Home More advice Sports & Activities
How to do martial arts?
if you want to get fit, then you could take any martial art really. but I figure, if you want to get fit, might as well learn how to kick azz while you're at it, so I don't see the point in training an ineffective style like aikido or TKD. your body type and height make a difference. some people are more suited to certain styles, but in any case, these are the styles I recommend to you: muay thai, western boxing, judo, jiu-jitsu, kali
ya know that part in that movie Napoleon Dynamite where they go to a 'Rex-Kwon-Do' skool, and the guy demonstrates really bad technique on Kip? well most of you thought this was funny (I hope, because it is), but to those of us in the martial arts community... it`s hilarious!
why is it hilarious? well, because since martial arts styles have been translated over to the western hemisphere, instructors have learned that they can make LOTS of money, without even knowing what they are doing. McDojoism is now a widespread problem, as soccer dads and fat women everywhere unite to learn high kicks and do katas that they will find utterly useless if they are ever attacked by someone in real life.
a kata is where you punch and kick the air. that's lesson one. if the martial arts school you're thinking of going to doesn't have sparring, but instead they just punch and kick the air... they suck. go somewhere else. why do they suck? because you can't learn how to fight without actually fighting. the air doesn't resist and it doesn't punch back. katas are useless, unless we're talking about shadow-boxing which is a little different.
Kip`s cage fighter training is also hilarious, because they call it Rex-Kwon-Do, a blatant diss to one of the worst styles of martial arts ever known to humankind, crappy crappy Tae-Kwon-Do(n't).
after high school, I decided to take up 'wing chun' kung-fu. I first started under Sifu Christopher Blake, who claims to have been taught by William Cheung, who was taught by Yip Man, but there are lineage issues as to the legitimacy of William Cheung
s teachings. my fellow martial arts people out there might already know this, but for those who dont, wing chun is the style Bruce Lee first trained in. he then took that style, and incorporated some boxing and a bunch of other styles into it to eventually form what he dubbed 'Jeet Kune Do.' most people think Bruce Lee was the be all, end all of martial arts, because he was in movies kicking azz. he was good of course, but keep in mind that he was the first chinese person to introduce kung-fu to the westerners, therefore his style was (and still is) sensationalized.
martial arts teachers used Bruce Lee's fame to peddle his styles and sooner or later everyone had a Wing Chun school or a Jeet Kune Do school. the stupid thing is that Bruce Lee's concept of Jeet Kune Do is this: everyone should try lots of different styles of martial arts when building a system of self-defense. they should use what works and comes naturally, and discard the stuff that is awkward and impractical.
so what he's saying is that we should all create our own Jeet Kune Do! I should learn a bunch of styles and amalgamate them into 'Mike Kune Do,' and Stacy can make 'Stacy Kune Do.' understand?
wing chun was fun for me for a while, and kept me in shape. but the more I practiced it, the more I started to question the extent of its efficacy, were I ever to get in a real fight. the style itself is all palm strikes and chain punches, with little or no closed fist strikes, sparring or groundwork. one day while we were practicing the forms, I asked my sifu about grappling/groundwork, and he said something like 'Your opponent should not be on top of you, he is not your girlfriend.'
this is a long-running debate about what styles are most effective in a 'real fight.' boxers and muay thai people say 'I don
t need to learn groundwork because no one would ever take me down.' whereas jiu-jitsu guys say 'I will take anyone to the ground before they hit me, so I dont need to learn striking.'
t know why this is so complicated to some people, but the obvious solution to the 'which style is best' debate is that there is no solution. CROSS-TRAIN! sure you may not need groundwork, because 'no one can take ME to the ground,' but hey wouldnt it come in handy just in case? and grapplers, even though you can dodge punches and shootfight anyone to take them down, wouldn`t it come in handy to learn how to hit and more importantly, BE HIT?
that's lesson 2. you need to GET HIT! sure it's not fun. but you build up a tolerance to being punched. the first time sucks. the lights get bright, you feel dizzy, etc. the second time sucks, but you're more prepared because you know what to expect. after a while, it's not a big deal. it still sucks, but you know how to handle being hit.
you want to get used to being hit BEFORE YOU GET IN A FIGHT. otherwise, when some dude hits you, you'll fall down.
of course, most effective martial arts teach you to keep your hands up and tuck your chin so it makes it harder for your opponent to hit you. but you still want to know what it feels like just in case someone DOES hit you. understand?
all I will say about groundfighting (I.e. jiu-jitsu) is that I wouldn
t want to be on the ground in a real fight. sure, if I was a purple belt in brazilian jiu-jitsu, Id probably be able to choke out my opponent (or break his arms, legs or whatever), but what
s to stop his friend from coming up and stomping me to death while I'm on the ground? I would rather be on my feet, so I could defend my self, and then use my 'run-fu' to get outta there. in a real fight, you 'win' by running away unscathed. the street is not a Jackie Chan movie, its the street. in a real fight you want your opponent on the ground. you don't want to go down with him. of course you can transfer a lot of BJJ stuff from the ground and apply it to standing. I do this all the time. small joint locks work very well in a fight. (an example of a small joint lock would be to break someone's fingers)
there are five bazillion different types of martial arts. I`ll try to explain the categories briefly, but the list of the actual styles themselves is not exhaustive...
Traditional Martial Arts: korean martial arts, japanese jiu-jitsu, japanese krotty( kyokushin, shito ryu, etc.), tae-kwon-don`t, tang soo do
Chinese Martial Arts: tai chi chuan (a.k.a. tai chi), kung-fu, wushu, kuoshu, dim mak, hung gar, wing tsun (a.k.a. wing chun)
Filipino Martial Arts: kali, escrima
Russian Martial Arts: sambo, krav maga
Mixed Martial Arts: this relatively new term refers to a combination of styles (stand-up, clinch and ground). mixed martial artists cross-train in different styles. MMA is the listed style of most UFC, k1 and Pride fighters.
from these categories, any style can be broken down into these two categories:
Internal Martial Arts: styles which stress the use of leverage (jiu-jitsu, judo, wrestling), complex stepping patterns and 'internal power,' also known as 'chi' or 'qi' (kung-fu, tai chi, aikido, hapkido)
External Martial Arts: arts which rely on muscular force and strength coming from hard physical strikes and exertion (Muay Thai, western boxing, krotty, tang soo do, tae-kwon-don`t)
tae kwon do(n't) is a prime example of martial arts for sport (as opposed to martial arts for self-defense). TKD
ers out there may debate this with me, but its true. sorry. but TKD won`t do much for you in a real fight. because any untrained fighter would catch any of your stupid, fancy high kicks and slam you onto the pavement.
of course muay thai is a sport also. but it is a LOT more effective in a real fight. of course competing and fighting are two different things. you would not knee someone in the groin, for example, while fighting a muay thai tourney. in an actual street fight, you would. or you should. I would.
now let's move on to the so-called 'deadly arts'...
wing chun instructors do not claim their style is for sport. they actually claim it`s an effective form of self-defense for 'teh $treet$.' as I soon figured out, this was completely false.
the thing about most, if not all wing chun schools is that the students never compete in tournaments. I was fine with this when I first started, because the anti-jock in me didn`t want to compete, I just wanted to learn how to kick azz. what I finally figured out was the following, and anyone who is thinking about joining a school, please take this advice:
if you don`t compete against a resisting opponent, you will never know how effective your style is!!!
sure we had drills in wing chun, where two people paired up and practiced the techniques they just learned. it was like katas with a partner who 'lets you' hit him/her. but that is NOTHING like practicing learned techniques on someone who is ACTUALLY TRYING TO HURT YOU.
if any of you wing chunners disagree with me, go to a boxing club and pick a fight with someone. seriously, do it. I dare you!
hating my sifu, and also doubting the efficacy of the style I was paying good money to learn, I quit wing chun and joined shaolin kung-fu. some friends and I started training in Toronto at a place called Temple Knights, under Sifu Ali Siadatan: http://www.templeknights.com/
this shaolin skool was somewhat of a McDojo, in that I doubt most of the stuff I learned would help me on 'teh $treet$,' but it was fun, calming, good exercise and the stretching was BRUTAL! really increased my flexibility. shaolin kung-fu focuses on wing-chun, tai chi (which is really good for you, by the way), meditation (ditto), and all the animal styles (snake, crane, praying mantis, etc). good balance is essential for all this sorta stuff.
the small joint locks we learned were effective. they work. no matter how big your opponent may be, a broken pinky finger does NOT feel good. but the pressure point attacks where all based on muscular energy control, meridian lines, in other words 'chi or 'qi' (pronounced 'CHEE') attacks. about these, I have only one thing to say...
the only way to develop a powerful kicking and striking game is through practice and conditioning. if you want to hit someone and knock them out, you have to PRACTICE PUNCHING. if you want to kick someone in the ribs, thigh or liver and have them fall to the ground crying out in pain... you have to PRACTICE KICKING!
there is no magical pressure point attack where you just learn it and then never have to practice it. and any sifu or kru or sensei who tells you there is is a liar.
which brings us to lesson 3... if you go to visit a dojo and you see any of the following:
... LEAVE! and go find another school.
if any of you shaolinners have a problem with what I just said, go to a muay thai gym and pick a fight with someone. seriously do it. I dare you.
some people may think I'm just recommending these arts because I'm a UFC nut or something. while I must admit I absolutely LOVE watching mixed martial arts matches (UFC, k1, pride, etc) even though the macho chest-puffing stuff is kind of annoying, but you can learn SO MUCH from watching these matches. these guys are scientists, and if you want to learn about real fighting then watch that stuff! some people doubt that these matches hold weight because there are rules like no eye-gouging, biting, groin strikes, etc. this is, in my opinion, the stupidest argument ever. the only reason for these rules is that these fighters do not want to be blind and impotent! if, however, it was truly no-holds-barred, both fighters would be able to bite, eye-gouge, fish-hook, whatever. big deal. these dirty techniques are not guaranteed fight-enders.
that's lesson 4. if a school tells you the reason they don't compete is because their style is 'too deadly for competition,' they are liars.
if your system of self-defense relies solely on eye-gouging and kicks to the groin, and fish-hooks and pressure point strikes, you would be SCREWED in a mixed martial arts tourney, or in a real-life fight for that matter! a thai fighter would just shinkick you as soon as you stepped towards them with your 'gouging thumbs' at the ready!
d fall down and cry, and hed stomp the crap out of you and say 'thanks fer comin out.'
lesson 4a: if a school tells you they don't compete because 'we don't want to,' or any other reason for that matter, leave and find another school. THERE IS NO REASON NOT TO COMPETE, BECAUSE COMPETING IS HOW YOU TEST THE EFFECTIVENESS OF YOUR STYLE. If you don't compete, or at the very least, SPAR, you will never know if your style works. You'll just 'hope' it works, or 'believe' it works, that is until you get in a fight and get beat down.
also, a note: if you watch WWE Wrestling, and are over the age of 12, there is absolutely no hope for you.
sorry, back to the issue at hand. kay, if you want to learn how to fight for real (I.e. learn a style that would be effective in a real fight), visit some skools in your area, and take this advice. seriously... take it:
1) you can not learn martial arts by reading books or watching videos (some concept books are worth reading (like Bruce Lee's 'The Tao of Jeet Kune Do'), and some vids worth watching (like k1, UFC, pride, Rickson Gracie's 'Choke'), but you have to know what you`re doing first. you have to be proficient before books and vids will help you)
2) sparring means hitting and kicking each other (and elbowing and kneeing in muay thai). grappling refers to submissions, hold-downs and choke-holds while on the ground. if you want to get good like tha krotty kid (so that Johnny won`t legsweep you), you have to CROSS-TRAIN! some good combinations would be:
judo + muay thai jiu-jitsu + boxing wrestling + krotty
see? see how it works now? after you get good at one of these combinations, you can mix and match to yer heart`s content! or even branch off and train with weapons (I.e. kali, escrima, kempo, etc).
3) your skool should practice sparring (or grappling if yer into judo or jiu-jitsu) for at LEAST half the time of each class. typically, you want to look for a skool that spends half the class learning techniques, and the other half sparring (or grappling) with an opponent.
4) your skool should compete in tournaments!!! if they try to tell you 'our style is too deadly for competition,' SWITCH TO A DIFFERENT SKOOL. wing chunners use this line all the time. 'our style is too deadly.' ummm hi... BULLCRAP! that is such an EXCUSE.
'if wing chun is so good, why don`t they ever win any competitions like UFC, Pride, or k1?'
'because our style is too deadly for competition.'
'if aikido is so good...,' etc, etc
5) along the same lines as 'too deadly wing chun,' are McDojo`s that refer to their style as 'Reality Based Self-Defense.' these styles include Krav Maga, Systema, and all those other russian martial arts that totally suck. these dojos make a living out of trashing other martial arts, rejecting any aspects of conditioning, and focusing on 'dirty fighting' like stabbing, fish-hooking, eye-gouging, knees to the groin, blablabla. of course, they use their method as an excuse for why they never win competitions.
to them I will say the following: you don
t train punching and kicking, but you eye-gouge and knee to the groin. how do you expect to have the accuracy to use eye gouges if you cant even land a decent jab to your opponent`s face?!?!
a knee to the groin will not end a fight. neither will a knife. and if you ever have the misfortune of fighting someone who is trained in jiu-jitsu, you might as well just hand your knife over because he/she will take it from you faster than you can say uncle.
6) tae-kwon-do SUCKS
7) ninjitsu is f*cking RETARDED
8) some krotty and Jeet Kude Do is okay. but like I said, make sure they do lots of sparring and compete in tournaments. for a JKD class, check the lineage and make sure your instructor was taught by someone reputable (like Yip Man)
8a) LINEAGE IS IMPORTANT: find out who your teacher is (usually called sensei, kru or sifu)... where did/does your teacher train? did he/she used to fight professionally? what was he/she's record? who taught your teacher? these are important questions and you shouldn't join a school without having them answered.
9) when you start at a skool, always try to practice/spar with a higher belt/rank than yourself. not only will you learn more, but the other white belts in the class will know nothing just like you. so why practice with them? the most dangerous judoka is a white belt. because they don
t know what theyre doing! lol
10) CROSS-TRAIN (had to say this again)
11) money should be the last thing on your instructor
s mind. most reputable places will offer you a free week of training to try out the classes. if they tell you you will have to buy a bunch of stuff before you start training, and sign contracts and what not, its probably a McDojo. you`ll probably be required to buy a mouthpiece, headgear and cup, that is common for most styles. but you should at least be able to try out 2 or 3 free classes before they ask you to start paying. most legit martial arts skools give you the option of monthly or yearly payments. stay away from dojos that say stuff like 'you have to join for at least a year.' an acceptable monthly rate would be in the 60 to 100 dollar range. my gym is Kombat Arts (kombatarts.com). As you can see, they offer: Mixed Martial Arts, Jeet Kune Do, Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, Combat Submission Wrestling, Western Boxing (like muhammad ali) and Kali (I.e. stickfighting) and just plain Conditioning classes (for those who want to work more on their conditioning). A membership gives you access to all these classes and they only charge $100 a month. They are the largest school in my country (Canada) and they have many students who fight as well as instructors (UFC's Mark Bocek teaches jiu-jitsu there). So they charge $100/month. That should give you an idea of what you should be paying. In other words, if a school teaches one style and they want to charge you $300/month, it's most likely bullcrap.
12) the students at the skool should be friendly and helpful, and not have big egos. don
t stay in a skool with students that pick on the lower ranks. this reflects poor teaching on their instructors part.
13) the best way to test your style
s efficacy is to spar/grapple with other people. if you dont have the balls to get beaten up, you won
t ever learn anything. you can debate this all you want, but its the simple truth, and I really hope you don`t have to learn it the hard way.
14) when you first check out a skool, ask your sensei where he/she trained, and his/her rank.
15) if the instructors volunteer, it`s most likely a legit skool.
t ask your sensei/sifu/instructor stupid crap like 'when will I get my green belt?' dont worry about belts, worry about your technique. the sensei will tell you when you deserve a higher rank.
16a) If your instructor pushes you into testing when you don't feel you're ready, he may just be trying to make money off of you. Leave.
17) martial arts does not make you invincible. the best defense on 'teh $treet$' is your mouth, so use it. this stuff is to protect your life, not your pride. and if you beat the bejesus out of someone for mouthing off to you, well maybe he`ll find you and shoot you in the face the next day. there is almost ALWAYS a way out of a fight, so think hard before you go rounds with someone on the street.
18) is the instructor fat? leave
19) are there other fat black belts in the class? leave
20) you do not need to bench three-hundred pounds to learn how to kick azz. tall skinny people do well in Muay Thai, western boxing or krotty. short, stocky people do well in brazilian jiu-jitsu, submission wrestling and judo (these styles teach you to take out big guys with chokes and joint locks). and big muscular peeps, well you guys can pretty much excel in any legitimate style! (I hate you guys)
21) YOUR SCHOOL SHOULD DO CONDITIONING!!! running, push-ups, situps, all that stuff. CARDIO IS SUPER IMPORTANT! any school that doesn't addres this is crap.
... as for me, I renounced all my years of wing chun and shaolin training, and now studying Muay Thai. I am what you would call 'Green level.' I also train BJJ and Jeet Kune Do at a different skool. I am thinking of starting Judo someday as a lowly, barefoot-eating, mat-licking white belt. should be fun.
so there you have it... my wing chun and shaolin kung-fu proven totally useless. don`t become a McDojo victim like I once was.
if you have any questions, don
t be shy to ask. Ill try to help you decide on a good skool, if I can.
I know this is a lot to write, but you don't want to waste your time for years and years doing crappy styles like I did.
kiaaaiii!!! KROTTY CHOP!!!
luv, bruce leroy
To Cadillacvernon/Any one interested in Martial Arts "Because any untrained fighter would catch any of your stupid, fancy high kicks and slam you onto the pavement."
Out of curiosity how many lessons of Tae Kwon Do have you done?
(Before I continue I would just like to point out I am not trying to start an argument or such, and I believe you are entitled to your own view just as I am. While I feel your beliefs about TKD are wrong, I am not trying to change them I would just like to point out some things to people who are reading this article).
There is more then one branch of Tae kwon Do, and obviously many different instructors who have different ideas about what their students need to learn. So while one instructor may run a class that “sucks” another may indeed run a very good class that may bring you out on top of the fight. But this applies for ALL Martial Arts,
If an untrained fighter can catch any of these 'stupid fancy high kicks' then obviously the person practicing Tae Kwon Do needs to practice a bit more. The simplest moves are all that are need to win and if a person feels the need to bring in fancy kicks, attacks or other moves and are have an untrained fighter ‘slam you onto the pavement’ then it is there own loss. Then again if the instructor has not taught them strong basics, or pressed the importance of only using moves they can effectively pull off then maybe the hall they are at is not for them. Many instructors also press the importance of walking away from fights if possible.
As you can probably guess I am a student of Tae Kwon Do, I have been for many years. I have also begun cross-training (Some Martial Arts do not like cross-training, so make sure you check out how they feel about it. I would not advise joining Martial Arts that does not like cross-training, it limits your choices).
Tae Kwon Do teaches a range of things. It does not just focusing on kicking. In fact I believe the name translates to something like “the way of the hand & foot” (something like that at least). Meaning that both hand & foot techniques are both covered. They range from basics (which if the student is proficient in are all that are needed to win a fight) to the fancier techniques. While some of the fancier techniques can have quite a lot of power they are not needed to win in fights if you have strong basics.
Some people approach Tae Kwon Do as a sport and there ARE places who only teach it as a sport, but if you a serious about learning it for defence you should find a place that does teach it as more then a sport (Of course it is about personal choice).
Sparring (ranging from non-contact to contact), patterns, defence techniques, groundwork and technique practice are brought into the lessons, though I’m sure there are some instructors who may leave out some of them, or not cover them as much. Becoming good at any martial arts depends a lot on your instructors ability and your dedication.
In the end the only advice I can offer for anyone interested joining a martial arts (whether it’s Tae Kwon Do, Jiu-jitsu, Judo, anything at all) is: PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!
Well like some people said before, It's not really so great as to take 1 martial art style, but what most are saying isn't true, like Commando Sambo, (For the dude saying about Russian styles) Israeli Krav-maga, Tae kwon do, and Aikdio are all excellent martial arts if you want to be abled to either dish out damage, disarm, or counter your opponents. There's just so many martial arts out there though. A word of advice thouhg is to NOT take Teng su do since it just teaches you, "this is a punch! This is a kick! This is jumping!", And you really don't need tons of money to learn these things. My friend is learning Krav-Maga for about $50 a month. CHEAP BUT HIGH QUALITY, and I learned Karate until I was a blue-belt for under $50 dollars. There's many more details but I'll give you a nice list.
1) NO TENG SU DO!(Unless you REALLY want to) 2)Krav-Maga is israeli 3)Aikido, Krav-maga, sambo, and tae kwon do are good styles to learn. 4)You don't need to be loaded to learn 5) If you're in sambo and a big fat dude's teaching the class, GOOD 6)Most styles or martial arts base their "belts" off of skill level meaning if you see 16 year olds with black-belts they're just good. 7) Avoid getting Paired up with a guy named Keith (From my and many many friends' experience) 8) Cross-style training is good (repeated) 9) Many bizarre workouts are best 10) Get atleast a few sparring matches in with people who use techniques other than your's.
learn try stuff out and practice and spar with guys who study different arts I always going around training with people sawping moves and strikes to learn different stuff, the UFC use to have no weight classes to see witch art was truly the best
what ever art you learn what ever gym you go to who ever you train with go to with an open mind and be eager to learn its all about form not power unless you have form and speed
if you really are in to it and want to learn it you must be dedicated I train 4 hours a day in the gym and then a lot at home in the air and mirror 7days a week but its worth it
Well I don't do martial arts, I just imitate what I see on tv. And I'm pretty good at self defense. But some people aren't able to just imitate what the see, so I suggest doing some martial arts training. Chinese/japanese martial arts would be great. You can also move on to different styles like jujitsu if you try hard enough.
haha well this will take a long time to explain.. theres alot of diff types of martial arts; since im korean i stuck with tkd and im training to be in the olympics; everyones diff.. every martial arts helps u build ur speed and power if u wanna learn how to street fight learn muy thai. well i gotta go so good luck<3
you can go to about.com n type in martial arts and diff styles will come up like karate,tae kwon do,jujitsu,etc. :)
Just go and join some martial art school and I think Taekwando is the best to learn so go fr Taekwando