Author Topic: Joining a martial arts gym  (Read 9175 times)

MgoSam

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Joining a martial arts gym
« on: December 09, 2015, 06:22:22 PM »
Hey,

I want to join a martial arts gym, just went to my first class where I felt somewhat overwhelmed but enjoyed it. Monthly fees will run about $100, I can afford it but it will mean $100 less to send to Vanguard.

Does anyone here do BJJ or Muay Thai? Would love your insight. Tonight I tried BJJ.

My motivations are
1. I am not currently working out, and when I do it has felt like a chore. I've tried switching it up to different exercises and still nothing
2. More discipline
3. Mindset, doing Taekwondo as a youth really helped me mature as a person.
4. Meet great new people
5. Learn how to defend myself

Downside
1. Costs way more than a typical gym
2. Increases my time spent in a arm lock from nil to something.

Would love your insight.

DeltaBond

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Re: Joining a martial arts gym
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2015, 06:26:39 PM »
Interesting you post this, I was just talking to my SO about his years in Jujitzu, and watching my child in a martial arts class has peaked my interest.  Sadly, the martial arts I have interest in aren't taught in our area, its mainly just TaeKwonDo.  Timing of a schedule might be an issue for me, as well as cost - but what's the point of making money if you aren't living life the way you truly want to (without being excessive, of course)... I mean, if you love it, that's what life is for, that's what working for a paycheck is for.

I had interest in Aikido, but apparently most Aikido classes are not actually Aikido but some very pretty yet unrealistic form of martial art - as in, unless your opponent knows he's supposed to fall to the ground, you're probably going to be SOL.  So I am still looking for something nearby that I might actually enjoy.

MgoSam

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Re: Joining a martial arts gym
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2015, 07:47:57 PM »
Thanks for your response. I agree and feel fortunate that I have many options close to me. Now I'm torn between Muay Thai and BJJ. I haven't gone to a Muay Thai class, and will soon so that I can compare both.

SwordGuy

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Re: Joining a martial arts gym
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2015, 07:52:46 PM »
Check www.sca.org and look for a group near you.  You can learn armoured swordfighting or fencing.   Your cost to learn will be your gear and they probably have free loaner gear you can use for several months.


sol

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Re: Joining a martial arts gym
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2015, 08:09:22 PM »
Does anyone here do BJJ or Muay Thai? 

Yes. 

Muay Thai is typically harder on the body.  BJJ focuses on grappling and wrestling too so they spend less time just beating the crap out of each other's shins.  Some people wear those bruises as badges of honor, but I'm not 19 any more and my manliness is more secure now.

The mindset you find in class is dictated entirely by the instructor, but I've seen some definite patterns between arts.  Karate and TKD tend to focus more on respect and discipline, which is probably better for kids.  BJJ and MMA are typically much more informal, but that sometimes attracts thugs and lowlifes who care little for martial arts but really want to learn how to hurt people. 

I had interest in Aikido, but apparently most Aikido classes are not actually Aikido but some very pretty yet unrealistic form of martial art

Aikido techniques, like judo or karate or taekwondo, are very effective under a narrow set of circumstances for someone who has mastered them.  BJJ (and MMA in general) is much more effective at teaching basic "self-defense" competency quickly, but that's mostly because it borrows useful techniques from other arts that can be taught quickly and that are effective even when done poorly, not because it is inherently more practical or effective.

In general, any martial art you study is a sport.  Sports are fun, and good exercise, but have arbitrary rules that don't apply in the real world.  Martial arts are never seriously about self-defense training, despite all the advertising they will do.  If you really care about self-defense, take a firearms course and get a concealed carry permit.  There are no martial arts techniques that work against bullets.

With that in mind, pick a sport that you enjoy practicing.  Football and basketball are both fun, and one isn't better than the other.  Just find an instructor and a class that fits your personality and style, with people you would like to hang out with.  Those two things are WAY more important than the actual techniques you will learn.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2015, 09:01:22 PM by sol »

afulldeck

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Re: Joining a martial arts gym
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2015, 08:22:40 PM »
I've studied martial arts over 45 years. Its been a wonderful stress reliever. I teach and train BJJ, juijitsu, and Judo regularly. And in the past I've taught kickboxing, Muay Thai and Karate.

Of all the Martial Arts, Judo is typically the most economical ( 1/2 or a 1/4 of BJJ) and from a self defense perspective, IMO, the most practical. From a great instructor you will learn how to throw, how to fall, how not to fall, and how to grapple on the ground including armlocks, chokes, and hold downs.  You will learn the proverb "Nana korobi ya oki" seven falls --- get up eight times. Once you have been training for a while you will find judo training very challenging cardio and strength-wise.

BJJ is trendy due to the excitement that the gracies brought to the US. But that trendyness comes with a cost.

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MgoSam

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Re: Joining a martial arts gym
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2015, 08:59:07 PM »
Great responses, thank you everyone for your input

I teach and train BJJ, juijitsu, and Judo regularly. And in the past I've taught kickboxing, Muay Thai and Karate.


The gym offers both BJJ and Muay Thai. From my limited understanding (and please let me know if I am incorrect) BJJ is more about ground submission while Muay Thai is more for standing up. Is this correct?

I'm torn between focusing on either BJJ or Muay, or would it be a good idea to do both? I have the time to go to at least 3 classes a week.  It would be possible for me to take BJJ at 5:30 and then Muay Thai at 6:30 M and W and on Tuesday I could do Muay Thai at 5:30 and then beginner BJJ at 6:30. Friday they have a class at 5:30 but said it's mostly for sparring. I realized that considering 7 classes a week would be daunting and might lead to burnout, injury, or just not following through. What would be a good balance? After class many of my classmates gave me useful advice, including watching videos on Youtube. When I asked how often I should come, their answers were all along the lines of, "As often as you can, but 3 times a week at least."

EAL

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Re: Joining a martial arts gym
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2015, 09:57:22 AM »
I'd say do it if you are willing to commit and stick with it. I am very frugal and the $90 I spend a month for Kenpo Karate is well worth it.  While most of us here have huge savings goals, you also have to live your life at the same time. The great thing is that martial arts is something you can continue as you age.  My mother is in her fifties and she started karate with me a year and a half ago. My instructor is in his sixties.  It is a great life long health commitment if you stick with it. Definitely worth the price.

jjcamembert

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Re: Joining a martial arts gym
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2015, 11:15:36 AM »
The gym offers both BJJ and Muay Thai. From my limited understanding (and please let me know if I am incorrect) BJJ is more about ground submission while Muay Thai is more for standing up. Is this correct?

I'm torn between focusing on either BJJ or Muay, or would it be a good idea to do both? I have the time to go to at least 3 classes a week.  It would be possible for me to take BJJ at 5:30 and then Muay Thai at 6:30 M and W and on Tuesday I could do Muay Thai at 5:30 and then beginner BJJ at 6:30. Friday they have a class at 5:30 but said it's mostly for sparring. I realized that considering 7 classes a week would be daunting and might lead to burnout, injury, or just not following through. What would be a good balance? After class many of my classmates gave me useful advice, including watching videos on Youtube. When I asked how often I should come, their answers were all along the lines of, "As often as you can, but 3 times a week at least."

Yes, in BJJ you will 90% of the time be on the ground. You will not learn to punch and kick, but will learn how to neutralize strikes. You will learn some takedowns also but not as many as in Judo. You'll wear a gi (unless it's mostly a no-gi school) and spend your time wrestling.

In Muay Thai you will learn how to kick, punch, knee, and elbow effectively. You will be wearing boxing gloves and spending a lot of time hitting the heavy bag and drilling combinations. Both arts require cardio, but I'd say Mauy Thai focuses on cardio more, and you'll get a "better" workout than BJJ.

I did Taekwondo, Karate, and Judo for years. Now I have been doing BJJ for over a year. It is expensive (due to MMA/trendiness) but I learn the most from it and enjoy the school's attitude in that they're not meat-heads looking for a fight, but still train hard. I would pick one art and stick with it for a while. If your body can handle both classes nothing wrong with the extra workout, but I'd say don't alternate or you're just going to be mediocre at both for a long time. I personally train 2-3x a week BJJ but there are a lot of guys in there every day, so I just have to remember that I'm going at my own pace when I get passed in belt promotion ;)

DeltaBond

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Re: Joining a martial arts gym
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2015, 12:13:36 PM »
I teach and train BJJ, juijitsu, and Judo regularly.


You need to move to my area :)

Kiwi Mustache

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Re: Joining a martial arts gym
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2015, 03:27:51 PM »
I've noticed a few people on these forums asking the questions "should I spend money on a gym"

The answer I always give is yes. An investment in your health is one of the best investments you can ever make.

If it costs $100/month, but you get immense satisfaction and benefits out of it, then in my mind it is worth every penny.

For example, I value health, nutrition and exercise as one of the most important things in my life. I could retire a few years early if I didn't buy new running shoes, protein shakes, healthy foods to make salads, etc, but then what is the point of retiring a few years earlier if I'm not living an authentic life doing things I really enjoy?

seemsright

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Re: Joining a martial arts gym
« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2015, 03:50:48 PM »
I earned my Black Belt in American Kenpo in August. It took me 14.5 years to do so.

I was lucky enough to find a instructor who is really bad at business. And rents space from a gymnastics center and only charges $50 a month till you earn your Black Belt.

I was doing 3 lessons a week for $50 and making him dinner a couple times a month (he likes my cooking)

Ask around and see if you can find the guy teaching out of his garage. I found that the instructors just want to teach. And they would have to charge way too much to have a dojo of their own.

Any Martial Art is awesome. My favorite thing to do is to spar the male 20 something who is into MMA and them put them on their ass. Their ego normally takes a hit being female and in my mid 30s...

rageth

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Re: Joining a martial arts gym
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2015, 09:04:56 PM »
I joined a reputable MMA gym 2 years ago. I started with Muay Thai and added BJJ later. Really it's based on what you like and what your goals are. I trained Muay Thai for 6 months before I competed in my first BJJ tournament, and I was in love. I now train BJJ exclusively at my gym 9hours/week. That said, I also know plenty of people that went the other way and now only train Muay Thai when they used to train both.

I will say this, though. I know lots of people in BJJ of all ages, but I don't see very many older people in the Muay Thai classes. As someone else said, Muay Thai is hard on the body especially the back and knees. "If it's not ugly, it's not Muay Thai," the saying goes.

My advice is regardless of what you decide, do some research on the gym and coaches. There's plenty of Mcdojos out there these days. Do the coaches still compete or train fighters? How do their fighters do in tournaments or fights? What's the atmosphere of the gym? Do they clean it regularly? These things are all really important.

JZinCO

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Re: Joining a martial arts gym
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2015, 09:23:15 PM »
I do not do martial arts. My gf however fell into it; initially started doing the globo-gym classes and one of the trainers was a coach at an MMA gym. She has been at it for about 9 mo now, originally starting with muay thai and then moving to BJJ. She did a fight to win tournie and did great! Initially, she said she just wanted to go the gym for a group atmosphere, then she started enjoying sparring but said she'd never fight, and here we are.
She pays around the same monthly and trains maybe 5 days/wk. For her it is definitely worth it and I'm proud of her for getting engaged in a sport. It's helped her conditioning and more importantly, self esteem. Like someone said earlier, you can't feel guilty about paying for mental and physical health.

DeltaBond

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Re: Joining a martial arts gym
« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2015, 04:55:08 AM »
Here's a question, since hardly anyone has all the martial arts being taught close to where they live, would you go to a class in your little suburb for a martial art you don't really care for, out of convenience... or drive across down for one you really like, but the inconvenience of it might end up breaking the whole deal?

TaeKwonDo is riddled throughout my neck of the woods... Judo is about 30-40 min away, which I would prefer, but time is a factor in my life.

GuitarStv

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Re: Joining a martial arts gym
« Reply #15 on: December 11, 2015, 07:15:28 AM »
The martial art being taught doesn't matter nearly as much as the instructor.  I've been to Taekwondo schools where the focus is entirely on sparring, some where there's a lot of focus on forms and showy technique, and some where it's more integrated with Hapkido and focused on self defense.  There's tremendous leeway in how each instructor will run his classes and what he'll teach, so you want to find someone who is in line with what you want to learn.  Most good gyms will let you sit in for a class or two to see how you like it, this is very much worth doing.  I'd absolutely drive across town to go to a good gym that is teaching what I want to learn rather than feel like I'm wasting my time though.

I've taught Taekwondo, spent a year in a strange pseudo religious Aikido class, done Muay Thai for several years, have a few years of boxing, spent some time wrestling, and eventually gravitated towards competitive Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.  None of them were worthless.  Bits and pieces from each martial art ended up helping me later in other things I did.

DeltaBond

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Re: Joining a martial arts gym
« Reply #16 on: December 11, 2015, 08:48:58 AM »
GuitarStv, I always like your posts.  Good info, thank you for sharing that, very helpful!!

MgoSam

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Re: Joining a martial arts gym
« Reply #17 on: December 11, 2015, 11:18:09 AM »
Thank you everyone. I went last night and tried a class of Muay Thai and loved it. I'd read a few experiences from people's first Muay Thai class and compared to them my instructor didn't do nearly as much conditioning, but maybe he changes things up. The majority of the class had us paired with someone to work on low kicks and a few other combinations. My right shin is a little sore even though I tried to go lighter (I don't currently have a shin guard).

I am leaning towards training in both. The evening class times work such that I could theoretically train Monday through Friday for about 2 Muay Thai classes and 4 BJJ classes. I will talk to the instructors to see if this is reasonable, I don't want to get injured or burn out. If I am willing to wait for an hour after BJJ class on M and W I could also take another Muay Thai class for a total of 4 each week.

I'm not as worried about the time as sadly my evenings are mostly spent watching tv or playing on the computer, so this would be more valuable time and I could read during an hour wait between classes.

GuitarStv

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Re: Joining a martial arts gym
« Reply #18 on: December 11, 2015, 11:59:01 AM »
Just an FYI because you're new to grappling . . .

Skin problems are a thing, and they'll likely happen to you at some point.  Rolling around on a sweaty mat and getting minor abrasions all over your body leads to multiple contact points where you can pick up skin infections.  No matter how clean the gym keeps it's mats, they are going to be a cesspool mid way through a hard class.  There's also a certain percentage of the population that has staph and ringworm living on their skin with no visible symptoms, so it's not uncommon to pick them up.

Always, always, always shower immediately after grappling.  You want to let the soap sit on all your skin for at least a minute or two before rinsing it away.  If you let dirt and sweat sit on your skin for even just a few hours, the bacteria or fungus can multiply very quickly and your chance of picking up a skin infection is greatly increased.  This is why good grappling gyms have showers.  You don't even want to ride the bus home dirty if you can avoid it.


So, no problem with taking a BJJ class followed by Muay Thai, but don't sit around sweaty for that hour.  You'll just be putting yourself and your training partners at risk.

MgoSam

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Re: Joining a martial arts gym
« Reply #19 on: December 11, 2015, 12:57:17 PM »
So, no problem with taking a BJJ class followed by Muay Thai, but don't sit around sweaty for that hour.  You'll just be putting yourself and your training partners at risk.

Good advice! The mats appear to be clean but that's a great point you made about mid-class. Unfortunately my gym doesn't have any showers, but I live about 10 minutes away and there's a chain gym about a minute away that I am a member of through work. I'll need to make sure that I do go and shower right away.

johnER

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Re: Joining a martial arts gym
« Reply #20 on: December 11, 2015, 06:17:56 PM »
I've trained in a variety of forms, but pretty much settled on BJJ.  To me the $100 a month I pay is feels really cheap for what I get out of it, I would pay more without thinking twice. 

I'll echo what other's have said, it's the instructor more than the martial art, or association a gym is affiliated with that makes the difference.  Try a couple different gyms out (if you're lucky enough to live with that access), see if you like the instructors and overall environment.  An intro class should be free.  Some red flags for me are a gym where the instructors never roll or where experienced students just dominate the lower belts not giving them a chance to learn.  Also places that charge anything at all for stripe promotions ($0.02 worth of athletic tape), or more than about $40 for a belt promotion (to cover belt, certificate and shipping), schools should not be making money of this, it reeks of McDojo.

As for the skin issues, if you don't have time or a place to shower defense wipes are where it's at.  They aren't the cheapest product, but do an extremely good job ad protecting against skin issues, one is more than enough for full body coverage:
http://www.defensesoap.com/defense-body-wipes/defense-wipes.htm
After one bout with ringworm l started to shower with their soap immediately after training and will use their wipes between classes when I go back to back, zero problems in the 4 years since then.

Also, if you do pick up BJJ don't be smelly gi guy.  You wash that shit after every class, no exceptions whatsoever.


MgoSam

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Re: Joining a martial arts gym
« Reply #21 on: December 12, 2015, 08:44:01 AM »
Thanks for the advice. Last night I went to a BJJ class that was nearly solely sparring. I sparred with maybe 6 different people and was exhausted by the end of it,the range went from white to purple but all were aware that I was new and none just destroyed me. Instead most took me down and then would give me advice on how to defend myself. It was fun, and I hope to keep at it.

Thanks for the recommendation for the wipe. That's a smart idea.

I noticed a blue/purplish bruise on my left thigh from Muay Thai on Thursday (I think). I didn't really pay attention before, but do I need to do anything for it? It doesn't hurt much at all and I can walk normally.

Nearly all evenings I have been going home and watching TV, so time isn't an issue. I spoke to the main BJJ instructor about doing both BJJ and Muay Thai and he encouraged it so long as I have time. Looking at the schedule, most weeks I should be able to do 4 BJJ classes, 2 Muay Thai classes, and possibly 2 boxing classes, though I am wary of pushing myself too much. This would be a max, and I'm certain that I would need to take a day off from time to time. This also doesn't include weekend classes as those are for more advanced levels (invite only).

GuitarStv

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Re: Joining a martial arts gym
« Reply #22 on: December 12, 2015, 09:00:38 AM »
You'll get lots of bruises on your legs from Muay Thai (thighs from getting kicked, shins from kicking, knees from kneeing, ankles from missing a kick, etc.), nothing to be concerned about.  Usually by the time they turn purple and dark brown they're well on the way to healing.  It's when they're red that you still have bleeding going on under the skin.  Watch your ears if you're doing a lot of clinch work or if you roll without ear guards in BJJ though . . . your ears don't get very good blood flow and are easily damaged.  When you hurt them they'll be painful to the touch and will swell up.  If you don't get them drained within a day or so after they swell up they'll start to cauliflower, and it's permanent.  My left ear has some cauliflowering from when I thought it wasn't cool to wear ear guards.  :P

If you ramp up to things slowly, eat well and get good sleep I wouldn't worry about pushing yourself too much.  If you're really concerned, take daily records of your heart rate every morning when you wake up and keep it in your training journal (side note - it's a good idea to keep a training journal . . . at least for BJJ this was a huge aid for me to mentally go over stuff I learned in class so that it would stick, you just write down each step of the technique taught in class and then skim it over before your next class).  If you notice that you're feeling beat all the time and your heart rate is 15-20 bpm higher or lower than normal, take a couple days off.  If you're just feeling beat all the time, but your heart rate is normal . . . stop being a pussy.  :P  In my 20s (and pre-having a kid) I was perfectly happy putting in 10-12 hrs of training and another 2-3 of weight lifting a week.

johnER

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Re: Joining a martial arts gym
« Reply #23 on: December 12, 2015, 09:19:21 AM »
I pay little to no attention to bruises, they happen.  For grappling I find finger marks all over my body and gi marks around my neck, less so over time, I think your skin bruises less after you've been doing it a while.

8 class a week sounds very reasonable assuming you're active.  Your OP states you're currently not working out.  I would listen to my body and ramp it up over a few weeks. If you're feeling good go for it, but the most common injuries I see are over use or people training too hard on a minor injury making it worse.  Don't be a pussy, but deal with minor injuries right and tap early, you should take especially good care of your shoulders and knees.

MgoSam

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Re: Joining a martial arts gym
« Reply #24 on: December 12, 2015, 12:15:42 PM »
Thanks for your comments. Lately I haven't been working out, but previously I have a little conditioning. I'm able to last during the classes and keep up reasonably well, though some of the drills are things I'm unfamiliar with so in the coming weeks I'll become more comfortable and my fitness will increase. Good point about measuring HR, I'll keep that in mind and will take days off to rest. I don't want to do too much and then burn out or get injured, but at the same time I am eager to learn, so I'll need to find a healthy balance and avoid doing silly things. For instance on Monday part of is interested in taking BJJ, then boxing, and then beginner Muay Thai, but I realize that will be way too much and likely will skip boxing. As for tapping, last night at sparring I tapped as soon as I was in a position I couldn't get out of.

Good call on a training journal, it makes sense to keep one. As for working out 10-12 hours, I can see myself doing that, but first want to make sure I have a stable base and enough conditioning so that I am not risking injury. From what I could tell about the instructors is that they are willing to push you if you want to be pushed, but aren't going to drag you if you only come in for the occasional class.

Do you recommend doing anything outside of classes such as lifting weights or cardio workouts? I will be practicing the moves and watching Youtube videos to learn techniques and watch fights.

I am currently borrowing equipment from the gym, but soon will need to buy my own. Here is a list of things that I believe I'll need, would you please let me know if there is anything that's unnecessary and if there is anything else you recommend. Also please advise on a reputable source for buying it online (or if I should go to a local store instead). I should have asked the people at my gym and will do so on Monday.

1. Two sets of gi
2. Mouthguard
3. Jock strap
4. Shin guards
5. Muay Thai shorts
6. Rash guard (should I get multiple sets?)
7. 16 oz gloves (should I also get 10oz gloves?)
8. Headgear (for ears)

Thank you again for your help.


afulldeck

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Re: Joining a martial arts gym
« Reply #25 on: December 12, 2015, 12:48:52 PM »
You may want multiple rash guards ( short and long sleeves ) and if your a non-competitor you might want to buy an Judo gi ( they tend to be a heavier weave and last a lot longer ) and they are cheaper than bjj gis ( especially if they are no-longer IJF certified) .  Roger Gracie wore Judo gis for years even in competition.

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afulldeck

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Re: Joining a martial arts gym
« Reply #26 on: December 12, 2015, 01:10:44 PM »
One other piece of advice especially at the beginning of your journey-if you do not know a technical escape from a submission just tap. Do not, I say again, do not fight your way out with strength-- just tap--then write in your journal you need to learn a technical escape from that position. For example, pulling your head out of a fully engaged triangle might work especially if your sweating but  you are unnecessarily putting your ears at risk for cauliflower ears when a technical escape would save your ears, elbows or other body parts.  I know more than a few folks who no longer train because they let their ego get the better of there judgement and ended up with a serious injury instead of tapping.

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johnER

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Re: Joining a martial arts gym
« Reply #27 on: December 12, 2015, 01:37:32 PM »
Buying gear online is a pain in the ass not being able to try stuff on, especially gi's and rashguards where fit is important. I use BJJHQ and MMAHQ which sell one item a day, typically higher end items at a decent discount, but terrible return policy.  MMAwarehouse and Amazon are also good if you can find what you want.

For the BJJ items:

Gi: if you're training in a gi every other day you should be fine with only 1, that's enough time for most dry.  If you're on back to back days unless you get a really light weight one it likely won't be fully dry (you don't want to put them in a dryer).  I like Tatami gi's because the fit me well, all I can recommend is find a brand that fits and just use those, different manufacturers cut them differently.  I picked up a Tatami gi for $60 on BJJ HQ, if you wait long enough something like that will come up.

Mouthguard: I got spoiled, one of my training partners is a dentist, he made me a custom fit on for free.  It's way better than any of the boil and bite versions, there are outfits that will send you a kit to make a mold of your teeth but I have no experience with them, I think they cost a lot too.  My moutguard is by far my favorite piece of gear.

Jock  strap:  Some people wear a cup and some don't for grappling, I do.  I use a shock doctor jock w/ cup pocket and then compression shorts over it.  There are some compression shorts with a built in cup pocket, but I find that moves around too much, it can lead to bits and pieces sneaking out such that they are in between your thigh and cup, at this point taking an impact on the cup is, well, lets say you want to avoid that at all costs.

Rashguards: You're probably ok with 1 as they dry quickly, unless you want long and short sleeve.  Also you don't really need a rashguard under a gi, only if the material irritates your skin.

Headgear: Some people wear wresting headgear for BJJ (e.g. Cliff Keen).  I don't and will jokingly make fun of my training partners that do, then again they never have to drain cauliflower ear, so maybe they're the smart ones.

MgoSam

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Re: Joining a martial arts gym
« Reply #28 on: December 12, 2015, 03:29:19 PM »
Thanks!

For rash guard, I believe I'll need to get it eventually for No Gi classes. For those classes we need to have either a rash guard or compression shirt. I haven't asked the instructor about No Gi classe, but I imagine they will be useful to take.

rageth

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Re: Joining a martial arts gym
« Reply #29 on: December 12, 2015, 04:04:24 PM »
I must say I'm really excited by this post in general because I had no idea there were so many mustachian jiujiteiros out there.  I always felt guilty about my $100/month gym fee and my tournament entrance fees.

DeltaBond

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Re: Joining a martial arts gym
« Reply #30 on: December 13, 2015, 06:42:45 AM »
Yeah, this post helped me, too.  After searching every single dojo in my quad-county area I'm learning that Judo is basically not taught any more around here.... and Jujitzu IS taught, but I'd have to make a really long drive and sign a crazy contract to do that.  So, I have decided that for now, I'll just take TaeKwonDo at my daughter's school, 5 min away, just to get into the martial arts groove.  Its not my first choice, but they have family discounts, I really like all the people there, and I get to learn nunchucks (sp?).  Its not a self-defense type of activity, which was what I was hoping for, but  mental and physical health benefits will still be there.

MgoSam

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Re: Joining a martial arts gym
« Reply #31 on: December 13, 2015, 11:27:40 AM »
  Its not a self-defense type of activity, which was what I was hoping for, but  mental and physical health benefits will still be there.

I hear ya, I did Taekwondo when I was in middle and high school and did enjoy the disclipine and respect it instilled. I found that I was thinking more positively due to it, and this was one of my motivations for seeking martial arts. That Muay Thai and BJJ will help me get fit and possibly defend myself is just gravy.

GuitarStv

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Re: Joining a martial arts gym
« Reply #32 on: December 14, 2015, 06:39:39 AM »
I never wear a jock for grappling.  It interferes with your ability to move properly in certain guard positions that require flexibility (or at least it did for me).  For Muay Thai I'd always wear one though, as I've been tagged hard many times by errant kicks.  It's no fun getting nailed even with the jock strap on, but better than the alternative.

I've had to drain my ears once, and after that have always worn wrestling style headgear for rolling.  Minor cauliflowering is permanent in my left ear, so I kinda wish I had always worn proper protective equipment.  Headgear sucks though . . . your opponent will find it easier to trap you in certain positions and it makes some escapes more difficult.  Some headgear kinda fucks with your hearing too which is annoying.  I like the Brute Quad III as a pretty unobtrusive and easily adjustable earguard . . . but this is very dependent on the size/shape of your head and ears.  I used a Cliff Keen Twister for a while and it was comfier, but seemed to be bulkier and would move around the head more.  If you can, try on a couple before you buy.

Rashguards . . . the more the merrier, and all long sleeve!  Long sleeves on a rashguard won't make you overheat any more than wearing a short sleeve one, but the longer sleeves give your arms a little protection from cuts/abrasions and will help prevent infection.  I prefer to wear them all the time.

Don't get 10 oz gloves unless you need them for a particular tournament.  You shouldn't spar with light gloves, besides the increased risk of hurting your own hands you'll have a much higher risk of hurting your sparring partner.  Lighter gloves means your hand moves faster, which means you will hit harder.

Unless your gym requires it, there's no need for owning a pair of Thai shorts.  They're just silk short shorts.  If you have a pair of soccer shorts or any non-baggy athletic short, they'll work just as well.


Laundering advice  . . .  fighting stuff will stink.  If you come home, and ball up a pile of it wet in the corner of your room it will stink even worse . . . and may not come clean even after washing.  Always hang your gear somewhere to dry if you're not immediately dumping it in the washing machine.  I'm also a big fan of letting wrestling gear soak for an hour or so with a scoop of oxy-clean in machine before running a cycle.  This gets it smelling much fresher.  Don't throw your stuff in the dryer . . . it won't last long at all if you do.  Whenever you can hang your stuff outside in the sun to dry . . . the UV light kills bacteria.



As far as supplementary activities for fighting . . . if you want to get better at Muay Thai, you need to spar a lot.  If you want to get better at BJJ, you need to spar a lot.  If you want to get better at Judo, you need to spar a lot.  For the first several years, your time is best spent going to every possible class that offers sparring.  Once you have several years of experience under your belt and a few competitions you'll have a better idea of where your weaknesses lie and you can start strength training or doing some cardio to make up for them.  The problem with supplementary activities is that many people doing them, feeling wiped out, and then getting less mat time because of it.

Particularly with BJJ, being weaker while learning technique is an advantage . . . you will not be able to muscle through techniques and will have to learn proper form for anything to work.

MgoSam

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Re: Joining a martial arts gym
« Reply #33 on: December 14, 2015, 07:50:36 AM »
As far as supplementary activities for fighting . . . if you want to get better at Muay Thai, you need to spar a lot.  If you want to get better at BJJ, you need to spar a lot.  If you want to get better at Judo, you need to spar a lot.  For the first several years, your time is best spent going to every possible class that offers sparring.  Once you have several years of experience under your belt and a few competitions you'll have a better idea of where your weaknesses lie and you can start strength training or doing some cardio to make up for them.  The problem with supplementary activities is that many people doing them, feeling wiped out, and then getting less mat time because of it.

Particularly with BJJ, being weaker while learning technique is an advantage . . . you will not be able to muscle through techniques and will have to learn proper form for anything to work.

That's a good point, thank you. A huge motivation for doing martial arts is that I simply cannot stand working out, be it lifting or swimming or running or anything and yeah I figure that going to at least 4 classes a week will get me into shape and right now I should prioritize on learning technique as best as I can. Good point on being weaker, all the more reason to become more technical as I will become stronger. On Friday we were sparing and the last person I faced was a women that was smaller than me but had been training there for a few months to my two days and it was great to see that she could have taken me down easily had she wanted to, instead she helped me focus on sweeping her for practice. It was awesome to see how even though she was weaker, with a few months of practice, how much more proficient she looked compared to me.

MgoSam

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Re: Joining a martial arts gym
« Reply #34 on: December 14, 2015, 06:34:29 PM »
For Muay Thai gloves, do you recommend getting 16oz? I would like to spar eventually, but I'm just starting so I don't know if I should be buying a great quality glove or just start with a more economical one. I asked someone at my gym and he recommend just going to Dick's and getting a pair of Everlasts. Would love your recommendation.

For clothes, they said to get Board shorts as they can be used for both Muay Thai and No Gi.

For my gi, I ordered 2 pairs Tatami at BJJHQ, as they had them as their daily deal.

Tomorrow is the last day of my free week, they said that they are willing to lend me equipment but don't want to make it a habit and would prefer that I get my own things. I am going to buy a rash guard from there, but would like to save as much as I can on most everything else.

GuitarStv

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Re: Joining a martial arts gym
« Reply #35 on: December 15, 2015, 06:02:30 AM »
I destroyed two pairs of cheap boxing gloves before getting a proper pair.  Everlast makes terrible low end boxing gloves, and regular boxing gloves aren't the best for doing Thai clinch work (they don't open the same way, and the padding is located differently).  You should be able to find a decent price for a pair of Twins gloves if you dig around online, there used to be several factories in Thailand that would make and ship the gloves cheaply (but it would take a few months of shipping).  Fairtex stuff sometimes goes on sale, and is good quality as well.  Many gyms will also sell equipment at reasonable prices.  Expect a good pair of gloves to last about two years of very hard use.

Whatever you get, make sure it has velcro straps.  Often you'll find yourself needing to swap gloves with thai pads when drilling with a partner, and it just takes way the hell too long with laced gloves.

Also, don't cheap out on hand wraps.  Get a couple 180 cm (6 ft) mexican style wraps that have stretch to them.  Your instructor should be able to show you how to put them on.  These are essential for protecting your wrist and your knuckles.  Shorter hand wraps just don't offer enough material to protect bigger hands, and the wraps that aren't stretchy will be put on too loose, move around, and end up being useless.

MgoSam

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Re: Joining a martial arts gym
« Reply #36 on: December 15, 2015, 08:39:12 AM »
Thanks. In your experience, any idea how much of a price difference the gym stores will have? Obviously they aren't able to compete on price with online. But at the same time, you are able to try them on and get help making sure that they are the proper gear.

For a rash guard, I'm planning to buy one from the store today along with gloves and a wrap. I may buy shin guards from there, I don't know yet. I'm wary of spending a ton of money so soon into this amazing sport.

AMandM

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Re: Joining a martial arts gym
« Reply #37 on: December 15, 2015, 09:35:30 PM »
I ahevn't read all the posts, but if expense is a concern do you have a local community center?  Ours offer several kinds of martial arts.  Various members of our family have been doing karate for less than $400/year per person.

Scandium

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Re: Joining a martial arts gym
« Reply #38 on: December 16, 2015, 07:57:03 AM »
I did krav maga for about 6 months when I lived near one. Not really a martial art, more like just self defense (it's based on military unarmed combat training). It was a good workout and fun. The instructors also believed that being in shape was important principle in self-defense so lots of conditioning and cardio work. Cost was $100/month, but that was 6 years ago so who knows now.

MgoSam

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Re: Joining a martial arts gym
« Reply #39 on: December 16, 2015, 10:43:24 AM »
I ahevn't read all the posts, but if expense is a concern do you have a local community center?  Ours offer several kinds of martial arts.  Various members of our family have been doing karate for less than $400/year per person.

I checked and while there is one, it is geared totally for kids and not for anything serious. I went and didn't like what I saw.

For expense, I don't mind the price, but I want to ensure that I get sufficient value out of the instructing.

GuitarStv

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Re: Joining a martial arts gym
« Reply #40 on: December 16, 2015, 11:18:41 AM »
Thanks. In your experience, any idea how much of a price difference the gym stores will have? Obviously they aren't able to compete on price with online. But at the same time, you are able to try them on and get help making sure that they are the proper gear.

For a rash guard, I'm planning to buy one from the store today along with gloves and a wrap. I may buy shin guards from there, I don't know yet. I'm wary of spending a ton of money so soon into this amazing sport.

It's too variable to say.  Some places (especially judo gyms) will get stuff very cheap and then sell it near cost . . . usually less expensive than you could buy on your own.  Some places order more expensive stuff or see less throughput so are a lot worse than ordering online.

MgoSam

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Re: Joining a martial arts gym
« Reply #41 on: December 18, 2015, 10:42:17 PM »
Y\
If you ramp up to things slowly, eat well and get good sleep I wouldn't worry about pushing yourself too much.  If you're really concerned, take daily records of your heart rate every morning when you wake up and keep it in your training journal (side note - it's a good idea to keep a training journal . . . at least for BJJ this was a huge aid for me to mentally go over stuff I learned in class so that it would stick, you just write down each step of the technique taught in class and then skim it over before your next class).

This has been amazing advice. Right now I am keeping a journal for each day, logging how much I practiced and notes. I forgot the part about writing down techniques, but right now everything is still a blur and I'm hazy on many of the names of the few things I've been taught.

Definitely dampening how many classes I'm taking for the time being. On Tuesday I did an hour of all-levels Muay Thai and was pooped by the end and then went right away and did an hour of beginner BJJ. By the end of class I had difficulty moving my legs to try a triangle lock. I know I have the term wrong, it's where your partner is on top of you and you begin in a closed position, grab both of his sleeves, and then put a leg on his bicep to pull him off guard, put your other side leg on his shoulder, pivot to the side and use the other leg to lock his arm and the use the other leg to trap him in a triangle?

I was so sore on Wednesday I took it off, Thursday I thought I would do an hour of beginner MT, which felt ok, and then had enough energy to last an hour of beginner BJJ. I feel a little stronger already, but think it will take me a little while before I have energy for both. My problem is that this is the only way I can get beginner BJJ and beginner MT classes.

11ducks

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Re: Joining a martial arts gym
« Reply #42 on: December 18, 2015, 11:26:31 PM »
X1000 on the advice re looking after yourself. My partner got ringworm from the gym last month, and my bro is currently recovering from a double hernia op due to BJJ. Take the time to build up your fitness levels.

I'd also suggest anything that strengthens your core muscles and/or grip strength (like climbing) great for balance and reduces chances of back injury.

Also, if you live in a decent area, make sure to check your local op shops for gi's and equipment. So many people go all gung-ho, buy all the equipment and give it up within a year- I always see near new taekwondo gear at our local outlet (as it's near a huge Mcdojo).

GuitarStv

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Re: Joining a martial arts gym
« Reply #43 on: December 19, 2015, 09:01:37 AM »
Y\
If you ramp up to things slowly, eat well and get good sleep I wouldn't worry about pushing yourself too much.  If you're really concerned, take daily records of your heart rate every morning when you wake up and keep it in your training journal (side note - it's a good idea to keep a training journal . . . at least for BJJ this was a huge aid for me to mentally go over stuff I learned in class so that it would stick, you just write down each step of the technique taught in class and then skim it over before your next class).

This has been amazing advice. Right now I am keeping a journal for each day, logging how much I practiced and notes. I forgot the part about writing down techniques, but right now everything is still a blur and I'm hazy on many of the names of the few things I've been taught.

Definitely dampening how many classes I'm taking for the time being. On Tuesday I did an hour of all-levels Muay Thai and was pooped by the end and then went right away and did an hour of beginner BJJ. By the end of class I had difficulty moving my legs to try a triangle lock. I know I have the term wrong, it's where your partner is on top of you and you begin in a closed position, grab both of his sleeves, and then put a leg on his bicep to pull him off guard, put your other side leg on his shoulder, pivot to the side and use the other leg to lock his arm and the use the other leg to trap him in a triangle?

I was so sore on Wednesday I took it off, Thursday I thought I would do an hour of beginner MT, which felt ok, and then had enough energy to last an hour of beginner BJJ. I feel a little stronger already, but think it will take me a little while before I have energy for both. My problem is that this is the only way I can get beginner BJJ and beginner MT classes.

Hang in there . . . The first couple months are the hardest.  You'll be really surprised how much work your body can put out night after night though.

The triangle is very position dependant.  You have to be in the right position, and you have to move or trick your opponent into the right position for it to work.  If not, you will find it can get very uncomfy on your legs and be exhausting.  My advice would be to transition out of the triangle to a sweep or to arm bar if it feels like you need a lot of force to make it work.  As with everything, drill, drill, drill.  At this level you should be practicing all the basic guard stuff very often.  See if you can come early and drill the triangle, arm bar, Kimura, omoplata, the Kimura sweep, flower sweep, etc.  Just pick whatever you know and do 10 reps on each side then switch with your partner.  You need to get the feel for when it's working properly and you need to instinctively move your body to the right positions.  This will form the foundation that you'll build everything from.  Getting really really good at a couple things is better than being OK at a lot of things.  Once you can easily nail the triangle from closed guard, you'll have an easier time setting it up from the open guards.

As you progress you want to stop thinking about where to put your hands and feet and start thinking about chaining together your movements to set up submission or positional opportunities in the future.  This allows you to control the fight, keeping the other person on the defensive the whole time.

As far as being sore (especially in the legs) this sounds counter intuitive but you want to move around a bit on your day off when sore.  Sitting around on the couch won't help you recover as well as doing a little light walking and some stretching.  I think it's got something to do with blood flow and healing.

MgoSam

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Re: Joining a martial arts gym
« Reply #44 on: December 19, 2015, 09:33:03 AM »

As far as being sore (especially in the legs) this sounds counter intuitive but you want to move around a bit on your day off when sore.  Sitting around on the couch won't help you recover as well as doing a little light walking and some stretching.  I think it's got something to do with blood flow and healing.

Yup I agree. I have a standing desk which does help with the blood flow on my off days. Good call on drilling. I'm going to try to find someone that will stay after a few minutes.