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  • What if I'm not sure if my question fits the guidelines?

    This is far more common than you'd think, which is exactly what meta is for. Post your question up for and ask if it's appropriate to ask here. If it is, the community will tell you. If it's not, chances are there's someplace you can ask it.

1 Answer 1


From reading the FAQ, this category of question is suggested as banned, but I'd say it's actually answerable depending on the specific question.

"What martial arts system is "best" or if you should practice art A instead of art B (not constructive)"

For instance;

"I am currently training Shotokan Karate twice per week, I would like to train martial arts more frequently and I have two options, ITF TKD and Judo, which should I pick?"


"Shotokan Karate and ITF TKD are quite similar, so there would be redundancies in the training. Also, ITF TKD prefers a higher/narrower stance while Shotokan Karate prefers a lower/wider stance, so habits from one style could impede your progress in the other. Judo has some small overlap with katas of its own, and some throws that remain as part of Shotokan kata bunkai, so there is some small cohesion between the two, but in general they cover completely different areas of combat and their respective strengths are the other style's weakness leading to much better well roundedness. Due to the lack of conflict in practicing the styles, your Shotokan experience is unlikely to present a problem in Judo as it might with TKD and Judo training won't cause any setbacks in you Shotokan training the way TKD might, so training Judo in addition to Shotokan is your best option."

I know odds of getting a question like that answered with that kind of specificity is pretty low, but that would just remain an unanswered question, not a bad one.

For a more answerable question.

"I'd like to pick up a grappling style, should I choose Judo or BJJ?"

One possible answer.

"Judo, BJJ usually costs at least twice as much and is far less likely to incorporate adequate standup training compared to modern Judo incorporating adequate ground training. In both cases you'll likely want to get a second gi quite quickly. Even if you splurge on a Mizuno Eurocomp, the money saved in monthly fees will make getting a second one (in blue) much more affordable, while in BJJ the price might leave you stuck wearing a stale gi to practice."

Someone else might have a different answer, but it's still a useful one for anyone else who might be wondering about whether to choose BJJ or Judo (and that is a common dilemma).

  • Unfortunately, the answer is only good subjective if the person answering can demonstrate that they 1.) have experience in both arts to a point of being able to make a quality judgment, and 2.) that their quality judgment is based in a realistic value set. Price does not make training "better" (per your second example), and the overlap in the first could be as much a help as a hinder to someone with the experience to suppress their capabilities.
    – stslavik
    Commented Jul 31, 2012 at 18:10
  • By that same token, those questions where there could conceivably be some quality are the price to avoid questions like "I watch UFC, so I know what the answer is but which is better, BJJ or Slap fighting?" As someone who spent a lot of time on Yahoo Answers, I can show you just how realistic this question is when you allow people to compare A to B in subjective skill sets. The point anyway is that it boils down to the artist, not the art.
    – stslavik
    Commented Jul 31, 2012 at 18:13
  • Price is an important choice, you can't just ignore that equation. If you could, everyone would travel the world training leg-locks with Masakazu Imanari, fight strategy with Greg Jackson, Muay Thai with Duke Roufus, wrestling in Iran, etc, etc. For someone $200 for BJJ might not be affordable, but $35 for Judo is, therefore for that person price does make it better because one they can actually do and the other they can't.
    – Robin Ashe
    Commented Jul 31, 2012 at 18:23
  • 1
    Saying it boils down to the artist not the art is a cop out for people who practice arts that have a tendency of not having too many good artists. I contend that a good artist is so usually because they made the right decision in choosing an art.
    – Robin Ashe
    Commented Jul 31, 2012 at 18:24
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    Price doesn't equate to good training; you're falling into a rhetological fallacy of appeal to money. Just because something costs more doesn't mean it's better. Equally, just because you can afford it, doesn't make it good. I've trained and trained well in a variety of arts. The art itself isn't the problem – each has gaping holes that are easily filled through other arts or more difficultly through in depth examination of oneself. Two people training in the same art under the same instructor are not by default equally as good.
    – stslavik
    Commented Jul 31, 2012 at 21:45
  • No, I'm not falling into any sort of fallacy, you're just not thinking. Too expensive = no training, affordable = training. Therefore a club that's more affordable is better because you can actually train instead of just wishing you could train.
    – Robin Ashe
    Commented Jul 31, 2012 at 22:04
  • Clearly I am thinking; apparently we are having a miscommunication. Consider (I experienced this renting space from someone): If I ran a place that offered "Shotokan Karate" for $80 a month in Orange County, CA (this is actually below market rate here). Now, Student X comes in and trains diligently. You, knowing a fair deal about Shotokan, come into the class one day, perhaps watching your son train and you notice that the kata are off, there's no emphasis on ability, but rather appearance, and other problems. Is this training better than none? Money has no bearing.
    – stslavik
    Commented Aug 1, 2012 at 16:12
  • 1
    That's only a problem if you're doing a style that lacks sparring to actually develop skills. In the case of Judo and BJJ, due to the randori/rolling, you WILL get better, guaranteed. How much is of course a different question, but no matter what, whether you choose Judo or BJJ, it is better than nothing at all.
    – Robin Ashe
    Commented Aug 1, 2012 at 19:49
  • 1
    @stslavik "BJJ or slap fighting" would be closed due to low quality on a number of axes. The fact that it compares styles doesn't need to be one of the forbidden topics. And "artist vs art" ignores the simple fact that someone who only trains aikido will almost certainly not know how to punch. Let's not be willfully ignorant on what someone's background tells us. Commented Aug 3, 2012 at 14:45
  • @DaveLiepmann Have you trained in aikido? When I was studying it, it was heavy in atemi.
    – stslavik
    Commented Aug 3, 2012 at 15:16
  • @stslavik Your beliefs about what kind of training produces a skilled punch are not compatible with my beliefs on the topic. "Heavy in atemi" neither means the same thing to you as it does me, nor has the same significance. Commented Aug 3, 2012 at 15:19
  • 1
    @stslavik Though to be fair, if any aikidoka tested their atemi skills in some objective venue--boxing, MMA, kickboxing, pre-Marquis-of-Queensbury boxing sparring--that could prove me wrong. But then I'd very, very strongly suspect either a wild divergence from mainstream aikido, or cross-training. (NB: Some branches of Wing Chun have done as I describe. Some fail, some succeed. It gives a good sense of the good and bad of Wing Chun.) Commented Aug 3, 2012 at 15:33
  • @stslavik Heavy in atemi doesn't matter. Did you do randori every day?
    – Robin Ashe
    Commented Aug 3, 2012 at 18:25
  • 1
    The comments here demonstrate why those type of questions would be closed as "not constructive."
    – user15
    Commented Aug 3, 2012 at 19:18
  • 1
    They're very constructive, just because people don't like what is said, doesn't mean it's not useful.
    – Robin Ashe
    Commented Aug 3, 2012 at 22:53

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