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    It really never hurts to check a place out.  Many traditional arts are taught in schools that offers other arts as this decreases their overhead. 

    My Aikido dojo, for instance, offered Judo, Aikido, Karate and Jujitsu.  Each art, though, was taught by highly qualified instructors in THAT art. It was RARE for a person to teach more than one art, though there were one or two who had earned instructor qualifications in more than one of them. 

    It should be a red-flag if the same instructor is teaching everything that a school with multiple arts offers and you do have the right to ask to see the instructors qualifications in the art(s) that you are interested in training. In fact, you SHOULD ask in any new martial arts school.  Ask how long they studied and with whom they earned their instructor qualification.  Also ask about the frequency of testing, how much said testing costs, the standards for gradings etc.

    A commercial school does not necessarily mean it will be terrible and it may be better than nothing if there are no other choices in your area.  Just go into it with your eyes open is all I’m suggesting.


    I just wanted to regive a quote I just stumbled over:

    There are very great differences between the bujutsu, or martial arts; and the budo, or martial ways. The bujutsu are combative systems designed by and for warriors to promote selfprotection and group solidarity. the Budo are spiritual systems, not necessarily designed by warriors or for warriors, they are for selfperfection of the individual. (D. Draeger, Classical Bujutsu)

    I think it fits in here best and may give someone whom is searching for a martial arts/ways class an other point to think over why he/she wants to learn and by that what he/she expects to learn.


    It’s not so much the art that matters.  Practice hard. After all:

    For practice is better than art. Your exercise does well without the art, but the art is not much good without the exercise. -Hanko Dobringer, 1389

    That is a good point Yoshio, however I have heard that some of the bujutsu such as kenjutsu seem to be heading off in the ‘do’ direction these days. I haven’t experienced that myself but have heard it anecdotally from a local Iaijutsu practictioner.


    Master Inari that is in some arts or schools for sure right. Especially maybe Kenjutsu as you don’t need nowadays a sword to defend yourself. Because of that it might be difficult for some to keep this kind of warrior attitude or warrior spirit alive in the training and so they may feel that it is better to change it to a spiritual development way. We had in our Dojo once a “special” training where my Sensei invited a friend of him to show us Iaido. In this training he did a little demonstration wherein he explained that for him Iaido means nowadays that with every single cut you perform you should imagine to cut your own ego into pieces and so become able to reach the stage of a no-ego.
    From my own experiences in martial arts training it is very difficult to keep this intention of the warrior spirit through the whole training as it is very intense. My Sensei says: “Before and after the training we are friends. But when you step onto the Tatami it is war and you have to have the intention to “kill” your opponent.” Although you couldn’t keep this the whole training at least you should try to have it a couple of times during a training as this is, in my opinion, the way how martial arts have to be practiced. This all may sound a bit extrem, but that is what makes the difference for me between martial arts and martial ways.


    Hello everybody….
    Just wanted to introduce my self…
    In my research of the Jedi path before attending this institute i came accross Kendo, started and love it as much as being a Jedi….
    I train for about two and a half years now so if anyone is interested in Kendo I will gladly help. I am novice to Kendo too but can point some begginers thingis…

    May the force be with you

    (I don’t know about you, but I don’t walk around with a rapier or katana on a daily basis!)

    LOL i do with couple of bokutos and shinais…

    Kyudo is an excellent suggestion!  I have been watching my area carefully in hopes that a group gets going here (Western New York) so that I can give it a try.

    Also, Iaido, Japanese swordsmanship, is an excellent choice if you want something culturally Japanese and are fascinated by careful and precise movements and internal focus.

    If anyone is interested in Iaido in new york, more specifically Toyama Ryu then Byakkokan Dojo is a great place to learn from.  I have not directly learned from them but am learning from others directly associated with this dojo. 



    Okay, here after is an excerpt of a post I wrote in reply to what Dineara wrote in her PTD. Jax had asked me to post it in a more public place so that others can make use of it as well. So here it is but please keep in mind that it is my personal take on things and how I see them or have experienced them. It is likely that others might think and feel different and therefore I meant no offense and I’m open to any discussion one would like to hold with me about this subject.

    Ju-Jutsu – it is a Japanese martial art which includes punching and kicking as well as grappling and throwing but likely no weapon besides maybe knifes. It is often used, at least in Germany and Austria, by police forces. The problem here might be that the school could be tournament orientated. So, if you are not interested in tournaments that is an art to check out.

    Choy Lee/Li Fut – never really got in touch with this one but from what I have read it is a quite traditional Chinese Kung-Fu style which might offer what you are searching for.

    Escrima – here it highly depends on what is understood by the term Escrima. Is it only the stick fighting form or the whole system of Philippine martial arts (Arnis, Escrima, Kali)? If it is the later one, it for sure would be interesting. If it is only stick fighting it might be too limited.

    Sin Moo Hapkido – also never have heard about this particular style but about Hapkido I know that it often is seen or understood as the Korean version of Karate. As for any other martial art it will highly depend on the teacher if it is any good or just physical exercises.

    Iaido – maybe not really what you are looking for as in Iaido sword work is the only thing you are going to learn and that mainly through Kata – fixed forms. One Iaido teacher I once met defined Iaido that way, the purpose of Iaido is to use every single cut consciously to cut down your own ego. This is what I feel Iaido is good for, for sharpening one’s focus, building discipline and perseverance and getting rid of one’s ego. Practicability might not be found here.

    Judo – I guess it doesn’t need many words. Judo is a more or less popular Japanese martial art which has lost a lot of it practical usability due to the fact that many people train for competitions only. But with that I don’t want to say that there are no good Judo schools out there, it highly depends on the teacher and his take on this martial art.

    Karate – the same as for Judo and the main reason why I quitted with this sport. I did Shotokan Karate for quite a while but as the Dojo I attended lacked strongly on history and culture, it hasn’t been what I wanted from a martial art.

    Kendo – again the same as for Karate and Judo.

    Kickboxing – for me this is the start of all what now is seen in TV under the cover of MMA (mixed martial arts). Not bad but, maybe limited to tournaments and physical fitness only.

    Krav Maga – highly effective self-defence art. Very intense, very realistic and effective. Built and created to suit the needs of the Israeli armed forces.

    Taido – never have heard of it before and as it is Japanese the direct translation would mean something like Tai = body and Do = way/Path and therefore the “Way of the Body”. Might be worth a look but to me it doesn’t sound too promising.

    Taekwondo – maybe another “equivalent” to the Japanese Karate whereat Taekwondo relays more on kicks where Karate focus more on punches. Practical usability close to zero.

    Wing Chun Kung-Fu – it is considered by those who train it as a soft Kung-Fu style but to be honest it is still an outer and not an inner form. In Wing Chung (WT, VC or any other abbreviation of it) it highly depends on the teacher if it is more than “just” a quick way to learn how to knock someone down in a quite limited way. My opinion of Wing Chun is likely coloured by how it is taught and trained here in Germany and also Austria. Here this martial art has more parallels to a sect than to a free martial art which should not state that traditional, original Wing Chun has to be like that. So, if one is going for that, I would strongly recommend having a word with the teacher and asking him who his teachers are, where the origins lie and what will be really taught in the training. If it is on the traditional side, I would consider it as a good and versatile martial art.


    so far I’m doing American Kenpo, at least the Dojo I’m training at seems more concerned with defending in a street fight, then trying to take part in a tournament.

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