Advice on Clubs near me

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Discussion' started by smith10, Feb 18, 2020.

  1. smith10

    smith10 New Member


    I have read many similar posts regarding best style for realistic self defence, and i wont repeat the same question. Though i will link three clubs near me, that offer this type of training (or claim to offer) and if anyone has experience with the style or actually trained at the club, your advice would be great.


    Or alternatively there are a couple of good Boxing and Judo clubs, (i trained in both a little when i was younger) and Muay Thai club that offers MMA. There are also Wing Chun and Aikido near me, though i have reservations regarding realism and conditioning.

    I feel BJJ spends too much time on the ground. ( though i am willing to listen to advice)

    Thanks in advance

  2. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    Honestly I think the only way to know is to go along and visit them.

    Krav seems hugely variable to me, from utter nonsense, to kickboxing in camo pants, to good self defence training, and it just seems to depend on the club.

    Japanese JJ could be great, but usually does compliant training, so again it depends on the club.

    The last one is a one man band by the looks, so again the only way to know is to go along and see.

    Your alternatives could be good either.

    The best training is the one you will stick at, so go along and try them all and see which suits you best; at the very least you'll get lots of free lessons and some new experiences :)
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2020
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  3. icefield

    icefield Valued Member

    Go try them all and see which fits, if it's self defence then I'd skip the Japanese jj and try the other two,

    The odds of you being attacked are remote so it comes down to which you enjoy most,
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  4. smith10

    smith10 New Member

    Thank you Mitch and Icefield, that's good sensible advice,

    Is there anything i should 'look out for' or ask during these introduction lessons?
  5. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Valued Member MAP 2017 Gold Award

    Realistic self defense is such a wide and varied subject that there are not a lot of people that get it right. I'd say picking what's effective and what you enjoy might not be the same thing. Try them all but be wary. Good signs tend to be things like resistance training. When I say resistance I mean two people fighting each other in the context of the situation. For MMA it's just a 1 vs 1 fight. For self defense it could be anything. The big trap I see people fall into is faux resistance testing in self defense. For instance someone might be attacking and someone might be defending but the attacker will quickly go limp and allow the defender to carry out the technique. In Aikido it's obvious but when guys wear camo pants it can fool a beginner.

    This looks fantastic but there isn't any REAL resistance. Lots of energy but nothing of substance. Looks really good but I've seen videos of similar guys put in a cage and they just look below average at fighting. Just something to watch out for.

    BJJ is 95% ground work but there is also some standing stuff that is pretty much exactly Japanese Jujutsu. I do think though that because of all the resistance sparring that the standing stuff is easier to apply just because body awareness is much better than most. Same way Judo players are better at JJJ throws than the actual JJJ guys because they've done it under resistance.

    Anyway, here's Jocko on self defence. He's a former Navy SEAL. Not that it means anything in and of itself but he's definitely a guy who's done a lot of stuff.

    Personally I'd say do what you enjoyed the most. If MMA is the best thing out there but you don't gel with the folk there just don't go. Same with any other place.
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  6. Dylan9d

    Dylan9d Valued Member

    Just try the simple thing like boxing and judo.

    Knowing how to deliver a good punch or perform a good throw is already a step ahead of everyone else.
  7. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    If your goal is self defence training, then there are a few things to watch put for IMO.

    The instructor trying to impress you with macho posturing should ring alarm bells. If they are claiming to teach you how to maim people, deadly skills etc, I'd walk away. Self defence training should major on awareness and should be legally underpinned. If they don't talk about what constitutes self defence and what constitutes assault then they have no business teaching it.

    You need to think about what you want out of the training experience too. Maybe watch a session first and see what the vibe is like in class. Will you enjoy the atmosphere? Do you relate to the way the class is taught?

    At the end of the day you're going to spend a lot of time there, so might as well enjoy it :)
  8. smith10

    smith10 New Member

    Great stuff, that's been really helpful. Thanks guys
  9. smith10

    smith10 New Member

    Pretty in pink, yes i see what you mean, not much active resistance, in reality the attacker wouldn't be so willing for you to retaliate!!
  10. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Valued Member MAP 2017 Gold Award

    No worries. Keep us updated man!
  11. Simon

    Simon Moved on Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    This is something that a good self defence coach will cover and be able to explain.

    There are different types of attacker, so if you are faced with someone who sets out for material gain, but doesn't intend to get physical, then retaliation may just escalate things.

    All of a sudden retaliation has you facing an increased threat.

    That's not to say you can't fight back, you just need to understand the implications and base your actions on an understanding of what's been taught and explained in class.

    As Mitch said, if an instructor is all macho and goes straight to the physical, then walk away.
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  12. axelb

    axelb Master of Office Chair Fu

    great advice on here.

    I'd also add; observe the rest of the class and their skill level, if they have belts that is often an easy way to determine.
    If the instructor appears to have good skills on display, but the higher ranking students don't look anything like it, then it's an indication that the teaching is sub par, or their retention rate is very low.

    Either way i hope you find something that fits :)
  13. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool the merc with the mouth MAP 2017 Moi Award

    All three clubs look terrible, any clubs that trains safely with resistance will be more effective then them.

    Which is why most SD classes are trash, no resistance.

    If you want effective physical skills do a combat sport you enjoy.

    (Note SD and physical fighting skills arnt always the same thing)

    If you worried about prolonging the time your alive, watch what you eat, do some cardio and some weight bearing exercise.

    If you definitely don't want to end up in the ground for long, BJJ is surprisingly effective at making sure your only on the bottom a short amount of time.
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  14. smith10

    smith10 New Member

    Ha Dead_Pool, i like your no beating around the bush approach, 'All three clubs look terrible'!!!
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  15. Monkey_Magic

    Monkey_Magic Well-Known Member

    The Maidstone Krav club is taught by two instructors who both hold a G1 grade. This is a genuine instructor qualification from the British Krav Maga Association, which I believe is one of the more legit Krava Maga associations. G1 is the lowest instructor grade and below the BKMA's equivalent of black belt, but I think the BKMA brings over higher level instructors from Israel to the UK a few times a year.

    I don't know anything about Kyushin Ryu Ju Jitsu. There's a KRJJ page on Wikipedia, but I've no idea who wrote it or if it relates to the KRJJ taught by this club. I'm always skeptical when the founder gives himself a 9th dan :rolleyes: The website says they give two sessions as a free trial, so you'd have nothing to lose by trying it out.

    The Forcefield club teaches "Freestyle Unarmed Combat Ju-jitsu", which looks like the chief instructor's own creation. He's a former infantry soldier with a civilian qualification in close protection. (The latter is usually an intensive 3-week course, covering a lot more subjects than physical skills.) Some of his qualifications raise an alarm bell for me, e.g. CKM training was notoriously terrible (as I know from trying it out) and I don't recognise the martial arts associations cited. However, it's impossible to tell if the club's any good without trying out a class. Perhaps the chief instructor has a wealth of relevant, close protection experience that he's not put on the website.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2020
  16. Simon

    Simon Moved on Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    If you are in and about Maidstone, then you need to come and see me.

    I'll send you a PM later.
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  17. Monkey_Magic

    Monkey_Magic Well-Known Member

    Yes, I think you should check out Simon’s club and let us know if it’s any good :p

    :D Unfortunately he teaches Jeet Kune Do, which is one of those styles that someone concocted from other arts. It was made up by some guy called Bruce, but I’ve never heard of him.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2020
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