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  1. #1

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    Greetings and question about cross training

    Hi guys, how's it going?

    For those who just want to answer the question read paragraph 2 and 3 of QUESTION and CONCLUSION.

    INTRO
    So before I get to the question abit about myself. Why not? I am an Aussie, a Vietnamese Melbournian to be precise. I am currently in my last year of high-school and plan on moving into something like biomedical engineering in the future(considering that I get the score). I've been doing Goju-ryu karate since 05 and have reached a black belt level, Shodan-ho I believe they call it. Fighting somehow interests me, maybe it is the learning aspect, or maybe I have a hidden urge to destroy the cocky bastards that I might bump into; it has yet to be discovered. Usually when I'm bored or procrastinating from my studies, I find myself kicking and punching the air (quite distracting indeed).

    QUESTION
    Considering that this is my last year of school, the holidays will be a long three month break. I plan on testing out different styles to go with my karate and perhaps even start balancing the two fighting styles. I need some of your thoughts on my situation and which I should opt for.

    For those who don't know Goju-ryu (the one that I do at least), it focuses mainly on stand up fighting. There are a plethora of Katas and Bunkais that are routine in the dojo. Correct technique is drilled into training, so is good form. Fundamentally, it revolves around hand techniques including blocks, a few locks (not as much as I would like), grabs as well as takedowns. Leg techniques are few however versatile. Contact sparring is avoided and the closest you can get is point sparring. It is a shame to say that Body conditioning is not heavily emphasized. The lesson goes around 15 minutes of warm ups (can extend to 30), 15 minutes of basics or other things that facilitate as a warm up. 30 minutes of the curriculum (katas, kumite, bunkai (almost a certainty)).

    What I want is another style that is good for fitness and conditioning, blends well with my Goju, and lastly emphasises contact fighting that is useful for self defence purposes. Currently I have several styles in mind, judo, bjj, muay thai and mma.

    My knowledge of each of these:
    -Judo: focuses on takedowns and throws. Has some overlap with BJJ but focuses on the standing up aspect. Will help my goju and strengthen my standing up defence; however I'm not sure how it will fair in a realistic street scenario. Both originate from Japan, which seems desirable when paired together.

    -Bjj: ground work. Will assist my ground defence, where it will allow me to transition from takedowns to possible submissions and locks. Useful if I get taken to the floor and allows me to deal with tougher and bigger peeps despite my small size (160cm). I'm aware the last place you want to end up in a fight is on the ground but it won't hurt to have the skills.
    I'm not sure whether I'm completely comfortable with wrestling with other sweaty people, but the outcome justifies the sacrifices.

    -Muay thai: striking and kicking. Looks like it conditions and toughens the body to a desirable level that seems to be lacking in the dojo I go to. It can function as my exercise and possibly increase my reaction and speed that can be useful in my karate. I'm concerned about whether doing 2 striking arts will be redundant and whether it will affect my technique in karate or vice versa. Primarily I am interested in the intense contact fighting.

    -MMA: a mixture of all. Will assist in my adaptation skills and like muay thai offers contact fighting. I'm not sure whether it focuses more on the sporting aspect or self defence side of things. Furthermore, I'm not sure how heavily the other styles are incorporated into mma.

    *contact fighting- what are your experiences with this? Is it brutal and painful, intimidating maybe? How is it controlled? Please enlighten a noob.

    CONCLUSION
    Before you bros go and say it depends on the school, these are all taught at the same school, evolvemma. Currently I am leaning towards either mma or bjj. I have yet to try an introductory class but I want to hear other people's thoughts and personal opinions.

    Thanks in advance gents.

  2. #2

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    Well, ill start by saying that if your goal is to be better in karate than why not do Kyokoshin karate? it is full contact, but still karate, i think it will be way easier for you to transition to kyokoshin than MT. If you aren't comfortable with full contact striking, than i will suggest either judo or bjj. BJJ is easier on the body, less injuries, but if you ask me a little less effective as a self defense art especially if you wish to combine it with your significant striking background (assuming your instincts will be to stand and strike in a fight rather than roll). Try judo IMO first, it is highly effective and tough. Though you do owe it to yourself to try MT or boxing or kickboxing even for just a couple of lessons. Try and get some light sparring with guys that have a couple of years in it. I think this will be enough to open your eyes. You think you are a good striker because of a black belt, than you face a MT guy with a few amateur fights and a couple of years and you will be shocked. i would suggest boxing if you have a gym near you, it will compliment nicely your karate kicking stile with some actual fighting skills. If i thought you had a solid striking background i would say do a grappling art, but i don't think you have a solid striking background, so you will do good to first learn how to fight standing. All sport MA will have a heavy emphasis on fitness and conditioning, so in that aspect they are all good.

  3. #3

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    Thanks for the tips. I would try the other karate, but there are none in the area. For convenience the mma place is closest which takes less then 15 minutes to get there by car.

    Yes, my striking isn't all the best. Form wise, it is good. But in terms of speed and power it is not up to standards like an amateur boxer. I should give muay thai a try, although I am concerned about the difference in techniques and the possible adjustments I might need to make. For instance in goju, power from a punch comes from slightly rotating the hips and then twisting the fist just before impact. Given that it has power, it is quite slow. Is it different for boxing and such?

    So what's your experience with full contact sparring. Have there been any knockouts or other severe harm? I think it is safe to say that Goju has made me somewhat a ***** when it comes to taking a punch.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colbalt View Post
    Thanks for the tips. I would try the other karate, but there are none in the area. For convenience the mma place is closest which takes less then 15 minutes to get there by car.

    Yes, my striking isn't all the best. Form wise, it is good. But in terms of speed and power it is not up to standards like an amateur boxer. I should give muay thai a try, although I am concerned about the difference in techniques and the possible adjustments I might need to make. For instance in goju, power from a punch comes from slightly rotating the hips and then twisting the fist just before impact. Given that it has power, it is quite slow. Is it different for boxing and such?

    So what's your experience with full contact sparring. Have there been any knockouts or other severe harm? I think it is safe to say that Goju has made me somewhat a ***** when it comes to taking a punch.
    In boxing you also rotate your hips and torso. It will be different but better late than never. Go to the MMA thing because it is close, do MT and bjj. The sparring intensity is totally up to you and your partner, you can tell him you are a noob and you don't wish to get punched hard. If you yourself also take it slow and easy on him you would get a light sparring session. A second point is the protective gear, if you start MT than purchase good protective gear and that will help a lot. In my boxing gym we usually don't go over 70 80 %. And a lot of the time way lower especially if it is more technique oriented. Still if you don't have a good head gear it will show. If you go hard it is a matter of time before someone will punch your nose hard enough to make you regret it :). Usually there are just a few tender noses (we all have head gears on, otherwise add black eyes) in the end of a sparring class. It really isn't a big deal. Don't be embarrassed asking your coach and sparring partner to take it easy on you, and you get used to it gradually, it really isn't a big deal, boxing is actually pretty safe if you take it easy in sparring.

  5. #5
    Fuzzy's Avatar
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    Welcome to Bullshido

    1) Captain Israel speaks the truth.
    2) I'm going to be honest here, the Goju you're doing sounds terrible, even the non-sparring Goju clubs I've trained with strike at full power during bunkai and focus heavily on strength and conditioning.
    3) Given point 2 above, you are going to find any kind of alive training to be quite a shock. I recommend giving everything at the MMA club a try (maybe spread this out over a week or 2 and try each class to see a) if its for you and b) which you like best.
    4) Be prepared, its going to be very different from what you're used to and might be a bit of a shock.

  6. #6
    slamdunc's Avatar
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    Welcome to Bullshido.



    Quote Originally Posted by Devil View Post
    You can not intellectualize your way to being a competent fighter.

  7. #7
    Permalost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colbalt View Post
    -Judo: focuses on takedowns and throws. Has some overlap with BJJ but focuses on the standing up aspect. Will help my goju and strengthen my standing up defence; however I'm not sure how it will fair in a realistic street scenario. Both originate from Japan, which seems desirable when paired together.
    IIRC, Judo is from Japan but Goju is actually from Okinawa. And the Go and Ju part (hard and soft) come from Chinese styles. The styles that led to judo were Japanese JJ, not karate.

    -Bjj: ground work. Will assist my ground defence, where it will allow me to transition from takedowns to possible submissions and locks. Useful if I get taken to the floor and allows me to deal with tougher and bigger peeps despite my small size (160cm). I'm aware the last place you want to end up in a fight is on the ground but it won't hurt to have the skills.
    I'm not sure whether I'm completely comfortable with wrestling with other sweaty people, but the outcome justifies the sacrifices.
    Wrestling with sweaty people is often part of fighting.

    -Muay thai: striking and kicking. Looks like it conditions and toughens the body to a desirable level that seems to be lacking in the dojo I go to. It can function as my exercise and possibly increase my reaction and speed that can be useful in my karate. I'm concerned about whether doing 2 striking arts will be redundant and whether it will affect my technique in karate or vice versa. Primarily I am interested in the intense contact fighting.
    If anything, the MT habits are probably better for fighting than the karate ones. You might find yourself keeping your chin tucked instead of out, keeping your hands up instead of low, and keeping light on the feet instead of rooted in a wide stance. IMHO these are all things that are superior to what you usually see in karate. I wouldn't call the 2 striking arts redundant because they are actually rather different.

    -MMA: a mixture of all. Will assist in my adaptation skills and like muay thai offers contact fighting. I'm not sure whether it focuses more on the sporting aspect or self defence side of things. Furthermore, I'm not sure how heavily the other styles are incorporated into mma.
    Usually it focuses on the sport side of things, which is paradoxically better than a lot of self defense courses when it comes to defending oneself. In sport, you will learn to defend against real strikes, takedowns etc.

    *contact fighting- what are your experiences with this? Is it brutal and painful, intimidating maybe? How is it controlled? Please enlighten a noob.
    Varies depending on group, but they'll usually ease you into things.

  8. #8
    Permalost's Avatar
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    My other advise is that you're not married to the first martial art style you've done, so you don't have to think "I'm a goju guy, who crosstrains in jiujitsu". You could just be a martial artist, and adhere to the things you like while feeling free to reject parts of your studied arts. You might even find that you scrap a lot of what you've learned in favor of other things.

  9. #9
    alex's Avatar
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    you sound like youre in the exact same position as me roughly 6 months before i stopped the chop socky kung fu nonsense and started doing an actual martial art and learnt to fight properly. grats.

  10. #10

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    Thanks guys, I definitely keep these things in mind.

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