In the UK there are semi-contact karate classes and the kung fu I did was most certainly contact! :-) As for tai chi, well normally its sort of waving your arms around but if you can find someone to teach you authentic martial arts tai chi (I did some for a while) then it is awesome, same goes for the other two internal styles whose names I have no hope of spelling (bagua maybe?).
It's not only about find some "sensei" to teach you "authentic martial arts", what really matters is doing full contact sparring for years against good training partners...
Agree 100%! Now if there was just a good Muay Thai school in my area. Sparring and watching DVD's is okay but nothing like a real school. We do have a good BJJ school here though.
Originally Posted by skorpion317
What's that saying about a broken clock being right twice a day? We agree completely on this point. You're still my arch nemesis.
Originally Posted by Gorbag
Yeah, at my school everybody had a private lesson once a week where you learned techniques and whatnot, and unlimited group classes where 30minutes was intense calisthenics at least 30 minutes was full-on padded sparring alternating partners. men v. men, men v. women, old v. young, big v. little, everybody had an opportunity to spar everybody in the class. That definitely helped more than the technique/theoretical learning in the private classes. none of that point/flag stuff either, it was 5 minute rounds straight up unless somebody needed to stop. I remember the tournaments I went to and it was always an adjustment having to stop after hitting or being hit and the flag went up.
Originally Posted by Gorbag
Karate every time. I did karate for years and it teaches discipline, self-respect, and confidence. Kids who do karate are less likely to be bullied - and I don't mean because "they're tough!" but because they walk and act more confidently and don't look like someone's victim.
Karate doesn't teach violence, it teaches self-defence - and, although it might sound corny, anyone getting a karate licence has to pledge never to use their skills to harm another individual unless in self-defence.
Karate will keep kids (and adults) fit and active and healthy, as well as teach them good life skills.
The gym is ok, boring though. It just teaches kids how to exercise and become vain! Children shouldn't be in a gym anyway, they should be out and about running around and playing and stuff, and going to football or karate or swimming a couple of times a week. No gyms, no computers all evening etc.
I just wanted to add - I trained under Sensei Enoida years ago (8th dan Jap fella) and also a 5th dan and 3rd dan sensei years later. And I just wanted to correct some of the points made above.
All karate by responsible sensei is taught initially as non-contact. You learn to kick or punch to within a couple of millimeters of your opponent.
When you have reached a certain level of competence, you go on to full contact but without full impact. This takes practice and discipline.
Your child will not be harmed. He or she will learn lifelong skills which will never be forgotten, eg how to crush a windpipe or break a leg and so on. Sounds gruesome but if someone was unable to get away from danger, then at least there is a last resort. But most of the people I met in karate were not there to kill anybody, it was a fun sport and has a good sense of team spirit as well as being a useful skill and way to keep fit.
Don't be put off by horror stories - just make sure you go to a proper place. There are different styles of karate. I did mainly shotokan which is fairly mainstream and the group consisted of old and young. Another I did was (forgive the spelling) kyokoshinkai - that is vicious and I would not recommend it as much, but still ok if you get a good sensei.
best of luck whatever you decide.
Krav maga. What better than a modern battlefield tested combat art?
My family and I do TKD (well, I will be returning to TKD once I recover from ACL replacement surgery), and we love it. Builds confidence; lots of fun; good exercise. And full contact sparring (Olympic style, not point), so we kick the heck out of one another and come back for more.
But this is not the same as self defense. My dojang offers combat hapkido for self defense. Once my kids are older (must be 13 to take the hapkido classes), I'm going to start and invite the kids to do it too.
As someone already said, a situational awareness class would help a ton in terms of self defense. The best thing is not to be in a bad situation in the first place.
My goofy 12 year old has been doing martial arts since he was 8. I in no way think he can defend himself. However, the school has given him a place to work out his extra energy and a place of belonging. He has been bullied, but he handled the situation so well, the principal called to tell me how impressed he was with Jared's patience and courage in what had become a dangerous situation. (Taped on school bus). I figure, that alone is worth the time and money.
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