Which Martial Art - Eskrima?
This is my first post here...
I'm in my mid thirties and based in London, and would like to start a Martial Art.
I was thinking of Eskrima/Kali as it seems to be more straightforward than some of the other MA's and less formal. I found two classes in London - can anyone provide me with some useful feedback?
Maybe you should tell us what you're looking for in a martial art and why you're interested in Eskrima.
I'm not an Eskrima expert, but I trained with my local Doce Pares school for a bit. If you're looking specifically for a weapon-based art, I'd say Eskrima is awesome. If you buy the statement that what works with the stick/blade works with an empty hand, I'm not so sure. It very well might, but I think it would take a long time to develop. There are other arts that will get you good at striking much quicker and easier. I think there are some potentially cool applications of the triangular footwork for empty-handed striking, kind of along the lines of tai sabaki. But, like I said, I'm not an expert.
My local Doce Pares school also offered Yaw Yan kickboxing, which I thought was an interesting change of pace from Muay Thai, with both significant overlap, and some very interesting differences.
Thanks for the reply...
Looking for something with movement and striking/takedowns rather than something like BJJ. Was interested in Eskrima because of the suggestion that it teaches striking in a more straightforward way, and liked the triangular movement in kali - not really interested in weapons based at all.
Must admit that do feel a bit old to be starting kickboxing, but would be great if you could name the other arts that would be quicker and easier to learn...
If you're not interested in weapons, then Eskrima is the wrong art to learn. You will spend much more time with a stick or simulated blade in your hand than you will empty handed. Eskrima is great, but doing eskrima just to learn striking is like joining the Army to learn how to do pushups.
Originally Posted by rayy
If you're interested in in striking with takedowns, look into San Shou. War Wheel is our expert San Shou expert, send him a PM and he'll be happy to help.
To be honest, the first thing to do is find out what's available within the kind of distance you are willing to travel, and the exclude any ones that you can dismiss out of hand, like tai chi for health, aikido of the heavenly niceness, and then check out what's left, thats for 2 reasons:
1. Describe an art as much as you like, watch vids, read books, none of that is the same as being on the mat and experiencing it.
2. The instructors are as much an influence on the training as the art itself, and what's more, it needs to be someone you don't mind being around and who you can trust.
Yes, Good advice from Ka-Bar (and I am stilled very much amused by the avatar - very clever)...anyway....a couple of colleagues train dgdocepares under Ermar Alexander and are very happy. It complements our Trad JJ very nicely and Stick and Knife is part of our syllabus so it's good cross-fertilisation. He teaches in at Gymbox, St Martin's Lane - which is close to me and has other styles but ain't cheap.
Originally Posted by rayy
Rapid Arnis, I looked at their website last year (but noticed earlier this year that it's now blocked in the office).
Have a look around and see what you fancy doing. Your age should not be an impediment to making progress if you want to learn Self Defence, Keep Fit etc. It might be a factor is you are intending to turn Professional, otherwise, why worry?
Useful URLs? www.thebudokwai.com
www.martialartschannel.co.uk Chow Gar under Paul Whitrod.
Just some thoughts. Sorry if it's not helpful.
Good Luck. :icon_thum
I know a guy who used to train at Rapid Arnis. Seems like a good school, they do alot of full contact stickfighting. But if your not really after a weapons based system i would stay wawy from Escrima.
If your looking for an art with takedowns then Sanshou is a good shout but there's not alot of good Sanshou schools in London. Shaolin Temple Uk is your best bet but its pretty expensive.
Personally i would recommend an MMA gym such as www.londonshootfighters.co.uk (which is where i train) we have top class grappling(BJJ/Freestyle wrestling) and striking tuition (Muay Thai/boxing) but again it's a little pricey.
Judo or Kyokushin schools schools are always worth investigating.
Where abouts in London are you based?
Thanks very much for the good replies!
Just to clarify, no, not looking to turn pofessional!
I'd never considered Chow Gar before, but the site looks good. It seems to meet what I'm looking for (self defense, keep fit etc) and I like the straightforward style and flowing movements. However, it's on the wrong side of London for me.
If anyone has any other recommendations that would be great. I'm based in west London, work in central London, and could do north London too.
A little late on this topic granted but seeing as this forum isn't exactly bustling I figured I'd jump in.
Not sure if you're looking at Doce Pares directly but if so then you probably need to know that the first website you listed above is run by a guy currently suspended from that style. An slight projection into an unknown future perhaps but if you want Doce Pares then that may not be the best choice as you won't see the developments in Doce Pares if he remains on the outside of it.
If it is Doce Pares you want then Danny Guba (European Grand Master) takes a class at the Columbo Centre (SE1) on Wednesdays from 7 til 8:30. I think they're £10 a lesson. I have been to a couple and would certainly recommend them. I train elsewhere but would go to that class more often if it was practical.
If that one is no good then I know that a couple of his students have just opened a class somewhere in Fulham on Thursday nights. Not sure of the details for that one but if you go to Danny Guba's website (http://www.docepares-europe.com/index.html) then the instructors are listed with numbers for contact.
To answer the part of your initial post where you say what you're looking for, training with Danny Guba would certainly be 'less formal and more straightforward than a lot of other martial arts' for sure. I can't comment on the other school you listed above as I don't know anything about it I'm afraid.
I could ramble on but my recommendation would be to go to that Wednesday class (if you're not already going anywhere else obviously) and give it a go and chat to some of the guys there. It's definitely got a decent set of people to talk to if you have any questions about that class and what to expect.
Concerning http://www.dgdocepares.co.uk/ the instructor was suspended from Danny Guba Doce Pares organisation but his only instructor has been Danny Guba and he is an extremely good instructor.
Why not go down and give him a try.