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  1. RangerMan is offline

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    Posted On:
    11/17/2005 11:50am


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    Newb to Martial Arts looking for some help in Austin TX

    Hello, I am new to the board and new to martial arts. I have always been interested but never took the time or initiative to do anything about it. That is soon to change, and in January I plan to begin participating in some form of martial art. I have not narrowed down on what discipline I plan to study and would like some guidance and suggestions.

    I know that MMA is very popular. I tried Judo once as a youngster and it was fun. I am looking for a way to exercise, and learn something new. I would like to participate in something that has sparring as a key component of the training.

    I searched, and found mostly recommendations for BJJ in the Austin area. I was wondering if there was a list of good schools that I should further investigate and a list of schools to avoid. I want to go somewhere that the instructors will actually teach me something, not to just go and get thrown around by the more advanced students…if I wanted to do that I would just start picking fights in bars.

    I say I am partially leaning towards Kendo, but am also interested in learning an unarmed martial art as well. I am by no means locked into anything in particular. The key is good instruction and sparring.

    I am open to suggestions and comments about what is available in Austin, TX. Thanks!
  2. jnp is offline
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    Posted On:
    11/17/2005 12:09pm

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     Style: BJJ, wrestling

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    What are your goals in learning MA? Are you interested in doing it for health or self defense? Do you find the idea of hard sparring acceptable? Would you prefer standup or groundwork? You said you were leaning towards Kendo. Does this mean you prefer a weapon based art only, or one that has elements of both weapons and unarmed techniques? Do you have the time and money to study more than one art? Answering questions like these will help us help you.

    Try to be as specific as possible when answering. People get into MA's for different reasons and this affects what style they choose.
    Shut the hell up and train.
  3. AikidoDeadlines is offline

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    Posted On:
    11/17/2005 12:15pm


     Style: BJJ blue

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I'd say this place looks pretty good. Just looked on BJJ.org.

    Vandry Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
    8650 Spicewood Springs Road, Suite 116
    Austin, TX 78759

    The instructor, William Vandry , is a black belt, and it's kinda hard to go wrong with that. Check out his purple belt, David Thomas, too at

    Austin Jiu Jitsu
    301 Inwood Rd.
    Austin, TX 78746

    When you are starting, learning form a purple or a black belt doesn't really make any difference, you are only going to catch onto the fundamentals anyway. Thus it is more important for the teacher to be good at teaching. So I would suggest you check out both instructors, and go with whichever instructor seems to be the best teacher.
  4. jnp is offline
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    Posted On:
    11/17/2005 12:21pm

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     Style: BJJ, wrestling

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    Quote Originally Posted by AikidoDeadlines
    I'd say this place looks pretty good. Just looked on BJJ.org.

    Vandry Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
    8650 Spicewood Springs Road, Suite 116
    Austin, TX 78759

    The instructor, William Vandry , is a black belt, and it's kinda hard to go wrong with that. Check out his purple belt, David Thomas, too at

    Austin Jiu Jitsu
    301 Inwood Rd.
    Austin, TX 78746

    When you are starting, learning form a purple or a black belt doesn't really make any difference, you are only going to catch onto the fundamentals anyway. Thus it is more important for the teacher to be good at teaching. So I would suggest you check out both instructors, and go with whichever instructor seems to be the best teacher.

    William is my instructor. Dave is a former student of Williams'. Of course I would recommend William, but I'm not sure that Bjj fits your MA needs RangerMan, which is why I didn't suggest it in the first place. Need more info.
    Shut the hell up and train.
  5. ziritrion is offline

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    Posted On:
    11/17/2005 12:44pm


     Style: kendo

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Kendoka (kenshi) here.

    T3h r34l kendo is a sport. It's lots of fun, but it's just a sport with a heavy Japanese cultural influence (obviously). Don't expect to learn how to handle a sword and become a samurai or something like that. Equipment is very expensive, but all schools I've seen lend you the necessary gear, although you'll probably have to share it with somebody else. A normal class consists of a warm-up, some basic individual drills, coupled drills, and finally gigeiko (point sparring).

    Some schools are very into Japanese protocol: formal attitude, long ceremonies for salutating, etc... Others are focused on competition. And there's the middle ground. The problem with kendo is that if you focus too much on competition, you develop "bad habits": the shinai (bamboo sword) is just a stick, and you tend to hit with it like if you were holding a stick rather than a cutting weapon. That's why some instructors focus more on drills rather than gigeiko (free point sparring), to make sure that you're moving the shinai like if it were a sword. Bud all classes should have gigeiko. If you don't care about the "original purpose" of kendo and you just like to compete, then look for that kind of school.

    If you don't care about competition and you'd like to know how a sword is supposed to be used, then look for a iaido class: they focus on cutting when drawing the sword, etc. rather than plain duel like in kendo. There are also old Japanese martial arts schools with various forms of kenjutsu. However, those kinds of moves are katas, and there's no actual fighting in those. That's why most people I've seen who practise iaido or kenjutsu but not kendo tend to do some really weird moves that don't look very effective to me.

    I hope this clears some doubts you may have. Kendo is a cool sport, and iaido/kenjutsu are very nice choreographies.
  6. RangerMan is offline

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    Posted On:
    11/17/2005 12:53pm


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    Thanks for laying out some questions that I need to answer. I will help me focus on what I am looking for and help everyone give me some useful advice. I will try and answer them as completely as possible.

    More info is on the way:
    What are your goals in learning MA? Are you interested in doing it for health or self defense?
    My primary goals for MA is to improve my health. I could stand to lose a little weight and improve my endurance. I run and bike a couple times a week now (usually 2 days of jogging and a bike ride on the weekend), but the running is very solitary (I bike with my wife so at least there is some interaction), and I would like to do something more in a group setting.

    Being able to translate the knowledge to self-defense would be secondary but useful. I know that Kendo does not translate to self-defense, and it looks more like an art-form or ritualized fighting.


    Do you find the idea of hard sparring acceptable?
    If by hard sparring you mean, I would be coming to work with black eyes then I don't find that very acceptable. However, I am open to sparing with gloves and headgear or wrestling/judo/jujitsu type of sparring. I don't mind sparring, I just don't want to look like a human punching bag after every training session.

    Would you prefer standup or groundwork?
    That is a hard question. I would like to concentrate on stand-up and having my opponent on the ground :-) Seriously, I could go either way on this, and my first inclination would be standup since I have little experience with being on the ground. However, I am open minded at this point.

    You said you were leaning towards Kendo. Does this mean you prefer a weapon based art only, or one that has elements of both weapons and unarmed techniques?
    Yes, I am leaning towards Kendo, but it is really more of a sorta-kinda type of thing. I would prefer something that had both weapons and unarmed instead of just weapon techniques.

    Do you have the time and money to study more than one art?
    I don't have the time. I can, at most, devote 3 times a week to training.

    Answering questions like these will help us help you.

    Like I said I am open minded. I won't completely rule out BJJ, but it sounds more like just wrestling and not much in the way of throws or strikes (I might be way off base saying that, I don't know a whole lot about it). If you need more info from me or I didn't answer in enough detail let me know!

    Thanks for the help!
  7. jnp is offline
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    Posted On:
    11/17/2005 2:53pm

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     Style: BJJ, wrestling

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    I think the best advice is to go to as many dojos/kwoons/gyms as possible in as many styles as possible and watch the classes. Then decide.

    Quote Originally Posted by RangerMan
    If by hard sparring you mean, I would be coming to work with black eyes then I don't find that very acceptable. However, I am open to sparing with gloves and headgear or wrestling/judo/jujitsu type of sparring. I don't mind sparring, I just don't want to look like a human punching bag after every training session.
    I wouldn't worry too much about being 'disfigured' at a dojo as they tend to find that sort of thing bad for business. This is not to say that there are no hardcore places like that out there, but even these give their students a choice about how hard they spar. I think you would be hard pressed to find a place that would throw a beginner to the wolves.

    Quote Originally Posted by RangerMan
    Yes, I am leaning towards Kendo, but it is really more of a sorta-kinda type of thing. I would prefer something that had both weapons and unarmed instead of just weapon techniques.
    Perhaps Filipino martial arts (FMA) would be a good fit for you. They tend to utilize unarmed, knife and stick fighting. Do a search on Bullshido for any or all of the following: Kali, Escrima, Silat and Arnis. Read the threads, form an opinion.

    I personally don't know enough about FMA in Austin to give you an informed opinion, but I do know some of our senior students have studied here in Austin and the FMA dojo(?) is considered reputable. Unfortunately my friend isn't answering his phone and I can't remember the name of the place, but I will post it when I get in touch with my friend.

    That said, if you're curious about Bjj or groundfighting, come out to Vandry Bjj (north) or even Phil Cardella's (south) and watch a class.

    Disclaimer: These are suggestions only.
    Shut the hell up and train.
  8. jnp is offline
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    Posted On:
    11/17/2005 3:00pm

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    Warning: Long ass post.

    Our extremely thorough MOD, Samuel Browning, wrote this up to help people just like you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Samuel Browning
    In order to move Bullshido in the direction of offering better content its time to create a FAQ advising newbies how to properly evaluate and pick a martial arts school.

    Organization

    1) Introduction

    2) Selecting A School for Adults

    2a) Most common lies told to new students

    2b) Contract issues

    2c) Add a section.

    3) Selecting a School for Your Child

    3a) subparts.

    1) Introduction

    The most common question we get from martial arts novices here at Bullshido is "what martial arts should I take?" The next most frequent question is "which one of the following martial arts schools is the best for me." The unstated question is 'how do I avoid a crummy school?" Most of us at Bullshido have shared the experience of having a bad instructor, but good judgment is often the product of experience which in turn is the product of previous bad judgement.

    Here at Bullshido we use the term "Mcdojo" describe a school in which the quality of instruction and training is watered down to make money. Similarly a McDojo may be occasionally run by someone who is sincere but is the product of bad training and a martial arts franchise approach. "Bullshido" is something that happens at a martial arts school, and vary frequently at a Mcdojo. If your martial arts instructor is insisting he can trace his martial arts lineage back 2,000 years or that he teaches secret special forces hand to hand combat techniques you are probably witnessing Bullshido which is a substantial deception or untruth in a martial arts ccntext.

    The most important thing for any martial arts student to know when they are out shopping for a martial arts school is what do they really want? Here at Bullshido most of our members are interested in studying a martial art primarily as a method of fighting, rather then for health and internal cultivation (Tai Chi) a workout, (cardio kickboxing, Tae Bo, and many forms of Tae Qwon Do) or as a study of a foreign culture. (Aikido, Kendo).

    [insert paragraph on competition verses physical fitness, differentiate point sparing from more realistic competition]

    The bottom line is if you do not know what you want when you go shopping, you won't find it.

    2A - What to Look For When Visiting a Martial Arts School

    Lets make this simple. Stripped of romantic notions, a martial arts teacher is basically a physical education teacher who is paid directly by you rather than by the school system. If you don't think this individual would be able to supervise a bunch of students playing dodgeball then they probably aren't a good choice as your sensi. What physical education teachers are supposed to do is the following. Using a basic understanding of body structure, mechanics, learning theory, and sports psychology, they will train you to carry out certain techniques and establish a context or strategy for using such techiques. "Here is how to kick the soccer ball, here is how to pass upfield, this is why you pass instead of trying to to bring the ball upfield against three defenders. Now lets practice drills focusing first on kicking accurately, then on passing. Later we will have you practice passing against a defender trying to take the ball away from you." There are various various teaching methods which first seek to show the move done properly, practice it in isolation in order to build attributes such as the ability to kick the ball far enough, and then reintegrate the movie into the context of either resistant training, or the soccer game itself. If you ever want to see a model for this instruction borrow some Gracie Jujistu tapes and watch Rorion and Royce go through some of the moves step by step. You are looking for someone who can provide that level of attention to detail.

    So, when you go to the martial arts school, look to see who is actually teaching the class, and how they are teaching it. Does the head instructor or 'rain maker' teach the class, or does he pass this responsibility off to callow youth or kiddie black belts? As a rule of thumb, the more black belts you see in a particular school, under the age of 16, the lesser the training standards. Are the kids hoping around all over the place without direction, or are they being run through a program in which the body mechanics of a particular move is described and then practiced. Do they only punch and kick air, or do they refine these blows on a punching bag or other solid targets. Ask what the ranking system below black belt is. Do the students a couple levels above white belt show some power or focus with their techniques or does it look like their slap fighting? Bill Wallace says when he walks into a gym he can tell who is a black belt just by watching the speed and power of their kicks. If you go some place and most of the people below black belt are flailing around this would probably be a good place to skip.

    Circus Maximus and the Marketing of the Martial Arts

    Today for a martial artist to make teaching his full time occupation he will have to run his school along commercial lines. So with a real requirement to make money the question becomes which marketing ploys are simply crass, and which ones will actually undermine the quality of instruction. For example running a juice bar and a pro-shop at your school does not automatically make your instructor guilty of running a McDojo. Requiring you to buy a different gi (martial arts uniform) per rank does. Using their authority to require their students to buy a whole pile of expensive accessories they do not need is a McDojo marketing calling card.

    McDojoism thrives in the absance of honesty. Unless the head of the school is totally inept and deluded, it is hard to run a true Mcdojo without some dishonesty thrown in. For example, name you're tots program "little ninjas" even though your karate program has no connection to ninjitsu which is an independant martial art. Sell a "Black Belt Club" program to students implying the buyer student will a certain rank for the thousands they pay, independant of the effort they actually make. Discourage the students from training with anyone else or attending open tournments that mix students from different schools which might show them how ineffectual their training is. Support your self defense instruction with references to what your master would do rather then using modern sources of information like American crime statistics. Discuss the use of Chi (internal body energy) to increase the power of a strike instead of discussing how a student can properly put the weight of their body behind a strike. Sell your students on the use of one touch pressure point knockouts even though such techniques have never been successfully used in a filmed no-holds barred match.

    Unfortunately, instructors at many types of martial art schools will also make inaccurate claims such as the ease of learning techniques, the effectiveness of their style/system, and the necessity (or lack thereof) of certain techniques in learning a martial art. These claims may be made for several reasons:

    - to cover up a deficiency in the style/system (note that most individual martial arts have gaps in their area of instruction, such as muay thai's lack of groundwork)

    - to entice, scare, or encourage consumers into purchasing lessons

    - personal biases on the part of the instructor against another type of style/system

    As an example of the second reason, an instructor may try to convince a consumer that their style/system can teach an individual enough skills and techniques to fight off any assailant in a street or bar fight within months, compared to the "years that other styles/systems" take. In other words, a promise of better results faster than what anyone else can provide, very similar to how diet pill companies claim their pill will make you lose more weight with less effort. However, like losing weight, developing martial skill is a long-term investment of time, dedication, and effort. While a consumer can indeed learn a number of techniques within a short period of time, effectively utilizing those techniques is a much longer process. Be wary of any instructor who makes "too good to be true" claims of being a deadly fighter. This also goes for instructional videos and books.

    For the third reason, some instructors have such a personal and financial investment in their style/system that they will bristle at the prospect of a student looking into other styles/systems for personal development. Some teachers of striking-centric styles (such as Karate) may place so much faith and emphasis on stand-up and striking skills that they'll claim these skills can fend off any assailant who tries to tackle them or take them down to the ground. Colloquially, this is called the "anti-grapple," referring to the alleged invulnerability of an expert striker from takedown attempts. This is alleged because in innumerable situations, grapplers and groundfighters have taken down these karateka or kickboxers and submitted them, since the strikers had zero knowledge of what to do.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    So our short list of Mcdojo warning flags include:

    * underaged black belts
    * the use of such underage or unskilled people to train the other students.
    * The required buying of all kinds of unnecessary, overpriced accessories.





    2A - Most common lies told to students:


    A fighting art stands or falls on its own merits, regardless of its history. However as part of the marketing pitch, the martial arts new comer is likely to hear three particular historical untruths. The first is that a particular art is connected to the Shaolin Temple in China, the second is that the art is two thousand or so years old, and the third is that this particular art was formed for combat purposes on the oriental battlefield. If the instructor didn't bring up this swill, it would be irrelevent but since its being used as a marketing tool. The greater the role these falsehoods play in the sales presentation, the more likely that you are in a Mcdojo. Lets analyse these claims.

    a) The Chinese Connection

    b) My Ancient Art

    c) This chop socky used for combat!

    In his book "Real Fighting", Payton Quinn properly identifies the following canard that has been circulating in the marttial arts community. "Karate is the result of more then a thousand years of development, and its teachniques are the ones that have survived and proven themselves on the battlefield" (p. 116) Quinn writes:

    "Can you imagine the following scene? A few hundred guys on one side of the battlefield raise their naked fists and cut loose with martial arts cries, while the on the other side of the battlefield, a few hundred guys do thhe same. Next, the two forces clash and decide the outcome with fists, feet and throws. It has never happened, people, and it is not likely it ever will. Weapons have been the first choice in both war and individual combat since prehistoric times."

    2C) Importance of Cross-Training
    There are many different types of combat that need attention in order to become a well rounded martial artist. These are kicking, boxing, clinching, throws, takedowns, grappling and submissions. Some schools might rule out a particular range of combat, telling students not to go to that range. This should be a big red flag. Combat is unpredictable, and wishful thinking will do nothing to stop a fight from going to that level. Neglecting any range of combat is ignorance. A system that completely avoids any range of combat will teach its students very one-dimensional skills. An experienced adversary will be able to sense their opponent’s weakness, and take them out of their game to a range of combat where they are helpless.

    Just because a school’s style typically focuses on one specific range, it shouldn’t stop them from incorporating other styles into their curriculum. For example: A Tae Kwon Do School could incorporate Judo, a Jiu Jitsu school could incorporate kickboxing, or a Boxing school could incorporate Wrestling. Incorporating additional styles so that all ranges are addressed will make an otherwise limited system more complete. When it comes to martial arts, variety is truly the spice of life. Look for open minded instructors that can help fill your bag of tricks, or risk being trained as a one-trick pony.


    ) Contract Considerations

    A contract is a legally enforceable promise between two parties in which in exchange for instruction the student promises to pay either month by month, or according to various lengths of time such as three months to a year or more. In most states martial arts studios are regulated as health clubs or gyms and the provisions of their contracts are identical. Therefore before you sign anything it is in your interest to go on-line, or to your the law library at the local court house, yank the index volume to your state statutes off the shelf and look up the law regulating health clubs, gyms or martial arts studios.

    What you will find is the boiler plate you will most likely find in the martial arts contracts you will be presented with. For example in Connecticut.

    Cnnecticut General Statutes Sec. 21a-217. "Contracts for health club services. Right of cancellation. Every contract for health club services shall provide that such contract may be cancelled within three business days after the date of receipt by the buyer of a copy of the contract, by written notice delivered by certified or registered United States mail to the seller at an address which shall be specified in the contract. After receipt of such cancellation, the health club may request the return of contract forms, membership cards and any and all other documents and evidence of membership previously delivered to the buyer. Cancellation shall be without liability on the part of the buyer, except for the fair market value of services actually received and the buyer shall be entitled to a refund of the entire consideration paid for the contract, if any, less the fair market value of the services or use of facilities already actually received. Such right of cancellation shall not be affected by the terms of the contract and may not be waived or otherwise surrendered.

    Such contract for health club services shall also contain a clause providing that if the person receiving the benefits of such contract relocates further than twenty-five miles from a health club facility operated by the seller or a substantially similar health club facility which would accept the seller's obligation under the contract, or dies during the membership term following the date of such contract, or if the health club ceases operation at the location where the buyer entered into the contract, the buyer or his estate shall be relieved of any further obligation for payment under the contract not then due and owing. The contract shall also provide that if the buyer becomes disabled during the membership term, the buyer shall have the option of (1) being relieved of liability for payment on that portion of the contract term for which he is disabled or (2) extending the duration of the original contract at no cost to the buyer for a period equal to the duration of the disability. The health club shall have the right to require and verify reasonable evidence of relocation, disability or death. In the case of disability, the health club may require that a doctor's certificate be submitted as verification and may also require in such contract that the buyer submit to a physical examination by a doctor agreeable to the buyer and the health club, the cost of which examination shall be borne by the health club.

    Sec. 21a-219. "Duration of contract. Renewal. (a) No health club contract shall have a duration for a period longer than twenty-four months. If a health club offers a contract of more than twelve months' duration, it shall offer a twelve-month contract. If a health club sells a membership contract of more than twelve months' duration, the health club shall collect no more than fifty per cent of the entire consideration for the contract in advance of rendering services. The remainder of the cost of the contract shall be collected by the health club on a pro rata monthly basis during the term of the health club contract. Each contract shall have the prices for all contracts printed thereon.

    (b) No contract shall contain an automatic renewal clause but may provide a renewal option for continued membership, which option must be accepted by the buyer in writing and may become effective only upon payment of the renewal price.

    (c) Each health club shall post the prices and the three-day cancellation provisions, the disability provisions and the twenty-five mile moving provisions of all contracts in a conspicuous place where the contract is entered into."

    So just in these two statutes we have provisions regulating the following, length of the contract, minimum length of contract that has to be made available, what happens if you move, get injured or want to cancel the contract immediately after it is signed. This is pretty standard stuff.

    Before you go to visit a particular dojo you should search on line for the websites of schools in your local area and see what sort of prices they are charging per month. This will give you some basis for comparison for the numbers that are thrown around when you visit a school in person. It will also help you spot if a school is charging above market value rates. There may be a good reason why an instructor is charging more then the norm for his area. Many of us would for example pay premium rates to study with say, Mario Sperry or someone who has world class grappling skills, but there should be a clear reason why you are paying more to attend this school. Additionally if a school lists its rates openly you are more likely to be dealing with an honest instructor and not be victimized by any one of a number of deceptive sales practices.

    Be aware that regardless of what the instructor/salesman says, if what he promises is not in the written contract it is probably unenforceable. "Attend this school and I promise Winged Monkeys will teach you Oz Fu". Watch out for one-time only offers, "sign up now and get this special one time deal", this is typically a pressure sales technique. If you feel uncertain say you want to go home and think about it. If they don't let you carry the contract out the door something is probably wrong. Ask if you can take a free class, or at the very least watch one. Some schools will also charge you a one class mat fee, this is far preferable to signing up for a year or more on the spur of the moment.

    The biggest problems we've seen have come with long term contracts of over a year. Sometimes these are described as joining a "black belt club" a "masters program" implying great skills will be yours if you fork up several thousand dollars. Don't do it, at the worst you'll get locked into a lengthy agreement when you hardly know the school, at the best you will basically be buying rank from the instructor regardless of your effort.

    Some tricks to watch out for include, contracts that automatically renew themselves, sales pitches that try to sign you up for longer contracts within a short time after you start at your new dojo, hidden add ons for required equipment purchases through the school store, belt testing fees, and required seminars with Grand Master Cold Cash. Before you sign on the dotted line observe the equipment, uniforms, sparring gear that the students bring in and ask the instructor how much a typical equipment package will cost, and what is required to fully participate at this school.

    ) Knowing When to Leave a Martial Arts School

    Martial arts schools are like tissues, you're probably going to go through a bunch of them before you're done. So don't be afraid to leave, when it's time to go. Schools tend to change over time. People needs and interests also change with time. Sometimes one school can last you a lifetime, but more often than not, you'll find yourself drifting towards another school, or another art. And maybe even back again, when you're ready to return.

    If you feel trapped in one school, if you feel that you'll lose everything by leaving, then you really need to sit down and figure out why. Because by studying Martial Arts you should be expand your world, not contract it. Because what you've learned at a Martial Arts school should be yours, and yours alone, not something that someone's else's should be able to strip away from you, for wanting to better yourself, for wanting to see what else is out there, or for wanting to test your abilities.
    Shut the hell up and train.
  9. Method2Madness is offline

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    Posted On:
    11/17/2005 3:10pm


     Style: BJJ and MMA

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
  10. daigoro is offline

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    Posted On:
    11/17/2005 3:14pm


     Style: MT (no, not "empty")

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    Quote Originally Posted by RangerMan

    You said you were leaning towards Kendo. Does this mean you prefer a weapon based art only, or one that has elements of both weapons and unarmed techniques?
    Yes, I am leaning towards Kendo, but it is really more of a sorta-kinda type of thing. I would prefer something that had both weapons and unarmed instead of just weapon techniques.
    Re: Kendo, Ziritrion's post on kendo is basically correct.

    I am a former member of the UT Kendo club (1997 - 1999). Here's a link to their site. http://studentorgs.utexas.edu/utkendo/

    If you do sign up thru Informal Classes, you will have to go thru the entire 21 or so beginner classes before you can actually "join the club". And it will probably be another 3-4 months before you can get equipment (unless you buy your own) and partcipate in keiko. In my 2 years there, the first beg. class of every semester was always 50+ bright eyed n00bs. Each successive class saw attendance drop until by the halfway point there were just 4-8 students left and only 2-3 of those continued. On the plus side, this was a very social club, with frequent get-togethers and impromptu bar outings.
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