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Gustave
9/22/2009 6:05pm,
Always unsure what to say in these things... I'm 20 years old, currently an English major at University of Connecticut... Junior year.

I haven't done much in the world of martial arts since High School, and I'm starting to REALLY miss it, so I'm trying to get into a new school. I've got a 1st degree black belt in Karate, and since then I've sort of hopped around a lot, from style to style and school to school. My biggest problem is finding a school that teaches real self defense without any frills. I'm considering joining a Krav Maga school near my apartment, but as a poor college student, I don't yet have the money to do so. I'm on the lookout for other opportunities. After college I'm hoping to go to a trade school to learn automotive maintenance, and then I plan to get my masters in Education and start teaching kids English and (maybe) martial arts.

That's probably a lot more than anyone needed to know. I've been lurking this site for a few days and really liked what I saw, so I decided to join.

Yoj
9/22/2009 7:11pm,
Hi, welcome etc, but why learn auto stuff to then teach english?

Thedoorhinge
9/25/2009 12:07am,
Maybe to make some money to afford the rest of his education?

slideyfoot
9/25/2009 5:48am,
Welcome to Bullshido!


Always unsure what to say in these things... I'm 20 years old, currently an English major at University of Connecticut... Junior year.

Cool - I'm a fellow English Lit student with not entirely dissimilar goals, as I'd also love to teach both English and martial arts. Not sure I have the patience for a class of kids: I'd prefer to teach adults at university (done a few seminars over the course of my PhD, but that's very different from a full-time position), but may not have that luxury in the current economic climate. Plus, teachers in the UK get loooong holidays. :icon_wink


My biggest problem is finding a school that teaches real self defense without any frills. I'm considering joining a Krav Maga school near my apartment, but as a poor college student, I don't yet have the money to do so. I'm on the lookout for other opportunities.First of all, I'd recommend you take a look at the FAQ (http://www.bullshido.org/Finding_a_good_martial_arts_school) (if that's broken, use this link (http://web.archive.org/web/20071213111036/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 an article on BJJ (http://www.bullshido.com/articles/brazilian-jiu-jitsu-style-information-without-the-bs-2.html) too (you could also check my BJJ Beginner FAQ (http://www.slideyfoot.com/2006/10/bjj-beginner-faq.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, or use the search function (the link is at the top right of the page).

There are also several school databases you could try. For example, for BJJ:

TrainJiuJitsu.com (http://www.trainjiujitsu.com/bjj/)
Gym Database (http://www.gymdb.com/) (BJJ, MMA etc)
UK Club Map (http://www.slideyfoot.com/2000/01/uk-bjj-club-list.html)