Q&A: Incomplete Question

I wanted to try out martial arts so I was in a trial lesson today, and the first thing they showed us(my friend came with me), after stretches, was a joint lock. We were kinda just following along with a normal class but I thought….

We never got the rest of this, so I’m going offer my best guess.

In most martial arts joint locks are intermediate techniques. They’re not the basis of the martial art. They are very useful. So, they’re good to know, but not central.

With some martial arts (Judo and Aikido come to mind here), joint locks are fundamental. If you’re training in Judo you need to know some locks. That’s not negotiable; almost everything you do is based off of them.

In contrast, something like Shotokan doesn’t depend on joint locks, and they’ll probably be presented in abbreviated form, at least in introductory courses.

Both Shotokan and Judo do seek to control how your opponent can attack. However, they have different ways to do this, and as a result, different priorities in how they train you.

This isn’t intended as a jab at you, but, saying, “trying out martial arts,” is a bit like saying, “I decided to try that ‘car’ thing.” It’s not very specific, and could cover a lot of different forms of driving. With that in mind, I don’t know what your instructor’s priorities would have been.

Also, because you were auditing a class, it’s possible you were dropped into the middle of something. Joint locks are pretty safe to train people on, they restrict movement, but unless someone’s doing something very wrong, there’s no significant risk of injury.

When picking a martial art, you do want to make sure it’s a good fit for you. Reasons to learn a martial art include practical combat (and self-defense) training, physical fitness, sports, or even spiritual growth. Knowing what you’re looking for can help you choose the one that’s right for you.

The same thing is true of your instructor’s style. There’s a lot of different approaches to teaching martial arts. If you’re not comfortable with the school’s approach, you’re free to look elsewhere. This isn’t like public education, you do have the freedom to look around and see if another school will better fit your goals. Though, I do recommend if you have an issue with the approach you try talking to your instructors to understand their methods before simply wandering off.

Unrelated to everything above, as a writer, you do want to work within your limits. Tumblr’s Ask system has a fixed number of characters you can use. If you’re running up against that limit, you probably want to start making decisions on what to cut, so you can get under that. There’s an irony here, formal education will ask you to pad your work, while almost any other situation rewards brevity.

I hope that addresses the issue you were asking about, but like I said, we never got the back end of this question.

-Starke

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