New Direction

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Discussion' started by Grond, Dec 5, 2019.

  1. Grond

    Grond Valued Member

    I am considering trying a new martial art soon. I have a few different options and I'd like some general, honest feedback on the pros and cons. Keep in mind that I consider myself pretty knowledgeable about different arts at least on a superficial level, having been an MMA fan for over 20 years and a boxing lover for much longer. So we can skip the superficial, white belt intro. I'd like to know the value obtained whether it's a contact fighting style or just a relic. My goals are simply to expand my horizons.

    Right now I'm considering Kendo, Brazilian Jujitsu, or Judo. Fencing is also a remote option, but I fear I would find it repetitive.

    The floor is open. Thanks.
  2. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Moved on MAP 2017 Gold Award

    Depends on what you mean by "value". I know a lot of folk who end up in BJJ get caught up in a bit of a lifestyle change that affects them more than if they were attending other arts. A lot of people who do it end up trying to improve themselves in other ways and try hard to grow. It just seems to be a part of the culture.
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  3. icefield

    icefield Valued Member

    You are a beginner so the white belt intro is applicable so get over yourself.

    It depends what you want, bjj and judo are grappling arts kendo and fencing weapon arts so which would you prefer? Weapons of grappling?

    They are all relic arts in that no one carrys a sword or walks around in a gi just looking to throw or choke you.

    All four have a decent level of sparring, contact and competition so in that sense they all alive.

    Judo will punish your body especially if you are an adult who has not done judo as a kid throws are harder in the body than ground work that's a simple fact. Judo is mainly a stand up art with fast aggressive ground work.

    Bjj is the opposite, mainly a ground based art less aggressive slower, more methodical easier on the body especially for older people. But it can take a while to get used to and it needs a lot of time investing because the sport has so many different aspects to it on the ground, different versions of the guard for example which is always evolving.

    Kendo will be expensive and totally alien if you have never done a weapon art, the same with fencing but weapon arts can be fun, and they allow you to spar full contact in safety.
    Mangosteen, Mushroom, Grond and 3 others like this.
  4. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool the merc with the mouth MAP 2017 Moi Award

    Kendo is a lot of fun, but expensive and most classes arnt at full time dojo so class times are limited.

    Judo is common, and cheap but again it's rarely at full time gyms so class times are limited.

    Bjj is now quite common, full-time gyms are the norm, so its easier to get to class even if your work/home life is busy, but the draw back is it can be expensive.

    Ideally you'll want to find a full-time BJJ place, that also has other classes on, so you can do judo/wrestling/kickboxing/ etc whenever you have time.

    Personally I enjoy BJJ, as it means I get to train reasonably hard, without getting too beat up, I've also trained judo for a few years at a recreational club, and even with their slower pace, it has quite a high risk of injury.
    Mangosteen, Grond and axelb like this.
  5. Mitlov

    Mitlov Shiny

    I fenced competitively for years. Not sure what you mean by repetitive. Regardless, ask me anything.
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  6. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Moved on MAP 2017 Gold Award

    I think boxing is repetitive. Maybe it comes down to perception?
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  7. icefield

    icefield Valued Member

    I think if all you see of a combat sport is matches on TV they can look repetitive to the un trained eye because it's the usual strikes, throws takedowns that you see over and over in competition because they work.

    You tend to miss the endless nuances in play and you never see the hours of training, drilling etc in the back ground.

    Case in point judo can look repetitive as you tend to see the same 7 or 8 throws always scoring what you don't see unless you have trained the art is the endless grip strategies, different foot work patterns, different off balancing movements used because you don't have the skill set to notice them. And you don't realise that countless other throws and combinations are also trained but don't come out in the few minutes of matches you see on TV.

    I suspect fencing is the same I know escrima padded and live stick matches can look repetitive to someone not trained in the art for example.
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  8. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    Think fencing can look odd because its all done on a straight line.
    Grond likes this.
  9. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    If I was considering a weapon art I'd be looking at some form of HEMA.
    While competition will always be an abstract from reality the HEMA people seem more in touch with it than kendo or fencing that have seen decades of sport adaptation and change.
  10. axelb

    axelb Master of Office Chair Fu

    Good for you looking to expand your horizons.

    Whichever direction you go, try not to bring any baggage, start with an open (white belt) mind. I've noticed with people starting BJJ who have had years in another style get frustrated.

    Of those suggestions I've done judo in my teenage years, as icefield said, fast paced, high impact, higher injury risk than BJJ.

    I went for BJJ as I'm 39 and my body would be slow to recover from injuries i had during judo when i was teenager.

    Have fun checking out all the places available, i have to say i enjoy exploring what's available and going to different gyms to see how places train etc :)
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  11. Mitlov

    Mitlov Shiny

    One thing I still say about Olympic fencing versus HEMA, is it's very much like sport karate versus traditional Okinawan karate. The latter complain that the former it not about real life combat and has been warped by people trying to win under a particular competitive rule set. But the former question whether the latter over-emphasizes non-alive training (studying kata bunkai and studying manuals, respectively) and doesn't place enough emphasis on pressure-testing distance, timing, and athleticism. If you know whether you prefer the approach of sport karate versus traditional Okinawan karate, you probably know whether you would prefer Olympic fencing versus classical fencing or HEMA.

    Personally, I prefer Olympic fencing and sport karate, but that's just me.
    Grond likes this.
  12. Mitlov

    Mitlov Shiny

    The range is so long with the weapons that stepping off line more than one can already do with the rectangular piste wouldn't be a particularly effective tactic.

    Also, it dramatically increases how many different bouts can be going simultaneously in a given practice or tournament space.

    Also, the wired scoring gear would get tangled if people were circling between exchanges.
    Grond likes this.
  13. Grond

    Grond Valued Member

    By value I mean the worthwhileness of the experience, after things like time invested and cost are all equal. Boxing was valuable to me, I learned a lot, met great people, and it was great exercise. Karate was valuable in a very different way. It was foundational, for me, in that it set me on the path so to speak.
  14. Grond

    Grond Valued Member

    Thanks. By "white belt intro" all I meant was I already know what's in these arts and what they're used for pretty well, so I wasn't looking for descriptions of that, "Judo is basically jujitsu" that sort of thing. I understand the difference and history between Judo and Jujitsu, and Kendo and fencing as an informed layman, not that I'm anything but a beginner. I'm looking for personal anecdotes, experiences, even sorrowful opinions and lamentations are welcome.

    As far as your question about "weapons or grappling", that's a good one to consider. I think it's safe to say grappling is far more applicable in theory (far more likely to get in a tussle where grappling might be useful, vs. a sword duel which is never happening without a time machine or some magic Druid stone rings, for the Outlander fans).

    But, applicable isn't necessarily what I'm looking for. I'm looking for a fun, interesting experience and get outside my comfort zone as it were. So to answer your question, Kendo for some reason leads the pack for a couple of reasons. The first being, I don't have any weapons training whatsoever, so that should be a novel time. And two, as someone very conscious of injuries, Kendo (or fencing) seems to be to be the least injurious of the four. I could be wrong, but Judo and Jujitsu while very intriguing seem to have a track record of people complaining about training injuries. I think I'm still young enough for either and in decent enough shape, but I'd I think I prefer something with a little more safety gear. I've taken enough hits unarmored, for some reason suiting up in kendogu is appealing to me.
  15. Grond

    Grond Valued Member

    That's really cool. By repetitive, what I mean is that most of my knowledge comes from watching Olympic fencing matches and maybe I have spectators bias, but it seemed to follow a relatively predictable formula. Two directions, forward and back. Same targets, etc. But I understand that when you're actually the one fencing it must be a totally different experience. What seems to me to be the same type of match over and over must be very different for you, the fencer.

    Did you get tired of it or just switch to something else?
  16. Mitlov

    Mitlov Shiny

    Fencing is a wretched sport to watch, even for other fencers. But it's fun to participate in. A lot of the leverage and timing that is such a key part of the sport can't really be seen by a spectator (especially an untrained one), but can be felt by a participant. So it's much more complex than it looks.

    I got out of it because of a knee injury. Fencing didn't cause the injury, but fencing footwork became very hard on me because of that preexisting injury (lateral forces on the rear knee during fast direction changes and explosive low lunges). My current art doesn't bother my knee at all.

    Also, I got really sick of the armorer part of fencing. It takes a lot of work to keep weapons with electronic scoring equipment in working order, and personally I didn't enjoy it.

    Also, my kids do karate, and doing what they do has been really fun.
    Grond likes this.
  17. icefield

    icefield Valued Member

    I honestly find bjj one of the most boring arts to watch and I've done grappling for years. It's one thing to do the art another to be forced to watch it :(
  18. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Moved on MAP 2017 Gold Award

    I was going to say the same thing. BJJ is a hard watch.
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  19. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    I don't know what it's like in the US, but in the UK competitive HEMA seems to be a fairly popular thing. There are people quite focused on tournaments.
    Grond likes this.
  20. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    So BJJ is like cricket? :D

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