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Tom
post Oct 15 2005, 07:07 AM
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I just started Karata two weeks ago and Sensay told me that i would be grading on the 11th of December and thats three days before my birthday so it would be great to grade to my yellow belt.


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CommieBastard
post Oct 15 2005, 10:31 AM
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To try and make this thread a bit more relevant to other people - does anybody else do any martial arts?

I did wing chun kung fu for a little while, but then I moved to Sheffield and couldn't find a teacher. Now I do fencing (foil, and hopefully later épée).

edit: also, it's generally anglicised as karate and sensei.


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Jonman
post Oct 15 2005, 11:17 AM
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QUOTE (CommieBastard @ Oct 15 2005, 11:31 AM)
To try and make this thread a bit more relevant to other people - does anybody else do any martial arts?

*


I've just started Muay-Thai again. Used to do it at uni or about 18 months. Got super-fit and was fairly bastad-hard. However, 8 years on, the best part of a decade of decadence has done me no favours. I got completely battered on Wednesday by pretty much everybody there.

On the plus side, it's only a matter of a couple of months if I stick with it before I'll be fit enough and flexible enough to hold my own. Which will be nice.


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CommieBastard
post Oct 15 2005, 12:23 PM
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I'm told Muay Thai conditioning is bad for your bones - are you doing the hardcore one which turns your forearms and shins into weapons that you have to register with the police?


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artist.unknown
post Oct 15 2005, 12:24 PM
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Well, I just graduated to being an assistant instructor at my tae kwon do school. It's chun do kwan style (the oldest school, with the least influence from karate, boxing, etc). It's a bit weird to go from being a student to being a black belt and having everyone call you "ma'am". I'm not a ma'am.


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PsychWardMike
post Oct 15 2005, 10:05 PM
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I used to do karate (mainly Shotokan with a healthy mix of other styles.)

I must say, though, that setting a time for you to graduate isn't good - it should be when your skills are at the appropriate level. Karate is not something everyone progresses at a different level. It's just like music - just because you've been playing violin for ten years doesn't mean you automatically should be progressing through the ranks.


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Velvet
post Oct 16 2005, 12:16 PM
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I have never had a go at any forms of self defence.
I've always been very clumsy so will more than likely get my head kicked in, the way I see it, if I'm gonna get beat up then I will.
I very much doubt that at 5ft2 I would get anywhere in a fight.


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Astarael
post Oct 16 2005, 05:19 PM
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I have no hand-eye coordination (I've been hit in the face by basketballs far too many times to count) and lousy upper-body strength, so I can't get anywhere in most fights. I've managed to scare people off by getting in some hits with my trusty blue pen and drawing blood, and I can grin fiendishly, which freaks people out. Overall, I have more fun fighting with words and jagged insults, 'cause it's fun to watch people not be able to think of a snappy comeback. And I can win with wars of words. biggrin.gif


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Star_of_Lei
post Oct 16 2005, 05:25 PM
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I would love to do martial arts. I normally win my fights with a kick or a slap. Though most people are bigger than me because I'm a weakling.


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Velvet
post Oct 17 2005, 09:09 AM
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QUOTE (Astarael @ Oct 16 2005, 05:19 PM)
I have no hand-eye coordination (I've been hit in the face by basketballs far too many times to count) and lousy upper-body strength, so I can't get anywhere in most fights. I've managed to scare people off by getting in some hits with by trusty blue pen and drawing blood, and I can grin fiendishly, which freaks people out. Overall, I have more fun fighting with words and jagged insults, 'cause it's fun to watch people not be able to think of a snappy comeback. And I can win with wars of words.  biggrin.gif
*


Hmmm thats an interesting way to win, better than fighting too.
smile.gif


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Mata
post Oct 17 2005, 11:34 PM
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Words are always your first defence, second is body language, third is running away, and if none of those work then finally you might need to know how to block a punch.

I study Wing Chun (actually it's Wing Tsun, but that's just because a guy turned it into a formal teaching system, it's pretty much exactly the same as Wing Chun but part of an international school). It's the only major martial art in the world designed by a woman and as such is excellent for people who may be smaller and weaker than their opponents. It has some advantages in that it usually only takes a few weeks of training to become good enough to at least stop a punch on a fairly regular basis. It's a massively complex system at its advanced level, but its basic skills can be learnt very fast and very easily.

One story runs that it was developed into a solid form by a load of kung fu masters who wanted to work out how to defeat all other forms. They created a fantastic system that is utterly devastating but discovered that it was impossible for non-masters to learn. They then created a more basic form, which was better but still too tricky. They finally created the most simple form of Wing Chun, which is the first form that beginners learn. If you get good at that then you can usually stop most attacks from a large range of martial arts. When you get good at the second and third forms you become very powerful indeed.

My opinion is that a person with no regard for their personal safety can get past pretty much any martial art and still win the fight, but if you ever come against someone like that then you're probably never going to win no matter what you know.

From discussing karate with martial artists who have studied it in the past I'd suggest that it is a very good fitness course, but I remain unconvinced about its practical applications. I had a very amusing time with a karate student who wanted to demonstrate his skills so he said 'hit me'. I threw a punch and stopped a few millimetres from his face. He told me that he didn't block it because 'I didn't do it right'. Like many martial arts, karate seems to be based on the idea of using levers to apply force, which is mostly fine until you meet someone who is better or faster than you at using levers. A more practical approach seems to be to avoid confrontation of strength and flow around obstacles.

I've had experience with Tai Chi, Wing Chun, Five Animals Kung Fu, kickboxing, and Ju Jitsu, and only really felt at home with Tai Chi and Wing Chun, both of which are relatively soft forms that rely on understanding of your opponent's force not confrontation using your own power, so I would say that this is a better system because it's the one that appeals most to me!


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EvilSpork
post Oct 18 2005, 01:01 AM
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I've never been very interested in the martial arts, but I would love to learn a bit about fencing.
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Mata
post Oct 18 2005, 08:14 AM
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I think I'd probably count fencing as a martial art smile.gif Many of the same principles apply to swords as they do to arms, I think.


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Tarantio
post Oct 18 2005, 04:17 PM
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Also, fencing is more about very fast disabling shots and defensive movements than the flashy crap that hollywood shows. When I studied it for a short time my instructor always told me that the most important rule of offense with any pointed sword was that the point always beat the edge, so all the wild swinging and stuff you see in movies would only result in a real fencer laughing and impaling the flash git.

As to counting as a martial art... well, by definition, martial is anything to do with military or soldiering, ie fighting and violence. Any organised form of fighting is a martial "art", including wrestling, fencing, Kendo and all the more recognisible ones that have flash names like Karate and Judo and the likes. Even Savate is technically a martial art... rolleyes.gif


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CommieBastard
post Oct 18 2005, 04:26 PM
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QUOTE (Tarantio @ Oct 18 2005, 05:17 PM)
Also, fencing is more about very fast disabling shots and defensive movements than the flashy crap that hollywood shows. When I studied it for a short time my instructor always told me that the most important rule of offense with any pointed sword was that the point always beat the edge, so all the wild swinging and stuff you see in movies would only result in a real fencer laughing and impaling the flash git.
*


Of course, many swords, even in fencing (I'm thinking specifically of the sabre) are made to use the edge - it's stretching a bit to say that edges are worthless. Though if you were learning foil then he would say that, because only hits with the point are scored smile.gif

I'm not actually certain that I would count foil as a martial art, I think it's been too far abstracted from anything actually intended to hurt people.


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Sir Psycho Sexy
post Oct 18 2005, 07:38 PM
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I wouldn't mind doing something for the fitness aspect. As for the self-defence, most of the time I'm so inoffensive no one's really bothered with me. tongue.gif


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artist.unknown
post Oct 18 2005, 10:59 PM
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QUOTE
I have never had a go at any forms of self defence.
I've always been very clumsy so will more than likely get my head kicked in, the way I see it, if I'm gonna get beat up then I will.
I very much doubt that at 5ft2 I would get anywhere in a fight.

QUOTE
I have no hand-eye coordination (I've been hit in the face by basketballs far too many times to count) and lousy upper-body strength, so I can't get anywhere in most fights.

Nobody ever believes me to be a black belt either. I'm scrawny (about 112 lbs), I'm a klutz (as in trip over desk and bring 3 on top of your head klutz), and I get clobbered in gym. That shouldn't stop you from trying a martial art if you're interested. What I've found is that there are styles where being smaller only means you're faster. I'm clumsy because I don't look where I'm going, but in taekwondo I concentrate, which improves my awareness of my surroundings outside of class. And moving people are much more predictable than moving objects as long as you watch closely. You might surprise yourself. Never cut yourself short for an assumed failing.


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Velvet
post Oct 19 2005, 08:43 AM
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Thanks for the advice artist.unknown, would help if I was interested in learning though.
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Mata
post Oct 20 2005, 02:12 AM
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Fair enough, but if you or anyone else does decide to learn a martial art then I strongly suggest trying several different classes for a few lessons before deciding on one. Judo is a fantastic sport but perhaps not always applicable to a normal post-pub brawl where you don't want to end up on the ground (even if it is on top of your main opponent). Taekwondo is great exercise, very good for flexibility, and flashy enough looking that it will hopefully deter an opponent from getting close enough to hit you (kicks aren't so good for very close combat). Wing Chun is very effective at close ranges, but perhaps not such good exercise. Tai Chi can be devastating, is very good for your bodily strength and balance, but takes years before you can even begin to use it in a fight... So it all depends what you're looking for.

Almost as important as the art you're learning is the teacher. A teacher whose style you like makes a massive different to your training results.

The third most important thing is the other class members. If you don't get on with anyone else there then you're not going to be motivated to join in with the group often enough to really benefit.

Fourth would probably be location. It's sometimes hard to motivate yourself to go out and learn something in the evening, and if it's a longer journey then it's going to be harder to get yourself going.


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bryden42
post Oct 22 2005, 06:35 PM
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I'm a black belt in Zen Judo (a form of judo that isn't the BJA) I would suggest that it has little application in any fight that involves more than one opponent. I would suggest that it's offensive capabilities are almost zero if not combined with something else (i like adding brawling if I have to). But the advantage of Judo is that it relies upon your opponents body weight and momentum to trip them (for those that don't know Judo is essentially trips and floor holds) so anyone can trip anyone else given the correct technique. It's other advantage is that it vastly improves your innate balance and I was never fiter than when i was doing judo. I would recomend it to anyone who either wants to get fit or wants a little bit of self defence training.


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Mata
post Oct 23 2005, 12:17 PM
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One of the problems I find with a lot of martial arts training is that it assumes you're fighting an idiot who lunges when he punches. This may be true in many cases, but if the person knows what they're doing they're not so likely to put themselves as far off balance as our training would like us to think.

In Wing Chun we've been practising against the range of standard boxing tactics. It's been very interesting, because, to give the right impulse to the Wing Chun person, we've been learning how a boxer fights and uses their weight. It's possible to box and still be pretty solid on your feet! I think getting good at something like Judo allows you to use the smaller instabilities in a person's form against them. It's a good skill to have!

Out of interest, how does Judo function? I know it's about taking the balance, but do you do this using visual cues or is it based on a principle of feeling their weakness through contact? I guess I'm asking, when do you decide what move to use, when they start moving or when you've got that first bit of contact that allows you to judge their force?


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bryden42
post Oct 23 2005, 04:11 PM
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In competition type fighting its all based on contact, both proponents hold the lapel and sleeve of the other, its all very tactile from there feeling which way your opponent is pushing or pulling. in "real" fighting (and my experience is limited here) it all depends on where your opponent is coming from, the angle that they aproach you and their speed, certain moves are more based upon your own strength others are very much geared towards your opponents momentum and weight.


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Jonman
post Oct 23 2005, 09:49 PM
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QUOTE (CommieBastard @ Oct 15 2005, 01:23 PM)
I'm told Muay Thai conditioning is bad for your bones - are you doing the hardcore one which turns your forearms and shins into weapons that you have to register with the police?
*


Dunno about it being bad for your bones. Seeing the septagenarian Muay-Thai masters kick some serious ass would suggest that it's not all bad.

There is a degree of conditioning involved, but being that a block to a roundhouse kick results in blocking your opponents rapidly approaching shin with your raised shin, you need to have them conditioned, or the pain of a block is just as bad as being kicked. The standard power kick in Muay thai strikes with the shin, as it's much harder than a foot, so it'll cause more damage. Let me tell you, as someone who's been kicked in the head a few times, you bloody well know about it.

Likewise with the arms - not so much the forearms, but there's certainly a lot of elbow strikes, which, if they hit, pretty much guarantee an instant knockout. Similarly for knees - lots of grappling and 'knee-wrestling', where in a grapple, both fighters are trying to knee the other in the tummy, side, legs or face. It's certainly a down-and-dirty style, not concerned with grace and form so much as the abilty to kick the living crap out of someone who's trying to kick the living crap out of you. Which, as an engineer, I appreciate - function beats form every time.


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Usurper MrTeapot
post Oct 23 2005, 11:24 PM
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Is it Muya Thai the style used in Ong Bak?

If so that makes you one tough brother.


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post Oct 23 2005, 11:56 PM
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I'm thinking of getting into fencing and/or kenjutsu now I'm at uni and it's all open to me. Commie, how much natural skill do you need to fence? Do they teach completely uncoordinated people??
If anyone knows about Kenjutsu, I wouldn't mind hearing from you either.


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