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June 13, 2007 at 7:09 pm #138499Mon-Loma-KaParticipant
I have been studying the Jedi way for a while now and I have heard from numerous people that it would be a good idea tob study martial arts. I heard that it is a good idea because it would help you get into shape. Some arts have meditation as a basic staple. But what martial arts would be the best? Do you neccesarally have to study the arts in a Dojo or could you just study and practice at home? :maceJune 13, 2007 at 7:25 pm #144391JaxKeymaster
It is always important to study with a qualified teacher. Otherwise not only do you risk harming yourself, you are building bad habits and bad techniques. That won’t do you any good in the end.
There’s no ‘best’ martial art. It depends on where you live, what good dojos are available to you, and what fits your personality. I personally believe every Jedi should have two things: The ability to neutralize a situation with minimal harm to others, and attack when necessary. My personal opinion based on my experience (which is inherently limited) is to study aikido, which is a very spiritual discipline and amazingly powerful in it’s ability to use no force yet neutralize a person. As to what works for attack there are many areas. I studied karate. Others like kung fu or any number of other styles. The key is to have a place that teaches you good techniques. If you aren’t being taught to keep your shoulders down and elbows in when punching, for instance, then you’re wasting your time (in my opinion).
So, what I’d do is explore your area. Talk to other people. Don’t make a rush decision. Go to a class and just watch. How does the instructor interact? Do they act like a person you would like to learn from? Does the place feel good, or does it give you an off feeling? Pay attention to your instinct.
Good luck!June 15, 2007 at 3:48 pm #144448StreenParticipantQuote:There’s no ‘best’ martial art.
In a sense, I would have to disagree.
In terms of practicality and usefulness, Jeet Kune Do (invented by Bruce Lee) would be the ‘best’ to practice. I say that because it is not a style in itself, but rather a philosophy that one follows to transcend style, to go beyond the use of artistic and fixed positions and movements, so as to find the truth of the matter. “Truth” being the simplest and quickest end to a fight with an opponent.
The best thing about JKD is that it takes what is useful from all current styles. You are not limited to practicing a certain way. As Bruce Lee said, “Have no way as way. Have no limitation as limitation.” One can study Kung Fu, Tae Kwon Do, Judo, or any other number of styles in order to take from it whatever works best in a given situation.
The most important thing, I find, is that JKD is a philosophy one can apply to all aspects of life. While most martial arts only teach you how to fight, JKD can teach you how to live.
Unfortunately, JKD schools are hard to come by, most of which exist on the west coast in the US. I know of one other school in New York City run by one of Bruce Lee’s first students, but other than that you would probably have a hard time finding a teacher.
Whatever you decide, however, I would recommend picking up the book “Tao of Jeet Kune Do”, a collection of notes and martial arts concepts written by Lee. That book served as the backbone of my life in eastern philosophy.
May the Force be with you on your path of the martial artsJune 15, 2007 at 4:33 pm #144455JaxKeymaster
That doesn’t make JKD the best though. It makes it good philosophically. Except, it still involves destroying your opponant, which does not fit with my spirituality at all, and thus wouldn’t make it best for me. It’s still a hard style martial art, even if it includes redirection and such. That’s why, for me, I see a style like aikido that minimizes damage to the opponant while neutralizing the situation best for me, and in my opinion for the Jedi. But that’s simply on the spiritual grounds I have given. It’s useful to know a hard style so you have that to pull out of your bag of tricks if necessary.June 16, 2007 at 6:14 pm #144467StreenParticipant
I agree, Jax.
My point had to do with winning a fight, which in my opinion is best accomplished using JKD. However, from the perspective you brought up, that of being a peaceful Jedi, a style that promotes neutralizing your opponent by less violent means would be more suitable.June 29, 2007 at 11:51 pm #144566Anonymous
I can agree with you both though I would suggest Aikijutsu rather than Aikido because it is also useful to survive a combat encounter while not causing physical harm for those that are on the more spiritual path, while Aikido while being a great system doesn’t necessarily “pass the test” if you actually get jumped. I agree with Streen that an martial art that you use should not limit you to one form or a memorized set of routines as “THE ANSWER” to a conflict situation. My own studies wit Kung FU followed more along the Jeet Kun Do path of adapt & modify. The same for the Japanese arts I have studied.
Jax is right though about finding what is available in your area. I would however warn against Tai Kwan Do. Black belts are handed out like candy in that system therefore building a false sense of confidence that could lead to danger if used in a real conflict. I also question Krav Maga. It is a great cardio work out – but you could get that at a kick boxing class at a gym. The problem I experienced testing Krav Maga was that it is that advancement is based on money not skill. If you paid enough and followed a few memorized patterns for the tests you could have our black belt quickly. I also got seriously hurt in some of the training drills in that class, because students are not taught control but rather to be as forceful as possible. Both thumbs were dislocated and possibly the small wrist bones behind them broken. Even a year later trying out a Kung Fu Dojo my thumbs quickly gave out during punch drills because of the damage sustained in the Krav Maga Dojo. So carefully consider what dojos are available to you. Don’t buy into the flash & dazzle marketing that some of them employ. I also shy away from dojos with walls of trophies because in my mind they are teaching you how to look pretty for judges not how to survive a fight.
The final thing to consider is your body type and possible physical limitations. If you are a high energy person something like Jeet Kun Do or Kung FU etc might be better, while those who want something softer and gentler something like Akido/ Akijutsu or even Tai Chi might be for you. I personally like a hard core work out that I come out of dripping with sweat. But my roommate Jedi Callista has serious physical limitations that keep her from being able to do a hard core work out. Aikido / Aikijutsu is wonderfully adaptable and gentle enough that even a person with serious physical disabilities can be effective. The Aikido dojo Callista is going to has been incredibly patient with her and been willing to adapt the moves so that even she can perform them.
Hopefully this helps you in your quest to find an appropriate martial system for you. :maraJuly 17, 2007 at 9:40 pm #144919Kol DrakeModerator
I would recommend Qi Gong…. IF you can find a decent instructor!
Soft Style —
Qigong (pronounced “chee-gung”) is an ancient Chinese exercise system combining meditation and slow, gentle movements to promote health and relaxation. The qigong student learns to visualize an invisible energy field known as qi (“life force”) and move it through the body to balance and heal dysfunction.
Not the same as Tai Chi —
Tai Chi is a martial art and its full name is Tai Chi Chuan, which means, “supreme ultimate boxing”. There’s often confusion with the Chi word in Tai Chi, because—despite sounding similar—the Chi word in Tai Chi isn’t the same as the Qi word in Qigong.
However, Tai Chi martial artists—who punch, kick, block, and take down—appreciated many of the methods taught in Qigong, which means, “working with your Life Energy.” The “Qi” here signifies Life Energy, breath, or Life Force. “Gong” means “dedicated practice.”
So Qigong’s a very generic concept, as generic as yoga, which means, “union,” usually union with the human and the Divine, or union of body and spirit.
Qigong is generally considered to have been around for 5000 years, but if you think about it…every culture is going to have some form of Qigong, when you define it generically as “working with your Life Energy”.
Hard Style —
Though it’s harder to find in the U.S. — there is a ‘hard style’ for of Qigong that is the ‘use for martial arts’ — including using weapons. Even in this hard style, it involves using the life force to direct blows, increase striking power, keeping centered and energized.
(1) Check out what is available. Pick a teacher that feels right. Don’t take ‘whatever is out there’… many are out to make quick bucks; not to actually help you evolve as a student or person.
(2) Practice, practice, practice.
Did I mention practice? Knowing is not enough. You have to realize it… make it an part of ‘who you are’. Story —
A student was determined to defeat his Master at push hands. He practised six hours a day for a long time. He met his teacher and engaged in a push hands’ contest. The student was easily defeated and complained, “I practiced six hours a day!” His Master responded, “I practice 24 hours a day.”
The Master’s comment illustrates the principle of his art in performing his daily tasks. He interacts with people in a way which produced as little tension as possible.
So, one can ‘learn’ techniques and use the philosophy/moves in non-martial ways to interact with ‘everyday life’ too. (No.. no backflips and split kicks in the break room!!!)
As stated above, find what suits you.
REALLY GOOD TEACHERS will work with you — even in cases where you must work around some form of physical conditions.
I started Tae Kwon Do classes waaaaaaaaaay back in 1973. ONLY because Bruce Lee had died only months before and his studio in Seattle was closed — since it was uncertain if they would keep it running or not. Back then, one might be a white belt for a year or more before being tested for the next step. Working to a black belt took years. The Teacher expected all to stretch, warm up – be prepared to ‘be taught’ as soon as he walked on the mat.
My daughter is a first degree black belt in TKD. Her choice (she got tired of dance). She was at it for three and a half years… in small classes of less than 20 people… and went 3-5 times a week depending on her school schedule. Times and methods had changed after 30 years. More time doing warm ups and stretching and such as part of the class. Teacher was also a cop by day.. so after tourneyments — as a ‘week of relaxing’ — they would learn grips, holds, chokes, pressure points instead of their kata forms and moves.
Some places have that ‘small group’ ability to be flexible and keep it exciting. Some cycle people in and out like cattle. Shopping around really helps.July 18, 2007 at 3:04 am #144933Magdelene NashiraParticipant
I have a Tai Chi video that I work with at home. I think that is safe to study on your own. I also highly recommend the Tao Of Jeet Kune Do because it really doesn’t say you have to kill your opponent. You can take it to any level you want to. But if you did need to kill your opponent you could using that teaching because it teaches strategy not just fighting style.July 18, 2007 at 5:44 am #144937Ares1982Participant
The one thing that I think most of you are missing is that for Jedi, martial arts should be for defense only. The ONLY martial art that is purely for defensive purposes is Aikido. We are not trying to win fights, we should be trying to avoid them at all costs. However, sometimes we will end up in a conflict, and the aim at that point should be to resolve the conflict with the least amount of physical arm to all involved (attacker(s), victim(s), witness(s)). I have studied this subject for the last 15 years and there is no other martial study that meets the requirement of the Jedi better than Aikido. The fact that there are virtually no strikes in Aikido, and that it is stressed to not harm anyone during every exercise, must say something about the aim of that art.
I know what I have said here will generate a strong reaction among some of those who read this. For this, I apologize. I am merely trying to voice my research into the subject in a condensed form, and thus loses some of it tact. Please read with an open mind.
AresJuly 18, 2007 at 10:47 pm #144950Kol DrakeModeratorQuote:The one thing that I think most of you are missing is that for Jedi, martial arts should be for defense only. The ONLY martial art that is purely for defensive purposes is Aikido. We are not trying to win fights, we should be trying to avoid them at all costs. However, sometimes we will end up in a conflict, and the aim at that point should be to resolve the conflict with the least amount of physical arm to all involved (attacker(s), victim(s), witness(s)). I have studied this subject for the last 15 years and there is no other martial study that meets the requirement of the Jedi better than Aikido. The fact that there are virtually no strikes in Aikido, and that it is stressed to not harm anyone during every exercise, must say something about the aim of that art.
I looked at Aikido in the late 70’s and again in the mid 90’s. I liked the philosophy of ‘re-directed energy & motion’. And the Dynamic Circle was interesting.
I do not believe… just because we do not ‘wish’ to fight that one must be placed in pure-ly defensive mode. For example, take the canon ‘seven different lightsaber styles’. Some are great against other sabers, some specifically against blaster attacks, some more ‘pure defense’ and some more offensive. It was the idea that no one style / system ‘works’ for every one or every situation. The Jedi learned them all — some decided to master one style over the others.
Yes, the ideal would be to do as little physical harm as possible -and- only when force of any kind is necessary.
I do not see the other ‘more defensive’ styles as being any less of ‘that philosophy’. I mean, there is not an army of semi-trained martial arts kids running around the streets leaping, chopping, and generally terrorizing the communities in classic Hong Kong Fu-ey style. All schools tend to teach that discipline in mind, body, and spirit… that ‘attack’ is a ‘last straw’.
True.. once action is necessary; it should be swift and decisive. Whether that is flipping the opponent and laying them out flat; or doing a joint lock or pressure point ‘hold’ (what some would still call aggresive/defensive and not passive) — or it’s a good whack to an arm, kick to the shins or knocking a body into next week.
If someone is attacking my daughter, I have no qualms if she puts the attacker in the hospital. It will give them ample time to meditate on their erroneous ways.
If Aikido works; use it.
If TKD works; use it.
If it’s any form of martial arts and it’s what you LIKE doing; then learn it.
If you want to learn more… learn more — learning discipline of body/mind/spirit is never a bad idea.
As some have said though…. it’s all location, location, location.
East and West coast have more schools / styles available.
Around my neck of the woods it’s all TKD.
Now, if I drove a full day to get to Austin or Dallas, Texas, I’d probably get a better ‘selection’ of schools.
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