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Rai

Complete noob looking for advice

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Hello glorious nerds! I'm having a bit of a problem trying to decide on a martial art to start this summer. I've done a little research but it's always better to hear from people that know what they're talking about. I am finally getting to my ideal weight after being more than 100 pounds over weight for the last 5 years and I want to keep the good times coming so to speak. So ideally I'm interested in something that will give me an excellent workout while teaching me how not to get my ass kicked in a fight. I'm looking for something without flashy moves, BS spins and flips, just a honest brutal style intended to end fights quickly. I've looked up Krav Maga, Muay Thai, and Wing Chun, all of which are within an hours drive from my home however if anyone knows a style that might fit me better I'm open to suggestions! I'm 21, 5"8(the height fairy wasn't nice to me), and 170 lbs. Broad shouldered and pretty muscular if I do say so myself so something that would fit my body structure would be appreciated. Any help at all would be much appreciated!

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I am sure that a lot of people have different opionions as to what is the best martial arts for you.

 

Personally I've practiced boxing in the past and now I'm practicing Muay Thai. For me it's a complete workout and it teaches you how to use most parts of your body in a fight (punches, kicks, elbows, knees). Granted the best way to not get your ass kicked in a fight is to not start the fight.

 

Krav Maga is also a combat style martial art. Supposedly design to ensure that you win in a fight no matter the cost to your opponent, thus the eye pokes, kicks in the groin, etc. I've never tried it but I was interested in it before I started Muay Thai. Too bad that there were no classes available at a good time for me.

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I'm 5"4 so don't cry about height fairy :-D krav maga is good self defense though it has useless amount of technigues if you want to get belts. They aren't needed though. I have few years of maga under my belt. Thaiboxing is good sport too but it is a sport not self defense. Training is heavy and sparring usually hard. Very hard. I have sparred with wing chun guys and they aren't heavy hitters but they are fast. Their technigue packs speed but lacks in knockdown power. It doesn't mean they can't put someone into sleep but they do it by means of insane amount of less effective strike technigues. Wing chun and krav maga would be my suggestions but the choice is ultimately yours. Tell me What kind of fighter you want to be?

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Just under 5'6 myself ( hooray for not-so-tall nerds!). If you want to end a fight quickly you might want to check out weapons arts like FMA, etc. If you have the time, you may crosstrain with an emptyhand style.

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I'm 5"4 so don't cry about height fairy :-D krav maga is good self defense though it has useless amount of technigues if you want to get belts. They aren't needed though. I have few years of maga under my belt. Thaiboxing is good sport too but it is a sport not self defense. Training is heavy and sparring usually hard. Very hard. I have sparred with wing chun guys and they aren't heavy hitters but they are fast. Their technigue packs speed but lacks in knockdown power. It doesn't mean they can't put someone into sleep but they do it by means of insane amount of less effective strike technigues. Wing chun and krav maga would be my suggestions but the choice is ultimately yours. Tell me What kind of fighter you want to be?

 

Vegito nailed it on the head.  It's ultimately what you're looking for.  I've got about 26 years of martial arts experience total, and almost all offer some sort of training that will assist in winning a fight.  One thing to consider though is where do most fights end up?  On the ground. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is an excellent style to learn if you're wanting to combat that.  Which if you fear getting in many street fights I would recommend learning BJJ, Krav Maga, or Russian Systema.  As the latter two styles will also encompass some BJJ and ground combat. 

 

Aside from that, Muay Thai...while not a true self defense art, is incredibly functional for striking.  

 

My biggest peace of advice, and something newer people don't always understand when it comes to martial arts.  Find a style YOU feel comfortable with.  Then work on making that style your own.  Learn your body, what it can and cannot do.  Applying that principle to your training will make you a FAR more effective martial artist than just trying to learn 'x' style with 'y' moves. 

 

P.S. Take note on applying principles to your martial arts.  Do research on some Russian Systema.  My instructor told us not long ago at a seminar..."I can come in and teach you 12 punches and you learn...guess what...12 punches.  I can come in and teach you one principle and you learn a 1000 different ways to use those 12 punches."

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You would have to check out each school for yourself. Not every school operates under the same standard, regardless of style.

 

From your choices, Muay Thai would definitely be a good choice. The sporting aspect would also allow you to competitively train, and tofamiliarize yourself with hitting and getting hit, which is a big part of a melee.

 

 

Some Krav Maga schools involve a workout component to raise your heart rate while doing drills, so it could also give you that general workout component you're looking for. If they don't include full-contact sparring in the curriculum though you would be learning nothing but theory.

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For eyes of a reality based self defense, bjj has one flaw. I used to wrestle a lot and it was my strong area. After i went between to stop an assault and drove one guy in the ground and mounted him, his friend kicked me in the face. After a hour i was in hospital puking blood. This is why self defense in ground sucks big time. If you have senshido school in there, check it out. Those guys are awesome and instructors are very good. Most important is to find someplace where you feel good training. and it is not a lifetime commitment. If you go for thaiboxing and it feels bad(it felt bad for me) you can move on and try something else. Punch is punch wherever you go. Only focuses change.

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Personally, I think it's better to be kicked on the face while on the top mount rather than to be curb-stomped while inside a head lock because of not knowing how to get out of one.

 

From a "reality-based self-defense" perspective though, learning a martial art for the purpose of self-defense is like buying a a firearm for the purpose of home protection. Sure, they get to shoot an intruder if it happens, but it won't protect them from a house fire (which is more likely to happen).

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Personally, I think it's better to be kicked on the face while on the top mount rather than to be curb-stomped while inside a head lock because of not knowing how to get out of one.

From a "reality-based self-defense" perspective though, learning a martial art for the purpose of self-defense is like buying a a firearm for the purpose of home protection. Sure, they get to shoot an intruder if it happens, but it won't protect them from a house fire (which is more likely to happen).

Yes. Everyone should know wrestling and that is why rsbd guys wrestle a lot using mostly bjj technigues. I've taken classes too.

And this reminded me of lot of guys we see at our classes. Guys come to training sessions wanting to become badasses. Then after month or two they come back with broken nose and say "your system doesn't work!" guys who have never been in a fight get very eager to fight because after light shadow boxing they see themselves as superheroes and get into fight intentionally. This is why most important aspect of self defense is running. I once wrote an essay about my experiences in real life situations. Conclusion was: most of the situations could have been talked through but i let situations escalate because i was so confident about victory.

I realised i had been an a**hole and after that i haven't been in a single situation where things have gone physical.

Easiest way to stay safe is not to be an idiot.

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And bjj is great in "mano y mano" situations. Self defense rarely is man against man. More of man against a gang of pricks. That said, bjj is great sport for health and teaches to control own body greatly. but please original poster what kind of fighter you want to be. It's not about size or body composition as those are things you can overcome. All of us martial artists see our own styles as the best one Because it was choice made based on what we wanted to be. I myself consider strenght and explosivity my greatest assets but i lack stamina so i aIm for fast endings. That is why defendo and krav maga came as a natural choice for me. I have tried quite a few styles and i still do train together with kickboxers, mixed martial artists and wrestlers. But even if those guys are lightyears away from me, i stay in defendo as i like the way we train.

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An average guy, in a knife fight, gets his throat cut. An FMA guy, in a knife fight, gets his arms, chest and back cut up, but he survives.

You're not going to find a system that prevents you from getting hurt, but you can train in one that prevents you from getting killed.

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Sorry for taking so long to reply, life is like that. Thanks for all the great advice, I am not in any way LOOKING for a fight. I hope that I will never have to use anything that I learn I just want something that gives me a good solid workout while also giving me some tools to protect myself in case something DOES happen. Personally I've always thought that if I got in a fight I would go for the persons throat first, the logic being if I can crush it they will stop any assault. Oxygen deprivation is nice like that. So basically either Krav Maga for the pure brutal-ness or Wing Chun for the speed? I'm not gonna lie, I'm glad I'm not the only vertically challenged nerd on here lol. Thanks again everyone for the advice!

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Sorry for taking so long to reply, life is like that. Thanks for all the great advice, I am not in any way LOOKING for a fight. I hope that I will never have to use anything that I learn I just want something that gives me a good solid workout while also giving me some tools to protect myself in case something DOES happen. Personally I've always thought that if I got in a fight I would go for the persons throat first, the logic being if I can crush it they will stop any assault. Oxygen deprivation is nice like that. So basically either Krav Maga for the pure brutal-ness or Wing Chun for the speed? I'm not gonna lie, I'm glad I'm not the only vertically challenged nerd on here lol. Thanks again everyone for the advice!

If you can why not try both for a while to get a feel for them. Might help you decide.

 

Good advice.  

 

Also, if you're looking for pure self-defense applications, check out Kali and IDPA.  The second being subject to far more laws (and incredibly uninformed people), but also arguably more effective in many circumstances.  

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For eyes of a reality based self defense, bjj has one flaw. I used to wrestle a lot and it was my strong area. After i went between to stop an assault and drove one guy in the ground and mounted him, his friend kicked me in the face. After a hour i was in hospital puking blood.

I think a lot of people (including many BJJ players) confuse training to fight from a bad position with purposely getting in a bad position. (This not a personal criticism of you, I applaud your bravery in stopping the assault, and I am not trying to Monday morning QB your experience, so I will offer a far worse demostration...)

I once knocked MYSELF out executing a bad Osoto Gari. The problem wasn't that an Osoto Gari is a flawed takedown, but applying it in the wrong situation will get anyone knocked out.

All martial artists, but especially my fellow BJJ Practitioners:::::

1. The First rule of a street fight is not to fight if practicable. (train Parkour)

2. The Second rule of a street fight is stay at max range (be able to block/check/dodge common kickboxing moves)

3. The Third rule of a street fight don't follow opponents to the ground. (be able to counter common throws and takedowns)

4. The Fourth rule of a street fight is you may end up on the ground (train to get out of a ground and pound)

5. The Fifth rule of a street fight escalation of force or controlling your friends. Controlling a single belligerent party who is drunk, stupid, distraught, etc.. or not a real physical threat requires different skills than pounding someone's face in. This is a perfectly appropriate time to purposely take someone to the ground. This is why cops do it all the time.

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLyknAhj6gPvJ9--yUmi94O7G444R_ikCF

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Also,

I'm having a bit of a problem trying to decide on a martial art to start this summer.

To some people, Martial Arts can be a bit like religion, a lot of opinion about what "is real" and not nearly enough about what works for you. I recommend you first read someone who generally dislikes almost ALL martial arts/self defense systems.

http://nononsenseselfdefense.com/legal.html

http://nononsenseselfdefense.com/psychology.html

1. I recommend starting your journey as a martial hobbyist. Don't take it seriously at first. There is a flaw in every training system. You should expect your system to eventually teach you striking, takedowns, and grappling.

3. I don't think you can go wrong with Krav Maga as a beginner (but that depends on the school). The catalog covers very basic striking, once you get level one, you may want try out some sport MMA places and see the difference between "sport" and "street" training. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.

4. For initial striking, conventional wisdom will want you to with Muay Thai/western boxing inspired systems because they will teach you better defense than any other system. This includes most KM schools and MMA gyms, Dutch Kickboxing, continuous sparring karate, etc. I personally don't like striking with my fist to the opponents head (prefer palm heal, ridge hand, or hammer fist), but I like getting hit in the face even less. MT-inspired kickboxers are a must to train against.

5. You must be able to defend the takedown and train against wrestlers. Judo/Akijujitsu has better self defense throws (more options for not following your opponent), but wrestlers have better no-gi takedowns and if your not ready for wrestlers your going to get put on your butt. Sprawl, Sprawl, Sprawl. And never double collar tie a wrestler.

6. No matter what system you end up with, I recommend at least getting a blue belt in BJJ (or equivalent) at some point. This will ensure you have the basics if someone takes you to the ground.

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^^truth! All of us martial artist are quite a bitches when it comes to admitting our arts flaws. But with skeptic mindset you'll learn them soon enough!

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Personally, I think it's better to be kicked on the face while on the top mount rather than to be curb-stomped while inside a head lock because of not knowing how to get out of one.

 

From a "reality-based self-defense" perspective though, learning a martial art for the purpose of self-defense is like buying a a firearm for the purpose of home protection. Sure, they get to shoot an intruder if it happens, but it won't protect them from a house fire (which is more likely to happen).

Most people who own fire arms never have an incident.

But most incidents involving fire arms are someone doing something stupid, not heroic.

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Reality based self defense is term used for art that focuses on teaching a way to survive from modern day violence situations. Many historic arts are still good but not very relevant. For example i visited local kali / escrima team and i got saddened as i saw that these guys had great control over their weapons but weren't able to block prison rush attack. And nowadays knife fights aren't duels, they are assassination attempts. Anyone can prove me wrong by posting here a video where someone wins a real life situation with kali. I hope someone can because i have tried to prove myself wrong. And machete, i got curb stomped in a headlock after i got kicked in the head. I pissed blood for a week and realised that i need to be just so good wrestler that i can get up. With this idea train many of the krav maga people. I know, better you are, the better you are. But you can't wrestle out six guys at the same time.

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But you can't wrestle out six guys at the same time.

 

You can't box six guys at the same time and come out on top either.

 

There is not one martial art in the world that would make you capable of fighting a group of attackers.

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No but boxing against five and winning is proved possible and i like challenges.

This is not an attack against bjj. But it really is just a small part of the battle and it is better to be jack of all trades than master of one.

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Actually, both (boxing and grappling five guys) are possible. Not realistic or practical, but possible.

 

Personally, I think it's better to be a master of a few things than it is to jump around attempting to achieve Ultimate Mediocrity. Most great people are known for that one or two things they are good great at, and experts in any field are almost always specialists. I'm not saying being a jack-of-all-trades, man-for-all-seasons is a bad thing, though I think the current generation of shortening attention spans is what makes it more appealing these days.

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lol

The only way anyone can successfully defeat multiple opponents is with pure luck.

I can guarantee of i got 4 friends and attacked you that you would get out of safely. Not a dig at your skill it's just that its near impossible outside the realm of luck.

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It is true. But i believe in knowing basics in everything. I believe we are actually talking about same thing with different terms. I suppose you are bjj guys. I consider sw and bjj basics around blue belt level. But even in this point i still like to stay on my feet because of various reasons. Every art has it's bonuses and flaws.

And i know i would not get out safely. But i know that neither would anyone else and that gives me comfort :-D

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I don't believe I have the time or inclination to learn "the basics of everything". I competed professionally in both boxing and MMA, and I got to that level from focused attention, not divided interest. (And I didn't want to be that guy wearing a Tapout shirt taking about how he "does" MMA, having only 'trained' for a few months.) I have no intention of ever learning ballroom dancing, or quantum mechanics, or renaissance art, or street magic, or how to play the saxophone. Likewise I have no intention of learning the basics of Taekwondo, Dim Mak, European Broadsword, both Kyudo and Mongol Composite Bow, and lightsaber battle; I have priorities. Besides, I think people overestimate their skills and proficiency in what they consider to be "the basics" anyway.

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