's great.

    •  It took me (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aquagranny911

      a lot longer to pick up western boxing than muay thai.  By pretty much my 2nd class in muay thai I was moving along.  It took me at least a half dozen classes of western boxing to take my footwork from atrocious to poor.  After 3-4 months I was average  with footwork.  

      The school where I trained recommended that I take muay thai and western boxing at the same time and it was pretty good advice I guess.  From a personal standpoint though I enjoyed western boxing as it just seemed so much more logical and tactical.  

      Of course it's nice to learn techniques of how to block kickboxers though!  :)

  •  There are a number of good suggestions already (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    janmtairy, Aquagranny911

    but I'd just point out you're better off avoiding ones where you'll spend a lot of your time in training getting punched/hit/kicked in the head.  Lots of new research about the cumulative damage of repeat head trauma shows it's best avoided.

    (Makes me wish I hadn't done the SCA fighting, where I got repeated bopped on the helm.)

    Wow, Independents put down the centrist Blue Dogs, and somehow liberals are to blame?

    by Ezekial 23 20 on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 05:24:06 PM PDT

    •  THAT's True. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aquagranny911, Ezekial 23 20

      I've had my nose broken 3 times (two in martial arts) and 2 or 3 concussions (one was a result of intoxication when I was 20; one was a golfing accident and at least one was martial arts.  

      I have no sense of direction anymore and can't keep more than 2 directions at a time in my head (better tell me:  go 3 blocks, turn left, go 1/2 mile, turn right.  If you tell me about the Wendy's and the gas station on the corner, I'm incredibly lost.  

  •  i'm a karate guy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aquagranny911

    but TKD has a lot of breaking boards.  or at least there tends to be more of an emphasis on this than other styles i've seen, at least in the states.  lots of kicking.

    if you want to break your own bones, judo or ju-jitsu is a good way to do that.

    Madam, if you were my wife, I would drink it.

    by gavodotcom on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 05:32:31 PM PDT

  •  My husband taught kung fu for 26 years (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gavodotcom, janmtairy, Aquagranny911

    He has black belts in 5 styles of martial arts. It depends on what you want to do. If you want to hit others, take a kick boxing style. If you want to break boards, take a Korean style. If you want to waste some time and look pretty, take Aikido (love the pants!). If you want to develope grace and move well, take Kung Fu. If you want to grapple, take Judo. If it's good health you want all you need is Tai Chi.

    O great creator of being grant us one more hour to perform our art and perfect our lives. ::: Jim Morrison :::

    by Kevanlove on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 05:38:34 PM PDT

  •  I've always wanted to take Judo (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aquagranny911

    I always wanted to do martial arts, but never got up the nerve.

    Theoretical physcist/cool dude Dr. Michio Kaku recommends the philosophy of Judo for a basis of a defense against invading space aliens:

    (-8.50, -7.64) I voted and I'm pissed. I DO NOT live to serve the rich!!!

    by croyal on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 05:41:51 PM PDT

  •  If fitness is your #1 Priority (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    janmtairy, Aquagranny911

    I HIGHLY recommend the Brazilian art of Capoeira.

    It's a martial art that's hundreds of years old, created by the African slaves who adapted their original combat techniques into the form of a dance in order to disguise its true form.  You are constantly moving, and thus, burning a LOT of calories.  You won't be breaking anything, but its a lot of fun and will get you into shape fast.

    "If you don't stick to your values when tested, they're not values! They're hobbies" - Jon Stewart

    by LivingOxymoron on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 05:51:33 PM PDT

    •  Capoeira is beautiful. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LivingOxymoron, Aquagranny911

      I can't be upside down, so it's not practical for me.  But an old girlfriend and my stepson are both into it.

      •  You don't really have to be... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        janmtairy, Aquagranny911

        There are two main "styles".  The newer, faster, and more acrobatic "Regional" (pronounced hay-zho-NAO in Portuguese), and the slower, more stylized, and more traditional "Angola".  The first is more like Kung Fu, and the second like Tai Chi... right down to the fact that a person like Mestre Accordion, an expert of the Angola style in his 70's (I think), can wipe the floor with someone a quarter of his age moving 3 or 4 times as fast as him.

        See if there's someone who can teach you Angola.  Or, really, any good Mestre worth his or her salt should be able to give you modified moves to compensate for any issues you have.

        "If you don't stick to your values when tested, they're not values! They're hobbies" - Jon Stewart

        by LivingOxymoron on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 07:02:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  After a long hiatus (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aquagranny911

    I am heading back to Kenpo Karate.

    It's a nice mix of Karate and Kung Fu, plus it contains the spiritual elements that I find appealing.

    "The perfect is the enemy of the good." - Voltaire

    by Lawrence on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 06:07:40 PM PDT

  •  Where do you live? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aquagranny911

    If the SF in your username stands for San Francisco, I would encourage you to drop in at Quantum Martial Arts.

    http://www.quantumsf.org/

  •  Butokukan (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aquagranny911

    It's a mostly west-coast discipline founded in Bremerton, and it has an interesting history.  Here is a link to JABKA, their governing organization.  My wife and two of my teenagers are students.  The organization acts like an extended family.

    I don't get to attend.  I'm 2/3 the way through a master's degree so I'm too busy right now.  I call it "Brain kwando".  Can't wait to test out.

  •  aikido and TKD (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aquagranny911

    I first studied Tae Kwon Do for 3 years then Aikido for 1 1/2. Aikido is so different from "frontal attack" martial arts. In Aikido you work with the attackers momentum to disarm/throw/disable the attacker. In Aikido I learned more rolls and holds..in TKD I learned more punches, kicks and blocking maneuvers.

    I found the physical training for TKD which included sparring more challenging but more prone to injury.

    Good luck in your endeavors.

    •  Aikido is so much about using the other person's (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lostboyjim

      strength against them.  I am a small woman and I worked with one instructor who was a very large man.  At first I was intimidated but I learned to use his strength and not my own to take him down.  Believe me, he was not being soft on me.  When he went down it was because I actually put him there.  Very empowering for me as a woman. I earned my belt.  BTW, I was 50 years old when I decided to try this out.  It was a birthday present to myself.  I had already been doing Tai Chi for about five years then.

    •  I start next Friday night... (0+ / 0-)

      My daughter has her hakama, my son his green belt and it is time my brother-in-law and I catch up.

      He coaches wrestling and hopes to learn something to aid his kids on the mats.

      This school brings in instructors of other styles to demonstrate offensive and defensive techniques and give the students opportunity to use what they know vs. what they do not know.

      I am happy to be alive and trying to do my best to help out.

      by ToKnowWhy on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 09:13:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Let gravity do the work for you - Judo (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aquagranny911

    Great core strength, emphasis on balance which pays off as you get older, and you don't get fists or feet flying in your face.

    I've been involved in a number of cults, both as a leader and a follower. You have more fun as a follower. But you make more money as a leader. ~Creed Bratton

    by mydailydrunk on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 07:36:49 PM PDT

  •  I love Tai Chi which I still do but a number (0+ / 0-)

    of years ago I managed, after a lot of hard work, to earn a brown belt in Aikido.  I like the discipline and the spiritual and mental components.

    Whatever you choose to do, the teacher is way more important that what martial art you decide on.  All will produce physical fitness.

    Last, if you wish to break stuff buy some cheap dishes and toss them against a wall.  This can be very satisfying under some circumstances.

  •  I really need to find a class. (0+ / 0-)

    I'd love to take a fusion of Tai Chi Chuan, Qigong, Aikido, and sword techniques.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White

    by zenbassoon on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 08:27:19 PM PDT

  •  Aikido (0+ / 0-)

    I have done Aikido both as a young man in my 20s, and again in my 40s.  It doesn't focus on speed or high kicks, but rather on grace and balance and center of gravity (both yours, and taking your opponents).  It isn't sparring, but rather set practices with a partner, where each person knows the exact moves expected of them.  As a beginner it is a bit slow and boring, but watch the advanced students after class...when you go fast the throws are hard, but you get up and walk away uninjured!

    Before you join any art, I encourage you to watch a complete class, and visit more than one art dojo to see what most appeals to your heart.  You are more likely to stay with it, and enjoy the bruises :).

    Minority rights should never be subject to majority vote.

    by lostboyjim on Sat Nov 06, 2010 at 10:53:01 PM PDT

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