Is it time to branch out?

Learning other Martial Arts styles

At what point are you comfortable enough in your main martial art that you want to branch out and try new things?

My head instructor from my childhood is amazing at Tang Soo Do. He’s now a 6th degree international master, which is pretty awesome. But not only did he study Tang Soo Do, he also decided to start studying Capoeira, Modern Arnis, and other styles. And he would bring these styles into our classes to give us a better perspective of different styles. It was pretty cool.

I’m at the point now, where as a 2nd degree black belt, I’m wondering if it’s time to actively learn another style in addition to Tang Soo Do. I’m decent at Modern Arnis but I’m lacking a local instructor to teach me, and I’ve tried other styles during clinics or when we have a special guest instructor, but I haven’t actively tried to progress in another style.

When I was in college, I had absolutely no interest in learning other martial arts. I was bummed that I couldn’t find a Tang Soo Do studio near me, and didn’t consider looking for anything else. But now I’m older, wiser(debatable), and have slightly (very very slightly) more money than I did during college. And now I want to be proficient in something new.

So where should I start? My brother/current instructor has recently started taking a Tai Chi class on his free weeknight. My other brother is really getting into learning combat lightsaber drills and forms (it’s super legit, I’m learning too), and my dad started doing Tai Chi as well. I tried Tai Chi a little bit. To be honest I didn’t give it too much of a chance. It just doesn’t seem like it’s for me.

Edit: Tried Tai Chi again at a festival yesterday (4/9/2016) and actually really enjoyed it! Maybe it’s worth looking into again?

The lightsaber stuff is a lot of fun. The whole method behind the creation of the forms is really interesting, and I look forward to learning more. I’ll definitely be writing a post about it at some point. But it’s still just something we’re teaching ourselves.

What to do?

Recently, I ordered a kickboxing DVD. Kickboxing comes from a combination of karate, Muay Thai, and boxing, making it a mix of interesting martial arts.  I had never tried kickboxing before, but holy shit was this fun! It’s all the things I like about martial arts, but with more of a cardio work-out. The only problem was I don’t have a bag, so I was just punching and kicking the air.

In my Tang Soo Do class a few weeks ago, we donned boxing gloves and did some bag work. I realized that simply having a bag was what I needed to make kickboxing more fun.

Why am I so stupid?! I forgot how much I like hitting things! 

I’ve been thinking about it for a while, and then today I got an email from Groupon with a deal for a local boxing/kickboxing club that does 1 hour classes several times a week. That, along with how affordable the prices seem, made me think I might as well give it a shot! I bought a Groupon for 2 weeks of unlimited classes.

And I will try it out…once I get over my anxiety about exercising in public in front of strangers, of course. I’m hoping to get a good work-out, learn new techniques, meet new people, and have some good drills to bring back to my studio. I want to start being able to teach the other students new things. Hopefully they enjoy hitting things too. And hopefully the kickboxing classes don’t suck!

Now that I’ve written a post about it, I am obligated to actually go through with attending the classes.

If kickboxing doesn’t work out, do you have any other recommendations?

One thought on “Is it time to branch out?

Leave a Reply