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I'm planning on taking some classes over this up and coming summer and i'd like to get some input from you more experienced martial arts people.

 

If you've taken one class, you're more experienced than i am.

 

 

I'm a big dude although i hope to drop some weight by summer. I have no injuries that can hold me back but i need to start doing some endurance conditioning if i'm gonna last in a fight.

 

Styles i'm interested in...

 

 

1. Muay Thai

2. Ninjitsu

3. Jiujitsu

4. Judo

5. Aikido

 

Schools.

 

 

http://www.chicagomartialartsclasses.com/

 

http://www.chicago-ninjutsu.org/

 

 

http://team-toro.com/class.html

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great idea, pelicanAndrew... Don't worry about getting conditioned for fighting right away -- you'll likely be taking classes for awhile before you are allowed to fight more than short rounds of light-contact sparring. It takes time to get fit enough to fight. There's also flexibility to work on, and specific conditioning of all the muscles you probably haven't used much before, but you find yourself using. Working on cardio can only help tho, those first couple of classes are going to kick your a$$! In a good way...

 

As for a style... I studied very traditional Okinawan Karate for several years, and now do a looser, fighting-based style of karate/muay thai with a little jujitsu (not enough to be good at mma fights yet). In the past I've done a little aikido, jujitsu, wing chun kung fu, kempo etc. I'm sure you've done your research, but I have a little input.

 

Muay Thai - fight-oriented, pretty hard core, depending on the club. Hope you like bruised shins! Will definitely get you in shape and toughen you up. Not too much formal technique training (unlike Karate, which has more techniques and is more focused on perfection of those techniques). Unique because its traditions are Thai, as opposed to Japanese.

 

Ninjitsu - I knew a Ninja once. And there's one on this forum? All I know is that it's probably self-defence heavy, and will mix lots of jujitsu? Maybe some cool weapons training!

 

Jujitsu - BJJ is popular these days. If you like to wrestle, not striking. Very practical for self defence - I wouldn't fight a good BJJ or JJ fighter!

There are others on this forum who can tell you more about BJJ.

 

Aikido - is a very cool martial art. It's very gentle, and involves throws and holds, no strikes. It's all about using your opponent's energy against them. It takes a long time to get good at it, but would be worth it. Usually aikido schools are very traditional.

 

There are also lots of mixed style clubs that combine the best of several martial arts and classes can usually be tailored to fitness, fighting or whatever you want out of them.

 

Have fun looking into classes and trying them out!

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Checked out the links you posted. You hava a lot of choice in the Chicago area! What are your goals for whatever martial art you choose?

To fight?

To get in wicked shape?

Self Defence?

Covert Ninja Operations Against Agribusiness? Hey, that sounds sorta cool...

To grow mentally? (sounds cheesy maybe, but you will be amazed what you learn about yourself and your limits from martial arts, and how you apply them to the rest of your life).

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Personally I'd go with muay thai... It captures the feeling of a "true" fight. Also there's full-contact all-out training, unlike to most other martial arts.

 

But like Trev said, what are your goals? You said you're a big guy and that's usually not an advantage in muay thai (not if you're a beginner, that is), maybe jiujitsu or judo would let you exploit that more.

 

On the other hand, if you want to lose some weight muay thai is the way to go.

 

If you want to be a good fighter I'd recommend you star with a more grappling orientated art for a year or so and the move on to muay thai.

 

Right now I'm starting mma and my muay thai is pretty effective, but years of judo at least have given me a basic idea of how to escape from a grapple.

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My goals are self defense and getting into awesome shape. I also enjoy the rush of a fight seeing as i've almost had to knock heads together twice already. Decatur isn't the nicest of places.

 

I also like the spiritual aspect of controlling your body and mind. I've become more mature and self disciplined in the past year so I feel that now is a good time for me to do this.

 

The ninjitsu style says it's a combo of karate and jiujitsu for the most part.

 

My dream is to learn Capoeira but i think i'll start with a slightly easier style first. My friend told me it generally takes years to even move in that dancy fashion at all.

 

Jiujitsu and judo puts you at a disadvantage as well. Specially against a small guy that can flip you no matter how big you are. Aikido is generally the same way. I guess i just want to be less big and more compact and lean strength. I'll probably finish off the school year doing powerlifting stuff but i think this summer is going to be bodyweight/punching bag/speed bag type stuff.

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In my experience jiu jitsu will put you into really good shape. Especially if you train often. You wouldnt think it, but when youre on the ground youre constantly working your abs. It also gives you pretty good endurance on the ground. Its funny rolling with a "newbie" cause they tend to be super tense and wear out real quick. But even now after a year of training i still am covered in sweat after im done training, as gross as that sounds.

Also i dont know if i would say the jiu jitsu and judo put you at a disadvantage. It more like gives the little guy more of a chance to beat a bigger guy than in other styles. Big guys can be just as good. Its all about how you play the game. Have you heard of Jeff Monson? Hes a brown belt in brazilian jiu jitsu, and hes a 2X abu dabi champion. Hes 5'9" and i think 250 lbs. Talk about a big boy.

I havent trained Muy Thai but i hear thats a killer work out. Those guys are studs when it comes to endurance. It is a style im planning on training once i feel like i want to start fighting.

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BJJVegan - funny, 'cause when I've got my black belt, and have a few more full-contact fights under my belt I plan to do some real BJJ. Want to be more of a complete, well-rounded martial artist, not so much mma fighter. At 33, I'm kinda old to start fighting mma and I've got too much else going on. I've always admired the sheer deadliness of BJJ. Submissions just come out of nowhere sometimes! I'm a big fan of GSP's style - so well-rounded.

 

Also noticed the similarity of the sigs of the martial artists on this forum...

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I would recoment BJJ. I love it. Its amazing the progression you go through. I really like how its not a belt factory. It can take 10+ years to get your black belt, you could get it in less time it depends on how much time you put into it.

Trev out of all of the styles youve done which do you feel is the best/most practical?

I did Wing Chun Kung Fu (for 3 years) before i got into BJJ and i feel BJJ is 100 times better than Wing Chun.

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Trev out of all of the styles youve done which do you feel is the best/most practical?

I did Wing Chun Kung Fu (for 3 years) before i got into BJJ and i feel BJJ is 100 times better than Wing Chun.

 

I think what I'm doing now is the most practical. It's almost entirely stand-up kickboxing, we train to fight under SKF, IKF or Muay Thai rules. There's no real muay thai tradition, but a fair bit of karate as far as that goes. But it's upright stances, real world fighting techniques. We don't do elbows at the club, but leg kicks and knees to body are allowed. Clinches and some throws are also used. And it's a great workout - has gotten me into the best shape of my life. My club is a bit of a belt factory, it has a lot of members, but I think they're there to pay for the good facility for the serious people to train at. We have some pro fighters at the club who have done well, one even has a K1 title. So it's a practical style as far as competitive kickboxing goes, okay for self defence purposes - we do a bit of JJ and take-down defence. Actually our head sensei is in Las Vegas training for a UFC bout so I bet we'll see more ground fighting in the future at our club.

 

When I was younger I did a really rigid style of karate that wasn't practical at all. The other styles I've only really dabbled in. Wing Chun didn't seem effective except against other wing chun (I only did a few classes). Altho I know a few stunt guys who do wing chun and shaolin and can use it for real. Pretty cool to watch those guys fight. Consensus is BJJ or JJ is probably the most practical self defence. I think mixing BJJ and Muay Thai/Kickboxing/Kempo would be the ultimate preparation for any fight or self defence situation. One of the best fighters I know is a heavy weight Muay thai/pankration fighter named Paul Lazenby (now retired from fighting to be an announcer for Bodog Fights). The whole self defence thing is a bit scary anyway, I don't want to have to ever use martial arts for real because it's way to easy to get stabbed or worse in those situations.

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Awesome, pelicanAndrew! Any martial art would be an incredible addition to your life. Muay Thai and Aikido are polar opposites on the martial arts spectrum - are they taught at the same club? They're great choices. You will never look back.

 

Keep us posted on your progress, how you like the classes etc.

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After watching Ong-bak for about the 5th time now i'm decided that i'm going to study Muay Thai and Aikido. I'm very excited for this summer and i'm starting with my conditioning training and weight loss over my winter break.

 

Ong-bak also has some of the best parkour I've seen in a movie.

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They may or may not be taught at the same club. I'll probably learn muay thai first and then learn aikido. It's not exactly cheap to take classes.

 

Which parts of Ong-Bak have parkour? I've never even heard of that before.\

 

 

edit- OOooooo street running. Hehe i know exactly what that is and yea that's definitely one of the best chase scenes on top of that.

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Ong Bak, while really cool, is just tricks. Might be about a thai fighter, but you will not learn that shit for sport muay thai. That was mostly XMA.

 

BUT ANYWAY, you most def want to do Muay Thai.

 

All that bullshit about discipline and chi and all that crap that they talk about in ninjitsu, karate and tae kwon do.... it crap. They are a waste of money (and time). Real discipline is pushing your body during live sparring or live grappling. Muay thai, Bjj and wrestling (folkstyle, greco or freestyle) are where you want to dedicate yourself.

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Oh i really just liked the beginning part where he was doing all of the different stances and stuff. I find those to be really cool. I know it's all show in the movies i just find muay thai to be a very offensive and powerful art and weapon at the same time.

 

BJJ is another very interesting martial art i'd like to try out. There are tons of gyms/dojos in chicago so i have plenty of chances.

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Ong Bak, while really cool, is just tricks. Might be about a thai fighter, but you will not learn that shit for sport muay thai. That was mostly XMA.

 

BUT ANYWAY, you most def want to do Muay Thai.

 

All that bullshit about discipline and chi and all that crap that they talk about in ninjitsu, karate and tae kwon do.... it crap. They are a waste of money (and time). Real discipline is pushing your body during live sparring or live grappling. Muay thai, Bjj and wrestling (folkstyle, greco or freestyle) are where you want to dedicate yourself.

 

 

No matter what the martial art, discipline is a key element - self discipline. Without it, you'd never accomplish anything, let alone the conditioning it takes to be a good fighter. Even before you engage in live sparring or grappling, you need the discipline to learn so you know what to do, so you don't get hurt, and so you don't hurt someone else. The other thing that martial arts teach you is respect -- for yourself, for others, for your art, for other martial arts. Maybe you didn't explain what you meant very well. If you mean that ninjitsu, karate or tae kwon do are not practical for mma fighting, that's largely the case. BJJ, Pankration and Muay Thai are more practical. BTW, GSP has a black belt in Karate, as well as a BJJ background. He didn't beat Matt Hughes on the ground, did he?

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I guarantee you any black belt in Aikido can take out any other form. Believe me.

 

Wanna bet? I think aikido can be very effective, but at black belt level a muay thai fighter who has been traing for the same time wil proably take him out. I think that only a master aikidoka can win a fight. You know, these old men that throw you to the wall using only wristmovements

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