What are the Best Martial Arts Schools in Austin? Part 2


Here are 3 self defense arts that I find most effective, as well as schools in Austin, Tx that I’ve been impressed by.

1. Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do

I chose to study this art for a reason. I’ve always loved Bruce Lee and been inspired by his fighting skills. And the thought of having his same badass-ery one day is what drew me into my obsession with Jeet Kune Do.

Jeet Kune Do is an approach to self defense that stresses simplicity in its movements. Dirty tactics are emphasized, such as eye poking and groin strikes (and even biting and foot stomping).

JKD also stresses realistic partner training drills, because you can’t learn how to block a punch unless you actually have somebody trying to punch you. Gloves and other protective equipment are worn so that nobody gets hurt.

Bruce Lee was highly influenced by Boxing, so much of the punching and footwork comes from there.

Lee also believed that it was important for every person to keep an open mind and to use whatever worked for them. No one has all the answers. And not everybody is built the same. So find what works for you and discard the rest.

In this way, JKD training can be looked at as almost more of a martial laboratory than a school. Students use drills and live sparring to experiment and find their own best approach to self defense.

As far as Jeet Kune Do training in Austin is concerned, might I recommend my own wonderful little gym, Austin Impact Jeet Kune Do? ? We emphasize fun, ego-free training. We promote good spirit and camaraderie among the gym members by holding monthly get-togethers and bbq’s. And we ensure that everyone spars at an intensity that is fun for both partners. We also offer fitness classes as well.

2. Krav Maga

Krav Maga is an Israeli form of combat that emphasizes easy-to-learn techniques, aggression, and training under combat-like conditions.

When adrenaline is released into the body in sizable amounts it can cause our fine motor skills to go completely out the window. Instinct and gross, large body movements take over. Krav Maga takes this fact into account and designs its self defense responses accordingly, using techniques that closely mimic that natural instinct.

Students are also given drills that teach one to react aggressively when attacked. After all, technique means nothing if one is frozen in fear. On the other hand, when one can call upon the will to win at all costs, the chances of succeeding are much better despite how “good” one’s technique is or isn’t.

Finally, combat and stress is exhausting. And it’s important to know how to deal with exhaustion amidst a fight. So in Krav Maga, students will first do exhaustive fitness boot camp drills before practicing self defense in order to make it more realistic.

As far as gyms here in Austin, I recommend checking out the Jett Garner Martial Arts gym.

3. Wing Chun Kung Fu

For a more traditional style, Wing Chun is an excellent option.

As tradition goes, Wing Chun (also spelled Ving Tsun) was developed in the Shaolin Temple as a method of fighting that could be taught easily and quickly. At the time, there was a revolt going on in China and many people were seeking out Shaolin training.

In the end the temples were destroyed and Wing Chun was largely lost.

One of the original founders of Wing Chun managed to escape and went into hiding.

A few years later the founder taught the style to a young girl who was being forced to marry against her will. She learned the art quickly and was able to defeat her soon-to-be husband in a fight, winning back her freedom from him.

Whether or not this account is completely accurate, Wing Chun is known for its emphasis on techniques meant to counter bigger, stronger foes.

It focuses on simplicity and has a very narrow range of attacks, spending the majority of its training perfecting those attacks and learning how to apply them in any situation. It uses leverage and hand trapping to nullify attacks while creating openings to counter.

If Wing Chun is the route that you choose, I recommend checking out the Moy Yat Kung Fu Academy.

Stay tuned for part 3 of this series, where I cover Performance Arts here in Austin, Tx.

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