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Martial Arts

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I'm interested in pursuing some type of martial arts as a path towards fitness, discipline and possibly self defense (listed in order of importance to me). I took Tai Chi a number of years ago but didn't feel it was right for me. I know there are numerous types of martial arts i.e. Tae Kwon Do, Karate, but I'm not sure where to start. My friend takes cardio kick boxing (in another state), but I'm not sure I'm up for that. My ideal body weight is about 35 lbs. away and I'd love to find something physical that is more meaningful to me than aerobics, for instance. Anyone out there with experience?
post #2 of 8
Maybe Aikido would be to your liking. It is a Japanese martial art that is strictly defensive. There are no kicks or punches and none of the aggressive feeling I have experienced practicing some other martial arts. It is all about being centered and deflecting attacks against you into throws using the attackers own energy against him. I haven't done it in years, but I highly reccomend it.
post #3 of 8
I just have to chuckle Yammer... my old senseis would really get their belts in a wad over the whole 'is aikido a soft art?' issue. I guess every microcosm has it's hot button issues!
post #4 of 8
It might just be an American problem with equating soft to weak or lesser in some way. I didn't really train all that long, so there is tons I don't get, I just recall a comment or two about it that caught my attention. I know that it is generally regarded that way and that if the distinction is based on offensive v defensive that is largely an accurate label, though. There are a number of places in aikido that you are in a position to strike back and I believe that while it is mentioned and acknowledged in early training it isn't actually taught until very high levels.
post #5 of 8
I studied Wu Mei (kung fu) for seven years, along with Qi Gong. What an incredible experience. It completely changed my energy, and then my physical shape. From the inside out, I guess. We weren't even allowed to do the forms until we did rigorous physical training for about a year. What I loved about it was that you used your sinews and internal strength more than muscle, but the muscle developed as a by-product. I didn't get into it with the desire to get into shape from it, but that's the best shape I've ever been in. I believe it's only taught in NYC by Sifu Ken Lo, and a few of his disciples.


I was drawn to it when I learned a woman created it.

Good luck!
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks for sharing...

Ladylee, I was encouraged to hear about your experience. I'm currently involved in Network Chiropractic care twice a week and my chiropractor suggested Qi Gong as a good accompaniment. Thanks for taking the time to tell me about you.

Yammer & kama'aina mama, you offered a wealth of information that was also greatly appreciated, if not slightly above my current level of understanding
post #7 of 8
Two of my daughters take Shotokan karate which is a traditional Japanese karate (related somewhat to akido)

The mental discipline of karate is helpful in other aspects of life and they are taught to block, block and *then* hit or kick. They are taught to walk away from a confrontation if possible.

The "soft" arts aren't "soft" the way we think of strength and weakness. Knowing you can defend yourself but desiring (and working toward) peaceful resolution of conflict are part of karate.

Debra Baker
post #8 of 8
oh, I thought it said marital arts!

that would be a good discipline too.
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