Shotokan Karate dojo/ Shotokan in general
So I just got off the phone with the Instructor at JKA WF Chicago Karate Inc, and I have to admit, the guy talked a good game, theres primarily adults in the class, the fee structure is monthly (120/mnth) and the belt testing is static cost till black, up to 9 classes a week, (10 after brown). But the reason i'm a little bit worried is that full contact sparring doesn't begin until after you attain brown belt.
I understand that theres a safety concern with less expierienced individuals, but is this common practice? He said there was lighter sparring at the lower levels and that theres great care put into practical application, but I can't help but fear I will be doing kata's for the rest of my life.
I'm still juggling the thought of joining the judo dojo thats 5 minutes from my apartment ( check this thread with the info on that one: http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?t=106619 ) but I really am concerned about the quality of instruction there since they also teach aikido and jiujitsu there.
Lastly I am wondering if Shotokan is as tough, or tougher then Kyukushin, the one style I know for certain that this board approves of to an extent, if im going to do karate, I want visceral-bone-breaking leave my opponents hard to identify karate, not stand around and punch the air karate. I'm also interested in a style that merges well with Judo, as even if i do decide to go the karate route, judo is almost certainly something i want to take up in the future.
All your insights will be appreciated and keep the flames at low, for I am still weak and untrained in the arts of Internet Troll Fighting.
Obviously, what sparring is like in any given dojo is up to the people who run that particular dojo. That said, Kyokushin people primarily compete in knockdown karate competitions. Shotokan people primarily compete in point sparring competitions. You may infer certain general trends from these facts.
Originally Posted by swankmoney
Thanks for the response, I think judging by the fact that its light on the sparring, and the same price as the judo gym but 5x further away, ill just try the judo place and if it throws any red flags then I can look for alternatives.
What "red flags" would you be looking for? You have never trained in a martial art before, so what would you gage your judgment on? I think, you have interpreted, from this forum, that full contact sparring is a must in martial arts training. You have doubts about a school, which reserves full contact sparring for brown belts and above. When the folks on here talk about alive training, it's not limited to full contact sparring.
In fact, I'm sure many schools have lightened this practice up. I remember, as a youngster in Kajukembo, we used spar once a week, or at least twice a month, no pads,or protective gear. I broke my nose twice, and received numerous bruises and knots doing this. With parents and people willing to sue over every little thing nowadays, I'm surprised any schools would still practice in this manner. Hopefully there still those that do.
I wouldn't hold it against a, possibly good school, because they say they reserve full contact sparring for higher ranks. Especially since you have no experience at all yet. You don't jump in the ring with Pacquiao to learn how to box. It's good you are looking for a good reputable school to learn at, but don't be too restrictive. You are just beginning. What you need right now, is to get started and learn some basics.
In that time, do some traveling and visit some other schools, so you can compare what you are being taught to what others may offer. Just because you start at one school, doesn't mean you are married to it. There is good advice on this forum, but without walking through the doors of these schools, the advice given here is limited to assumptions. If you are serious about serious training, spend some time and money and experience what's out there. If these schools are garbage, you may be the one, in the future, who can tell someone, in your same position now, the reality of what these schools offer. Whether they be good solid schools, crappy schools, or maybe adequate for a beginner but you may want to look elsewhere as your experience and ability to travel further to train grows.
My question was about the sparring, I really wasn't trying to paint a picture where i wouldn't go to the school because of its sparring restrictions, but I was merely asking for the opinion of this forum.
In reality the only reason I won't be checking this out is because of the Judo gym i posted about which is 5 minutes away from my new apartment.
The only reason im hesitant about the judo gym is because judo is supposed to be this affordable martial art, but this place charges 120 dollars a month, which is more then you pay for bjj around here.
All together I've just had a really frustrating indecisive time picking schools to visit, if its not one thing its another, whether it be price, quality of instructors, etc... you would think a rich area like naperville would attract better options for training...
My mind will probably change when I visit some places but I just wish there was a cheap Judo gym around here...
It depends on the lineage/school. I do a different flavor, but I think it's pretty common for JKA and SKIF types to not do free-sparring till brown belt and before that to do things like "semi-free" sparring (i.e. you and your opponent each get one attack only).
I don't like point-sparring as a ruleset to practice under, but full-contact traditional point-sparring is very far removed from what most people on this board think of when they hear point-sparring. It's not the best way to practice, but it's not that bad.
You probably will do some air punching in any type of karate, which isn't all bad, so long as it doesn't take the place of heavy bag or pads. You will probably wind up doing a lot of kata in Shotokan though if the school is good you will learn good skills too. It's a winding scenic route to them however, not something you can do for a couple of years and get kinda-decent/good-enough at.
IMO Shotokan does blend very well with Judo, more so than any random striking art plus Judo being a good combo. A lot of the best material in Shotokan involves explosive distance-closing. One should become very good at closing to Judo-range against a puncher/kicker without taking damage on the way in. On the flip side, the weakest area for Shotokan is in-fighting which Judo nicely fills.
P.S. Every martial arts website/instructor says what they teach is practical. You just have to watch them spar and judge for yourself if it looks like fighting. You can't ask strangers on the internet to tell you exactly how you will be spending your time in class, particularly for non-homogenized arts like karate.
Also, if the BJJ gyms by you are cheaper than that Judo dojo, why not try out their classes?
Last edited by maofas; 5/31/2011 5:03am at .
Thanks for the reply and I'll keep that in mind for the future. Chances are I will be visiting the judo gym this Thursday to figure out if its what I need. If so, ill probably just wait till later in my life and do Kyukushin when where I live makes it more readily available.
Don't wait till later. Never wait. You need to start now. If you wait, then, someday, you'll be eighty years old saying, "I should have..." I don't know how old you are, or why a 25 minute drive to train is a deal breaker? You know your situation better than any of us on this forum, I would say, if you really want to train in Kyukushin then seek it out now and do what you have to do to train there. If it just isn't possible, find the next best thing, which probably is the Shotokan school, or like another poster said, do the judo, so you will be a more rounded martial artist, when you finally find a school that teaches what you are looking for. What ever you do, don't stop seeking out the art you want.
I may be off base, but I got a hint of you, not necessarily giving up, but settling for less than what you truly want to train in. The phrase "wait till later in my life" is a slippery slope to never.
You were mistaken, I'm checking out the judo gym tommorrow, If it looks legit ill be doing that, the issue wasnt 25 minutes it was that the judo is 5 minutes away and costs just as much. Kyukushin is more then 25 minutes, its at least 35 and costs more then the judo, im not going to settle for shotokan because id rather just do judo which im more interested anyway.
I said id do kyukushin after I move because it would be cross training with judo, and i just plain dont make enough money or have enough time do both.
No giving up here, im determind to turn my fists into objects of destruction, whether they become catapults or battering rams is the question at this point.
Ok good! Sounds like you have a good plan. I just know I would be on much better ground, if I hadn't listened to friends and family, and stayed with my martial arts training rather than playing football in high school. Had I not stopped training in Kalukembo at that time, I would easily be able to teach now. Instead, I'm looking to rejoin as a white belt, next month when the next session starts. I'm three ranks away from shodan in aikido, and I think it's time to return to my roots, so I can teach both when I retire from state service.
I've been saying I was going to return to Kajukembo for the past ten years, but always allowed some reason to get in the way. Now I am having to sacrifice family time and move within multiple schedules. It would have been easier and more advantageous to have done it ten year ago.
I also have been dabbling in Muay Thai, and I intend to add it to my morning workouts. The nearest reputable gym is about thirty to forty minutes away from me. When my toddler is in regular school, my mornings will be mine again. As soon as I make black belt in Kajukembo, I'm looking for a BJJ school, and Escrima school also. Always seek knowledge.
Last edited by Aikironin21; 6/01/2011 1:55pm at .