OK, so I'm fresh meat. I've already put up a little post about my experience with FMA so I'll flesh that out a wee bit and babble a little about what other styles I've been acquainted with....
So, this year I started training in Pekiti Tirsia Kali and Panantukan. I like it and I think that there is a fair bit that is useful in real world situations. It's by no means an all-encompassing style, but it's a good start. Sometimes, the drills feel a little LARP-y but I think that if you're learning how to use weapons there is a limit to how alive your training can be!
When I was in my late teens, I dabbled in a few styles over the course of 5 years or so. I spent a few years at a school that taught Isshinryu Karate and BJJ. The BJJ classes were taught by a Judo BB that had a blue belt in BJJ. The club had an emphasis on alive sparring and that was something that I really liked about it. Fortunately, there wasn't a lot of ego at the school and black eyes, bloody noses, and split lips were punctuated with laughs, hugs, and handshakes.
After I left that school I checked out a couple of Chinese styles. I spent the better part of a year learning Choy Lay Fut. My experience there was OK. It felt like a pretty traditional approach insofar that a lot of time was spent on conditioning (those folk-tales about horse stances held for prolonged periods proved to be true!) and the forms were introduced gradually; new moves were shown only after the preceding techniques were well understood. It was an interesting experience but it wasn't really what I was looking for. I also spent several months training with a senior student of Jon Funk (I know, I know...) and learned the first form of 7 Star Praying Mantis and in university I took a Wing Chun class and learned Si Lum Tao and some sticky hands over the course of a semester. That didn't excite me much either.
So now I've started another journey learning FMA. I have done a lot of damage to my knees and I have had one ACL reconstruction and my other knee's ACL is also torn. That leg is pretty strong and after an arthroscopy that I have scheduled for this winter I think I'll be good to go! After my surgery this winter I want to begin to train at a Gracie Barra BJJ school also that is near where I live. I've read a few threads here and the unintentional (and intentional!) comedy is pretty entertaining!
Welcome. I have only one piece of advice for your training: err on the side of caution. If your body is going through some ****, don't chance anything. Many folks will tell you, there ain't no comin' back from certain injuries.
Welcome to bullshido. I also went from choy li fut to FMA (but I was in CLF a lot longer), and I really prefer the FMA training. Are you doing any sort of sparring in FMA? The way that's done can vary a lot.
I haven't started sparring. I'm a bit... trepidatious on account of my injuries but I plan to participate in the early spring once I've healed up after surgery. I'm also hanging back because I want to strengthen my legs and my skills a bit more. Two of the Guros have encouraged me to come to Dog Brothers class though, which is pretty motivating. I've seen them go at it. It's full-bore, Dog Brothers style. This video is from a few years ago, but some of the fighters in it still train at the school and what I've seen personally is much like what you'll see here;