PDA

View Full Version : Need some help deciding on a style



Pages : [1] 2

Jered Farrell
7/29/2015 11:44pm,
Location - Lebanon, Oregon

Hey everyone, I need some help in deciding which style to take. This isn't meant to be style vs style or anything like this. This is the first time in my life I've actually lived close enough to a couple different styles I've wanted to learn. Normally, it's the standard TKD, Karate, etc. Right now, I live next to a Wing Chun school that just opened up here in town (Lebanon Wing Chun). They don't have a website, anything like that. They only meet three times per week for the men, and 2 times per week for the woman (classes are broken up).

The mans name that teaches here in town is Larry Shuttlesworth, in case anyone here knows of him. When I spoke with him, I believe he said that he trained under one of Bruce Lees students. When I asked him about what he teaches, he said it's not just traditional Wing Chun, that he incorporate a little BJJ into it for ground fighting, and some Krav Maga. So it isn't exactly traditional. The best thing about this class is that it is close, less then a mile away from where I live. He said his prices were great, but they are normal prices for the area. 55 for 1 class, 75 for 2, and 95 for 3 classes per week.

The other option I have is a Wing Chun instructor in Eugene, Oregon. It is out of Leung Martial Arts, and I've only heard great things about the instructors there, and the few times I spoke to the main instructor, he's been very kind and helpful. They offer more classes, and you can attend as many classes as you like (as far as I know, I have to double check on this). The school has been around for a long time, and as far as I know, he teaches a more traditional form of Wing Chun. He also teaches Chen Style Tajiquan, which could be interesting, being able to take both classes. The biggest downside to this is that it's an hour away, possibly more with traffic, nearly all parking is parking you pay for, and it's driving in Eugene, I can't stand driving in Eugene :S.

Now, a little about myself. I've been doing a family style of Xingyiquan for more then 15 years now (I was raised on this and started at a young age). I have my first degree black belt in TKD, and a little bit less then a year of Krav Maga and LINE training (my TKD instructor was a Marine, and he learned Krav Maga, and LINE when he was enlisted, prior to learning MCMAP). I'm trying to find something that has depth to it as a system that compliments Xingyiquan, and pick the right instructor.

I'm leaning towards the one in Eugene, even though it's further away. It offers more classes if I wanted to take them, and I could take Taji too. What do you guys think? I'm hoping that someone here might now both of these instructors and have something to say.

Thanks

Scott Larson
8/11/2015 8:08am,
If you have 15 years of Xingyi experience, I would think you would have the knowledge and understanding to choose the teacher that fits you best.

vaquero de las nalgas
8/15/2015 5:13am,
Now, a little about myself. I've been doing a family style of Xingyiquan for more then 15 years now (I was raised on this and started at a young age).


Here's a better question: Why aren't YOU teaching?

BackFistMonkey
8/15/2015 10:40am,
Location - Lebanon, Oregon


Now, a little about myself. I've been doing a family style of Xingyiquan for more then 15 years now (I was raised on this and started at a young age). I have my first degree black belt in TKD, and a little bit less then a year of Krav Maga and LINE training (my TKD instructor was a Marine, and he learned Krav Maga, and LINE when he was enlisted, prior to learning MCMAP). I'm trying to find something that has depth to it as a system that compliments Xingyiquan, and pick the right instructor.

Thanks

I had no idea that Krav was taught along side LINE, or popular amongst active duty Marines in the early nineties.

I have to say with as much experience in CMA as you say you have, I side with Scott and Vaquero.Any information I give you would be silly and insulting being that you are there to go see the schools yourself and have a depth of knowledge far greater than mine on the topic.

Welcome to Bullshido and good luck. Please keep us updated.

.... http://leungmartialarts.com/classes/ especially if you chose this place. Definitely keep us updated ... plz.

Krottyman
8/16/2015 12:03pm,
Here's a better question: Why aren't YOU teaching?

I was tempted to ask that myself

JarethG
8/16/2015 12:53pm,
I have to echo what the others are asking. With 15 years of training, you should not have to ask a question like this.

However, I will play a little devil's advocate, and answer for others who may be curious about the same question and not have the years of experience to back up their own thoughts on the subject.

What style should I choose is the wrong question anyone can ask. It always is. The proper question would be, which style gives me what I am looking for in martial arts? You need to know what you want to get out of your martial arts training before you can decide on the kind of style you want.

There are two main styles out there. Soft styles and hard styles. Typical examples of hard styles include Tae Kwon Do, Karate, and MMA. Typical examples of soft styles include Kung Fu, Aikido/Hapkido, and Tai Chi. The primary difference is whether you meet force with force or whether you try to redirect force. That is a very drastic oversimplification, but I could give an hour long lecture on the differences between hard and soft styles, which isn't the point of this answer.

Older practitioners who have harder times moving will typically chose (or recommend) soft styles. Younger practitioners who are in peak physical prowess will typically choose hard styles. Of course, that is not a hard and fast rule, and there are more than a few exceptions to the rule.

It also isn't fair to say that all schools of the same style are the same. Kung Fu is typically a soft style, but Hun Ga Kung Fu is a hard style of Kung Fu.

Once you have decided if you want hard or soft style, you need to think about what you want out of it more in depth. Do you want a very self defense oriented style? I would recommend Hapkido/Aikido, BJJ, or a Krav Maga school. If you are looking for a quick striking (inside or outside striking) I would recommend Kung Fu, Wing Chun, or Karate schools. Are you looking for kicking? Then I recommend TKD, Karate, or Wu-Yin Yan-Jing. Are you looking for tournament style fighting? Then I recommend TKD (especially if you have aspirations of competing in the Olympics for a medal sport.) Are you looking to get into knock-down drag out fights? Then MMA is where you want to go.

All the different styles have something to offer. Also remember that no two schools of the same style are the same. I operate a TKD school that focuses more on self defense and street style fighting. Another school in the area focuses almost entirely on tournament fighting.

The best advice is to try them out, and choose the one that feels right to you.

Wuji
8/17/2015 5:24pm,
I mainly don't teach because the way I was taught, very few people want to actually do that. When I was taught, holding San Ti Shi, and other stances were the first two years of training, along with footwork and stepping method, along with breathing for another year. I was taught slowly, and a lot of repetition was put into the different forms taught, on top of it being very Daoist in nature, much more then most forms of Xingyi I've seen (It's a family style of Xingyiquan, Wuji Style Xingyiquan). I love it, and I do it everyday, it's a passion I have and I'll do it until the day I'll die. Though finding someone who wants to sit through a class of holding stances, of learning how to breath and being taught Daoist/traditional methodology and philosophy; the people that want to learn that are hard to teach.

I've actually tried teaching out of the gym here (Fitness 1440) to see if anyone would be interested. I paid 6 months ahead of time and if anything came of it I was willing to open up shop here locally. I even found a small place that was very affordable (380 a month, 400 a month with all bills included). I found 2 people that were interested, one of them dropped and ended up joining the BJJ place here in town, saying I taught too slowly. I decided to teach openly at the park near me. I teach for free, usually twice a month.

My instructor in TKD was a Force Recon Marine, before the Force Recon guys were removed and it was just Recon BTN. He didn't learn Krav side by side of Line, he learned it while enlisted though. I know he also knew Line, as years later was taught MCMAP. When I was in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, I learned more LINE. As the guy who started the system was in FWB, FL for some time (if he still isn't there). Line is interesting, Krav Maga was brutal with how he taught it. I've never been torn down more in my life when instructed by him, I kid you not. Seeing this man at 150-160 pounds soaking wet, you wouldn't think he was capable of throwing around a 6 foot 6, 230 pound man. He for damn sure could, an extremely scary man.

I was mainly looking for a school to cross train, though all so to meet like minded people who want to train together. When you go into a gym, an old school gym with free weights. Where people go there and it's like a second home, they life like it's a religion. A place like that has a kind of energy that is just awesome. I really, really enjoy that, and I'm trying to find that in a local school. The Wing Chun school here, I'm not the biggest fan of. I've went to three classes so far, today will be my 4th. I enjoy the concepts of it so far. Though, it scares me a little that they have no clue of the history of Wing Chun, the one that instructs us didn't even know it was "kung fu", I had to explain to him exactly what that meant.

Not knowing any of the Chinese terms is a little bit off to me too, though I'm not sure how common that is. They don't know about 80% of the terms I would say. Like in the form, he calls one of the moves "wet towel". They are close minded when it comes to adding things to the training to make better use of it, claiming it to be traditional YIP man style training, though then adding in new training idea. The head instructor, "shifu", prays at the end of each class. You don't have to do it, but I feel like an ass if I just walk out. Also, they don't stress the softness and being relaxes. When they are punching, they use a lot of muscular power in the punch. Anyone I've ever seen stresses softness in the punching, being relaxed in the movements. Maybe someone that has been doing this for some time can correct me if this is wrong.

On a positive side, they are very nice people. He trained under someone who really does know his stuff in California, I checked him out. George Lee or someone, someone Lee. I'll post the name and link to information later. They do spar a lot after you've been there for a few weeks. They do a lot of sticky hands, which I really enjoy doing a lot, I've always enjoy sensitivity drills. They do a lot of bag work, a class generally starts with striking a wall bag (filled with rice) 1,000 to 2,000 times (though, they stress chain punching over going through, which is backwards to me). Pad word, blocking routines, lots of Chi Sao. We do the form in the beginning of class and at the end of class.

Another plus to this is the spraring though, they take it pretty serious. They both were boxers previously, the Shifu use to be a golden glove Boxer. Though when sparing they don't like you to use anything out of Wing Chun. Which is difficult for me to not use what I've learned previously, and I think that this is a good way to teach. IMO when you spar, you use what you have. You use what you've learned, but you stay fluid and take the shape that is needed, the goal is being shapeless and formless so that you can do what is needed. At least that is how I see it. Overall, I'm enjoying it so far. I think the idea that they have that the one that actually instructs (the Shifu doesn't usually instruct, he watched, his head students does most the instructing) bashes other styles and says "you can't beat Wing Chun", though this is just arrogance and ego really, just annoying.

I'm going to stick with it for another month or two and see if it's something I want to keep doing. I can't really talk about a lot of the concepts that I would like (refining the three treasures, expressing ja fin, etc. As they are heavily religious and look at that as being outside of their religion). I really enjoy discussing these things, as people are often taught different ways and have different understandings/interpretations (very interesting to me). Anyway, thanks for all the replies guys.

Oh, and I'm the OP. I was logged in through FB accidentally.

Krottyman
8/18/2015 11:11am,
Regarding your teaching, thats a shame only a few took up your class. (Awesome that you found a place at the park though). However, what is keeping you from trying out your own teaching method? There may be a way to help you teach students faster without abandoning the principles of your art.

For example, not that firing punches from the hip is the best way to throw a punch (it aint), but instead of making it the focus of every class for a year, have it be a drill someone practices at home and checked upon occasinally to ensure that the student is doing it properly.
My Sensei tought us the drill, I worked on it on my own time, I stopped shoulder punching about a couple of months in.

Wuji
8/18/2015 12:08pm,
When it comes down to it, after doing last nights class, I just don't think I'll be doing it much longer. I think I might try the guy out in Eugene, I believe he knows more of what he's talking about. I've always been encouraged to ask and to question, though it upsets the instructor I have right now when I ask or question things. That teaching method is just so counter productive. If someone asks something, it's showing interest, something you usually want to feed and have grow. I asked a couple things about the form and the application for them, so I could have a better visual representation when doing the form. He wouldn't explain it to me. He said the more questions I ask the less he's going to show me. On top of that, he lets his ego get in the way so much it's stupid. I don't think I'll be going next month.

I wish more people wanted to learn Xingyi, though it's rare to find someone who really wants to put in the time to learn it. My teaching method is pretty simple. I would do stretching, standing, forms, and conditioning. Though when people start I just start them slow and it depends on the person. Stretching and standing can be done for months. Then once you have that correct a good enough foundation is built to start learning the forums. My Shifu stressed and stressed standing San Ti shi, and a few other stances. Some of the "stances" weren't out right stances used normally in Xingyi, though they were used through out the forms. Such as Cross Legged Sitting Stance (Jiao Cha Pan Bu). A lot of people think of it as boring training, and I guess if you've done more active training where you spar more often it could be boring.

Though, what you learn from standing and the muscles you develop in your legs, the way your structure develops, it's training that can't be eased up on. Without a good foundation, the house crumbles. A good foundation makes picking up the future movements much easier too. My Shifu told me when he learned Pi Quan he did it for 3 years. He would do it in every class, he did it walking to the store, on the way home, walking through a part; every chance he had. That he did Pi Quan thousands of times before moving on. I don't teach that strict, though I do believe that repetition is very important.

Rivington
8/19/2015 12:12am,
Well, Wuji—if you disagree with the class so much, all the more reason not to take it. You already know better, right?

Wuji
8/19/2015 12:47am,
Eh, I enjoy the workout and the class is cheap. I like the actual Shifu way more then the instructor. I'm going to try working with him more then his student, if possible. If not, a guy in Eugene that has been doing it for some time. Once this month ends I'll decide to stay or go.

BackFistMonkey
8/19/2015 7:22am,
I have to echo what the others are asking. With 15 years of training, you should not have to ask a question like this.

However, I will play a little devil's advocate, and answer for others who may be curious about the same question and not have the years of experience to back up their own thoughts on the subject.

What style should I choose is the wrong question anyone can ask. It always is. The proper question would be, which style gives me what I am looking for in martial arts? You need to know what you want to get out of your martial arts training before you can decide on the kind of style you want.

There are two main styles out there. Soft styles and hard styles. Typical examples of hard styles include Tae Kwon Do, Karate, and MMA. Typical examples of soft styles include Kung Fu, Aikido/Hapkido, and Tai Chi. The primary difference is whether you meet force with force or whether you try to redirect force. That is a very drastic oversimplification, but I could give an hour long lecture on the differences between hard and soft styles, which isn't the point of this answer.

Older practitioners who have harder times moving will typically chose (or recommend) soft styles. Younger practitioners who are in peak physical prowess will typically choose hard styles. Of course, that is not a hard and fast rule, and there are more than a few exceptions to the rule.

It also isn't fair to say that all schools of the same style are the same. Kung Fu is typically a soft style, but Hun Ga Kung Fu is a hard style of Kung Fu.

Once you have decided if you want hard or soft style, you need to think about what you want out of it more in depth. Do you want a very self defense oriented style? I would recommend Hapkido/Aikido, BJJ, or a Krav Maga school. If you are looking for a quick striking (inside or outside striking) I would recommend Kung Fu, Wing Chun, or Karate schools. Are you looking for kicking? Then I recommend TKD, Karate, or Wu-Yin Yan-Jing. Are you looking for tournament style fighting? Then I recommend TKD (especially if you have aspirations of competing in the Olympics for a medal sport.) Are you looking to get into knock-down drag out fights? Then MMA is where you want to go.

All the different styles have something to offer. Also remember that no two schools of the same style are the same. I operate a TKD school that focuses more on self defense and street style fighting. Another school in the area focuses almost entirely on tournament fighting.

The best advice is to try them out, and choose the one that feels right to you.

You're cute. I hope you stick around and post more. You have a bright future here with your obvious wealth of knowledge and background.

Scott Larson
8/19/2015 9:55am,
I was mainly looking for a school to cross train, though all so to meet like minded people who want to train together. When you go into a gym, an old school gym with free weights. Where people go there and it's like a second home, they life like it's a religion. A place like that has a kind of energy that is just awesome. I really, really enjoy that, and I'm trying to find that in a local school.

In my experience, you will never have a positive experience with this approach UNLESS you are just looking to spar. You don't really want to learn their style (I don't blame you) and they don't want to learn yours. It's counter productive.

Wuji
8/19/2015 12:57pm,
Bright future? Eh, maybe. Took me a while to post here because I saw how brutal it can be here, though I love the lack of trolls. Any other forum I'm part of, the mods don't actually care very much. So you end up with tons of trolls and very stupid posts. I guess I've come to like Bullshido.

It's not that I don't want to learn Wing Chun. i don't want to learn American Boxing, that is correct. If you say you teach traditional Wing Chun (YIP man style) then teach what you say you teach. So far I actually enjoy Wing Chun, the biggest complaint is the lack of answering questions and being upset when even the smallest question is asked. I don't feel like I should have to resort to youtube to get an idea of what something is used for and some applications of said technique.

I really enjoy the sensitivity drills a lot, the sparring is fun too. It's also very affordable. I guess I was wanting more traditional. I'm going to try a class in Eugene with David Leung and see how much different it is. One benefit of Davids school is he has guest speakings frequently. George Wu is coming in October I believe, which would be pretty awesome. Anyway, thanks everyone.

Permalost
8/19/2015 4:46pm,
There are two main styles out there. Soft styles and hard styles. Typical examples of hard styles include Tae Kwon Do, Karate, and MMA. Typical examples of soft styles include Kung Fu, Aikido/Hapkido, and Tai Chi. The primary difference is whether you meet force with force or whether you try to redirect force. That is a very drastic oversimplification, but I could give an hour long lecture on the differences between hard and soft styles, which isn't the point of this answer.

Where in the hour long lecture do you talk about how hard and soft styles is an overly simplistic false dichotomy that only inexperienced martial artists talk about like its deep/important?

Wuji
8/19/2015 8:18pm,
I would agree that the difference between hard and soft is important as a learning tool. Especially when teaching someone who has only trained in "hard" martial arts. One of the few students I've had was a MT Boxer. He couldn't understand the benefit of soft over hard, thinking hard was the only way to win a fight. Giving a demonstration of soft vs hard was very easy, though I agree that it's not a "big deal". The longer you train the more you learn that soft can beat hard. Though, I think the art needs to express it at some point. My student had done MT Boxing for more then 5 years, though I highly doubt it every became soft. Though, I know little of MT, so I can't speak on that a ton.