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Nikorasu90
4/24/2012 8:20am,
Hey there.

I need your advice on what combat sport to choose. I don't want a discussion on which one is better, just which one would work for me =). They're all being offered at a great local gym.

To be honest, I don't look forward to compete at any point in my life. I am wary of injuries (I would like to keep my body in one piece) so I would prefer to avoid sports that would make me prone to permanent damage. This implies any striking art I choose would have to do their sparring with protection...

That said, I don't want an art with point sparring or no sparring at all, since I want my training to have real life self defense utility, and after my experiences with point sparring (some TKD) and full-contact sparring (some Sanda) I prefer the "realism" of the latter.

So all in all I want a combat sport that will train me for real, in which I'll break a sweat and train hard and rough, to the point of exhaustion, but avoiding by all means possible serious injury.

Of the ones I said which one would you recommend? On paper I'd go for Muay Thai, since it features elbows and those overlap quite nicely with my favourite TMA, baji quan, but I'm afraid MT is too brutal for the wimp I am and may have a bigger chance of injury.

Boxing sounds great, but I always wondered if forgetting about kicks altogether isn't a little unrealistic.

From Sanda I really like the throws, specially after catching kicks. What I'm not so convinced about is the prevalence of high, head-level kicks that look too good to be true. Also, I can't seem to wrap my mind about combinations that start with a kick and follow with punches: I never get the range right. Might be a matter of practice I guess.

Kickboxing is the one I know the least about. I picture it in my mind as Sanda without throws, but I have no clue so I can't really tell.

BJJ I know little about, and I find it really interesting. My only concern is that I'm not sure how it would help me in a real life situation, in case of multiple attackers. I am intrigued by the GJJ approach that features more standing techniques, but I have heard people on this forum calling them unrealistic, and my local clubs only offer the completely ground focused version it seems.

So what do you think? Sorry for the wall of text and thanks in advance.

Gezere
4/24/2012 8:50am,
Hey there.

I need your advice on what combat sport to choose. I don't want a discussion on which one is better, just which one would work for me =). They're all being offered at a great local gym.

To be honest, I don't look forward to compete at any point in my life. I am wary of injuries (I would like to keep my body in one piece) so I would prefer to avoid sports that would make me prone to permanent damage. This implies any striking art I choose would have to do their sparring with protection...

That said, I don't want an art with point sparring or no sparring at all, since I want my training to have real life self defense utility, and after my experiences with point sparring (some TKD) and full-contact sparring (some Sanda) I prefer the "realism" of the latter.

So all in all I want a combat sport that will train me for real, in which I'll break a sweat and train hard and rough, to the point of exhaustion, but avoiding by all means possible serious injury.

Of the ones I said which one would you recommend? On paper I'd go for Muay Thai, since it features elbows and those overlap quite nicely with my favourite TMA, baji quan, but I'm afraid MT is too brutal for the wimp I am and may have a bigger chance of injury.

Boxing sounds great, but I always wondered if forgetting about kicks altogether isn't a little unrealistic.

From Sanda I really like the throws, specially after catching kicks. What I'm not so convinced about is the prevalence of high, head-level kicks that look too good to be true. Also, I can't seem to wrap my mind about combinations that start with a kick and follow with punches: I never get the range right. Might be a matter of practice I guess.

Kickboxing is the one I know the least about. I picture it in my mind as Sanda without throws, but I have no clue so I can't really tell.

BJJ I know little about, and I find it really interesting. My only concern is that I'm not sure how it would help me in a real life situation, in case of multiple attackers. I am intrigued by the GJJ approach that features more standing techniques, but I have heard people on this forum calling them unrealistic, and my local clubs only offer the completely ground focused version it seems.

So what do you think? Sorry for the wall of text and thanks in advance.

Based of what you have said in the other thread and now hear you're starting to sound like a wuss to me (and probably to everyone else). If you are soo wary about injuries then don't do any of them. You WILL run the risk of injury participating in ANY sport. Combat Sports are going to have a higher risk they are COMBATIVE. So you really have two choices. Either a) Man the **** up or b) go to MAP and choose some MA where you don't have to worry about injuries and become the type of person we laugh at. Wimps are cowards and as long as you are a coward you will NEVER be any could at any of them. So there is no need to address any of the MA at all if all you are just going to suck at it.

erezb
4/24/2012 8:59am,
If you are prone to injuries than probably kickboxing will be the best (by a hair). Dont mistake boxing for being easy, it is full of action and hard contact. I recommend you go to a BJJ class and see how it is, you just need to know that you get injuries there but if you are quick to tap out you probably can avoid most. Other than that they are all good, try a few and look at the people that train and couch and than decide.

Nikorasu90
4/24/2012 9:00am,
Fair enough. I did sound a lot like a wuss.

I was emphasizing that point, but hey, I do Sanda already, full contact, and I haven't yet fell into a fetal position to cry (my issue is that there isn't enough sparring with my current coach).

I haven't been practicing for much, true, but I've had a kick to the balls (no prot) that left me in the ground for five minutes and a side kick to the jaw after which I could barely eat solid in two days.

None of those bother me. I can perfectly stand pain. As I stated before, I'm just concerned by permanent injury, and I want to have a rational analysis of which sport is more likely to make it happen.

Anyway, if you think I'm too much of a wuss to offer your advice, please adjust your perception of me until you consider me man enough. After all, I'm just an internet persona, and I want to hear your opinion.


If you are prone to injuries than probably kickboxing will be the best (by a hair). Dont mistake boxing for being easy, it is full of action and hard contact. I recommend you go to a BJJ class and see how it is, you just need to know that you get injuries there but if you are quick to tap out you probably can avoid most. Other than that they are all good, try a few and look at the people that train and couch and than decide.

Thank you for the tips!

I'm not particularly prone to injuries. I have never broken a bone, and I'm quite fit. I'm just (am I too unreasonable?) trying to prevent the permanent stuff. It may just be that I have an overblown perception of how common injuries are in these sports, but not being an expert, it's hard to shake off the tales of brain damage in boxers, cauliflower ears, nose surgery, damaged internal organs...

Neo Sigma
4/24/2012 9:17am,
You're blowing the risks out of proportion. Yes, they're hard combat sports, and you will get hit, and sometimes bleed or bruise. But the really serious stuff, like brain damage and broken bones, is an aberration- that's why you hear about it, because it's out of the ordinary. Skipping out on muay thai or any other hard style for being "too brutal" is like not driving because you might get in an accident.

I've been training muay thai for almost two years and I've never had an injury that took me longer than a few days to bounce back from. Quit wringing your hands and get your ass in the gym.

Nikorasu90
4/24/2012 9:19am,
You're blowing the risks out of proportion. Yes, they're hard combat sports, and you will get hit, and sometimes bleed or bruise. But the really serious stuff, like brain damage and broken bones, is an aberration- that's why you hear about it, because it's out of the ordinary. Skipping out on muay thai or any other hard style for being "too brutal" is like not driving because you might get in an accident.

I've been training muay thai for almost two years and I've never had an injury that took me longer than a few days to bounce back from. Quit wringing your hands and get your ass in the gym.

Cool, that's what I wanted to hear.

Really, my problem is that I didn't know how high the risks are. Never been a great fan of watching these sort of sports, I'm just a TMA convert that realized there's more to it than Kata and compliant drilling.

If you more experienced guys think my head isn't going to fall off after a couple kicks, I'm leaning towards MT. Any more opinions? (Of course I'll try to survey as many different lessons as possible, but better know which ones to start with).

PointyShinyBurn
4/24/2012 9:50am,
If your looking for the biggest fighting skills bang for your injury risk buck then BJJ is the clear winner, IMHO.

xstyle
4/24/2012 10:13am,
You can train in Muay thai and never spar so you'll never get hit then no injuries. Just go to the classes that teach technique and conditioning. The ones where you partner up, one guy holds the pads and you work on kicking, punching, kneeing, elbows, clinching etc, you just hit the pads (they wont hit back!) It'll whip you in shape and learn some Muay thai as well.

I'm prone to dislocating my shoulder and found in BJJ I had to be so carefull I lost interest. Constitantly telling people before we roll to take it easy on the one arm. When you get going and they try to go for a submission they usually forget which side and I let out a yelp in pain! lol

RWaggs
4/24/2012 10:22am,
Can I get a link to the site of the gym where all of these things are offered separately...just curious. Also, you might suffer an injury here and there, but it's worth it. If you can obtain training in any or all of these things in the same place, then combine BJJ with any one of the other arts you mentioned and you'll be well rounded for whatever comes along.

csharp.negative
4/24/2012 10:31am,
First rule about fights: you're gonna get hit. ;)

In my school we make a verbal "contact treaty" with our sparring partner before letting loose when we're doing drills. If you want to avoid injury, talk to your classmate about how heavy you want the contact to be, and avoid the guys that are testosterone driven meat heads that can't hold back. Also, look into their sports medicine expertise. If they're just telling you to put some windex on your exposed collar bone, chances are you're in trouble.

Gezere
4/24/2012 11:20am,
You can train in Muay thai and never spar so you'll never get hit then no injuries. Just go to the classes that teach technique and conditioning. The ones where you partner up, one guy holds the pads and you work on kicking, punching, kneeing, elbows, clinching etc, you just hit the pads (they wont hit back!) It'll whip you in shape and learn some Muay thai as well.

I'm prone to dislocating my shoulder and found in BJJ I had to be so carefull I lost interest. Constitantly telling people before we roll to take it easy on the one arm. When you get going and they try to go for a submission they usually forget which side and I let out a yelp in pain! lol

^ This is the kind of person you never take advice from.

Nikorasu90
4/24/2012 4:43pm,
Thank you guys for all your input.

Here is a little update: As I hinted, I wanted to stop taking my Kung Fu / Sanda lessons not because I think my instructor is bad (he's quite amazing) but because he devoted 2 out of 3 days to forms and only 1 to Sanda and sparring, which wasn't enough for me.

Fortunately, it seems he's moving on to a bigger gym and he'll start two separate classes, so it will be 3 days a week wushu OR 3 days a week Sanda.

So, I'll stick to the full Sanda programme and pick BJJ up, so I can get my ground game rolling (no pun intended).

Does this look like a plan to you? Also, I'm no expert, but it seems to me that the Sanda throws have perfect synergy with BJJ, since I could start the ground game from an advantageous position after one of those.


EDIT: Oh and by the way Gezere, how's your Baji doing? Still applying it? Do you think it's worth learning?

Mannetosen
4/24/2012 5:09pm,
Just do it. Theorycrafting never made anyone good at martial arts.

Nikorasu90
4/24/2012 5:11pm,
Just do it. Theorycrafting never made anyone good at martial arts.

Neither did approaching it blindly.

I did 6 years of Aikido because I didn't know better, and I didn't want to theorycraft. In fact, our sensei would advise NOT to read on Aikido (he rightfully thought we would have our warning flags raised by the Ki crap). So I obeyed, and I spend 6 years of my life on it because I didn't want to theorycraft.

Now I just want to make sure I'm doing things that are worth my time. Not that I'm wasting it at the moment, as I said I'm doing Sanda. It doesn't have as much sparring as I'd like, but that will be fixed soon.

Mannetosen
4/24/2012 5:47pm,
Neither did approaching it blindly.

I did 6 years of Aikido because I didn't know better, and I didn't want to theorycraft. In fact, our sensei would advise NOT to read on Aikido (he rightfully thought we would have our warning flags raised by the Ki crap). So I obeyed, and I spend 6 years of my life on it because I didn't want to theorycraft.

Now I just want to make sure I'm doing things that are worth my time. Not that I'm wasting it at the moment, as I said I'm doing Sanda. It doesn't have as much sparring as I'd like, but that will be fixed soon.

There's such a thing as overthinking things.

Any of those arts would work just fine. You enjoy Sanda and have a good teacher, so that's good. It's impossible to give you any advice seeing as you didn't link the school or name any of the coaches, but if they're all taught by competent teachers you can't go wrong with any of them.

yli
4/24/2012 6:03pm,
None of those bother me. I can perfectly stand pain. As I stated before, I'm just concerned by permanent injury, and I want to have a rational analysis of which sport is more likely to make it happen.

You're more likely to hurt yourself doing yoga than Muay Thai.