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TravelerKai’s Martial Arts Datasheet
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TravelerKai’s Martial Arts Datasheet
TravelerKai’s Martial Arts Datasheet

My background: I hold black belts in the following styles: Kenpo, Japanese Ju Jitsu, Judo, and Brazilian JiuJitsu. I have over ten years of Traditional Muay Thai experience and training. I am a former Mixed Martial Arts fighter. I have trained and coached Amateur and Professional Mixed Martial Arts fighters for over 8 years. I have experience in Chinese Martial Arts (Wu Shu, animal systems, Sanda, San Shou). I have a red belt in Tae Kwon Do. I have had training in Eskrima and Arnis, Silat, and CQC (Close Quarter Combat). I have also trained enlisted military up to special forces members in knife fighting. I will not be describing my linages, associations, pro fighters, and students in detail to prevent getting doxed. I have other training in some other systems but if I reveal those, I can be doxed easily for that as well, so I will have to leave those out as well.

Purpose: To provide a resource and reference for RVF readers seeking advice and information on various Martial Arts. This Datasheet will provide a little bit of historical background, cover sport systems, self-defense systems, traditional martial arts, lineages when appropriate. The primary focus will be on widely accepted pros and cons of each along with my own personal insights on each. This datasheet will also help and assist those looking for a martial art for reasons besides self-defense and sports. It will have recommendations for general fitness and advice for older and aging men. Advice for women and children will also be present for any guys that have wives and/or children.

Format:
This guide will go by style, listed in alphabetical order.

Commonly used acronyms:
BJJ = Brazilian JiuJitsu
JJ = Japanese Ju Jitsu
WC = Wing Chun
MT = Muay Thai
MMA = Mixed Martial Arts
TKD = Tae Kwon Do
CQC = Close Quarters Combat (military application)
TMA = Traditional Martial Arts
CMA = Chinese Martial Arts
SMJ = Small Joint Manipulation


Preface: This datasheet is not going to be some Traditional Systems vs. Modern Systems junk that is commonly seen on many martial arts websites and forums. MMA is not some modern system that is better than older systems. There is no such thing as a Modern Martial Art. That is a complete misnomer that lacks intellectual integrity or honesty. All systems have strengths and weaknesses. All systems come from an older system linage wise and/or borrowed from many other systems. Complete systems refer to systems that include techniques for any and all situations. Incomplete systems are thus systems that do not have a technique to deal with a particular situation. This datasheet will not be a sport system vs non-sports system guide. Sports systems do not tend to handle various self-defense aspects well, and non-sports systems tend not to train their fighters to have the athleticism required to handle themselves against powerful opponents. Ultimately, it is up to the individual fighter to close any and all gaps in their game as a person. It is NOT anyone else’s responsibility for your failures to protect yourself on the street or win fights professionally.
Feel free to ask questions in the thread or send me PMs, but I will not reply to or dignify stupid arguments or inquiries about modern vs traditional or sport vs. non-sport styles, for all the reasons I listed above.
Everyone’s situations are different from another man’s, so do not feel afraid to ask me something about what system(s) would be effective for a 50 year old man, who has had 2 knee replacements, and just wants to get back in shape but do something fun instead of running on an elliptical. That is a valid concern and you should not feel ashamed for asking that. Muay Thai for example is not really great for older man, like the one described above, especially considering the low career span of professional Muay Thai fighters. If an older guy really loved Muay Thai a lot I would recommend he do it maybe 2 times a week at most, for 2 hours, but stay out of the ring completely. Again, the more information about your situation, the better the advice or recommendation you will receive, because everyone has a different situation.
Due to your location, you may or may not find a gym or dojo for the style you like. I will try to help as best as I can, but I have lost the rolodex I used to have for things like that. Some regions of the world are more likely to have certain styles than others. I am quite certain that it would be difficult to find American Kickboxing or French Savate (French Kickboxing) in Russia, but I am sure that finding a Russian Sambo dojo would be pretty easy to find there.
Since the actual list of Martial Arts is damn near endless, I will have to limit it to covering the more popular ones instead. I will have some weapons based systems (like fencing or medieval sword fighting) in here as well but I will not be able to go to really deep detail on them like some of the others. I will not have any Indian Martial Arts listed only due to a lack of knowledge on their different systems.

List of Martial Arts

Aikido
American Kickboxing
Boxing (all forms)
Brazilian Jiujitsu
Capoeira
CQC
Dim Mak
Dutch Kickboxing
Eskrima/Arnis/Kali (Filipino Martial Arts)
Fencing
Hapkido
Jeet Kun Do
Japanese Ju Jitsu
Judo
Karate
Kenjutsu (Japanese Sword fighting)
Kenpo
Krav Maga
MMA
Renaissance Martial Arts (ARMA/HACA/European Swordsmanship)
Russian Martial Arts SAMBO/Systema
Sanda
Silat
Tae Kwon Do
Tai Chi
Tai Jitsu
Vo Vi Nam
Western Kickboxing (American, Dutch, French(Savate))
Wing Chun
Wrestling (Greco Roman/Freestyle/others)
Wu Shu (Chinese Gong Fu)


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Aikido

Pros:
1) Multiple opponent defense techniques, (even when surrounded 360 degrees), are second to no other style.
2) Low physical requirements to practice.
3) Very powerful SJM techniques.
4) Has a complete toolkit on how to subdue all kinds of aggressors from crazy women, to crazy drug addicts, to out of control family members, all without hurting anyone.
5) Weapons defense
6) Good for people of all ages, especially older people.
7) The more patient you are as a person, the stronger it gets.

Cons:
1) Not a complete system. (no real strikes)
2) No extensive groundwork.
3) Peaceful system that focuses on self-defense only with no realistic options for attacking.
4) Takes a fairly long time to fully learn. (~5-10 years+) To master 15+
5) Does not train the body for good physical conditioning, must develop that outside.

Boxing

Pros:
1) The physical conditioning training programs are the best of all styles, maybe of all sports.
2) Gyms are very easy to find anywhere in the Western world.
3) Develops attack speed far better than most styles.
4) Very easy to learn. Everyone gets better with time spent in the gym.
5) Great for people of all ages and develops good discipline and good habits.
6) Extremely useful to cross train in with sport fighting systems.
7) High fun factor and great for the social relationships built.

Cons:
1) Not a complete system.
2) Limited street and self-defense application.
3) No groundwork at all.
4) No kick defense.
5) Heavy dependence on footwork, take the ability to have footwork from a boxer and they are done.
6) No weapons defense
7) Physical problems if you fight professional or amateur for a long time.
8) Extremely corrupt professional industry. Makes government look like angels.
9) Potential for death exists, but very rare. (brain swellings, etc.)
10) Concussions and head trauma are possible, unless you rarely spar.
11) Not recommended to let your children spar if it can be helped, if not, headgear is mandatory. Better to wait until they are older.

Brazilian Jiujitsu/Gracie Jiu Jitsu

Pros:
1) Possibly the best ground game of all sport styles.
2) Expanded ground techniques that traditional Judo does not have.
3) Easiest gyms to find nowadays, worldwide.
4) Makes it very easy to get into shape and lose a lot of weight, in even the first month.
5) Develops excellent cardio shape, with “body wide” total fitness. The whole body works out.
6) Very high fun factor with a huge community of practitioners for social networking.
7) Excellent for children and young people of both genders.
8) Develops good teambuilding atmosphere and social skills.
9) Great for professional MMA fighting.
10) Plenty of tools to help smaller guys vs. bigger guys.
11) Your actual skill level and knowledge tends to reflect your actual belt color ranking. No brownie points for length of practice.
12) Good for children, but monitor and watch the intensity as a parent. Don’t assume the school won’t do too much too soon.

Cons:
1) Not a complete system.
2) Not a good system for street self defense. Has no techniques for multiple opponents. Royce Gracie does have a self defense system, but it is not as good as something designed for the street.
3) Only focus is on the ground and light wrestling. No strikes and no Small Joint Manipulation are allowed in practice or matches.
4) Judo throws are allowed if you know them but they are usually never taught in class.
5) Very limited self-defense application due to being a sport style and is single opponent heavy.
6) Long term heavy practice will yield back and knee/joint problems after 10-20+ years.
7) While easy to learn, it’s actually pretty hard to master against many of the elite competition.
8) Can get very expensive depending upon who is teaching you, their lineage, where, and cost of equipment.
9) Cauliflower ear is possible.
10) Small Joint Manipulation is usually not allowed at all, nor is taught.
11) Too many new-age schools that are too MMA/NAGA focused, do not teach the style correctly or with the gi kimono, which is important if you want to learn it’s self defense applications correctly, or just proper technique in general.
12) Infighting over authenticity in regards to the Gracie family over lineage and their attempts to distance themselves from BJJ, despite their family creating it.

Capoeira

Pros:
1) Lots of fun to do and watch.
2) Excellent level of fitness and strength gained from practice.
3) High sex appeal for the ladies as well as exotic factor. (Think Exotic Dance Game)
4) Helps improve your dance skills in other forms of dance.
5) This is a social style because it is usually done with a partner.
6) Can easily blend into breakdancing, bboying, and pop-locking.
7) Young men that like to dance alot at nightclubs should really invest at least a few months learning this to help add more dimensions to their game, fitness, and style. I have personally seen duos work a nightclub and get numbers off 1 dance with tons of IOIs.
8) Any school worth it's salt will heavily teach the culture behind the art as well, which provides a richer experience than just working out.

Cons:
1) Can be somewhat hard to find a class or instructor, as well as dance partners.
2) Very limited use outside of practice.
3) Lacks a lot of practicality for self-defense situations.
4) Can hurt your wrists and fingers. I am told small injuries happen from time to time.
5) Broken bones in the legs is also a common occurrence.
6) Kind of a young man’s game.

CQC (Close Quarters Combat)

Pros:
1) All special forces in any military trains in this.
2) Good fitness can be acquired.
3) Uses semi-automatic and fully automatic weapons.
4) Usually incorporates knives and stick defense.
5) Hostage situation, Counter-Terrorism, and Bomb Threats are usually covered.
6) Teaches how to breach buildings and secure them.
7) Deals with nervousness the best and is as real world as it gets.
8) Learn how to handle live fire, shootouts, explosions, teamwork, etc.
9) Learn how to handle getting disarmed by the enemy or being grappled.
10) Very high fun factor.
11) Real world self-defense tactics.
12) Mixes naturally well with conceal/open pistol carry.
13) Survival tactics are commonly taught as well at some schools.
14) I recommend this for people not in great shape, that only want to learn how to protect themselves in violent situations that also carry handguns daily with their handgun license. Pick the right school, some enforce mandatory combat readiness fitness requirements.

Cons:
1) Can be extremely hard to take classes on this or even get permission.
2) Not for children at all.
3) Not available in all countries.
4) Can be hard to find good instructors.
5) Can be very heavy emphasis on guns and shooting targets, which is bad for your hand to hand training.
6) The easiest way to learn is to join the military and choose the right job or position for this line of work.
7) Some groups are private join only and only former/current SEALs, Airborne, SWAT, FBI, ATF, etc. type guys are able to join.
8) You may live in a place that does not allow you to carry guns or knives all the time and if you do not need it for your job in law enforcement or military, it may not help you much.
9) Lots of good schools in places like Arizona or Texas, but not so much in gun restrictive states.
10) Some of these schools are actually Krav Maga based, which is good and bad.
11) The level of competency varies way too much in a way. You could get anything from a plain ol common sense glorified handgun license class to an elite Russian Systema class that will teach you even military secret skills. It can really vary on the instructor. Do your research!!! Call around and go watch a class or two. You have anything from Paranoid Fucks, to Preppers, to tournament Paintball Gunners taking these classes. Make sure it will fit what you are looking to accomplish.

Dim Mak


Pros:
1) Can be very deadly in the wrong hands.
2) Can be used to heal the bodies of others.
3) Learn extensive amounts of medical knowledge on pain points, pressure points, meridians, blood vessels in the neck, brain, and body.
4) Exceptional SJM knowledge. Hands down the best.
5) Can even reroute pain in your own body.
6) Can include acupuncture training usually along with advanced therapeutic massage.
7) Changes the way you view your involvements with any types of conflict.
8) Increases personal responsibility tremendously.
9) Included non-lethal applications.
10) Can learn some Traditional Chinese Medicine alongside it usually.

Cons:
1) Takes a very long time to learn.
2) Extremely hard to find real instructors.
3) You must gain the trust of the instructors over periods of time, in order to be entrusted with this knowledge.
4) By itself not really a complete fighting system. It is actually a supplement style like a Chinese Animal Style, but no one will teach it to someone unqualified physically, mentally, and maturity wise.
5) Usually takes at least 5-10 years of Chinese Gong Fu/Wu Shu study before learning.

Eskrima/Arnis/Silat (Filipino Martial Arts/FMA)

Pros:
1) Very deadly, dangerous, and practical martial art.
2) The poster child art for street fighting itself.
3) Was once used by Filipinos to defeat invading US Marines, in a past war.
4) So effective that it’s techniques have been heavily borrowed into CQC and Krav Maga for military training programs.
5) Teaches you how to carry knives discreetly, how to defend against another person with a knife.
6) Teaches you everyday awareness techniques and how clothing can help you win fights or lose fights.
7) Multiple opponent fighting for street situations.
8) Has a cousin style in Malaysian Silat that is popular in Indonesia and surrounding places.
9) Has gained lots of popularity recently due to Hollywood so that has helped it spread. (eg. The Jason Borne movies)
10) Contains non-lethal techniques as well.

Cons:
1) Can be a little hard to find a school/dojo in the West. Schools are everywhere in South East Asia.
2) You cannot, or should not, always carry knives or sticks into certain public places.
3) Potential legal issues if you have to use a weapon to defend yourself in certain countries and states.
4) You have to practice with rubber knives and sticks and cannot give 100% effort into everything.
5) Physical fitness must be gained outside, but some schools force students into fitness camps.
6) Many weapons in the system are not practical to carry on your person in many countries.
7) Not necessarily a system for children.

Fencing

Pros:
1) Best hand eye coordination martial art training there is. Hands down.
2) Can be done intensely or casually. It’s up to you.
3) Great social perks and atmosphere. Great social networking with affluent, classy, and intelligent individuals.
4) Huge international following and is an Olympic sport.
5) Great for all ages.

Cons:
1) No outside practicality whatsoever unless you always carry a long stick or a collapsible one.
2) Very expensive sport/hobby. Not to scare anyone, but if you are always broke, you might want to try something else….

Hapkido

Pros:
1) Complete martial art system that covers all situations.
2) A strong older style that blends the best from Old Korea and Old Japan.
3) Great SJM techniques.
4) Good fitness and sparring is fairly common.
5) Has Korean military use along with TKD.
6) Excellent for kids and adults.
7) Has excellent self-defense applications

Cons:
1) Can be easy or hard to find a proper school, depends upon the country.
2) In the US there has been some Hapkido Mc Dojos that easily hand out belts for money.
3) Fitness is a must to use it well, and not all schools pound that in.

Jeet Kun Do

Pros:
1) Invented by Bruce Lee.
2) Strong emphasis on physical fitness and practice.
3) The original “Mixed Martial Art”.
4) Emphasis on footwork and speed.
5) Encourages learning from others outside.
6) Includes basic Wing Chun and American Boxing as a base, along with Boxing style training methods for fitness.
7) Easy to learn.

Cons:
1) Not a complete style.
2) Fighting like Bruce Lee is not necessarily for everyone.
3) Due to it’s patchy put together techniques and Bruce dying, all his students have too much variation in what Bruce taught them.
4) It’s getting harder to find a dojo that teaches this nowadays. Many students and teachers switched into general MMA stuff.
5) Key techniques are missing from it’s arsenal to make it more useful for self-defense.

**Bruce Lee created Jeet Kun Do. It was the first modern Mixed Martial Art. Bruce was slowly killed by a fight with a Dim Mak practitioner. He refused his help to reverse it, and boasted that Western medicine would fix it. He used cocaine and other things to try and fix the damage and still died. I cannot provide you in-depth medical proof that just cocaine did not killed him, but many credible people told me about the fight many years ago. Wikipedia has it listed as a rumor and that the other person used a Quivering Palm on Bruce. I am not able to confirm if that specific technique was used or not. I may only about know the Quivering palm by some other Chinese translation or word.

Japanese Ju Jitsu

Pros:
1) A complete system.
2) Very old with very lengthy military history.
3) The father style that most Japanese styles branched from and other younger styles come from. (eg. Judo, Aikido, ninjutsu, taijutsu, etc.)
4) Contains the most SJM knowledge.
5) Contains the most pressure point knowledge of all styles except Advanced Chinese systems like Dim Mak.
6) Contains weapons training and defense
7) Very practical self-defense for street use.
8) Contains deadly and non-deadly techniques.
9) No physically intensive training required to learn.

Cons:
1) Not necessarily good for young children to learn. Only if they limit certain instruction.
2) Somewhat difficult to find dojos.
3) Physical fitness must be gained outside the dojo.
4) Can take a while to learn a solid foundation (5 years)
5) Mastering the advanced pressure point applications can take a very long time.
6) Care must be taken to not use excessive force in a real situation.
7) Can be difficult to find a school that teaches all areas of it (eg. Sword, spear, staff, knives, advanced pressure points, etc.)

Judo

Pros:
1) Great fitness can be attained from practice.
2) High fun factor.
3) Great for kids and adults.
4) Really good for girls and women because it makes escaping a bigger and stronger person a lot easier.
5) Olympic sport with large international following.
6) The father style of BJJ. (BJJ does not have throws, just a few sweeps) Judo has both Te waza and Ne Waza which means throws/sweeps and grappling.
7) MMA fighters with pedigrees in Judo tend to dominate their weight classes. (see Karo Parisyian and Rhonda Rousey)

Cons:
1) Not a complete system.
2) Not very practical for self-defense. It’s mostly a sport. You can escape easily after throwing or sweeping someone. Women and children have no business punching large male attackers, the correct strategy would be to get away first.
3) No strikes and no SJM.
4) Not always easy to find a dojo in every town/city.
5) Long term heavy practice will yield back and knee/joint problems after 10-20+ years.

Karate

Pros:
1) Very old system with a lot of popularity worldwide.
2) Great for kids and adults of all ages.
3) Style was developed for fighting armed opponents with or without weapons.
4) Teaches good strength conditioning and discipline.
5) Contains practical self-defense applications.
6) Easy to learn.
7) Lyoto Machida and George St. Pierre demonstrated Karate’s punching techniques and horse stances to get back to their feet in MMA.
8) Real Karate tradition teaches students to go out into the world and study and observe other styles and schools techniques, once 1st or 2nd dan black belt ranking is achieved.
9) Barefisted wise, Karaketas have some of the hardest fists, elbows, and punches in the world.
10) Too many famous pro fighters to list have Karate backgrounds. Mirko Cro Cop, GSP, and Machida are just a small but elite sample.

Cons:
1) Mc Dojos and lazy teachers are everywhere that do not teach it seriously enough, and give out belts too easily. Those only exist to give self-esteem boosts and make money.
2) Many of the best teachers, that teach the traditional way and use hardening techniques, are only in Japan.
3) Does not have extensive ground techniques.
4) Only basic to intermediate level pressure point use is taught, and that really depends upon the school and the instructor.
5) Too many different splinter style branches of Karate which confuses everyone looking for authentic training.
6) Some American schools blend their Karate with Kenpo, Hapkido, and Tae Kwon Do, which is good and bad.
7) If you find a serious school, train a long time, and break wood and stone blocks, eventually you will have injuries and pains longterm without lots of precautions.
8) While they understand the dynamic of Hard and Soft, Karate is mostly Hard, instead. It’s a heavily external style, like Muay Thai.
9) Some instructors are lightyears better than most. In fact, some styles are better than others but that is hotly debated and controversial in the community.
10) Underground fighting and no-rules open weight Karate tournaments are actually real in Asia. Very dangerous and is often gang affiliated. Realistically Karate should not be used as a sport because originally, it is for real world fighting that could involve death. Sport Karate mostly bolsters fitness, it will not teach the life and death aspects.

** A shipwrecked Chinese gong fu master taught the Okinawan’s “Karate” to help them fend off harassing samurai that wore wood armor. He taught them how to even turn common farming tools into weapons (sai daggers, etc.). In return they gave him food and water. He left when he got another ship to take him back to China. He was too racist to teach the Japanese more than the basics. (basically soft/circular style because hard style is just the basics). The Japanese strongly reject this historical account, and this is not common knowledge. Ask me via PM if you want more information on that.

Kenjutsu

Pros:
1) Japanese sword fighting (technically comes from Japanese Ju Jitsu, it’s parent system)
2) Teaches Japanese swordplay, etiquette, and ceremony.
3) Great way to learn Japanese history and military strategy from old periods.
4) Fun to learn and fun to cut objects with real katanas.
5) Kendo sticks and other wooden swords allow for better practice before using a real sword.

Cons
1) It is not practical self defense. You cannot carry a katana anywhere in the world just about.
2) Hard to find schools. May have to learn it from a regular Japanese Ju Jitsu school. Some Aikido schools teach it as well.

Kenpo/Kempo (American and Japanese)

Pros:
1) Defensive martial art
2) A hybrid mixture of Karate and a few other Japanese styles such as Judo.
3) A complete self defense system.
4) Easier to find in Japan and the USA.
5) Think Hapkido, except 100% Japanese styles and techniques instead.
6) The American style was created by Ed Parker.
7) The American style has powerful punches.
8) Great for all ages.
9) Easy to learn.
10) Some famous MMA\UFC fighters grew up in the system. (Frank Mir or Chuck Liddell)

Cons:
1) Not a high fitness system, although some practitioners turn it into one by mixing it with MMA (See Chuck Liddell or Frank Mir)
2) It’s punches are a little bit telegraphed and can be blocked somewhat easily.
3) Can be awesome in the right hands, but most practitioners will not max out its potential.
4) Can be tricky at first to get the right setups to use certain moves. (eg. Allowing the opponent to do something in particular so that you can hit them with a haymaker) Kempo is mostly about setups and leverage for strikes.

Krav Maga

Pros:
1) Battle tested and highly effective against standard enemy combatants.
2) Training methods are usually done full speed.
3) Lots of sparring practice.
4) Real world self-defense scenarios that include CQC are practiced.
5) Based on lots of Aikido, Japanese Ju Jitsu, Eskrima/Silat, Judo, and many other styles.
6) The official art of the Israeli Military.
7) Deadly and non-deadly techniques.
8) Fitness is gained from practice.
9) Weapons training and defense, including guns, at some schools.

Cons:
1) Not a complete style. Patchwork like Jeet Kun Do. Many things are missing and even certain techniques are not properly done to completion. Heavy focus is always on speed.
2) Improper implementation of Japanese techniques against opponents holding weapons.
3) Use of speed and “shock and awe” style maneuvers to intimidate and surprise an enemy may not work against an opponent with more knowledge on fighting.
4) Lots of infighting, like BJJ, between official Krav Maga Schools and non-official ones, as well as Mc Dojos popping up around the country also fighting over lineage as well.
5) Some instructors are lightyears better than most.

MMA (Mixed Martial Arts)

Pros:
1) Incredible fitness and strength training.
2) Learn multiple styles (depends upon instructors/camps)
3) Has a large and growing professional industry you can advance and participate in.
4) Shooto, Pancrase, UFC, Bellator, Vale Tudo, and a few others make up the different subtype/groups.
5) Quick learning curve and you can become fight capable in weeks or months depending upon your background.
6) Develops actual toughness that is good for self-defense, although MMA itself is not technically for self-defense. Can actually be used for self-defense.
7) Training gyms are everywhere.
8) MMA training usually gets you at least basic BJJ, wrestling, and kickboxing skills.
9) Can be a lot of fun to practice.

Cons:
1) Shooto, Pancrase, UFC, Bellator, and others have much different rules for sparring/fighting.
2) Does not have weapons defense training and is not designed for self-defense.
3) Is not organized as a style itself.
4) Not a complete system because it is not even a system to begin with.
5) Concussions and head trauma is possible.
6) Injuries are inevitable.
7) Training costs can get high if you are between amateur and pro.
8) Can be very hard to turn professional but very easy for others.
9) UFC has a near monopoly on the sport which hurts everyone’s pay and prospects.
10) UFC is extremely political to deal with.
11) Smaller shows do not pay well and promoting is hell to get involved in.
12) You have to register and handle Boxing Commission issues (drug testings, etc) if you fight pro. Some states do not test for doping which hurts fair fighters.
13) Potential for death, while miniscule, is still there for cage fighting, just like Boxing. (brain swellings, etc)
14) Cauliflower ear is possible.
15) Killed off Tae Kwon Do and Karate as the most popular, but is now having it’s own McDojo concerns.

Renaissance Martial Arts (ARMA/HACA/European Swordsmanship)

Pros:
1) Exciting and fun if you love history and the Renaissance period.
2) Lots of geeks, nerds, and new friends can be met doing this.
3) Extremely intelligent people do this for a hobby and collectors as well.
4) Weapon forging and metallurgy is often associated.
5) Plenty of Subject Matter Experts to discuss and learn from.
6) Anyone can participate.
7) Improves overall strength if you bother practicing instead of just talking about it.
8) Even with a small or medium sized knife in hand, these guys could easily kill an attacker without much effort. Some of these guys carry knives the size of a Bowie Knife around on their waist.

Cons:
1) Can get really expensive if you really get into it.
2) Not practical for self-defense unless you carry a weapon of some kind.
3) Can be very dangerous if careless (See Badwolf’s Concussion Thread)
4) Not every city has an Arma/HACA association chapter or affiliated group. Europe has more groups than the US.
5) Unless you like “Renaissance Festival Wenches” it has relatively low sex appeal to outsiders unable to appreciate the hobby….

Muay Thai Kickboxing

Pros:
1) The ultimate external martial art.
2) Long history of effectiveness versus other systems.
3) Very high level of fitness and physical toughness.
4) Turns various body parts into actual weapons. (The art of the 8 limbs.)
5) Very fast to learn with a quick turnaround on proficiency.
6) Has brutal elbow strikes, which can have kill power in them.
7) Brutal clinchwork, which can be used to destroy a non Muay Thai trained opponent.
8) Can be used for self defense.
9) Has a professional industry.
10) Mixes very well with no only MMA and BJJ, but almost every martial art, due to the natural stances.

Cons:
1) Fighters have short careers due to the brutal nature of the sport. (avg 5 years)
2) Injuries are inevitable and is physically demanding depending upon the training. Violent as a sport.
3) Leg pains, shin pain, knee issue problems may happen the longer you do it.
4) Hitting a normal person could kill them with even a simple elbow strike, have to be careful.
5) Pro Thai boxing is ultra corrupt, fake fights everywhere, uses children to fight, and is notoriously dirty to be involved in. (in Thailand mostly)
6) The style is not good for children at all. Their bones and bodies are not developed enough. Only way would be light pad work and no sparring whatsoever. Muay Thai is a young man’s game.
7) Not an actual system for real world self defense, although your average practitioner has a sizable advantage over untrained attackers. Single attacker only.
8) Hard to find traditional Muay Thai in the West. Lots just teach the boxing and basics. Few do the traditional conditioning and spiritual parts. Not always a bad thing, just means you miss certain parts.
9) Many MT fighters are not as quick or fast as their boxing counterparts and are often not on the same level boxing-wise. You may have to find separate boxing instructor to supplement that aspect of your game.
10) Few serious about Muay Thai quit on their own terms. Getting old in the sport overnight is a reality. Younger healthier guys with denser bones are always around the corner.
11) Don’t think Thais on the street will fight you with Muay Thai over a dispute. Thais love knives a lot more. Ask anyone that ever lived in Thailand for a while. Don’t be fooled, overly cocky foreigners will get stabbed.

Russian Martial Arts SAMBO/Systema

Pros:
1) Think Krav Maga but on steroids and Adderall.
2) Many Russian MMA fighters have a Russian Leg Sambo background, like Fedor Emelianenko and President Putin. Lots of Russian Judokas know most if not all the leg submissions of SAMBO.
3) Has the most leg submissions of any grappling system.
4) Some of the leg submissions are illegal in many MMA and Grappling tournaments.
5) Is a complete system, if you study the entire combat system.
6) Has a Japanese Jujitsu and Judo lineage as a base.
7) The Russian military’s choice for everything including it’s special version mixed with Assault Rifles /w CQC.
8) Members of the US Secret Service, Private Military Contractors (PMCs), and bodyguards train in it.
9) The best instruction can be found in Russia. The Russian Military, Special Forces, and Secret Police have their own secret version and techniques combined with all of their weapons.
10) Highly effective in combat, sport, and self-defense situations.
11) Good fitness can be found in the system.
12) If you live in a coastal city/state in the US there are usually plenty of schools to find.

Cons:
1) The best instruction can be found in Russia, although there are some good schools in the US.
2) Could take a while to learn all the different techniques in it’s toolset.
3) Even it’s non-lethal stuff, could cause you to use excessive force if you had to use it on the street.
4) Not necessarily a good style for children to learn wait until they are older.
5) Can be expensive.
6) Non-Russians may never get to learn everything it has, especially the military related stuff.
7) Some schools do not do CQC at all, gun or not. Check with them first. You can supplement this with a regular CQC school if necessary.

Sanda/San Shou (Chinese Kickboxing)


Pros:
1) Think Muay Thai Kickboxing but Chinese Style.
2) It’s very old but still excellent.
3) Has more sweeps, trips, and throws than Muay Thai does.
4) Excellent fitness is gained. Good physical conditioning.
5) Lots of sparring, usually with pads on to prevent injury.
6) Easy to learn.
7) International competition and high popularity in certain parts of the world.
8) High fun factor.

Cons:
1) It’s actually more practical for the street considering its move sets, compared to Muay Thai, but it’s not taught to be used that way.
2) Injuries.
3) Not always easy to find a school in all places.

Tae Kwon Do

Pros:
1) Decent to high fitness can be gained.
2) Great flexibility and speed can be gained.
3) Very good kicking/striking style that can be easily mixed with other kickboxing and MMA oriented styles.
4) Great for kids and adults.
5) Great style for a martial arts foundation and discipline.
6) Basic self-defense techniques are taught.
7) High level TKD has even a military training style and component.
8) TKD practitioners have great balance comparable to Judokas.
9) Heavy international following and an Olympic sport.
10) Schools are very easy to find just about anywhere.
11) Korean schools and the Korean military have much better instruction than other places in the world, and use a more hardcore version.

Cons:
1) Too many disingenuous schools/dojos, in America, that give belts away too easily and are mere self-esteem boosting factories, mostly in the US. McDojo issues.
2) Lack of ground game and too dependent on footwork, striking, and speed.
3) Too much back exposure in the self-defense aspect.
4) As with any heavy external style, your individual strength and fitness level makes or breaks it.
5) Easily the best schools and training are in both Koreas, where both train their military in it and use it quite differently, and mix it with Hapkido.
6) Not exactly a complete system, but mixing it with Hapkido pretty much completes it.
7) Some instructors are lightyears better than most other instructors.

Tai Chi/Tai ji chuan/Chen Style Tai Ji (Chinese Martial Art)

Pros:
1) Internal system with the most health benefits. (ie. Flexibility, fitness, energy management, stress control, etc.)
2) If Chen Style Tai Chi is learned, self-defense is highly efficient compared to other styles.
3) Easy to learn the basics.
4) Great for older people, people of all ages, as well as people with physical issues or difficulties.
5) Think of it like Yoga mixed with Aikido, Gong Fu (Crane Style), and Sanda.
6) Injuries are less likely.
7) The handfuls of people with real internal strength can utilize techniques like Iron Shirt/Robe/Fist/Palm, and are truly dangerous to any unsuspecting that on the street. This is also the same for qi gong mastery in regular Gong Fu.
8) Usually all or most of the different animal styles can learned by the various instructors.

Cons:
1) There are only a handful of Chen Style teachers in the world last time I checked.
2) Can take almost a lifetime to master. (15+ years minimum)
3) It’s self-defense effectiveness is very difficult to explain without showing it.
4) For regular tai chi, the fitness to be able to fight a powerful opponent (with world class strength) or multiple people comes from their breath control techniques but I personally think it has limits if that person is in poor cardio shape to begin with.
5) If you want to learn from Grandmaster Chen himself, he is getting older so you would need to travel to him to do so before it is too late. He lives in Houston, Texas of all places, you would expect.
6) Regular Tai Chi is not practical for self defense.
7) I personally do not think it is a complete system.

Vovinam (Vo Vit Nam)

Pros:
1) A Mixed Martial Art for self-defense, like Krav Maga.
2) Contains some wrestling and grappling.
3) Contains weapons training.
4) Not exactly complete and comprehensive but very effective.
5) Good for kids. Vietnamese parents often enroll their children to toughen them up and teach discipline.
6) Great for adults too.
7) No McDojo nonsense. It’s Vietnamese heritage ensures that it stays tough.
8) Created by a Vietnamese martial arts guru for the purpose to fight the French out of Vietnam.
Cons:
1) Short history like Krav Maga.
2) Not exactly complete style wise, but not by alot.
3) Weaknesses on exposed backs during demonstrations of techniques, like Krav Maga.
4) Lack of intricate sophistication that leaves holes.
5) Misses out on certain techniques that would enhance it’s toolkit. But it’s focus on efficiency on the basics is the tradeoff.

Western Kickboxing (American, Dutch, French(Savate))

Pros:
1) Very high fitness.
2) Sport fighting with strong international followings.
3) Can be used for self defense.
4) Higher focus on punches and punching(boxing) technique. Trainees have much better hands than average Muay Thai fighters.
5) Powerful punch combinations. (very kempo/kenpo like)
6) More leg kicks borrowed from older styles to the upper body. (The Axe kick, etc.)
7) More footwork and movement than Muay Thai.
8) Dutch Kickboxing fighters have very nasty push kicks to the upper body that can hurt a lot. In Muay Thai it is usually lower to the legs.
9) Pound for pound, some of the best pro fighters that ever lived were/are Dutch Kickboxers like Ramon Dekkers, Ernesto Hoost, or Alistair Overeem.
10) Slightly better for children than Muay Thai is, still has the primary concerns Muay Thai for children has. (primarily American Kickboxing)
11) Very good style to mix for MMA. Many schools are heavily into MMA.
12) American Kickboxing has Karate roots.

Cons:
1) Dutch style does not use elbows.
2) Elbows are not a focus of Savate and American styles. (basically 4 point systems, not 8 point, like Muay Thai is)
3) Not great at clinchwork with diverse knee strikes like Muay Thai.
4) Not a true self defense system that can be fully used against weapons or multiple opponents on the street.
5) Physical durability will be an issue, your average fighter may not last longer than your average Muay Thai fighter.
6) Injuries will happen and is physically demanding.
7) Concussions are possible.

** Western Kickboxing can vary depending the style as well as the league you fight in. K1, Glory, etc.


Wing Chun


Pros:
1) A quick study. Easy to learn. Was designed originally for 20 months study.
2) Develops great speed and good coordination.
3) Great self-defense techniques.
4) Good fitness can be attained depending upon the school you attend.
5) Famous style with schools worldwide.
6) Bruce Lee was trained by Ip Man in this style.
7) Created by a woman to teach wives how to prevent being beaten up by men/husbands.
8) If your training and speed is good enough, it can be used to easily beat good boxers.
9) Multiple opponent applications.
10) Can use a wooden dummy to practice and stay sharp.

Cons:
1) Incomplete system but not by a lot.
2) Depending upon who teaches you, the ground game is weak.
3) It was originally designed by a woman that took only the easy to learn parts of her Shaolin Wu Shu training to focus on mostly the boxing aspect.
4) Lacks a lot of kicks.
5) Like boxing, footwork is crucial. Take their feet away and they lose a lot of their toolkit.
6) Physical training is not as good as boxing gyms.

Wrestling

Pros:
1) The oldest martial art.
2) Huge international following. Olympic sport.
3) Easy to find a gym.
4) Extremely high fitness can be attained.
5) Excellent to mix with other styles for MMA.
6) Has a big MMA pedigree.
7) Enhances whole body strength more than even BJJ.
8) Develops your core and the entire body like boxing.
9) Easy to learn.
1) Builds lots of social comradery like BJJ.
2) Very quick weight loss and metabolism control can be attained like BJJ.
3) Get to show off your package in a singlet! (Thanks CascadeCombo)

Cons:
1) Injuries.
2) Can be very physically demanding.
3) Not necessarily an old man’s game but many older men do it just fine.
4) Not effective for self-defense by itself. Pairing it with anything else, makes a major difference.
5) Not a complete martial art.
6) Only a sport.
7) Higher risk of cauliflower ear without headgear.

Wu Shu (Chinese Gong Fu AKA Kung Fu)

Pros:
1) Extremely old, original Shaolin Style Martial Art. The father of many Asian martial arts.
2) Possibly the strongest of all martial arts if studied like a traditional Shaolin Monk.
3) Has several animal sub-styles that fit different people like a MBTI personality type.
4) Good fitness and great flexibility can be obtained with some styles.
5) Good to great self-defense.
6) Has less combative forms.
7) A complete system if mastered.
8) Qi-gong mastery can offer superhuman like strength and control of bodily function otherwise not possible.

Cons:
1) Too many styles of gong fu make it hard for most to figure out which ones to take. (Xing Yi, Hung Gar, Ba Gua, etc.)
2) Too much dependence on good instructors. An average instructor may not be good enough.
3) Notoriously difficult to master.
4) Qi gong use can take 10-20 years of practice. Mastery of it could take your entire life to obtain.
5) Takes a long time to become proficient and master. (5 years for proficiency and 15-30 to master)
6) Not all instructors know your proper animal substyle.
7) Schools can be hard to find depending upon your country, even more so for your animal.
8) Some certain rare animal style instructors (Green Dragon, Black Dragon, Panther, and certain Mantis styles) are pretty hard to find.
9) General mastery is usually required before taking advanced forms like Dim Mak and various animal styles.
10) Some forms of gong fu are not as good for self-defense like some others are, but you would not know it if you listen to an instructor trying to get you to train there. Like Xing Yi vs Hung Gar.
11) Studying forms can be very boring to some people. Patience is required for any Chinese style of martial arts in general.
12) Some advanced forms are missing/lost because of murders of key people, challenges to the death by masters, lineages dying off, temples being burned, evil emperors, and Chinese people keeping secrets from other Chinese and foreigners. Some people have recovered much of it, but there are masters that will take secrets to their graves or keep the circle that knows very small.

** Highly conceptual and contextual, not very specific like much of Chinese language itself. The fighters that were the best, simply “Got it” and were amazing. Being creative with the forms makes it very artful indeed.

Notice the difference between Jackie Chan, Jet Li and your average Chinese actor that is an expert in martial arts? The gulf in skill enormous. It’s not even about the level of athleticism. Even Donnie Yen is arguably not as good as those two were in their primes. It is very common to see one super amazing elite practitioner in a school, and everyone else is amazingly average.

This is the dirtiest secret of Chinese Gong Fu. Other forms of martial arts have much less parity. People that are not creative/flexible thinkers will never be great at Chinese Martial Arts. Never.

Closing thoughts:

Use this thread for anything martial arts related, for finding information, help with schools, advice based on your age/health, or just general questions. Feel free to PM me as always.

Special thanks to all that helped me edit this work: CrashBangWallop, CascadeCombo, Kinjutsu, Samsamsam, and Fortis. I wrote this 2 years ago, but never finished it for many reasons. CascadeCombo encouraged me to finish it out, so very special thanks to him on that.

Dating Guide for Mainland China Datasheet
TravelerKai's Martial Arts Datasheet
1 John 4:20 - If anyone says, I love God, and hates (detests, abominates) his brother [in Christ], he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, Whom he has not seen.
06-20-2016 04:05 PM
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RE: TravelerKai’s Martial Arts Datasheet
Fantastic rundown Kai. You know your stuff, really enjoyed reading that.
06-20-2016 05:01 PM
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RE: TravelerKai’s Martial Arts Datasheet
Great post. Let me add one thing. I took Judo for several months 45 years ago. Since then the training has saved me from injury numerous times, including a motorcycle accident. I've slipped on ice/snow, I've had ladders collapse under me, I've done stupid things and the hard wired reflexes on how to fall safely have kicked in every time.

Personally, I would like to find a good Wing Tsun instructor/school and spend time learning it. It's a bit challenging to find someone I can trust.
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RE: TravelerKai’s Martial Arts Datasheet
(06-20-2016 05:01 PM)chicane Wrote:  Great post. Let me add one thing. I took Judo for several months 45 years ago. Since then the training has saved me from injury numerous times, including a motorcycle accident. I've slipped on ice/snow, I've had ladders collapse under me, I've done stupid things and the hard wired reflexes on how to fall safely have kicked in every time.

Personally, I would like to find a good Wing Tsun instructor/school and spend time learning it. It's a bit challenging to find someone I can trust.

Same here. I accidentally fell over 10 feet high, off a warehouse rafter when I was 19, when I was working at a popular retail store that I won't name publicly. The ladder fell out from under my feet.

I rolled out of the fall completely unharmed. It stunned my coworkers who thought they were going to have to call 911.

Judo/Jujitsu/jiujitsu/wrestling training can really save your life and your body parts.

Dating Guide for Mainland China Datasheet
TravelerKai's Martial Arts Datasheet
1 John 4:20 - If anyone says, I love God, and hates (detests, abominates) his brother [in Christ], he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, Whom he has not seen.
06-20-2016 05:14 PM
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RE: TravelerKai’s Martial Arts Datasheet
Clap2Mindblown3

Very well done.

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06-20-2016 05:25 PM
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RE: TravelerKai’s Martial Arts Datasheet
If we are sharing falling stories, break falling I learned from wrestling/judo also saved me when I fell from a second story balcony back first onto gravel. Only had a small cut on my elbow and no other damage whatsoever.
06-20-2016 05:40 PM
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RE: TravelerKai’s Martial Arts Datasheet
"Some advanced forms are missing/lost because of murders of key people, challenges to the death by masters, lineages dying off, temples being burned, evil emperors, and Chinese people keeping secrets from other Chinese and foreigners. Some people have recovered much of it, but there are masters that will take secrets to their graves or keep the circle that knows very small."

This sounds very interesting, wow, didn't know that things became that intense. So what do we have to imagine when we think about the lost types of knowledge, more philosophy like or movements, training methods, etc. I don't know much about martial arts so that made me wonder.. And these challenges, what was the base of them or basically seeing who is best?
06-20-2016 05:40 PM
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RE: TravelerKai’s Martial Arts Datasheet
(06-20-2016 05:14 PM)TravelerKai Wrote:  
(06-20-2016 05:01 PM)chicane Wrote:  Great post. Let me add one thing. I took Judo for several months 45 years ago. Since then the training has saved me from injury numerous times, including a motorcycle accident. I've slipped on ice/snow, I've had ladders collapse under me, I've done stupid things and the hard wired reflexes on how to fall safely have kicked in every time.

Personally, I would like to find a good Wing Tsun instructor/school and spend time learning it. It's a bit challenging to find someone I can trust.

Same here. I accidentally fell over 10 feet high, off a warehouse rafter when I was 19, when I was working at a popular retail store that I won't name publicly. The ladder fell out from under my feet.

I rolled out of the fall completely unharmed. It stunned my coworkers who thought they were going to have to call 911.

Judo/Jujitsu/jiujitsu/wrestling training can really save your life and your body parts.

Hmm, I don't like falling but now you got me thinking that maybe I should take this onboard too.

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06-20-2016 06:05 PM
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RE: TravelerKai’s Martial Arts Datasheet
(06-20-2016 05:40 PM)rottenapple Wrote:  "Some advanced forms are missing/lost because of murders of key people, challenges to the death by masters, lineages dying off, temples being burned, evil emperors, and Chinese people keeping secrets from other Chinese and foreigners. Some people have recovered much of it, but there are masters that will take secrets to their graves or keep the circle that knows very small."

This sounds very interesting, wow, didn't know that things became that intense. So what do we have to imagine when we think about the lost types of knowledge, more philosophy like or movements, training methods, etc. I don't know much about martial arts so that made me wonder.. And these challenges, what was the base of them or basically seeing who is best?

Chinese history, in regards to martial arts, is at least 3,000 years old. Chinese culture is closer to ~5,000 years. The things lost or missing from mainstream Wu Shu knowledge is mostly techniques, but even entire substyles and/or animal forms.

As for challenges, you were correct. The culture aspect of traveling to another place to see whose style is superior, was a way to:

1. Stay on the move and avoid emperors or warlords that wanted you dead.
2. Feed yourself or find a new home somewhere and take on students.
3. Eliminate competitors that will open schools or close the rivals schools or steal their territory.
4. Control lineage of a style or system.
5. Learn/copy different techniques from others if they cannot/will not kill you, from just fighting them.
6. Earn govt. contracts by defeating local powerful opponents.
7. Take control of a family, women, a gang, or local group of fighters for yourself.

The Japanese somehow learned this from the Chinese because it is just too much of a coincidence that they started doing it as well, probably as early as the Kamakura Period. I have little knowledge on that compared to other historians, but it might warrant some research to find out for sure.

Either way, it never really stopped until WW2. After that any challenges were usually friendly or perhaps triad related.

One of the most feared and proficient killers in China was a blind vagabond monk that would kill other masters of other styles. I forgot his name, but there is not much about him out there. He once sent his son to learn a style from a rival, then when his son came back to him, he showed him the motions of their techniques.

He then traveled there and killed everyone in that family and only left those younger than 18. As a result only he and his son knew all the advanced forms of that style, and to this day, that same style is missing advanced forms that others that have no affiliation to that style know, because of their lineage from that vagabond monk.

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1 John 4:20 - If anyone says, I love God, and hates (detests, abominates) his brother [in Christ], he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, Whom he has not seen.
06-20-2016 06:10 PM
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RE: TravelerKai’s Martial Arts Datasheet
(06-20-2016 06:05 PM)Moma Wrote:  
(06-20-2016 05:14 PM)TravelerKai Wrote:  
(06-20-2016 05:01 PM)chicane Wrote:  Great post. Let me add one thing. I took Judo for several months 45 years ago. Since then the training has saved me from injury numerous times, including a motorcycle accident. I've slipped on ice/snow, I've had ladders collapse under me, I've done stupid things and the hard wired reflexes on how to fall safely have kicked in every time.

Personally, I would like to find a good Wing Tsun instructor/school and spend time learning it. It's a bit challenging to find someone I can trust.

Same here. I accidentally fell over 10 feet high, off a warehouse rafter when I was 19, when I was working at a popular retail store that I won't name publicly. The ladder fell out from under my feet.

I rolled out of the fall completely unharmed. It stunned my coworkers who thought they were going to have to call 911.

Judo/Jujitsu/jiujitsu/wrestling training can really save your life and your body parts.

Hmm, I don't like falling but now you got me thinking that maybe I should take this onboard too.

Alot of pro athletes would avoid injuries if they learned how to fall correctly. LeBron James himself could have saved his wrist last night if he knew how to tuck and roll.

Dating Guide for Mainland China Datasheet
TravelerKai's Martial Arts Datasheet
1 John 4:20 - If anyone says, I love God, and hates (detests, abominates) his brother [in Christ], he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, Whom he has not seen.
06-20-2016 06:12 PM
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RE: TravelerKai’s Martial Arts Datasheet
(06-20-2016 06:12 PM)TravelerKai Wrote:  Alot of pro athletes would avoid injuries if they learned how to fall correctly. LeBron James himself could have saved his wrist last night if he knew how to tuck and roll.

His wrist was fine. He was just playing for the crowd. Boy is made of Adamantium.

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06-20-2016 06:16 PM
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RE: TravelerKai’s Martial Arts Datasheet
Still, learning to fall protects your wrists. I tried to leap a barrier with no hands and landed on my wrists. I shit you not, my wrist was jarred for at least 3 weeks. Couldn't bench or do anything.

Let us try to maintain a higher standard of life than that of the multitude, but not a contrary standard; otherwise, we shall frighten away and repel the very persons whom we are trying to improve.

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06-20-2016 06:34 PM
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RE: TravelerKai’s Martial Arts Datasheet
(06-20-2016 06:34 PM)Fortis Wrote:  Still, learning to fall protects your wrists. I tried to leap a barrier with no hands and landed on my wrists. I shit you not, my wrist was jarred for at least 3 weeks. Couldn't bench or do anything.

A lot those types of injuries comes from wrist instability.
Constant wrist warm up 4-5 times a week over years makes the tendons more able to take punishment.
This comes from the consistent wrist locks/breaking skills you learn. I've never broken my wrist in my life. I believe this mainly to be i've spent the past 20 plus year stretching and having different locks applied to them.
A simple awkward fall amounts to nothing by now.

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06-20-2016 08:55 PM
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RE: TravelerKai’s Martial Arts Datasheet
I do agree, but you can ensure your wrist-health by strengthening them and also knowing how to handle them when you do eventually fall. That's all I meant.

I do stretch a lot now that I work a desk job, but I am envious of your 20+ years of locks haha.

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06-20-2016 09:17 PM
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RE: TravelerKai’s Martial Arts Datasheet
(06-20-2016 09:17 PM)Fortis Wrote:  I do agree, but you can ensure your wrist-health by strengthening them and also knowing how to handle them when you do eventually fall. That's all I meant.

I do stretch a lot now that I work a desk job, but I am envious of your 20+ years of locks haha.

This could be read many ways...

Like you're envious of my hair thats been growing for 20yrs
Or you're envious of my collection of locks i've been collecting for 20yrs hahaha

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06-20-2016 09:47 PM
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RE: TravelerKai’s Martial Arts Datasheet
(06-20-2016 04:05 PM)TravelerKai Wrote:  Tai Chi/Tai ji chuan/Chen Style Tai Ji (Chinese Martial Art)

Pros:
1) Internal system with the most health benefits. (ie. Flexibility, fitness, energy management, stress control, etc.)
2) If Chen Style Tai Chi is learned, self-defense is highly efficient compared to other styles.
3) Easy to learn the basics.
4) Great for older people, people of all ages, as well as people with physical issues or difficulties.
5) Think of it like Yoga mixed with Aikido, Gong Fu (Crane Style), and Sanda.
6) Injuries are less likely.
7) The handfuls of people with real internal strength can utilize techniques like Iron Shirt/Robe/Fist/Palm, and are truly dangerous to any unsuspecting that on the street. This is also the same for qi gong mastery in regular Gong Fu.
8) Usually all or most of the different animal styles can learned by the various instructors.

Cons:
1) There are only a handful of Chen Style teachers in the world last time I checked.
2) Can take almost a lifetime to master. (15+ years minimum)
3) It’s self-defense effectiveness is very difficult to explain without showing it.
4) For regular tai chi, the fitness to be able to fight a powerful opponent (with world class strength) or multiple people comes from their breath control techniques but I personally think it has limits if that person is in poor cardio shape to begin with.
5) If you want to learn from Grandmaster Chen himself, he is getting older so you would need to travel to him to do so before it is too late. He lives in Houston, Texas of all places, you would expect.
6) Regular Tai Chi is not practical for self defense.
7) I personally do not think it is a complete system.

Thanks for the guide, Kai (and indeed everyone you acknowledge who filled it out.)

Bearing the above in mind, what do you make of Josh Waitzkin's experiences in Tai Chi Chuan? Wiki'ing it he seems to have learned a Yang-style Tai Chi from William C.C. Chen when he turned roughly 20 or so, and he pulled a world title in the competition format of Tai Chi -- Push Hands -- at the age of 28 or so. His book describes the 2004 tournament and beating Taiwanese teams who'd trained in the art from childhood, including a fortysomething guy who he barely held off.

Admittedly Waitzkin didn't have to hold down a job and concentrated just on Tai Chi for a good four years or so if I understand his story right, but do we think this is natural aptitude by Waitzkin, a somewhat artificial tournament environment, concentrated study, something else? (And I might note even Waitzkin freely admits to adopting throws from other styles into the art.)

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06-21-2016 12:04 AM
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RE: TravelerKai’s Martial Arts Datasheet
Thanks for that datasheet, +1 rep.

I once took karate when I was young but due to moving out of town, I had to stop after 3 months. If I were to take it today, I'd have to start fresh. I have always wanted to study it in Thailand, I'm looking for a place that isn't a McDojo. Anybody has some recommendations? (Thai language is fine)

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06-21-2016 04:38 AM
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RE: TravelerKai’s Martial Arts Datasheet
Thank you for taking the time to produce such a comprehensive and informative datasheet, TravelerKai.

I have some questions:

How would you go about identifying whether a school was legitimate or not for these Chinese arts?

My level of skepticism goes through the roof when I hear about these deadly techniques that are passed from master to student for 3000 years. How are you able to verify that these techniques are real, and as lethal as claimed, if they are never actually used in full combat against a resisting opponent?

I hope I'm not coming across as dismissive, I am sincerely interested to know how one can verify the truth of these claims of lethality. I understand how Krav, or Systema, for example, can use leverages to snap various bones, constrict windpipes etc, and how that could be lethal. I understand how a sufficiently devastating blow can kill. But as soon as I hear about things like 'quivering palm' it seems like we're jumping head first down the rabbit hole.

I know a bit for various professional reasons about sharp end operators and their methods. A great deal of emphasis there is placed on raw aggression and excellent conditioning. Of course, well drilled techniques are essential, but if you talk to any SF sergeant they'll almost certainly volunteer that what they really do is go so fucking hard, fast, and aggressive (in a fashion that has been well drilled) that the bad guys can't live with it. That's why a lot of what they do in their combatives programs centres around gross motor skills - things that can be performed in high stress, real life environments when the shit is very much hitting the fan.

The supposed lethality of the Asian arts is at odds with what I know and understand about real world fighting against extremely resistant opposition. I have almost no exposure to them though (other than passing familiarity with the basics of Muai Thai), and would be very interested to see a persuasive argument that my impression is mistaken.
06-21-2016 05:39 AM
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RE: TravelerKai’s Martial Arts Datasheet
(06-21-2016 12:04 AM)Paracelsus Wrote:  
(06-20-2016 04:05 PM)TravelerKai Wrote:  Tai Chi/Tai ji chuan/Chen Style Tai Ji (Chinese Martial Art)

Pros:
1) Internal system with the most health benefits. (ie. Flexibility, fitness, energy management, stress control, etc.)
2) If Chen Style Tai Chi is learned, self-defense is highly efficient compared to other styles.
3) Easy to learn the basics.
4) Great for older people, people of all ages, as well as people with physical issues or difficulties.
5) Think of it like Yoga mixed with Aikido, Gong Fu (Crane Style), and Sanda.
6) Injuries are less likely.
7) The handfuls of people with real internal strength can utilize techniques like Iron Shirt/Robe/Fist/Palm, and are truly dangerous to any unsuspecting that on the street. This is also the same for qi gong mastery in regular Gong Fu.
8) Usually all or most of the different animal styles can learned by the various instructors.

Cons:
1) There are only a handful of Chen Style teachers in the world last time I checked.
2) Can take almost a lifetime to master. (15+ years minimum)
3) It’s self-defense effectiveness is very difficult to explain without showing it.
4) For regular tai chi, the fitness to be able to fight a powerful opponent (with world class strength) or multiple people comes from their breath control techniques but I personally think it has limits if that person is in poor cardio shape to begin with.
5) If you want to learn from Grandmaster Chen himself, he is getting older so you would need to travel to him to do so before it is too late. He lives in Houston, Texas of all places, you would expect.
6) Regular Tai Chi is not practical for self defense.
7) I personally do not think it is a complete system.

Thanks for the guide, Kai (and indeed everyone you acknowledge who filled it out.)

Bearing the above in mind, what do you make of Josh Waitzkin's experiences in Tai Chi Chuan? Wiki'ing it he seems to have learned a Yang-style Tai Chi from William C.C. Chen when he turned roughly 20 or so, and he pulled a world title in the competition format of Tai Chi -- Push Hands -- at the age of 28 or so. His book describes the 2004 tournament and beating Taiwanese teams who'd trained in the art from childhood, including a fortysomething guy who he barely held off.

Admittedly Waitzkin didn't have to hold down a job and concentrated just on Tai Chi for a good four years or so if I understand his story right, but do we think this is natural aptitude by Waitzkin, a somewhat artificial tournament environment, concentrated study, something else? (And I might note even Waitzkin freely admits to adopting throws from other styles into the art.)

Quote:** Highly conceptual and contextual, not very specific like much of Chinese language itself. The fighters that were the best, simply “Got it” and were amazing. Being creative with the forms makes it very artful indeed.

Notice the difference between Jackie Chan, Jet Li and your average Chinese actor that is an expert in martial arts? The gulf in skill enormous. It’s not even about the level of athleticism. Even Donnie Yen is arguably not as good as those two were in their primes. It is very common to see one super amazing elite practitioner in a school, and everyone else is amazingly average.

This is the dirtiest secret of Chinese Gong Fu. Other forms of martial arts have much less parity. People that are not creative/flexible thinkers will never be great at Chinese Martial Arts. Never.

That section is the reason why he figured it out so fast. Looking him up quickly he is some Chess genius or savant right? That's always been the deal with CMA. Bruce Lee took Wing Chun from Ip Man for 20 months or so, then left. Funny thing is that many people spend 10-20 years doing Wing Chun. The woman who created Wing Chun actually designed it as a class that a woman could learn in under a year.

Bruce Lee was brilliant enough and "got it". The rest is history. That is why I said that CMA really shines for talented people. That's why it is such a divisive area of martial arts. Too many hate it or think it's fake or silly. Others have their lives changed by it. My wife thinks CMA is silly, and she is Chinese. Unfortunately lots in China don't take it seriously either. Oh well.

Anyway, as for him using other techniques and blending it with his Tai Chi, as long as it is within those rules, it doesn't bother me. Note that I personally think Yang or Chen is not complete by itself anyway. Does not mean that they need any blending either. Chen himself probably doesn't know any jiujitsu, but he would toss this guy into the air like a rag, just with the Tai Chi he knows. As strong as I am, I wouldn't dare touch Master Chen or anyone on his level. The air even feels pressurized around him. It's hard to explain, but when certain masters can make wind blow your shirt from simply doing a public demonstration of a form, a few feet away from where you are standing, you get the hint very quickly that you should never come at that bro.

(06-21-2016 05:39 AM)H1N1 Wrote:  Thank you for taking the time to produce such a comprehensive and informative datasheet, TravelerKai.

I have some questions:

How would you go about identifying whether a school was legitimate or not for these Chinese arts?

My level of skepticism goes through the roof when I hear about these deadly techniques that are passed from master to student for 3000 years. How are you able to verify that these techniques are real, and as lethal as claimed, if they are never actually used in full combat against a resisting opponent?

I hope I'm not coming across as dismissive, I am sincerely interested to know how one can verify the truth of these claims of lethality. I understand how Krav, or Systema, for example, can use leverages to snap various bones, constrict windpipes etc, and how that could be lethal. I understand how a sufficiently devastating blow can kill. But as soon as I hear about things like 'quivering palm' it seems like we're jumping head first down the rabbit hole.

I know a bit for various professional reasons about sharp end operators and their methods. A great deal of emphasis there is placed on raw aggression and excellent conditioning. Of course, well drilled techniques are essential, but if you talk to any SF sergeant they'll almost certainly volunteer that what they really do is go so fucking hard, fast, and aggressive (in a fashion that has been well drilled) that the bad guys can't live with it. That's why a lot of what they do in their combatives programs centres around gross motor skills - things that can be performed in high stress, real life environments when the shit is very much hitting the fan.

The supposed lethality of the Asian arts is at odds with what I know and understand about real world fighting against extremely resistant opposition. I have almost no exposure to them though (other than passing familiarity with the basics of Muai Thai), and would be very interested to see a persuasive argument that my impression is mistaken.


One thing I learned about CMA is that while, most Asian styles are direct descendants from it, the actual difference between them is that, other styles took out the complicated parts or simplified everything. CMA is like driving a car with no power steering, no ABS brakes, no VDC, no coilovers, no swaybars, no AWD system, and no ECU computer. It does have all the same horsepower though. It's just hardmode basically.

I don't know what a quivering palm is exactly, that is what Wiki called it. I was told it was something else. Doesn't matter though. There are people who use the deadly side of accupuncture, and instead of using a needle their fingers are so strong, they use that. I'm talking about dudes that thrust their fingers into steel ball bearings several times a day. Bruce fought a Dim Mak expert that several Chinese masters hired to fly to America and kill him. They knew his pride was too strong to turn down any fight, so they sent someone way out of his league. Two witnesses were present if I remember it right. Bruce got in some nice punches but you only need to be touched once or twice by a Dim Mak expert. He told Bruce he would reverse the effects if he promised to stop teaching CMA to Westerners or come to terms with the masters he insulted. He refused. We can talk about Bruce's weaknesses and issues all day, but one thing is certain, he had a heart of gold.

Here is an interesting video from a dim mak guy. Looks something like a quivering palm doesn't it?





One thing about Dim Mak is that where a person is hit, the time of the day (the tide pull of the moon), has to be thought about first. These things affect blood pressure, etc.. They know all these things before hand. The damage will get progressively worse unless they reverse it. Think, put a needle into the other side. Again Dim Mak is like acupuncture but with fingers. They can heal with it and hurt.

Outside of that, it is hard to explain internal strength to those who never experienced it. Seeing a legit acupuncture master and getting some work done, might help you. There are a few where I live in Chinatown. One session and my back felt like I was 25 again. They can reroute pain, nerve pulses, re-route pressure and the pathways back to what should be normal. They use their skills to heal people. You can also use it to hurt people. Your body is an amazing thing. My acupuncture doc poked a spot in my ankle and asked it my shoulder felt pain. She founded out quickly because I yelled it hurt so bad. My back injury actually damaged my shoulder but I did not realize it, but she knew. She found another way to fix that as well.

Pressure points, meridians, and gates are easier to explain. Someone with qualified knowledge can manipulate those. I would do it to my BJJ students if someone decided he was going to confront me about the BS of traditional martial arts. Once a simple finger press took the power out of their legs in a instant, those challenges quickly went away.

How does anyone test for insane strength or Iron robe/shirt? You would have to punch them or be punched. A old friend of mine, at the time was not yet a master of his style/system, but he had internal strength. Like you I wanted to know if that was real or not before I would bother training with him. He told me to grab a focus mitt that I used to teach boxing. I held it up and he took a horse stance. I was thinking, no way dude. When he punched it, I flew off my feet into a padded wall about ten feet away. Keep in mind, I was in my prime as an MMA fighter back then. I was stunned. It was almost like I got hit by a motorcycle or something. I also noticed that while I was getting up, he looked slightly expended. Over the years I have spoken to others that do different systems and they have the same observations about their masters doing internal demonstrations. It takes alot out of them.

Nothing in the universe is free. Laws of thermodynamics, laws of physics, energy and matter. They borrow it from other parts of the body and focus it. I trained with this guy long enough to figure out how they did that. In a few months I was able to learn a few internal tricks of my own. I can still do one of them after all these years. I asked my wife to pull down my arm while it is relaxed and for 5 seconds it would not budge. It's kinda funny and cool but I get mentally very exhausted after trying it.

Just my opinion, masters can do this stuff longer than the students, due to training and experience. In a situation they can turn it on really quickly. If they could use something like that for even one minute, that is worth several strikes, that could take out most people. Another thing I learned from that guy was that some users of internal styles do not hone their bodies. He had bigger muscles than I did by alot. He said he could not have punched me as far back as he did, had he been a skinny wimp. Because of him I learned how to do pushups on my fingers. He never lifted weights. He just drank protein and did exercises on the floor.

I could go on and on, story after story. I have seen some crazy shit in my life in martial arts. I have seen Aikido masters take out 8-10 random guys from off the street. That was some cool shit. As a young black belt my teachers encouraged me to go out and look at what the world of martial arts has to offer. Their masters taught them to leave and search like they did me. I stopped studying with that insane powerful guy after a while, and he told me that he could not understand how I could go back to weaker stuff. For me it was my guys. My fighters. MMA and BJJ may not be the best in the world, but we certainly had the most fun. Camaraderie was a big thing for me because I am a team guy. Being a part of a secret order of physical elite CMA guys just wasn't for me.

Besides, who wants to be the strongest in the world and cannot tell anyone or show it off? If I was that strong, I would be punching everybody. Fortis, CascadeCombo, CrashbangWallop, and any dude that lifts alot here. Wanna see how strong I am!!! I could never keep some shit like that a secret! LaughLaughLaughLaughLaugh

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06-21-2016 09:09 AM
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Post: #20
RE: TravelerKai’s Martial Arts Datasheet
Interesting. What I always wondered was why these guys never do UFC or anything. Sure, I can understand keeping it secret, but they get a lot of hate from MMA guys. Why not just send one of their badasses through the ranks to the top and say "ok, enough making fun of us. We just decimated your entire stable of 'elite fighters.' I'm going back to Tibet to chill out. Kthxbai?"

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06-21-2016 09:23 AM
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RE: TravelerKai’s Martial Arts Datasheet
(06-21-2016 09:23 AM)Fortis Wrote:  Interesting. What I always wondered was why these guys never do UFC or anything. Sure, I can understand keeping it secret, but they get a lot of hate from MMA guys. Why not just send one of their badasses through the ranks to the top and say "ok, enough making fun of us. We just decimated your entire stable of 'elite fighters.' I'm going back to Tibet to chill out. Kthxbai?"

Funny story. I actually met some people, like that, who offered to do UFC back before the current owners bought them. They told them no because of the stuff they knew and it that it would have been an insurance liability.

When Lorenzo and his brother bought the UFC, they refused to allow anything remotely close to stuff like this. No more karate guys either at first unless they cross train other stuff. They got really picky about getting rid of any "sideshow freaks" the original owners would have allowed in.

It was a smart move. They standardized the sport, simplified it, and turned into billionaires that now want a football team instead.

If Dana White finds out you do anything like this stuff in your background, you get blacklisted instantly.

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(This post was last modified: 06-21-2016 09:44 AM by TravelerKai.)
06-21-2016 09:40 AM
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RE: TravelerKai’s Martial Arts Datasheet
It's an interesting idea, thank you for taking the time to write out such a thoughtful and patient response.

I have to be honest and say it sends my bullshit sensors ringing like crazy - the idea of martial techniques being tied to the stage of the moon made my eyebrow involuntarily shoot up for my hairline.

Again, I don't say it to be disparaging. I know and work with some of the most highly trained killers on the planet, and there are no secret death punch techniques used there, or anything else that's particularly kooky. My gut says that if there were real merit to the CMA side of things, then some of it would have found its way into these sorts of units. Perhaps it doesn't help that many of the proponents look like they would get rag-dolled by an operator, but none-the-less, it all seems a little far-fetched. I really don't mean to cast doubt on your own experience, you are much better versed and more heavily steeped in the world of martial arts than I am or will ever be.

I would be incredibly interested to be proven wrong, as the implications would be fascinating. Until I am though, I don't think I can help but to remain extremely skeptical.
06-21-2016 09:50 AM
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RE: TravelerKai’s Martial Arts Datasheet
(06-21-2016 09:50 AM)H1N1 Wrote:  It's an interesting idea, thank you for taking the time to write out such a thoughtful and patient response.

I have to be honest and say it sends my bullshit sensors ringing like crazy - the idea of martial techniques being tied to the stage of the moon made my eyebrow involuntarily shoot up for my hairline.

Again, I don't say it to be disparaging. I know and work with some of the most highly trained killers on the planet, and there are no secret death punch techniques used there, or anything else that's particularly kooky. My gut says that if there were real merit to the CMA side of things, then some of it would have found its way into these sorts of units. Perhaps it doesn't help that many of the proponents look like they would get rag-dolled by an operator, but none-the-less, it all seems a little far-fetched. I really don't mean to cast doubt on your own experience, you are much better versed and more heavily steeped in the world of martial arts than I am or will ever be.

I would be incredibly interested to be proven wrong, as the implications would be fascinating. Until I am though, I don't think I can help but to remain extremely skeptical.

Nothing wrong with being skeptic about it. In the grand scheme of things, it does not mean much. You are not likely to ever have a guy approach you and drop you with a slap like that. There is no good reason to spend 20 years of your life to learn how to do that if there is no immediate threat to your life as if those things are the only way to save your life.

A handgun carried daily is probably alot easier to an extent. There is always more than one way to skin the same cat. Martial arts are just tools. Pick the right tool for the job, but there are also several wrenches that do the same thing too, so you use the one you prefer. Vikings would choose various swords or axes based upon how it felt for them. Man as the apex creature of this planet has created numerous ways to kill each other. The tool chest is big.

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06-21-2016 10:22 AM
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Post: #24
RE: TravelerKai’s Martial Arts Datasheet
A complete system deals with what contingencies?

Piecing together
- small joint manipulation
- using weapons, defending
- not leaving your back unguarded
- internal system
- physical fitness
- multiple attackers
- leg work
- ground work

What other boxes are on this checklist?

Great post

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06-21-2016 10:31 AM
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RE: TravelerKai’s Martial Arts Datasheet
(06-21-2016 04:38 AM)Rawmeo Wrote:  Thanks for that datasheet, +1 rep.

I once took karate when I was young but due to moving out of town, I had to stop after 3 months. If I were to take it today, I'd have to start fresh. I have always wanted to study it in Thailand, I'm looking for a place that isn't a McDojo. Anybody has some recommendations? (Thai language is fine)

I think "McThaiJo's" are much more obvious in Thailand than in America. If you see a nice looking Asian model girl on the front of the advertisement, I'd probably steer away.

Another SERIOUSLY AWESOME benefit of living in Thailand is that you can afford a personal trainer. You'll learn so much more in far less time.
(This post was last modified: 06-21-2016 10:56 AM by WalkingMan.)
06-21-2016 10:55 AM
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