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Thread: Long distance clubs?

  1. #1
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    Default Long distance clubs?

    Hi guys, I'm not sure where I should post this, but here's my dilemma. I live in a place where there's not a lot of diversity when it comes to martial arts. In fact, except from dozens of karate and judo clubs, you get your aikido club, kendo and everything boxing. And even in karate, don't expect to see more than shotokan, apparently here nobody has heard of anything else.

    My problem is, I would like to try out other styles. I've mentioned shito-ryu in my introduction, but there are many more I'd like to try out. Different styles of Kung Fu (Choy Lee Fut, Bagua, Bajiquan and Hung Gar come to mind), Pencak Silat, Ninjutsu and Kali are other styles that I'm interested in. And here's the thing: there's a city that's at 1h30 from my place, that has many of those martial arts (exceptions being pencak silat and kali). For personal reasons, I can't move out there, or anywhere, yet. So my questions are :

    1/ Do you think it's worth the time and the money to travel 3 hours a day, two to three times a week, just for learning a martial art?

    2/ Do you happen to be in that situation where you travel a lot to get to your dojo/dojang/kwoon/club?

    3/ In the likelihood that it's not worth it to travel that much, do you think that one can acquire good, or at least correct enough skills in martial arts by learning alone, or is it a lost cause? I already have the basics of how the body works, I just need to regain my flexibility and hip mobility.

    Again, I apologize if it's not the right place for that kind of topic

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neldolas View Post
    1/ Do you think it's worth the time and the money to travel 3 hours a day, two to three times a week, just for learning a martial art?
    Only you can answer that question. Is it worth it TO YOU?

    Quote Originally Posted by Neldolas View Post
    2/ Do you happen to be in that situation where you travel a lot to get to your dojo/dojang/kwoon/club?
    The karate dojo I used to attend was only 15 minutes from my house, as was the kenjutsu dojo, but the Iaido dojo was 45 minutes away. I know of people who travel once or twice a month by airline in order to train in their chosen art. Not everyone has the funds and time to do that. It's an individual thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Neldolas View Post
    3/ In the likelihood that it's not worth it to travel that much, do you think that one can acquire good, or at least correct enough skills in martial arts by learning alone, or is it a lost cause?
    It's a lost cause; it can't be done, at least not properly. You'd be as likely to teach yourself bad habits as good, and poor technique instead of proper technique.

    Quote Originally Posted by Neldolas View Post
    I already have the basics of how the body works, I just need to regain my flexibility and hip mobility.
    Now THAT you can do on your own. Keep practicing what you've already been taught by your sensei, and work on perfecting it. You could also have a physical therapist teach you a few mobility exercises and work on those at home.

    Good luck.
    Yours in Budo,
    ---Brian---

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    1/ My problem is that I don't have much money, but too much motivation ^^.

    2/ Which brings me to my second question: is it worth it paying for a yearly subscription to a club if I can only go once per month?

    3/ Yeah I realized just before reading your answer that my question was silly, so I reformulate: learning at home, but with someone who can correct me (as in, either via webcam, or by filming myself and then sending the video? But even then, the last question I asked actually shed some light on why I asked if it was okay to train alone.

    4/ "I have the basics of how the body works". I forgot one part: "in martial arts". What I meant was, if I'm learning a striking art like shito-ryu or shorinji kempo or anything like that, and I must throw a mawashi geri, I already know how to do so. My only limitation is my lack of flexibility which can easily be corrected, so technically I wouldn't start with no martial arts basis, if one can agree upon the fact that some techniques can be considered the roots of all styles, existing no matter what MA you're practicing.

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    For a foundational art, consider signing up at the local judo club. Later, when you have more opportunities, you can do something else. But, for now? Do what is in front of you.

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    Judo isn't in my primary list of arts I'd like to learn. However there's a bit of good news. First of all, apparently a club of Wing Chun has opened lately. I'll go take a look just to see how it is. Secondly, I've contacted my old karate club, and even if they're still all about shotokan, apparently they've also introduced kata from other styles. They didn't tell me what exactly, but here's hoping I can learn Chatanyara no Kusanku before long ha ! In all seriousness though, this is, in my humble opinion, how it should be. I find that it's a pity that karate is divided in so many styles. But that's just me. Thirdly, but I'm more on the defensive on that last point, there's apparently a taijiquan club, didn't know about it and I've had some trouble finding it. My only problem is that there's no way to contact them beforehand, and I'd like to know if they're teaching the martial art with martial applications, or just the "feel good" kind of stuff. When I was a student in a bigger city, 9 times out of 10, taijiquan would be about making slow moves, and nothing about the martial applications at all. But that's just me rambling. Looks like I'm going back to my old karate club.

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    If you find an art that interests you, you could try linking up with a teacher who travels to do seminars and who also provides distance-learning materials (i.e. lessons via Skype or other real-time media; instructional DVDs or downloads) and is willing to let you establish a study group.

    Study groups work on the curriculum together, and either travel to a teacher or combine their money to bring the teacher to them for workshops at regular intervals during the year. I train in study groups for two arts, and this is what we do. It has worked well for us, but the success of such training really depends on how committed you and other students are to building a stable study group and maintaining a strong relationship with a good teacher in an art you truly love.
    Cady Goldfield

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    Hey that's a good idea, I hadn't thought of that. Now to find someone who'd be willing to teach via skype ^_^ . As for finding like minded people in my area, I'll have to ask around.

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    You got a lot of good advice.

    As Cady suggested you might try and see who else might have an interest in training in another style, that way you would get someone to train with--maybe several someone's.

    You could split the drive, gas money etc. And get training partners.

    Heck if there is enough interest someone might, "might" come to you. Might.

    If you could get a group together and a place to train, it might be worth somebodies time to come to you or send a senior student. Maybe on a weekend. Have a 3 hour class.

    Let us know how it goes.

    Good luck.
    Chris Thomas

    "While people are entitled to their illusions, they are not entitled to a limitless enjoyment of them and they are not entitled to impose them upon others."

    "Team Cynicism" MVP 2005-2006
    Currently on "Injured/Reserve" list due to a scathing Sarcasm pile-up.

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