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Old 04-16-2005, 12:34 AM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 63
Movie MA/Advice for Friends

Hey all. I went to see Ong Bak last weekend with a couple of friends of mine. We were all very impressed with the MA in the film. From what I hear, Jaa did his best to preserve Muay Thai on screen, rather than "flash it up" to impress people. One of the guys I went with was so impressed with the strength of the style that it kindled in him this urge to take up a MA. He wants to do muay thai, naturally, but he said he might take up karate or kung fu if he can't find a place to learn it.

I've been thinking a lot about this and I've got a pile of questions and thoughts. I'll try and organize them as best I can so that I can get some feedback on this.

For those who are more familiar with muay thai and have seen the film, do you find that the style was preserved in the film? The maneuvers looked effective, but were they embellished at all in the film? Jaa did spend a lot of time in the air, after all.

How long might it take to become proficient in the art? Is there a lot of strength and durability training?

I've done some reading online about muay thai and most sites either boast its effectiveness or just talk about history. Does anyone have an objective general opinion on the art itself? Not to question its effectiveness or practicality, but might there be a similar art that is better developed? Should I suggest to my friend that he might want to try another art rather than muay thai, like another kickboxing art? I should probably mention here that he doesn't think aikido is for him.

Do you believe that my friend might be taking up martial arts for the wrong reasons? I'm not asking so much about the moral questions behind joining out of "desire to kick ass", but more about maybe he "saw something pretty and wants it" kind of thing. I know that a lot of people joined aikido after seeing Segal in a movie and found they liked it, but there were also many who left once they realized that aikido was not quite what Segal was doing on the big screen, and also that it would take years of practice to reach that level.

I've been talking a lot about MAs with my friend these days and I'm not sure he is looking for a martial art because he really has a passion about it. Aikido really spoke to me as a martial art, and I'm definitely in it for the long run, so I guess I've developed this idea that there is some reason to join a MA other than the desire to have a good workout or to gain power. Everyone has their own reasons, but am I wrong to believe this? If my friend is just trying to settle for what is available, should I try to convince him to research a MA that speaks to him before committing to one?

I guess most of all, I want to advise my friend on the subject of MA and what they mean but I'm just not sure how to go about it without sounding like a know-it-all or someone who is trying to tell him what to do. Sorry if I sound pretentious or anything like that in this post. I don't want to disrespect anyone's choice in martial arts. I'm just eager to hear people's opinions on this sort of thing. I'm sure that I'm not the first person who wants to offer advice to someone else about MAs.
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