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 Post subject: Where to start?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2000 9:25 pm 
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Posts: 391
Hi folks,

I have come to the conclusion that I need to learn to grapple, and would like to learn throws and breakfalls. Question is, which art? Should I undertake a minimum of ten years study and attempt "mastery", or be content to dabble and crosstrain a bit?

My thoughts are that I would like to join a dojo and follow a regular path to "blackbelt" or some variation thereof. The process has worked for me in my current art. Image

Considerations are my body type, practicality of the art in question(applicability to modern self defense), and personal likes/dislikes.

I love the whole concept of Aikido. I appreciate the long history and tradition of modern Judo. (it even has a long history in the US!) I like traditional Jujitsu because it seems "complete", weapons, grappling, shokens, and tradition! And, traditional Jujitsu is the root art of the other great traditions.

I have heard that body type is a factor in selecting an art. What say you grapplers? If a person is small, are they more suited to Aikido or judo, or what?

I guess it should also depend on the instuctors available in my area, and whether or not I relate to them.

And what about injuries? Which art seems to be less damaging? I have heard some real "war stories" from the jujitsu guys I know.

Thanks in advance! Image

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"There ain't no graduation from this kind of education"


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 Post subject: Where to start?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2000 10:11 pm 
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Location: Newton, MA
Billy,
The answer to your questions all depends on one thing: What do you want out of the art?

If you're looking to supplement your Uechi with some grappling skills, then pursuing a full blown study of a traditional art is likely not the best route. Instead, finding some good tapes, or good instruction in the basics may serve you enough.

If you want the knowledge of a full fledged art, the next question is, what interests you the most?

Aikido, to be honest, is not taught in a combat effective manner in most schools. And I say that with 4 and 1/2 years and a shodans worth of Aikido under me. There are some very dangerous Aikidoka out there, but they are few and far between.

Judo, in many places, is a sport, and nothing more. It's still a great art (see the part of the Judoka thread where people are actually talking about judo). From what I know of it, it will integrate well with your Uechi. If you're into competition, that will give you a good outlet for it.

Jujitsu...who knows? There are so many styles out there, I won't make any blanket statments about any of them. Many traditional schools do little in the way of free sparring type practice (or so I am given to understand), but more "modern" schools may place a larger emphasis on it.

In the end, the "style" is totally irrelevant. What matters is the teacher, the students, and the school are all good for you. Don't worry about body type. If you love what you are doing, you will take it and make it your own.

food for thought.

Jake

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Defeat is worse than death. You have to live with defeat - Seal Team Slogan


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 Post subject: Where to start?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2000 2:01 am 
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Location: Ptld OR USA
Billy-

The instructor and the class will be the key. If you enjoy it, you will keep coming.

I disagree somewhat with Jake about using tapes... to my experience people who learn from tapes and seminars get 'tricks' but tend to be very weak on moving the opponent into position to use their tricks. To become a good grappler takes time and is clearly a progression. Don't skimp on it.

Rory


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 Post subject: Where to start?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2000 3:46 am 
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Posts: 203
Location: Florida
Billy B:

I agree with Rory. Grappling arts are a three dimensional, experiential process of learning. In my experience, grappling is not easily learned from a tape even for a karate shodan. Many bars, holds, chokes, etc. require multidirectional confluence of biomechanical force that is difficult to master; otherwise you will just **** off an attacker without proper execution. Simple wrist locks are more complex than they appear.(Hey, why aren't you writhing in agony, hey, bad guy, pay attention!)

It has been my experience that a good sign(not the only sign) of a street effective grappling dojo is a representation by law enforcement. If you can find a dojo where the teachers are also law enforcement trainers, well then you have hit the motherlode. These guys practice what they preach and know the "right stuff"

Probably, the most available, well-rounded option is Kodakan Judo. It blends nicely with Uechi, teaches the effective practice of not only offensive moves, but counter moves as well that will really hone your skills and make you work at grappling. It has it's limitations, but gives a lot in the exchange.

Good luck!

JohnC


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 Post subject: Where to start?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2000 9:31 am 
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Posts: 268
Must agree with Rory and John C.

I believe you need hands on.Consistency of art is importnt, I think Kodokan Judo is the way for you to go and not get ripped off.

Ten years? Heck no! As little as six months of good solid Judo training three times a week, and you get all breakfalls, some throws, holds and locks, mat and standing techniques.

Judo may be a sport, but it adapts reall well to combat ,and real quick.

Want to be a grappler to be reckoned with? Two years, two and a half tops, and you will be there.

But don't try tapes and seminars.

There is a good and inexpensive book , The Secrets of Judo by Watanabe and Avakian, Tuttle, that will help you when you are taking Judo. The principles underlying Judo are those underlying all arts.

Take Judo, you can get Jiujitsu or Aiki whatsis later.And know f it is effective or not.

After even six months of judo, if someone grabs you, and tries to unbalance you, you will know if they have a clue, or whether hey wanted to meet that famous Instructor Tatami-San! Image( Mr. Mat)

After two years and a half, announce yourself before you approach me, I hate being caught off guard!

Kodokan Judo-it's what's for Grappling.

Kusanku


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 Post subject: Where to start?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2000 2:49 pm 
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Location: Newton, MA
I suppose I should clarify myself on the
whole tape subject.

It has been my experience that tapes can be
very useful as a substitute to training,
depending on the amount of time you have to
devote to your hands on grappling practice.
I'm not familiar with the environment in
which you're training, or what's available to
you.

Obviously, there is no substitute for hands
on experience with anything. But tapes and
seminars can provide useful input/supplemenatry training to complement
what you're working on.

The best tapes out there are the ones which
outline concepts and principles, rather than
techniques. At least, that's my opinion.

Food for thought.

Jake

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Defeat is worse than death. You have to live with defeat - Seal Team Slogan


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 Post subject: Where to start?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2000 8:20 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 05, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 989
Location: Randolph, MA USA 781-963-8891
Billy,

A lot of good advice here, so I might as well add my .02 worth.

I think it is imperative that you go out and interview a good school with a good instructor. Ask the right questions and you'll find the school and style that is right for you. I've always said that a good grappling style, be it Judo, Jujitsu, Sambo, etc., will complement your empty hand style (karate, tae kwon do, kungfu, etc.)

What you have to ask yourself is what are you looking to do with it. Are you simply learning how to fall correctly. Ukemi can be learned from a tape contrary to popular belief. It is not a difficult concept to get through one's head; however, I would always suggest a competent instructor.

If you are looking to complete then a good Kodokan Judo affiliated school is the way to go. Judo can teach you so much.

If you are looking for a more realistic approach to grappling, then I would suggest Brazilian jujitsu or shoot fighting school. They seem to be very realistic and they go far beyond what a Judo school will teach you in that manner.

If you are looking to stay traditional in your training and want the whole picture of "mother of all Japanese arts" then a traditional jujitsu system is the way to go.
I would also place Aikido in there, although my beliefs are with Jake in that, I haven't seen too many Aikidoka that have any realistic training under their belt. A little too spiritualistic for my taste too.

I would keep training your karate as well and just split the training up during the week. There are many schools out there that teach both, you just may have to do some searching.

yours in budo,

mike


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 Post subject: Where to start?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2000 12:05 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2000 6:01 am
Posts: 391
Thanks guys!

Some excellent advice from folks I have come to deeply respect.

I have been pointed towards Judo by many sources. What I like about the concept of Judo is that they totally disregard striking/kicking. Since I have no intention of departing with my Uechi training/instuctor, this approach seems best.
I have decided to stop jogging (its just boring!), and figured this grappling stuff should be good cardio training in addition to Uechi-ryu.

What I dislike about Judo is the competetive emphasis. I simply do not want to compete for trophies/titles. Would I be seen as lacking "spirit" if I entered a Judo dojo with this attitude?

I must admit I am drawn to the hocus-pocus/"foo-foo dust" religion stuff in aikido. I see it as a different paradigm for teaching generalized principles. I relate to it, but I can be kind of weird. What interests me is that folks with a bit of experience seem to be saying it ain't that practical. Most aikidoka can't fight!?? That sends up a warning signal to me. Then again, most Uechika can't fight either!

Anyway, good comments guys! Thanks again! I'll keep you posted.

After thought on video tapes: I still have to e-mail Mike-Sensei for a copy of his excellent Uechi Grappling bunkai! I have found tapes and books useful in giving me direction, of course its what you do with that inspiration thats important.


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"There ain't no graduation from this kind of education"


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 Post subject: Where to start?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2000 1:58 am 
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"I have been pointed towards Judo by many sources. What I like about the concept of Judo is that they totally disregard striking/kicking. Since I have no intention of departing with my Uechi training/instuctor, this approach seems best. "

Actually, not true. At higher levels, Judo does teach striking. It's usually not taught until a black belt level, but if you find a school that's teaching good Kodokan Judo, you'll get striking eventually.

Hey, I liked the philosophy/"foo-foo" dust of Aikido to...unfortunately, it's just that..."foo-foo" dust. The theory is nice, but in practice, it rarely works.

You can get some good stuff out of Aikido, if you really want to work at it. But most schools will give you a stern talking-to if you try to actually fight with the stuff. It's sad, but it's true.

Bottom line again: It's the school, and the instructor, that matter, and nothing more. Find someplace that's comfortable for you, and go there. Investigate all of your options. The one that looks the worst might turn out to be the best...for you.

Jake

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Defeat is worse than death. You have to live with defeat - Seal Team Slogan


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 Post subject: Where to start?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2000 3:53 pm 
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Location: Randolph, MA USA 781-963-8891
Billy,

Most Judo schools that I have been to (the tradition ones) require for rank that you compete in tournaments. Even the Kodokan requires it. I don't know what your aspirations are in terms of rank, but if you are just thinking about training, then go for it.

mike


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 Post subject: Where to start?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2000 6:23 pm 
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Posts: 268
Everything everyone on here has said about Judo, is true.

That having been said, let's look at it like Mike said, from purely a training standpoint.

You're going to learn ukemi, falling, and get some great conditioning.

You will learn the eight directions of unbalancing and measter them in no long time, within six months.

You will learn to throw an uncooperative opponent who is trying to throw you and take you down.

You will learn how to block throws.

You will learn some Proper jointlocks(by proper I mean they flat wil work, no ifs ands or buts about it)

You will learn shime waza<chokes me up just to think about it Image>

You will learn mat holds, locks, escapes, reverses, and combinations, as well as how to transition from standing to the ma in many more ways than one:-).

Yes, if you stay long enough or they teach self defense judo, you will learn how to combine striking and kicking and defenses against all of these with your grappling waza. Some may not know this, but Judo even has defenses against karate techniques built into one of their kat, actually several.

You may learn Judo kata, done with two people.

You may go into tournament or not if you please, but you will learn to practice randori, Judo free play, very important.

All this and more you will and should greatly enjoy learning.

If then you wish to take Aikido(Yoshinkan or Tomiki guys actually CAN fight), r a good Jiujitsu style from a good teacher(JJ and BJJ are fads again now, so lots of substandard teaching is out there.)Good Judo is good Judo.Obviously if you can tke BJJ or NJJ with Mike or Joe or someone good you know, that would be great.Very few frauds in Judo these days though.Any such would be most quickly spotted first time kumi kata occured(taking hold of lapel and sleeve.)

Any competent green belt or above Judoka can tell just from holding the other's i, if they know any Judo or not. Here's a clue:If you suddenly and repeatedly wind up smoothly on the mat, they know.

Here's a clue that they don't. If you are a good white belt, and every throw you try works , and the other guy has a Black Belt on, they didn't earn it.

It isn't like karate where the refereee doesn't see the point, and then does as your opponent throws a punch six inches from you and scores.

It is like this: You grab on, he grabs on, hajime, and someone goes head over applecart onto the mat, Ippon!That's in a mismatched case. Now beteen two equally matched judoka, it can look boring, nothing is happening, but it doesn't feel boring.

First one tomake an error , first one to mistake, and they get dumped.

Take one of those same judoa, put him with a karateka knowing nly how to fall pls say, shodan or so in karate, and grab on, and the karate guy gets to practice all his falls.

In Judo this is known among the older players, as 'Fresh Meat." Image

Kusanku


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