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  • Martial Arts?

    Hello,

    I have recently taken up the Japanese martial art of Jiu-jitsu and I'd just like to say it has been a very good experience and share with you some of my growing opinions on this.

    The reason I have not been on ACG lately is because I had quite a bad time last summer- I don't want to use the term breakdown as it seems a bit over-the-top but it was a little bad all the same; a brief course of counselling and some help with the happy chemicals in my head have been necessary.

    But I believe I owe a lot of my continuing to sort myself out to taking up a martial art. (Starting with Jiu-jitsu before Christmas I've since started Wing Chun Kung-Fu and am trying out Karate and soon plan to take a taster session in Aikedo) - Now, I used to be unfit following a heart problem back in the summer of '08 after which what little exercise I did do (one or two poor sessions of fencing a week on top of a bad diet) was cancelled - I still have trouble running the lengths of the sports hall for long when I used to run a mile in my teens and was ok. But in terms of Mens sana in corpore sano I'm probably better than I've been in a while - still dealing with things but I feel that the continued membership of a friendly but active club really helps that.

    Physically, technically, it's very interesting to learn the biomechanics employed in Jiu-Jitsu - bending arms the wrong way and the leverage use and so on is fascinating but it also helps you feel self-confident and exercise gets the good-feeling enzymes a-flowing.

    But also, martial arts can be very useful; I am very keen to see them taught to young people, especially women, for self defence purposes (at the University where I'm doing research the Athletic Union had a bit of a scandal last year about sexual abuse cultures potentially arising in certain sports-teams. Ideally of course that would not happen and measures can be taken to prevent that, but a fail-safe would still be a good idea, so the AU has recently fielded the idea of teaching the Cheerleaders, Women's Hockey etc. self-defence classes, and making them also available for all females in the University, for free.

    Also there was recently a spate of locals, a particular gang of three I believe, who were mugging students for their laptops and cell phones. I'm not saying martial arts will teach you to take on three guys at once, or just one guy with a knife even, and the best thing to do is often run. But still, in some scenarios where you cannot run or whatever then you should know how to defend yourself.

    The philosophy that seems to go with this is interesting to me. If I am asttacked and cannot flee then, or witness something like that happening; I am not going to want to rely on a security guard or policeman who could be a long way away to get to me before I am injured. As a sovereign human person Iw ant to be able to use the force I (not the rules, which are arbitrary and often impractical) dictate are necessary because otherwise my life has been calculated in value by the state. Judged by 12 rather than carried by 6 and all that. And, seeing as you're not allowed to carry a weapon for any such purpose in this state, martial arts seems to be a way of taking efforts towards this aim. (though having said that, you can improvise any tool into an offensive weapon really - http://youtu.be/I0Kr0EsIJ78 )

    So I am wondering, what are your experiences of martial arts, if you have found them good exercise or useful if someone has tried to mug you, or what have you. I know that the USMC and other units do use self-defence/close-quarters techniques, often made as composite arts from different traditions, and so presume many of you who served and do so still, would have been taught some of these. The benefits for morale and unit cohesion, and personal-discipline for armed forces personnel, seem well worth it.

    Thank-you for reading, kind regards.
    ------
    'I would rather be exposed to the inconveniencies attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it.' - Thomas Jefferson

    If you have questions about the forum please check the FAQ/Rules

  • #2
    "Stand for the flag ~ Kneel for the fallen"

    "A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer." ~ Bruce Lee

    Comment


    • #3


      One of my favorites...

      Credo quia absurdum.


      Quantum mechanics describes nature as absurd from the point of view of common sense. And yet it fully agrees with experiment. So I hope you can accept nature as She is - absurd! - Richard Feynman

      Comment


      • #4
        I used to compete in Brazilian Ju Jitsu and Vale Tudo many years ago. Also used to teach Ju Jitsu when I lived in Scotland. Have dabbled in Karate, Wing Chun and Kick boxing.

        Martial Arts are a great sport requiring very high levels of fitness. Obviously useful for self defense and especially self confidence. Only time I had to use it outside the ring was against two drunken youths from Liverpool who couldn't take a hint.
        "To be free is better than to be unfree - always."

        Comment


        • #5
          I trained in submission wrestling\bjj for a while until I could not find anyone to split the travel cost (the closest school is 45-60 miles away). I had taken Shotokan karate earlier and may go back to it as it is available 15 miles away from where I live. I just really enjoyed the thinking\setup involved in submission wrestling much more than I enjoyed karate

          “Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.” -- Albert Einstein

          The US Constitution doesn't need to be rewritten it needs to be reread

          Comment


          • #6
            My experience in martial arts serves three interlocked purposes - fitness, which is the most superficial; self defense; and spiritual growth, which is the deepest level of practice and the longest in developing.

            I took karate as a kid and made it to 2nd kyu or brown belt. My dojo required a high degree of fitness and taught competition and sportsmanship. As a system of defense, it was okay, teaching basic strikes and kicks, distance and timing, and blocks. I also learned some of the weapons, bo staff, sai, and nunchuku.

            Then, I took Aikido as a teen into my 20's, also attaining 2nd kyu. I practiced Aikikai, which was considered a "hard" style. "Soft" styles, like Ki Society, use cooperative opponents and focus more on Ki and spiritual development. In a "hard" style, it was more physical and your partner would resist your technique, forcing you to do it correctly or it wouldn't work. Sempai (higher grade students) would really throw you, forcing you to employ good falling or rolling techniques. As a defense art, it had a very long learning curve. Unlike karate, in which you had practical fighting techniques right away, Aikido takes years to master and could take many months before you had anything that you could use in a conflict. The most valuable things that I learned were distance, timing, body angle, and pressure, which apply to any confrontation. I use this in Kendo a lot and am able to wait until an opponent commits before I parry or step off of the line with a counterattack. The weapons practice in Aikido was also really valuable with the jo staff, bokken, and tanto.

            One of my favorite stories with Moriyama Sensei was how, when I made 4th kyu or yellow belt, he called me up. "Onegaishimasu!" I yelled and he employed a Koshinage or hip throw on me. It was like a truck hit me as I slammed into the ground. I had to just lay there for a bit until he pulled me up.

            "You're Yonkyu now, Alice. You don't get babied anymore."

            I have fenced for more than 20 years now, foil, epee, and sabre. Fencing is probably more sport than actual combat, but it also teaches distance, timing, tempo, initiative, and "ring generalship." To me, it's "physical chess" where tactics count for as much as technique. I've been able to outwit or outmaneuver technically or physically superior opponents. I've been fortunate to have had three French maitre d'armes d'escrimes and one Italian Maestro instruct me over the years.

            One of my favorite stories here was my first bout with my first maitre. I had taken a year of lessons before he offered me a bout. He had previously fixed my guard position by whacking my elbow black and blue. In the bout, he was way up, probably 7 or 8 touches to 0. Finally, he launched an attack and I just saw the bottom of his wrist and popped my blade into it, parried his elbow cut and delivered a clean banderole down his chest. He pulled off his mask, eyes huge and mouth open. Then, he just laughed. "Tres bien, Aleeze! Tres bien!"

            Now I take Kendo and Iaido, which is almost entirely impractical for actual defense. I like the combination of physical and competitive with spiritual. Kendo is probably the most aerobic art that I have taken. A five minute bout is utterly exhausting in armor. It also has an excellent mix of tactics and technique. I am a somewhat more defensive fighter, thanks to Aikido, and like to lure opponents into traps and off balance attacks. Oddly, the learning curve is quick and one can be competitive within a year or two. I am currently 3rd Dan, but there is a huge gulf between that and 6th, 7th, or 8th Dan. I can often hold my own with more experienced opponents though based on speed and tactics.

            Iaido has no opponent and focuses on precision, posture, and spiritual growth. Like Aikido, minor errors in technique equate to failure of the entire waza. We have done tameshigiri, which is practice cutting with a sharpened sword and poor technique sometimes means getting your blade stuck in the target or possibly even bending or chipping the blade. I've been practicing kumitachi for about a year now, which is controlled sparring with bokken at full speed with full powered cuts. I requires exceptional blade control or te no uchi where cuts are placed on target, stopping less than an inch from the target. This art does has a long learning curve for mastery due to the level of precision that is involved. I am into my eight year and am 2nd Dan.
            TTFN

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Selous View Post
              Hello,

              I have recently taken up the Japanese martial art of Jiu-jitsu and I'd just like to say it has been a very good experience and share with you some of my growing opinions on this.

              The reason I have not been on ACG lately is because I had quite a bad time last summer- I don't want to use the term breakdown as it seems a bit over-the-top but it was a little bad all the same; a brief course of counselling and some help with the happy chemicals in my head have been necessary.

              But I believe I owe a lot of my continuing to sort myself out to taking up a martial art. (Starting with Jiu-jitsu before Christmas I've since started Wing Chun Kung-Fu and am trying out Karate and soon plan to take a taster session in Aikedo) - Now, I used to be unfit following a heart problem back in the summer of '08 after which what little exercise I did do (one or two poor sessions of fencing a week on top of a bad diet) was cancelled - I still have trouble running the lengths of the sports hall for long when I used to run a mile in my teens and was ok. But in terms of Mens sana in corpore sano I'm probably better than I've been in a while - still dealing with things but I feel that the continued membership of a friendly but active club really helps that.

              Physically, technically, it's very interesting to learn the biomechanics employed in Jiu-Jitsu - bending arms the wrong way and the leverage use and so on is fascinating but it also helps you feel self-confident and exercise gets the good-feeling enzymes a-flowing.

              But also, martial arts can be very useful; I am very keen to see them taught to young people, especially women, for self defence purposes (at the University where I'm doing research the Athletic Union had a bit of a scandal last year about sexual abuse cultures potentially arising in certain sports-teams. Ideally of course that would not happen and measures can be taken to prevent that, but a fail-safe would still be a good idea, so the AU has recently fielded the idea of teaching the Cheerleaders, Women's Hockey etc. self-defence classes, and making them also available for all females in the University, for free.

              Also there was recently a spate of locals, a particular gang of three I believe, who were mugging students for their laptops and cell phones. I'm not saying martial arts will teach you to take on three guys at once, or just one guy with a knife even, and the best thing to do is often run. But still, in some scenarios where you cannot run or whatever then you should know how to defend yourself.

              The philosophy that seems to go with this is interesting to me. If I am asttacked and cannot flee then, or witness something like that happening; I am not going to want to rely on a security guard or policeman who could be a long way away to get to me before I am injured. As a sovereign human person Iw ant to be able to use the force I (not the rules, which are arbitrary and often impractical) dictate are necessary because otherwise my life has been calculated in value by the state. Judged by 12 rather than carried by 6 and all that. And, seeing as you're not allowed to carry a weapon for any such purpose in this state, martial arts seems to be a way of taking efforts towards this aim. (though having said that, you can improvise any tool into an offensive weapon really - http://youtu.be/I0Kr0EsIJ78 )

              So I am wondering, what are your experiences of martial arts, if you have found them good exercise or useful if someone has tried to mug you, or what have you. I know that the USMC and other units do use self-defence/close-quarters techniques, often made as composite arts from different traditions, and so presume many of you who served and do so still, would have been taught some of these. The benefits for morale and unit cohesion, and personal-discipline for armed forces personnel, seem well worth it.

              Thank-you for reading, kind regards.
              Sorry to here about your problems. I've had a couple of brushes with depression. It isn't a fun way of pasing the time. Glad to here your feeling better.

              Martial arts? Well, I'm not a great believer in them in themselves as a fighting skill in the real world. The important things they seem to teach are self confidence and self control. As a practical fighting skill though they can be misleading as you have to be quite far along before you get past the standard defence to a standard attack. Real life tends to not be that cooperative.

              But persevere if its giving you pleasure. Interestingly enough it might improve your fencing. There's a lot of elements that should be mutually supporting foot work and stamina if nothing else then theres the man v man element. You should find that it gets easier to read your opponents intentions.

              I got taught to fight by an ex bare knuckle boxer I wouldn't really call it an art. If it is an art then its by Jackson bleeding Pollock.
              "Sometimes its better to light a flamethrower than to curse the darkness" T Pratchett

              Comment


              • #8
                I'd love to comment on everyone's other posts but I'd imagine that would be either lots of very tedious posts on my part, or a very long one - neither of which would be good!

                Originally posted by DP
                Sorry to here about your problems. I've had a couple of brushes with depression. It isn't a fun way of pasing the time. Glad to here your feeling better.
                Thanks pal


                Martial arts? Well, I'm not a great believer in them in themselves as a fighting skill in the real world. The important things they seem to teach are self confidence and self control. As a practical fighting skill though they can be misleading as you have to be quite far along before you get past the standard defence to a standard attack. Real life tends to not be that cooperative.
                Indeed, I thinkit can be dangerous to be at say, the low level I am at, (first graded belt only in Jujitsu) or even a little higher, and thinking that it'll all work on the street. In fairness to my teacher he always tries to show us what you'd do against how someone would normally attack, not just the set karate-like punches and kicks, but haymakers, elbows and etc. But as you say, it all seems best for confidence and, also, general fitness too.

                But persevere if its giving you pleasure. Interestingly enough it might improve your fencing. There's a lot of elements that should be mutually supporting foot work and stamina if nothing else then theres the man v man element. You should find that it gets easier to read your opponents intentions.
                Exactly that! though the other way round - I really went off fencing as an olympic sport (I'd love to the historical kind but there's no clubs near me and my longsword stuff is alll based on manuals and video :/ ) - but I started doing it again to get me better at Ju-Jitsu for those things you say! Especially that man v man element - In jujitsu, even in circle work, it's all more set wheras in fencing it's an actual competition against another person. That for me is it's chief value now - supporting Jujitsu, same with Wing-Chun - it helps fill in a couple of the gaps in Jujitsu and helps me learn coordination and quickness.

                I got taught to fight by an ex bare knuckle boxer I wouldn't really call it an art. If it is an art then its by Jackson bleeding Pollock.
                ! like it!
                I suppose fighting, like big-scale war, is neither a true art or a science (esp. not a science) though the terms Martial Arts and 'The Sweet Science' of Boxing are quite common
                .
                ------
                'I would rather be exposed to the inconveniencies attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it.' - Thomas Jefferson

                If you have questions about the forum please check the FAQ/Rules

                Comment


                • #9
                  Selous,
                  You may find this earlier thread of interest.
                  BoRG

                  You may not be interested in War, but War is interested in You - Leon Trotski, June 1919.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks Major, I am perusing it,

                    I just got back from Karate - the Katas are long and I have terrible memory, I always struggle and end up putting my wrong fist forward or wrong leg. I wonder if there's a method, other than repetition, perhaps a psychological trick, to getting it right?
                    ------
                    'I would rather be exposed to the inconveniencies attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it.' - Thomas Jefferson

                    If you have questions about the forum please check the FAQ/Rules

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Selous View Post
                      Thanks Major, I am perusing it,

                      I just got back from Karate - the Katas are long and I have terrible memory, I always struggle and end up putting my wrong fist forward or wrong leg. I wonder if there's a method, other than repetition, perhaps a psychological trick, to getting it right?
                      Practice, practice and more practice. Also helps if you practice them with a partner.
                      "To be free is better than to be unfree - always."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Surrey View Post
                        Practice, practice and more practice. Also helps if you practice them with a partner.
                        Practice it is then Surrey - I should have known better than to try and buck the system

                        BTW< what did you do to the drunken Liverpudlians?!
                        ------
                        'I would rather be exposed to the inconveniencies attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it.' - Thomas Jefferson

                        If you have questions about the forum please check the FAQ/Rules

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Selous View Post
                          Thanks Major, I am perusing it,

                          I just got back from Karate - the Katas are long and I have terrible memory, I always struggle and end up putting my wrong fist forward or wrong leg. I wonder if there's a method, other than repetition, perhaps a psychological trick, to getting it right?
                          The thing that took my kata to the next level is what we call "metsuke." On a superficial level, it's where you focus your eyes. On a deeper level, it's bringing the scenario to life in your head by envisioning and feeling every attack and block so that it's "real" to you.

                          One thing that I am very fortunate in is that my employer conducts regular krav maga training, which features grappling, ground fighting, firearms takeaways and retention among other things. I enjoy the balance between art and practicality. In the much deeper meaning of training (and to use a Zen-ism) at the higher levels of learning, they are one in the same. It's sort of "wax on, wax off." Do a kata enough and with the right meaning and it becomes part of you and not just a series of moves.
                          Last edited by Kendoka Girl; 18 May 14, 02:27.
                          TTFN

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Everybody knows that when you are deciding on a martial art, you need to find the one with the best music videos. duh

                            AHIKS - Play by (E)mail board wargaming since 1965.
                            The Blitz - Play by Email computer wargaming.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Kendoka Girl View Post
                              The thing that took my kata to the next level is what we call "metsuke." On a superficial level, it's where you focus your eyes. On a deeper level, it's bringing the scenario to life in your head by envisioning and feeling every attack and block so that it's "real" to you.
                              Thank you for the advice KG I shall look this metsuke up and try to understand it more. I would very much like to not look like a bufoon on the wrong foot and fist when everyone else has got the kata correct.
                              ------
                              'I would rather be exposed to the inconveniencies attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it.' - Thomas Jefferson

                              If you have questions about the forum please check the FAQ/Rules

                              Comment

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