Carol pointed me here and I like the place already! Those who know me from Martial Talk will already know this stuff but for those who've never met me before, a bit of background: Anyhow, I'm Andy, and I'm glad to finally be taking up martial arts again, and I'm very happy to be here tonight Just a little background on how I got to be where I am: From the time I was 12 till the time I was 20 I was on and off involved in quite a few arts myself, and tho I never got higher than brown belt in one of them, i was exposed to about 7 styles that I got varying degrees of formal instruction in and independently kept reading up on anything i could find; if it was to do with a martial art i'd never seen, I wanted it. (I was a young, stupid, 20 year-old Boston Irish kid who thought that'd give him all the answers to make the best style there was, , what can I say? Then while I was yet so young and stupid, I figured out, about the same time I figured out a lot of things, that any system of hand to hand combat, regardless of national origin, will teach a person one or more of the same five things: *hand/arm blows *Leg/foot blows *Grappling while standing *Grappling while grounded *Weapons And any or all of those things can work in a real fight if the person using them is a real fighter. Eventually I finally realized that what mattered most was not how your movements looked or if they were "scientific" or not, but how you handled the adrenaline dump into your system and how many techniques are *right there* in your nervous system that you can cover a standing/grappling/armed/whatever situation with that you can snap off lightning quick, and to that end, understanding what each art's function is, and choosing which functions suit his /her abilities/limits/temperament, and then doing the "absorb what is useful" bit. Thing is though, come time you reach that point you probably have visited at least 5 styles trying to "find yourself" 'fore you finally realize you were always there, and you know enough at last to make informed decisions about what suits you. Now that I'm 28 and been around the block a few more times, most of my preconceptions are gone, and I've no longer got any grand illusions about who or what I am, I'm not gonna become some grand poobah of some new art, I ain't gonna bring the martial arts world to its knees, all's I'm gonna do....is take a look with my now hopefully wiser eyes, at my limitations, what styles exist that function in a way that makes my limitations less "limiting", and go from there. And to this end my choices have been thus: FMA/Silat are what i'd like to/ have started training in as much as I can Mainly because: * All have a reputation for adaptability and/or simplicity. * i like the fact they seem to have a natural flowing response rather than rigid prearranged actions,and are brain dead simple to learn, the work comes in getting them down(any person can do sinawali *drills*. NOT everyone can spar using them--certainly not me--YET) *I like the fact that they seem to transition from armed to unarmed and back with very little hitch stylistically(your nervous system won't hesitate while your mind tries to tell your body "It's a weapon. Change fighting styles" and gets you killed). * I wear glasses and can't afford contacts/ corrective surgery right now. I'm severely nearsighted. If during a crisis those glasses come off my pistol just became worthless unless there's a laser sight on it and sufficient darkness to see it(my eyes without glasses can no longer use the sights but CAN still track the dot).I can however see enough for H2H/contact weapons just barely enough and such training is best there(If it were available around me I would have actually considered Wing Chun as well since it and FMA are supposed to have a lot in trapping range, Wing Chun's a Punching style, I used to box, and of course the trapping is an excellent area to be skilled at both because so few people are comfortable fighting that tight and for close in when you're nearsighted). In my spare time I go to the range(I am also, for the time being at least, an NRA certified and Massachusetts State Police certified firearms instructor, which turned out to be a waste of time because the state won't cover you for insurance) , I also enjoy screenwriting, I'm a connoisseur of Dumb Horror Films and a sefl proclaimed master of vampire legends(I kinda had to become one with the screenplay I'm writing ). And that brings me up to speed. Look forward to conversing with you guys . Andy.