Recommend A Martial Art

Right now I'm a huge (amateur and natty) gym junkie, but I also recognize that less is more when it comes to working out in the gym. I get in there, 30-45 mins max, and get out. It's working great for making physical progress, but it's frustrating me quite a lot.


I'm a college student who studies online from home (allows me to access American degrees while living in South Africa), and it means I need more stuff to keep myself busy - hence my presence on the Bulletproof forums.


I've been considering taking up a martial art for a while now, because I feel it fits my personality of enjoying rigorous training as well as plenty of discipline and practice. 


Right now I'm looking at taking up Shaolin Kung Fu at a local school called the International Kim Loong Wushu Centre ( where they have classes for:

- Shaolin Quan

- Sanda

- Tai Chi Quan

- Wing Chun Quan

- Gi Qong


I'm looking at starting with Shaolin and perhaps supplementing with additional Tai Chi or Qi Gong classes for the greater focus on meditation and intrinsic energy.


Does anyone have any opposing recommendations? 

Or any experience with these mentioned styles and how they benefited you?



  • katolotuskatolotus ✭✭✭

    I would suggest a more practical, physical art. Any reasons for listing those, or just the closest/easiest.


    What you looking to achieve from you TMA training?


    MMA Fighter


    SUCCESS: A lot of little things done well

  • edited July 2013

    Haha I was expecting you would be one of the first to comment :)


    My reasoning for not going for something like MMA or kickboxing (I have a few friends who do it so could easily join them) is because I don't really like the competitive nature - it is very much sport martial arts focused. I get too competitive and just find it added unnecessary stress.


    I'm looking for something that is more classical martial arts focused, such as Shaolin. Of course it is still very much weapons-based with plenty of offensive/conflict focus, but I feel that it is only a small aspect of what Shaolin really is about.


    I really like the concept of Shaolin/Kung Fu being very much a lifestyle/culture and teaching things such as intrinsic energy, inner peace, healing, discipline, and so on. I feel that it is a very very different concept to what we know in most modern societies and it has a LOT to teach that will perhaps give me a completely different perspective on life.

  • tuishou (push hands), you can do this at a lot of tai chi/qi gong, training places.


    "natty gym junkie", I've never really understood this distinction. I think it is just a spectrum, based largely on cultural perception.

    Reigning Former Inner Balance "Mad Monk" Champion... :-P 

  • katolotuskatolotus ✭✭✭

    I did Aikido for a few years. That's enjoyable and a bit more zen than MMA ;-)


    MMA Fighter


    SUCCESS: A lot of little things done well

  • i'm a capoeira angola instructor so that is of course what i think is the most awesome. i can go on and on all day about why if you want me to, but sounds like you kind of have an idea of what you're looking for...i hesitate to throw capoeira in the "martial arts" category sometimes anyways. 


    lots of respect for aikido as well, i've never done it but one of my students teaches it and i think it seems pretty solid. 

  • katolotuskatolotus ✭✭✭
    edited July 2013



    Now that's an option!


    MMA Fighter


    SUCCESS: A lot of little things done well

  • HazakinsHazakins Graveyard shift putting me in the Grave!

    I want nothing more than to move to where there is BJJ. I really miss wrestling from High school. Never even tried.

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  • if you want to learn more about capoeira angola just follow the link in my signature. there are some good video clips and essays on there.  ...not sure what you'd find where you live though...there's a lot of variety from group to group. i feel really fortunate to have found a particularly awesome teacher in a particularly awesome lineage, even though i am geographically in the middle of nowhere as far as capoeira is concerned. i'd say a lot of capoeira out there these days is likely to not be that bulletproof and take a harsh toll on your body. i feel like the stuff i've been doing is pretty sustainable, and amazing in every way to be honest. 

  • StevoStevo Upgrade in Progress ✭✭

    It depends what kind of skills you want to learn as well as the old traditions.


    If you want to do throwing and grappling, go for Judo. If you want to do kicking and punching, Taekwondo is good (better than Karate IMO).

    If you want to learn weapons too, maybe Kung fu is the way to go. There are plenty of different arts, most of them have the old traditions attached.


    Some other styles and off shoots like boxing, Sambo or BJJ are more about plain old fighting.

  • I know what you mean about competitiveness - I have a similar problem...start off with a recreational hobby then get addicted to the sport and want to smash everyone.


    I would third aikido - i know a few guys who have done it. Even though I have not taken a class those guys had some killer joint locks.

  • I have 3 years MMA training experience, and I would definitely recommended No Gi Jiu jitsu, preferable a 10th Planet system, but I highly doubt 10th planet is near you.... it is a lot of technique, and closer to chess than a brute force competitive sport. I am not really into the energy stuff of martial arts, but if you want to avoid the competitive nature of martial arts and want to learn an effective practical martial art, i'd suggest Krav Maga, it is basically a combination of the most brutal martial arts, it was designed by the Israeli special forces and is highly effective at ending fights quickly. Its not sport fighting, its more like the opponent will be in the hospital fighting. So sparring is a lot more slow and friendly, and you just practice drills. The only competitive part would probably be who can learn more. 

    *Note: I have never trained Krav Maga, this is just my understanding of it.

    Never Stop Moving: Progress in some aspect of your life everyday, move forward in it, whether it be your job, school, body, mind, or relationships. Constantly better yourself!

  • katolotuskatolotus ✭✭✭

    I'd recommend BJJ, but it certainly gets competitive with sparring at the end of each class. So maybe not for you.


    MMA Fighter


    SUCCESS: A lot of little things done well

  • Thanks for all of the input so far folks, I appreciate it. I think Katolotus is right when he mentioned earlier that it sounds like I already have a pretty good idea of what I want. Because I do, but it's nice to see other people's preferences and reasons and experiences. I'm happy that no one has come and outright said no Shaolin is horrible etc and that's good enough for me. I will keep all the other suggestions in mind for the future in case I wish to change or supplement with something else.


    Won't be starting my Shaolin immediately, probably in the next couple of weeks, but will let you guys know how it goes. 


    Feel free to keep discussing your preferences in this thread for other people's benefit :)

  • I've come late to this party, but I thought I'd add a couple of thoughts for future consideration:


    Hapkido --  Historically the Korean Royal Martial Art, its modern version includes much of the key philosophy and dynamic sphere techniques of Akido, as well as striking, grappling, pinning, throwing, and weapons techniques, constant attack, combat and meditative  (similar to Tai Chi) forms, how to fall, mediation, and medicine.  The founders of modern Hapkido and Akido, both studied with the same master.


    One of the most well rounded schools, but because to encompasses so much it can take a long time to both understand it and master it.


    Jeet Kune Do -- I didn't see anyone mention it  While hard to find people who actually trained with Bruce Lee or from that lineage, if you do, you can get great insights into the physics of a body applied to the destruction or incapacitation of another.  One caveat, even at its best, JKD, seems to have calcified a bit.  Lee thought deeply about martial arts, analyzed everything he could, and continued to experiment to improve what he did.  Like many things carrying on a legacy, JKD schools may teach everything Lee did until his death, but few seem to carry on his spirit of constant questioning and improvement.


    That said, I highly recommend you get a copy of Teri Tom's book, The Straight Lead: The Core of Bruce Lee's Jun Fat Jeet Kune Do.  An entire book dedicated to a punch!  IMHO -- Just brilliantly written and conceived.  She has her detractors.  She operates in a competitive field.  But if you want to harness your body, physics, and momentum to hit something as hard and as fast as possible, start with Teri's book.


    I guarantee you'll find yourself spending a great deal of time running through key scenes in old Bruce Lee movies one frame at a time.  Teri Tom did.  I think she deserves a Pulitzer Prize.

  • edited July 2013

    I would read Bruce Lee's philosophies on martial arts. Bruce Lee was interested in nothing but practicality like Katolotus suggested martial art should be. 


    I'm sure you would like it. :)


    There is some disagreement in jeet kune do, one side says; "Anything is jeet kune do, thats what Bruce Lee said" and the other that says: "We should express ourselves freely in combat, like Bruce said; use no limitation as limitation, but if you're going to teach something Bruce didn't teach; don't call it jeet kune do, because you're using his name or life-work for profit".


    Even if you train classical karate if you read a little bit of Bruce Lee, he'll change the way you look at martial arts for the better for ever.


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