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Old March 24, 2001, 01:07 PM   #1
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I'm pretty conflicted about how I started out. my first formal training was in a Chung Do Kwan TKD. to make a long story short, I spent years in that school, achieved a certain amount of satisfaction and recognition in our insulated circle, and went on to get my a** reasonably kicked when I started working out with people from other schools, in other words, people who weren't just stand-up fighters at arm's length. I suppose I knew then how people felt when someone suggested the earth wasn't the center of the universe. talk about an eye opening experience. although I could never say it like this to my peers from that old school, many of whom are still close friends, they really are kidding themselves if they think they're prepared for I know is out there, in other styles.

not to say those were wasted years, not at all. just that I think it would serve a lot of people well if they could clarify for themselves what they think they're doing, and towards what purpose. sport v combat v whatever, etc.

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Old March 24, 2001, 03:34 PM   #2
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I started out in kodokan judo. I still use some of the techniques, but I moved into more striking orientated skills after I became a peace officer. For me, judo was a good introduction to martial skills, and I would reccomend it to anyone who wants to get their feet wet in unarmed combat.

"The Father wove the skein of your life a long time ago. Go and hide in a hole if you wish, but you won't live one instant longer."
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Old March 25, 2001, 08:49 AM   #3
Ken Cook
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Isshyn Ryu when I was 13.
My opinion of it now?
It looks nice in the dojo.

The one thing that still carries over are the physiological factors. (i.e. chambering for a kick, what part of the fist to punch with, etc...) The rest was "sport karate."
On Target Indoor Firing Range
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Semper Fi and Molon Labe!
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Old March 25, 2001, 11:14 PM   #4
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Started off in TKD. Spent several years there. Now I'm into Aikido. TKD seems much more flashy and superficial than it did at the time. Alot of the things we were told in TKD just don't bear up in the light of experience and other arts. Live and learn.
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Old March 26, 2001, 10:02 PM   #5
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M.A. Schools?

Started in old style jiujitsu.
Moved to soCal and traded time for training in Kempo karate. I was told that jiujitsu was outdated and two of the blackbelts showed me that their way worked....STupid me, I fell for the throw a punch at my face routine so of course their stuff worked. STayed seven years in kempo and goju-ryu, and shotokan. Did really good in tournaments.
Met Bruce Lee in the mid-60's, he was the only one who could hit me at will after he called the hit and which limb he was going to hit me with then do it in a matter of seconds.
I went through some mental gymnastics about how I wasted my time in pursuing all these martial arts and being told how great their school was when one individual could tear me apart.
I learned a little while from Bruce, but I joined up to spend a tour in southeast Asia care of Uncle Sam. I did what he suggested during that time..."discard what is not useful to you and keep what you can simply and effeciently apply."
I lived with that, came back to the states and tried what I kept against TKD, HKD, JKD, judo, kickboxing, contact martial arts, Shoriniji Kempo, etc.., etc...and I am quite happy...I got to the point that others asked me to teach them...I formed up a club and have taught some 500 individuals in self-defense classes and am happy to report that many have successfully defended themselves.
My biggest challenge now is teaching my daughter who is 14 years old and she has already had to defend herself against larger and more experienced individuals several times and she has won. I hope she will continue....I do not teach formally with her...we wrestle and box every night when we roughhouse...she's getting pretty good.

My personal challenge at age 52 is to learn the art of gunfoo...I have just begun to learn the use of handguns for self-defense...I prefer long guns, but they don't conceal as easily.
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Old March 28, 2001, 08:28 PM   #6
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I began training with Stephen Hayes in '94, while he still operated from "the barn". Since he had written all the books, (and had been inducted into the MA Hall of Fame) he had to be the best, right?

It took me a long while to let go of some of the things I had learned badly while in Steve's dojo (only 6 months). I estimate a year and a half, but it may have taken me longer. It would have been easier not to have been training at all, than to learn the wrong thing, then work to clear it out.

I currently train with John Orth in Lawrenceville. If I ever become anything close to the teacher and artist he is now, I will count myself happy.

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Old March 28, 2001, 09:26 PM   #7
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I started out learning Shuai Chiao from my uncles around age 8. At age 15, I started training under their teacher. Mostly in Shuai Chiao and Hsing I, but some Tai Chi Chen as well. So far it has served me well, and I feel lucky to get able to train under a highly skilled master from the "old school".
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Old March 29, 2001, 08:38 PM   #8
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I started out at the age of 11 in TKD. And looking back, it was good for a kid to play with and learn some discipline. But it was nothing that would hold to the real world. I soon met up with a student of Stephen Hayes, who I trained with for about a year. Thought that I learned alot, but in reality, not the case. Then a form of Kenpo called Saie Khan for a couple years. I did well in that. Competition went well. But again, still sport stuff. Then I got into the good stuff. I got into Muay Thai. That really stuck with me. Found a home in my soul! Did well competing. But definately not Lumpini champ material. Still doing muay thai as part of my every day workout now. I picked up Kali about 5 years ago. And loved that too!! After training thai for a while, I became really discriminating in what I would study next. And kali is a perfect fit. I then came into brazilian jiu jitsu. I studied kali and bjj concurrently for quite a while. then only bjj under an instructor. Of which I am still studying. My instructor, is also my business partner, and room mate. He is a bjj 5th deg bb from Brazil. We have a fight school in Atanta, and one in Brazil. We teach thai and bjj. But we also do gunfoo! to use the words from the gentleman above! My partners brother is the owner of Taurus firearms. So naturally, we have a good gunfoo training regimen and support. We currently train some rather prolific no holds barred fighters. Who we learn just as much from in heart and attitude. I have learned, never stop learning. And finding what works for YOU. Good to see so many students on the forum.
Open Mind, Closed Fist
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Old March 30, 2001, 08:12 AM   #9
Matt Wallis
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Hey Everybody,

I started my first serious martial training in... (surprise, surprise!) TKD. It was a slightly more traditional form of it, being in the ITF. No tournaments and no competition sparring. I finally achieved a 1st Dan and since then have had to quit due to moving and a lack of funds for monthly payments.

My critique of it now looking back is that they taught me how to punch and kick really hard. Those are good skills to have IMHO. However, I didn't learn much else. Though the schools I was at avoided the "sport" aspects of olympic TKD, they swung too far in the other direction with almost no sparring at all! I find this to be a tremendous hole in my training and readiness, especially since (and I hang my head in shame) I've never been able to do any full contact training. Also there was a distinct lack of emphasis on moving and footwork. Like I said, I basically learned to punch and kick hard.

Lately I've been a part of the growing movement to resurrect and practice Medieval/Renaissance arts as a martial art (NOT a re-enactment group and NO roleplaying!). I've been focusing on medieval longsword (hand and a half) and am just starting (as of this week!) to toy with some Medieval grappling techniques. The best thing I've learned from these arts is some fighting strategy (which I was never taught in TKD), footwork and some cool training principles (such as sparring in a variety of manners and cross training with people of different styles).

In the future? I'll be staying with the longsword study group I have and looking for a martial arts school where I can do some full contact fighting. Hopefully I can even find a place that teaches something from the western tradition.

Best Regards,
Matt Wallis
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