What self defense form is quickest to practical aplication? DO NOT ANSWER WITHOUT READING FULL POST!

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05 Jul 2009 05:22 #24137 by Alethea Thompson
Martial Arts is all well and good, but it doesn't serve you as well as good awareness of the area you are in.

It also doesn't match up to a good idea of how to avoid the situations in the first place. THIS is your first defense against getting attacked. Learn those tactics as well as how to use a martial art and you'll be set.

I suggest, for martial arts however, Aikido or Okinawan Karate.

Gather at the River,
Setanaoko Oceana

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05 Jul 2009 05:22 #24138 by Alethea Thompson
Martial Arts is all well and good, but it doesn't serve you as well as good awareness of the area you are in.

It also doesn't match up to a good idea of how to avoid the situations in the first place. THIS is your first defense against getting attacked. Learn those tactics as well as how to use a martial art and you'll be set.

I suggest, for martial arts however, Aikido or Okinawan Karate.

Gather at the River,
Setanaoko Oceana

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05 Jul 2009 06:50 #24139 by Karr McDebt
My first \"Trial\" class:

My trial class was at the local recrecreation center, with a group called \"Southwick Black Belt Academy\". (This gave me the frist \"force warning\" about this path. The name implies that they belive the belt to be the true goal.)

The class is run by \"Master Scott Southwick, 6th Degree Black Belt, Master instructor\" and \"Tia Southwick, 4th Degree Black Belt, Head instructor\" (their words from the scedule, not mine)
And this gives me the second nudge from my force instincts. Notice that they don't say Xth degre in XXXXX form on the scedule they gave me. After further investigation I found their website which states Tae Kwan Do. (Although I was told that they teach Aikido, Ti Chi, Karate, Bo Staff, and swordwork.) Their website is: http://www.southwickacademy.net/

I met with Master Scott, who had me fill out a basic information sheet, as well as asking to rank various goals on a scale of 1-4. I asked about pricing, and he commented,
\"We want you to attend class for your free month and after that we'll meet and discuss your goals, for example, lets say you have a goal of reaching your black belt, then we figure out wich form you go into and we'll set up a price to reach that goal. You decide on a payment scedule. The last thing we want is to put financial preasure on you.\" (notice the complete sidestep of my question, and the reinforcement of the black belt goal. This was another nudge from my force instincts.)
The first class began with a ritual statement about dedication, discipline, and focus, but seemed to lack the true meaning that the words implied. I will write it down and post the intro ritual after my next class.

After the opening ritual, students spread out and spent the next 10 min or so practicing \"Thier individual forms\" Tia explained that the forms or Katas varied from student to student with the black belt forms possibly having more than a hundred moves. (I didn't notice the blackbelts doing anything to seriously, mostly chatting and streaching a bit) Master Scott assigned me to work with two gentlemen, one a bit younger than myself and one older (I'm 38). The younger ignored this and continued on his own, but the older gentlemen did spend the class working with me for the most part excepte where he noticed a couple of the younger students needing a bit of help.


Next we were instructed to find a place on the wall and we did back kick streches while leaning against the wall. Master Scott came by and commented that I have nice form. If this is true, its simply because I have NO other training that I need to unlean, and honestly, I felt ungangly and ackward.

Next they passed out \"body pads\" wich were about 8\" by 12\" by 2\", and we practiced spinning back kicks. Master Scott talked about breaking boards and passing tests. He mentioned that the kicks we were working on had been responsible for many cracked ribs. (Again my I had an \"instinct twinge\")

Next they passed out Bo Staff's and worked on the \"form\" or \"kata\" several times, wich of course I couldn't keep up with since they had been working on it for at least a few weeks.

When class finished, everyone lines up in belt rank, and one after another shakes the hand of Master Scott and Tia.

The kick itself was demonstrated and explained pretty well, but even so I didn't feel that it would be immediatly usable. The reason we were working on it is because its one of the strikes that will be used in breaking boards for the belts testsing, (Testing fees are $35)

While there were several things that gave me pause for concern, I'm reserving my judgement, and will continue for the remainder of the trial month before making any decision. I am also planning on checking out all of the diferent Dojo/Instructors in my area before comitting to a specific class, as well as checking to see what short term self defense classes might be available.

If all else fails, my roommate is a black belt in judo, and has offered to work with me, \"once you learn how to fall down\" she said, only half jokingly.

Judo is not the form that I was most interested in, but I don't have any serious reservations about it other than it involves a lot of hitting the ground,....hard, and I definately have panic issues with the choke holds.

I'll post another review after my next class.

Karr McDebt

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Jedi Knight Initiate

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05 Jul 2009 06:51 #24140 by Karr McDebt
In responce to Randi Oxfords post, awareness of my environment is one thing that I do have going for me. I'm a natural empath and a student of human behavior. I have about a 98% success rate at predicting which guys in the bar are looking for a fight, and who is most likely going to be the first one to find it. (With my conditions, I always sit with my back to a wall, and I'm constantly watching for trouble. Infact, my anxiety condition esential demands that I know what is going on and where, and how I might be affected.)

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07 Jul 2009 07:04 #24249 by Alethea Thompson
Karr, I believe you misinterpret the word \"awareness\" because what you describe IS IN FACT awareness ::wink::

Gather at the River,
Setanaoko Oceana

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07 Jul 2009 13:52 #24252 by Karr McDebt
LOL, Well what I'm trying to say, is that I'm a firm beliver in Form 0. (That means that I don't usualy go where I'm likely to find trouble, when it finds me I'm pretty good at talking my way out of it, or in a worst case scenario, I run.)

But, feel free to explain if you feel I'm still missing the point.

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Jedi Knight Initiate

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07 Jul 2009 18:02 #24259 by Tiamat
Hmmm. Even to me that sounds off Karr. Most places that I ask to work out with for a trial period to find a suitable dojo, don't begin talking about black belt or placement of training. Nor do they start off with Bokin.

I too would walk cautiously in this regard. Tae Kwon Do is not a bad discipline to learn being fond of it myself, but basics must be guided first.

As for Judo it does come in handy in self defense, does teach alot of balance and falling. It does help to protect again broken bones or pulled muscles. I would recommend taking Judo once you have gotten to around your Blue (Purple) or Red (Brown). It will definitely help for advance levels.

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08 Jul 2009 17:51 #24328 by MindasArran
Have you considered Muay Thai or boxing?

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08 Jul 2009 18:10 #24329 by Kana Seiko Haruki
On a flip side to tiamats post - when i started aikido - they said there n then (1st sentence) 'if your here for belts - the door is at the back'

basically they went on to say the belts are not the be n end all - actually a similar approach to knight n masterhood in jediism.

The did however go thru some basic bokken kata - but I believe this was more to 'break up' the taster classes more than anything else

is you want immediate self defence - buy a gun

its a fast fix and pretty effective - however - its not the right approach or attitude - I believe you are already well equipped (if what you say about your perception is accurate) and that in most cases is going to save you.

As I think i said before - being street wise is the best bet but a martial art or self defence course is worth while but you must learn patience with it - you didnt learn to walk over night and the same applies to any martial art.

All we can do is advise - whether you take it or leave it entirely your decision

MTFBWY - A

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30 Jul 2009 00:37 #25174 by Karr McDebt
Second trial class:

I'm glad that I witheld my judgement. It seems that the week I took my first class was the week right before testing. I was away on vacation the week they did them so I didn't get the chance to watch and see how they work,...this time.


Things were quite different in class today. As I promised, here is the \"Student Pledge\" that is recited at the begining:

(Student Oath)

\"Sir / Ma’am\"
I will train with the intent to become stronger physically, mentally, and spiritually.
I will show gratitude to my seniors, service to my juniors, and respect for myself and family.
I seek honor not glory, patience not rage, courage instead of fear, and the power to protect those who cannot.


This time I noticed a seriousness that seemed to be missing last time. Maybe what I was sencing last time was distraction due to pending testing, Storm Camp (a leadership camp in the mountains for a week), or maybe it was just an off day.

We started off with a different streach than last time; with your back to the wall, your partner lifts your leg straigt forward till you start feeling it streach, then you press the leg down for the count of ten. Three on each leg, then one that was only a streach, then switch legs.
I found out just how tight my ham strings are. I was able to get my leg about six inches above level, Masters Southwick,(who partnered with me) was, of course able to get his leg over my head.

Next they passed out simulated \"bats\". Most were actualy about a two and a half foot plastic tube, some were wiffleball bats.
Master Southwick had us practice true baseball swings, both right and left handed. (He gave us a pretty thourough explaination of the proper stance and swing.)
He was using this exercise to demonstrate the step and the shifting of weight for various punches.
Master Southwick talked about hand position and body position, making several points about being the the proper position for balance and defence.

He also made a serious statement about Martial Arts being all about defence and not attack. He stated clearly that he will not train \"Agressive fighters\" but that it is entirely possible to be defend agressivly. He said, \"I'm not teaching you to hurt people, I'm teaching you how to keep yourself and your family safe. If that means runing, great. If that means that you have to hurt someone to prevent them from hurting you, thats fine. But I don't train bullys!\"


Next they has us break down into groups. Head Instructor Southwick (Mrs.) asked a couple of young girls to help walk us through a form (Kata). Both the girls did a good job of explaining and correcting me, and within a few minutes I had the basic form mostly figured out. I worked with the girls hard enough for this out of shape body to realy start sweating. It was dripping from my hair before we were done. (At this time I'd like to mention that the girls were about 10-11 years old. They did a great job and were very helpful and patient.)

Next came the bo staff form. For this one, the newer students were led by Miss Southwick (daughter I think) who did a pretty good job of leading us through the initial form. I was having a small, but normal (for me) problem following someone who is facing me, (cuz its backwards from my perspective) and she offered to mirror image for me. I declined since I didn't want anyone to become confused by it and I worked my way through it, just a little slower from having to flip it arround in my head.

After class I asked Master Southwick to give me his opinion of my Lightsaber form (Form 1 Shii Cho, section one. Can be found on youtube.)
I was seeking criticism on my footwork, which he was unable to give having never seen the form, but was able to point out I was holding the hilt with my hands to close, (actualy touching) instead of spreading them for better power.

All in all it was a much better day in class, and I was much more impressed all arround.
I will continue through the next six trial classes. I'll try and write up my evaluations as they progress. (Although I do plan on attenting all the evaluation classes available in my area before deciding.

Pureland Rite
Jedi Knight Initiate

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