Self Defense/Martial Arts

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Question
Hey,
My names Kyle and im 15 years old, turning 16 this year and i was wondering if you had any advice for me regarding a Martial Art to undertake. Im interested in Martial Arts because i want to get fit and improve my overall flexibility, health and fitness, and i also want to learn to defend myself and attack in various dangerous situations. I live in adelaide, south australia so please keep in mind i dont have access to many Martial Arts, i do know of a Wing Chun teaching place(dojo perhaps?) near where i live but i dont know if it would be a good/practical martial art to learn. Can you please give me any advice or ideas as im currently at a loss.

Thanks in advance for your help,
Kyle.

Answer
Kyle,

I found your question languishing and I decided to answer it.  Briefly, any martial art that you join will be beneficial to you.  Overall there is not one style that is "better" than any other with regard to achieving your goals of improving your flexibility, health, and fitness.  like any other endeavor in life "what you put into it is what you will get out of it."

The only caveat or warning is to be careful of falling in with a bad instructor.  They comprise the minority in the martial arts world but they still exist.  Go to your local Wing Chun studio and inquire as to schedule, pricing, and how new students are admitted, treated, etc.  Most important is to ask to observe a training session and watch the instructor.  By what method does he or she teach?  How does he or she treat students?  Does he or she demand blind respect?  If your gut instincts tell you to look elsewhere then do so.          

last, research Wing Chun and obtain knowledge of the art, for example:

"Wing Chun believes in using the least amount of required force in any fighting situation. It believes properly timed positioning and movements can and should be used to defeat an opponent. This is achieved through balance, body structure and relaxation. The Chinese saying "4 taels to move 1000 catties" (referring to an old Chinese measurement system) is appropriate here in describing how a small amount of force, correctly applied, can deflect a powerful attack.

Wing Chun uses deflection and counter-attack in the same motion or will intercept the opponent to nullify an attack, rather than blocking then attacking in two separate motions. Further on interception the punch can act as a block as a consequence of the structure and the position of the arm traveling along its triangular "power-line" pathway to the opponent's "Core". This means that the opponent's attack is automatically deflected by the arm-structure of the Wing Chun practitioner as the counter-punch is delivered.
The "structure" permitting this deflection to occur is controlled through the correct focus of energy from the "core" to the "elbow". If the structure is not in place, the counter-attack/interception is likely to break down losing the "forwarding" power which may result in the deflection failing and allowing the attacking punch to make its target.

In addition to efficiency being understood as the "shortest distance to the opponent's core" (which relates specifically to the speed of attack/counter-attack), it is also important to understand the importance of energy efficiency within Wing Chun. A person using Wing Chun is said to be able to defeat a stronger person because they are able to use their structure effectively. Given this, it is essential in ensuring that the Wing Chun practitioner has a full understanding of structure which enables them to use the correct use of energy required - deviation from the structure results in having to use the muscles more and your Wing Chun will not as effectively counter the strength of a stronger opponent. The structure deflects the energy in the enemy’s attacks and opens for counter attacks, if used properly it will also weaken the opponents blocks resulting in strikes that hit."       

I hope this response has been helpful to you.

Best of luck.

JP


Licensed Private Detective
http://private-eye.homestead.com

Self Defense

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Jeffrey Hauck

Expertise

I would welcome the opportunity to answer questions regarding mixed martial arts (MMA) styles and traditional aspects of Karate, Tae Kwon-Do, and Self-Defense.

Experience

Criminologist. Professor of Criminal Justice. Licensed Private Detective with expansive clientele base encompassing hundreds of cases. Donates resources and time to the Children's Rescue Network in Orlando, FL. Defensive & control tactics instructor training LEO's, private citizens, and corporations since 1997. Shodan rank (1st Dan) in Karate(1st Degree Black Belt).

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Serves on the Board of Directors for the National Institute of Martial Arts Scholars with Dr. John Landry: http://www.martialartsscholars.org/Home_Page.html

Education/Credentials
Associate of Science; Bachelor of Arts; Master of Science, Doctor of Jurisprudence Degree.

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