Short Thoughts on Martial Arts I've Done

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North Coast Miller

Level 7 Valued Member
I disagree with the last part of this quote. I'm not a fan of the arts that require you to hit the ground for self defence. In my experience this is a recipe for getting your head kicked in.

I cannot agree more!

Grappling arts are a must for people whose jobs require subduing an individual.

For SD is useful for getting back on your feet or dealing damage from the guard with an intention to get back on your feet. Basic wrestling reversal patterns are also very handy.

It is also important to learn how to access any contact weapons you might have on your person, while on the ground. If you include this aspect you will realize how difficult it is to defend contact weapons, particularly edged weapons, when you are on the deck - is basically a death sentence. And this says nothing of dealing with multiple assailants.

For maximum survivability, any art/strategy for SD that does not emphasize mobility and redirection as job one has a high likelihood of coming up short.
 

Pavel Macek

Level 9 Valued Member
Master Certified Instructor
We say in my martial arts school: You might not be interested in the ground fighting, but ground fighting might be interested in you. For reality-based self protection, "grappling for the street" is a must.

As for BJJ, it is in my eyes the ultimate "art" - even if you know a little bit more grappling than your opponent, you have a huge advantage. Although I am not practicing BJJ formally and I am not very proficient in grappling (pink belt?), I do quite a big deal of MMA grappling a ground fighting, and love it. Please check out the Chinese martial arts perspective here.
 

dc

Level 6 Valued Member
reality-based self protection,
There should be no other form of self protection.
As for BJJ, it is in my eyes the ultimate "art"
I agree it is an art. For self protection you'd do much better becoming a master in the art of reading people, study body language & practice being aware at all times, couple this with a solid straight right & left hook & you'll save yourself much time & money.
I've trained in Bjj but only enough to help while competing in mma, I'm no expert, I can honestly say I've never used it in a SD situation (wrestling & clinch are a different matter). On the other hand I've finished more situations than I can count with a right cross or a left hook by being aware of what's happening & reacting early.
I've mentioned that I've competed in various ma, but should clarify my SD experience, I once lived a life that I'm ashamed of & deeply regret. I was a criminal & drug addict/dealer, standover man. I use to survive via violence because that's what was understood & respected. I enjoyed crossing paths with other martial artists because a very high percentage of them would have a false sense of confidence because of their art but no understanding of real violence.
A real life example: I was in a brawl involving myself & 8 mates. 5 including me were martial artists, the other 3 were thugs(you can include me here aswell). We were outnumbered but got away eventually, the bjj black belt got knockout (& stomped) in under a minute. My 50+yr old ex boxer thug mate put 3 people to sleep. Me now dislikes intensely the person I once was but I do appreciate the lessons learnt. I've spoken to many martial artists about different styles & there use in self defence since I've left my past behind but I'm yet to meet one with much real life experience. In my experience the king of the jungle isn't the elephant, it isn't even the lion, it's the honey badger that tough little bastard that couldn't care less about his own safety or what skills the lion has or how big the elephant is.
 

North Coast Miller

Level 7 Valued Member
There should be no other form of self protection.

I agree it is an art. For self protection you'd do much better becoming a master in the art of reading people, study body language & practice being aware at all times, couple this with a solid straight right & left hook & you'll save yourself much time & money.
I've trained in Bjj but only enough to help while competing in mma, I'm no expert, I can honestly say I've never used it in a SD situation (wrestling & clinch are a different matter). On the other hand I've finished more situations than I can count with a right cross or a left hook by being aware of what's happening & reacting early.
I've mentioned that I've competed in various ma, but should clarify my SD experience, I once lived a life that I'm ashamed of & deeply regret. I was a criminal & drug addict/dealer, standover man. I use to survive via violence because that's what was understood & respected. I enjoyed crossing paths with other martial artists because a very high percentage of them would have a false sense of confidence because of their art but no understanding of real violence.
A real life example: I was in a brawl involving myself & 8 mates. 5 including me were martial artists, the other 3 were thugs(you can include me here aswell). We were outnumbered but got away eventually, the bjj black belt got knockout (& stomped) in under a minute. My 50+yr old ex boxer thug mate put 3 people to sleep. Me now dislikes intensely the person I once was but I do appreciate the lessons learnt. I've spoken to many martial artists about different styles & there use in self defence since I've left my past behind but I'm yet to meet one with much real life experience. In my experience the king of the jungle isn't the elephant, it isn't even the lion, it's the honey badger that tough little bastard that couldn't care less about his own safety or what skills the lion has or how big the elephant is.

I only know one "classically trained" martial artist who has proven to deliver, and he's an absolute terror. Most have no idea, and I agree 100% the folks with experience (preferably when they were at least partially sober) trump or equal most training.

I'll also buck the old adage about fights ending with groundfighting. Most of the ones I've been in or seen ended with most of the damage delivered upright, usually by a pair or trio working over an individual. If it went to the ground it was only to cement an outcome that was already decided.

The one on one fighting that most MA is training people for, rarely happens on the street or in a manner in which most people couldn't get away from. Multiple assailants, weapons, pepper spray, etc are the norm not the exception.
 

BCman

Level 6 Valued Member
Geoff Thompson of England said that The only technique that works 100% of the time is pre-emptive Strike!

Most martial arts teach to never throw the first punch or start the fight, or be the aggressor. This is the thinking that gets decent people hurt.

A great lesson for martial artists is to have a few drinks then do some light sparring. You will quickly learn that your reflexes are greatly slowed down. So the lesson is don't pick fights when drinking in public! But if you do get into it! Pre-emptive strikes and an all out offensive! Because there reflexes will be slowed considerably too.

I don't know why some people dismiss Boxing, like it's such an inferior martial art. I love boxing, and watch it a lot. I've known several different people with boxing back grounds, who defended themselves quite well in unfair situations.

I always find stories of so-called martial artists that don't fair well in a street altercation as usually lacking in the details of the encounter, the actual training of the so-called martial artist, and told by a non biased third party observer. If so called martial artist has only been in the martial arts less than a year or two, They probably aren't that good to begin with! Were they drinking or on drugs? How about out numbered? Weapons? Are there age or gender or size differences between the combatants?

Usually the greater the martial artist! The greater the self discipline to get to such mastery. People with such self discipline and self respect would never put themselves in a precarious situation, like a bar brawl! \

Al
 

ShawnM

Level 8 Valued Member
In all honesty probably the best combo for SD is boxing and judo. You learn to punch and block punches. Learn strikes from numerous angles and learn great foot work from boxing. Judo teaches stand up and ground grappling. BJJ is really good but there is a lack of stand up grappling since the break away from judo decades ago. Yeah, BJJ has tons of cool subs, the majority of the basic subs started from judo.

Just my opinion. Kicks look cool and can be devastating. As a military man that usually has a ton of gear on, kicks can leave you way off balance. Knees yes, kicks in gear, not so much. But this is just my experience. It's probably different for most others.
 

dc

Level 6 Valued Member
If it went to the ground it was only to cement an outcome that was already decided.
Generally this has been my experience.
usually by a pair or trio working over an individual
If someone wants to bash you, you can pretty much guarantee they'll have some friends with them.
I found the best discipline to learn at a young age was to have the discipline to keep my mouth shut
Oh so true, this discipline will save you a lot of heartache & pain.
Geoff Thompson of England said that The only technique that works 100% of the time is pre-emptive Strike!
I've read Geoff Thompson's work & he's on the money. The pre-emptive strike was my bread & butter. You need to be skilled at reading people, otherwise you end up knocking people out everytime you get nervous. It's frowned upon in everyday society where people watch to many movies, but where I come from it's a life saver.
Most martial arts teach to never throw the first punch or start the fight, or be the aggressor. This is the thinking that gets decent people hurt.
Spot on. From my experience martial arts are generally full of gentlemen & ladies. Quality people with morals & respect. Unfortunately this is a downfall when it crosses paths with someone who is violent & has no morals or respect.
I don't know why some people dismiss Boxing, like it's such an inferior martial art.
Some of the best street fighters I know are ex-boxers. Boxers tend to read people better aswell. Most fights start with punches & no one throws a punch better than a boxer.
 

dc

Level 6 Valued Member
Usually the greater the martial artist! The greater the self discipline to get to such mastery. People with such self discipline and self respect would never put themselves in a precarious situation, like a bar brawl!
Sometimes you find yourself with the wrong crowd. The brawl example I gave in earlier post the bjj guy was my instructor, we were celebrating after an mma win. He made the mistake of coming to wrong bar with the wrong people. I said earlier, I regret many things from my past. Great self discipline doesn't guarantee a nice person or even self respect, I know some very disciplined bad people. Two of the other martial artists in that story are high ranking life long practitioners of the arts, they are also straight up badass gangsters (not a compliment, I'm not a rapper).
In all honesty probably the best combo for SD is boxing and judo.
I agree. Of the martial arts I've trained in these to have by far been the most beneficial to SD. They also give most "bang for your buck". You'll learn more in a shorter amount of time with judo & boxing than anything else.
 

North Coast Miller

Level 7 Valued Member
Just my opinion. Kicks look cool and can be devastating. As a military man that usually has a ton of gear on, kicks can leave you way off balance. Knees yes, kicks in gear, not so much. But this is just my experience. It's probably different for most others.
I agree about 90% of the time. In my very limited experience they work best after an exchange of hands and a bit of separation. I used a round kick in a fight once. We had exchanged a couple of good shots, I felt his head snap back from a right cross or two and he came back with a palm to the center of my face. I used the space from my getting knocked backward to launch one - he was about 6'2" or taller, instead of floating ribs it hit his hip - still gave me a second and knocked him off balance so I could better appreciate the punches I was receiving on the back and sides of my head from his buddies :). Truth be told there was zero thought involved and I had to piece it together after the fact while I was icing the back of my head - "Hey, I actually landed a solid kick mixed in there!"

In another scrap, a buddy of mine had been bum-rushed by a guy with a heavy plastic snow-brush. He took a couple of solid whacks across his forehead, faded back a step and kicked the guy in the gut with a front kick, with steel toe boots. "It hit something soft and sunk in a bit" was how he described it - again it was all instinct - he was directing it by reflex, no volitional intent. When his man sunk away, he didn't give chase.

I used to train muay thai shin kicks and foot jab - both low, and reverse side kick/stomp. Most of my other kicks slowly got phased out and I deliberately let the instinct to use them wither a bit. Mostly these days if I'm working MA is footwork and low MT blocks. I still keep up on the reverse stomp since it telegraphs so little and barely disturbs the balance. I haven't even thrown a round kick in years.
 

conor78

Level 6 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
Watch Animal Days by Geoff T, it gives a good insight the reality of a street altercation. T Blauer also a good reference point.
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Any students or practitioners of MA with shorter traditions here? I am thinking of things like Krav Maga and also some of the "executive self-defense" programs out there, by Tony Blauer, Tim Larkin and others.

-S-
 

ShawnM

Level 8 Valued Member
@Steve Freides- I was never a student of Tony Blauer however one of my MMA coaches was. On Friday nights we would go over SD work from the S.P.E.A.R. program Tony Blauer designed. It was great work but I transerfered to a new school just a few months later. I have enough knowledge to know I don't have any knowledge in it. Lol.
 

conor78

Level 6 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
S
I did KM with my brother for about two years under two different instructors. Myself and my brother had nagging doubts about the legitimacy of the system. The initial buzz you get from the "reality based scenarios" dulls down once you realise the various locks and defences don't work against a resisting opponent. The other difficulty I had was that so many students on the basis of getting a belt or a certificate felt they were capable or actually fighting off multiple attackers or disarming a knife attacker. Crazy...
I've read all of G Thompson's books and I read M Thorntons work regularly. As mentioned above a pre-emptive strike is the only thing which will work, but is hugely problematic in terms of legislation and unintedended consequences. I train in MT which is a great sport but don't really concern myself with SD. I'm not sure what it's like in the US but in Ireland if you want to engage with trouble it's the same places, pub, taxi depot or fast fod outlet at 2 am. Situational awareness is a huge factor in all of this..
 

North Coast Miller

Level 7 Valued Member
Currently I'm still goofing around with 52 handblocks. There are absolutely no instructors near me and the only resources I have are pulled off youtube, internet, and some print.

Much of it is functionally similar to the defense-minded way I wound up applying FMA to the kickboxing and outright brawling I have been exposed to. I omit the flashy stuff.

The blocks and their names are simple, easy to remember, and one of the primary reasons I stayed interested in this tradition - easy to teach to my kids. The taps are also very similar to the body awareness drills I learned relative to knife usage to avoid cutting oneself. Work well for maintaining coverage and keep the hands moving.

The kids can actually apply some it and with very little prompting. Is a great teaching tool for my boy especially as he's at that stage where he and his buddies must be throwing flinch punches at each other and he'll try to "gut check" me with wild punch at my midsection from time to time. I've caught him many times on my elbows, a good lesson for both of us.
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
I did KM with my brother for about two years under two different instructors. Myself and my brother had nagging doubts about the legitimacy of the system. The initial buzz you get from the "reality based scenarios" dulls down once you realise the various locks and defences don't work against a resisting opponent
My understanding of its history is that it's only purpose is practical, so I'd be surprised if it lacked in that regard, but in the same breath I must say that, like anything, it's the teacher that matters the most and if you felt like there were problems with it, I'd want to know if you'd tried a second teacher.

Mind you, I have no connection to Krav Maga at all, save the fact that I know a number of people of whom I think very highly who've chosen it as their main martial art.

-S-
 

conor78

Level 6 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
Tried two systems S both taught by guys who were well schooled in the system. There has been a rise in the interest of KM as it's was popularized by the Bourne movies and some movie stars apparently using it. My main issue was that the lack of a resisting partner bred false confidence in some of the participants. Some aspects were useful such as situational awareness use of improvised weapons etc. Part of the problem is that the paradigm has shifted in that a lot of younger people train MMA/BJJ in their teens and early adulthood. The proportion of people walking around trained in this art increases all the time. Against an untrained attacker KM might hold up, against someone with an MMA background I wouldn't want to think what would happen.
This is a good podcast.
Epi 155 Matt Thornton & Self-defense
In saying all of that..its always better to avoid or walk away..getting involved with someone on the street could have life changing consequences.
 

J Petersen

SFG1/SFB
Certified Instructor
Any students or practitioners of MA with shorter traditions here? I am thinking of things like Krav Maga and also some of the "executive self-defense" programs out there, by Tony Blauer, Tim Larkin and others.
Ten years ago, I had the opportunity to train for a week under Mr. Blauer and his folks to become qualified as a SPEAR instructor. It wasn't too difficult to get permission from my bosses at the time to attend, although despite my best intentions of going forth to learn and teach upon my return, the event ended up being completely for my own martial edification when I never had students of my own for this one.

A decade is a long time, so I'm fairly certain that the SPEAR system has evolved and seen some refinement since 2008. Whatever nuggets I retained from the training are most likely now the obsolete beta version, although the classic "Startle/Flinch" response conditioning which was the heart and soul of SPEAR seems to be timeless.
 

dc

Level 6 Valued Member
Part of the problem is that the paradigm has shifted in that a lot of younger people train MMA/BJJ in their teens and early adulthood. The proportion of people walking around trained in this art increases all the time.
I actually see this as a big problem. I've noticed a lot of "tapout" shirts getting around on the young fellas these days. The problem is two fold. 1 we've got a lot of young testosterone fuelled often inebriated males getting around with a bit of training under their belt, this is dangerous for the poor bugger they pick on. 2 these "tapout" boys actually cross a truly bad man, this is very dangerous for them. All the guys training mma these days very few are actually competing, & most are walking around with a self confidence they haven't earned. A little knowledge can be a very dangerous thing. From my experience the mma gyms seem to not put much emphasis on the respect side of martial arts as the traditional dojos do, they give kids the tools to hurt people but not the respect to behave themselves.
My main issue was that the lack of a resisting partner bred false confidence in some of the participants.
This false confidence is an issue I come across with quite a few martial artists that haven't been truly tested. The ones that have been tested in reality, understand how different a real violent situation can be & avoid being tested again.
I agree about 90% of the time. In my very limited experience they work best after an exchange of hands and a bit of separation. I used a round kick in a fight once.
I used the basic straight front kick, usually to the balls. Otherwise the only other time I kicked (this is going to sound terrible) was to a downed opponent, please remember I'm no longer this person.
Watch Animal Days by Geoff T, it gives a good insight the reality of a street altercation. T Blauer also a good reference point.
Watched it, liked it. That's how you train for street defence. Need to train yourself to be mentally prepared more than physically, so you don't go to water.
I believe everybody should learn basic SD from a young age. Wether you like it or not there are bad people out there, & sometimes they can't be avoided. My 7yr old son is starting with judo, so he can control the "school bullies" if need be without resorting to hitting. When he gets to his teens he'll start boxing. I'll take care of the most important aspect of SD reading people, & awareness. I pray he never walks in his fathers early footsteps.
 
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