I've done threads like this in a few of the various Web communities I belong to, and not only have I been surprised by the replies, but it also became enriching to all involved. Figured I'd start one here to see if I can get similar results.
I'm wondering if there are any other martial arts practitioners out there, and if so, which art(s) do you practice?
Being disabled, most people don't believe I'm an active karateka/judoka (Shotokan and Kodokan, respectively), albeit a relative newcomer, but I'm slowly taking pride in admitting such. I even completed my first tournament, taking home a first-place win in adaptive traditional form. Not too shabby for a Dai Ju Kyu on forearm crutches, I have to say.
My overall aim for this thread - to collaborate with any and all MA practitioners, swap stories, and share insights regarding training. I've found that by 'rubbing elbows,' practitioners from all arts learn something new by sharing their experiences.
Maybe I'm posting in vain, but I figure it's worth a try. Who knows what we might learn?
Having parents and elders who always told me to 'eat more' since very young **, I was not amused at my appearance when I reached adulthood. One by one I denied them any influence in my future development. I now adopt a rather spartan lifestyle and usually subsist on 2 meals a day, which is adequate for my rather immobile day job.
** Some kind of perverted Asian culture that enjoys having fat kids
Inspired by watching anime and movie swordplay I took up a 'light' version of Kendo called Sports Chanbara which involved airsoft knives, swords and polearms. I enjoyed Chanbara a lot due to the thrill of PvP and also because it was a very 'freestyle' sport and you could devise your own optimal stance and techniques.
I ended up with a combination of the quick lunges of Western fencing and decisive Roman gladius tactics against my opponents that none of the club could understand. I also went against my coach's suggestion to specialise in the long sword (to make use of maximum reach) because the wide swings do not match my 'close with enemy and deny him tactical initiative' technique.
Instead my preferred arms were dagger and shield, get in close and gladius stab the enemy. The closer I am to the target, the less effective his attacks are, or at least, that's how I play it.
For actual "PvP" combat I deliberately enter the arena with no fighting stance, just walk normally when the match starts and when I get within melee range I just hit the mental "attack pattern alpha" key and before I know it, I'm done with him. Nothing like a little fun with animal instinct.
It was fun until my club decided to gang up on me and deny me any sort of advancement or participation in contests, because they never had anyone do psychological warfare tactics on them before and use them successfully in duels.
There was however, some good feedback from my skill at (airsoft) arms from rival clubs and I helped train them when we had joint trainings and such.
I soon left the club and the sport due to lack of sportsmanship (people played to win, and couldn't stand being beaten by me the newbie) and never touched martial arts again since 2003.
But wanting something to do other than sit in my office playing with my pillows I took up an introductory course in Krav Maga and Floro Fighting Systems last December and I'll see how that turns out. I'm not young anymore and have difficulty obtaining the optimal stance of FFS which is very unbalanced, but I find I enjoy the brutal hand to hand of KM much more.
I mean, in the real world, I'm not going to be carrying a damned 7" kitchen knife along. Fists and feet are the fastest things to engage the enemy with.... and they always pass Customs inspection too
When I was young I was always for some reason the prime target for those stupid Chinese gangsters, so I carried rather large (for my size) bladed weapons as a deterrent. Now, with superior tactics and logic, I dispense with those unwieldy tools.
I've been practising Martial Arts since 1989 and I've found it to be a very rewarding experience. I'd recommend martial arts to anyone that may be interested, whether for fitness, confidence of the social aspect. I currently hold a 4th Degree black belt (Yondan) in Jujitsu-Kempo and Judo. I have also studied Kobudo (Japanese Weapons Arts, Jo, Tachi), ZNKR Jodo & Iaido; but not long enough to reach a Dan grade. Also done a fair bit of boxing.