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LouisianaJones
9/17/2010 5:44am,
Hello! After lurking since roughly 2005 Iíve taken the plunge and joined the forum. Iím based in northern England, enjoy PC gaming, watching movies, occasionally having a good olí Warhammer 40í000 session for old timeís sake, and going on modest adventures.
So here is a rundown of my MA experience so far...
I took a kickboxing class at the local health club for 2 years while in high school, which knowing what I know now was really just a cardio class with some bag work. I then moved on to Aikido and stayed for just under 2 years until I went away to university, where I took up WJF Jiu-Jitsu (yeah I know, and Iíve got some pretty good stories from there), again for 2 years. Iím going to handily pass over a brief flirtation with BBT...
My previous MA experience has been slapdash, and I have never trained more than twice a week. This was because until I finished university my great passion was archery, and most of my free time went on training for my sport.
Now I practice archery only for recreation. So after an almost three-year break, Iím looking to get back into MA and train seriously. I am currently recovering from a relapse of an old knee injury from my gymnastics days, spending my time looking into local MMA gyms and Judo clubs Ė I have a few shortlisted so I will toddle along and have a look. On another note my husband has for the first time ever expressed an interest in MA and wants to start training with me, which can only result in the LULZ.
So I look forward to asking many n00b grappling questions (yes, believe it or not in two years at WJF I learned pretty much nothing), and joining in with the shenanigans and rough-housing.
Iím currently trying to work out if I have enough quality MA based (possibly with some archaeology thrown in) comedy experiences to start my own thread ŗ la MrBadGuy, from a womanís point of view. I think I probably have.

jnp
9/17/2010 7:11am,
Welcome to Bullshido.

Let us know if you find a MA gym that you like. Someone here can probably give you some experienced feedback on it.

slideyfoot
9/17/2010 7:58am,
So after an almost three-year break, Iím looking to get back into MA and train seriously. I am currently recovering from a relapse of an old knee injury from my gymnastics days, spending my time looking into local MMA gyms and Judo clubs Ė I have a few shortlisted so I will toddle along and have a look.

Welcome to Bullshido! Always nice to see more people from the UK.

First of all, I'd recommend you take a look at the FAQ (http://www.bullshido.org/Finding_a_good_martial_arts_school) (if that's broken, use this link (http://web.archive.org/web/20071213111036/http://www.bullshido.com/articles/finding-a-good-martial-arts-school.html)) on finding a good martial arts school. In general, signs to look for are a competitive record, regular heavy contact sparring and 'aliveness' (if you're unfamiliar with the term, Matt Thornton has a long article (http://aliveness101.blogspot.com/2005/07/why-aliveness.html) on the topic describing what it is and why it's important: he is the man most associated with popularising the concept. One of his students also has a good piece (http://caneprevost.wordpress.com/2009/08/04/why-aliveness/) on aliveness. Or if you prefer video, go here (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2068450760833041053#)).

If your interest is mainly in striking, the safest option if you want decent training is muay thai (which you'll also see as 'thai boxing'), along with martial arts like boxing and kyokushin karate. That's not to say there aren't good schools within other striking styles, but they tend to vary widely in quality.

If you're more interested in grappling, then BJJ would be an excellent choice, as the strong competitive element and ability-based ranking system generally results in high quality training. A cheaper option is judo, which is also much easier to find - the two styles are closely related, the main difference being that judo normally focuses on throws whereas BJJ is mostly about the ground. For more on judo, read the Bullshido.com article (http://www.bullshido.org/Judo) and FAQ (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?t=89967). For BJJ, you could check my BJJ Beginner FAQ (http://www.slideyfoot.com/2006/10/bjj-beginner-faq.html). SAMBO is another good choice, but even harder to find than BJJ. Then there's wrestling, which is also great training for grappling.

Alternately, you could combine grappling and striking by cross-training in several arts, or at an MMA gym (though technically 'MMA' is a ruleset rather than a specific style). Examples of well known MMA gyms would be Team Quest (http://www.tqfc.com/) and Miletich Fighting Systems (http://miletichnewyork.com/).

Finally, you could try having a look through the dojo reviews (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=83) section, which might yield something more specific to your area, or use the search function (the link is at the top right of the page).

There are also several school databases you could try. For example, for BJJ:

TrainJiuJitsu.com (http://www.trainjiujitsu.com/bjj/)
Gym Database (http://www.gymdb.com/) (BJJ, MMA etc)
UK Club Map (http://www.slideyfoot.com/2000/01/uk-bjj-club-list.html)

Also, as you mentioned grappling, I'll stick up the usual BJJ links too:


Training, Stagnation and Tapping (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showpost.php?p=974042)

Maximizing what you get out of rolling (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showpost.php?p=1253088)

Protecting Yourself During Sparring (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?p=1234198)

BJJ Rolling Guide for Beginners (http://www.sherdog.net/forums/f12/bjj-rolling-guide-beginners-926678/#post29020042)
Grappling Basic Principles (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?t=20609)

Advice for Noobs (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showpost.php?p=1776425&postcount=1)

10 Quick Tips for White Belts (http://www.aesopian.com/?p=353)


Realistic Goals for Beginners (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?t=92138)

First Day Lesson (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showpost.php?p=1232603)

Fundamental 5 (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showpost.php?p=1019474)

Obvious Epiphanies (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?t=62601)


And the following articles:

Starting BJJ Classes (http://www.grapplearts.com/Starting-BJJ-Classes.htm)
Nuggets of Advice (http://www.aesopian.com/?p=127)
Beginning BJJ (http://www.beginningbjj.com/index.html) (free e-course and e-book)
The Journey to Blue Belt (http://www.aesopian.com/?p=112)


BJJ Grrl's Dos and Don'ts (http://bjjgrrl.wordpress.com/faqs-advice/dos-and-donts/)
Getting Started (http://www.mastersdivision.com/blog/2009/05/getting-started.html)

LouisianaJones
9/17/2010 9:48am,
Thank you for the welcome guys, and the information; it looks like I'll have plenty to read while my knee heals!

Slideyfoot, the gym map link was a great help - turns out Combat Base NE is only 3 miles away. There is a good Judo club in that town also, and a new mma gym that offers striking and grappling.

I've got a few weeks to go before I can put full weight on my knee, but I'll still pop along and have a chat with the instructors.