#1 Edited by big_jon (5824 posts) -

I have been thinking about doing 6 or so months of this to learn self defence, well 'proper' self defence. This is something I have wanted to do for a long time, but now it seems like with a new job (If it works out) will give me the money to afford this.

I have taught myself so very basic combo's just hitting the bags at my local gyms, but I want to learn more than what watching youtube tutorials can teach me.

So my question to anyone who has done this sort of thing, is 6 months enough to learn the basics? Yes everyone is different but I mean how likely is it that someone will be much more capable than they were 6 months prior? And is it really going to be doable while working a physical job, hitting the gym, and doing these sorts of classes all at once? I mean how did you manage doing work and dealing with the small injuries that will likely come from striking, and sparing?

#2 Edited by Wrighteous86 (3825 posts) -

Really? This is something you post to a videogame forum...

I still do not understand exercise stuff on Giantbomb.

EDIT: (This is a joke).

#3 Posted by mrfluke (5429 posts) -

Really? This is something you post to a videogame forum...

I still do not understand exercise stuff on Giantbomb.

whatever its not uncommon, a other dude made a thread saying hes on a date :P

#4 Posted by McGhee (6075 posts) -

Most martial arts have classes at night because they know everyone is working. I go to school, the gym 4 times a week, work, and practice Aikido 3 times a week and I can fit it all in. But obviously, Aikido is completely different than what you are looking for in mma or kickboxing, so I can't help you much in that department. You can't learn shit in Aikido in six months but kickboxing or mma? I can't say for sure. I don't understand why you would only want to go for six months and then quit. My guess would be that to truly get good at anything takes longer than that. Six months may be enough time to get just cocky enough to get yourself beaten up if you're not careful. lol

#5 Edited by Wrighteous86 (3825 posts) -

@mrfluke said:

@wrighteous86 said:

Really? This is something you post to a videogame forum...

I still do not understand exercise stuff on Giantbomb.

whatever its not uncommon, a other dude made a thread saying hes on a date :P

Yeah, I know. He posted the above in that thread, and I saw this right after, so I thought it was funny. I don't have a problem with exercise or relationship threads. I get that people are just reaching out to a community they like about something unrelated to video games. I think it's cool. Just funny that he draws a distinction, since both are unstereotypical topics for video gamers (even if that stereotype is now mostly inapplicable).

#6 Edited by tunaburn (1892 posts) -

i owned an MMA gym. had a few cagefights. after my 4th concussion and having problems with short term memory now ive decided to stick with jiu jitsu.

after 6 months you will still not really know anything. it took me a year to get my first submission. 3 years is how long the average is to get your first promotion in jiu jitsu. but for sure even after 6 months youll at least understand it a lot better.

oh and 3 years of going 3 times a week by the way.

#7 Posted by big_jon (5824 posts) -

Really? This is something you post to a videogame forum...

I still do not understand exercise stuff on Giantbomb.

Hey, good one.

#8 Posted by HerbieBug (4208 posts) -

If the interest is self defense, yes a little bit of boxing will help. Six months is enough time to know the mechanics of how to properly throw a punch without hurting yourself more than you hurt the thing you intended to hit.

A grappling discipline is probably the more beneficial for purpose of self defense, though. Greco or freestyle wrestling definitely. Judo too. Brazilian jiu jitsu is apparently something that takes quite a while to get a handle on, as tunaburn describes. An MMA gym can teach you the basics of boxing and wrestling for sure. Probably best place to start looking for lessons these days now that the sport is popular.

#9 Edited by AiurFlux (903 posts) -

I've trained in taekwondo for over 15 years (since I was 10) and Brazilian jiu-jitsu since I turned 18.

Six months won't even advance you to the next belt in jiu-jitsu since going from white to blue typically takes a year by itself, and you might barely be able to advance to the next belt in taekwondo or other stand up style depending on the instructor. And in Brazilian jiu-jitsu the blue belt is typically where you learn most of the techniques for actual combat. You can't and shouldn't rush something like that and that's mostly for your safety. I've pulled groin muscles and barely been able to walk for a week when I was in high school because I pushed myself to far to quickly. If you're just interested in rushing through it don't do it. It's a hazard to you but more importantly it's a hazard to the people that will have to train with you.

Most schools have classes at night and if you're rolling on a mat for 2 hours you really shouldn't need any other exercise for that day. Yes it can make you sore, but that's your body adjusting to the stresses placed on it. As you get more and more comfortable doing it over time your flexibility improves and the risk of injury decreases dramatically. But again I stress to either be in it for the long haul when it comes to the more technical and disciplined styles or don't even get involved in them. If you can't do that then just take up boxing and wrestling for the immediate payoff.

#10 Posted by Icemael (6368 posts) -

6 months probably isn't enough to learn the basics. When I practiced karate I did 2-hour sessions six times a week (one summer I went eleven times a week) and it still took years to become decent. Of course, it also depends on how you define "learning the basics" and "decent".

#11 Posted by Benny (1955 posts) -

I honestly don't know how much free time you have so fitting it in your schedule is probably something you'll be able to sort better yourself. I guess my advice from my time spent boxing is always always wrap your hands and start with almost no power at all and only practice technique. You want to maximise time spent with trainers focusing on technique so that when you try to build power you wont sprain your wrist or what-not or build bad habits.

#12 Edited by Demokk (196 posts) -

6 months is next to nothing when it comes to this. Regardless of why you seek to learn self defense, most of the physical and especially mental skill comes with years of practice. I'd recommend always training under an instructor, it makes a lot of difference.

You shouldn't really need to go to the gym for that day at all.

Regarding injuries, in my 7+ years of martial arts training I have never been injured to the point where I couldn't carry on with my regular activities. Most of the risk comes from recklessness, not doing the exercises properly, or training among people with a poor attitude.

Most importantly, do not rush nor get into one of these disciplines with the sole intent of beating people up. There is so much more that you can get out of this if you train your body and your mind well.

#13 Posted by cmblasko (1417 posts) -

I've wanted to take some sort of martial arts lessons for years now. I just don't know where I would find the time, though.

Anyone take Krav Maga? Remember hearing lots about it a few years ago, wonder if that'd be good for a beginner?

#14 Posted by Demokk (196 posts) -

@cmblasko said:

I've wanted to take some sort of martial arts lessons for years now. I just don't know where I would find the time, though.

Anyone take Krav Maga? Remember hearing lots about it a few years ago, wonder if that'd be good for a beginner?

Krav Maga is barely a martial art from what I know. It is, for the most part, a very aggressive and brutal self-defense system. I have not trained in it nor anyone close to me, so I could be wrong.

#15 Edited by TooWalrus (13272 posts) -

Really? This is something you post to a videogame forum...

I still do not understand exercise stuff on Giantbomb.

A forum in which solely videogames are discussed will not generate a strong feeling of community... Videogames are the common hobby that unite us, sure, but what's so wrong about being a little... "off-topic?" I like reading about @epicsteve's experiences in the military, or @drewbert's adventures in North Korea, and you know what, I even like reading about your travels with @duskvamp. Granted these are what blogs are for, but hey, not everyone's as interesting as you guys. Maybe @big_jon just wants to talk about kickboxing for awhile- that's cool with me too.

#16 Posted by big_jon (5824 posts) -

@toowalrus: I just think asking for relationship advice on a videogame forum is going to lead to a bad time. I love the diversity of topics here, but those ones just bug the hell out of me, these are the sorts of things you discuss with close friends or family in my eyes.

But to each their own right?

#17 Edited by TooWalrus (13272 posts) -

@big_jon: Ooooooooh... right, he was referencing your post in the "I've got a date" thread. I forgot all about that. Well uh, in that case, my apologies to @wrighteous86 then. I thought his was a legitimate post, I probably should have read down the rest of the forum, first. Sorry, bud!

#18 Posted by Wrighteous86 (3825 posts) -

@toowalrus: No problem. I realize most people wouldn't catch the reference. I only noticed it because I read the two threads in quick succession, and I didn't mean anything bad about it. Just thought it was funny. Obviously I like a good off-topic. I've made plenty of them myself, and clearly some people here know what they're talking about when it comes to kick-boxing, which is awesome.

@duskvamp and I actually just got back from a trip to Spain. Don't think she'll do a blog post about it since she's busy with school and I think she worries that it'll start annoying people if she keeps posting that kind of stuff, but it was a great time. Next up: San Francisco.

#19 Posted by EpicSteve (6501 posts) -

Really? This is something you post to a videogame forum...

I still do not understand exercise stuff on Giantbomb.

It looks weird on paper for sure. But mind you that's the point of "Off Topic". GiantBomb's community is mostly a similar demographic of people. So it's also a decent way of gathering a large amount of opinions from like-minded folks.

#20 Edited by Wrighteous86 (3825 posts) -

@epicsteve: I have edited my post to clarify that it was a joke, haha. I'm totally down with Off-Topic.

#21 Edited by EpicSteve (6501 posts) -

You'd be surprised at how little time it takes to learn basics. If there's a class available learn how to fight over and use a weapon. Be sure to stretch before and after. I'm sure there are other dudes there that can show you appropriate stretching. Spend about $50/month on Whey protein is you can afford it. Have three of those drinks a day. It helps with recovery and muscle growth. Try your best to drink a gallon of water a day. And it sounds dumb, but take a multi-vitamin. Perhaps think about taking a Fish Oil supplement. It helps with heart health, but also lubricates joints.

#22 Posted by iam3green (14390 posts) -

i've been thinking about joining. the thing is that it always seems like i'm tired from going to work. when i first started thinking about it i was working part time and now i'm working full time.

#23 Edited by PillClinton (3307 posts) -

@epicsteve: multi and fish oil e'ry day! I'd consider it a must for anyone who's really physically active, or anyone at all for that matter.

#24 Posted by Example1013 (4807 posts) -

Hitman is a master of Krav Maga.

#25 Edited by theveej (874 posts) -

If you want to take classes for self defense purposes I suggest taking jiu jitsu classes. After 6 months you won't be a killer compared to anyone who has done jiu jitsu more than you, but against the average person who has no idea how to grapple you will be very dangerous. That being said people adapt to different disciplines differently. Grappling was natural to me and it took me a good 2 years to get comfortable with my boxing and kickboxing, while I have seen other people pick up kickboxing and boxing much faster than grappling.

In my opinion 6 month is not enough to get used to stand up striking, you might get a few techniques down, but your overall sparring will still be limited. It takes a lot of people a good year to get comfortable with taking punches to the face without freezing up or turning back and running and even longer to start using head movement and foot work effectively. On the other hand jiu jitsu and grappling in general is only useful in a 1vs1 setting or for defensive purposes, if you get into a street fight against multiple people you should not be pulling guard and going for submissions. I recommend taking both jiu jitsu and striking classes (boxing or kickboxing), you would get a basic idea of both disciplines and would probably be okay defending yourself against majority of people with no training. I highly discourage you from taking "mma" classes, in my opinion you should only be doing mma after you are comfortable on your feet and on the ground.

One last thing I will recommend is for you to take your time and find a good gym that suites you. They are a ton of friendly gyms that will help beginners train and get comfortable but they are maybe as many if not more gyms that thing physically abusing and throwing newbies to the wolves to get their ass beat the first few weeks is the way to go. Other gyms are fighter gyms where people are just training for fights, I know many people who want to train part time and do not appreciate getting black eyes and beaten and bruised on the regular if they have to go back to the office the next morning. So go watch some classes and practices and see if the gym fits you and your goals well.

#26 Posted by big_jon (5824 posts) -

@theveej: Thanks for that, I found it informative.

#27 Posted by Ninja_Welshman (505 posts) -

Do it man!! Get down to your local gyms and see what they have to offer. The gym i use actually trains people to fight so there are lots of different classes on offer. I do Wrestling, Thai, BJJ and MMA classes. It was tough at first because I literally knew nothing and there is so much to remember. Try persuading a friend to start with you as it can be intimidating at first. I started 14 months ago and love it. I'm 32 and have no intentions of fighting (I dont even watch UFC!!) but its a good workout and I've made great friends in the process. One word of advice though is leave any ego you might have outside the gym. It took me months to tap anyone and I still get beaten all the time, it'll all part of learning. Go there humble and eager to learn and you'll find people will help you ever step of the way.

Good luck buddy!!