Sunday, December 22, 2013

Continuing Martial Education

I'm a first degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. Started when I was about 6, and learned from a very traditional teacher, a first generation immigrant from Korea. By the age of 9 or 10 I refused to go to the kids classes, and instead went to adult classes and matched them in discipline and on the sparring mat. I've done it pretty much my entire life, with interruptions due to schooling.

But now, I face a dilemma. Despite being a Taekwondo/Hapkido school, the Hapkido element is not emphasized. All throws, locks, and grapples are taught as a series of very specific "if-then" combat forms. If grabbed this way at this part, do this. I think over my entire span of time at the school, I've done ground fighting exercises once, outside of the 3 ground fighting forms I was required to know to reach black belt. Simply put, while I've learned a great deal, and the discipline was imperative in my development as a person, there isn't much left for me to learn from my studio. Mastery and remaining in practice of what I already know, and perhaps picking up a few weapon demonstration techniques. Most of what I've learned isn't particularly applicable in a real pinch. Sure, I'm pretty much great at strikes, and can cave in someone's anything with any of my limbs, but if I can't stop the fight before it transitions from striking fight to wrestling, I've pretty much got nothing to stand on (there is no wrestle-sparring anywhere in the curriculum). A significant portion of what I learned was combat art, for tournament use.

Further, the job I find may not be in this particular town. I may wind up across the country. As soon as I have stability in my life again, I intend to resume my martial training. I have no intent to continue with taekwondo, as there's nothing in particular for me to gain, besides possibly specialization in different areas based on teaching style.

I'm looking for modern military martial art. Krav Maga sounds pretty nice, Samba seems interesting if I can find someplace that teaches it, maybe even something like Mauy Thai or Kali. I want something as brutal, vicious, and no frills as possible, which pretty much describes a good military martial art. If it has a tournament portion, I want that to be handled entirely by "well, it's not the REAL knife, so there's that. Maybe we'll put a quarter inch of padding on it, there, happy now?"

I was going to ask for suggestions beyond what I have already, but I have GURPS martial arts with its list of basically all styles worth mentioning, and Google to find if there's anywhere that actually teaches it.

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