“Beware! Your bones are going to be disconnected” Who does martial arts? - Page 5 - Myth-Weavers

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“Beware! Your bones are going to be disconnected” Who does martial arts?

Interesting thing to pop up here.
I did a few years of Karate as a kid, and a smidge of boxing as a teen, but it had been well over a decade (closer to two) since I'd done anything martial arts related until a year and a few months ago when I discovered HEMA and fell in love.

I'd lost my gym buddy some time ago, and going to the gym alone is a mind numbingly boring experience for me. Naturally I started making excuses and eventually let my gym membership lapse since I wasn't using it. In other words I was getting very fat and out of shape and decided I needed to find something that was good exercise and fun as well. I was vaguely aware of HEMA due to a YouTuber who lived in the area and decided to try it out. Day one the instructor quoted Monty Python and everyone laughed along.
I knew I was among my people.

What I didn't know at the time was that for a niche thing like HEMA, the school I go to is pretty dang successful and well respected. Eventually the competitive bug got to me too. I've gradually ramped up my training to the point where I'm going to 3-5 classes a week depending on work and just recently competed in my first big tournament (currently the largest HEMA tournament in Canada).
I mostly got my ass kicked, but for a relative newbie with little prior martial arts experience that's not all that surprising. I managed to reach my personal goal of winning one match in each event I competed.

For the record I do mostly Meyer longsword and dusack, mixed style single stick and sabre, and a little bit of Italian rapier and 1.33 sword and buckler.

Originally Posted by Vladim View Post
@TheFred: As you say, it all depends on what one wants. I'd argue that there's a ton of things one can do for practical self-defence that are not necessarily martial arts related. Get big. Carry pepper spray. Improve your situational awareness. Carry a weapon of some sort. Wear armor. De-escalate conflicts. Martial arts help too, of course, but they are very situational.
Well, this is true (mostly) - though I've heard learning self-defence compared with learning to swim; you don't really expect to need it, but if you get really unlucky it might just save your life. Situational awareness is probably the biggest thing one can do, by which I mean not walking down dodgy streets (or crossing roads) on your phone with earphones in, and of course de-escalating conflicts, if you can do it successfully, completely obviates the need to win one. Carrying a weapon is basically the opposite of this, and likely to increase your chances of actual death (also may be illegal, depending on where you are). Wearing armour probably helps but it's also impractical most of the time - I guess to extend the analogy, this is wearing armbands (which you might do if you knew you were about to fall in, but probably avoid if on dry land).

But indeed, there are many more applicable reasons to learn martial arts. It's good exercise (I never really felt particularly fit when I used to do martial arts very frequently, but I sure as hell felt its lack if I missed a week or two). Honestly it's great gross motor control practice generally (people new to martial arts always look really awkward trying to do it - same is true of e.g. dancing but doing something which involves actually thinking about how you move is probably good for you). You might learn a little about history and culture (for example: I now know that the Japanese term for "roundhouse kick" is "mawashigeri", and that the Filipino word for "overkill" is... well, there isn't one). There may be opportunities for sport/competition, if you're into that. Punching things can be a great stress-buster. In fact it can just be fun in general.

Most practical "self-defence" thing to learn I think is the rolling from aikido or similar - I've been hit in the face by the ground far more often than by another person, and hitting it back never seems to help.

Aikido was fun when I was in college, but there hasn't been a dojo around that taught it since.
Made it to 3rd Kyu in Goju before (insert soap opera here that no one actually cares about). Sadly, the head instructor died while I was away from the art, and his successor had different views.
After a 10+year break, I found a dojo near my new home (near meaning 15 miles away, but with a good backroad so I miss commute traffic during rush hour) that teaches Shotokan and had the same demands for performance that I'd learned were all-too-rare outside my Goju dojo. Just squeaked through Yon-kyu test yesterday.

Originally Posted by Bananaphone View Post
Usually the best self-defense is running away.
Yuuuup. That's usually the first lesson when we introduce people to dagger work. Doesn't matter if we're going to show you armed and unarmed methods to deal with it, unless you have a very compelling reason to stay and get slit/stabbed up your plan A is to run away.

Second best. The best is, obviously, not being there in the first place - though that's not something that you always have a choice about.

When I was younger, I was a Martial Art junkie. I use to practice Kenpo Karate from 11 to 16, and I had 3rd kyu brown belt. I was training 2-3 days per week at the dojo.

While I was still doing Karate, I also started practicing Jiujitsu for about 3 years at the private high school I was sent (12 years old ''ish''. I achieved a green belt during that time . I also had lesson of Kobudo given by the sensei as a complimentary training (the art of peasant weapons like bo, sai, nunchaku, kama and tonfa, which was the funnest part IMO) and he even teach us some Kenjutsu (Itto-ryu style). I had one class of Jiujitsu and one class of weapons handling per week. At 15 years old, my mother wasn't able to pay for private school anymore, so I had to stop.

In public school, one of my teacher offered to the students to attend his classes of aikido 2 times per week after school! I jumped on the opportunity, telling myself that it's pretty similar to Jiujitsu... and I ended losing my mojo after some months. It's kinda similar, yet very different than Jiujitsu. It was kinda interesting to put some moves in my arsenal, but in the end...meh! Not my cup of tea.

I began to do LARP's the same year, and during those events, I made some friends that were doing full contact medieval weapon fighting and offered to join their club. I learned to use swords, axes and polearms. I also dabbled in maces and hammers, but they were banned in sparring and competition, so I didn't bother that much.

My past Karate, Jiujitsu and aikido training was very useful during that time - there is a lot of pushing and grappling in medieval era weapon fighting - and it gave me some other edges, like the concentration, the good use of movement, judging distance and the adversary, and also to ignore the pain (yes, even in armor and with blunted blades, it's very painful to be hit by real weapons). I stopped Karate to invest in this ''sport/martial art'' - I really, really liked to practice with medieval armaments and because armors and functional weapons cost a lot of $$$. (100$ per season for subscription to the club not including competition and special events + between 80 to 150$ per weapons, + about for 1200$ for chainmail, helmet and other armor elements...yeah...) Very costly for a 16 years old with part time jobs :P

Then, I moved so much in adulthood that I found difficult to maintain that sport, and slowly, I began to stop doing it and selling/giving my stuff. My new passion was now to go around Canada, to make experiences and visit as much place as I could.

The last 7 years, I began to experience unexplainable episodes of pain all over my body. The episodes began slowly to be more frequent, intense and with longer duration. I began more sedentary and I've lost a lot of my fitness little by little. My doctor gave me a diagnostic of fibromyalgia three years ago and since, I tried countless of meds and treatments (physical and psychological), without any effect. Meds have very modest effects on the pain, and a lot of unpleasant side ones. So, I decided to stop taking them.

Since (and it is not easy at all), I learned to accept that I can't go back to the young Jeff I was before - that I had to put those days behind me and learn to deal with it. Quite ironic - the biggest fight of my life isn't implying any strikes, grappling or weapons. I had to learn to slow down my lifestyle even more, but it's okay. It is what it is.

Now, I'm considering Tai Chi as a therapy, to maintain myself physically and mentally. Who know, I might like that ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Aikido class in college. "At the end of our first lesson, you will know how to deal with an armed mugger." Instructor went through roll-call, handing out the blue-sheet (sometimes they were green), requirements, expectations, etc. Then he called up the biggest guy in the class. "Stand there. Pretend you have a gun. You're a mugger. What do you want?" "Money" "Right. Everyone pay close attention. Begin." "What?" "Say 'Gimme your wallet'." "Gimme your wallet!" Instructor reached slowly into the fold of his gi, pulled out his wallet, threw it to the far side of the room and ran out the door. That was the end of class.

This demonstration was repeated the next three classes, but he came back in to explain, including a statistic that no one had been killed in a mugging by a gun fired from more than 30feet away in New York in several decades. Muggers are not likely to be marksmen. If the mugger wants money, their eyes will track the wallet, so throwing it one way will buy you enough time to clear that 30 feet (only takes a few seconds). "Oh, if anyone bothered to check, this wallet is empty. I always carry at least one empty wallet. If I'm visiting Chicago or Manhattan, I carry three."


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