My name is Joe, and I'm a noob.
I'm new to Bullshido. Always loved MA, though I haven't too terribly great an amount of personal experience as yet.
I've been a sport fencer for 6 years-- started when I was a freshmen in college, fencing NCAA as an Epee. I'm one of those weirdos that still loves the Italian grip, and spends assloads on blades from Negrini, in Italy, as a result.
Also, while in college, NJIT offered a course called "Shotokan Karate-do for Personal Fitness and Well-Being." I'd always wanted to learn a Martial Art, but never had the opportunity up till then, so I took the course. It was one semester, and one credit. Taught mostly just basic Kihon, and the Taikyoku kata, but the thing that really stuck in my mind was the warm-up exercises.
Sensei Lonnie Jones didn't care that this was just a one credit course. He didn't care that gym class is supposed to be easy. He didn't care that we could have taken racketball instead. He worked us, and he worked us hard. I was in the best shape of my life when I took his course (thanks to his work-outs and my fencing 5 hours a day).
After the semester was over, I didn't have time to trek out to his dojo, so I let my interest in MA lapse for a bit. After a while, I stumbled across Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu. I'd never heard of it before, so I started to research it. I found out that Jack Hoban, who trained directly under Soke Hatsumi, teaches BBT about 20 minutes from where I live. I went and tried it for a couple of months, but decided it wasn't really my thing.
Several years later (which came to this past August, as it were) I decided that I had gotten too lazy and out of shape. I haven't fenced in a year, and I sit on my ass in front of a computer monitor for 8 hours a day. While I'm not overweight, I am 30 pounds heavier than I was when I started this job three years ago (admittedly, I used to be a scrawny bastard). I remembered all that hard work I'd done in my Shotokan class back in the day, so I thought I'd try picking it up again.
At first, I tried this one little dojo five minutes from my house. The sensei there was a nice guy, but he was a new instructor, and it was very obvious that he was too used to teaching little kids. I'd have been his first adult student. Not to mention, I didn't get anywhere near the workout I'd gotten while at NJIT.
So, I decided to start back up with Sensei Lonnie Jones. His dojo is about 50 miles from where I live, and I trek up the Parkway twice a week, but it's well worth it. His prices are pretty inexpensive, especially compared to most of the McDojo's I looked at in my area. And I'm gettin' that crazy work out that I wanted so much.
Beyond that, I haven't got a whole lot of MA experience. I have read a ton of books on the subject, but I'm not one of those people under the illusion that I can master anything just by reading and looking at the pictures.
Welcome to Bullshido, the best Martial Arts forum on the entire Internet, Kung-Fu Joe. Seriously, you won't regret your choice to join us. We're a great bunch of folks, except for Hannibal. And Sirc. And TaiGip. And MMA Kid. And... well, you get the point.
So Kung-Fu Joe, you decided to go ahead and register huh? Cool. Don't forget to review your dojo.
Originally Posted by jnp
I canít believe you drive so far to train.
Now that is what I call dedication!
Thanks for all the welcomes, guys!
Honestly, it's not all that bad. About a 40 minute drive, each way, thanks to the beautiful Garden State Parkway. Only bad part is sittin' stinky in the car for that long till I get home and shower, hehe...
Originally Posted by AMH
welcome. So, do you want to stay because of the workout, or do you plan to check out other gyms too? What's training like?
Right now, beside the workout, I stay because I really like the head instructor. Lonnie Jones is an 8th-Dan in Shotokan under Adolfo Ennever of the American Federation of Martial Arts. Of course, I fully admit that one should probably tend to be skeptical of anyone holding that high a rank without tracing lineage to Japan or Okinawa... All I know is, he's a great guy who certainly knows what he's doing.
Originally Posted by Tonuzaba
As for the training, adult classes start at 7:30 PM. Warm-ups before the actual lesson begins last about 40 minutes to an hour. It's entirely calisthenics and stretching-- no weight training-- but it can be pretty brutal. On average, we do anywhere from 200 to 400 pushups (mostly in sets of 20, though Sensei sometimes has us push out 100 straight), anywhere from 400 to 600 situps (sets of 100, though these are more crunches than full sit-ups), and a host of hip-rotations, side-bends, leg-lifts, and kicking exercises.
On Mondays, that's followed by Techniques and Sparring. On Wednesdays, we follow the warm-up with Kata. There's also a Friday class under a different instructor that I haven't yet been able to go to, but I'm told he concentrates less on the exercise and more on practical application and self-defense.
Italian grip? Too good for pistol grip?
Hehehe, I started learning on a Visconti-style pistol grip. Then, I got into the SCA and Renaissance Faires a little bit so I wanted to try something a bit more traditional. Played around with French grip for a while, but I didn't like it. Then, before Santelli closed a few years back, I bought an Italian grip through them. I loved the strong parries so much that I stuck with it ever since.
Originally Posted by Soju - Joe