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Old March 2, 2001, 12:41 AM   #1
Rakekniven
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I'm planning out my schedule for next term, and I have the time to take one of the 1 credit Physical Activity classes next term, and they are offering both Karate and Judo classes. Out of these two, which would you recommend learning?

I am aware that both of these are more on the decorative than practical side of martial arts, but I lack the time and financial resources to take classes in anything else off campus.

Anyway, I'm 6'7" 200 pounds, if that influences your suggestion.

Thanks.
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Old March 2, 2001, 01:56 AM   #2
shiroikuma
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I'd reccomend judo. Some things will be hard for you because you are so tall but it's got many very useful techniques and principals to learn. Karate does too but there are so many versions of karate and judo it's hard to give advice as they can be radically different even though they are all called "karate" or "judo" Judo because its a sport tends to be more homoginous as there are governing bodies due to the competiton aspect.

I'd reccomend you try to go see a class of each and see which one appeals to you most. Martial arts require a lot of time invesmtent to gain skill so you have to like it or you will quite before you gain anything useful. I swear I would have done worse in a fight for the first year of my juijitsu training because is messed up my old reflexive actions and the new ones were not ingrained yet.

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Old March 2, 2001, 02:25 AM   #3
krept
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Ditto on the judo recommendation. Not that karate isn't a great martial art... many formidable fighters and people capable of defending themselves have a solid karate background. By taking Judo, you will immediately learn skills that can translate in everyday life; most notably how to do a breakfall (how to fall and absorb the energy without getting hurt if you are not familiar).

Judo can really, really help you understand the physics and mechanics of your falling body. If you have seen people fight, many times people in full contact karate, etc. do often end up in a clinch. On the street, this will translate into a balance war. Now, my post isn't going to turn into a lecture about jiu-jitsu/jujutsu, but it suffices to say that you will get a LOT out of an introductory Judo course. Not only will you be shown how to safely fall (ever slipped on an icy or wet surface?) but you will be taught how to throw as well... maybe if your instructor throws it in (haha) you will learn ground techniques (newaza?) and learn how to both apply and escape submissions.

Although I don't have very much experience in Judo, I do hold it in very high regard. I can just imagine how devestating the guys that fight in hockey would be if they took judo. Karate is good, but in a one semester, I don't think introductory karate will take you as far as an introductory judo class.


MHO: Take Judo!
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Old March 2, 2001, 05:24 AM   #4
Skorzeny
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I share krept's sentiment. While some Karate practitioners are skilled fighters, your "garden variety" Karate classes are unlikely to teach you realistic self-defense skills (I personally hold Western boxing, Muay Thai and Jeet Kune Do in high regard for striking as opposed to Tae Kwon Do or Karate).

Judo curriculum tends to be more uniform as krept points out. Also, even introductory Judo will be very useful. Judo will teach you Ukemi (safe-falling), Nage-Waza (throwing, foot sweeps and takedowns) and Ne-Waza (wrestling/ground grappling, arm locks and chokes).

Another benefit of Judo is fighting fitness. While Karate (particularly the "cardio" kind) will burn calories and give you aerobic fitness, Judo, through the practice of full-force Randori (free-sparring) will condition your body to deal with physical and psychological stresses of struggling against a partner who is giving you ample resistance.

As a side benefit, you will learn to take some punishment in Judo in the beginning as your body will take some pounding from being thrown before your Ukemi improves.

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Old March 2, 2001, 11:02 AM   #5
SB
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Hmm. I'm a little shocked at the general advice given here, by people whom I would think would know better.

I'm going to go with shiroikuma's second advice. Check both out first and go with the class and instructor that appeals to you the most.

There is nothing to be gained by comparing one general style with another, especially if the specifics are left out of the equation.

Besides, it's only for a semester. Any actual advantage one style may have over the other between the two classes is probably negligible.
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Old March 2, 2001, 11:35 AM   #6
LASur5r
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k vs j

One semester?
If you like contact sports and a hard work out?
Take wrestling.

Check out the course curriculum and decide if what is offered will be of use to you.

In the old days....it was one year or more of learning to fall in judo....no throws.

One semester of karate....fun, but don't expect to be using a lot of stuff in a real situation.

One of my buds in the service...we had eight hours of unarmed techniques and we had a fight after basic in a bar, he tried to use what he learned...got his a$$ kicked. They threw him out of the bar....
We regrouped and reminded him that he was a Golden Gloves Champion and what was he doing trying that karate Sh#t. We cleared the bar after that.
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Old March 2, 2001, 12:22 PM   #7
Danger Dave
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Rakekniven, I'd have to disagree somewhat with your statement about karate and judo being on the decorative side of martial arts... Both can be devastating if the training is correct. I've known people from both who were skilled fighters (not just in competition). The question is: How is it taught? I've seen a lot of junk out there that called itself "karate" (or whatever), but really wasn't anything but a way to get students to part with their money (Choi Kwang-do comes to mind).

However, this is an introductory college course, not a fighter's club, and I think the instructor would probably teach it that way. In other words, I doubt that you'll walk in to a Kyokushinkai-style bare knuckle full-contact class - and even if you do, you probably wouldn't be ready for the "hardcore" training in the course of a semester. The first few months are necessarily dedicated to building a good foundation on which to build your skills. Whichever you take, don't expect to get more out of it than a few basic techniques & some exercise.

The question is, what do want to get out of it? If you want to learn the basics of how to fight in a few months, I wouldn't choose either. I think I'd pick boxing or wrestling (or Thai boxing, if they offer it) for that - they throw you in the mix a bit quicker.

If you're thinking about picking up a new lifestyle when you graduate (don't kid yourself - training is hard work, and it only gets harder as you progress), then I think I'd pick the one that I thought I was the least interested in - who knows, you may find you like it - and "save" the other for when you can settle into it. Then look for a good school that you can stick with for quite some time. It's a lot harder to unlearn than it is to learn.

Of the two, for a semester, I'd pick Judo. What it can teach about balance, falling, throws, takedowns, etc. would translate well into whatever you study later.
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Old March 2, 2001, 06:10 PM   #8
Tango27
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Here is another vote for Judo. One of the things that makes it worthwhile is that once you learn how to fall (I've never heard of anyone spending a year learning breakfalls), you can spar at full speed. Unlike karate where the techniques are too "dangerous" to use a full power, Judo is a very practice-able style. Besides, in terms of actual fights, most of them that I've seen/been in eventually ended up on the ground. Judo is good in that it teaches you how to be comfortable there. Just my thoughts.
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Old March 2, 2001, 06:18 PM   #9
Rakekniven
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A clarification, I know that one term of training isn't anything, but what I would like to get out of it is a good foundation in the basics (I've had the USMC line training but we just didn't spend enough time on it in boot camp to be something that would become instinctive in a stressful situation.) Anyway, I plan on shopping around more for good local marital arts training, but at this moment I'm looking for something cheap that will give me a foundation to build on.

Thanks to all for the great advice.
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Old March 3, 2001, 12:51 AM   #10
traitorjack
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I'll put it to you this way: if, after your term is over, I had to go through you to get out of a dark alley, I'd rather that you took karate. I'd say that that old platitude "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing" would be more true in that case. just MHO.

more to your point, though, I'd see if I could have my cake and eat it, too. when I was in college and grad school, the people I met in the various classes/clubs were more than happy to get together outside of the regular class/school sanctioned setting for some sort of workout. some of them were part of a large group that was pretty relaxed about collecting membership fees.

I've found that the instructor-student and inter-student relationships in different groups varied wildly, which made all the difference in the world.

as has been mentioned here before, a great deal depends on what you want out of it. not to mention what you're willing to do to get it.

all standard disclaimers apply!

good luck; stay safe.
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Old March 3, 2001, 05:33 AM   #11
AAChang
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I also agree with the judo vote. I think that you should take judo simply because it will teach you fundamentals that you can use in most the stereotypical street fights you will see people in here in the US (i.e. bum rush, and probably going to the ground, you get the idea)
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Old March 3, 2001, 09:01 PM   #12
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Both style are good, why don't you take classes that offers "Combat which incorporates karate, Judo, Wrestling". In fact most martial arts have the same thing in common.

If you have already basics in Karate than you can master those basic blocks and strikes, as well as the basics of Judo "the throwing and falling techniques".

To be skilled, you cannot just take in one semestral training but a continuous training after taking the course.

As Danger Dave have said if I fully understand it, some clubs will only offer you a long time of exercises and giving few techniques just to get your $$'s. The truth is, techniques has no end to learn until you find out yourself that you will be just be contented with few of it that you practically need it in real situation.

I remember when I was in College when Physical Education class offers Arnis, Judo, Karate etc, will not really teach the real martial arts, unlike when someone is tutored by a real Martial Arts Instructor then that is the only time a skilled M. artist will be produced also.

As being advised by some here, check and see both schools of thoughts and you will see the difference, as these two Styles are both devastating skills.

Thanks,
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Old March 3, 2001, 09:30 PM   #13
ATeaM
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again...

Judo
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Old March 4, 2001, 12:21 AM   #14
Double Eagle
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Wait a sec...

Hi all-

As someone said earlier- surely there's more to making this decision than just comparing the characteristics of general styles... As was recommended, far more important than styllistic differences in my opinion are things like the atmosphere of the dojo, the instructor etc.

One instructor may stand head and shoulders over the other in terms of prestige in his chosen art / experience /etc.
One of them may teach a sporting type of their art, one may teach a more combatative form.

I'm a former judoka, and I think it's possibly the best introduction to martial arts that there is. It's a good start and may supply part of the puzzle. But there's a lot to be said for good Goju-ryu or Kyokushin-kai karate.

I'm a Bujinkan guy, myself.

------
Rory Quinn
Dublin, Ireland
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Old March 6, 2001, 06:17 PM   #15
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Welcome to the board, Rory. Which Dublin Bujinkan school(s) do you train in?

Anyway, as one "shocked" individual said, of course instructors count. That said, without knowing any other factors, and given the general level of mediocrity commonly seen,

judo.
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Old March 7, 2001, 09:56 AM   #16
Double Eagle
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Thanks for the welcome.

Luckily, Dublin is a small city so there are about eight dojos / training groups scattered around. I train weekly with Alex Meehan (I'm his student) and Steve Byrne, sometimes other instructors if I'm feeling energetic.

Rory Quinn
http://www.bujinkan.ie
http://www.iol.ie/~alexm
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Old March 9, 2001, 09:31 AM   #17
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Dunno if you ever visit the states. If you do- and are okay training with Manaka's students- let me know in advance. We have some great folk in GA (besides the obvious Bujinkanners, such as Bud M).
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Old March 10, 2001, 06:34 PM   #18
Double Eagle
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Thanks for the offer-

I'm actually going to be working for most of the summer in New York city, so I'm starting to get sorted out there training-wise- I don't know if I'll be wandering further afield. My instructor knows a good Bujinkan dojo there, and I'm also hoping to check out some exotic stuff like Silat / Kali (very hard to find these arts taught here) and take a look at Renzo Gracie's gym.
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Old March 10, 2001, 07:17 PM   #19
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Darn...(straining to remember name of NY dojo cho). Ain't coming to me. I trained with some of them at the '96 Tai Kai, and on the whole, was fairly impressed.

Jean-Paul Siebel? Was that the guy's name? Anyway, he taught at the SOI festival I attended in '94. I respected his movement, and what he had to say. Let me know if you're gonna pass through GA.
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Old March 10, 2001, 08:04 PM   #20
FPrice
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Take judo

Many good points about how to choose a martial art have been made here, but the original question concerned a choice between two classes with no choice of styles, schools, instructors, or other considerations.

Under these circumstances I would also advise that you try judo first. That was my first martial art and I feel it gave me a good grounding (no pun intended for you grapplers out there!) for future training. Certainly a lot will depend upon the instructor, but learning the basics of grappling, throwing, falling, and ground manuveurs may help with other fighting arts. I personally think that given a limited amount of time, you would get more from a judo course than a karate class.

Whichever you choose, I wish you luck!

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Old March 11, 2001, 12:33 PM   #21
Deaf Smith
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are you serious

I see so many of you recommending Judo over some form of Karate. Have any of you actually taken Judo? Karate? How long?

I've been in Karate (TKD, Tang-so-do, and others) over 20 years. Have a 4th black in TKD, red in TSD, and green in Judo. I tend to show up at other schools to see how they train and their techniques (no, I am not there to challenge or be tough, I keep an open mind).

I understand the original poster wanted to take just one semester. Pitiful. You will learn so little, and unless you practice what you learn often, you will forget. It would be like taking a basic NRA pistol class then never touching a gun again.

If self defense is what you are looking for, pure self defense, search around for a real good kick-boxing class taught by at least a state champion. The trouble with Judo is you have to get within kissing range to throw your opponent (though when you do throw, hard, it can take the fight out of anyone). Most people are not going to let you to go around hugging them. They will either keep just a bit of distance and punch and kick the dickens out of you, or when huggy time comes, elbow your teeth out.

Check the class you would want to take for such as this:

a) no kids in class, b) by the end of class everyone dog tired, c) lots of hands on self-defense and sparing, d) the instructor has rigid control over class (yes rigid, no joking, no talking, no goofing off. When he pops the whip, you do.), e) read the flyers the class puts out. If any 'you don't need a gun, this art will do all' type stupidity is printed, skip the class.

Put forth 110 percent at each class. Then practice outside of class what you have learned. Stick with it for at least a year. Who knows, you might just like it enough to become you idea of exercise (which is what happened to me). I consider Karate both my exercise and my basic form of self defense, just like I consider IDPA my form of relaxation as well as my training for self defense.

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Old March 11, 2001, 02:10 PM   #22
Spectre
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A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. If one only had a limited amount of time, the balance one should learn almost immediately in Judo should, alone, be worth the (admittedly meager) investment. OTOH, the same amount of training in TKD is likely to get the user having his rear handed to him, if he tries to use it.
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Old March 11, 2001, 02:49 PM   #23
traitorjack
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Posted by Deaf Smith:

"I understand the original poster wanted to take just one semester. Pitiful."

we all have to start somewhere.

and Rakekniven did say "Anyway, I plan on shopping around more for good local marital arts training, but at this moment I'm looking for something cheap that will give me a foundation to build on."

someone once told me that there are as many different martial arts as there are people who practice them. (if you take my meaning.)
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Old March 11, 2001, 03:15 PM   #24
FPrice
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Yes, I am serious.

Deaf Smith,

You make some very good points about how to choose a martial art for self-defense, but I think that you are not addressing the main question.

I have studied judo (a very long time ago), TKD (only a little), and more recently some jiu-jitsu. I have also gotten with a friend who is a Daitoryu Aikijitsu (sp?) expert for some individual training. All have their strong points and their weak points. I feel that a good jiu-jitsu school can offer some of the best self-defense training because of the variety of techniques which are offered. But, as you very correctly pointed out, you must take a very critical look at the instructor and the school to see exactly what and how they teach. Often it is not the style, but how the instructor presents the material and what he/she expects out of the student.

But Rakekniven does not appear to have the freedom to do this. He has two choices and they seem to be more in line with recreational activities than serious martial arts training. For all we know, the karate instructor could be Chuck Norris and may be able to give him some excellent training in a limited amount of time, much better than the judo class could give.

But that's the point. We DON'T know, and apprarently neither does he. He may not be in a good position to be able to judge.

What this question really brings out are our feelings and opinions about the various types of martial arts and what would, all other circumstances being equal, would be the best introduction for a new student.

I will stick with judo as a beginning step. But I will definitely keep and recommend to others an open mind to other styles and schools.

I heard a great quote that was attributed to the swordsman Miyamoto Musashi (I hope I got the spelling correct):

"There are various ways, each man practises as he feels inclined."

Frosty
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Old March 11, 2001, 07:04 PM   #25
LASur5r
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One year of falls

Yup,
1958---One year plus of learning judo falls(Oahu Buddhist temples). No judo mats in Hawai--practice on grass or gravel covered ground)or sometimes on the wood floors. . 1960--jiujitsu on gravel covered ground, no mats...sensei's house (yards)in San Mateo, Ca.

These are not commercial schools. Many a night we practiced only in starlight or moon light.
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