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Lane
6/11/2005 1:39am,
Next spring I'll be leaving Austin for Waco, TX, for law school. Sadly, this means I will also have to leave my current dojo, which I enjoy very much.

Fortunately, there is a Bujinkan dojo in Waco, taught by an instructor recommended to me by my own instructor. The only downside is that he only holds class once a week, far too little for my tastes. So while I will be continuing my Bujinkan training under a new sensei, I want to supplement my martial training with another art.

Since Waco is piss-poor as far as martial arts schools goes (given what I can find on the web), I was wondering if some knowledgable people on here could help me out. Ideally, I would like to choose an art I can begin training in here in Austin prior to moving, so that I don't have to start as a total beginner in Waco.

Baylor has several student clubs, which I would most likely be joining for monetary reasons (one of the downsides to law school is that students are prohibited from working at a part time job their first year). They are:

Yoseikan aikido
Seven-star praying mantis kung fu
Shotokan karate

I can start my training in either kung fu or Yoseikan here in Austin, but I do not know the quality of those schools here, though both seem to be under the same lineage. Shotokan karate is only taught through a club at UT, and as a recent graduate I can't train there.

So, if anyone knows anything about either the Austin or Waco branches of these schools, or any good, relatively cheap schools in the Waco area, let me know. And if anyone has any knowledge of either Yoseikan aikido/praying mantis kung fu in general, I'd appreciate it.

Of course, I could always train here:

http://www.tmahof.com/

:)

It appears they also have a "samurai sword" class...

http://www.tmahof.com/PSD/swordclass/swordclass.html

The pictures say it all. And they say "oh dear god make it stop."

lifetime
6/11/2005 1:59am,
Oh god that's shocking. That is REALLY, REALLY shocking. For the reason that just about everything that you've listed is incredibly dubious, I'd say go with the Shotokan. At least there's some form of quality control in that you'll still be learning useful things like the few kicks and punches that are actually useful. I'm not familiar with mantis kung fu, but I'd really do some serious research on it and the instructor before joining. And Aikido can be fun, but it really, really depends a whole lot on the club. Some clubs are great, a whole lot are just **** and run by fat hippies.

beka
6/11/2005 2:15am,
Go here instead: http://www.austinbjj.com/index.php *

*I've never actually been there, I'm just assuming a Machado BB is better than ninjutsu.

Yrkoon9
6/11/2005 2:30am,
Lots of satellite BJJ schools between Austin and Dallas.

Maestro Nobones
6/11/2005 10:41am,
I'd say find a boxing gym.

Lane
6/11/2005 11:51am,
I'd say find a boxing gym.

None. I looked. There is supposedly one, called the "Ironhorse Gym", but its description online was lacking... something about never patching up holes where cars drove through.

Lane
6/11/2005 11:53am,
Lots of satellite BJJ schools between Austin and Dallas.

Yeah, but none actually in Waco that I could find, except for a Baylor club site that didn't list an instructor or appear to have been maintained.

This is going to be an occasion where I can't afford to drive too far from campus due to the workload and the fact that I'll be living off what my girlfriend earns.

Lane
6/11/2005 11:55am,
Go here instead: http://www.austinbjj.com/index.php *

*I've never actually been there, I'm just assuming a Machado BB is better than ninjutsu.

That'd be something I'd consider (not going instead of training in taijutsu, but just going to cross-train) if I weren't about to leave and I could continue training once I got to Waco.

If I were able to stay in Austin, I'd have no trouble finding decent places to train.

Lane
6/11/2005 12:02pm,
Oh god that's shocking. That is REALLY, REALLY shocking. For the reason that just about everything that you've listed is incredibly dubious, I'd say go with the Shotokan. At least there's some form of quality control in that you'll still be learning useful things like the few kicks and punches that are actually useful. I'm not familiar with mantis kung fu, but I'd really do some serious research on it and the instructor before joining. And Aikido can be fun, but it really, really depends a whole lot on the club. Some clubs are great, a whole lot are just **** and run by fat hippies.

This isn't your "normal" aikido dojo, from what I gather. I once took aikido for a few weeks until I realized that I was throwing myself rather than getting thrown. Yoseikan aikido is supposedly an older, pre-WWII version of aikido, combined with techniques from judo and kobudo. It wasn't developed by Ueshiba, but by some other guy who only took elements from Ueshiba's aikido.

http://www3.baylor.edu/Aikido/pictures/Techniques/index.htm

There's some pictures from the class.

The Mantis people have a school in Austin, http://www.ctkfe.com

I checked it out and it smells a little fishy to me -- high dues, black belt club, and having to travel and pay for gradings.

VikingPower
6/11/2005 1:39pm,
None. I looked. There is supposedly one, called the "Ironhorse Gym", but its description online was lacking... something about never patching up holes where cars drove through.

The boxing gyms that are a bit rundown are probably the best ones out there. That shows that they're getting some good hard use and that they train hard. I hate going into yuppie gyms that have brand-new bags and Ab-Jabs and the big fitness balls with mirrors all around and with cardio machines in the back. The kind with blood still on the ring floor, duct tape on the heavy bags, and salty old coaches who carry around bottles full of dipspit and look uglier than a Wookie may not look pretty, but I guarantee you'll get some good hard training.

lawdog
6/11/2005 7:09pm,
The boxing gyms that are a bit rundown are probably the best ones out there. That shows that they're getting some good hard use and that they train hard. I hate going into yuppie gyms that have brand-new bags and Ab-Jabs and the big fitness balls with mirrors all around and with cardio machines in the back. The kind with blood still on the ring floor, duct tape on the heavy bags, and salty old coaches who carry around bottles full of dipspit and look uglier than a Wookie may not look pretty, but I guarantee you'll get some good hard training.

Absolutely!!! By the way, I feel the same way about weight rooms.

If I were you, I wouldn't be so worried about jumping the gun, because until you actually check out any of these schools yourself, there's no way of knowing which one is better for you. Personally I would go with boxing, or if you can find a school close enough, BJJ. Maybe that's just personal bias, but there's some logic behind it as well.

Boxing is usually relatively inexpensive and will greatly improve your hand striking skills. Also, at a boxing gym you can usually spar as much or little as you like. You can also usually make your own training schedule which can be of great benefit when your a 1L. Your first year you will be spending a lot of time in the library with your nose buried in books. I'm not sure how active you are, but before I started law school, I spent very little time sitting on my ass. All those hours in the library were uncomfortable enough, but being all banged up made it even worse. So with boxing, you'll be able to regulate your sparring according to your academic schedule.

As for BJJ, well what can I say. It rocks. The logic though is that it's typically too expensive, thus difficult to justify if not working.

I would recommend judo because it would probably be affordable, but in my opinion, the risk of injury is too high to bear during your 1st yr. of law school.

Also, off topic. Not working during 1L is probably a good idea, but I would recommend working that 1st summer and as much as your grades will allow for the remainder of school. It'll give you good practical experience that you won't get in school, but most of all it will help keep your loans down (assuming you're borrowing). Do anything you can to keep those loans down.

Hannibal
6/11/2005 10:20pm,
I must say out of obligation look for a Kyokushin dojo. ha ha ha !!

Anyway. Good to see you found a decent Bujinkan dojo. If you wish to continue doing bujinkan - go for it. Even if its only once per week. As for the martial arts schools you listed. I would cross of mantis kung fu and AIkido. The only one that looks reputable is SHotokan But check them all out. See how intense their training is. How much sparring they do - is the instructor a dickhead or easy to get along with and so forth.

But DO NOT choose out of desparation. If a dojo is crap do not train their because thats the only thing avilable.

So to summarise. If you like Bujinkan, train there. Once per week will keep your skills up. For the rest of your time train at another martial arts place whick is worth while. If you can't get it, lift weights and run.

Lane
6/12/2005 3:58am,
Absolutely!!! By the way, I feel the same way about weight rooms.

If I were you, I wouldn't be so worried about jumping the gun, because until you actually check out any of these schools yourself, there's no way of knowing which one is better for you. Personally I would go with boxing, or if you can find a school close enough, BJJ. Maybe that's just personal bias, but there's some logic behind it as well.

Boxing is usually relatively inexpensive and will greatly improve your hand striking skills. Also, at a boxing gym you can usually spar as much or little as you like. You can also usually make your own training schedule which can be of great benefit when your a 1L. Your first year you will be spending a lot of time in the library with your nose buried in books. I'm not sure how active you are, but before I started law school, I spent very little time sitting on my ass. All those hours in the library were uncomfortable enough, but being all banged up made it even worse. So with boxing, you'll be able to regulate your sparring according to your academic schedule.

As for BJJ, well what can I say. It rocks. The logic though is that it's typically too expensive, thus difficult to justify if not working.

I would recommend judo because it would probably be affordable, but in my opinion, the risk of injury is too high to bear during your 1st yr. of law school.

Also, off topic. Not working during 1L is probably a good idea, but I would recommend working that 1st summer and as much as your grades will allow for the remainder of school. It'll give you good practical experience that you won't get in school, but most of all it will help keep your loans down (assuming you're borrowing). Do anything you can to keep those loans down.

Well, Baylor doesn't allow 1Ls to work, and thankfully my grandfather put away lots of savings for my education before he passed away, so between that and my girlfriend's job I ought to make it out OK. I can't find any BJJ or judo in Waco. They were the first things I looked for.

Thanks for the advice.

Lane
6/12/2005 4:08am,
I must say out of obligation look for a Kyokushin dojo. ha ha ha !!

Anyway. Good to see you found a decent Bujinkan dojo. If you wish to continue doing bujinkan - go for it. Even if its only once per week. As for the martial arts schools you listed. I would cross of mantis kung fu and AIkido. The only one that looks reputable is SHotokan But check them all out. See how intense their training is. How much sparring they do - is the instructor a dickhead or easy to get along with and so forth.

But DO NOT choose out of desparation. If a dojo is crap do not train their because thats the only thing avilable.

So to summarise. If you like Bujinkan, train there. Once per week will keep your skills up. For the rest of your time train at another martial arts place whick is worth while. If you can't get it, lift weights and run.

Lifting weights and running (I have a Gold's membership) is already part of my daily routine, so I'll keep that up. Mostly, I want a place with bags and mats where I can practice my taijutsu and mix it with whatever else I find useful. The problem with so many Bujinkan dojo in the US and other places is that things get too political, and sensei start to care more about "only train with me" rather than "train with who is best for you." My teacher recommended this sensei to me, and after a brief e-mail conversation, I can say he's probably a good guy. He charges $5 a class to cover the cost of utilities and is only admitting me as a student based on the recommendation of my current teacher, so that he can keep class sizes small. His lineage is pretty impressive (started in 1984 under Bud Malmstrom), and my teacher says that he is fairly easy going and not a dickhead at all.

No word yet as to whether he allows sparring or whatnot.

My only reservation about the Shotokan guys (it's a college club, so the dues will be low and the instructor probably not a dick) is that their punching and kicking is so radically different from the punches and kicks in taijutsu. I'd hate to have to go in with a few years of taijutsu training and have to unlearn all of that for the Shotokan.

I pretty much ruled out the mantis kung fu, simply because I think that it would be "too foreign" that what I already know. I may still drop by the Yoseikan guys to see if they are any good or not. If I can use my taijutsu to throw around their higher ranked students, I think I'll pass on training there.

I may try to get in touch with the people who maintained the BJJ club's site, but I'm not optimistic. They have updates and stuff on there only up to 2001.

If nothing else, maybe there will be some punching bags in the gym where I can just work out.

As a side note, I think I may take up JKD and vale tudo in Austin before I leave, and just enjoy all the schools here while I can. At the very least, that would give me some routines and additional techniques to work on even if I can't find anywhere else.

feedback
6/12/2005 4:17am,
I work on what I need to work on 2 hours a day.

Hannibal
6/12/2005 5:02am,
Ara.

You are correct. Most Bujinkan dojos are political. Before I started training in Kyokushin Karate, I was doing Bujinkan. My Bujinkan instructor was a great guy.Really nice and had an easy going personality. He didn't give a **** about any of his students training in other martial arts apart from Bujinkan. In fact if they did he asked them to come into class and test it out on him. He was by far one of the best fighters I have ever met.

But its not just the Bujinkan guys who are political. Most martial arts are. Kyokushin I find is ver,very political. You get " Oh, Mas Oyama believed in this he wouldn't want us to change" then some other guys says different. Who cares ? The politics of the school do not matter just as long as they are offering decent quality training.

Now, back to the topic at hand. Like I said if your happy doing doing Bujinkan, keep on doing it even if its only once per week. Keep up lifting weights too. But Shotokan can help. You won't have to unlearn anything. Shotokan won't harm your Bujinakn training. If anything you'll learn a greater varity of kicks, do pad work and get some sparring practice. How is that a bad thing ?

But like I said check out the Shotokan place first. If they don't do any hard sparring/pad work and the classes are **** then don't go back there. Just stick to Bujinkan and weights. But if the SHotokan place is run by a good instructor, train there.