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  1. #1
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    Moving to Norman/Oklahoma City, good self-defense training?

    Hi! First post!

    I'll be moving to the Norman/Oklahoma City area in a few months, and I'm trying to scout for good training opportunities. I've been training for about 8 years now. I had a good, self-defense-focused Kung Fu teacher to start out. Then I lived for a while in Japan and trained in the Bujinkan organization (with some of the non-crazies). I've also done some Wing Chun.

    The theme of my training choices has always been to look for real application and refined technique, and to avoid both showmen and muscleheads. I'm not interested in competitions or wearing belts or even winning by being stronger than the other guy. I'm looking for both mental and physical training geared strictly toward self-defense. I've done some grappling/groundwork, but I'm more interested in how to avoid/escape grappling than how to win using it. I've also done some weapon work and like a mix of barehand and armed training.

    I've mainly been looking at Krav Maga, Jeet Kune Do, Systema, and Boxing, but I'm pretty open to different styles if the training's solid. I would appreciate any recommendations within about 30-40 minutes drive of the OU campus.

    Here are a few websites I've been looking at. Any reviews of these are appreciated. General recommendations are also welcome.

    Krav Maga. Looks a bit kids/fitness oriented, but the guy apparently has a law enforcement background.
    steveswinford.com

    Krav Maga/Systema-based self-defense. Seems interesting, but hard to really read just from the vids on the website. Apparently only offers one-on-one lessons, which sounds pricey.
    wagokc.com

    Systema. Seems to be a group that meets inside another dojo. No idea how the training is.
    systemaoklahoma.com

    Jeet Kune Do. I read another thread on here that suggested the teacher might be legit. Would love to know more.
    evolutionmartialartsokc.com

    Boxing gyms seem a dime a dozen. If anyone knows a particularly good teacher, or especially one oriented towards self-defense, that'd be great.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2

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    There's a bjj gym in OKC but I haven't been inside

  3. #3
    hungryjoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ogrimtitan View Post
    Hi! First post!

    I'll be moving to the Norman/Oklahoma City area in a few months, and I'm trying to scout for good training opportunities. I've been training for about 8 years now. I had a good, self-defense-focused Kung Fu teacher to start out. Then I lived for a while in Japan and trained in the Bujinkan organization (with some of the non-crazies). I've also done some Wing Chun.

    The theme of my training choices has always been to look for real application and refined technique, and to avoid both showmen and muscleheads. I'm not interested in competitions or wearing belts or even winning by being stronger than the other guy. I'm looking for both mental and physical training geared strictly toward self-defense. I've done some grappling/groundwork, but I'm more interested in how to avoid/escape grappling than how to win using it. I've also done some weapon work and like a mix of barehand and armed training.

    I've mainly been looking at Krav Maga, Jeet Kune Do, Systema, and Boxing, but I'm pretty open to different styles if the training's solid. I would appreciate any recommendations within about 30-40 minutes drive of the OU campus.

    Here are a few websites I've been looking at. Any reviews of these are appreciated. General recommendations are also welcome.

    Krav Maga. Looks a bit kids/fitness oriented, but the guy apparently has a law enforcement background.
    steveswinford.com

    Krav Maga/Systema-based self-defense. Seems interesting, but hard to really read just from the vids on the website. Apparently only offers one-on-one lessons, which sounds pricey.
    wagokc.com

    Systema. Seems to be a group that meets inside another dojo. No idea how the training is.
    systemaoklahoma.com

    Jeet Kune Do. I read another thread on here that suggested the teacher might be legit. Would love to know more.
    evolutionmartialartsokc.com

    Boxing gyms seem a dime a dozen. If anyone knows a particularly good teacher, or especially one oriented towards self-defense, that'd be great.

    Thanks in advance!
    Evolution MA - I've watched some of Joel Ledlow's classes and spoke with him a few times during my daughters swimming lessons. Nice guy, but they don't spar if I remember correctly. Besides, The Lighthouse is far north OKC and a bit of a drive from the OU campus.

    Western Avenue Boxing is a little closer, but still N OKC. Don't know anything about them.

    Systema class is held at the dojo where I practiced aikido and judo many years ago. While I don't know Blake LeBlanc, I can make inquiries if you'd like.

    Check into Conan's in Norman.

    http://www.conansacademy.com/about.html

    I used to take lessons from Scott Mincey a couple of decades ago. He was a good kickboxer in his prime and got Tony Georgiadias to corner for me. His place offers boxing, kickboxing, jujitsu, mma and karate. Don't know who teaches what.

  4. #4

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    Lovato's is the BJJ school.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by hungryjoe View Post
    Systema class is held at the dojo where I practiced aikido and judo many years ago. While I don't know Blake LeBlanc, I can make inquiries if you'd like.

    Check into Conan's in Norman.

    I used to take lessons from Scott Mincey a couple of decades ago. He was a good kickboxer in his prime and got Tony Georgiadias to corner for me. His place offers boxing, kickboxing, jujitsu, mma and karate. Don't know who teaches what.
    - Thank you for the insight. I would be interested to know more about the Systema class, as I know Systema training can range from really good to really terrible (as anything can, of course).

    - I'll also look into Conan's if you think the training is legit. A combo of boxing and jujitsu seems like it could work for my goals. Do you know anything about their jujitsu?

    Also:

    - Thanks to those who recommended BJJ, but it's not really what I'm looking for.

    - If anyone knows of (good) Krav Maga in the area, I'd love to check that out.

    - I'm especially keen to train with folks who've had "real" experience (law enforcement, active military, corrections officers, etc.), so any such teacher recommendations are doubly appreciated.

    Thanks for everything so far!

    Edit: anyone know anything about this place? titankravmaga.com
    Last edited by ogrimtitan; 5/24/2012 4:30pm at .

  6. #6
    hungryjoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ogrimtitan View Post
    - Thank you for the insight. I would be interested to know more about the Systema class, as I know Systema training can range from really good to really terrible (as anything can, of course).

    - I'll also look into Conan's if you think the training is legit. A combo of boxing and jujitsu seems like it could work for my goals. Do you know anything about their jujitsu?

    Also:

    - Thanks to those who recommended BJJ, but it's not really what I'm looking for.

    - If anyone knows of (good) Krav Maga in the area, I'd love to check that out.

    - I'm especially keen to train with folks who've had "real" experience (law enforcement, active military, corrections officers, etc.), so any such teacher recommendations are doubly appreciated.

    Thanks for everything so far!

    Edit: anyone know anything about this place? titankravmaga.com
    Just talked to Scott at Conan's. The jujitsu is of the Japanese variety. Go check him out and get you a free week after signing a waiver. If you go, tell Scot hungryjoe sent you his way.

    Titan Kravmaga - Don't know anything about the class, but Scott Hewitt is a bjj black belt so the training should be more alive than the average krav school.

    Will check into the Systema class, but it's held only on Sunday.

  7. #7
    Permalost's Avatar
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    Welcome to Bullshido.

    I did some systema after almost a decade of kung fu, and lemme tell ya, its the most odd, varied training methodology I've ever seen. I liked it because it was fun moreso than super d34dly. Anyway, there's plenty of reading to be done on this site about systema, but the general consensus is that there's a lot of crap out there.

  8. #8
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    Thank you both for the input. When I get to Norman, I plan to check each of those places out.

    Aside: has anyone heard of this place? steveswinford.com
    As I said in my first post, the website turns me off completely with all its talk about fitness, kids classes, birthday parties, etc., but I understand that can be just a marketing issue. On the other hand, the guy apparently has a long background in law enforcement, which could mean he's really legit. I plan to scope it out, but would love to get some input from the already informed. Thanks!

  9. #9

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    Check out this link. http://oklahomajudo.org/blog/category/clubs/
    Has a couple of Judo schools that I have heard are decent.

  10. #10

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    Hey I born/raised in Norman and trained at Conan's & Titan's in Norman as well as Lovato's in OKC.

    Lovato is a world-champion Brazilian Jiu Jitsu instructor. His instruction is top notch and they offer boxing/no-gi grappling classes there as well. The emphasis there is competition Jiu Jitsu and it doesn't get any better than his school if you're wanting to learn how to grapple.

    Conan's is a boxing gym and he received his black belt in Japanese Jiu Jitsu. None of the students there are above a blue belt level (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu) and although the boxing there is great, I would not go there looking to learn how to grapple. The instructor does not have black belt level Brazilian Jiu Jitsu skills and I would say high blue-purple at best.

    Titan's martial arts is a school in Norman that recently picked up Krav Maga and has Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes. There are some good jiu jitsu students there and is a good place to learn jiu jitsu for beginners. No boxing here, though.

    It really depends on what you're looking for. If you want the best grappling instruction out there, go to Lovato's in OKC. If you want to box but not grapple (grappling is extremely weak here), go to Conan's. If you want Jiu Jitsu instruction that's OK and want to stay in the Norman area, go to Titan's (Krav Maga is extremely new here).

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