Martial arts for beginner adults

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kommisarrex
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Martial arts for beginner adults

Post by kommisarrex » Mon Sep 21, 2015 6:03 am

Any suggestions for martial arts for adults new to the sport? I'm mid30s, in decent (not fantastic) shape, and looking for something new for exercise/health. I've been primarily riding a bike, but it's getting boring. I also loathe running and working out with weights. I need something more sports-ish. I've never done any kind of martial art before.

What I'm looking for: exercise, opportunity to get out some aggression, new skills, something I can work on/improve over many years.

What I don't want: meathead environment, emphasis on real-world defense, uniform/karate kid style relationship (I lump this broadly into the very traditional lots of bowing, yes sirs, mopping the maps, etc. great for building respect and discipline, but I think I'm past this point, esp when I'm paying :)

If it helps, I'm in the DC area, so think there's just about anything imaginable. Was looking at Muay Thai, but trust this forum for honest and practical feedback.

Carson
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Re: Martial arts for beginner adults

Post by Carson » Mon Sep 21, 2015 6:15 am

I don't have any personal experience or direct resources, but two of my female friends (mid 40's) have picked up martial arts as adults and really like it. One hopped around studios quite a bit and found one she really liked. The other simply joined that studio :) I feel like they've gotten a lot out of it physically and mentally. They've done some events and found a good bit of comraderie.
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zkmguy
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Re: Martial arts for beginner adults

Post by zkmguy » Mon Sep 21, 2015 7:00 am

I've trained in a variety of martial arts, but primarily Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in the last 5 years or so. It looks like you're trying to avoid the traditional martial arts culture and pure self defense. Muay Thai and BJJ are fairly different but are both a good fit for that, many gyms will have both.

In BJJ you'll typically see a wider range of ages, I'm 30 and routinely roll with people from 18 to over 50, you're more likely to get a younger "meathead" like crowd in a more MT focused location, but the key thing is every gym is different.

My best advice is to go take a couple intro classes at local gyms and see what environment feels right to you, this should be free, but beware the hard sell to sign up for a long term contract right away after your first class.

Also if you do chose to try out BJJ don't be discouraged right away, for the first 3-6 months learning is commonly described as something like drinking from a fire hose. At some point movement on the ground just clicks in and it starts to become natural.

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Re: Martial arts for beginner adults

Post by Rebecca_S » Mon Sep 21, 2015 7:07 am

The most important factor will be the instructor at the dojo. There are good and bad instructors in every discipline and it can be difficult to tell from the webpage or sign on the wall whether a particular place will be suitable for you or not. I would avoid places that feel like a factory assembly line or that make you pay to test for new belts often. Pay attention to whether there are older instructors/students or if everyone one is young.

You should be able to attend one class free, which should give you a good starting basis for understanding the teaching and athleticism of a dojo.

Do you have a sense of what kind of workout you would like? If it is striking and kicking, then karate, muay thai, kempo, krav maga might be good choices. Judo, jujitsu are more grappling and throwing. Those are generalities, a particular instructor might vary from the style's norm. Is competing something you would like to do?

I started jujitsu in my late 20s and have been doing it for over a decade. I like it because I get both a mental and physical workout at once, completely different than cardio or weightlifting.

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Re: Martial arts for beginner adults

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Mon Sep 21, 2015 7:15 am

Consider Villari's. I earned my black belt through them, starting in my 40's. I also would warn not to pay long term ahead of time until you have been there at least a year. My sister in-law started with some "pay your entire belt progression up front" kind of place for several thousand dollars and dropped out a few months later. No refund.

I got into it to have exercise and stress relief that I could stick with year round. The leader allowed me to let him know ahead of time when I would be traveling for work and would add weeks on for me. This kind of flexibility shows that they are willing to consider your situation.
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Re: Martial arts for beginner adults

Post by mxs » Mon Sep 21, 2015 7:54 am

I've done Muay Thai with a coach who was focused on fitness and competition. I would recommend it big time if you find the right gym and coaches. If you are focused on fitness, then any aerobic kickboxing should work. Skip the karate/tae kwon do/other belt and uniform karate style classes. The only martial arts that I would suggest of any kind would be Jiu Jitsu / Judo, Muay Thai / Kickboxing, possibly kung fu variants depending on whether you are after fitness, self defense, or competition.

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Re: Martial arts for beginner adults

Post by vested1 » Mon Sep 21, 2015 8:33 am

If you are looking to "get out some of your aggression" I would advise you to explore some other avenue of exercise, such as kick boxing. Martial arts is steeped in tradition, so going into it not wanting to wear a uniform or to give respect by doing what you're asked to do will not be received well, and smacks of an arrogance that is rarely tolerated.

Most legitimate martial arts studios focus on the "spiritual" aspect as much, if not more than the physical. By spiritual I am not referring to religion. In martial arts, "spiritual" relates to your attitude toward others, your willingness to realistically assess your strengths and weaknesses, and a realization that humility can be your greatest strength.

You say that you are interested in "real world" defense, so I would suggest some exposure to Jiu Jitsu in your search for the appropriate school. There are "hard" forms and "soft" forms of martial arts, with the hard being more focused on combat and offense, and the soft more focused on the flow of motion, and passive defense. In my opinion the most effective studios employ a combination of both forms and are open to continuing improvement through the acceptance of the value of other styles. Be wary of organizations who claim that their style is "the best".

I had my own studio for some years, which I ran as a non-profit, and the number one rule was to avoid fighting outside of class. If this rule was violated the student faced expulsion, depending on circumstances, which had to be dire to be broken. There was zero tolerance. I had many adult students, with varying attitudes when they joined. Many assumed that they were attending to learn how to kick some a**. Those students didn't stick around when they found out that:
1. They were not as tough as they thought they were.
2. Anyone can be beaten.

You also learn that physical prowess is transitory, and that a realistic awareness of your place and purpose in the world is far more permanent and fulfilling. If this sounds boring to you I would look in a different direction.

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Re: Martial arts for beginner adults

Post by mhalley » Mon Sep 21, 2015 9:17 am

A friend of mine and his done do Tai Kwan Do and really like it. I have read a lot about older adults (most of the articles have focused more on seniors) doing Tai Chi. I concur that you will probably need to try several dojos to find the right fit.
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Martial arts for beginner adults

Post by TomatoTomahto » Mon Sep 21, 2015 9:22 am

If you are interested in real-world self defense, I recommend Krav Maga. Nothing martial arts about it :D
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Re: Martial arts for beginner adults

Post by Bfwolf » Mon Sep 21, 2015 9:30 am

The OP indicated a LACK of interest in real world defense.

kommisarrex
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Re: Martial arts for beginner adults

Post by kommisarrex » Mon Sep 21, 2015 9:41 am

Thanks all for the replies. I think vested1 got me all wrong, so would like to clarify a couple of things. I really respect this forum a lot.

One, I do NOT want an emphasis on real-world defense. I'm not interested in defending myself against someone holding a gun to my head. I have never been in a street fight nor have any plans to. As far as the aggression piece, was more thinking of an outlet for pent-up energy, as comes with most sports/exercises. Guess I should emphasize the workout piece of it.

Finally, on the "respect" portion, I fully understand these arts are steeped in tradition, but I want to avoid what I imagine is a slippery slope into any kind of "warrior's code" mentality. I fully understand I am a beginner and come to this with a beginner's mentality that I know nothing. However, I'm not training to be a samurai warrior in 16th century Japan and and I don't want to fight in the UFC--I know a few people who are very, very into various martial arts and they are kind of jerks about it. I don't see the value of someone yelling in my face or demanding a "yes, sir!" at the top of my lungs for every response. On a broader, unrelated point, I think obsessing about any activity is unhealthy and see the same thing in hard-core scuba divers, bikers (esp. road bikers), and others.

Really just want a welcoming environment, a good workout with some physicality, and the chance to learn new skills and keep learning for an extended amount of time. Looks consensus seems to be on BJJ and Muay Thai, leaning towards BJJ.


QUOTE: Unread postby vested1 » Mon Sep 21, 2015 9:33 pm

If you are looking to "get out some of your aggression" I would advise you to explore some other avenue of exercise, such as kick boxing. Martial arts is steeped in tradition, so going into it not wanting to wear a uniform or to give respect by doing what you're asked to do will not be received well, and smacks of an arrogance that is rarely tolerated.

Most legitimate martial arts studios focus on the "spiritual" aspect as much, if not more than the physical. By spiritual I am not referring to religion. In martial arts, "spiritual" relates to your attitude toward others, your willingness to realistically assess your strengths and weaknesses, and a realization that humility can be your greatest strength.

You say that you are interested in "real world" defense, so I would suggest some exposure to Jiu Jitsu in your search for the appropriate school. There are "hard" forms and "soft" forms of martial arts, with the hard being more focused on combat and offense, and the soft more focused on the flow of motion, and passive defense. In my opinion the most effective studios employ a combination of both forms and are open to continuing improvement through the acceptance of the value of other styles. Be wary of organizations who claim that their style is "the best".

I had my own studio for some years, which I ran as a non-profit, and the number one rule was to avoid fighting outside of class. If this rule was violated the student faced expulsion, depending on circumstances, which had to be dire to be broken. There was zero tolerance. I had many adult students, with varying attitudes when they joined. Many assumed that they were attending to learn how to kick some a**. Those students didn't stick around when they found out that:
1. They were not as tough as they thought they were.
2. Anyone can be beaten.

You also learn that physical prowess is transitory, and that a realistic awareness of your place and purpose in the world is far more permanent and fulfilling. If this sounds boring to you I would look in a different direction.

finite_difference
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Re: Martial arts for beginner adults

Post by finite_difference » Mon Sep 21, 2015 1:57 pm

A couple more comments for you. Disclaimer: I am of course biased since my interest/background is Chinese Kungfu.

If you are interested in a workout, then you could also look at kickboxing.

Muay Thai: I think it is a very effective form of martial arts that I respect, but leans toward the "hard" style. For example: shin-to-shin kicks. Also I think Muay Thai is generally very real-world defense focused with practical applications.

Brazilian Jujitsu: Another very effective form of martial arts that I respect. I have been wanting to get some exposure to it because I want to learn how to fight "on the ground". Like Muay Thai, my understanding is that BJJ is also very practical and real-world defense focused. So you will be doing a lot of wrestling on the ground. (Which I think makes perfect sense based on the style and is why I want to get exposure to it at some point.)

I would recommend looking to see if you can find a good traditional Chinese Kungfu studio to check out. No belts, no "meathead" environment, and a varying amount of real-world application. The forms can be very abstract and beautiful, and you don't necessarily have to focus on learning the applications at first (although it is my opinion that you should ultimately learn the potential applications.)

I would also recommend looking at Tai Chi. It is very health focused. If you can find a good traditional place that teaches Yang style Tai Chi Chuan (combat style) then you will be in luck. May not get the aggression out in the sense of "punching it out" but would help you to learn to relax and is a great work out. Tai Chi Chuan means "Ultimate Supreme Fist", was not originally intended for "old people" (although people of old ages can benefit), but is thought to be the ultimate progression of martial arts. Many of the better Kungfu schools will also teach/require you to learn Tai Chi, so that is something to look out for as well when judging a Kungfu school.

My opinion is that it will strongly depend on your locale -- if you have a fantastic Muay Thai or BJJ studio, pick that over a moderate Kungfu studio. All these styles are great so it comes down to finding the best teacher/school that's available in your area. Visit a few different places and ask to watch a class. If the top students/instructors are skilled, and you like the sifu/master and the environment, then you will know you are at the right place.
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Re: Martial arts for beginner adults

Post by FedGuy » Mon Sep 21, 2015 6:29 pm

finite_difference wrote:The forms can be very abstract and beautiful
Ugh...forms.

I've dabbled in a couple of different martial arts over the years, never quite being able to stick with one thing as school and work took me from one city to another every couple of years. While I generally enjoyed my classes, I despised the time spent learning or performing forms. Most of the schools I studied at didn't subject me to this ridiculousness, but those that did...yikes.

For the uninitiated, forms are essentially a choreographed, rehearsed sequence of moves performed alone in the absence of an opponent. In both schools I attended that taught forms, the movements seemed generally useless in combat and only vaguely related to any combat moves I had been taught. Essentially, demonstrating a form is like dancing alone with everyone else in the room looking at you. If there is any practical application for this other than to waste class time to stretch out how long we had to study to reach the next belt, my instructors wholly failed to make the slightest effort to demonstrate it.

I'm considering trying to take krav maga, which I understand to avoid that nonsense in favor of pure utility. OP, while krav maga certainly does emphasize real world defense from what I understand, it's supposed to be quite a good workout and a great way of releasing aggression.

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Re: Martial arts for beginner adults

Post by mbk734 » Mon Sep 21, 2015 6:45 pm

I've tried karate, judo, ju-jitsu, aikido, and boxing. It really depends on the class (who you spar with) and teacher (friendly and knowledgable is better). Go to several different classes and see what you like. If you haven't seen Napoleon Dynamite, check it out. There is a hilarious dojo sensei scene.
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Re: Martial arts for beginner adults

Post by patrick013 » Mon Sep 21, 2015 7:16 pm

I guess I'll check in with my Kenpo, Shaolin Chuan Fa, soft and long
Chinese style. Dragon rather than monkey. Almost brown belt
but 2 year contract was up.

Non-contact sparring (point system), long katas, and general exercises.
Liked the non-contact sparring but will probably take some judo
someday. Tiring blocking only kicks and punches all night long.

Recommend it ? Sure, running long katas with wrist and ankle weights
will get anyone into shape. :D
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black jack
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Re: Martial arts for beginner adults

Post by black jack » Mon Sep 21, 2015 8:45 pm

Another vote for Tai Chi Chuan.

It's a martial art, but not obviously so, and many (most?) of the students may, like you, have no interest in its real-world combat applications. There's no uniform, series of belts to test for, long-term commitments to sign up for, etc. You can do it forever (see old people in parks doing tai chi).

There are five major styles of Tai Chi; the most common here is Yang style. It's not aerobic, and in most classes you won't have a chance to work out your aggressions; sublimate them, maybe.

In the DC area there are lots of opportunities to study tai chi; even the Montgomery County Recreation Department offers classes.

You can look at Youtube videos of tai chi (and the other arts that have been suggested) to get a sense of what they're like (at least in performance - maybe if you add 'class' to the search term it will turn up videos of training).

All of the replies (including mine) have focused on Asian martial arts, but honestly, given your criteria ("exercise, opportunity to get out some aggression, new skills, something I can work on/improve over many years"), western boxing may be your best bet. You don't have to ever get into the ring with an opponent; you can pursue "boxing for exercise," just training, punching the speed bag and heavy bag.
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Re: Martial arts for beginner adults

Post by ShiftF5 » Mon Sep 21, 2015 9:26 pm

After 30 years of running 6 days a week I bought an Elliptigo and love it.

It's a great full sweat workout with zero impact.

Check for a dealer in your area for a test ride.

http://www.elliptigo.com/
Last edited by ShiftF5 on Tue Sep 22, 2015 9:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Martial arts for beginner adults

Post by LadyGeek » Mon Sep 21, 2015 10:05 pm

This thread is now in the Personal Consumer Issues forum (martial arts).
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Re: Martial arts for beginner adults

Post by Boglegrappler » Mon Sep 21, 2015 10:13 pm

I'm having trouble with the idea of martial arts and a lack of interest in real-world situations.

Real martial arts today involve grappling, and groundwork. You'll find that its much more taxing than you expect. There is also a lot of skill to be absorbed but its not doable if you're not strong enough to stand up to opponents.

Actual grappling, imo, isn't that easy to do with no background, once you're up in your 30s. Its hard enough if you know what you're doing because of the conditioning required to make you viable. If you're not in terrific shape, any contact fighting is going to exhaust you so quickly it would be like playing tennis weighing 350. You won't have much fun.

I'd try some judo. You'll just have to put up with the formality part of it.

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Re: Martial arts for beginner adults

Post by jabberwockOG » Mon Sep 21, 2015 10:40 pm

I was lucky enough to study Wing Chun (and some JKD, Escrima/Kali, Muay Thai) for seven years under two great instructors.

Given your stated objectives, I would recommend Muay Thai, BJJ, JKD, Wing Chun in no particular order. You can get a lot out of any of these systems with the right teacher. Find a great teacher - check out the schools - watch a couple of classes, ask to be allowed to attend beginner class for a week. A good school and teacher will allow you to thoroughly check it out before joining - they want folks that are committed and will stick around. If the school balks at your desire for a thorough check out, run for the door. Expect to work hard for at least 2-3 years to get to point where you feel comfortable and can start to flow. Then another 5 years plus to get to minimal level of mastery. How long it takes or how good you get isn't the point though - the journey, effort, and self knowledge is the point.

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Re: Martial arts for beginner adults

Post by patrick013 » Mon Sep 21, 2015 11:08 pm

jabberwock wrote:Expect to work hard for at least 2-3 years to get to point where you feel comfortable and can start to flow. Then another 5 years plus to get to minimal level of mastery. How long it takes or how good you get isn't the point though - the journey, effort, and self knowledge is the point.
When I left after 2 years I think it would have taken another several months for brown.
Alot of stuff but running the katas instead of punching around would get it done.
Black would take another 6-9 months, alot more kata work to do. So that's 3 years,
some have done black in less tho. Those that don't spar, lift weights, etc.. They
just run the katas.
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Re: Martial arts for beginner adults

Post by vested1 » Tue Sep 22, 2015 6:48 am

kommisarrex wrote:
One, I do NOT want an emphasis on real-world defense. I'm not interested in defending myself against someone holding a gun to my head. I have never been in a street fight nor have any plans to. As far as the aggression piece, was more thinking of an outlet for pent-up energy, as comes with most sports/exercises. Guess I should emphasize the workout piece of it.

Finally, on the "respect" portion, I fully understand these arts are steeped in tradition, but I want to avoid what I imagine is a slippery slope into any kind of "warrior's code" mentality. I fully understand I am a beginner and come to this with a beginner's mentality that I know nothing. However, I'm not training to be a samurai warrior in 16th century Japan and and I don't want to fight in the UFC--I know a few people who are very, very into various martial arts and they are kind of jerks about it. I don't see the value of someone yelling in my face or demanding a "yes, sir!" at the top of my lungs for every response. On a broader, unrelated point, I think obsessing about any activity is unhealthy and see the same thing in hard-core scuba divers, bikers (esp. road bikers), and others.
I think you may have misinterpreted what I said, or perhaps I said it incorrectly. I've never yelled in anyone's face, embraced a warrior's mentality, engaged in a street fight, or aspired to be a 16th century samurai. Neither does dedication have to devolve into obsession. Respect should be mutual from the very beginning and not something that has to be earned through adherence to torturous subjugation. Unfortunately there are some who never lose their unrealistically high opinion of themselves so are unable to offer reciprocal respect. Some of these happen to be students. Some happen to be instructors. At the risk of sounding like a fortune cookie I would say that those who fail usually do so because they assess their capabilities and those of others unrealistically.

You have been given some great suggestions, and hopefully your future experience in martial arts will positively affect all aspects of your life. One the most valuable gifts that one can receive from this training and philosophy is the mitigation of fear. In my opinion fear is at the base of most of our conflicts in life.

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Re: Martial arts for beginner adults

Post by smackboy1 » Tue Sep 22, 2015 12:19 pm

kommisarrex wrote:Really just want a welcoming environment, a good workout with some physicality, and the chance to learn new skills and keep learning for an extended amount of time. Looks consensus seems to be on BJJ and Muay Thai, leaning towards BJJ.
My kid and I both do BJJ. He used to do TKD. When I was a child I did Judo.

If you're a total beginner, the most critical choice is not the style or art, it's the school and it's people. Try some different schools out and see how to like the vibe, the other students, and the instructors. Don't return places where you're not having fun or feel like the school just exists to separate your $ from your wallet. Avoid the McDojo. You will know them because they over promise ("you'll be a black belt in 2 years!") and over charge ("just sign this 3 year contract!").

There are many aspects to any one martial art. Different schools emphasize different aspects. For example, some BJJ schools are focused on street defense, others are more sports competition oriented, yet others are focused on MMA (mixed martial arts e.g. UFC) where BJJ is taught along with striking and wrestling. Some schools the students and instructors are very laid back, others not so much. It helps if the the average student/instructor match your age. Same can be said for TKD, Muay Thai, karate, kung fu etc..

If you're looking for a BJJ place around DC try out 50/50 http://5050bjj.com

I've never been but people I know say it's very good.
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Re: Martial arts for beginner adults

Post by m2marti » Tue Sep 22, 2015 1:11 pm

Have you considered boxing? It requires basically no prior knowledge and you can pick up the basics quickly.

I'm similar to your situation: nearly 30, decent shape, bored of biking and running, looking for something new. About 8 weeks ago I bought a Groupon for a local boxing gym and I LOVE it. No sparring in class, just old fashioned jump rope, shadow boxing (holding 2 lb weights in front of a mirror) and heavy bag work with some high intensity intervals mixed in. Wrap it up with 10 minutes of core, and after 50 minutes I'm drenched in sweat.

I gained a notch in my belt and dropped from 195 to 187 and kept eating ice cream.

Also, I completely agree with the comments that every gym will provide a different experience. Good luck!

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Re: Martial arts for beginner adults

Post by HurdyGurdy » Tue Sep 22, 2015 5:04 pm

Fencing, but not the olympic kind. Go medieval:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFSCpPJzfXM

No need to be a knight, be a peasant:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ef9Xuzu3aa0

Image

Foam fights!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVcMjJH-a40

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Re: Martial arts for beginner adults

Post by Dutch » Tue Sep 22, 2015 6:52 pm

Akido is pretty much useless in any real world application. So, it seems like it would fit your requirements :P

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Re: Martial arts for beginner adults

Post by willie838 » Tue Sep 22, 2015 7:46 pm

just started bjj about a month ago and i really love it.

i've been a ufc fan since the first event so i don't really know what took me so long to try it.

i'm early 30s and in pretty good shape but BJJ wind is different than treadmill wind. a 6 minute roll can feel like eternity after about 4 minutes if it's you're 3rd or 4th go.

great exercise and i think it's really good for maintaining a high level of hip mobility that i see tends to tighten up in people as they age.

try some schools out, use word of mouth and local reviews.

my place has bjj gi/no gi, judo, boxing and muay thai and a fitness class. It's not cheap but considering the level of focus that gets spread around i definitely feel like i'm getting a good value out of it.

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Re: Martial arts for beginner adults

Post by bhsince87 » Tue Sep 22, 2015 8:05 pm

Just some fun stuff here.

As someone who grew up in the DC area many years ago, my first thought was, "Call USA 1000!"

https://youtu.be/n7PEMGuA6tw

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Re: Martial arts for beginner adults

Post by ShiftF5 » Tue Sep 22, 2015 8:22 pm

m2marti wrote:Have you considered boxing? It requires basically no prior knowledge and you can pick up the basics quickly.

I'm similar to your situation: nearly 30, decent shape, bored of biking and running, looking for something new. About 8 weeks ago I bought a Groupon for a local boxing gym and I LOVE it. No sparring in class, just old fashioned jump rope, shadow boxing (holding 2 lb weights in front of a mirror) and heavy bag work with some high intensity intervals mixed in. Wrap it up with 10 minutes of core, and after 50 minutes I'm drenched in sweat.

I gained a notch in my belt and dropped from 195 to 187 and kept eating ice cream.

Also, I completely agree with the comments that every gym will provide a different experience. Good luck!
I cut out the daily bowl of ice cream & chocolate sauce and lost 10 lbs pretty quickly.

Just sayin'.

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Re: Martial arts for beginner adults

Post by northernisland » Tue Sep 22, 2015 8:34 pm

I've heard it said that martial arts can be seen as (1) art, (2) sport, or (3) preparation for fighting/warfare. There's overlap between the three but most systems tilt in one direction or another.

As a kid I liked the clarity of karate and taekwondo. I also did some mixed martial arts, which I liked because it was more grown-ups and more varied. My own son now is doing wushu (which he doesn't totally love).

Martial arts can feel scammy, so it's good to look around and just recognize that a lot of it's not going to be a perfect match.

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Re: Martial arts for beginner adults

Post by Caladan » Thu Sep 24, 2015 12:07 pm

Taking up Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in 2012 was one of the best decisions I've ever made.

m2marti
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Re: Martial arts for beginner adults

Post by m2marti » Mon Sep 28, 2015 3:13 pm

ShiftF5 wrote:
m2marti wrote:Have you considered boxing? It requires basically no prior knowledge and you can pick up the basics quickly.

I'm similar to your situation: nearly 30, decent shape, bored of biking and running, looking for something new. About 8 weeks ago I bought a Groupon for a local boxing gym and I LOVE it. No sparring in class, just old fashioned jump rope, shadow boxing (holding 2 lb weights in front of a mirror) and heavy bag work with some high intensity intervals mixed in. Wrap it up with 10 minutes of core, and after 50 minutes I'm drenched in sweat.

I gained a notch in my belt and dropped from 195 to 187 and kept eating ice cream.

Also, I completely agree with the comments that every gym will provide a different experience. Good luck!
I cut out the daily bowl of ice cream & chocolate sauce and lost 10 lbs pretty quickly.

Just sayin'.
Hey, completely fair, but my wife is due with our second kid any day. A wise old man once told me pregnant women don't want to eat chocolate alone. I didn't understand it at the time...

woland
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Re: Martial arts for beginner adults

Post by woland » Mon Sep 28, 2015 3:50 pm

Another vote for BJJ. If you're even moderately competitive, you'll find this to be one of the most fun, addictive hobbies you've ever had. Great place to make friends, get in shape, and escape from the outside world.

There's a terrific community on Reddit. https://www.reddit.com/r/bjj
Introduce yourself, tell them what city you're in and have them recommend a place to train.

kommisarrex
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Re: Martial arts for beginner adults

Post by kommisarrex » Wed Sep 30, 2015 5:54 pm

OP here with an update. Thanks all for the great suggestions. I did a trial Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class and really enjoyed myself apart from not having a clue what was going on. I never wrestled or did anything similar, so it's all completely new. Very impressed by the amount of detail and skill involved. It's also a lot more work than it looks...

Anyway, gonna try sticking with this for the time being with the hope I can reach a point where I understand what the heck is going on :)

Thanks again for everyone's input.

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patrick013
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Re: Martial arts for beginner adults

Post by patrick013 » Wed Sep 30, 2015 6:22 pm

Another comment....

When I took kung-fu we never took the ground. Sweeps and
evasive ground maneuvers were used tho. A good pop in
the head or eye would suffice for that to any grappler encountered.

Also, sparred a Thai trained kick-boxer a few times. He had a
kick that would paralyze, not damage, a leg for a few minutes while fighting
giving him a distinct advantage. Not a single black belt I talked
to had any knowledge of such a unique technique. He was a US
veteran BTW learned Thai kick boxing while there from a native
Thai off-base. Only known school this particular kick.

One other question. So I go ground technique 100%. Which is
better ? Traditional Judo or BJJ ?

THX
age in bonds, buy-and-hold, 10 year business cycle

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sheneron
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Re: Martial arts for beginner adults

Post by sheneron » Wed Sep 30, 2015 6:57 pm

woland wrote:Another vote for BJJ.
The problem with BJJ is you have to get intimate with everyone your training with. I'd feel like after I got done training with someone I'd have to take them out on a date.

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LowER
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Re: Martial arts for beginner adults

Post by LowER » Wed Sep 30, 2015 7:05 pm

Third vote for Aikido.

countofmc
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Re: Martial arts for beginner adults

Post by countofmc » Wed Sep 30, 2015 9:06 pm

Sorry for piggybacking on OP's thread, but felt like I should just post here instead of starting a new one. I too have been looking for a martial art, but unlike OP, my sole motivation is SELF DEFENSE in a real world situation. I get enough exercise jogging and lifting weights, so I don't really want to roll around on a mat with another sweaty individual for fun or exercise.

I'm also not interested in carrying around a gun.

I see a lot of situations where people get randomly attacked at football games or in a road rage incident, and it's usually just a one-on-one fist fight type situation, so I guess I'd want to learn something that would protect me in those situations. Boxing? Krav Maga?

finite_difference
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Re: Martial arts for beginner adults

Post by finite_difference » Wed Sep 30, 2015 9:49 pm

FedGuy wrote:
finite_difference wrote:The forms can be very abstract and beautiful
Ugh...forms.

I've dabbled in a couple of different martial arts over the years, never quite being able to stick with one thing as school and work took me from one city to another every couple of years. While I generally enjoyed my classes, I despised the time spent learning or performing forms. Most of the schools I studied at didn't subject me to this ridiculousness, but those that did...yikes.

For the uninitiated, forms are essentially a choreographed, rehearsed sequence of moves performed alone in the absence of an opponent. In both schools I attended that taught forms, the movements seemed generally useless in combat and only vaguely related to any combat moves I had been taught. Essentially, demonstrating a form is like dancing alone with everyone else in the room looking at you. If there is any practical application for this other than to waste class time to stretch out how long we had to study to reach the next belt, my instructors wholly failed to make the slightest effort to demonstrate it.
To each his own. When I took Tang Soo Do as a kid, I also thought forms were pretty useless. Admittedly I didn't get very far so that could have changed. But from the start Kung Fu forms are very different. Every single move has multiple applications. Look at the 24 movement Yang style Tai Chi form for a classic example of every move having at least one very important application. I don't think all the Chinese Kung Fu schools make their students practice stances and forms to just waste your time:) Lastly, note that there are also two person forms which are really great for learning the applications (and the counters.)

But I don't think you should just do forms for self defense. You have to learn the applications and practice them both by yourself and against an opponent. Over and over again. I think sparring can also be useful. Forms may not be everyone's cup of tea but they are definitely not useless either.

It would be interesting to take two identical twins, have one train forms and applications (barehanded against opponent), and have the other just train applications (barehanded) and spar (with gloves, gear, etc), and then after 10 years have them fight each other (barehanded, no rules) to see who wins :)

Note: I am by no means an expert as I have only been training for almost 3 years now, but am trying to train as much as I can. I lost about 30 pounds in two years, and then leveled off -- could probably still replace 5-10 pounds of fat :)
The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. - Thich Nhat Hanh

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Re: Martial arts for beginner adults

Post by LadyGeek » Wed Sep 30, 2015 10:13 pm

Fourth vote for Aikido, specifically Aikido Kokikai. The style just agrees with me.

I practiced Aikido Kokikai a long time ago. It's a defensive style which uses balance and leverage to maximum effect. I find it very agreeable and fell in love with it.

Restarting my training is a top priority when I have free time, which is probably not until I retire.
Wiki To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.

reisner
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Re: Martial arts for beginner adults

Post by reisner » Wed Sep 30, 2015 11:28 pm

Another vote for Tai Chi. I have been doing it for five years and am devoted. It can be a real workout, or not. I like working entirely on my feet, not going to the floor--something to consider. My instructor--the best teacher of anything I have ever encountered, does not teach it as martial, but he always explains the martial applications, which are stunning. He also teaches karate, Philippine knife fighting and stick fighting, shaolin whip, and Chinese wrestling, but prefers Tai Chi to anything else. Everything depends on the instructor. In my town, San Luis Obispo, there is a renowned TC dojo that I wouldn't go near. Everybody there has to do exactly the same TC, which is the instructor's instructors' instructor's TC. Randal on the other hand allows for full personal variations within the norm. Try out a lot of studios and martial arts before settling on one.

On YouTube Jesse Tsao has some great martial TC videos.

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EyeYield
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Re: Martial arts for beginner adults

Post by EyeYield » Wed Sep 30, 2015 11:47 pm

Since you've already started BJJ, I'll just make a few observations.

First, as has been mentioned, it's the instructor. Learning the proper technique will stay with you forever. Learning a "lesser than" technique may eventually cause injuries.

Pick a practice that suits your existing physical traits, that you can build on.

Short stocky = a natural grappling physique. Tall, lean and flexible, maybe a good kicking physique. (There's great kickers who are short and great grapplers who are tall.) You probably already know what direction you will gravitate towards based on who you are.

BJJ is an excellent discipline, but most of it's practiced techniques require a partner.

If you're a little flexible, but would like to become more so, TaeKwonDo or kickboxing would be great for that. Since TKD is taught as a "yes sir" discipline, it's probably not what you're looking for, but learning how to kick and the overall balance needed to perform kicks, helps you with everything physical. You'll walk better.

Once you learn proper punching and kicking techniques, you can go anywhere that has a heavy bag and get a great workout for the rest of you life - no need to join any schools long term, or always be looking for a partner.

Kicking burns a lot of calories!

I practiced TKD for decades and use bags today for my dry land training. Ten 3 minute rounds kicking and punching - best workout ever IMO.

This kid credits me with making him work out to exhaustion for the first time in his life. He signed up at our school when he was a teenager and we trained hard for competition.
http://youtu.be/Zs4uQ6DfKV8 Here he demonstrates a technique exactly how we were taught.

Our trainers were the coach and captain of the USA Olympic TKD team.
Again, it's all about the instructors!

It's funny how a new activity can change your life. I never intended to compete, I was just bored running ten miles a day and wanted a good workout. After a few years of perfecting my technique, I was curious to see how effective it was and fell in love with the team camaraderie.

Good luck, take it slow and have fun. Anything that makes you a better person is worthwhile.
"The stock market is a giant distraction from the business of investing." - Jack Bogle

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Re: Martial arts for beginner adults

Post by smackboy1 » Thu Oct 01, 2015 9:40 am

kommisarrex wrote:I did a trial Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class and really enjoyed myself apart from not having a clue what was going on.
Welcome to BJJ. Here are some resources to help you:

http://breakingmuscle.com/brazilian-jiu ... ase-of-bjj

http://forums.sherdog.com/forums/f12/

https://www.reddit.com/r/bjj/

Relax and have fun. Don't get injured. Don't hurt your partners (by going Incredible Hulk on them a.k.a. "spazzing").
Disclaimer: nothing written here should be taken as legal advice, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

smackboy1
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Re: Martial arts for beginner adults

Post by smackboy1 » Thu Oct 01, 2015 11:06 am

patrick013 wrote:One other question. So I go ground technique 100%. Which is
better ? Traditional Judo or BJJ ?
For grappling on the ground either BJJ or submission wrestling. Judo has ground fighting techniques but most if not all modern judo instruction is heavily biased towards standing throws because the rules of the sport reward throws over ground submissions.
Disclaimer: nothing written here should be taken as legal advice, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

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FuyuKei
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Re: Martial arts for beginner adults

Post by FuyuKei » Thu Oct 01, 2015 5:02 pm

Some kind of local cardio-focused kickboxing class / Taebo sounds like it might up your alley.

It's not really martial arts per say, but you said you're not really worried about self defense anyways. It's a goodworkout, and I think with a scheduled class it's easier to stick with it and is more fun.

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Re: Martial arts for beginner adults

Post by freebeer » Thu Oct 01, 2015 5:35 pm

LadyGeek wrote:Fourth vote for Aikido, specifically Aikido Kokikai. The style just agrees with me.

I practiced Aikido Kokikai a long time ago. It's a defensive style which uses balance and leverage to maximum effect. I find it very agreeable and fell in love with it.

Restarting my training is a top priority when I have free time, which is probably not until I retire.
+1 for Aikido given OP's druthers... if the jiu-jitsu wrestling doesn't work out perhaps worth a try.

YMMV but the "Ki Society" varieties of Aikido felt a bit artificial/silly to me (I didn't do Kokikai per se, but I understand it to have emerged from that school and if anything be even "softer"). I was not so interested in "real-world" self defense but neither did I just want to do unrealistic Tai Chi with a partner. And even the original ("Aikiki") school of Aikido was plenty spiritual for me. OTOH now that I have a bum knee if I get more free time and can train again I might give Kokikai a try!

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