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Martial Arts
Old 06-20-2008, 11:21 AM   #1
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Martial Arts

Thought I'd start a designated MA thread for the few of us who are interested.

My primary art is Aikido. I've been studying continuously several days a week for 20 yrs. I also teach at my own small dojo.

I like it a lot. It has enough physicality to satisfy my excercise needs, but isn't primarily dependent on physical ability so I can train into my dotage; it's fairly benign on the body so I don't end up injured; it's quite difficult so I haven't got near the point of feeling like there is nothing left to learn; I really like the philosophical/spiritual aspects; there are dojos all over the world so when I travel it is a great way to meet local people and experience local culture with them; I think it is an effective self-defense form, but that is about last on my list of priorities.
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Old 06-20-2008, 11:23 AM   #2
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Is this "Matial arts" thread about marital arts or martial arts?

OK, never mind. Same thing...
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Old 06-20-2008, 11:38 AM   #3
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Sorry. Meant marital arts. Any way to edit thread titles?
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Old 06-20-2008, 11:42 AM   #4
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Done.
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Old 06-20-2008, 07:15 PM   #5
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Domo arigato gozaimashita.
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Old 06-20-2008, 07:20 PM   #6
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Sorry. Meant marital arts. Any way to edit thread titles?
Now I am so confused.
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Old 06-20-2008, 07:22 PM   #7
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Now I am so confused.
Welcome to my life
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Old 06-20-2008, 08:10 PM   #8
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Taekwondo, just over four years. Hopefully I'll be ready for the black belt test next January.

I didn't know it when I started taekwondo, but three years before that I'd torn both ACLs practicing judo throws. About two years into taekwondo (and several re-sprains of the remaining ligaments) I finally had two MRIs and got the diagnosis. I've spent about a year of those four years in recovery or physical therapy, but orthopedic knee braces will keep me going until I have ACL reconstruction in late 2010.

Taekwondo has dramatically improved my strength, balance, reflexes, & coordination. It also finally got me to figure out what was wrong with my knees and to fix a few other bad posture/stretching habits that would've otherwise become much worse. It's helped me to get into the best physical & mental condition of my life.

No weapons are used, but it's one of the few full-contact martial arts (using pads) and an Olympic sport. So along with the physical & mental challenges there's also competition, conspiracy, racketeering, and political intrigue. And that's just the men's divisions.

I can do the forms for the rest of my life (as well as teaching) but now I completely understand why very few people keep sparring past their 40s.

It's also turned out to be a wonderful father-daughter activity. I can keep doing it with her through the rest of her high school (another two years) but I don't know if I'll continue past that. There's nothing quite like the feeling of parental pride when your kid manages to beat the crap out of you...
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Old 06-20-2008, 08:30 PM   #9
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My primary art is Tae Kwon Do. I've been training around eight years, though that was broken down into 3 years from '96-'99, then started up again in '03. I've been a black belt for the last four years. I'll probably be testing for my third dan in another five months. I'm not a tournament guy like Nords; we don't really do Olympic-style point sparring, it is more like kickboxing. But the main point is training, teaching, and refining techniques. I teach three classes per week and take two classes per week.

Next up is Hapkido. I've been training regularly for 4 years or so. I'll probably be taking my 2nd dan test later in the year. Since Hapkido is a very eclectic art, the style we practice is more heavily influenced by Judo than anything else. We also mix some Kali into our Hapkido.

Thirdly is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I'm not sure I'd consider it a martial art, at least where I train. There is no "do" or "tao" or "way" to it, so it really is just a fun sport that has some crossover into martial arts. I'm a blue belt, and have been training two years now. I've been training twice per week with gi (uniform), once per week no-gi (shorts & t-shirt).

I've had a little bit of Kali, enough to do some drills and disarms and such. Single stick, double stick, knife. But I haven't really regularly trained that. Oh, and I had a couple of months of Shotokan karate 12 years back, but that doesn't really count.

A group of us go to my instructor's instructor's school every year, who is a ninth dan in Hapkido (highest ranked non-Asian). The seminars are fun, and it is kind of neat to train with slightly different styles; some are primarily Hapkido, while others are Aikido and Judo. The instructor holds rank in Aikido, but he always makes self-deprecating jokes about how he just can't quite embrace the peace, love, and harmony of Aikido. He'll show an Aikido-style technique, but then can't resist finishing them off with a punch. ;-) I like the way the Aikido practictioners train, though, with a heavy emphasis on balance and energy. I read an Aikido book once that had a quote that I found really funny: "Aikido is the art of hitting people with planets". I just chuckled at that one.
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Old 06-21-2008, 06:14 AM   #10
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Started out with Tang Soo Do Karate in the mid 1970, about 4 or 5 years, made it to brown belt. Then moved, for about six months traveled 2 hr round trip to Dojo twice a week.

Looked around to find a new home, for workouts. One day saw neighbors' teenagers practicing in their front yard, so I asked to see their class.

Asking the instructor's permission to watch the class. I sat in amazement for the better part of 2 hrs ( a typical class), near the end the instructor said; I see you are still here,, most people leave after 20 or 30 minutes.
I said no, I could not leave, in fact can I come back and join the class. He said sure.
Next class the owner of the school and his #1 asked some questions then let me on to the mat.

I had arrived at Hakkoryu Ju Jutsu. For ten years or so under the not so gentle tutelage of the late Michael De Pasquale Sr. Shihan Soke Sensei, and his then #1 Doc Cohe Shihan who taught the finesse part. Along the way learned Hepi Ryu, a system of short bo, yawara ( short stick slighly larger then fist, or in a pinch a pencil or pen) walking cane and police baton, learned and progressed, eventually to shodan rank.

Later the school split off from Hakkoryu, then some other changes came and then cuntinued with Tsugi Ashi Do, as taught by Doc Cohe, Shihan Soke Sensei. The key in all this is the footwork, to avoid and yet be close enough for effective counter. So we block with our feet by stepping. A strange concept to most. I think Aikido practicioners understand.

In between I had moved sevaral times, two years ago retired, now 6 hours drive to attend classes, very occasionally. Though I still spend 2 hours 2 times a week going through all the forms amd tachniques, including taking falls, rolls for recovery from locks and throws. The closest in systems is Aikido, since Hakkoryu is traceble back to Ueshiba.
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Old 06-21-2008, 10:28 AM   #11
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Aikido training runs the gamut from crystals and soul drumming dance practice to what you see in Krav Maga to disarm an armed opponent. My training is practical, effective pretty hard core Aikido with a lot of atemi.

I train with several former military guys. One in particular is a former Army Ranger. Sprained my wrist striking him full force in the solar plexus a couple of weeks ago (I was the attacker, he left an opening). Later in class he attacked me staight to my face and I clipped him with an elbow atemi to the eye that was meant as a distraction but I misjudged the distance. Dropped him cold to the mat. Peace and love, welcome to planet earth!
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Old 06-21-2008, 10:44 AM   #12
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If I may: Once this thread gets past a few rounds "my kung fu is better than your kung fu" the moderator should close thread.
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Old 06-21-2008, 11:14 AM   #13
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If I may: Once this thread gets past a few rounds "my kung fu is better than your kung fu" the moderator should close thread.
I doubt that'll happen, at least among those who've posted here so far. The whole study of body mechanics is fascinating to me. I find different arts fascinating as well. There are a wide variety of ways in which you can move your body (and your opponent's), but there are a lot of similarities. I try to look for movements that are similar to what I do, but when done by people in other arts there are often subtle variations. Then the interesting thing is learning why they are doing it that way. The judo people have a different perspective and move their bodies in a different way than many of the Aikido people.

There isn't much that I wouldn't at least be interested in learning more about. Some of what I've read about the Ki-Aikido folks seems a little bit more "out there" than I want to go. But as far as I'm concerned it is all about learning and coming to a more complete understanding of yourself.

Maybe we should have a martial arts symposium, get together for a few days of training with each other. (Half joking, but it would be cool.)
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Old 06-21-2008, 01:20 PM   #14
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If I may: Once this thread gets past a few rounds "my kung fu is better than your kung fu" the moderator should close thread.
I hope it doesn't come to that. We're all trying to figure out which martial arts to move to as we get older, and I've learned that it's not the martial art that makes the difference-- it's the instructor and the enjoyment. In about 50 years we'll all end up shuffling into a big local park at dawn to practice our tai chi...

However I think that tournament "mixed martial arts" is doing for martial arts what "professional wresting" is doing for the real professional wrestlers. I'm looking forward to recording a lot of good taekwondo and judo during the summer Olympics, too.
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Old 06-21-2008, 02:15 PM   #15
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I agree with Kronk. There are a variety of ways of moving and being moved. And yet the human body hasn't changed over the millenia. There are only so many bones, joints, vital points, etc. The most effective ways to attack, lever, separate, seal, etc have been studied extensively in real situations over centuries, probably longer. The variations are fascinating. There is so much to learn from each other. There are many areas that just have to overlap because, for example, how many ways are there to bend your opponent's wrist in order to take away a knife? I see the technique we call kotegaeshi in almost every art. I am a perpetual student and my skill is very insufficient. I admit most everyone is better. No problems from me.
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Old 06-21-2008, 04:58 PM   #16
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I am addicted to MMA. I watch it on tv several times a week.
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Old 06-21-2008, 05:02 PM   #17
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I am addicted to MMA. I watch it on tv several times a week.
Jeff
Are you watching the Ultimate Fighter Finals tonight at 9 pm eastern on Spike TV?

The card appears to be real good.

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Old 06-21-2008, 06:21 PM   #18
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Yes.
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Old 06-22-2008, 07:25 AM   #19
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In about 50 years we'll all end up shuffling into a big local park at dawn to practice our tai chi...
Aye, as the late Sid Austin from New Jersey has often demonstrated, Tai Chi is a fight. Though to the casual observer it is very well camouflaged. .I had the chance to watch him demonstrate a few times.
It too is a form that takes tens of years to get a good understanding of.

Being 60, I don't think I have 50 years of mobility left, let alone being graceful about it. Maybe I better get going with it, assuming I could find an instructor,in reasonable travel, who understands where the blocks begin and counters start. The one I know who does is over 6 hours drive away.
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Old 06-22-2008, 10:29 AM   #20
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While less common than the Yang Family style, Chen style Tai Chi Chuan is very openly martial. I had the chance to practice a little with Master Hsu, who unfortunately for me, moved to Taiwan. It's not what you'd see at the Senior Center, not that there is anything wrong with that. I would like to learn more of this if I get the chance someday.
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