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Smithers
8/20/2007 10:46pm,
Hey. I just joined. I'm 24 and I'm from St. Louis. I don't have any MA background, but I recently thought it might be a good idea. I need to do something active; having been a moderate smoker since high school, I suddenly realized earlier this year that I needed to be in better shape. Now, after months of bike-riding & working out, I've begun to try to live healthy.

A while ago, somebody mentioned Krav Maga to me. If I do start to progress with MA, I don't really look at it for the competition so much as simply a self-defense angle. With that mindset and from what I could learn from some quick internet MA research, it seems like Krav is what I should look into. Anyone have thoughts or advice? Thanks.

GhostOfKimura
8/20/2007 10:47pm,
Welcome aboard, Smithers! The Bullshido staff would welcome you personally, but the thing is they’re busy keeping the peace, so they’ve apointed me, a bot, to pat you on the back and assure you that in no way will you be harmed during your stay here at BS.net. Your views on the martial arts, your philosphy, maybe even your entire reason for being will be challenged, shattered, reorganized, melted down, and forged into something new and shiny, but we swear it will only hurt a little bit… at first.

slideyfoot
8/21/2007 3:29am,
Welcome to Bullshido!


Hey. I just joined. I'm 24 and I'm from St. Louis. I don't have any MA background, but I recently thought it might be a good idea. I need to do something active; having been a moderate smoker since high school, I suddenly realized earlier this year that I needed to be in better shape. Now, after months of bike-riding & working out, I've begun to try to live healthy.

Hmm. I'm not sure Krav would be the way to go, but then I've never tried it myself. So, as normal I'll just give out general advice.

First of all, I'd recommend you take a look at the FAQ (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).

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.com/articles/judo-6.html) - there is also an article on BJJ (http://www.bullshido.com/articles/brazilian-jiu-jitsu-style-information-without-the-bs-2.html). SAMBO is another good choice, but even harder to find than BJJ. Finally, wrestling 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.