Monday, May 17, 2010

Self-defense and fitness for a slightly overweight lady?

I am looking on starting a martial art for two main purposes - to lose a little bit of weight (at absolute most 10-15 lbs) and get in shape and to learn practical self-defense. Because of my location, the only styles that would be within a reasonable distance are the typical cookie-cutter kenpo and taekwondo schools. I%26#039;ve done a TON of research, and perhaps this is a faulty conclusion, but I feel like either style I will be sacrificing one of my goals. I%26#039;ve heard that taekwondo is excellent for fitness but not practical for real-life scenarios, and I went to a local kenpo school to look in on a class and it was not really all that much of a workout, though the instructor seemed really really good. Are my conclusions faulty? Am I just naive? I don%26#039;t want to sacrifice either of my goals, and I really DO need to learn some self-defense. Insights, anyone? And forgive me for another %26quot;which one should I study%26quot; questions. I know it must irritate y%26#039;all. :O)|||So I will do my best to help you out here.

In my opinion you should be able to get what you want from both, there is nothing that says you can%26#039;t do some fitness and conditioning on your own, but you may find that the Kempo can give you the workout you need if you go through a few more classes and begin to spar.

Honestly, I think it as far as self defense wise it depends on the school, and the instructors. While I feel Kempo has a lot of good self defense things incorporated, the same can be said for a good Tae Kwon Do school.

The thing is both of them are going to teach you how go punch, elbow, knee, and kick. All of which are good for self defense. There are more street oriented styles out there, but you only have two things to chose from. If you feel you get the better workout with the Tae Kwon Do place, then I would go for that. I think the people in the dojo should play a big role, if there are people in there you can vibe with then go there, if you like the people at the Kenpo place go there.

I don%26#039;t think you have to sacrifice, I just think you can meet your goals at either place. More than likely any student at a martial art usually has some other background, specifically instructors. And if it is a good place they should be open to showing you more than their art%26#039;s techniques.

I tell you this, if I were to get in a fight with a guy, I would be way more worried about an in shape Tae Kwon Do guy than an out of shape Kempo guy. The same would be said about a in shape Kempo vs and out of shape TKD.

To tell the truth 100 percent, neither is realistic for real life scenarios, but a good head on your shoulders, some self confidence and the knowledge of how to strike is plenty of what you need for real life, as you will be trained and more than likely you opponent will not.

You mention that the instructor at the Kempo place seemed really really good. That is certainly something to consider, and even though the workout might not be that intense, I am sure if you came to him wanting a better workout he would be happy to show you what to do, and maybe even ramp up his practices for you.

So in conclusion, I would try out the Kempo, it seems more of what you are looking for and a good instructor honestly makes all the difference, you will find that you drop the weight because of regular activity, and the instructor can probably help you as well.

Edit for above:

Everyone thinks their own art is more realistic, but after 1 year of studying only one art... well nevermind...

Find a school you like for the instructor, and the people there. The rest will fall into place.|||i totally understand what you%26#039;re saying hun.. i live in a small town and the options are fairly limited... tkd is a great workout, but it takes years of training and lots of sparring to become proficient enough to use it in a street defense scenario, it%26#039;s mostly due to the high kicks, and spinning kicks, and the fact that most tkd taught now is olympic style, which tends to not have the sort of contact and striking that you would want in a self defense art, kenpo is fairly similar with years of training and sparring needed to be able to use in that manner..

however there is something you can do about all this..

save your money and instead of paying $100 a month for lessons, buy a $10 video and a $60 heavy bag.. there are tons of great videos out there nowadays, teaching everything from karate, muay thai, to bjj and beyond.. i know learning from a video is not nearly as good as the real thing but it is a start, and probably the best way to go when you specific goals in mind.. for what you are wanting to do i%26#039;d suggest kickboxing/muay thai, boxing and even krav maga..

kickboxing is a mix of western style boxing and muay thai hand strikes and leg kicks.. it%26#039;s a great aerobic workout, and a great anerobic work out.. it will improve your stamina and endurance and help you loose weight. it%26#039;s also a good form of self defense..

now for self defense, i do recommend krav maga fighting system... it%26#039;s much different than a martial art.. it takes natural responses and turns them into defensive manuvers.. its a complete system all about defending yourself in a life-death situation and escaping that situation. not about going toe to toe with your attacker, which would just be plain assinine..

now one thing i do suggest with video training, get a girlfriend to learn with you.. you don%26#039;t have an instructor or fellow students there to help motivate you, so if you have someone else there learning along side you, you have a better chance to stick with it..

check out these sites for videos, equipment and information, etc:

for muay thai/kickboxing i%26#039;d go with this one

the official krav maga website, containing videos etc:

hope this helps, if you have any more questions i%26#039;m here!

~*good luck*~|||Taekwondo is way more realistic than kenpo, and a better workout.|||try a fitness kickboxing for some cardio first then get into a school of your choice when you got some good fitness.

kickboxing, tkd, kempo|||O.K. I think you are correct about Tae-Kwon-Do not being very good for real self defence, but it is a workout.

Go back to the Kenpo school and see if you could set in on a class. It may not look that hard, but if you do the stances correctly and sparr for a bit then you should sweat. Take a look at the advanced classes and see how much they do.

At worst I think I would rather be a little overweight and able to defend myself than to be smokin hot and a target.

Good luck with your decision and remember to Have Fun!|||the best form of self defence is by using the index finger wrap it round a trigger and squeez sorry couldnt resist it|||I agree with the answer that said pick an instructor that you like and people that you like. The best self defense method is not to avoid fights or attacks. A fire arm will trump any martial art, but if you use your brain you will never need to defend yourself unless you are really unlucky. Don%26#039;t rely on a martial art to get into condition. You need to lift to gain strength and do cardio to keep your heart healthy. Search the archives of for thoughts on getting in to fights.|||taekwondo is good for self defense but if you%26#039;re not in shape you will burn out quick with all the kicks you have to learn and all the stances you have to hold.

You would be better off learning something like Krav Maga, its an israeli fighting art specifically for self-defense.

check out

for more info.|||I%26#039;m just the same as u!!! For me Tae Kwon Do is very effective.Go for it.I like the moves and burnt loads of calories!!|||I love Hapkido. It is a Korean martial art which I studied for 6 years. It is a standing grappling style focusing on locking and breaking. Taekwondo is a joke. I beat a guy in 30 seconds who practiced it(he was a black belt and I was a white belt). He warned me before we did %26quot;battle%26quot;, and said that he was a black belt and I shouldnt be embarrassed when I lost. His face was awflly red when I won in the short time that I did. He quit the school soon after.

Another is Aikido. It is also fantastic.

Although these two styles are not the best for street fighting, they will increase your confidence. Check into Brazilian JiuJitsu, shootfighting (famed by Ken Shamrock), Jeet-kun-do(from Bruce Lee).

judo, the traditional style is probably the best to help you get in shape, and defrend yourself.

You just need to find what you want.

ps. karate(though I know I will have many disagree) is old school and impractical in todays world. kung fu is the same.

modern styles are the best. But you must choose what suits you the best.

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