Hello - An introduction to my new MMA school; Sydney, Australia
I've been lurking here for over a year, I finally registered, and am getting sick of that yellow text calling me a dirty non-posting lurker, so here's a post...
I spent about two or three years boxing in my teens. I was technically good at it, but lacked the aggression I needed. The trainers often told me "Look, you're a better boxer than 'this or that' guy, but he's out-fighting you. You need to work on being aggressive in the ring".
I never did work on that. Pacifist at heart, I guess.
13 years later, I found that my essentially 'good' nature was causing me problems, as I would find myself trying to intervene in situations where I just didn't have the skill or brawn to back up what I was saying (I.e. a few road rage incidents where I stepped in for the little guy, etc etc). After getting into a serious argument with a big nasty security guard who was beating his canine, and getting a bottle thrown at my head both within the space of a couple of days, I decided 'screw it, I'm going to learn/re-learn how to fight'.
So I started considering a few martial arts schools. The more I looked into the MA business, the faster my head spun... WTF is it about MA that makes it a such a cess pool of liars, scumbags, assholes, and people with serious psychological problems? (I already know the long and complicated answer to that one, don't worry).
In the end, I decided I would just go with my gut. After watching one of their training sessions, I signed up with a group in Sydney called Northstar Martial Arts. The head instructor is a fellow named Andrew (Andy) Dickinson. He seems like a genuine guy, and a genuinely good guy. I checked out some of his claimed credentials, and they checked out just fine.
I've read all the n00b stickies, and no; you can't attain a black belt in a year at this school; Yes, they incorporate 'aliveness', and they use full-contact sparring and full-resistance grappling, and although they are nice people, they work you hard. The head trainer/trainers do not berate their students, nor do they tell stupid war stories or any other obvious bullshido.
The 'style' that is taught by the school is named 'Shinbudo', but even the founder himself will agree that the name really means nothing; 'Shinbudo' is not a style, it's just the name of the school at which I am learning to fight. The style is really just a mixed martial art, taking the best from everything and putting it all together. They train boxing, kicking, elbows and knees, and grappling - both upright and on the mat.
The boxing is easy enough for me, and throwing a few kicks in here and there is good fun, but **** gets serious when you're on the mat underneath a 120Kg black belt. I'm not good at that. I'm still recovering from a popped rib from the last time this happened - it's my fault; they told me to tap out, but I refused... until one of my ribs came free (technically I still didn't tap out, but my opponent tapped me out and said no more)
Anyway, lay into me, tell me how much I suck and how stupid I am - it's all good.
I would like to hear experiences from any other Northstar people, past or present, positive or negative. So far (1 month in) I am loving every moment of it, and I wish I could be there every night.
Sounds like you are having fun with your training, great stuff! Good to hear they are making you feel welcome. Not sure what area in Sydney you train, but check out SPMA if you get the chance, just to compare. There are some very experienced and down to earth instructors in that gym. Have fun!
Originally Posted by Punchy Smurf
Yeah, funny you should bring it up as SPMA were the other main contenders on my list (although not all that funny really, as there is a fairly limited scene of legitimate MMA schools in Sydney). I actually checked them out in person -unbeknownst to them- during a closed-door grading session for one of the kids classes, using my ultra-stealth ninja skills. They were great with the kids, and I couldn't say anything bad about them at all. Like I said, I just went with my gut instinct.
Originally Posted by Grab my fist
SPMA is in Concord, and I train in Balmain. Both of these suburbs are part of the Inner-West of Sydney, and they are both close to me.
Thanks for the welcome, and good luck to you too.
Sounds like you've researched well and found what you're after. Enjoy!
Originally Posted by Punchy Smurf
Welcome to Bullshido. It is always good when we find an art that fits us.
Originally Posted by Devil