Anonymous asked in SportsMartial Arts · 10 years ago

What martial arts do you practice and why?

I'd like to deviate from the standard MA forum questions of "OMFG UFC BROCK LESNAR CARWIN SILVA BLAH BLAH ANY MARTIAL ARTS ARE GAY AND DON'T WORK EXCEPT THE ONES IN MMA" for a moment to ask everyone what martial arts they practice, and why? Have you been a big fan, of say, Karate and you always wanted to do it? Do you practice Tae Kwon Do only because the price and location of the dojo is convenient?

I practice Wing Chun. I love Bruce Lee, I loved his movies, and his martial arts roots are in Wing Chun, so when i found out my uncle knows it, I immediately started learning off him.


Wow, pugpaws. Didn't see that coming. Very interesting, very in-depth. I've seen you answering around the MA forums but I didn't know you learned so much. It was like a mini-autobiography.

Update 2:

Many had great answers and I was impressed by the amount of detail put to them. So I can't choose a best answer, I'll let people vote on it.

21 Answers

  • 10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    In South Carolina in the 1960's there were not many martial arts schools. In my town it was not a question of what you wanted to study. You went to the only dojo that was there. The only place that had choices was Columbia over 40 miles away. So I studied karate, jujitsu, judo, and Northern Goshu Kung-Fu from my first instructor. He closed the dojo. The next dojo was in someones front yard the first year (summer and winter) . We studied Shito-Ryu, and Kamishin-Ryu. That lasted for several years. Then a class opened up teaching Zen-Shoto-Kai (Shito-Ryu, Chito-ryu, Shotokan). It ended a year later. After that we got a Kyokushinkai Instructor to come to my town for a short time. He was killed shortly after starting. Then I traveled to study Zen-Shoto-Kai again. From that I began traveling to Charleston, S.C to study Shorinji-Tetsu-Ken-Ryu Kempo from the Soke-Dai, Robert Kelly. In 1975 I received my First black belt (Shodan). Later that year i traveled to Charlotte, N.C. to study privately with Sifu Larry Hartsell, one of Bruce Lees students. There I was taught Jeet-Kune-Do principles and wing Chun. In the early 1980's I moved to Charleston, S.C. to become one of a small group of personal students of James "Ron" Cherry Shihan. He taught Toraken-Do Kempo, Toraken-Do Jujitsu, Toraken-Do Karate, as well as Hapkido and Kobudo. I was taught the Bo, Jo, Sai, Tonfa, Cane, Yawara. He also Taught Iaido, kenjutsu and Tanto Jutsu. I moved to Virginia in the mid 1980's there I continued to study under Shihan Cherry as well as an Isshinryu Master in Virginia, Karl Hovey. During the years between 1985 and 1992, I had the privilege of training with a high ranking Shorin-Ryu (Shobayashi) instructor who trained often in Okinawa under the Soke there.

    If i had had the choice, I would have studied one style for all those years. but that was not possible due to things beyond my control. What i lost in having to change style I made up for in getting a very broad picture of the martial arts, how they are alike, and how they are different. For the first 15 or so years of my training, i believed that some styles were superior to others. now i now that it is the quality and depth of the instruction that is what makes someone superior, not the style. I believe this because I have seen it reflected in students and their abilities no matter what style. While others often tout their style as being what others should study, I do not. If i recommended a style I studied and the newcomer was to get a bad instructor, it would not be good for him. However if he studied a different style from a really good instructor, that would be better. Styles are like cars. we may have our favorites, but one is not better than another. If it gets you where you want to go, that is what matters. To get caught up in what style is best is silly waste of time. So is the many questions asked on Y/A from those "Looking for a style that has....." All styles taught as they were originally designed have everything in them that is needed. Deciding on a style that is not available to you is of no use. People that truly want to learn should only be concerned with, can they find a competent instructor.

    My observations come from the experiences listed above, and the fact that I hold masters ranks in Karate, Kempo, and Jujitsu, (Three very high ranks) as well as black belts in several other styles.


    Source(s): Martial Arts training and research over 43 years (since June 15th of 1967). Teaching martial arts over 36 years (since 1973).
  • 10 years ago

    I started my formal MA training at 16 while undergoing compulsory military training. I was a "martial law baby"(people born during the martial law years of the Marcos dictatorship of our country) and thus had to undergo the 1 year minimum training required by law during that era in order to graduate high school(another 2 yrs training were required to graduate college). Our commandant then, required us cadets to undergo self defense training under an instructor who taught Wing Chun/JKD(although the Wing Chun was very watered down and the training resembled full contact kickboxing more than anything). When I finally entered college in another city a couple of years later, I discovered Aikido and grew to love it, to this day, I consider my Aikido sensei as one of the most influential people in my life, he changed my perception of the MA from just a method of fighting into a way of life. Then several years later, while working at the capital, I met an old school Kali instructor with whom I formally trained with for a year. When I finally had to come back to my hometown after quitting my job at the capital a couple of years ago, I tried looking for a good Aikido dojo here, but found none up to par with my old dojo, so I ended up enrolling in a local Shotokan class instead that had a good instructor who also taught Jujitsu. So presently at 39, I'm back to being a beginner again and loving every minute of it. I've been lucky enough to have found qualified instructors throughout the years and I agree with pugpaws that a good instructor is more important than a particular style. So why did I take up the MAs I have trained in? Yes, location and price is a factor, but I would say it's mostly because of the quality of instruction and great luck on my part.

  • 10 years ago

    There was a self defense lesson that ran for 10 sessions at work subsidized by the company back then. Since doing karate was a childhood dream for me, I enrolled, had some basic stuff, but my discussion with the sensei had opened my eyes and desire to learn MA started to burn. I checked all MA schools I got interested in, but found only BJJ that kept my interest. During my training in BJJ, my instructor, who is a 5th Dan karate expert as well, suggested that I also supplement my training with a striking art. At first, I though of Kenpo, kickboxing and Muay Thai, but upon searching for more schools, videos and researching deeply about techniques and philosophy, I ended up taking Kyokushin because of its full contact sparring, tough physical conditioning and the no-head strike rule. I would stick with these 2 MAs for life, perhaps adding one or 2 more (like kick boxing and WingChun)

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    Kajukenbo Kenpo Karate, hard style Emperado method as originally done in the Palama settlement on Oahu, Hawaii.

    Direct student of grand master Alan Reyes,son of great grand master Aleju Reyes who brought Kajukenbo from the islands to the mainland.

    Training also emphasized blade and stick fighting due to the Filipino/Hawaiian heritage of my teacher. As well as Samoan fire knife techniques and dance, although this is done mostly for luau's

    Also briefly trained with grand master Al Dacascos, founder of the Wun Hop Kuen Do system,which was developed from the Kajukenbo system (as well as others) with the approval and blessing of Sijo Emperado.

    I must also give credit to my father,who was responsible for teaching me from childhood the correct use of firearms...thanks dad.

    I have never seriously considered training in another style,Kajukenbo Kenpo and the styles that grew from it (Kajukenbo Chuan Fa, Kajukenbo Tum Pai, Wun Hop Kuen Do) include everything I want,and everything I could possibly need to be a complete martial artist. Although I have known people who taught me some Chen Tai Chi, Aikido, and Tonfa & bo kata a military friend and training partner brought back from Okinawa,among many other things. But I have always been Kajukenbo.

    Why do I train? It's just a part of who I am,has been for over thirty years. I cant imagine a life that does not include martial arts,it would just seem wrong somehow...I dont know,like I said,it's just part of who I am and always will be.

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  • 4 years ago

    Actually I don't practice martial is my way of life from when I wake up to when I fall asleep and even then I have dreams from time to time involving martial arts....but to answer it is because I love martial arts.

  • 10 years ago

    I started Chung Do Kwan under Alan Washnock the summer of 1981. I was having some self esteem issues, plus I was about 40 over weight. I was with him a few months until another Blackbelt that was loosely associated with the school opened one of his own. That is when I actually consider myself starting Martial Arts. I was with Mike Ingram for the next 10 years. I received my Chodan in Chung Do Kwan TKD in 1986. Just after I tested for Chodan we decided to switch the school to Shotokan. It was a very minor switch, the founder of Chung Do Kwan was a student of Gichin Funakoshi. Basically we had to learn new names for the same Kata. There are very few differences between the two, at least as we did it. We made the switch under Melvin Lewis Shihan. I continued in Shotokan until I had a personal disagreement with Mike Ingram over a matter outside the Dojo.

    I then studied kajukenbo with Chris Smith and reached a second degree. I studied with Chris sensei until he moved away.

    I switched back to Shotokan and have worked with many instructors / classes but have not found a " home " since then.

    I love Shotokan but despise what it has become in most schools. There is nothing wrong with competition. I do find everything thing wrong with teaching a Martial Art only as a sport. Tag your it is for kids in the back yard, NOT a so called Martial Arts class.

    If anyone that reads this knows Mike Ingram Tashi, please tell him to contact me.

    Source(s): 29+ years MA
  • 10 years ago

    Kickboxing and ITF Taekwon-do... And more recently MMA, but i haven't been doing it long enough for me to be proficient.

    I first took up Taekwon-do because i was being bullied in school when i was 6 and my dad took me round all the schools there (we had 3 styles of Karate, Wing Chun and Judo) - The others all looked great but Taekwon-do blew me away and my dad even said (who was a keen boxer, yes, i learned that too) said it looked effective. And it has served me well to this day... I took up Kickboxing about 3 years ago partly through boredom and partly to back-up my Taekwon-do.

  • 10 years ago

    First thing, thank you for posting such a legend question :D. I have trained in Tae Kwon Do, Capoeira, Jeet Kune Do and Judo. I am training in Karate and have been for almost 10 years and Kuk Sool Won going 3 years. I enjoy these 2 because of how applier able Karate is for self defence and Kuk Sool Won to benefit my skills for self defence and to aid in my performing and knowledge. I would like to go back to Capoeira, i would like to start Tai Chi, Wing Chun, maybe go back to Judo, Systema/Defendo/Krav Maga, Bartitsu, Kickboxing/Boxing, Escrima. These are only dreams which i relies i probably wont have the pleasure to experiencing. I would like to experience these to benefit me in the knowledge of martial arts around the world (i love the subject) but also i would like to learn about defending myself in different situations like in Karate they teach you about fighting in a certain positions whilst standing up however not a lot is taught at a rather close rang, this is why i would like to learn Wing Chun and Tai Chi. In the future i dream of going to Japan, around Africa and Europe to learn more about martial arts and the martial arts around these areas :)

    Source(s): A childhood dream :)
  • 10 years ago

    Wing Chun, I was 14 and that was the closest Kung fu school near my home... I still had a 15 min bus ride to get to class. I had 2 friends that had already started at this school. Once I got WC into my blood I was hooked. I'm 49 now and teach it to my children and some of their school friends.

  • 10 years ago

    Originally a friend of mine began learning under a person teaching him Fu Jow Pai. I joined in after and between us we practiced what we were learning. A friend who started training with us lived in a building where his dad was the manager and he gave us a room in the basement where we trained.

    My friend was eager to try out his skill and met a Shotokan student and they agreed to fight. It was a closed door fight and none was supposed to speak about the outcome. I happened to had known both of them and they both bragged about "kicking his a$$" about each other.

    The Shotokan student came with another person who studied Goju Ryu and was a Brown Belt. He and I spoke and we hit it off quite well. He asked me what I knew and I showed him. He said it was cool and showed me what he could do. I was really impressed and he told me that he would teach me if I was interested. This was 1975, two years later. I started training in Gojukai with him and about a year later, he started learning Okinawan Goju Ryu.

    He(Sensei) and I became inseparable and still today keep in touch.

    In the 80's and 90's I started learning Internal Martial Arts and Chi Kung - Yi Chuan, Sun Lu Tang Hsing I, Chin-Na, Seminal Kung Fu.

    Today I research and practice Shorin Ryu kata and Yong Chun White Crane Boxing.

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