View Full Version : What is your Favorite Martial Art and Why?

April 28, 2002, 11:02 AM
Hello Everyone,

I am 32 years old, fairly good shape, and very experienced in the use of firearms, but am now considering the practice of a martial arts. What I am looking for is internal as well as external. I'm not looking for a quick fix seminar, but an art that can become a part of my life. Before starting, I want to hear from some of our experienced board members who practice martial arts...

What martial art do you practice? How long have you studied it?

Why do you personally prefer it to other arts? Why do you feel it is superior?

Is there another art you would like to study as well in the future? Why?

Do you know of any qualified sensi in the Dallas-Fort Worth area?

Thank you for the input.

- Anthony

April 28, 2002, 11:32 AM
Kind of depends what you want to do. Big differences between learning to defend yourself and learning new age Zen guruism.

I've played Judo off and on since I was 7 (almost 30 years). It is an excellent MA. However, many dojos are geared toward traditional Japanese style (formalized, lots of bowing, etc.) or Olympic oriented sport Judo. In spite of this, it ca an excellent way to learn grappling, without having to worry about strikes. Since Judo lacks any striking, you would have to get that somewhere else.

If I were starting out oday, and I were serious about it, I would want to study a mixture of striking and grappling. Probably Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-jitsu/Judo.

While it is a sport, and has it's detractors, the UFC has shown what is effective and what isn't. From about UFC #8 or so, most of the contenders do a lot of cross training, and their styles tend to be a mixture of what works. Often referred to as simply Submisssion fighting. The early UFC's had TKD, Boxing, BJJ, Ninjitsu, Kung Fu, wrestling, etc. Almost without exception (notable was Keith Hackney), the guys that had grappling skill, wiped up the mat with the strikers. Notable was how poorly many of the traditional strikers did. Guys with TKD, Kenpo, etc., got their clocks cleaned.


April 28, 2002, 09:01 PM
Never heard anyone say anything bad about Hsing I Chuan, as far as internal is concerned.

Internal seems pretty hard to find.


April 28, 2002, 09:23 PM
Hello Anthony -

First, I generally avoid posts like this. The right martial art is the one that "fits" you - and that is an entirely personal thing. I approached the martial arts with much the same desires you've mentioned, which is why I chose to reply ...

I practice Wing Chun KungFu. Have for 5 years. Decided on it because of it's reputation as streetfight/practical and it offered as deep an internal/Zen aspect as you choose to pursue (or not). I'm hesitant to publicly say it is superior to other arts, for as you know, it is the artist who is superior - not the art. But deep inside, I truly believe it is. The centerline concept that this HTH art is based upon has proven itself for me in full contact sparring against many, more experienced, opponents. Do not wish to sound arrogant, for truly - I am not, and I still have a long, long way to go.

Four hand-to-hand forms, (arguably) twenty-two hand movements, two (traditional) weapons forms, simple/low-line kicks, stance-structure-footwork - all to support a fight at (preferably) very close range.

Second form (ChumKui) - directly applicable to pistolcraft. As soon as you see it - you'll know.

I have studied pekiti-tirsia/escrima and BJJ. Both were practical, and I still practice BJJ basics that blend with my own art. Neither "fit" for my core art-though. I would agree with the taxPhd that a combination of grappling and striking is tough to beat. Hybrid arts will be the wave of the future.

I encourage you to do a lot of looking around. Ask if they spar, and if they spar full contact. Look for honest respect in the dojo/kwoon - but no hero worship. How many senior-level students remain is also a good indicator that a solid foundation exists. Whichever art you choose, good luck with it.

April 29, 2002, 12:46 PM
I think what is more important is the instructor rather than the style.

April 29, 2002, 03:21 PM
i like kempo because it's the longest i've been in. i would also consider martial science too, take that class for a year (total commitment) and you will be very very very very experience with martial science and a variety of weapons.

keep in mind tho, you can learn all the forms, learn every single move punch, and kick, etc. but if you don't pratice it (sparring at full speed), then the class is just a workout with no fighting learned at all.

April 29, 2002, 05:37 PM
I like Brazilian Jujitsu and Muay Thai - because I find them fun.


Kodokan Judo is an outstanding martial art and a sport. However, to be picky a little, "traditional" Kodokan Judo indeed includes an array of Atemi-Waza (striking techniques). In fact, old Judo books clearly express that many throws will not work without at least a distraction strike first.

However, as you correctly stated, most Dojos teach Olympic style of the post-1945 era, and do not teach the whole curriculum (including "self-defense" type techniques that resemble Aikijujusu or Aikido type standing wrist and elbow locks and throw, that cannot be practiced safely in "sparring" fashion).


April 29, 2002, 07:53 PM
I've studied a form of Ba Kua Kung Fu for the past 3 yrs. I wouldn't say it (or any other particular style for that matter) is "superior" or the "best." I doubt any serious student of any of the arts would say theirs is either.

I do know that it is a very straightforward form: most of the punches, kicks, blocks, etc... are straight, as opposed to some Karate forms with more spinning, jumping, and other footwork.

There's nothing wrong with those at all, but you have to realize that most of what you see Jet Li or Jackie Chan doing in the movies is stuff that most ordinary students would take years, if not decades to develop. Further, the use of such moves may not even be possible in many situations. Can you imagine doing a bunch of spinning, jumping, round-house kicks and blocks in the aisle of an airplane or a crowded restaurant?

I believe that the more straightforward the moves, the easier it is to learn in the beginning, and the quicker you will develop the confidence with which to defend yourself in a "street" (real-world) situation or encounter. Successfully defending yourself has more to do with confidence than with physical skills, anyway, IMO. You do need to practice - both to develop your balance and to attain some degree of "muscle memory" that will allow you to employ your defenses without even thinking.

But your best defenses are AWARENESS and AVOIDANCE. This is true of both martial arts and firearms. Your stated desire to study the internal/soft forms (e.g. Qi Gong or Tai Chi) makes it sound like you already understand this on some intuitive or fundamental level, and for that I congratulate you!

As for your other questions, I do not know of any one form that will train you in both hard/external and soft/internal arts. I am originally from Dallas, but haven't lived there for 12 yrs., so I don't know specific dojos, either.

Find a good, straightforward school of Kung Fu, and maybe they will have some Tai Chi or Qi Gong classes offered as well. Start out training 2 nights per week in the hard form and 1 night in the soft form. Here in LV there are several such studios that advertise themselves as "Shao-Lin" schools or academies, so I would start there.

Good Luck to You!! And have fun!!:)


April 29, 2002, 09:33 PM
Seems like everyone does not want to step on any toes here. Most people state that no one style is better than another. But instead it is the abilities of the practitioner. I think that is true to a degree. In any style you need to be well practiced. BUT some styles are better for different purposes. Anthony, you stated that you want a internal as well as external art. Why? You said that you are 32? Pretty late to be STARTING a internal art that takes years to become adept at. And I always wondered why anyone would want to practice a art that does take so much time for the practitioner to be of any use? I, like skorzeny, have trained in Muay Thai and Jujitsu. Both arts are very simple to put into effect without taking years of foundation work and preparation. In Thailand KIDS are in the ring at like 11 years old. Muay Thai has few striking techniques. Boxing punches.( Jab, straight right or left, hook, uppercut.) Knees. Elbows. And kicks.( Push Kick and round kick.) Not many different strikes to learn, but HOW to use them is what is hard. And this is not something you can learn by doing a kata. This is learned in the ring. No stretched out stances. No telegraphed blocks. No start and stop everytime someone scores a point. Very basic without a lot of flamboyant movements.
Jujitsu takes it to another level. Because not every fight will be a total fist fight. Joint manipulation, chokes, throws and takedowns,grappling, all very practical techniques. And you will be able to use some techniques from day one, depending on how much you practice. Every class you add to your arsenal of techniques.
No art is perfect. But some are more practical. And why devote yourself to a art that takes so much time to be able to use it actually. Muay Thai and Jujitsu are arts that you will be able to use effectively in a years time. ( I said effectively,Not expertly)The longer you train, the better you will become. Now if you will excuse me , I must go meditate (sleep)and channel my inner CHI into some dreams of the Swedish bikini team.

April 30, 2002, 09:24 AM
Everyone has interesting points.....I study Isshinryu.....If you have a school near you, you might want to go visit. Isshinryu is straightforward, well balanced in techniques. As the kata's are learned it becomes more apparent how complete a system it is......there are grappling techniqes, akido techniques, pressurepoints as well as the striking and kicking(were do you think those strikes and kicks are designed to go).....because of the success of the ufc contests many schools have gone and further inhanced there grappling techiques, etc., you will find that in some Isshinryu schools that the instructors have gone and trained with various knife fighters and shooting self-defense schools and now make that training available out of their schools........... http://www.nashvilledojo.com .....I dont know were you are located but here is the School I started my Issinryu at, if you are close they are still first rate.......perhaps this link will help you locate a school near you.... http://www.isshinryu.net/dojo.html ............ and here is another listing of dojo's ..http://www.isshinryu.nxs.net/UIC/Dojo%20Locator.htm .......one other thing, not every kara-te student is a warrior, the instructors will teach them all they can handle and then some, but all who apply themselves will gain from their effort.............some leave because they dont like getting hit hard, some through lack of desire....its all up to you, and what you want to attain.....fubsy.

April 30, 2002, 06:31 PM
"Kind of depends what you want to do. Big differences between learning to defend yourself and learning new age Zen guruism."

What he said. In my righteous opinion, all that "Eastern philosophy is so ancient and wise" is a bunch of hippie nonsense touted by those unable to find purpose in life. Testosterone replacement therapy would be a lot cheaper and effective, not to mention you don't have to walk around in pajamas.

Wait, I've only offended half of you, there's more-

Muay Thai is for -CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED-. Burmese boxing is where it's at. Did you say headbutts are legal in the ring ? Hell yes ! Now there's a sport with some sack. Thai kickboxing :rolleyes: pshhht...clinching and elbows are for girls. Oh, and BJJ ? If rolling around on the floor in spandex appeals to you, go for it. Real men fight on their feet.

*The above is ment in jest only, if you were shocked and offended, too bad :p

April 30, 2002, 07:01 PM
Ateam. HaHaHa! Although I don't agree with you on your choices, I do admire your expression of your point of view. NO HOLDS BARRED. Great. As for your opinion about eastern philosophy, I totally agree. Fighting is fighting. Religion is religion. The mystical, spiritual, philosophical aspect is for people avoiding the reality of the contact. But who am I? I'm just a -CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED- who trains in Muay Thai and Jujitsu. HaHa!

April 30, 2002, 09:32 PM
I practice Tai Chi (Wu style) and Tae Kwon Do. 10 years with the first form and 2 years with the second.
Overall I prefer Tai Chi because it doesn't require a lot of space, a 3'X3' spot is all I need to do all 100 moves in the form under 90 seconds. It also rejuvenates me if I am tired after a long day(practicing the moves slowly). In addition, you don't need protective gear to practice sparring with other students. However, it doesn't stress lower body movements, so I picked up Tae Kwon Do and Judo in college to exercise my lower body. I also hate to do the basic Horse Stance everyday (required for most Chinese styles):p

It really doesn't matter which style you pick as long as you have a competent instructor.

April 30, 2002, 09:53 PM

I want to do Burmese boxing!

Any instructors in AZ?


April 30, 2002, 09:53 PM
Ok Guys!

I'm really looking for some opinions here of WHY YOU like your arts most of all. Please don't sit on the fence. That does me little good.

- Anthony

April 30, 2002, 10:34 PM
Aikido is my personal favorite. I wouldnt say its the best martial art to learn for defence, but it sure is fun. Its so fluid, and you look so non-shalant while you toss your partner around the mat, seemingly effortlessly.
Full contact Filipino stick fighting is pretty fun too. Nothing puts you "in the now" like a stick flying by (or into) your head at 60mph.
I guess I'm different than most here, as I do martial arts more for enjoyment than defence. Not that it cant come in handy though.

April 30, 2002, 10:44 PM
Dallas-Fort Worth area is exploding with great MMA gyms. Lots of big names training in that town. If you are interested in Muay Thai, track down a guy named Saekson Janjira. He's considered the best Thai trainer in the U.S. at the moment, for what that's worth. Lot's of good grapplers out there as well.

I don't think high falutin' eastern type arts are big in Texas. Just a hunch. ...Unless of course your name is Walker, Texas Ranger.

May 1, 2002, 12:02 AM
25 years whacking a heavy bag and full contact sparring with a dozen different styles, including women.:eek:

Learn a basic style of martial arts. Hit the heavy bag. Add some boxing/kickboxing...make the bag sing.:) Learn how to use your whole body weight to strike...it's a timing thing also. Find opportunities to spar full contact as you develop your skills. Add some grappling techniques(Aikido, Wing Chung sticky hands, ninjitsu dirty stuff, etc.) Incorporate these techniques into your sparring. After a while, if you're serious, you get a sense of mastery and control.

Everyone's advice is right on.

Personnaly, I started out with basic Kenpo and boxing. Worked out with a Wing Chun guy, a Ninja, a boxer, an Aikido master...now I'm into sayoc kali knife fighting.

I guess my point is, it's not a class you take, it's a committment!

May 1, 2002, 02:47 AM
I'm learning a sub style of Tae Kwon Do called Chung do Kwon (not sure if I spelt that correctly). It's working out pretty well, but finding a teacher might be hard as most of them live on the east coast.

I like this sub-stlye because you learn to use your fists too, in regular TKD all you really learn to use is your feet. It looks cool when you watch it on the olympics, but in real life you might find it useful to punch.

May 1, 2002, 06:57 AM
Ok Guys!

I'm really looking for some opinions here of WHY YOU like your arts most of all. Please don't sit on the fence. That does me little good.
Okay, I'll bite. It all depends on what you intend to get out of "martial arts." I like Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, because basically I am a huge nut for Mixed Martial Arts (aka No Holds Barred fighting).

Muay Thai provides effective hand, elbow, knee and kick strikes (to watch a decent Thai boxer fight and demolish a Tae Kwon Do "world champion" in a minimum-rules striking contest is illuminating to watch) while Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu provides ground grappling techniques including escapes, reversals and joint-locks. Together, these two form two of the dominant fighting style components of NHB fighting. I also like the fact that both can be practiced full-force during sparring/Randori unlike something like, say, Aikido, which can only be practiced in Kata format with a cooperating partner.

Ultimately, I practice them because they are the most fun for me. I've trained in Tae Kwon Do, Shotokan Karate, Aikikai Aikido, Kodokan Judo, boxing, wrestling, Arnis and a couple of military combatives, and I find the above two the most fun things FOR ME (I trained in Shooto or Japanese Shoot fighting, too, but it's pretty similar to a combination of Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu).

Ultimately, I think that the so-called martial arts matter very little in real self-defense. They may be handy for bar fights, school yard brawls and the ring, not to mention the physical and technical attributes they build, but in reality I think that learning to avoid, evade and escape is much, much more important than learning how to land a shin kick to the thigh or putting on an arm-lock.


George Hill
May 1, 2002, 10:19 AM

May 3, 2002, 03:58 AM
The kind of BS you should definitely avoid:



I don't know whether to sigh in disgust or laugh hysterically.


A sarcastic treatment of his claims.

BTW, the man was knocked out badly by a third-rate UFC competitor from the early days (when there were a lot of one-dimensional, unqualified competitors) in an altercation.


May 3, 2002, 09:20 AM
Skorzeny- Man...that guy really looks like an idiot doesn't he? A spy, an ancient underground fighting champion, studies a style from 2000 years ago....hahahahahahahaha!!!

May 3, 2002, 05:24 PM
Frank Dux is undoubtedly one of the greatest martial artists a to ever walk the earth. It is an honor to have lived in the same era as such a great warrior. Enuf said!

What I don't get is this. Reputedly USC is a university, so presumably it has students with some semblance of intelligence who understand logic (its debate team is actually one of the top ones in the country). Yet, how can "Dux-Ryu" be a brand new system developed by "Shidoshi" Dux and be 2,000 years old at the same time, considering that the vaunted "Shidoshi" is only about 45 (give or take 10) years old?

One's mind boggles!

He is not alone. Then there is Jerry Petersen, the "founder" of SCARS, who dresses up in black outfits, trying to look like a Ninja, and claiming (if I recall correctly) that he killed several NVA or VC soldiers with his barehands in Vietnam.

It must be testerone poisoning or something, because both the gun and martial arts industries are littered with frauds.


May 5, 2002, 06:50 AM
Boy, some of these posts are hard not to flame on, but I'm not here for that. It is also my oppinion as well that no one form is better than another. First of all I would recomend a book Complete Conditioning for Martial Arts by Sean Cochran. This explains in brief the basic fundamentals and requirements for each of the major styles.
Ok I'm 40 years old, my father enrolled me in judo when we lived in Japan at age 10. I have been studying martial arts ever since. I believe the art you choose should depend more on your size and frame. For instance it wouldn't make since for a 350# man to learn kung fu.
I personally favor Brazillian style Judo and Jujitsu. No one form has everything, I was fighting points matches at 15, moved up to pit fighting at age 20, started shoot fighting at 22, moved into profesional fighting at age 23 and fought until age 37. I had to quit instructing and professional fighting to care for my wife when she developed cancer. I tried professional kickboxing at age 38 but quite frankley I'm not as young as I used to be.
The reason I state one form is not better than another, in 1986 I was 26, 6'0, weighed 212# with 8% body fat. I was beaten by Sung Lie a 42 year old 140# Chinese man who's dicipline was Kung Fu. Over the years I look back I may have fought 70-80 people who studied Kung Fu and the various branches stemming from it. Through ignorance I could say, well they didn't have much power, not enough to knock me out anyhow, and yes maybe they did have speed, but none of them beat me. But in reality given enough training and dicipline any of them could have beaten me.
Don't worry about age, I have instructed 60 year old women in the past. In reality you will be in better shape and if tought right will be more mentally focussed in all aspects of your life.
I've been a police officer for 15 years and instructed my current department for the last 8 years. I have had officers as old as 53 years to put moves into practice in real world situations after a few months, and not only make the difference in the assailant getting the better of them, but ocasionally meant the difference in a hostile situation turning into a trajic one.
I have studied Japanese Judo
Japanese Jujitso
Brazillian Judo
Brazillian Jujitsu
Muay Thai
Tiawanesse Tae Kwon DO
And currently checking into Kempo planning to start within a month.
As a rule Judo requires high upper body strength and low flexibility and speed.
Jujitsu requires moderate or above strength, moderate speed and moderate flexability.
Most other forms of martial arts require moderate strentgh, high flexibility and high speed.

May 5, 2002, 06:22 PM

The book Stolen Valor devotes three or four pages to Mr. Dux. It ain't pretty.

BTW, the man was knocked out badly by a third-rate UFC competitor from the early days (when there were a lot of one-dimensional, unqualified competitors) in an altercation.

Was that the rumored sidewalk fight outside of UFC #1 with Zane Frazier? Gossip and outhouse intel have it that Frazier did a ground-and-pound on the Ninja Master(tm) and pretty much had his way with him.


May 6, 2002, 06:01 PM
Studied Aikido, karate, BJJ and boxing. Want to do Thai and FMA.

My favorite? Aikido. While I'm not going to study it any more until I'm competent in skills along the lines of vale tudo, I just get more out of it in everyday life than any other MA. Very bizarre.

The ability to create a small but effective detonation with any of the four limbs is awesome. Grappling with a Brazilian blackbelt is tangle-heaven... submission flow, hell yeah.

But for some reason Aikido seems to always be in the back of my mind. Tis a pity I'm not going to an actual dojo for a long time. BJJ, Thai and FMA are on my to-do list for the next decade or until I break in half - whichever comes first.

What up Skorzeny? Long time no see... been a while since I've been here or on the MMA forum.


May 6, 2002, 08:57 PM
I mainly study 3 arts, Hsing I, Tai Chi, and Shuai Chiao. The combination of the three seem to cover pretty much all the major aspects of fighting, hard, soft, and grappling. I like Hsing I because its fairly straight forward and aggressive. It has helped teach me to use my entire body to generate power for a strike. Tai Chi has taught me fluidity and how to react to force. Shuai Chiao has taught me all the things previously mentioned and throwing, joint locking, misdirecting, ground fighting, yielding etc...

Of course, cross training is all the rage these days, but it was quite common among a lot of the older Chinese masters.

May 7, 2002, 02:38 PM
A combination of striking and grappling is best. I would say Muay Thai and Brazilian Jujutsu. Any martial art is about worthless without any hard sparring.

Matt Wallis
May 9, 2002, 11:30 AM
Well, I have hesitated to make this post. Both for the reason that I have said it before other threads, and because it didn't particularly serve the purpose of the original poster in looking for a style to study. But I guess it is becoming a "favorite style" of mine.

I am, of course, referring to medieval and renaissance European MA. They are currently not real applicable to modern day self defense for the simple reason that they have only recently begun to be revived as practical martial arts. But they were incredibly effective in their time (and can be again today, IMO) and are legitimate and sophisticated combat systems.

Currently I am focusing my own training on Medieval longsword, dagger and grappling. The longsword seems to be very effective (from my limited judgement, of course) and I would stack it against any other form of swordsmanship I've seen demonstrated. It has powerful strikes, lots of voiding and counter-cutting, thrusting, a very mobile footwork and actually incorporates a lot of grappling.

The dagger stuff is all new to me and I'm not really fit to judge it. But the grappling is very cool. More similarities to something like Aikido than collegiate wrestling. Theres lots of joint locks, a few throws, and only a little ground work (going to the ground in a medieval battle was pure suicide). Also there are a few strikes (mostly palms and gouges to the face) and a few low line kicks (to the knee, etc.).

And due to the "reconstruction" nature of these arts, there is a lot of sparring that is done with as much realism as possible. You have to to test if you are doing the techniques in a workable way. No Eastern MA school I've been at (even the ones that claim to teach weapons) have ever done any realistic weapon sparring.

Unfortunately, unless you live in Houston, Ontario, NY or one of only a few other select places it is almost impossible to find a school or "instructor". It's mostly a self-study process which is slow and makes it difficult to be sure you're getting things right.


May 10, 2002, 01:38 AM

I believe the altercation took place inside a hotel, at which a martial arts exhibition was taking place. There are plenty of eyewitnesses to corroborate what happened (like when Steven Seagal wet himself after Gene LaBelle choked him out).


It has been a while. I have something of a new life in a new city now, so I've been away from somethings for a bit.

Aikido is a pretty interesting thing. It's part martial arts, part religion (or better, spiritualism), part a way of life and part pure fantasy. It is decidedly one of the most beautiful "martial arts" to behold when it is practiced by a lifelong student skilled in it. I'd like to think of it like a two-person Tai Chi.

Having evolved from Daito-Ryu Aiki-Jujutsu, which in turn came from classical Japanese Jujutsu, it has some interesting sword retention and draw prevention techniques, that can really nicely translate into gun retention and draw prevention. Its surprisingly systematic study of multiple opponent attack angles is pretty unique as well.

Unfortunately, many Aikidoka often spend more time practicing fantasy defenses against overhead "chops" and midline straight punches (like doing Kotegaeshi against a lunge punch - these people clearly never saw something called "boxing" before) and neglect the part of the art that can really be of some use.

python 1430:
A combination of striking and grappling is best. Don't forget weapons - particularly small blades.


May 10, 2002, 08:37 AM

I think you're right on about Aikido. I practiced for two years and stopped for various reasons, one of which was how unrealistic it seemed. Nothing against the art itself, it is quite "beautiful" as you put it. Just seemed to take waaaaayyyy too long to become proficient at actually defending yourself with it. Lots of stuff just didn't seem practical either. Good point about the straight lunge punch. Or the overhand chop. Lots of times, just to see if uke was being honest, I would simply stand there and not practice a technique (as nage) and see what would happen. Almost always, the punch/chop or whatever would go in the direction that uke knew it was supposed to go due to the subsequent technique, and miss me altogether! How practical/realistic for defense is that? Seems like practicing a technique against someone who isn't seriously trying to land the punch/kick/throw or whatever could give you a dangerously false sense of confidence.

Like I said, though, I'm not bashing the art, or the practicioners. Just didn't think it was right for me.

May 10, 2002, 10:44 AM
Certainly don't forget about the small blades. Actually I've been spending the most of my online time at bladeforums.com as I have taken up the hobby of making small blades. Another reason why I would love to get into FMA.

As far as my interest in Aikido. I guess it's almost Aiki-jutsu as I'm not really into the spiritual or "-do" part of it. The one thing I think Aikido is truly great for is evasions. Maybe it's just circular footwork? I don't know and I guess I never will because Aikido was the first martial art I took seriously and probably the last that I will attempt to become proficient at. I feel that my two years was a good introduction to the art or way and that's about it.

One thing I do feel it has helped is - along the lines of evasions - is getting a good angle for counterattack or shoot. It also helped me understand the physics or mechanics of a fall, but then again I never learned Judo. I think it would be great to be able to use a Thai elbow to the grill for a modern Irimi Nage or follow a projection with the mount.

I think a good way to look at it is Aikido is very good for a low level of force on the force continuum where a solid strike or double leg would be a little too much.

May 10, 2002, 03:04 PM
The one thing I think Aikido is truly great for is evasions. Maybe it's just circular footwork?
Absolutely! I brought that angle issue up tangentially with the multiple attackers thing. The basic concept of circular (often 45 degree angle "back leg") movement is really outstanding - simple, yet so effective.

I should also mention that because of the repetitive nature of much of Aikido training, it can build some amazing attributes - some Aikidoka I know have incredible grip and wrist strength.


May 11, 2002, 12:08 AM
Hapkido has stikes, kicks, holds, escapes. It has served in 3 street defense situations. Regardless, I am beginning to study JKD/Kali.

May 11, 2002, 09:58 AM
Hey hso, I'm thinking about taking up JKD at a local dojo that also has BJJ and kickboxing. Have you started yet? What do you think of it, if you have? Practical? Is it well rounded as far as various types of fighting?



May 14, 2002, 06:51 AM
Might I suggest Ju Jitsu? Check out the Dallas Budokai at:

Since you are in Dallas, you are in luck. This is possibly the best Ju Jitsu school around.

I studied for quite a few years. The Sensei of the school is Steve Weiss. Very traditional martial artist. He has a couple of great black belts as instructors now. Having been a police Officer now for almost 19 years, I have used more Ju Jitsu techniques on the street than I could have imagined. Joint locks, Carotid restraints, pressure points and pure grappling techniques. To me, it is the most realsitic and practical martial art for ME. Feel free to contact me if you would like more information. I cannot say enough good about it as it relates to my experiences.

May 14, 2002, 06:15 PM
As a matter of clarification, the term "Jujutsu" is vague and can mean many things to many people. Certainly, Brazilian Jujutsu is very different from Daito-Ryu Aiki-Jujutsu.


May 15, 2002, 04:04 AM
The following forms are available at Dallas Budokai:

Sangaku ryû jûjutsu, Tenshin ryû kenjutsu, Kinko ryû shakuhachi, and Shodô

May 17, 2002, 11:28 AM
I study Kuk Sool Won in Houston, TX. I think there is a Dallas dojang run by a 1st degree black belt.

It is a Korean martial art, and incorporates the tribal or family martial arts, the royal court martial arts, and some Buddhist arts, too. As such, you get to learn many weapons, and the techniques range from pressure points and joint locks to all the traditional throws, kicks, and punches.

At the high levels, you get to learn ki training, herbal medicine, accupuncture, etc.

The style is a mix between hard and soft, and does get into some grappling applications, but not to the extent that brazilian jiu jitsu does.

I like it a lot, you may find it meets your requirements. Check it out at www.kuksoolwon.com I'm sure that the local instructors will give you a few intro lessons for free so you can get a feel for the classes and style.

The grand master of Kuk Sool Won, In Hyuk Suh, lives in Houston, and many of the senior masters are in Texas. That is an incredible opportunity for the students, who can actually get to meet him.

May 17, 2002, 03:11 PM
Ah, a secret and forbidden KOREAN martial art that has nothing to do with Japanese arts whatsoever!

Before anyone raises a big flap ("unless you chanllenge first..."), I studied, worked and lived in ROK for several years. I am very well acquainted with martial arts history in ROK.


Matt Wallis
May 19, 2002, 09:16 AM
I thought we had all pretty much agreed that though heavily influenced by Japanese MA, some traditional Korean stuff did still continue to exist and become combined with JMA. For Example, Choi Hong Hi (either the founder of TKD or one of its many developers, depending on who you ask) admits that while at Tokyo U. he studied Shotokan, achieving at least a 2nd degree BB. According to his claims, TKD relies heavily on Shotokan. But he still will refer to TKD as a Korean Art because some of it's techniques do come from surviving Korean MA, supposedly many of the kicking techniques.


May 19, 2002, 01:06 PM
Matt Wallis:

I agree with you there. Alas, the Kuksoolwon website engages in the "secret Korean monk in the mountain" routine.


May 20, 2002, 02:11 AM
pretty much anything full-contact and alive (striking or grappling) will teach you what you need to know.

MMA-style arts provide a good base because they are full-contact and Alive. If you know some boxing or Muay Thai/San Da/Savate/Shootboxing for striking, you will be ahead of the game in striking. If you know some judo, wrestling, sambo, Shooto, or BJJ in the ground department, you'll be doing well in grappling. If you train to combine the two elements, you'll be doing even better.

Full-contact ( at least part of the time ) against resisting opponents (Aliveness) should be your mantra.

There is a guy I know deep in the wilds of Northern Canada who actually trains Tai Chi Chuan full contact, and does pretty well in local MMA competitions. Of course, this is the Tai Chi Chuan that is a martial art, not the moving meditation stuff. However, this kind of stuff is more the exception that the rule.

after that, add weapons that you can realistically carry, and integrate them with your empty hand . Spar as realistically ( while still being reasonably safe) as you can with weapons or weapon substitutes.

once you do that, move on to scenario drills. there are a lot of people doing scenario stuff out there, and I honestly don't know a ton about it. Find someone good and work with it.

if you can find a place that integrates emptyhand, weapons, and guns, seek it out!

May 20, 2002, 09:50 AM
The KSW website is not the best, I agree.

I just said that I liked it, and that it covers a large range of material. There's always something new to learn, which keeps it interesting and fun, while at the same time avoiding burnout.

I've seen some very silly things at open tournaments, and I think that KSW is on the 'less silly' side, especially looking at what we actually do.


May 20, 2002, 11:03 AM
Hey Rob, you post on the underground forum, don't you? your nick looks familiar.

May 25, 2002, 06:13 AM
Any Japanese karate may do good for you. Japanese karate only splitted in many forms or kinds. There are those that only give more importance to hand to hand technique and few kickings. others also has so much emphasis on kicking. Either way will do good for you.

But, learned a martial arts that has a real basic blockings, punching, kicking and throwing as these basics will be helpful to you in the long term. Not the many techniques you learn in the process of learning the arts.

For me, I combine karate, and stick fighting (arnis) and a little kendo. But am old to kick and kick now, so prefer to use my cane as my arnis.:)

May 25, 2002, 08:00 AM
In Dallas, there's a guy named Bill Sosa who runs an Aikido dojo that I've heard great things about. In the early 90s he came to some Aikido seminars in Austin and was interesting. Sosa actually wrote a book called "The Secrets of Police Aikido : Controlling Tactics Used by Law Enforcement Professionals". My experience with Aikido was very similar to that of the other posters. It was fun and somewhat spiritual. The footwork, evasion, and balance skills I learned helped when I moved on to boxing. However, some of it is unrealistic for practical self-defense.

Another Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu choice in Dallas is Machado Jiu-Jitsu, I think it's on Midway just north of Central Expressway. That's the real deal for hardcore, athletic grappling.

For practical self-defense techniques that confront the reality of real street encounters, consider buying a video from Tony Blauer (www.tonyblauer.com). He's trained cops and SWAT teams in Dallas, Austin, and all over the country.

May 25, 2002, 04:25 PM

I have no knowledge of Bill Sosa except for that very book on police-related techniques. But from what I can see on it, he is one of a handful of Aikidoka in this country who understand the niche that Aikido can really grow on - weapons retention and draw prevention - which are somethings that police officers would be really interested in.

Alas, the rest of the Aikidoka are busy defending against overhead chops and worshipping the spirit of O-Sensei.


May 25, 2002, 05:18 PM

I hear you. This thread is interesting, since several people on here had the same experience with Aikido that I did. I did it for two and a half years back in the mid-90s. You are exactly right about the kotegaeshi throw, which can be one of the more practical throws. When the uke (guy being thrown) is punching with the right hand, he has to take a big step forward with the right foot, so the nage (thrower) can use his momentum against him. Only a fool would punch like this. Some drunk guys in bars are fools, but I don't want to count on that for my self-defense. A person with some training will not lunge off-balance like that. The punching power comes more from rapid hip turn than forward motion.

The argument of the black belts is that, as you get better and better, you can do the throws against more realistic attacks. But to me, it seems as if the throws don't work unless you have absolutely perfect timing. Even after four or five years, the advanced students look pretty messy when they do drills such as randori (I think that was the name), where they had to defend against rapid attacks. Someone who's been boxing seriously for four or five years could beat them up.

In the end, I enjoyed Aikido. I like the philosophy of it, and I learned valuable lessons about balance, footwork, etc. I may take it up again some day. But I won't rely on Aikido alone for self-defense.

May 25, 2002, 10:07 PM
kote gaeshi is nice, shiho nage or any of the wrist throws are nice provided the limb and momentum are there.

my favorite is irimi nage because it defines the essence of irimi. After understanding the principle of harmony w/moving objects/energy or at least experiencing it in my case, one can easily insert any technique here to really lay into a hit. Insert elbow instead of arm and come across a little less tangentially (more perpindicular) and you have potential for great hit with little wind up as long as you remain centered and drive through.

Not trying to be esoteric, it's the only way I can explain it without a million examples. thoughts?

This kind of flow is awesome, great in bjj.
That's why I love Aikido and feel why I have a million more things to learn about it later on down the road.

May 25, 2002, 10:29 PM
Only a fool would punch like this. Clearly the traditionalists among Aikidoka haven't seen what is called a "jab."
Even after four or five years, the advanced students look pretty messy when they do drills such as randori (I think that was the name)... If you had Randori, I am assuming that you did Tomiki-style Aikido, which was very heavily influenced by Tomiki (a top student of Dr. Kano Jigoro, the Kodokan Judo founder, who was sent by Dr. Kano to learn Aikido from Ueshiba Morihei).

Aikido Randori is not really Randori. By nature, techniques used in Randori should be able to be done full force - that is not usually the case with Aikido techniques.

kote gaeshi is nice, shiho nage or any of the wrist throws are nice provided the limb and momentum are there.

my favorite is irimi nage because it defines the essence of irimi. IMO, Kote Gaeshi as a defense against a punch is worse than useless. However, it makes a wonderful techniques if somone were to try to grab your sheathed weapon from the front. In such a case, there is no need to "intercept" the wrist (a hard enough thing to do on its own) - the wrist is already there for you. Also, instead of thinking of Kote Gaeshi as a throw, it really should be thought as either a wrist dislocation or controlling technique - to prevent your opponent from grabbing your weapon or his own (later).

Irimi Nage is a beautiful and refined technique. As in Judo, Atemi-Waza is the key to make the throwing techniques work. Sadly (again), most Aikikai-affiliated Aikidoka have given up on Atemi.


May 26, 2002, 10:32 AM
Skorzeny, when I said randori I think I got the name wrong. I've been reading BJJ and judo forums lately. I studied Seidokan Aikido (www.seidokan.org) at the University of Texas Aikido Club. There's a nice chart showing the lineage at


Bill Sosa studied under Kobayashi, the founder of Seidokan, although Sosa's dojo isn't listed in the main Seidokan site.

The traditionalist argument is that, as you progress over a few years, the attacks get more realistic, and you will learn to use Aikido against a jab, cross, hook, etc. I hope to go back to Aikido and learn those techniques some day. But for defending myself on the street, I think there are more practical options.

I think the police use kote gaeshi and other Aikido techniques more as a control either in controlling a suspect or weapon retention/disarming. My dojo taught it more as a defense against an attack, where the uke was giving you the limb and momentum to work with, as Krept mentioned. The fact is, though, if your real-world opponent is dumb enough to give you those, and you are psychologically prepared for the fight, there are 500 things you can do to pound the guy. The hard part is learning to spot the opponent telegraphing his move at the instant he really commits to it. That skill really comes from sparring, which is done in only a limited form in Aikido.

To get back to the original thread topic, practical self-defense styles such as Tony Blauer's are good because they help you to detect and defuse potential fights before you have to defend yourself. If those tactics fail and you come to blows, Blauer's techniques will work better in the "oh -CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED-!!" moment of the initial attack, when you're still in a state of fear/disbelief, and your timing and dexterity are 20% of what they are in the calm confines of the dojo.

Hours of practice with irimi nage, kokyu nage, and other throws helped me to learn to sidestep in boxing. Beginner boxers do tend to lunge forward and put their weight into punches, so it's easier to make them over-extend and lose their balance. The principles of balance are the same in any martial art or boxing. It's actually fun to play with my boxing buddies (with their agreement), trying to mimic an Aikido type of move when wearing boxing gloves and headgear. Irimi nage is a good example. You can do a sort of kote gaeshi move if the guy tries to do a big haymaker which gets him off balance. Kokyu nage can work sometimes, since it doesn't require a wrist hold.

May 26, 2002, 04:30 PM

From your initial post it looks like you are interested in augmenting your ability to defend yourself thru the study of a martial art. You state that you're not interested in a "quick fix seminar". I would suggest that an appropriate short course would be a very sound investment. Most martial arts do not integrate with defensive gunhandling very well.

Several of the better training schools offer unarmed programs that dovetail with their armed training programs. Three that come to mind are:

Insights Training Center (www.insightstraining.com)

Options for Personal Security (www.optionsforpersonalsecurity.com)

Tactical Defense Institute (www.tdiohio.com)

Any of these weekend courses would give you an immense "legup" in defensive capability, Right Now, as opposed to the longterm commitment of martial arts. I'm not saying that studying martial arts is bad, far from it. I just think that having a "quick and dirty" response preprogrammed immediately is a good thing which can be built upon, modified, or even discarded after you've spent enough time with your chosen martial art to develop a sufficient skill level in that martial art.

Both Insights and OPS travel through Texas regularly.

I've got no issues with longterm study of the martial arts, but I beleive that a well-designed unarmed course, like those listed above, provide you with a higher level of usuable skill in a more compressed timeframe than you generally get from the martial arts.

May 27, 2002, 12:55 AM
yeah, I'm on the Underground. You go there often?

I'm spending more of my time looking at the QnA's on the UG and the OG than the UG these days.

May 27, 2002, 04:31 PM
Used to go around there, maybe once every couple of months ago. Been around since before there was an OG, got tired of enforcing the "gotta have a pic on the threads with 'hottie' in the title" rule and ended up here and on bladeforums.com

I'm actually surprised with the knowledge that some people have of mma both here and on bladeforums. Makes for good discussions with much less trolling

May 27, 2002, 11:33 PM
Krept, you're ignoring the OG at your own peril. Sure, The Firing Line and Bladeforums are great, but they just tell you about fighting the average dirtbag on the street. The OG, on the other hand, has a huge thread right now called "Zombie Battle Plan," with almost two hundred posts on the best tactics in case zombies ever start coming out of the ground en masse. This threat is sadly ignored on all other forums, as far as I can tell.

May 31, 2002, 01:00 PM
Vale Tudo (focused mainly on Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai)

While I do not have experience with any other MA, it is my impression that one becomes effective very rapidly. Many others that I train with feel the same, and many of them have experience in other MAs.

With 18 months of training, I have made short work of several Taekwondo black belts. Perhaps that is not saying much to those of you that are more seasoned, but I am more than happy with the skills that I have learned.

My $.02.

June 1, 2002, 11:31 AM
Well my favorite is Arnis de Mano or Escrima its also known in the states as the filipino fighting sticks, i hold the rank of lakamanim or its equivalent of sixth dan, its very formidable technique that even the us special forces have incorporated it in their training and has been a part of jeet kun do for quite some time. The advantage of arnis is the fact that you develop speed and since the sticks moves faster the arms and hand when your facing an unarmed opponent it easier to see his movement. And another thing arnis de mano techniques can be used without sticks.:D ive also studied aikido, judo, shorin ryu karate and kendo

June 5, 2002, 11:03 PM
Hello Everyone,

Just thought I'd give all of you an update.

Went to observe a Shotokan Karate class at a local activity center, but was turned off by all the kids in the class. When I was about to leave I saw someone in a different style of uniform. So I asked what their class was. It turns out it is a Modern Arnis class taught by a local guy who does it part time for enjoyment. He really loves the art and does not teach children. He only charges $20 a month so I figured I couldn't miss by at least observing a class. Wow! I was overwhelmed!

Wonderful art! Extremely combat oriented!

Well I've taken three sessions now and I'm hooked!

Any thoughts on Modern Arnis?

- Anthony

June 12, 2002, 04:30 AM
Well the Modern Arnis, Escrima and Arnis de Mano are generally the same it a wonderful and dangerousart use by the early filipinos for fighting using Kris instead of sticks, after the spanish occupation the spaniards prohibited the used of the kris the filipinos substituted sticks with almost the same effectiveness thus the arnis was born. As ive said earlier even the us special forces are incorporating it in their hand to hand combat regimen since arnis is effective even without the use of the sticks even bruce lee who is well known for his use of nunchucks incorporated it and is now part of JKD. At the moment we the the practitioners of the different variation of arnis are trying to standardize and develop the the best technique from the different schools cause arnis is a very diverse technique it even includes the use of balisong(butterfly knife)

June 12, 2002, 10:16 PM
Guro Dan Inosanto has been instrumental in integrating Filippino martial arts into Jeet Kune Do Concepts.


June 13, 2002, 09:38 AM
When I was in High School (2nd year) was my first introduction to the Martial Arts World. I don't know so much style name, but my instructor told us that his style is WADO RYU. A branch of Japanese Karate. Then, he incorporates Hapkido. This kind of martial arts are the one that taught me the basic and until now it is the kind that I depend on.

In my college days, I was introduced to the Fighting Stick (Arnis) and also Judo. But still my WADO Ryu is the martial art that moulded me.

Why I like my WADO Ryu, it is more on counter offensive. I let my opponent strike me first then, I can apply a better defense followed of my offensive move. Although it is against of the philosophy that the better defense is to make an offensive move first.

June 14, 2002, 10:17 PM
What about "Small Circle Jujitsu"? I currently am training in "American Combat Jujitsu". Which was founded by Prof. Tony Maynard, who studied under Prof. Wally Jay. The founder of "Small circle Jujitsu". Just thought that Prof. Jay needed mentioning here. He is quite an impressive man if you have the honor of meeting him or attend his seminars.