New Martial Art / Fighting System required

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Discussion' started by pjbennett, Jan 30, 2016.

  1. pjbennett

    pjbennett New Member


    A few years ago I had to give up Muay Thai due to a problem with my back. Hundreds of knees, kicks, punches and elbows every session were too high impact for the compressed discs in my lower spine. Reluctantly I sought a new art/system that meant that I wouldn't have to relearn too much and after some research I started Krav Maga. I found the techniques easy to pick up and although there was still a significant amount of striking, it was much less intense and my back has been fine. However, I'm beginning to question its usefullness. Everything is very staged and scenario based, at half speed and without wishing to sound offensive, the majority of the time the people you train with are more of a hinderance than a help.

    Last weekend, I was nearly involved in an incident in a pub which I successfully talked down but afterwards I realised that, in my Muay Thai days, if events had taken a turn for the worse I would have not hesitated and finished the job. Now, after training twice a week in Krav, I felt I didn't have a clue what to do, mainly because I've spent the last two years pretending to hit someone or disarming a kidnapper with a gun and then disarming him and mowing the room down with his plastic gun. It all just seems a bit too pretend to me.

    I've condisidered doing mma but I'm 40 now and possibly a bit too injured for the intensity. Does anyone has any advice or recommendations with regard to a suitable art? I like striking and ground work and realistic sparring. A friend of mine trains in Silat. What are people's thoughts on that?

    Thanks very much for your help.
  2. aaradia

    aaradia Choy Li Fut and Yang Tai Chi Chuan Student Moderator Supporter

    Welcome to MAP. First, why don't you tell us what is in your area? That is, what are your realistic choices of schools/ styles you can regularly get to? (If you run across their website links- post them here.)

    No point in telling you to do for example: Choy Li Fut if there is no CLF school within a hundred miles of you.
  3. philosoraptor

    philosoraptor carnivore in a top hat Supporter

    One thing I've noticed about the fellows who successfully train BJJ/MMA after their youth is they tend to put the brakes on a match themselves. Is it possible that you were just pushing yourself too hard and, with the right gym culture, you could find a way to continue training? Have you seen a doctor?
  4. pjbennett

    pjbennett New Member


    Thanks for the replies. I am located in the West Midlands of the U.K. and have pretty much most martial arts available to me nearby.

    That's a fair point about training too hard. I was still training with the fighters and up and coming kids when I had to pack up Muay Thai. However, 15 mins continues at full power on the bag can put me out for a week. I have sought specialist help and was told to stop in no uncertain terms.
  5. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    it sounds like.....

    a) You need to physio your lower back as much as possible, within your medical constraints.
    b) Find an art that doesnt place too much strain on your lower back
    c) Find a gym culture that allows a 40 year old with back problems to train like a 40 year old with back problems. 15 minutes full power on the bag is not what you need to be practising, training is a forge, if that forge breaks you, it isnt a forge.


    Talking you way out of a situation in a pub, is more of a success then wading in physically, and at best having to explain yourself to the police afterwards.

    edit - if your anywhere close - (west mids) rosi sexton (ex UFC fighter) is a very capable physical therapist, drop her a line.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2016
  6. Guitar Nado

    Guitar Nado Valued Member

    Welcome to MAP!

    Others have made great points. But one other suggestion is Jeet Kune Do. JKD Concepts could include some Muay Thai, Silat, Kali, Grappling, Wing Chun, etc.

    Silat seems pretty cool in general from the little I have been exposed to. One thing I have learned is there are many, many different styles and branches of it - so one type could be very far removed from another.
  7. Knee Rider

    Knee Rider Valued Member Supporter

    I personally wouldn't touch Silat.
  8. aaradia

    aaradia Choy Li Fut and Yang Tai Chi Chuan Student Moderator Supporter

    Now THAT is an awesome statement!:bow1: I love that!
  9. aaradia

    aaradia Choy Li Fut and Yang Tai Chi Chuan Student Moderator Supporter

    Not very helpful to OP unless you elaborate a little bit on why.
  10. Prizewriter

    Prizewriter Moved on

    You have some great bjj options. Braulio is the obvious one, but the Gracie academy have a training centre in Wolverhampton. That would be my suggestion as it has the whole "keep it playful" thing but also their BJJ sparring is all self defense orientated and they will do some "jits with hits".

    Braulio is a BJJ legend of course, but he is an amazing teacher too. He has produced guys like Luke Costello and Chris Bowe who are world/european champions and world class black belts.

    On the down side, it is a competition driven school and very expensive.
  11. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    A school where people compete isn't a bad thing, its when its the sole focus of the school that problems arise for some newbies.

    I know the eclipse place does reasonably well in competition, in the blue belt categories, so that argument is kinda silly.

    There's lots of BJJ in the west mids, but it can be quite rough on the lower back, when your first learning.
  12. Ben Gash CLF

    Ben Gash CLF Valued Member

    Silat from the Inosanto JKDC people is somewhat less fanciful than some of the stuff you see, and also within a JKDC framework will typically be supported by Muay Thai and some form of grappling.
  13. Tom bayley

    Tom bayley Valued Member

    BJJ has some good practical applications and can be practiced at a sensible pace and intensity. It also builds and maintains fitness and strength. Different clubs have different attitudes but if you shop around you will find a sensible group with a instructor who will trust you to train at a pace and intensity to fit your age and your injuries.

    Southern Chinese arts such as Hung Gar and Choi lee fut are often practiced with controlled sparing that can be easily adjusted in intensity to compensate for age and injury. They would also fit well with the stand up elements of Muay Tai and Krav.
  14. Langenschwert

    Langenschwert Molon Labe

    Yeah, get thee to a physician. Get everything checked out before you decide what to do. Maybe your back will be fine after some professional care, and you can go back to MT if you like.

    If you were physically OK, I'd suggest an MMA gym. Perhaps there are some in your area that are cool with working with you in your present state? Outside of MMA, Judo, (Catch) Wrestling and BJJ, much of the ground work you'll find will be suspect.
  15. bigreddog

    bigreddog Valued Member

    I find BJJ very tough physically, not so much through the planned motions but through the scrambling where you find unexpected twisting etc. especially when dealing with a partners weight. Likewise if you want self defence skills you'll need to work from standing which means you'll need to do some breakfalling, which can be tough. Not knowing your injuries I don't know what is off limits, so give it a go, but don't train with monsters

    Have you considered boxing? It will complement your MT skills and working focus mitts will give you fast precise hands without putting excessive strain on the body. A lot of self defence confrontations can be sorted with quick hands (Its not a complete system, but it covers much of the 'pub fight' scenarios)
  16. Thompsons

    Thompsons Valued Member

    Boxing is great - unless you have bad knees(then no combat sport is great i guess).

    What i found with boxing though is, that you will generally not receive any special attention if you have any kind of physical limits, when folks realize you arent able to give them the kind of "feedback" they are used to in sparring, they will quickly avoid you alltogether.

    This can reveal itself in rather ackward situations where you have no sparring partner, or you will be the guy left that "no one really wants on their team".

    I have not seen a huge willingness to think a little bit "out of the box" or doing some modifications at the Gyms i have been at, to make us elder/injured folks fall in line.

    I guess no one can be blaimed. Its valuable time going to the gym. Just my five cents based on own experiences. Wish you good luck ofcourse.
  17. Docholiday

    Docholiday Valued Member

    I'd avoid Silat too as others have said. Largely because all of the silat I've seen in person and on video is primarily compliant training and drills. This method of transmission makes it hard to assess how good you are as a practitioner and how good the instructors and everyone else claims to be good is. It's largely in part due to the prevalence of "deadly" breaks and strikes that can't really be practiced full speed on a resisting opponent. If you can't train at intensity you can't learn how to adjust and adapt a technique. Imagine if you couldn't safely box, how do you think boxing would work when finally put to use? I think arts like silat have their place, and that's along side an art or training method that also incorporates resistance training.

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