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White Belt
White Belt

Joined: 13 Jun 2012
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:19 am    Post subject: How to transition to another martial art? Reply with quote

Hello everyone.

I have been studying Muay Thai for about 5 years. I loved every second of it. Recently, over the past 10 years, I have had to go inactive due to personal and financial reasons, and I haven't been able to train for that long. It has been some time.

Over that time, I did do some research on different martial arts, and I came across a WuShu school in my area. I am interested in learning that martial art, but I do have an issue.

I feel that I have so much more to learn in Muay Thai. I got to black belt, but I feel there is so much more that I can learn.

I don't have the finances to be paying for both WuShu and Muay Thai classes. Not only that, but I would feel like I wasted my entire time training in Muay Thai just to switch to a different martial art. I liked Muay Thai, and I would love to return, but WuShu interests me a bit more now that I am older.

I just... I would feel that since I am a black belt in Muay Thai, a transition to a new martial art would be so much... well... it would be weird. I would have to start from white belt all over again, and I feel like I am giving up on more Muay Thai training that I can do. I would love to return to Muay Thai as well, but I don't have the money for it.

How do you all face transitions? Does starting from white belt over again have an affect on you like it does me? I would be a complete beginner in a new style, and all the 5 years I dedicated to Muay Thai, I would feel like it was a waste of time now if I don't return.
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Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 23 Jun 2003
Posts: 102
Location: Georgia
Styles: Tae Kwon Do, Gracie Jiu Jitsu

PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's always hard to start anything new. Unfortunately, your resources (specifically, your time & money) are finite so you have to choose. It's hard to go back to being the beginner; you're no longer the top dawg/big kahuna of the dojo. Early on, the temptation to return to the world you're familiar with is overwhelming. If you're willing to be humble, though, it can also open your eyes, exposing you to new things and spurring you on to greater growth.

In the wake of the early UFC, plenty of traditional martial artists gave up their styles to take up BJJ, so it's been done before, and I doubt any of those martial artists who made black belt in BJJ would say they regret it.

The only advice I can give you in making your choice is imagine where you'll be 10 years from now for each decision. Which road appeals to you more? Do you wanna' be Tony Jaa or Jet Li? Also, what is it that appeals to you about about Wushu? Is it the forms, weapons training, acrobatics, or something else? Is there any way you could meet that need by staying with Muay Thai. If you like weapons, you could get an instructional DVD on the Krabi Krabong, a pair of Thai swords. If you would like to start practicing forms, I've seen some Muay Thai forms on YouTube, so they do exist. You just have to find a way to learn them. They're also quite impressive; granted, they're not as acrobatic as Wushu forms.

Lastly, your training in Muay Thai will not be a waste of time if you do switch. Your flexibility and conditioning will carry over. If that particular school does any sparring, your timing and sense of rhythm will also aid you; you just have to be patient as you're climbing the learning curve.
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Brown Belt
Brown Belt

Joined: 21 Jun 2010
Posts: 734

Styles: kyokushin

PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 9:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WuShu and Muay Thai are so very very different!

Interestingly enough, two Kyokushin folks at open sparring at my dojo today were talking about how they used to do WuShu. One trained in Kyokushin one day, then WuShu the next. She said it was very weird and awkward going from one to the other, but it was also fun. The both of them also commented on how WuShu is pretty much about form and looking pretty, not about fighting. Your mileage may vary on that, but they said it was more like a martial arts themed dance style, which never involved sparring.

Black belt is just the beginning, from what everyone tells me. :}
"If you can fatally judo-chop a bull, you can sit however you want." -MasterPain, on why Mas Oyama had Kyokushin karateka sit in seiza with their clenched fists on their thighs.
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KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 29324
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

These are tough decisions. But, just to be training and to have this dilemma, shows you are fortunate enough to have these options.

I wasn't aware that Muay Thai had belt ranks, but if you feel you have more to do there, and you can still do the training well, then go for it.

As for starting over; I've been there and done that. It really isn't a big deal. Starting over doesn't mean you lose everything you did previously. It doesn't really take your rank away, either. You just put on a different belt, and get to begin gathering new experiences from a different view point; a very useful thing for training.

So either way, I think you've made a good choice no matter which you choose. Best of luck as you move along your MA journey. Let us know what you do decide.
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