Announcement

Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.

Need some martial arts advice!

Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse



X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Need some martial arts advice!

    Hi everyone. I have two questions: 1) What do you think is a nice martial art to learn while in Japan? and 2) Where can I find dojo and lessons? I was thinking of taking aikido--does anyone know anything about this martial art. I am living in Saitama now and work in Tokyo.

    Thanks.

  • #2
    Counter question: What is a "nice martial art"?

    You should first make up your mind what kind of practise you want, and what do you want to achieve? Get in shape? Join bar brawls? Look cool? Make friends? Win tournaments? Do you mind bruises? Do you like to do sparring? If yes, full contact, or light contact?
    There are lots of different things out there, all with different flavours.

    Aikido is generally considered a soft martial art (no sparring, no contests), and pretty pretty popular with women. But again, that depends on the dojo and the style too.

    I am doing both Karate and Aikido at local sports centers here. That is one option you could check out; every Ku has a sports center, and they are usually pleasant and spacy.

    Comment


    • #3
      Yeah, I guess "nice" isn't the right word to use. What I meant by nice is a soft martial art as you mentioned, such as Aikido. I really don't know much about martial arts, only that I think it would be a really good thing for me to do to improve my life, health, and mind. I am a woman, so maybe Aikido is a good starting point. I will look into my regions sports center. Thanks for the reply.

      Comment


      • #4
        Aikido is good. Usually the dojos are very friendly and it's a really good place to make lots of Japanese friends.

        Shorinji Kempo is good too but is half soft like aikido and half hard like karate or kung-fu. For both Aikido and Shorinji, being big and strong is not nessesary so you may see quite a few other women doing it.

        Also how about archery like Kyudo? Never tried it but it looks like fun.

        Sports centres often have "demonstration" event which are good to check out.
        Last edited by JayJay; 2006-10-23, 12:57 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Mylene - you know where Oji is? If you want you can come and check out Shorinji Kempo with me and my girlfriend - I live in Saitama too
          It mixes soft and hard with a focus on self defence (and not being hit!). Added bonus a few of the students speak English so you should be fine - but I recommend doing your best in Japanese - its good practice.

          My dojo trains twice a week (Mondays and Wednesdays from 6pm to 9pm) and theres some other dojos in the area that you can join to train on other days (saturdays and whatnot).

          Drop me a PM if your interested.

          (lol JJ, nice post - and yes - kyudo is good. I like kendo too but its very intense exercise wise)

          Comment


          • #6
            I looked at Shorinji Kempo once, but one thing that turned me off were the breakfalls on hard floor. Eeek! Even the instructors did not look happy doing that.

            From the little that I have seen, SK is a curious combination of extremely soft and extremely hard practise. I don`t mind falling at all, but no breakfalls on wood unless by accident, thank you very much...

            Comment


            • #7
              Aikido is good, but you still need to be careful. I've nearly had my shoulder seperated a few times, and I saw one guy get his arm broken in 3 places from a nice little wrist lock. One of the reasons why there is no sparring in Aikido is when you go at full speed things can break easily.

              Comment


              • #8
                Such things can happen, but I think Aikido is generally considered pretty safe. Fwiw, I have also met people who broke their legs skiing... not going down a death slope, but getting off the lift!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Derukugi
                  I looked at Shorinji Kempo once, but one thing that turned me off were the breakfalls on hard floor. Eeek! Even the instructors did not look happy doing that.

                  From the little that I have seen, SK is a curious combination of extremely soft and extremely hard practise. I don`t mind falling at all, but no breakfalls on wood unless by accident, thank you very much...
                  Most of my training is done in gyms, so its wooden floors. Do the breakfalls right and its a walk in the park - for an upcoming taikai (competition) we are practicing throws and its the big, arse over head throws, and you need to get it right or you can seriously injure yourself.

                  Look at it this way - if you can do it right on wood, if you ever need to, its not a big deal to have to do it on concrete if you have to. And when you train on tatami, it feels like breakfalling on fluffy pillows

                  Not sure what you mean by "extremely soft" - some of the locks are pretty nasty. The throws make good work of body weight like aikido, but take it a step further with locks and (literally) bindings.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Derukugi
                    I looked at Shorinji Kempo once, but one thing that turned me off were the breakfalls on hard floor. Eeek! Even the instructors did not look happy doing that.

                    From the little that I have seen, SK is a curious combination of extremely soft and extremely hard practise. I don`t mind falling at all, but no breakfalls on wood unless by accident, thank you very much...
                    I think it's different dojo to dojo, but where I train, we learnt on mats then moved to the woodern floor when we were good enough. Mind you at the time I was doing Aikido and SK (now I only do Shorinji) so I got pretty good at breakfalls pretty quickly.

                    Like Ewok said, if you breakfall properly it's a bit, well uncomfortable, but not really that painful. Just got to watch your head...

                    Regarding hard and soft, it isn't really so black and white. Some "soft" techniques are actually pretty harsh and some "hard" techniques are quite gentle, almost like Tai Chi.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Oh, this is all great information. Thanks. I'm glad there are a lot of star wars fans too on this forum! haha

                      Since I am an English teacher, I usually can't do any weekday evenings since I work till 9pm, so any martial arts training will have to be in the morning or weekends.

                      I hope I can find them!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Most of the teachers I know are normal people who train after work - I can find out about the saturday session if you just want to have a look.

                        As for mornings I'm sure theres a karate or aikido mill somewhere that does training 24/7. Or you can check the sports centers and such to see if they do anything. (Evenings is where the best stuff is at though)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by MissMylene
                          Oh, this is all great information. Thanks. I'm glad there are a lot of star wars fans too on this forum! haha

                          Since I am an English teacher, I usually can't do any weekday evenings since I work till 9pm, so any martial arts training will have to be in the morning or weekends.

                          I hope I can find them!
                          Well, if you have only mornings, that narrows down the selection considerably. At the various "hombu dojos" (the headquarters for the various styles, lots of them in Tokyo), they usually have classes all day; at smaller dojos and sports centers usually not.

                          Weekend classes are, of course, possible to find. Problem is that on weekends you might have other plans.

                          If Mita line is convenient for you, you could check out Chris Kropovski (sp), who teaches Seidokan Aikido on Saturday afternoon and Sunday evening: http://www.tokyoseidokan.com/

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            柔道、最高。。。??

                            Originally posted by MissMylene
                            Hi everyone. I have two questions: 1) What do you think is a nice martial art to learn while in Japan? and 2) Where can I find dojo and lessons? I was thinking of taking aikido--does anyone know anything about this martial art. I am living in Saitama now and work in Tokyo.
                            Thanks.
                            Hi Missy. First of all, my condolences on having to live in Saitama. The euphemism "DASAItama" didn't appear out of thin air, and I feel your pain.

                            Secondly, I think you're right about Aikido being a "nice" martial art - that it is. Yet, I seriously question it's practicality. Sure, it contains some flashy wrist locks and small joint manipulations, but these apparently 'useful' maneuvers only seem to work because they are practiced robotically and mathematically, following pre-arranged procedures - like, "the attacker does this, then this, then this" - and makes silly assumptions that these kind of situations all play out in the same black-and-white way. To my knowledge, there is no actual "free" sparring in the true sense of the word, and the question is therefore raised, "if I can't even practise it properly, how is it supposed to aid me!?"

                            Now, Ewok makes mention of Shorinji Kempo, which is more useful in actual combat situations. Though, while it does have a (limited) grappling syllabus, it is mainly concerned with striking and as such, brings it down to the level of Karate, Kung Fu, Taekwondo... that is, if used correctly, will result in an unlawful assault charge. Great, isn't it!?

                            My recommendation is Judo. Despite it's unshakable image as a sporty venture, it one of the most complete grappling systems in the world - the throws are practical and actually work, the ground movement is highly advanced and the holds and submissions are the some of the most effective ways to completely control and, failing that, submit someone with ease. The submissions especially are more practical than Aikido as they are performed ON THE GROUND where the risk of being hit is minimal and escapes are not an option. Judo also places important emphasis on free-sparring, ensuring that the learnt work can be carried out practically, and tested.
                            Judo is good for women too, as there is little reliance on muscular strength for the techniques to work. And it's fun Try it - I think you'll soon find that Judo is the next best thing after dating, purikura, Japanese reggae music, peach-flavored cassis alcoholic beverages, Tokyo Disney Sea resort, shopping, ice cream, and sex.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by MissMylene
                              Hi everyone. I have two questions: 1) What do you think is a nice martial art to learn while in Japan?
                              I mastered Futonzumo and YokoMambo Do while living there.

                              I attained the ranks of Maegashira (could you please translate that, somebody?) in the former, and a Pink Snake Belt in the latter.

                              I am offering lessons in Vancouver if you want to take an intensive course over the Christmas break.

                              The GF can't make it, so I am looking for a sparring partner.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X