Trouble deciding which martial arts to take up after separation

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Discussion' started by PSYCHOLinguist, May 5, 2017.

  1. PSYCHOLinguist

    PSYCHOLinguist New Member

    Hey guys,

    So, as some of you may have seen in my intro thread, I'm not exactly new to the martial arts (though I'm hardly experienced compared to guys and gals who have been practicing longer than I've been alive). Over the past five years, due to lots of different assignments over the course of my military training, I've gotten to experience many different arts and have developed a feel for what I like and dislike. I am now about to move yet again, and would like some feedback on which martial arts (I tend to take two at once) to try to find when I arrive wherever my next assignment takes me. I've narrowed it down to four, and I'd like everybody's input. Note that I'm interested in both the cultural aspect of the martial arts as well as effective self defense. The four arts I'm looking at, and why I'm looking at each, are as follows:

    Shorin-Ryu Karate- Shorin-Ryu was one of the few arts available at my most recent duty station, and, despite my misgivings about taking a traditional art in a small town in the middle of nowhere, I've found my instructor to be top notch and the art to be to my liking. The Aikidoka in me likes that it blends some locks and throws into what is stereotypically a striking art, and I've actually come to like the combination of kata with training with a partner and/or sparring.

    Ninjitsu/Taijitsu- My first exposure to Ninjitsu was through seminars given by Renshi Allie Alberigo, a friend of my old JJJ instructor. What I saw in those seminars resembled the JJJ I was familiar with, but with some interesting stylistic elements absent in my system and the obvious draw of claiming a lineage reaching back to the infamous covert operatives of feudal Japan. More recently (that was 10 years ago), I have been reading some of Hayes' writing, and it's renewed my interest in training in this particular art. The biggest issue I see in doing so would be finding a quality school, as it seem the ninjitsu name draws a lot of frauds.

    Aikido- I trained consistently in Aikido for about 3.5 years, and even after PCSing made that impossible I've done my best to adapt it into whatever style I've found myself practicing since. Additionally, I always make sure to train in Aikido when I'm home on leave. I truly love the art, as well as the philosophy behind it, but sometimes question its defensive utility (I say sometimes because I know at least one 4th Dan who is retired NYPD and had the uncanny ability to drop bad guys on their butts using Aikido).These concerns about practicality bring us to...

    Judo- I have always liked the soft arts, hence my studying of Aikido. More recently, I studied BJJ for a few years, and while it's not for me, I like the fact that sparring with a resisting opponent forces you to adapt your approach to sink the technique (or, at the very least, avoid having them sink it on you). With that in mind, Judo seems like a great choice to learn how to practically apply hip throws, locks, and similar techniques.

    Four interesting arts, time/money to train in two of them. What say you, people of Martial Arts Planet?
  2. aikiMac

    aikiMac aikido + boxing = very good Moderator Supporter

    First criteria - what's actually available?
    Second criteria - which ones are of good quality?
    Third criteria - which one do you like the most?

    You said aikido is your favorite. (It's mine, too.) If it passes the first and second criteria (for me where I live right now, it does not), then do aikido.
  3. kandi

    kandi Valued Member

    Do what's available, and if possible, Judo and Aikido...
  4. philosoraptor

    philosoraptor carnivore in a top hat Supporter

    Psst. You misspelled Brazilian jiu jitsu! :p :p :p
  5. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    Personally I'd do the Shorin Karate and Judo, I think there's a great overlap of fun and effectiveness there. But honestly you're going to have to be guided by your next assignment. That's not a bad thing though, you're getting exposure to all sorts of stuff over time, so lots of good stuff.

    I'd also seriously look at boxing as something you'll likely have access to everywhere.

    Most of all have fun :)

  6. PSYCHOLinguist

    PSYCHOLinguist New Member

    I've actually done a few years of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and it's not for me. I appreciate the intensity of training though!
  7. Latikos

    Latikos Valued Member

    I'd take a look at the classes that are available at your next assignement and would stay, where I like it the most - regardless of the style, if I were to like all four of them.

    If you don't like going there, because the people or the instructor are not your cup of tea, the best school of the style might not keep your interest up; depending on you personality.
  8. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    what put you off BJJ?

    Is it the constant grind of sparring? If so are you looking for arts without sparring as a focus?
  9. PSYCHOLinguist

    PSYCHOLinguist New Member

    This is going to sound weird, but I like the sparring, but dislike the emphasis on competition. My reasoning is twofold. First, the emphasis on competition causes safety to take a backseat, and I've seen several unnecessary injuries occur as a result. Injuries are going to happen. Of course, but more are going to happen when victory takes priority over both opponents leaving with all their joints working properly. Second, the emphasis on competition, in my mind, detracts from a self defense focus. For example, at my dojo we have never discussed any sort of weapon, or multiple opponents.
  10. holyheadjch

    holyheadjch Valued Member

    If any club/martial art tells you they can teach you how to defend yourself against weapons or multiple opponents - run in the opposite direction and take your wallet with you.
  11. PSYCHOLinguist

    PSYCHOLinguist New Member

    You consider practicing techniques against knife attacks, or taking multiple opponents into account, to be useless?
  12. holyheadjch

    holyheadjch Valued Member

    Yes, unless those techniques involve handing over my wallet and phone and generally following instructions of the people/person with the knife.

    I've been mugged at knifepoint and by multiple people (and both at the same time). I didn't need to know any martial arts to come through those situations unhurt. If five people want to kick your head in, no amount of krav maga or ninjutsu or BJJ is going to help you - a sub 12s 100m might, however.
  13. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    ^ 98.567% agree.

    Even in the koryu schools, unarmed vs armed is only a last ditch attempt at staying alive.
  14. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    Competition provides essential evolutionary pressure, I prefer a gym with gi, nogi and mma focus, but pressure is still pressure.

    However unsafe training is detrimental to both sport and sd ability.
  15. PSYCHOLinguist

    PSYCHOLinguist New Member

    I'm not saying that sticking around in either situation is a good idea, but then, sticking around in any potential violent situation when the opportunity to escape or deescalate presents itself is a bad idea. My point is, training in a manner that outright ignores those contingencies doesn't make sense to me.
  16. holyheadjch

    holyheadjch Valued Member

    It's about putting the effort in the right places. Unarmed defences against knife attacks for most people is just a waste of time. Dealing with multiple opponents starts with being able to deal with one quickly and efficiently. There are no silver bullets.
  17. kandi

    kandi Valued Member

    The only way to really train for multiple attackers is to learn how to sprint. Try joining a runners club.
  18. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    Just practice stand ups, and disengaging during rolling as much as possible, then join in the wrestling and/or MMA class and do the same there. That's 80 percent of your physical SD skills.
  19. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    Very true dat!
  20. PSYCHOLinguist

    PSYCHOLinguist New Member

    Trust me, I spent 1.5 years training to try out for special tactics... I can run if I need to.

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