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Skepticus
3/07/2008 5:34pm,
Hey everyone,

I'm new around the forums here...just thought I'd start a thread to say hello.

A bit about me: I've been away from martial arts training for the last two years or so, but before that I was a shodan in Japanese Kempo. I say was because as I got farther and farther in my training, I got more and more dissatisfied with it, until I eventually gave up because I didn't agree with the training methods at our dojo (i.e. I wanted more sparring, more application, and less punching the air, irrelevant philosophy, and pointless tradition). So, after my few years off, I'm ready to jump in with a clean slate somewhere new.

I'm located in Vancouver, BC, and if anyone knows any good schools for realistic martial arts training here in town, I'd love to hear suggestions. I just got off the phone with the Creative Fighters Guild in Richmond, BC, and it sounds like a pretty solid place. I think that'll be the first school I go check out.


Anyway, I look forward to learning lots on the forums here and helping to uncover the kind of Bullshido that I spent years training in.

Cheers,
Skepticus

TKDBot
3/07/2008 5:35pm,
BULL RUSH ON Skepticus!!!

slideyfoot
3/08/2008 7:42am,
Welcome to Bullshido!


I'm located in Vancouver, BC, and if anyone knows any good schools for realistic martial arts training here in town, I'd love to hear suggestions.
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. 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.