ISDC Mail List


Recommendation from a Student

Just about everybody already knows the mental and physical benefits of martial arts training. As a cardio workout it increases circulation, relaxes the mind and body and the endorphin release makes you feel all around better. It also tones and builds muscles. So, it is a given that training in the marital arts has many benefits, but which school is right? On my short ride from Poway High School I pass at least 4 other martial arts training centers. So why study at International as opposed to any of the tons of schools out there? I can only give you my personal experience.I have had the very fortunate experience of training at four other schools before coming to International (Self Defense Centers). Growing up in Long Island, New York, I first took lessons at a school called "removed". At the time I was about 12 years old. First off, I was uncomfortable because I was the only person in the beginners class that did not drive themselves to the school. There was no separation between adults and children. But even at the young age I could tell that this was a watered down, commercialized mix of self defense designed to make money rather than educate.After giving up on martial arts for a couple of years I found another small school to study at. It was simply called "removed". My Shihan was a great guy, and I did feel like I was learning something real, something traditional, but maybe too traditional. I never had the faith that I was learning something that could be practically applied to a real world situation.When I went to college I moved into Queens, New York and found a new school. One that had just opened a week before in fact, - "removed". Now this place was all the things that the previous schools were not. This place was hardcore. There were no women, there were no children. Classes were testosterone filled; you could cut the machismo with a knife. I had no doubt that I was learning something with history, my young teacher was very educated in the history of our Filipino based martial art. I had no doubt that it was real. Injuries like bloody mouths, gashes on and above eyes, sprains, dislocations, fractures and yes, even breaks where an all to common occurrence. I realize that I was very fortunate to never sustain any serious injuries, but I did have an injury to the muscle around my left shoulder blade that I will carry with me forever. I got the flu during my second year training there and was out of commission for about 2 weeks. I came back and just didn't have the same strength or endurance that I had before. I was sucking wind and fighting to keep my hands up during a drill on the Muay Thai bags, My teacher knocked me on my a** and cursed my out. I walked out of that place and never looked back.There were actually two other schools that I trained at also, but so briefly they're not worth mentioning.Finally I came out to California and after taking the time to investigate a number of schools I found International and I can say that, impossibly, it is, everything to all people. At International I have no doubt that I am learning a real, a practical, martial art with a rich tradition and history. But most importantly International allows me to train the way I need to train.I am a 28-year-old high school English teacher. I am not training for professional competition and they understand that. As I've heard the senior Mr. Mechling say, "When you're done, your done". This does not purport mediocrity. It shows an understanding that we need to understand our bodies our limitations and ourselves. Knowing that they will understand when I say I can't go on anymore makes me never want to quit. This creates an atmosphere essential to learning. I've never trained at a school that had such a strong sense of community. International is a family.There are several styles of martial arts taught at International. It is a beautiful and practical reflection of the real world. Every martial art has its strengths and weaknesses. Tae-Kwon Do is famous for its fast, high and smooth kick combinations. Judo is famous for its chokes, throws and locks. But what happens to each of these when taken out of their element. What happens to the Tae-Kwon Do fighter when he finds himself on his back with his opponent on top of him? What happens to the Judo practitioner when his opponent is barraging him with punches and kicks. The ideal taught at International is to not limit yourself to one thing and therefore, be all things. In a typical lesson we drill the natural progression of encounters, from a standing position, to the ground and everything in between- up, down and in the air. A master of the International style is like a Boy Scout, always prepared. I have complete and total faith in this system. Unlike " removed to avoid defamation", the biggest factor in success is not just who's faster, stronger and more aggressive. Although those things are essential to success, International, supports and teaches technique and skill over brute physical strength.I've never been so confident in my ability to protect myself I've never been so comfortable and satisfied in a martial arts school. When you feel comfortable, you keep coming back. When you keep coming back, you make progress. Studying at International has become a central part of my life. Never before have I studied at school for more than two years, but I'm sure I will still be at International in 10 or, (God willing) 20 years. To anyone considering joining a martial arts school, I say, just come down and try it out. You won't be disappointed and you won't want to walk away.Sincerely,

Peter C.

american street combat

euro karate


Copyright ©1993-2007 ISD
All rights reserved.
This material may not be published,
rewritten or redistributed in any form.
Use of this site signifies your
agreement to the terms of use.