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Author Topic: New Member Needs Advice  (Read 1708 times)
SIGnoramus
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Posts: 3


« on: October 02, 2009, 08:53:50 PM »

Greetings all! Let me begin by thanking all of you for providing a public forum for us newbies to learn from. I have been lurking here for awhile and I am grateful for the information that is available here. Please excuse this first post as it will be lengthy, but I felt I needed to be up front with you guys (and gals) if I am to receive informed opinions about my situation. I believe that I have much in common with many on this forum because I am engaged in a search for the truth.

When I was much younger (began when I was 15) I studied Tae Kwon Do. I participated in classes on and off for several years and earned a brown belt in that art. As I grew older, I began to believe that much of what I had learned during those years would be ineffective in real world situations, and I started to seek information on "reality based" systems and instructors. During my research I came across much material that at least passed the all-important (for me at least) "reason" test. You see, I try to apply reason to all of the decisions I make in life; if something isn't reasonable, then I have to really ask myself if I should spend the time pursuing it. When it comes to self-defense, I ask myself if the material I see has a reasonable chance of working in a stress-filled, life-threatening situation. Guys like Tony Blauer, Rich Dimitri, Kelly McCann, SouthNarc, etc. made me realize that there were at least a few people out there willing to pressure-test their material. While I didn't always like everything I saw from these guys, I did appreciate the fact that they were willing to test it in the most realistic ways possible, without excessive risk to the practitioner.

It was during this search for truth in combat that I found the Dog Brothers. I have always appreciated the entire concept behind this "family", and have checked in on the site at various times for several years now. There is no doubt that you folks are willing to pressure-test your techniques, and to critique one another as well, but to do so with positive reinforcement. It is just the type of environment I seek as I begin, once again, to try and find a path to follow in my search for truth. I guess my search is not only for truth in combat, but for the truth in myself as well. When I read posts here and watch DBMA material that is available on the 'net, I get the sense that through this brotherhood, one not only tests his technique and his willingness to use them in a realistic venue, but also may find some inner truths in the process.

So, herein lies my dilemma. I am seeking to start training again, but before I ask for opinions, I need to provide some background information. First, I am TERRIBLY out of shape. I am soon to be 39 years old, 6' 1" tall, 325 lbs., and an insulin-dependant diabetic. I am very serious about becoming as healthy as is possible, and am willing to do what it takes to do this, but I do have to deal with these realities; it will be a slow process for me. Locally, I have very few choices when it comes to material that is at least somewhat acceptable to me. Most of the schools in the area are what I would classify as "McDojos", and I refuse to waste my time studying material that I will have to deprogram later for the sake of getting a workout. When I have attended classes at the somewhat acceptable schools, the cardio portion of the classes has been very intimidating as I know that there is no way I would be able to hang with the class during this portion. In fact, I visited a Krav Maga class, and I swear I would have literally died during the first 15 minutes of the class had I been a participant. There are a couple of local schools that offer some form of FMA, but they are PMAA (Julius Melegrito) schools, and I haven't been able to find much information on that organization. Any opinions on his material would certainly be appreciated.

My alternative to attending a school is to start my own small training group. Now, with this option, I can definitely work at my own pace, but I lack the structure to build a strong foundation that I would have if I attended a good school. Working at my own pace at doing something incorrectly is not what I'm after here. Also, with the training group, I would hopefully have the chance to experience the type of "brotherhood" that you members of the pack enjoy. So, I guess my question for the forum members is, what would you recommend to someone in my situation? My current train of thought is to buy the first set of DBMA videos, work the material at my own pace, and hopefully find someone during the process that is knowledgeable enough to critique me. What do you guys think? Can I be successful training myself? Can I work the DBMA material into a strong base that I can effectively use against other styles in a training group? I find the DLO material fascinating, and I would love to train with that type of intenstiy in the future, especially since I have a CCW and carry every day. If I want to apply what I learn in that type (DLO) of context, am I on the right track by starting with the first series of videos?

I thank all of you for taking time to read this post, and I will truly appreciate any insights that you have to offer.
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"You can twist perceptions, Reality won't budge" - Neil Peart (RUSH)
Dog Howie
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Posts: 75

Unexpected Anomolies


« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2009, 07:02:26 PM »

Sig: I think I may have some experience in some of the areas of concern that you have expressed so I will limit my responses to just those areas. Gentlemen, I defer to any of you more experienced in these areas to critique/correct/adjust my ideas.,,

....and appreciate the fact that they were willing to test it in the most realistic ways possible, without excessive risk to the practitioner.
You'll see it time and time again around here...stick fighting is dangerous. I don't know what you consider "excessive" risk to be. And, while I'm certain that it is not a common occurance, I broke my thumb at the last gathering ( it is also not uncommon). Now, I have absolutely no problem with that. I found my fights to be EXTREMELY fulfilling, gratifying and.... I could go on and on. But they are definitely not "safe". And, for me, I don't want them to be. I need the threat anad danger to actually learn. My experience was life-altering... 'nuf said.
Quote
I am TERRIBLY out of shape. I am soon to be 39 years old, 6' 1" tall, 325 lbs., and an insulin-dependant diabetic. I am very serious about becoming as healthy as is possible, and am willing to do what it takes to do this, but I do have to deal with these realities; it will be a slow process for me. <SNIP> When I have attended classes <snip> ... the cardio portion of the classes has been very intimidating...<snip> I swear I would have literally died during the first 15 minutes of the class had I been a participant.

I am a 56 year old guy, who had a few months of KB and JJ (a couple of years ago) and a 3-day seminar in stickfighting (a couple of months ago) and who had my first two fights at the the most recent "Gathering" (a few weeks ago). The only physical experience I had was that I have lifted weights for 25+ years. I started at 277# and got to 252# at the Gathering on  my way to 240# (or less depending on how I feel about the weight).  The KB and JJ classes that I took a few years ago I just couldn't "take" because, like you, I barely made it through the warm up (and besides that I wanted to have contact fighting and I was a bit impatient). But the goal here is to "warm up" and not compete with others in your group. So, for instance, at the training camp I went to I was FULLY warmed up when most if not all the young bucks were just breaking a sweat. I stopped. I was hot, blood was flowing and I would be foolish to sap all my energy for the actual training. Now that I'm seeking a local MMA gym to further train, I can tell you that if my trainiers don't get the difference in "my needs" and the needs of a well trained, half-my-age college-aged guy then they will not be MY trainers. Others who train with you will respect you for the guts you display being 325# and if they don't then THEY are the ones with a problem. You do NOT need 15 minutes of sprinting... and, yes, I could imagine it would kill you. Look  SIG, any 325# man who gets himself to train has balls... he has BALLS... and anyone who doesn't recognize and appreciate and honor you for having the balls to do that is inexperienced and uninformed at  best. (IMPORTANT NOTE: My opinions ASSUME that you have direct...DIRECT, FULLY DISCLOSED, F-U-L-L-Y disclosed accountability to a qualified medical pro.) [other board members PLEASE chime in here]

I am not diabetic (but am/was borderline) and have made MAJOR changes over the past year to  move from that point (low glycemic index diet and a physician-monitored regime of supplements and medications that HAVE MADE A MAJOR difference for me. Add to that the passion that I have been experiencing for stickfighting, KB and JJ and the cardio just is taking care of itself. I assume that you are under a doctor's care for your diabetes... if I'm wrong then stop here and go get an experienced doc.... you might want to look for a sports medicine doc as they may have some additional insights. I can't talk to the other sections of you post because any more is outside my experience.

Gentlemen, please feel free to augment or offer correction to anything I have just written.

-Howie

 

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SIGnoramus
Newbie
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Posts: 3


« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2009, 07:19:22 PM »

Howie,

First, thank you for taking the time to reply to my post and for the words of encouragement, and congratulations on having the "BALLS" to fight at the Gathering. I find that quite impressive and I like to think that I'll have the testicular fortitude to do it as well one day, or at least the confidence to know that I WOULD do it given the opportunity.

I am definitely under a doctor's care for the Diabetes, but I am in the process of looking for a new doctor as I've found that there seem to be many who don't actually know much about the disease. Most of the doctors I've spoken with give you the American Diabetes Association guidelines and that's it. In my opinion, those guidelines are killing people every day, but that's a rant for another post.

You'll see it time and time again around here...stick fighting is dangerous. I don't know what you consider "excessive" risk to be. And, while I'm certain that it is not a common occurance, I broke my thumb at the last gathering ( it is also not uncommon). Now, I have absolutely no problem with that.
I wouldn't have a problem with that either. When I use the term "excessive risk", I am referring to a bunch of guys who need to prove how bad-ass they are by going all out without regard to the well-being of their partners. From what I've seen and read about the "pack", the egos are checked at the door and the honor system is strictly adhered to. In other words, honor your partner by truly testing him so that he is prepared for the realities of the world, but at the end of the day be able to kick back, have a beer, and not have to deliver said beer to the hospital. I truly WANT to test myself or I wouldn't be on this particular forum.

Today I ordered the Kali Fitness DVD (and a pair of "Crafty" sticks  grin ) and I look forward to incorporating that material into my planned workouts. I think that is the kind of functional material that will hold my interest and truly drive me to improve my skills as I work to build my stamina.

Thanks again for the reply, and I look forward to hearing the opinions of more members.

Clint

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"You can twist perceptions, Reality won't budge" - Neil Peart (RUSH)
CrazyCossack
Newbie
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Posts: 46


« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2009, 07:35:05 PM »

I'd just like to dispel the myth that if your out of shape you can't start taking mma/bjj/krav maga classes because you will die in the first fifteen minutes. I've trained for over 4 years at a mma/bjj/boxing gym and we get someone in at least once a month who can't finish the warmups.

So what we do is we all take turns kicking the shit out of him and forcing him to sprint, do bearcrawls, and burpies for hours until his heart explodes because we're all invincible ninjas and like to show it.

In reality, we realize people come in all different shapes sizes and fitness levels, if someone starts the warmup and doesn't finish usually nothing is said to them, we just accept it and carry on.  If something is said then it'll be a positive thing (maybe after a few times you tell them to "keep it up" or something like that to try to push them a little bit).  Then we'll start technique portions of the class, usually they'll start up again, and if they are up to it they will drill, train, roll for as long as they can.  I've never seen, or heard of someone called out, or put down about their weight or poor fitness level at the gym. I've heard lots of stories about bigger guys losing 40 or 50 pounds since they started training jiu-jitsu, I've never heard a story like that though from the guy who never showed up.

As for the stickfighting portion its going to be very hard if you don't have a training partner, I know from experience that its really hard to do drills alone and stuff like that.  

As far as the balls for stickfighting things... In my experience it's not nearly as painful as it looks.
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Howling Dog
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Posts: 392


« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2009, 07:39:40 AM »

Woof, Just my 2cents worth.
Quote
As for the stickfighting portion its going to be very hard if you don't have a training partner, I know from experience that its really hard to do drills alone and stuff like that. 


Kinda. The original real contact stcik fighting series is pretty much desigend for solo training. I highly recommend this series for any begginer. Its outstanding and can be done alone.

Quote
As far as the balls for stickfighting things... In my experience it's not nearly as painful as it looks.

I'm not sure of Crazy Cossacks experience, but from my experience, I've seen plenty of guys go from the gathering to the hospital,  plenty of guys knocked out cold, cut,(in need of stitches) ect, ect.
I personally have broken a knuckle. feel fortunate thats the worst for me, though I have been clobbered pretty severly from time to time. rolleyes
...I guess we could conclude pain is relative. cheesy
                                             C-HD
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Howling Dog
maija
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Posts: 299


« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2009, 10:12:23 AM »

I have heard of great results from crossfit type workouts - specially tailored to one's abilities - Perhaps there are personal trainers in your area who can help you get started?
There are guys in the UK who are developing more fight oriented workouts also, with the crossfit idea as an inspiration. I know of one guy who is training someone at much the same start point as yourself. The guy has lost weight, gained strength and condition, and has started some bag and pad work to integrate the fighting aspect, all with workouts kept within the parameters of his ability.
If you get some quality instruction up front, later it is easier to create workouts more specific to your needs - e.g, stick work, ground work etc and develop a personal practice once you have understood the principles behind creating one.
Good luck!
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It will seem difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first.
Miyamoto Musashi.
CrazyCossack
Newbie
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Posts: 46


« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2009, 03:42:10 PM »


I'm not sure of Crazy Cossacks experience, but from my experience, I've seen plenty of guys go from the gathering to the hospital,  plenty of guys knocked out cold, cut,(in need of stitches) ect, ect.
I personally have broken a knuckle. feel fortunate thats the worst for me, though I have been clobbered pretty severly from time to time. rolleyes
...I guess we could conclude pain is relative. cheesy
                                             C-HD

Your probably much much more experienced than me, thats maybe why my recollection is it's not so painful, I've only ever had 3 full contact stickfights so take my advice for what it's worth.

Also pain is relative but note I put its not as painful as it LOOKS, that doesnt mean its not very painful, just that I would say typically it looks like it hurts more than it does. cause it does look like it hurts alot.
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SIGnoramus
Newbie
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Posts: 3


« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2009, 05:23:24 PM »

Thanks for all of the responses guys. I have hooked up with a couple of guys within a reasonable distance from where I live, and we're going to form a small training group to work on various types of material. These guys are aware of my current condition and are more than willing to work out with me. C-Howling Dog, I definitely plan on buying the first series of DVDs and working that material on my own. I'm also planning to record myself as I work the stick material so that I can compare my form to the DVDs. Thanks again to all for the responses and encouragement.

Clint
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"You can twist perceptions, Reality won't budge" - Neil Peart (RUSH)
Jonobos
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Posts: 143


« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2009, 01:37:00 PM »

I think it is important that you just find a place and/or routine you are comfortable with (and that a doctor agrees with) and get started. Get the first dvd series and start working on it. Add some mild cardio and see where it takes you. As along as you understand that you probably won't see instant results you should be fine. Just keep at it, and as you progress you can always add more!  If you are like the majority of people out there then getting started will be the hardest part.

I really like the idea of recording yourself so you can compare your movements with those of the videos. I have found watching recordings of myself sparring to be an invaluable resource in my progress. You have a reference point, and can see the areas where you look choppy! Thanks for the idea   grin

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