Martial Arts

Discussion in 'Lifestyle, Health, Fitness & Food' started by bostjan, Jun 9, 2006.

  1. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    I noticed in the hobby thread, a lot of you mentioned martial arts of some sort.

    I used to do this as a kid. I got pretty serious about it, then my instructor moved across town and I, as a kid in Detroit, had no transportation. I found a new instructor, but he was way inexperienced and I became frustrated and quit. I picked it up again months later with the intention of getting serious about it once more, with a new style, and a new attitude. Before long (a year or two) my progress halted and I eventually gave up.

    Naren and everyone who's serious about Asian culture, I apologize for my lack of knowledge here. Please keep in mind that I know nothing about Asian culture, and that when I say something like "Ju Jitsu," I am, in fact, referring to what Americans call it, and not the real thing.

    I started pretty young with Tae Kwon Do, then moved to Tang Soo Do. I found a really good instructor who made his own style out of Ju Jitsu and Judo, with elements borrowed from other schools as well. I really got into it. The classes I liked best were Aikido.

    When I went to find a new dojo, I decided to search for "Aikido," since it was the name mentioned by my old teacher a lot, and time we were learning something I thought was cool. Going into this Aikido school of thinking was difficult. There were no longer belts other than white and black, there was a lot more seriousness, and the lessons were more abstract. I struggled, but perservered through the programme. Even though this was a much more authentic experience, my motivation diminished. And then I eventually stopped going.

    Part of the deciding factor was when some kid in highschool lunged at me with his fist. Without thinking, I grabbed his wrist and gave a graceful twist of the forarm and "pop!" I hadn't even realized anything had happened until the kid started screaming. Turns out I had popped his shoulder out of the socket and he was in a lot of pain. I apologized to him, even though he swung at me unprovoked, since my reaction was too much. His arm was fine after the gym teacher popped it back in and gave him one of those chemical cooling packs.

    I always felt kind of bad about this, since the guy was probably just horsing around, and I was a dick.

    Anyway, I went way the fuck off topic alreadyÂ…

    What martial arts are you guys into?
     
  2. The Dark Wolf

    The Dark Wolf Contributor

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    Pure and simple. MMA.

    Is there anything else? Well, actually, there isn't, as far as effectiveness goes, generally. :lol: But many asian martial arts, and even wrestling and boxing, teach alot about discipline and control. Very cool. I've wrestled in high school and college (just club - Greco and freestyle), studied a bit of judo and BJJ in college, and studied western boxing and Thai kickboxing. I actually know quite a bit about it, studying MMA for the last 5 years, although I don't compete.

    I'm also a huge lifelong Bruce Lee fan. I've read the Tao of Jeet Kune Do about 20 times. :lol: He was the originator of mixing styles, that's for sure, and he was the man.
     
  3. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Well, as great as MMA are, if time was not an issue, wouldn't it be best to spend some time focusing on a specific style or perhaps two to gain a deeper understanding of the roots and the strengths of that particular school of thought?

    From my experience, though, MMA is more fast-paced, in general, and seems to hold interest longer for people like me.

    The thing with the Aikido school i went to, is that the priorities were totally different. Discipline and control were way more important in a general standpoint. At the MMA school, it was like: master an arm strike, master a leg strike, learn a kata, learn to defend your self against such and such a weapon, get a new pretty-colored belt, repeat ad infinitum… At the Aikido school, it was all about patience and listening carefully. It seemed the learning curve was a little steeper, and there were no concrete incentives to move up in rank, you just did it because you got better. You didn't get better to increase rank, really. Does that make sense?
     
  4. The Dark Wolf

    The Dark Wolf Contributor

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    Depends. If you're going completely for what's effective, MMA is the closest thing to pure, all-out fighting. Unlike most martial arts, it's been (and is) constantly tested and proved in fight upon fight. In fact, it's not even a discipline per se - it's an amalgamation of different disciplines, and only what works consistently is used. MMA is part boxing, part Muay Thai, part karate/TKD, part judo, part submission wrestling, part amateur wrestling, part Brazilian jiu-jitsu, you name it.

    For puire self-defense, MMA is probably the best base. Too much of traditional self-defense was grounded in ancient eastern theory, not in real-world practice. It's why Bruce created such controversy. He knew the direction martial art was heading. He sensed a change in the wind. But start with MMA, and then focus on the tactics you'll need in street situations, especially alot of the "dirty" techniques, and put that with a firm grounding in FIGHT AVOIDANCE/FLIGHT/EMOTIONAL CONTROL type techniques, and you have a winner.

    For something like Aikido, it's similar to what ONLY works well, being based almost completely on traditional jujutsu. It's akin to modern BJJ in alot of ways, and even MMA mixed with some self-defense, so it's a practical martial art. But, its emphasis on spiritual development is a HUGE plus to me, for those interested in studying a martial art. O Sensei was very wise, and helped lay the groundwork for a revolutionary approach to martial art, I think. Aikido :yesway:

    If you're looking ebyond just pure fighting, sure, most disciplines, including boxing and wrestling, can offer some, if not most, of these benefits, I believe.
     
  5. Naren

    Naren OldschoolGhettostyle

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    I've practiced Japanese Kenpo karate and Okinawan Go-ju-ryu karate.

    I'll agree that MMA is effective, but I don't think it's THE most effective.

    I'm also quite a Bruce Lee fan myself. His style of kung fu was quite interesting. Jeet Kun Do, I believe it's called.

    I agree with Bostjan about the Aikido thing. In a lot of Japanese martial arts like Aikido, mindset is just as important (if not more important) than technique.

    What I think is pathetic about modern American martial arts is that they have tons and tons of different colored belts that they give to you fast to make you feel like you're quickly proceeding. I've met so many black belts in the US who I could easily beat. Traditionally in Japan, they don't give you a black belt unless you really are a master.

    Originally there were only 2 colors: black and white. And, the story I heard behind that was: you start out with a white belt (representing lack of knowledge) and your belt gets dirtier and dirtier as you practice and train until eventually it's black (representing knowledge).

    Of course, nowadays pretty much no one takes the true martial artist path, which was training and meditating every single day of your life all day long since the age of 10 or 11. That's one reason why I personally think there aren't that many impressive martial artists around today. I enjoy watching pride and K1, but I think those guys spend a lot more time weight lifting and doing situps, push-ups, etc. than actually training techniques, kata, and learning discipline and control. I think that's the reason why some of these pathetic guys lose in the first round.

    Some of the real masters have amazing techniques that leave you astounded and control over their body that you have to see to believe. Bruce Lee himself admitted that he wasn't the best martial artists out there, but he had a lot of skill and an amazing fighting spirit that not a lot of other people had.
     
  6. The Dark Wolf

    The Dark Wolf Contributor

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    And the alternative you propose is...?

    If we limit effectiveness to what REALLY works in a fight, MMA is clearly thje most effective. MMA is whatever works, in a nutshell. It's not a single style, really. It's the eclectic combination of styles. Really, Eric, c'mon. What else is so rigorously tested and refined? Israeli Krav Maga? Nope. Russian Sambo? Nope. Not even Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. All of the techniques in those systems that work have been assimilated into MMA styles. It's the Borg of fighting.

    It combines -
    1. Stand-up fighting. Using a traditional western boxing approach mainly (Punching - jab, straight right, left hook, uppercuts, body blows. Also footwork, head/body movement) , it incorporates strong elements of Thai kickboxing (knees, elbows, leg kicks, plum clinch, and headbutts in the old days), some TKD (mostly head kicks, some spinning back kicks), traditional karate (thrusts, strong stances, front kicks), and a little bit of some other styles here and there, depending on the fighter generally.
    2. Wrestling/Grappling. Freestyle and Greco-Roman takedowns (leg tackles, trips, upper body throws, suplexes, body locks), Judo throws (hip throws - osoto gari and similar variants are favorites). Ground control, scrambling to escape takedowns, takedown defense (sprawl, pancake, etc.), tie-ups, clinch pummeling, and even strikes and takedowns from the clinch.
    3. Submissions. Lots of brazilian jiu-jitsu and judo here. They also draw from sambo, escrima, traditional Greek pankration, jeet kune do, and lots more. Standing submissions, like kimura from the reverse clinch, rolling kneebar, flying armlock, flying triangle choke, tons and tons of ground submissions - chokes, armbars, leglocks. Ground control positions, the guard (best single person fight defensive ground position), guard sweeps, more takedowns, escapes, you name it.

    Like I said, when it comes to the most, emphasis most, effective fighting system, well, what is employed by the MMA community is it. It incorporates everything you need to be a complete fighter - stand up skills, grappling, and submissions. It's been tested thousands and thousands of times. I myself have seen the development of the Mixed Martial Arts community from its infancy here in the US. Back in the days of so-and-so style versus so-and-so style, watching to see what worked. When something worked, people used it. When it didn't, it got tossed. An evolution of complete fighting. It's the same direction Bruce was heading, the same approach he was developing. He studied fencing, western boxing, tha boxing, freestyle wrestling, judo... he was struggling intellectually for something that was before its time. But he saw the writing on the wall.

    Now, if you want to adapt MMA for street defense, a few things must be considered. But the base is there. Nothing even comes close, to be honest, unless you're talking using a weapon. Not my opinion. Just simple fact. Sorry to be so dogmatic, but this is just an area I tend to know a tremendous amount about.

    Of course, in my opinion, the MOST effective way to win a fight is to not get in one in the first place. Hence, I'm undefeated since I have turned about 18 or so... since I have not been in one fight since then. :flex:
     
  7. Desecrated

    Desecrated Guest

    My mom was a black belt in judo and my uncle in kyokoshinkai karate so I studied under them as a kid but I didnt get really involved untill I started ut with kenjutsu at the age of 7, I took my first black belt at 12, then started shotokan karate took my black belt at 17, started with aikido but never took any belts beacuse I had no need for it.
    I also studied kobudo and muay thai under privat teachers.
     
  8. nitelightboy

    nitelightboy I poop in shoes. Contributor

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    TDW....

    I have to agree with Naren on this one. MMA certainly is very effective for most people, however anyone with a TRUE understanding of their art and an effective astery of it would blow MMA out of the water. The problem is that most people don't take the time. It may be because of work, family obligations, financial restrictions, whatever, but if people trained more, than the traditional styles would be the most effective.

    And Chinese arts are more effective than Japanese. Just wanted to throw that one out to piss some people off:fawk:
     
  9. Toshiro

    Toshiro .... Contributor

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    I did some informal Kendo/jitsu and Iaido from a local guy before he moved away. I sold off most of my blades soon after for financial reasons(both live steel and an iai-to), which kinda defeats the whole thing now. I still have my shinai, which is good for killing spiders around the house. :lol: Recently I've been thinking of picking up a couple of Paul Chen's Hanwei company "Practical" blades and getting back into it, but I have no-where to practice that wouldn't involve neighbors calling the cops (and the cops hate people will well forged live steel, because it'll cut kevlar).
     
  10. Regor

    Regor Double Edge FTW Contributor

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    MMA - specifically, Pride Fighting Championships

    That is the best sport on the planet. My buddy's boss and I now order every PPV that comes on, and I record it on DVD to go in my collection (I have every PrideFC DVD released). I love watching this shit. The skill involved with finding a way to beat your opponent to win (not necessarily always slugfesting it out, I love submissions).

    BJJ is the shit!
     
  11. Naren

    Naren OldschoolGhettostyle

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    I happen to disagree with that. To describe Chinese and Japanese martial arts with one word, Chinese = "soft" and Japanese = "hard." I used to do an Okinawan form of karate called go-ju-ryu which was a combination of Chinese and Japanese styles. It was cool because in one of the katas I did, it'd have a soft block and a soft stance and then suddenly, with no warning, an extremely hard punch, strike, kick, and smash in succession, then a step back into a different soft stance.

    As far as sword-based martial arts, Japan completely destroys China. Chinese sword fighting is very undeveloped. Chinese kung fu and kenpo is quite good, but I wouldn't say it's better than Japanese martial arts. Just different.

    I also disagree with what Bob is saying about MMA. I think MMA is effective, but, as I already said, I don't think it is "THE most effective." Maybe the most effective for someone who can't dedicate their whole life to the mastery of a traditional martal art, but only can practice in their spare time.
     
  12. Toshiro

    Toshiro .... Contributor

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    Nevermind metallurgically, the Chinese only held their territory through the centuries due to sheer numbers. Most of the ancient Japanese swords I've encounted could cut through almost anything, as they were designed. No medival culture perfected the process of making blades the way the Japanese did, not even Spain.

    Something like 90% of all unarmed martial arts were designed to defend against the blade.
     
  13. nitelightboy

    nitelightboy I poop in shoes. Contributor

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    There's no doubt that the Japanese sword arts own everyone else's pathetic attempts at using the weapon.

    Overall though, I'd say that Chinese unarmed arts are more efficient and effective, just from my own experiences. But that's my opinion.

    And since we're talking about why styles were created, here's a cool one... TKD was created to get people off of horse back and then the fighter would switch to another more effective style once the attacker was off of the horse.:yesway:
     
  14. Naren

    Naren OldschoolGhettostyle

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    That's absolutely true. China had huge numbers, while Japan on the other hand had a very small population, most of which was divided into scattered clans or kingdoms (depending on the time of Japanese history).

    I saw a program where a guy took a 300 year old Japanese sword that hadn't been sharpened in over 50 years and showed how incredibly sharp it still was.

    Jujutsu was the martial arts of the samurai, by the way. Ninjutsu was the martial art of spies and assassins (aka ninja). The cool thing about ninjutsu is that it was not developed for protection like most martial arts, but was invented for killing. That's why most ninjutsu attacks are designed to kill the opponent immediately. That's also why it has been outlawed in many countries.
     
  15. Toshiro

    Toshiro .... Contributor

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    Yup, they trained in that for those un-armed times, when grappling was the best option. Iaido is hell of a lot of fun, as it's the skill the western gunslinger idea comes from. Kill with the draw of the blade. Didn't really come about until the Edo period though, due to the shortening of the common long sword to that vague 'katana' dimension.

    The Japanese had a pretty great way to kill someone on a horse when you're on the ground. The Nodachi. A sword as long as a man is tall. :metal:

    Though after studying Japanese blades, and the way they were forged, I don't believe the 'Ninja-to' commonly seen in anime/movies/etc was ever a used weapon. The very idea of the straightened blade ruins most of the cutting force, castrating the Japanese sword. I find it more likely that they used regular blades, or a slightly longer wakizashi, if they used a sword at all.
     
  16. Naren

    Naren OldschoolGhettostyle

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    I've studied Japanese blades quite a bit, as well (I'm a buff on Japanese history). I used to have a book on the history of samurais and ninjas that my cousin gave me (it was like 600 pages long, pretty cool).

    The ninja sword really did/does exist. I've seen them in person (ones that are very old). HOWEVER, you are correct in assuming that a lot of ninjas used regular Japanese swords as well. The reason why ninjas tended to use straight blades instead of curved ones had to do with the fact that they carried the blade on their back and not at their side. But ninjas didn't fight with their ninja swords much and, when they did, it was mostly thrusting and not slashing. Remember that a "ninja" is basically an assassin/spy. They usually didn't play fair. They would sneak up behind someone and break their neck or stab them in the spinal cord with a daggar or any other variety of things. Generally when ninjas fought with someone "fairly", they tended to use martial arts (ninjutsu), throwing stars (shuriken), and a variety of other tools of the trade. Obviously japanimation exagerates what they could do, but the ninja sword is a real weapon. There are other straight blades in Japan that weren't used by ninjas, as well. It's just that most ways of forging a blade in Japan (thin layer by layer) naturally curves a blade. The ninja did not generally usue long wakizashis (it was better to use short or regular length weapons). They tended to prefer primarily daggars and "ninja swords", but also used regular Japanese swords as well.

    Samurai and regular soldiers on the other hand, always fought against their opponents head on and used regular Japanese swords. The fighting style was obviously very different. A samurai would never run from their opponent, but a ninja wouldn't think twice of running from their opponent if they thought their opponent had the upper hand.
     
  17. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    But.... Ninjas have REAL ULTIMATE POWER! They're so cool I want to crap my pants. I love them with all of my body, even my pee-pee! One time, a ninja was eating lunch and a man dropped a spoon, and the ninja like totally flipped out and killed everyone, just because! Ninjas don't run!
























    Sorry, I couldn't resist. :lol:
     
  18. nitelightboy

    nitelightboy I poop in shoes. Contributor

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    Everytime you masturbate, a ninja cuts off a kitten's face:metal:

    Between Chris and Drew, those kittens are seriously screwed...
     
  19. Naren

    Naren OldschoolGhettostyle

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    Although that site was pretty funny, not accurate at all. He could apply all the same things being applied to ninjas to pirates.

    I remember the sales section of that site had some pretty funny shirts and coffee mugs.
     
  20. The Dark Wolf

    The Dark Wolf Contributor

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    That's your opinion, and you have a right to it. :agreed:

    Consider however. Do you know the origin of Asian martial arts? It was most likely brought to China by buddhist monks, who were in turn influenced by Greek pankration, brought with Alexander the Great's expansion into Indian cultural areas. (Pankration is a Greek term meaning roughly "all-holds", or, one could say, no-holds barred, rather like "ultimate fighting". Ironic? Hardly. In fact, before the term MMA, Mixed Martial Arts, took hold, UFC style fighting was called NHB. No Holds Barred.) Pankration was a very popular Greek combat sport, right along with boxing (Greek boxing was much more like modern Thai boxing) and wrestling, and was even in the ancient Greek olympics.

    People have tried every discipline pretty much IN MMA competition, and have seen their prized "system" lose, again and again. But, like I've said, what worked, remained. Bruce Lee was trying to make this same point - dogmatic devotion to one "style" leads inevitably to stagnation. You need the diversity of real world testing and application to grow, and become a complete martial artist. There are many, many, many karate, kickboxing, wrestling, and BJJ guys who've all thought they had it all, that their "style" was supreme, until they stepped into the cage, or the ring. Surprise. And that's what makes MMA so effective. It's all about dedication to no single style, but to anything that works.

    ;) [​IMG]

    Here's a cool article that talks alot about this very subject. Check it out. :yesway:

    http://www.mmafighting.com/columns/harder/060605.html
     

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