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AKJ-TripleThreat
7/14/2009 2:42am,
Hi all. I'm Adam, a late-twenties fat guy who has been out of the Air Force for about a year.
I took Tae Kwon Do when I was around ten, for about a year. I was around my fifth belt (Green, at that school) when I got away from it. I've maintained my interest in Martial Arts, but circumstances never seemed right. There didn't seem to be a school or style anywhere nearby that I was interested in, or I was working evenings when the schools were open... things of that nature.
I joined the Air Force six years ago, and started Crossfit (www.crossfit.com (http://www.crossfit.com) if you don't know how awesome it is) and through that met a few MMA amateurs. Of course, this was right before I separated from the military, so I decided I'd just find a school when I moved home.
I live in the suburbs east of Atlanta, and couldn't find any schools that weren't prohibitively far away when I moved home. However, I recently discovered a school that's just opend up a few months ago.
It's a school that teaches Arnis and a Kempo/Karate blend. I've been interested in these systems ever since I saw The Perfect Weapon, back in '91. The school also teaches Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and Gracie Combatives. They're also including some MMA ground n' pound training into these classes.
Having so much of what I was interested in, I came to watch an Arnis class. I enjoy the teaching style, because we went over the basic strikes, performed a stick-eye coordination drill involving a paper ball and resembling the basketball-based game, HORSE, and then we learned a basic disarm.
Arnis is only taught on Mondays, Kempo is Mon, Tue, Thurs, and BJJ on Tues, Wen, Thurs. Sparring is done on Fridays, but there is rolling in every BJJ class as well.
Once I've been there a few weeks and have a better feel for the school, I'll post a school review, but their website is www.akjkarate.com (http://www.akjkarate.com) if anyone is interested. I'm pretty stoked.
I also have some interest in Arma, but since hearing about all the doodoo going down with that organization, I'll stick to my guns for now.

mgb
7/15/2009 12:59am,
Hi Triplethreat, welcome to Bullshido. I checked out the site for akj and noticed it doesn't really go into detail about the bjj, kempo, karate, or combatives instructors - it seems like Mr. Thompson's black belt is in Arnis (Or is it in a type of karate and I am reading it wrong.) Are there a bunch of different instructors for the various arts that just aren't on the webpage?

omoplatypus
7/15/2009 1:27am,
i really don't want to be the guy to fart in your oatmeal, but this looks like a kiddy krotty mcdojo to me.

http://www.akjkarate.com/index.php?module=pagesetter&func=viewpub&tid=2&pid=6

check out the black belt club....
also, 1 month is valued at 100 dollars? seriously, don't sign any contracts or pay any exorbitant amounts of money for a month or two of training. we have some good guys and gals in your area that can help you find a good school.

ask annatrocity, kid spatula and white shark. they should know something for you!

AKJ-TripleThreat
7/15/2009 5:00pm,
I thought the same things from checking the website. However, I went to watch the class because the place is so close, and they invited me to participate. The instruction method seems solid, and I know the instructor mentioned that he's working on changing the curriculum to something a bit more practical as far as the kempo goes.
The one instructor teaches Kempo, Arnis, and Gracie Combatives, with another guy there that teaches the BJJ/MMA stuff. I think that instructor just has a particular love for Arnis and really enjoyed his trips to the Philliines.
The BJJ classes seem solid as well, with good instruction, lots of conditioning and drilling, and free rolling every night. I have yet to see the kempo or arnis sparring, but I'll let you know.
As for the 100 dollar price, that's the value of a month of instruction and a gi. From what I remember (it's been a while since I was active in MA culture) that's pretty reasonable. They have different price packages based on which programs you want to participate in.
I will, of course, see if there are other schools in the are that are preferable, but the distance I am able to travel is limited.

toad44
7/15/2009 5:33pm,
Hi Triple!

As a fellow newbie, I guess we can welcome each other to the site :)

Am pushing 40, did amateur kickboxing in my 20s, and although I don't practice or train anymore, it's still fun following the world of martial arts.

cheers, all!

omoplatypus
7/15/2009 7:04pm,
if it's solid training and a positive environment and it's within your proximity, go for it. i still say mcdojo, but mcdojo doesn't automatically mean bullshit.

good luck with it all.

AKJ-TripleThreat
7/16/2009 1:46am,
Roger that, and thanks, all, for the warm welcome! I really enjoy the environment here on bullshido.
As an aside, did my two-hour BJJ/MMA class today. I really feel like it was solid. Started with conditioning... ab work, etc. Then we did some basic MMA drills for footwork, circling, low-kick checking, and the like. Followed that with some drills for the triangle, armbar, and kimura, followed by lots and lots of rolling. Everyone there that is more experienced is very willing to tell you why what they just did worked, and to talk you through avoiding it, etc. The instructor, also, is very aware of what's going on and quick to offer advice or correction.
All in all, I'd say that the BJJ/Gracie programs, at least, are awesome. I'll let you know more about the Arnis and kempo after I've been to more of the classes. Or, I suppose, I could just do a school review...

hpr
7/16/2009 1:59am,
Just so you remember if you have no experience in grappling it's hard to know if what you're getting is actually solid, good stuff. Do you know the rank of the BJJ instructor? Under whom he has trained? I'm not calling bullshit on anyone here but that website oozes the fouls smell of mcdojo.

Like WK said that doesn't mean it's bad instruction and BJJ is starting to get common enough to find at least solid instruction from pretty surprising places, so I was going to that place I'd want to know who ranked the instructor. If it's legit then the instructor should be very open about that, since lineage in BJJ is something folks are typically proud of.

I might be wrong, but I seem to remember that Gracie Combatatives is a mcdojoish program like Gracie Academy stuff, and ranks in them do not really correlate with real BJJ training. If your instructor claims he is a purple belt or higher he should have been typically training for at least a better part of a decade.

EDIT: And welcome. Have fun, wear a helmet.

omoplatypus
7/16/2009 10:36am,
Gracie combativs is ameat and potatoes system of GJJ and is pretty much designed for mcdojos to utilize, but i'm not calling bullshit yet.

And dude, if there is alive training and its fun while getting not fat, screw it. Train where you want.

Do ask for lineage though. The place MIGHT be bullshit at which point its actually dangerous to train there.

hpr
7/16/2009 10:54am,
Gracie combativs is ameat and potatoes system of GJJ and is pretty much designed for mcdojos to utilize, but i'm not calling bullshit yet.

Remembered correctly, then. There's no problem with this of course as long as this is made clear. Gracie combative + MMA sounds a bit silly as a combo, but I think OP mentioned that there was a separate guy giving the BJJ + MMA thing. Perhaps he knows more than just combatives?


And dude, if there is alive training and its fun while getting not fat, screw it. Train where you want.

This is true. Rolling is something I'd call "aika vitun hauskaa" (EDIT: lol @ google translating this to "time to fucking funny", it's more like "pretty fucking fun") and I wholeheartedly agree.

omoplatypus
7/16/2009 11:05am,
Makes sense to me to have Gracie combatives and mma. Combatives is for the self defense conscious and hobbyists and full bjj/mma is for the more serious student/future competitor

hpr
7/16/2009 11:11am,
Makes sense to me to have Gracie combatives and mma. Combatives is for the self defense conscious and hobbyists and full bjj/mma is for the more serious student/future competitor

I was thinking more like using combatives as the grappling base for MMA. But your scenario is very much sane and possibly a very good idea.

AKJ-TripleThreat
7/16/2009 12:46pm,
Good points, all. The BJJ/MMA is taught by a guy who has a brown belt in BJJ and has been training for 10 years, but I don't know his lineage yet. I also don't know his MMA experience, but I'll find this stuff out.
The combatives course is taught by the guy who does arnis and kempo, but the BJJ guy is there the whole time and watches the workouts and stuff, and seems cool with it.
The way combatives works, at least for us, is that there's a 20-lesson cycle. You have an attendance card and each time you attend a particular lesson (these aren't reliant on each other so it's fine if you miss a class) you get a mark by that day on your card. When you complete a cycle, you get a stripe to put on your belt in that class. I don't know really much beyond that, like how many stripes you can get and if you go up more than stripes, since it's just a beginner class. I'll check that tonight too.
I also overheard something about testing being videotaped and sent to the Gracie Academy for corroboration, but having not been there for the whole conversation, I don't know if that's in regards to the combatives course or BJJ.

hpr
7/16/2009 12:50pm,
Cool! With a BJJ brown belt you're in good hands, so just enjoy :)

omoplatypus
7/16/2009 4:54pm,
Good points, all. The BJJ/MMA is taught by a guy who has a brown belt in BJJ and has been training for 10 years, but I don't know his lineage yet. I also don't know his MMA experience, but I'll find this stuff out.
The combatives course is taught by the guy who does arnis and kempo, but the BJJ guy is there the whole time and watches the workouts and stuff, and seems cool with it.
The way combatives works, at least for us, is that there's a 20-lesson cycle. You have an attendance card and each time you attend a particular lesson (these aren't reliant on each other so it's fine if you miss a class) you get a mark by that day on your card. When you complete a cycle, you get a stripe to put on your belt in that class. I don't know really much beyond that, like how many stripes you can get and if you go up more than stripes, since it's just a beginner class. I'll check that tonight too.
I also overheard something about testing being videotaped and sent to the Gracie Academy for corroboration, but having not been there for the whole conversation, I don't know if that's in regards to the combatives course or BJJ.

brown belt = kosher as long as it's a legit belt. finding that out is easier than a 3 dollar whore though.

the combatives course sounds just like what is on the website for it. if you're training it right, you are getting the building blocks for a very solid future in BJJ/GJJ, but the ranking system is a mcdojo system if there ever was one.

everything sounds good, i hope you're having tons of fun and getting un-fat at the same time!

AKJ-TripleThreat
7/16/2009 10:57pm,
I am most definitely sweating like a 'ho in church during classes. The BJJ/MMA instructor is a brown belt, the Combatives instructor is a Blue Belt, with the Brown Belt overseeing, and they both train under Roberto Traven, at Unit2 Fitness in Atlanta.
The Karate/Kempo and Arnis instructor (who teaches the Combatives course) is a student of Robert Quinn, who has been granted ranks (although I don't know who his primary instructor was) by Remy Presas in Arnis and Ed Parker in Kempo. Again, I'll let you know more about those when I have more experience, but due to scheduling I mostly make it to the Combatives, JiuJitsu, and MMA stuff.