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I would like to get in shape to practice martial arts


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Hey guys... I would like to get in shape to begin practicing martial arts. I have come to the realization that I need to take care of my future family and would like to start somewhere to begin getting in shape then in shape for martial arts.

what stretches should I do?

what aerobics should I try?

what other things can you guys recommend?

my biggest issue is first losing about 50 lbs... which will require good ole pushback :crazy:

my happy weight (when I was in football shape) was around 215-230 lbs (could bench 350 and squat over 600 at this weight now my joints are screwed up :()

any help would be appreciated, THANKS all!

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lostone (12/7/2007)
Hey guys... I would like to get in shape to begin practicing martial arts. I have come to the realization that I need to take care of my future family and would like to start somewhere to begin getting in shape then in shape for martial arts.

what stretches should I do?

what aerobics should I try?

what other things can you guys recommend?

my biggest issue is first losing about 50 lbs... which will require good ole pushback :crazy:

my happy weight (when I was in football shape) was around 215-230 lbs (could bench 350 and squat over 600 at this weight now my joints are screwed up :()

any help would be appreciated, THANKS all!

First, can you tell us what kind of martial arts? You probably don't need much training for Tai Chi, but you MIGHT for Muay Thai, boxing or jiu jitsu/judo/wrestling, depending on your current shape.

Second, there are 2 theories on it. Mine is that the only thing that will train you for intensive, full-effort (i.e., resisting opponent) martial arts is doing it. So when I started, I jumped in with both feet and dealt with it. It sucks, because my first jiu jitsu class, I tapped to a pin (in other words, the guy submitted me by laying on me until I couldn't breathe any more). But you QUICKLY get into "rolling shape" that way. Same with Muay Thai. I just jumped right in, and within a few weeks, I didn't have to take a break and stand on the side catching my breath, eliminating a side stitch or waiting until I wasn't dizzy anymore. Obviously, go to the doctor before you try this approach and make sure you are fit to train in the first place.

The second way to go is to do what you are asking about and train to a base level of fitness before starting. If you go this route, I'd do running and complexes/circuit training. I agree with the recommendation to avoid weight training now. Not because strength isn't important, but because it is useless if you gas in the 1st minute of sparring. If you don't have a gym where you can do real complexes, try some home exercises like burpees, pushups, pullups, situps/crunches, jumping jacks, jumping rope, etc. Do them in 3 minute rounds with 1 minute rest, and go hard -- push yourself. You should be exhausted and gasping for air at the end of each round, and you should be ready to lay down and die at the end of the workout. I'd start with 30 minutes and gradually progress to an hour.

Having said that, I firmly believe that the only way to train for an art is to do it. If I do jiu jitsu for several months and don't get into a Muay Thai class, I find that that first MT class kills me. Not because it's "harder" that jiu jitsu, but because it works entirely different muscle groups in entirely different ways. Same works in reverse.

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sadly i used to weight train but that was six years ago before I came to college :(

Wanted to train on the side... I know what to do it just is hard to do it.

I really just need to change my diet. But the main thing I see around the net is taking out fatty meats and eating lean meats...

I am going to sacrifice my love of fried foods. and start trying to eat deli meats (like honey ham and smoked turkey). I will try and work out the more.

have you heard of Tabatas? it seems to be a new popular way to get in shape.

thanks for the info guys

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snake (12/8/2007)
Jdave, what gym are you going to now? same 1? I'm going to get back into Martial arts as well. Not only is it a great work out, but I'd like to think that martial arts are a way of life, and not just, "I do martial arts". I would like to find a Ken jitsu school to study the Sword as well.

I'm going to Alpha Fighting Systems in Hiram now. It's much closer to the house. I miss all the guys at the old gym, though. Great place to train, it's just not nearly as convenient for me.

Jdave, as I'm sure you have been asked many times, as have I, No 1 Martial Art is "The Best" martial art. They all do and teach certain things. Its the combination and study of many disciplines that makes a warrior. Many people join schools only to stick there chests out or to mask some other inherent weakness within themselves. The ranking system or belt systems make that happen and many people find themselves either ill equiped for a discipline or bored rather easy. For instance, the Kata's. They are to be practiced, over, and over, regardless of being in school. The movements u practice will then become instantaneous in your everday. If you have to think before you defend yourself, you've probably already lost.

But back to the choices. The Korean arts, Tung so do, Tae Kwon Do are great for excercise, lots of kicks, but teach NO hand techniques. Shotokon Karate a rather hard style of Karate is great for quick strikes using hand and feet but have no ground technique. Judo, excellent in close has no striking techniques. Ju Jitsu, is mostly an in close, ground based defensive art, although they do have good offensive side bars. Thats why its important to pick a school that allows the students to learn multiple techniques.

But, some students just want the excercise benefit, which is is fine too. But then, they shouldn't be called martial arts training. IMO.

Yeah, "martial arts" implies fighting, and that's how I view it as well. I'd call anything less a "kickboxing workout" or a "cardio boxing class" or whatever.

Then again, I wouldn't discourage anyone from that. I think it's good for the sport to have people who are not necessarily interested in fighting come and learn about what we do.

The new gym teaches Muay Thai, BJJ, Judo (not formally, but within the BJJ classes) and I think some boxing. They also have an MMA team that trains together. Similar to where I was, but probably not as many "skill" classes. Which is fine -- BJJ and Muay Thai were more than enough for me.

Speaking of which, off to the gym now.

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snake (12/8/2007)

The 1st UFC fight I saw, the Brazilian Ju Jitsu master won it all. There were boxers, European karate champs, a Sumo wrestler, tae kwon do guys, etc. But Gracie took them all down and defeated them on the mat. That doesn't say thats the best art for a street fight though. With multiple attackers, u never want to go to the ground. You better be able to strike, hands, fists, or fashion a weapon of sorts out of something, cause to go to the ground means Your dead. Salt and Pepper come to mind as a lethal weapon when employed against multiple attackers.

I also remember one of the first couple of UFC's where a kempo guy knocked a 400+ pound sumo wrestler on his backside with a palm heel strike. You're right that the UFC is a sport and having the rules changes the dynamic of a fight. That's not to say those guys aren't tough...any one of them who has trained for 6 months could kick the everloving **** out of me. But it's not the same as a real street fight and the fact that ground specialists do very well isn't a good indication of how they would do on the street versus a really good striker.

My advice to Lostone would be to find the best (meaning quality) teacher in your area, start now, and stick with it. I'd also avoid the contracts unless you are ABSOLUTELY sure about the quality of the training. Two years at $100 a month is a lot to spend on training once you realize that you're wasting your time doing spinning flying backflip scissor peppermint triple dragon clam jam kick-punch combos that have absolutely no value on the street.

Also, remember that not everyone has a window-front school with flashing lights. One of the best aikido places I found was at the YWCA in Marietta at $25 a month. The guy who ran it had a full time job and used the school as a way to continue his training (e.g., it wasn't his primary source of income). There's a really good boxing gym in Douglasville that was run along the same lines. IOW, you can find quality instructors who don't charge a lot because their goal isn't making money off of their teaching. [Note that this isn't to denigrate store-front schools...my point is simply that there are quality bargains out there if you're willing to look for them.]

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Steve_Bartkowski (12/8/2007)
The 1st UFC fight I saw, the Brazilian Ju Jitsu master won it all. There were boxers, European karate champs, a Sumo wrestler, tae kwon do guys, etc. But Gracie took them all down and defeated them on the mat. That doesn't say thats the best art for a street fight though. With multiple attackers, u never want to go to the ground. You better be able to strike, hands, fists, or fashion a weapon of sorts out of something, cause to go to the ground means Your dead. Salt and Pepper come to mind as a lethal weapon when employed against multiple attackers.

If there are multiple attackers you either run or pull out your gun. At least that would be the wise thing to do...

I missed the multiple attackers part, but I'd say you're both right. On the one hand, weapons and feet are absolutely indicated with multiple opponents.

On the other hand, if you HAVE to fight more than 1 person in a real, honest streetfight, pulling guard is not your best option, and the top BJJ guys in the world will be the first to tell you that. Frankly, I try to avoid any situation where I'd end up against multiple opponents and have no weapon and nowhere to run. But if I did end up there, I'm starting with teeps and leg kicks and if anyone gets close enough, soft targets (eyes, throat, balls, etc.).

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On the other hand, if you HAVE to fight more than 1 person in a real, honest streetfight, pulling guard is not your best option, and the top BJJ guys in the world will be the first to tell you that.

I forget which Gracie it was but one of them said exactly that. He said No discipline is guaranteed to save you against multiple attackers, BJJ included. Rather honest of him.

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pencilpusher (12/8/2007)
I forget which Gracie it was but one of them said exactly that. He said No discipline is guaranteed to save you against multiple attackers, BJJ included. Rather honest of him.

My favorite Gracie quote is from Royce, regarding the value of belts in martial arts:

"A belt covers 2 inches of your ###. The rest is up to you."

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