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1) Hung Gar
2) Wing Chun
I am kinda learning towards Aikido, but have few friends who would be willing to bet their life that I should take Hung Gar or Jujitsu. I was thinking if you people can provide your input?
Jiu Jitsu is by far the most complete form in my opinion.
But its even better when the local instructors mesh in different (and sometimes unorthodox) techniques from other arts or even defenses against knives, guns, etc.
Jiu Jitsu is well-rounded and aggressive, but I have seen some instructors mellow it out or concentrate too much on grappling and forgetting about the importance of striking.
But the nearest Jujitsu school is like 40 minutes, and am not sure, how fun would be it be driving 80 minutes everyday for a 60 minute class.
JuJitSu is a good all-rounder dealing with weapon attacks, throws, locks, kicks, punches as well as ground but Judo is more ground-specialised.
Before joining I think it'd be a good idea to ask if they have adult-only classes, if they don't then ask if there's many little kids - I eventually left my club because of the growing number of kids that were running around and generally not taking it seriously.
Probably anything you pick and work hard at you'll come to love. I took American Kenpo for several years and really enjoyed it.
Then their is Kung-Fu...
My mom got caught by that once, when an asian woman she knew invited her to a "meeting" to learn about her "powerful kung fu". About all my mom knew was that I studied Tai Chi at the time, and she mentioned that to the woman... who replied that their "kung fu" was much more powerful.
It turned out to be a religious recruitment meeting. They strongly advised us all not to eat meat, garlic, shallots or onions, among other things... This strict diet combined with specific ritual and meditation practices was the "kung fu" the woman was talking about.
Don't know about it being "more powerful" than Tai Chi, but it sounded like it would probably help someone with bad breath. ;)
Going to a capoeira class is a bit like doing interval training without the breaks (for two hours) - but you either get fit or you break in two...
Also, Tai Chi is as much for the mind as the body.
For Karate with real bite (you have to be tough for this!) try Shotokan. My father is second dan and has suffered many injuries over the years but absolutely swears by it.
I would also do some background reading on the few choices you might select. There is such a huge variety that a discipline for one would not suit another. The few you have listed have very interesting histories in both China and Japan. Understanding how a martial art was first developed makes learning the art even more rewarding. Happy hunting :)
Hey tbear, I was fortunate enough to live near Jim Papes' School if you remember him - He even had a little bar - Of course, the cops never had to hassle him ;¬)
>> Tai Chi as it is defensive. <<
I think they all teach it as a defensive discipline, I know we certainly were. If a court discovered that you practiced it and initiated the attack, good lick in prison :¬p
Person was booked for carrying a concealed weapon.
I did a bit of Aikido in my youth. It seemed to mostly be about the art of getting out of the way of the attack and redirecting the attackers power. I was also a local sprint champion. I found running like hell to be a good defense.
..used to be. getting fat now. Living in Thailand helps. People don't fight too much. They are said to be "Jai Yen", or cool hearted. Actually, this is true up to a point. Thai's will smile, smile smile, but if you cross a certain line they will deck you with no warning. Many of them know a thing or two about Muay Thai. Knees and elbows a-flying.
So I just try to be Jai Yen myself and not piss anyone off. It's the best policy if you are a foreigner. Wherever you live.
You could say that being nice is a martial art.
Ah yes, I remember seeing the video of that fight, he was all over this muscle-clad guy like a chameleon crawling a rock. At the time of the opponents defeat, Gracie was being held upside down by this guy and appeared to be losing but suddenly the opponent suddenly submitted...IIRC, Gracie had broken his wrist, or arm.