Shotokan is a very mixed bag. I hear some schools (organisations?) are good and spar hard. Others keep kumite to 1-step and 3-step and no-contact or very light free sparring (this was my own experience). Unless the school is part of an organisation noted for good training and quality sparring, you’ll have to evaluate it on an individual basis; the style is no guarantee.
Still, it’s not really an art one often hears about in a context of producing people who successfully compete in high-level striking competition (with the lonely outliers of the Machidas, obviously, with their modified version and cross training). I’m sure there are good Shotokan schools, but style-wise Muay Thai or knockdown karate styles like Kyokushin, Ashihara, Enshin &c., are surely much safer bets.
wow, thanks for all the input guys and gals. I was looking for a better dojang and this one seems promising, but let me know what you think.
Yeah, basically the same thing. I took a semester of TSD in college and it was nearly identical to Shotokan.
Originally Posted by jspeedy
Let me give you my experience of HapKiDo. It taught me wristlocks. As I had learnt some Muay Thai as a teenager and had been a rather large young dumb drunk idiot, I fought a lot in bars and clubs. I realised that wristlocks wouldn't work on someone trying to fight me, but I also realised that pain compliance was a real thing (and not just something that security guards can apply when they are in large numbers). I also realised I had no idea of this concept of leverage, to me martial arts were kicking and punching, kneeing and elbowing, and with my minimal knowledge of judo, that you could throw people on to the floor. My interest in MMA was very uneducated, I thought throwing people on the floor was so you could get on top of them and punch and kick and knee and elbow. The concept of leverage intrigued me, I needed to know more, so I started to search and found this website. This website lead me to train in BJJ and Judo, with the option of stand up arts like Muay Thai and Kyokushin.
I truly thank HapKiDo for indirectly and unintentionally introducing me to bullshido and "alive" training.
It can be translated a number of ways, such as The Way of Coordinating Power. I prefer the philosophical translation, The Way of Harmonising with Life Energy. I actually have the symbols tattooed on me, due to the philosophical (some would say faux- or pseudo- but I don't care) meaning, but now it is a constant reminder of how grateful I am to have been put on my current martial arts journey.
Basically what I am saying is that you should cut out the middle man, avoid getting a tattoo of an art you no longer do and do judo, BJJ, Muay Thai or Kyokushin if you have the opportunity. If Shotokan spars (and it must be hard sparring, no light contact, no pulling punches), then check it out.
I do hapkido and I can tell you it gets frustrating with the lack of sparing compared to other styles. We are fortunate not to have lots of high flashy kicks and we also focus a lot on pad work, the instructor also trains in mma and has an open mind.
I think hapkido in general can kinda suck and just depends on the school. I'm not saying mine is the best but the fact we do a lot of pad work and non flash kicks makes it okay.
It's also kinda funny that when you do sparing in HKD that it doesn't even look like hapkido it's more like MT. Wrist locks are just so hard to pull off that's just fact.
I guess the good part of hapkido is that it's diverse and if you find a good school with sparing and grappling it's a fun martial art. I've tried classes in judo, bjj and kyokushin and I still like hapkido.
Just try everything and make us mind up no one can tell you what is the best Ma for you, at the end of the day it's a about having fun
I know a guy with a choy li fut tattoo who no longer does the style, and it doesn't really have the philosophical fallback of something like hapkido.
Originally Posted by battlefields
Found the level 10 dojang's youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/jamestheros
Their school doesn't look so good to me- stay away imho.
hmm a quick look at that westmudokwan.com has me bothered about one thing:
"Grandmaster Choung M. Park has earned 9th Degree Black Belts in
Tae Kwon Do, Judo, and Hapkido."
Not very many 9th degree Judo players out there- I'd want to get some good verification from whatever governing body he got that from ie: Kodokan, USJA, USJF, etc.
I suppose it could be a yudo rank- Maybe one of the more knowledgeable guys could tell you about that.
I decided to take up the suggestion about muay thai and there's a gym on the west side that teaches it with other arts like jujitsu. here's a link.
I'm not sure if this muay thai school is really that good though, they make some pretty outrageous claims...