Night classes are ending for me soon, and I should be getting a better job if my instructor can flex his connections. That means more money. Now, I've been noticing that I don't really have any decent hobbies other than some casual gaming, watching a lot of movies, playing ball every once in a while, but nothing really worth while. I don't have a girl, don't really want one, so that's not going to take up any important time.
So, with that said, I've come down to two choices. Either I take up Aikido like I've always wanted to, or I sign up for a firearms training course, purchase a hand gun and have fun with that.
Obviously, the second choice is much more expensive, but It would be just as easy since there's virtually no handgun laws in New Hampshire, except for a few small forms I'd have to fill out if I wanted to carry concealed in my vehicle.
The reason I haven't signed up for Aikido, as I've been interested since high school is the quality of training. I've had a lot of friends that have taken many different forms of martial arts, plus boxing and kick boxing, and all I've ever heard from them is that how the American version of martial arts is such a pile of bull****, It's not even funny. The quality of training is awful, the tests are a joke, and the instructors only care about the money. Now, I've also have had friends that had taken martial arts in China town in Boston, and have been trained by classic insructors, masters of their domain, guys who've dedicated their lives to their craft. Those fellas have also taken the 'American' version of martial arts and those are the ones who tell me all the bad stories about 'black belts' getting their asses handed to them by first or second year guys who've trained out of China town.
I have no reason not to believe my friends, and It's not like they were isoloated incidents. I've had conversation from many different friends on the same subject, at different times, without them having the knowledge of previous conversations I've had with other friends. I'll take their word for it.
I don't live in Boston, and there's no way in hell I'll commute two hours just for that. So, my only choice is to research and try to find a legit school with a legit instructor, but how can I go about doing that? Every school I've ever gone to has the trophy rack filled up, but that all seems like a gimmick.
The only real con for choice one is the cost. The actual gun, ammunition, safety gear, cleaning kit, gun case, etc etc. I was looking at Ruger's, and they're nice, but what the hell do I know about weapons? Nothing. I don't know is Ruger is a legit firearms manufacturer, I wouldn't know where to buy one, what kind of ammunition to buy, which cleaning kits are the best, what classes I should take.
ISH, help out a brother. Help me choose my next hobby.
Honestly joint manipulation and pressure points are basically useless when you're fighting someone who is trained in almost any form of combat. Aikido is not practical and doesn't work in real world situations. If all your buddies are telling you "American Martial Arts" are a joke they are definitely training in the wrong places and probably learning TKD or something similar.
If you are interested in learning a lethal and highly effective form of striking, I'd strongly suggest you study Mauy Thai. There are tons of reputable schools all over the country, I'd be willing to be good ones in your area. Not sure how interested you are in learning ground fighting or submission grappling but there are definitely good schools in your area.
If you are studying aikido to stay in shape than it's cool and serves a purpose but if you actually want to learn how to better defend yourself look elsewhere.
Do some jiu jitsu. Its fun, keeps you in great condition, and gives you moves that would allow you to take and submit anyone down that has no formal training. Its a very complex fighting style and really appreciated once you get into it.
raquetball? ... i think its better competition wise because you could find players among similar level.. it does not require a lot of athletic ability (unless your talking about the beasts on it), unlike basketball... and the average joe can get pretty good at it to where playing againts somebody makes it competitive and fun....