December 31, 2014

Martial Arts for the Klutzy

Posted in martial arts tagged , , at 3:04 am by mknight1130

Why take a martial art like karate? It teaches you discipline, poise, coordination and intellectual skill. You use discipline when you learn each punch and kick. You learn poise by how you hold yourself and how you react to feedback. You learn coordination by each exercise and kata. You learn intellectual skill when you bout against an opponent. Martial art not only teaches about the body. It teaches about life. You can learn martial arts at your own pace and see the progression. As a klutz, this makes martial arts attractive. You can see improvement.

First you will want to choose a martial art. Matthew Weigel from Carnegie Mellon and Lauren Radner, from IBM have generously created a FAQ for the curious at http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~mcweigel/rmafaq/rmafaq2.html#16 . You will find an overview of some well-known styles. The site may not be comprehensive (for example bartitsu is not mentioned). However the site is a work in progress and open to contributions. Matthew provides his email for others to contribute. When you visit this FAQ, you will find that it is well organized. You will see a list of about 40+ martial arts style. Click the link with the style that interests you. You will go to a brief section with a brief introduction, origin, history, description, training, and substyle. Contributors provide an email address for further questions. Some styles list schools and associations where people can train.

Suppose you are looking for a list for a local school near you. You would want to find a directory of martial arts schools. In the case of karate or aikido, the school is called a dojo. Be aware that not all directories list their resources for free and some members have to pay to be put in the site. For example dojo finder at http://dojos.info/ lists karate schools which choose to advertise. You may want to be on the look out for a less biased martial arts directory where a school is listed regardless of how much money is paid. For example, the United States Aikido Federation at http://www.usaikifed.com/dojos/search/ allows you to search or browse a list of accredited schools as well as to see where the school is located. What a great resource!

After choosing a martial arts using something like, http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~mcweigel/rmafaq/rmafaq2.html#16 and surveying schools that are on hand, e.g. at http://www.usaikifed.com/dojos/search/ . You will have a good start. Also, talk with your neighbors or friends, to see what they recommend. When you go to class you are on your way towards becoming more coordinated. Even if you feel klutzy at first, you will find the martial arts journey to be rewarding.

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