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I know Kung-Fu... Martial Arts Help

JadedJaded Registered User regular
edited May 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
Well... really I don't.
But I'd like to get my step-son and I into something.
I've taken Shotokan Karate (almost 20 years ago) and I've been interested in Tai Chi, but I'd like something my step-son and I can do together.

I'm 30, 5'9", 240, wide shoulders and strong legs.
He's 9, Around 5', thin (he'll be wiry, not bulk I imagine when he hits puberty).

What's a good martial art for someone who took it nearly 2 decades ago and someone who has never taken one before? I'm open to anything except Shotokan or Ishenryu Karate.

Thanks!

Jaded on
I can't think of anything clever.
«1

Posts

  • Grid SystemGrid System Registered User
    edited May 2009
  • TofystedethTofystedeth veni, veneri, vamoosi Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    A father son couple from my church back home have been doing Aikido together for a few years now.
    The father is about 45, son is about the same age as yours. They've been having fun.

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  • PasserbyePasserbye The Woman Who Is Not Short at The Moonlite All-Nite Diner; a glass box full of bad food and good people.Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    I'd recommend Aikido, too. It's suitable for many body types which means you'll both be able to do it without too much difficulty (due to your body type, at least). As well, the philosophy of it (if you guys end up getting into that) is very good.

  • ShizumaruShizumaru Registered User
    edited May 2009
    Passerbye wrote: »
    I'd recommend Aikido, too. It's suitable for many body types which means you'll both be able to do it without too much difficulty (due to your body type, at least). As well, the philosophy of it (if you guys end up getting into that) is very good.

    Gonna agree with both posters above... its something I've wanted to get into for a great while myself just no dojos anywhere near me.. I've read a great deal about it, and I love philosophical side of it as well..

  • DirtyDirtyVagrantDirtyDirtyVagrant Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Krav maga
    Spoiler:

  • TL DRTL DR Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    What are you looking for? Muay Thai is great for fitness and self defense, but probably lacking if you want something more formal or ceremonial.

    eokNV.jpg
  • InquisitorInquisitor Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    I'd make sure to find a good Aikido dojo, most of the ones in my area at least tend to be not very decent dojos. I'm not sure if that's the case in your area, just make sure to shop around so you don't end up at a McDojo.

  • I'd Fuck Chuck Lidell UpI'd Fuck Chuck Lidell Up Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    grekko roman wrestling woo

    actually i second judo

    or northern shaolin if you find a place that teaches it

    In the words of the ancients, one should make his decision within the space of seven breaths. It is a matter of being determined and having the spirit to break through to the other side
  • Mmmm... Cocks...Mmmm... Cocks... Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    or northern shaolin if you find a place that teaches it
    I don't know squat about martial arts. But I love monks and I love watching them do crazy shiz.

  • JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Starting Defense Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Do judo. Or just do brazilian jiu-jitsu. Honestly, those are the only two martial arts with quality control high enough to recommend them over the internet. They're also fun competitive sports.

    They're also both grappling arts, which helps your kid out if he has to drop a bully or something.

    "Maybe we're here to eat the sandwich." -- Joe Rogan
  • PotatoNinjaPotatoNinja Fake Gamer Goat Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Finding a good instructor, dojo, or gym is more important than the specific art you study. Do you want something that focuses on exercise, martial application, or physical art? Are you interested in practicing katas, learning wristlocks, or getting a really good workout by kicking bags really hard?

    Try a few schools / dojos in your area and see what kind of attitude and plans they offer. Most teachers will let you attend or observe a class or two before you make a commitment, use this to determine if you like that particular school. It is far more important to find a teacher you like with a training schedule you can live with than finding a specific style or art.

    Two goats enter, one car leaves
  • JadedJaded Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Thank you all for the responses. I followed up with the local Aikido school, they will not take anyone under 15. That scratches that for the step-son and I.

    I did however find a Muay Thai / Kickboxing Dojo within walking distance. I will look into that one next!

    I can't think of anything clever.
  • JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Starting Defense Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    aikido is very flaky, anyway - it can have totally random quality. One line of aikido and another can be hugely different.

    If you're going to take a linear striking art with your kid, make sure he knows how and what to do if he gets in a fight at school - zero tolerance policies are hell these days, and teachers tend to be the sort of person who is uniformed on martial arts. He cuts some kid's eyebrow open with a thai elbow, he's probably sitting out a year of school.

    also, THIS is a good guide for going into a martial arts situation with "smart consumer" eyes. Don't think of it as a checklist of instant disqualifiers - it's more like a list of warning signs. Disqualify a school if it has MANY of the warning signs.


    This is another good guide, it's a tad bit more karate centric, but lots of good general advice.

    "Maybe we're here to eat the sandwich." -- Joe Rogan
  • SammyFSammyF Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Tai Chi or Kendo/Iaido.

    You two both have vastly different body types -- you're short and squat, he's more of a bean-pole. You have a great body-type for Judo or something with a lot of matt-work. He's going to be better suited to something more stand-up like kung fu, tang su do, karate, tae kwan do.

    Kendo is a great equalizer, in my opinion, because skill matters so much more than brute strenght and body-type. It also has an element that I find to be a virtue for younger practitioners -- it's impractical as a self-defense art. The likelihood that anyone is going to find himself in the middle of a mugging armed with a katana is ludicrously low -- which means that you can stop focusing on whether or not you can beat people up and instead focus on the philosophy of the art and just have fun with it. Tai Chi is largely the same way -- most tai chi classes are not going to focus on actual fighting -- and it has a much smaller outlay since you don't have to buy the pads, hakama, iaito and shinai associated with learning swordsmanship.

    And once he gets the philosophical fundamentals down from tai chi or kendo, he'll have a lot of experience working with the movement of his body so it'll be easier for him to get into a more-serious martial art for learning self defense once he hits puberty and grows into his adult body-type.

  • JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Starting Defense Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    There's no reason to eschew ANY of the arts you listed over "body type" and none of them work off "brute strength"

    the myth of a "grappling body type" is just that, there are ways for everybody to make their body useful at every range of combat.

    "Maybe we're here to eat the sandwich." -- Joe Rogan
  • PotatoNinjaPotatoNinja Fake Gamer Goat Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    There's no reason to eschew ANY of the arts you listed over "body type" and none of them work off "brute strength"

    the myth of a "grappling body type" is just that, there are ways for everybody to make their body useful at every range of combat.

    ^ this

    Additionally, for someone just getting into martial arts:

    Things to look for: Good location, good teacher, good attitude from class, activity level you enjoy.

    Things to not give a shit about: Whether you are learning BJJ or JKD or TKD or MMA or whatever.

    If you start training, find you really enjoy it, and want to branch out then you should start to pay attention to what styles you're interested in. That obviously isn't where the OP is at, and for an initial practitioner whether you perform a crescent kick, thrust kick, swing kick, pendulum kick, or "kick them in the shins when they aren't looking!" kick doesn't really matter. It's a kick, find someplace fun and worry about the rest later if you decide to pursue martial arts further.

    Two goats enter, one car leaves
  • JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Starting Defense Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    you can take that outlook, but it's not hard to find a place that is both a)Fun and b) practical. Why not do some very basic research and not have to change schools 2 years into the hobby?

    One problem with doing this online is most "types" of martial art, most things a martial arts school might put on their door, mean almost nothing. Very few martial arts really have strong brand control, particularly in the US where they are regulated like health clubs if at all.

    The "kung fu" one place might look like the "Karate" in another city. Then you get into the bastardized names - Shaolin Kempo. Chinese Goju karate. Korean Karate. Aiki-karate. Aiki-jitsu.

    Bottom line, the name tells you almost nothing. There are a few I, personally, categorically blacklist from an "over the internet" perspective- wing chun and aikido being the main pair - because they have a high LARP quotient, low practicality, a lot of philosophy, and really convoluted instructor lineages.

    There are a few I, personally, categorically recommend - Judo, brazilian jiu-jitsu, kyukoshinkai karate, probably being the only 3 - because they have strong enough brand control that you know a "black belt" in these martial arts (a purple or better in the case of BJJ) actually means the person is good enough to teach.

    There are a few that are probably not right for a kid not raise around them - the Filipino martial arts come to mind.

    Every thing else, you can't really say "if you go to a school that teaches _________, the class will look like _______," you basically have to personally look at each school.

    Also, if you are cheesed off reading this, and would like to defend the honor of either of the two arts I slagged off with highly implausible personal anecdotes, please feel free to do so by PM or in DND.

    "Maybe we're here to eat the sandwich." -- Joe Rogan
  • DasUberEdwardDasUberEdward Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Judo or Jiu-jitsu.

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  • CangoFettCangoFett Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Listen to Johnny Cache and read the link he posted


    There is also a Mixed Martial Arts thread over in DnD. Alot of guys in there have alot of experience with everything from Krav Maga to Aikido.

    If youre just looking for some fun, try out any school near you. If you are looking for good self defense as well as a fun time, the big ones are Boxing, Brazilian Jiujitsu, Judo, Muay Thai, and Wrestling. Most of these will also have kids classes. While the kids classes are (obviously) less intense than the adult classes, the will usually build a really good set of fundamentals. And like Mr Cache said, size isnt an issue. Guys in my class range from 5'6 and 110lbs, to 6'0 and 260.

  • PotatoNinjaPotatoNinja Fake Gamer Goat Registered User regular
    edited May 2009

    Every thing else, you can't really say "if you go to a school that teaches _________, the class will look like _______," you basically have to personally look at each school.

    This is basically what I'm driving at. Decide what you want, decide where and when you want to train and how much you want to spend, and find something within that. I've had excellent instructors with very basic martial arts and I've had terrible instructors that tried to pass themselves off as "more serious" or "more hardcore" because they refused to use the phrase "karate."

    Don't read into my comments that any particular art is bad, just as there are some great teachers for "simple" styles there are some terrible teachers for simple styles too, and that same spectrum for any other style or level of training. Find a place you enjoy, that offers you what you want. If the OP wants a family-friendly studio for entertainment, exercise, and training, "Bob's Super Hardcore FUCK YOU UP TEACH YOU HOW TO KILL A BEAR DOJO!" is probably a bad choice, even if Bob's Dojo happens to be really fucking cool and Mixed Martial Bob is a really cool style.

    Two goats enter, one car leaves
  • Suicide SlydeSuicide Slyde Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    also, THIS is a good guide for going into a martial arts situation with "smart consumer" eyes. Don't think of it as a checklist of instant disqualifiers - it's more like a list of warning signs. Disqualify a school if it has MANY of the warning signs.

    Wow, that article explains why I never really latched onto martial arts as doing but always wanted to do it. Only recently have I decided to pick it up all over again.

    Basically when I was a kid(pre-teen) my dad signed me up for some martial arts, we'll call it karate, where they claimed to able to teach me how to fight bullys and grownups, not that I was particularly threatened by either but I think my dad was trying to get me to be more aggressive. Anyway I specifically remember one "class" where the instructor asks us what to do when we witness a purse snatching my response was "call the cops" but that wasn't good enough, no we were to chase the (presumably) adult purse snatcher down and then fight him(!). Even in my 10 year old mind I knew this would never be a good idea. But to get the full effect we, as 10 year olds and younger, had to chase people 7 or 8 years older than us and then fight them... while laying on the ground. Wow.

    Flash forward to about 14 where my mom takes me to a Judo class for a few weeks. Looking back on it the instructor wasn't terrible or anything but this place was just screaming McDojo and I felt bad about the amount of money my mom was spending vs how much I was learning so I decided to stop going.

    So yea, what do these anecdotes prove? Probably nothing. However I just wanted to point out, like Cache and ninja, the type of martial art is not nearly as important as where you are going and who is teaching and how those factors can affect your son.

  • CangoFettCangoFett Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Slyde gets it.

    You can find KungFu and Karate schools that are awesome, and produce great fighters.

    You can find BJJ schools that just want your money.

    Look at the school, not just what they train, but how.

  • mightyspacepopemightyspacepope Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    also, THIS is a good guide for going into a martial arts situation with "smart consumer" eyes. Don't think of it as a checklist of instant disqualifiers - it's more like a list of warning signs. Disqualify a school if it has MANY of the warning signs.


    This is another good guide, it's a tad bit more karate centric, but lots of good general advice.

    I'd like to comment on a few things brought up in both of those articles. I've been training in karate for about 15 years, have been instructing for 12 years, and have been a head instructor for the past 10 years. I've done a favor for my instructor and have managed a school for the past two years.

    I think a lot of the bullshido stuff is flat out BS. First, it's a very adult-oriented community. The self-defense aspects of martial arts is great, but for children, it's not the primary reason you go into it. Even kids being bullied benefit far more from increased self-confidence rather than the ability to punch or kick someone who's picking on them. With that said, the self-defense part is still rather important. Secondly, they have a very MMA style take on things, where it's all about "live" or "active" sparring. Kids do not need to be learning MMA. In fact, in my opinion, it's a bad idea. For this reason, I would generally recommend a "traditional" martial art, like karate, tae kwan do, kung fu, and their various subsets.

    On the other hand, the parts about jacked up instructors telling you they're a tenth degree is something to watch out for, as bullshido says. Ditto for places with poor safety or business practices.

    The second link is a bit more reasonable, but still makes a few crazy ideas (instructors giving you their SSN? really?).

    First, don't let the presence of kids (even younger kids) dissuade you from going to a school. I've taught 3- and 4-year olds that do amazingly well. In my experience, the youngest "average" age a child can be taught martial arts in a group setting is 5 years old. This is also entirely contingent upon the style, how the style is taught, who's doing the teaching, and how many instructors/assistant instructors are on the floor. I will say that presence of 5 year olds, 10 year olds, teenagers, and adults in the same class is a bad idea, since each respective group requires different teaching techniques.

    Whichever school you go to, hopefully they'll offer a few "family" classes a week where you're both able to train together. At the same time, I think it'd also be good if your son was able to attend at least one kids' only class, ditto for you and the adults.

    Second, don't let the presence of contracts deter you (as long as they're for a reasonable amount of time). At my school, I give you about 2-3 classes with the group before I require you to sign up. When you do sign up, you can sign up for 6 months, 9 months, or 12 months. When your initial term is up, you're auto-renewed on a month-to-month basis and you have to give us a month's head's up if you decide to cancel. We also use a third party billing company to handle payments. Here's why we do this and why I believe it's a valid practice.

    From 4pm-9:30pm, I'm teaching classes on the floor. We have another head instructor there each day, along with various higher ranked assistant instructors. I'd much rather be on the floor teaching than having to worry about who's paying for their classes, who needs to renew, and all the bureaucratic crap that goes with it.

    Yes, you might be able to find a place that doesn't use contracts or billing services, but those places are often being run out of someone's basement or garage. You might run into issues, as these places might not have insurance, they might have poor safety equipment, and you never know if/when the place is going to go out of business.

    As for belt fees, schools need to pay their rent and need to pay their instructors. Sometimes tuition is enough, but in most of the places I've seen that do this, they jack up their tuition in order to cover it. Be ready to pay somewhere around $30 in belt testing fees when it comes up.

    Things I'd look out for:

    -Make sure there are enough instructors on the floor to adequately teach/control the class. In my experience, depending on the art, a ratio of about 5 students to 1 instructor is a good ratio.
    -Ideally, the chief instructor should be teaching classes. If he/she is not, sometimes they've groomed one or two of their assistants to be able to teach (and do it well). If lower ranking students are teaching class (depending no the style, usually under brown belt), there might be cause for concern. Do note that some schools will have students warm the class up (stretches, some cardio, maybe reviewing basic blocks or strikes) in order to groom them into an instructor role in the future.
    -Be wary of schools that force you to sign up for long periods of time without getting a chance to try a few classes out. I'd say an initial term of six-nine months is reasonable. Make sure you get to try the actual class out, not just a private lesson.
    -Ask what the requirements are for promotion.
    -Be prepared to pay somewhere between about $75-$150 per person per month.
    -Ask what equipment will be required. Don't rush out and buy it, since you might have to get a certain type. Some people cry "WAAAAH! You're trying to make more money off of me!" Maybe, but you need to consider a few things. One, some insurance providers mandate a certain type of gear. Two, instructors have experience with gear and know which bits are decent and which will fall apart. Three, you really should support your school/dojo/club/whatever. By buying equipment through them, it helps them pay the bills, make payroll, and upgrade their facility.
    -Make sure the school looks clean.
    -Watch a few classes. It's also good to take a peek at higher level classes if possible.
    -Realize that the martial arts industry is changing. You're not going to find as many schools that focus on teaching stances for an entire class, because nine-year olds don't have the attention span to do so. Classes are going to be fast-paced and the instructors will present techniques, exercises, and drills in a high energy setting. Hopefully, they'll do so in a way that still presents the art in a high quality manner. You can still find the traditional school (stances for an entire class, a single technique for the entire class, bamboo rods, etc), but it's going to be harder to find and it might not be up to legal snuff.

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  • CangoFettCangoFett Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    There is no reason you cant teach a child the fundamentals of alive training and proper fighting.

    Note the video posted in that link from bullshido

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=HILkEZiK60E


    Those poor children...

    No MMA school with kids is gonna have them sparring any sort of striking, or submissions. For little kids, its just wrestling around, but with position in mind. That stuff sets up a foundation that they can build on as they get older.

    Edit: about the contract thing.

    A 6 month contract isnt a black flag, but its not always the standard. Same with belt testing. Some do it, some dont.

    The contracts you have to look out for are "Pay me 100 bucks a month every month and in 10 months youll be a badass blackbelt, guaranteed," that sort of thing.

  • Kerbob97Kerbob97 Registered User
    edited May 2009
    I have always been a fan of BJJ and Kenpo.

    My favorite experience with Kenpo-
    Instructor asks
    "Someone is throwing a punch at you, what do you do?"

    I think- block,counter,throw,step inside punch and counterstrike, etc. etc.

    He says-


    "Step back."

    Opened my eyes pretty wide.

    JAEF : [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC] FINAL ANSWER
  • JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Starting Defense Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    also, THIS is a good guide for going into a martial arts situation with "smart consumer" eyes. Don't think of it as a checklist of instant disqualifiers - it's more like a list of warning signs. Disqualify a school if it has MANY of the warning signs.


    This is another good guide, it's a tad bit more karate centric, but lots of good general advice.


    I think a lot of the bullshido stuff is flat out BS. First, it's a very adult-oriented community. The self-defense aspects of martial arts is great, but for children, it's not the primary reason you go into it. Even kids being bullied benefit far more from increased self-confidence rather than the ability to punch or kick someone who's picking on them. With that said, the self-defense part is still rather important. Secondly, they have a very MMA style take on things, where it's all about "live" or "active" sparring. Kids do not need to be learning MMA. In fact, in my opinion, it's a bad idea. For this reason, I would generally recommend a "traditional" martial art, like karate, tae kwan do, kung fu, and their various subsets.

    why? What's better about "traditional" martial arts? What do you mean when you say "traditional"? BJJ was invented before "tae kwan do", karate and kung fu are blanket terms tied to no real tradition, judo, the art initially recommended, is the originator of most of the trappings associated with martial arts, the history of ninjitsu is made up, aikido is from the 50s, and the oldest known martial art is probably greco-roman wrestling, or boxing.

    so what do you mean by "traditional"?

    because there's no reason, at all, kids can't do "Alive or active" training. If you think that means "MMA fighting every day" then you need to re-read what was posted. Alive training has nothing to do with "MMA" and everything to do with training well.

    Also, what art do you teach?

    And RE SSNs, it's not unusual at all for someone in some industry to have to get a background check or licenses. In many countries, this is procedure for working with children and/or teaching martial arts. There should be a third party to handle it, but there should be something. I mean, SOMETHING. A martial arts teacher that's going to work with huge classes of kids should be subject to at least a bit of the rigor of a daycare provider or teacher.

    "Maybe we're here to eat the sandwich." -- Joe Rogan
  • I'd Fuck Chuck Lidell UpI'd Fuck Chuck Lidell Up Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    also, THIS is a good guide for going into a martial arts situation with "smart consumer" eyes. Don't think of it as a checklist of instant disqualifiers - it's more like a list of warning signs. Disqualify a school if it has MANY of the warning signs.


    This is another good guide, it's a tad bit more karate centric, but lots of good general advice.


    I think a lot of the bullshido stuff is flat out BS. First, it's a very adult-oriented community. The self-defense aspects of martial arts is great, but for children, it's not the primary reason you go into it. Even kids being bullied benefit far more from increased self-confidence rather than the ability to punch or kick someone who's picking on them. With that said, the self-defense part is still rather important. Secondly, they have a very MMA style take on things, where it's all about "live" or "active" sparring. Kids do not need to be learning MMA. In fact, in my opinion, it's a bad idea. For this reason, I would generally recommend a "traditional" martial art, like karate, tae kwan do, kung fu, and their various subsets.

    why? What's better about "traditional" martial arts? What do you mean when you say "traditional"? BJJ was invented before "tae kwan do", karate and kung fu are blanket terms tied to no real tradition, judo, the art initially recommended, is the originator of most of the trappings associated with martial arts, the history of ninjitsu is made up, aikido is from the 50s, and the oldest known martial art is probably greco-roman wrestling, or boxing.

    so what do you mean by "traditional"?

    because there's no reason, at all, kids can't do "Alive or active" training. If you think that means "MMA fighting every day" then you need to re-read what was posted. Alive training has nothing to do with "MMA" and everything to do with training well.

    Also, what art do you teach?

    And RE SSNs, it's not unusual at all for someone in some industry to have to get a background check or licenses. In many countries, this is procedure for working with children and/or teaching martial arts. There should be a third party to handle it, but there should be something. I mean, SOMETHING. A martial arts teacher that's going to work with huge classes of kids should be subject to at least a bit of the rigor of a daycare provider or teacher.
    actually kung fu is a blanket term for shaolin styles, most often Northern Shaolin... but yes i agree entirely otherwise

    as a side note i think it would be really cool to learn bagua zhang and hung gar

    In the words of the ancients, one should make his decision within the space of seven breaths. It is a matter of being determined and having the spirit to break through to the other side
  • mightyspacepopemightyspacepope Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    The majority of posters on bullshido tend to equate "alive" sparring with increased or heavy contact sparring. I do not think that this is good for children. I think controlled contact point sparring is fine. I think grappling without submissions is fine. I have no problem with alive training, as I think the three elements are necessary (although resistance is less necessary for children).

    My whole point is that for children under 13, martial arts should not primarily be about self-defense. The martial arts has a lot to offer children when it comes to the concepts of focus, control, confidence, discipline, and respect. Note that I'm gearing this toward his son.

    I do agree that I was being too narrow-minded when I put only the big three under "traditional," which I put in quotes because of the reasons you cited. They do tend to be the most widely available, though, and the most common in the Western world since the 50's.

    I teach Okinawan Kenpo.

    I agree that some sort of background check should be required for instructors. At the same time, asking them to hand out their SSN to a prospective student is over the line.

    re: The contracts and belt testing deal. I know it's not standard across the board. But it's also not the "OMG EVIL MONEYGRAB" that it's made out to be.

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  • mastmanmastman Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Don't forget to look for fun too. Especially for kids. They need fun in their martial arts because they are, after al, just kids.

    ByalIX8.png
  • necroSYSnecroSYS Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited May 2009
    also, THIS is a good guide for going into a martial arts situation with "smart consumer" eyes. Don't think of it as a checklist of instant disqualifiers - it's more like a list of warning signs. Disqualify a school if it has MANY of the warning signs.
    I think a lot of the bullshido stuff is flat out BS. First, it's a very adult-oriented community. The self-defense aspects of martial arts is great, but for children, it's not the primary reason you go into it. Even kids being bullied benefit far more from increased self-confidence rather than the ability to punch or kick someone who's picking on them. With that said, the self-defense part is still rather important. Secondly, they have a very MMA style take on things, where it's all about "live" or "active" sparring. Kids do not need to be learning MMA. In fact, in my opinion, it's a bad idea. For this reason, I would generally recommend a "traditional" martial art, like karate, tae kwan do, kung fu, and their various subsets.

    I read the whole article and I didn't find it "MMA-centric" at all. The information about younger kids being better suited to learn grappling rather than striking made perfect sense to me. Furthermore, I'd counter with the idea that, unless the training has an active sparring component, it's not going to be as effective. If you're going/your child is going to a gym for exercise or to learn a "combat-effective" skill, active sparring is the best way to accomplish both of those. There are plenty of "traditional" gyms that run sparring drills as well.

    There's no point in you getting both of yourselves all worked up and ready to chart the undiscovered country, then having her flush crimson red, run to the bathroom, and spend twenty minutes straining and grunting and stressing out because you're all ready to deliver your package but there's a three inch thick Sunday paper clogging up the mail slot.
  • JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Starting Defense Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    The majority of posters on bullshido tend to equate "alive" sparring with increased or heavy contact sparring. I do not think that this is good for children. I think controlled contact point sparring is fine. I think grappling without submissions is fine. I have no problem with alive training, as I think the three elements are necessary (although resistance is less necessary for children).

    My whole point is that for children under 13, martial arts should not primarily be about self-defense. The martial arts has a lot to offer children when it comes to the concepts of focus, control, confidence, discipline, and respect. Note that I'm gearing this toward his son.

    I do agree that I was being too narrow-minded when I put only the big three under "traditional," which I put in quotes because of the reasons you cited. They do tend to be the most widely available, though, and the most common in the Western world since the 50's.

    I teach Okinawan Kenpo.

    I agree that some sort of background check should be required for instructors. At the same time, asking them to hand out their SSN to a prospective student is over the line.

    re: The contracts and belt testing deal. I know it's not standard across the board. But it's also not the "OMG EVIL MONEYGRAB" that it's made out to be.

    that's not what "alive" means at all, and that's not what "the majority" of people on bullshido think, and even if it was, making a decision for your kid because you didn't want to lend credence to a semantic movement on the internet is odd.

    as far as self defense VS fun or VS tradition or whatever, that's a complete false dichotomy. It's not hard to find a school that offers all of this.

    I understand what you are saying - don't let, say, lack of a hardcore fight team disqualify a school for a nine year old. I would tend to agree with that. Obviously there are some environments - I gave FMA as an example, krav maga would probably be another - that aren't going to be great fits for a kid, because of the tone of the class and they type of goal shared by the other members.

    That said, it's not that hard in a reasonably sized community to do a few hours of research now and find a place that meets the needs of all axis of interest in the arts, rather then sticking him in something "fun" now and putting him in something "good" later.

    As far as the ramifications of the kid becoming a martial arts death machine, to me that's kind of like women not wanting to lift weights because they don't want to "get all big" it isn't a big worry really, it isn't going to happen over night, and should you begin to go that way, it's catachable.

    Also, once again, if you start a kid on the right material - say the judo syllabus - he's going to have a great defensive tool and a clumsy offensive one. Surviving a fall, reversing a clinch, rolling out of a tackle, breaking someone's grip on you, clinching to stop punches, trip-and-control style takedowns - all without throwing a punch and leaving a bunch of marks? That's exactly the level of stuff you want a school kid to know.

    Also, I think any group activity that sets goals, wears the kid out, and exposes him to competition and team dynamics is going to have effects on his character. I don't think there's a "special zen" to martial arts that makes them best for this.

    "Maybe we're here to eat the sandwich." -- Joe Rogan
  • SammyFSammyF Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    My whole point is that for children under 13, martial arts should not primarily be about self-defense. The martial arts has a lot to offer children when it comes to the concepts of focus, control, confidence, discipline, and respect. Note that I'm gearing this toward his son.

    This was always my school's philosophy on younger students back when I was instructing (which I did for about three years, before my career's time requirements eclipsed my ability to attend classes regularly). Sparring is a valuable teaching tool, and heavy contact/full contact sparring is, in my opinion, essential to properly teaching self-defense, as learning how to psychologically survive the shock of that first punch to the face is imperative to maintaining a will to fight in the event that fighting is necessary. However, for younger students--and, I think, for older students as well--katas are likewise valuable teaching tools because they force you to focus on the mechanics of your movement. Younger students who might not be as accustomed to that sort of focus and self-control find a lot of benefit to learning this, and it is immediately practical to their daily lives. Knowing how to focus on the mechanics of how your feet, core and arms interact is valuable to learning how to improve your swing at a baseball, improving your jump-shot, learning how to swim; understanding how to focus on your own task at hand (rather than the other students around you) is invaluable to the student who is just a little bit too prone to let his mind wander during math class.

    Consequently we'd focus on teaching mechanics to younger students, with some points sparring that was mostly intended as a reward because it's "fun." When students got to be older, that's when we'd increase the focus on practical application of the mechanics themselves.

  • CangoFettCangoFett Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    CangoFett wrote: »
    There is no reason you cant teach a child the fundamentals of alive training and proper fighting.

    Note the video posted in that link from bullshido

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=HILkEZiK60E


    Those poor children...

    No MMA/Grappling school with kids is gonna have them sparring any sort of striking, or submissions. For little kids, its just wrestling around, but with position in mind. That stuff sets up a foundation that they can build on as they get older. The stuff in the end of this video is alive training

    Edit: about the contract thing.

    A 6 month contract isnt a black flag, but its not always the standard. Same with belt testing. Some do it, some dont.

    The contracts you have to look out for are "Pay me 100 bucks a month every month and in 10 months youll be a badass blackbelt, guaranteed," that sort of thing.

    Quote and edit since I got Bottom of the page and noone aparrently saw it

  • JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Starting Defense Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    actually kung fu is a blanket term for shaolin styles, most often Northern Shaolin... but yes i agree entirely otherwise

    as a side note i think it would be really cool to learn bagua zhang and hung gar

    No, it's not. Kung fu/gung fu means "skill"

    So kung fu hung gar is "hung gar skill"

    And when a guy says "your tiger style kung fu is weak" in an old dubbed movie, it's actually an attempt at correct translation - "your tiger skills are weak"

    Most chinese speakers (when they care about martial arts at all) use the proper name of the style or the term wushu when they are referring to non-specific chinese martial arts.

    "Maybe we're here to eat the sandwich." -- Joe Rogan
  • TofystedethTofystedeth veni, veneri, vamoosi Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    actually kung fu is a blanket term for shaolin styles, most often Northern Shaolin... but yes i agree entirely otherwise

    as a side note i think it would be really cool to learn bagua zhang and hung gar

    No, it's not. Kung fu/gung fu means "skill"

    So kung fu hung gar is "hung gar skill"

    And when a guy says "your tiger style kung fu is weak" in an old dubbed movie, it's actually an attempt at correct translation - "your tiger skills are weak"

    Most chinese speakers (when they care about martial arts at all) use the proper name of the style or the term wushu when they are referring to non-specific chinese martial arts.
    I figured he was just talking about Kung Fu as your average American knows it.

    steam_sig.png
  • JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Starting Defense Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Kung Fu as the "average american" knows it isn't limited to either shaolin or northern shaolin derivatives, either.

    "Maybe we're here to eat the sandwich." -- Joe Rogan
  • joshofalltradesjoshofalltrades Parental Unit RemulakRegistered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Hey, is Jeet Kune Do dead? I have always wanted to look into it.

    ElJeffe wrote: »
    I get by on the knowledge that I'm not going to spend a whole lot of time mucking about inside of my asshole anyway
  • necroSYSnecroSYS Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited May 2009
    If by "dead", you mean "run into the ground", then maybe...

    There's no point in you getting both of yourselves all worked up and ready to chart the undiscovered country, then having her flush crimson red, run to the bathroom, and spend twenty minutes straining and grunting and stressing out because you're all ready to deliver your package but there's a three inch thick Sunday paper clogging up the mail slot.
  • CangoFettCangoFett Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Saying, "I do JKD" is like saying "Im an artist"

    Theres alot of differnt types and qualities of artists


    Jeet Kun Do is not a set list of techniques
    JKD is basically synonymous with Mixed Martial Arts. The idea is to use what works, and get rid of what doesnt.

    I can think of 3 JKD guys off the top of my head who are cool

    Dan Inosanto, who was one of Bruce Lee's students. Teaches a blend of BJJ, Filipino Martial Arts (stick/knife fighting) and I think a bit of boxing.

    Paul Vunak teaches a type of JKD that is basically really dirty BJJ. Like, instead of going for kimuras and a mount from side control, he teaches to bite the guy. Like actually trains for that. Dude wears raw beef under his shirt and over a neoprene wet suit, and you practice your biting technique. Im not making this up.

    The Dog Brothers, who are arguably the top stick/knife fighters in the world, started training in JKD. They teach stick/knife fighting with matched and unmatched weapons, and have a nice grappling curriculum that involves the stick as well.



    Then you get 80% of the other JKD guys who just teach the same crap Bruce Lee did, and go on and on about how great Bruce Lee was, and how they are legit and how they train for the street not for sport.

    In my experience, the more a school talks about how close they are to Bruce Lee, the less practical they are.

  • joshofalltradesjoshofalltrades Parental Unit RemulakRegistered User regular
    edited May 2009
    There aren't any JKD schools anywhere close to me or anything. I guess my personality just kind of fits into the "do whatever works" mindset.

    ElJeffe wrote: »
    I get by on the knowledge that I'm not going to spend a whole lot of time mucking about inside of my asshole anyway
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