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Are any of you VMFr's enrolled in a Karate class? I am seriousley thinking about joining one. I want to learn how to defend myself in pretty much any situation, and I here its good for your self esteem.... Any input?
 

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If you are looking for self defence training I would not suggest Karate. I know too many Karate people that have gotten their butts whipped in street fights, and I mean brown to black belts, not beginniners. I would suggest Aikido. I have done Karate, Kickboxing and Hapkido, which is almost the same as Aikido, and as far as being useful in combat, the hapkido has been the most valuable. The Karate school I went to was more concered with form than practical application. During sparring it was the one who makes the first hit that was the winner. In Hapkido we went to submission and they taught us the use of the kubaton (sp?), and nasty weopon if used right, and the form became almost second nature eventually, making identifying a threat and responding correctly seem natural. That is not to say that karate is bad. If the class is geared toward the USE of the art in self-defence and not the perfection of form so much, it is very useful, just I have found that the schools I looked at were much more interested in katas (a dance and not very useful in the real world) than self-defence. Check around your area and see what exists. All the above are strickly my opinions and my experiences. I myself am looking into straight up boxing. As far as the effect on self esteem, they are seem very good at boosting you confidence and self-esteem, as well as being fun and good for physical fitness.
 

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Well, I'm just a defenseless whimp, but ... my wife's a 2nd degree Tae Kwon Do black belt and my daughter is a brown belt (my motto: you mess with me, you answer to my women!). Tae Kwon Do seems much more oriented toward defense and inflicting damage on the opponent than some of tyhe other martial arts. No matter which flavor you go with, look for a studio that's real big on sparring. Theory and forms are fine, but one-on-one with an opponent who's trying to kick the $hit out of you will do much more for self defense skills.
 

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I agree with the previous 2 replys. My oldest daughter(now 26) Took Karate when she was a teen..she made it to brown belt w/ 3 green stripes..next step was black. She won a couple contests that the school sent her to, and even won her division in the spring nationals in our area. How-ever, as the others have said, it is more about disapline and form, and accually teaches self disipline and not agression or really self defense. If she ever had to protect herself, I doubt that the training would have much effect on how she reacts...Just my .02

Joe
 

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I just joined a Kung Fu school about 3 weeks ago, and it's one of the best decisions I've ever made. I'm not sure which martial art is the absolute best for self defense, but any of them will definitely improve your level of physical fitness, balance, coordination, and self esteem.

I'd check out several schools in your area. Try to get a feel for the people who teach and attend them to see where you'd feel comfortable training. I feel it's very important that the person instructing you knows what he/she is doing. I'd also do some research on the net. Check out the forums at www.martialartsplanet.com, they cover almost all types of martial arts and the folks there are friendly.

Good luck!
 

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I have been studying Cha Yun-do (natural art of self defense) for about 17 months now (just a newbie).

http://www.christiankarate.net/chayundo.html
http://www.christiankarate.net/

And I disagree with the other replies.

The normal street fighter (not trained fighter) will only last about 15 seconds in a fight. This is all due to adrenalin dumps.

If you are trained in the proper fighting art, you will have the physical and more importantly the mental skills to be able to defend yourself on the street.

You will know what to expect in a fight, how to avoid and block the attacklers strikes and how to deliver the most effective combination of blows.

I have never really been involved in anything physical like this in my life. Now at 43 I am not doing all that bad. I will be testing for my fourth belt level on Thursday. I feel I have the skills and knowledge to at least avoid some iniital blows and to deliver some unexpected ones. I just need to work on speed and further my strength and conditioning.

Just my .02!!!!! ::
 

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My family took up Tae Kwon Do about 4 years ago.. we all got our black belts in April. I took up the sport for health reasons.. overweight, diabetic, etc.... I lost 40 pounds and feel like I am in shape again. I will be 46 in a couple of months. We did not take up martial arts to get into street fights. In fact we teach students to walk away from fights. But I know that if I had to I could defend myself now. I will have to say that it is one of the best things we ever did. As a family activity it is great. I have never been so proud as when we all walked up to accept our black belts after years of training.. I broke my foot, cracked my shin, and pulled about every muscle in my body. But I will have to say it was worth it.

All martial arts have something different to offer. But they will only return what you put into them. TKD is more suited to fighting. But we do have the "art" as well.

To learn any martial art to the extent to be able to defend yourself in any situation will take years. Don't expect to be Bruce Lee after a couple of months. We see that all of the time with new students. I was guilty of that too. After getting a couple of belts we thought we were bad *ss's.. Even with a black belt I know I am no match for someone that is stronger and faster. The best way to win a fight is to not get in one. It is still a lot of fun sparring with the wife... she has kicked my butt more than once... in one class she kicked me squarely in the nads... it dropped me like a ton of bricks. WEAR A CUP!!!!!!!!!!!

To sum it up if you can afford it and are doing it for the right reasons then by all means look into it. You have to be committed to the goal of black belt. Shop around for a school that suits you. Meet the instructors and make sure they have been in business for a long time.. Karate studio's come and go ...so choose wisely grasshopper.
 

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Well I'm no accomplished martial artist but I've rented a few UFC tapes...maybe you should check out Gracie or Machado type grappling or at least integrate into your studies. The Hapkido suggestion seems good as I hear they integrate a good amount of grappling. Seems worth it to enroll in a class for fitness which is good self defense for the situations we all face. I even found a free Jiujitsu class at one of my local parks...once a week aint enough.
 

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I did TKD while in college, and really enjoyed it for the fun, discipline, and exercise.

If you have no idea how to handle yourself in a fist fight, then it would come in handy. But, don't expect to take down a would-be mugger with a spinning roundhouse kick either.

If you simply want some self-defense skills, I'd take a class in that for the "tips." Only hitch is, an encounter with a baddie can happen so quickly that your defense must be insinctive, so you'd better keep in practice.

Some simple moves like kicks to the top of the foot or knee, knee to groin, or palm-heel strikes are good to know...
 

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I did Karate for 10 years and ran my own dojo for 2 of those, taught classes in hand combat and weapons. This is my opinion, take it for what it's worth... :::

If you want to know how to kick someone's a*s in a regular old bar fight situation, learn how to box. 90% of ALL fights are won by the person that lands the first solid punch. With boxing training, you'll learn how to take punches and how to deliver them. I would mix this with some Ju-Jitsu (cross between Judo and Karate) so you learn how to handle yourself when the fight inevitably ends up on the floor, most street fights do. Ju-Jitsu has a wonderful mix of tying people in knots (Judo) as well as fighting standing up (Karate).

If you want to learn how to become a better person, learn an ancient art form, learn anatomy and how to develop discipline, respect and a amazing ability to generate power from your body through technique, then seriously look into a martial art. A martial art dojo that teaches people how to just kick a*s is not going to be a very good one in my opinion. There is so much more involved than just fighting.
 

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Confusus say "Man who does not go close to fire will stand less chance of getting burned".

Just remember one thing on top of all that has been said here..........there is always someone who is better and badder then you are. Disipline and confidence will go a long ways if you aviod trouble.

Just my two cents..........ok, make that four.
 
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