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Posted: 10/10/2008 7:25:49 AM EDT

I've got access to reasonably priced Karate classes that are very convienent.

Is Shodokan worthwhile?  Pretty much the only thing I know is hitting the Wiki on it.

Thanks!

Link Posted: 10/10/2008 7:34:13 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Screechjet1:
I've got access to reasonably priced Karate classes that are very convienent.

Is Shodokan worthwhile?  Pretty much the only thing I know is hitting the Wiki on it.

Thanks!



Its all up to you in the end.  I think you should shop around and find a class that works for you though, being expensive does not mean its the best in another word.    
Link Posted: 10/12/2008 2:48:41 PM EDT
I orgionally started in Goju-ryu, when comparing basics with others over the years, they were all the same. MrsWind and I went to a ShotoKan college tornement a few months back. She is also a Sensei. We watched and could not believe the weeakness in their fighting skills. They had good Kata, but fightingwise was not that good. She started in hte 80s and they still fought hard in regular classes. I am from the 60s and we were brutal, In the 80s I evolved into Juijitsui, were were allowed to have contact in classes. Karate schools were not allowed to have contact by their insurance.
All this means, is do the Shudokan, learn the basics and evolve. MMA is oriented to one on  one unarmed combat. that is what it does. Krav Maga, Jujitsui, Filipino arts are to self defense. Take what is useful....discard wihat isn't
Link Posted: 10/12/2008 6:18:35 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/12/2008 6:35:52 PM EDT by Lester_Burnham]

Originally Posted By DesuDurDesu:

Originally Posted By Screechjet1:
I've got access to reasonably priced Karate classes that are very convienent.

Is Shodokan worthwhile?  Pretty much the only thing I know is hitting the Wiki on it.

Thanks!



Its all up to you in the end.  I think you should shop around and find a class that works for you though, being expensive does not mean its the best in another word.    


I agree, if you are in an area with more than one dojo, visit as many as possible before making your decision.  To me it is a decision similar to buying a house, car, or taking a new job.  Not to frighten you, but it's not one to take lightly.  Just research, make an informed decision, and don't allow yourself to be rushed or pressured into it.  

Almost all will offer you at least 1 free introductory class.  Take as many as you can.  Don't base on style as much as the overall feeling you get when visiting.  These are some things I would recommend looking for in whatever style you choose:

1.  See how the instructor treats the students and interacts with them.  An instructor can be respected by the students without being abusive or mean towards them.  I have seen and heard some things about martial arts instructors that have done some pretty wrong things towards students and trying to pass it off as "discipline" or making them "tough" etc.  Avoid that at all costs.  Yes it will likely be demanding physically, but there are lines not to be crossed.  Is the instructor patient and helpful with newer students or students that seem to need additional guidance.  Very important, in case you need extra help starting out.

2.  Make a list of questions you would like to ask, if you have to sign a contract, how long, how much per month, if there is a "processing" or "sign up" fee (can be expensive), uniforms, belt testing fees, equipment.  One place here has a "processing fee", then makes you buy all your uniforms and equipment there, at higher prices than you would get online, etc, then pay for promotions or "belt tests".  Sure, they have to make a buck, but you have the right to know about any policies like that.  Ask the instructor where they trained, how long they have been training, who they studied under, if they still continue to learn, etc.  Anyone with real credentials will be more than happy to answer that.  There is a lot of pride in long term study and achievement.  If they get weird about it, thank them for their time and move on.  I'm proud as hell where I trained, and I'd tell anyone that asked me, and offer them to call and verify it with my former instructor.  

3.  See how the students interact with each other.  It's a good sign when senior or more experienced students are helpful towards others, and not using them as punching bags.  Get a feel for how you think you would fit in (like make sure it's not a bunch of kids, nothing wrong with kids training, but I think adults will get the most from training with other adults).

4.  Make sure it looks like a safe training environment.  I went to one place that had a big office carpet over a bunch of old cardboard boxes for a mat.  The walls were paneling, no padding and no real space between the training mat and the walls.  I wondered how many people crashed into the walls and got hurt.  You'll want to see a good mat in good shape, and that everything looks clean.  MSRA/staph has been a lot more common the last few years.  I'm not saying to be a snob about places, but you do need to make sure you will be safe and healthy during training.  

I'll probably think of more.  To answer the original question about the style, I'm no authority on karate, but I would ask what your level of fitness is, and what you hope to get out of training.  Just an example, if you're in LE, you'll probably want a different style that would be geared more towards restraining or grappling than striking.  

ETA:  TheWind makes some very good points, especially with the mention of Filipino arts, if you're interested in using weapons as a part of self defense, they do knife and stick training.
Link Posted: 10/13/2008 1:55:23 PM EDT
Thanks for replying.

The course I'm looking into is offered through the local Community College...its really convienent, which is a consideration for me (I've got a family and am not overwhelmed with free time.)  A class I'll go to that's not the best beats a great class I can't get to because of piano and swim lessions.

The price is 92 dollars for the semester, and the class meets once a week for two hours.

My goal?  I'm in the .mil, but I haven't recieved any real H2H training.  My fitness level is pretty good (workout 4-5x a week) and a nice side benefit of doing some H2H is to mix up the training regime, which is getting boring (because of the demands of the Navy Fitness requirements, another story entirely.)

I'm probably going to mix in the Army Combatitives program at a later date.

I saw the class, and it looked like a mix of adults starting with a few college students and ending with some guys in the 50s.

Ideally, I think I'd like Judo or something similiar, but I like I said, I really havent found a place nearby that seemed worth my time.
Link Posted: 10/13/2008 2:00:26 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/13/2008 2:07:39 PM EDT by Lester_Burnham]
$92 for a semester sounds like a great price, and being at a community college you won't be locked into a contract.  I would say go for it.  If it's not to your liking, it's only a semester, if you do like it, you can re-evaluate things at the end of the semester...maybe another option will present itself then.

ETA:  some colleges have judo clubs or offer it as a course too, might look into it.  If you have a judo academy in your area you might contact them, they might have some info or you might end up being the guy that starts the club.  
Link Posted: 10/14/2008 5:53:44 AM EDT
I can only offer one small piece of information here.

If you can, go to a local tournament.  Watch the forms.  See who wins.  Watch the sparring.  See who wins.  Go visit those dojos.  A lot of times, they will be the same.
Link Posted: 10/16/2008 7:10:51 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Screechjet1:

The price is 92 dollars for the semester, and the class meets once a week for two hours.

My goal?  I'm in the .mil, but I haven't recieved any real H2H training.  My fitness level is pretty good (workout 4-5x a week) and a nice side benefit of doing some H2H is to mix up the training regime, which is getting boring (because of the demands of the Navy Fitness requirements, another story entirely.)



Shotokan is a traditional Japanese karate style, very linear striking/kicking, no submissions or grappling so you will need to light someone up first then ask questions later and hopefully they will not take you to the ground.

I made a Shodan in Shotokan before the school moved (it took about 3 years 3x week). Very old school teacher, full contact, traditional kata, that gave a test once or twice a year if you were lucky so belts were given out with discretion. The dojo was in the basement of a plumbing supply and you'd never know it was there - no store front with mirrors.

I now am in American Jiu-Jitsu which is similar to MMA style. My grappling skills were terrible and even though I was a black belt in Shotokan, I would have been killed if someone dumped me on ground and choked me out. Submission locks are more discreet for street/self defense and you can still hit it needed.

You should be able to pick up a decent jab (oi-zuki) and reverse punch (gyaku-zuki) going once per week for a semester.

kicking depends on your current flexibility and takes time to generate power from your hips.

Good luck!
Link Posted: 10/17/2008 2:17:45 PM EDT
I can't agree with you more. I was GoJu Ryu, it was more flexible than traditional. But it was a friend of my Sensei that taught Judo, he learned it as Juijitsu in the basement by his father. Was converted to JUdo in the 11th Airborne.
I learned more Judo in college and eventually while I was teaching grew to love throwing my opponent. I have used Ippon Seionage twice when I was attacked at work. When I took the kicking and striking of GoJo Ryu and added the throwing and jointlocking of Juijitsu..it became devastating.
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