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Martial arts - How good are they for self defense?

By guitartroll in Culture
Sun Jul 03, 2005 at 02:06:16 AM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

Like a lot of geeks, I am attracted to Martial Arts. The idea that study, practice, and resulting increase in skill will allow you to defend yourself against someone stronger is attractive. The philosophy and culture of martial arts is attractive as well. Of course, one has to wonder how useful they are for actual self defense.

   I have studied a few Martial Arts over the years. I haven't earned anything over an intermediate rank in any art, so I'm no expert in any particular style. On the other hand, I don't have as much time or ego invested in any art in particular, so I feel I can be a bit more objective.

   Here are some martial arts, and my take on them. Note, there are many different styles within a particular martial art. I'm talking generalities here. I'm also talking about the way these arts are practiced in the present day, in the western world, as I have no experience training in Asia.



Karate: Lots of focus on Katas (pre-arranged "forms" of movements. Some sparring, but it's mostly low contact "point" style sparring, with protective gear (Kyokushinkai is one of those exceptions to the generalization here, as they spar full contact - until knock down or knockout, with no protection, but with no punches to the head). Lots of time doing traditional stances, kicks, reverse punches, etc. I'm not so sure this is very effective in self defense situations, as many of the techniques are very ritualized, and unrealistic.  

Tae Kwon Do: Same as Karate, except much greater focus on high kicks. Even less realistic for defense than Karate.

Japanese Ju-jitsu: Focus on stand up grappling, wrist locks, escapes from grabs and chokes, many throws and falls. Has the same ritualized formal practice as Karate - lots of practice against an un-resisting, unmoving attacker than grabs and then freezes, or punches then freezes. Some punches and kicks thrown in, but just a few. I'm not sure this is so great against a resisting, moving opponent - mainly because the practice methods don't allow practice in that sort of situation. The techniques are more realistic than Karate, but I'm not so sure all of them are usable in real life. Since you don't have to punch or kick to fight or repel and attack, this is ideal for use against someone you don't want to hurt - a drunken uncle at a party for instance. Against a determined attacker, I feel some of the primary techniques are less useful.

Aikido: Similar to Japanese Ju-jitsu, but more focus on flowing with an attackers force. More philosophy, less "hard" techniques. I think most of the criticisms of Japanese Ju-jitsu apply here as well.

Hapkido: About 80% Tae Kwon Do, and 20% Ju-Jitsu. Same observations of those arts apply.

Judo: Has many of the techniques of Japanese Ju-Jitsu, but has many of the "deadly" techniques removed. By taking out the punches, kicks, wrist locks, etc. you are left with some techniques that are safe to be used in a sport. Lots of throws, falls, trips, and groundwork. Most of the practice is against a resisting, moving opponent.


If you can throw someone who is expecting it, and has trained in resisting it who is REALLY trying to stop you - then the odds are really good you can throw some guy in a fight who doesn't expect it. Its weakness is that it is missing striking, and maybe some of the "deadly" techniques that might really be useful.

Western Boxing: Since you are practicing against someone actively resisting, as in Judo - the training has great value for actual self defense. The weakness is that only the hands are used, there is no grappling or kicking. Also, much of the body isn't a valid target. It's also worth saying that the transition from wearing gloves (and fighting someone wearing gloves) is a big one.

External Kung Fu: There are many styles that fall into this category, and there are some big differences between them. There are ones that focus on punching and kicking, and others that include techniques similar to Ju-Jitsu (or you could say Ju-Jitsu has techniques similar to them). It's worth pointing out that Karate is basically a Japanese version of an Okinawan version of certain external Kung Fu styles.


There are forms as in Karate, and some schools practice sparring as in Karate. The techniques are a bit different of course. Kung Fu in general is a bit "softer" with more circular motion, and flowing stances, versus the linear movement of Karate. Of course, that's a generalization - some styles are very similar to Karate. Some styles such as Wing Chun focus on "trapping" which involves hampering and controlling an opponents arm so as to facilitate striking, and to prevent them from striking you. Other arts, such as Chin-na focus on grappling, pressure points, and locks as seen in Japanese Ju-jitsu. I feel that many of the same critisms of Karate and Japanese Ju-jitsu apply here.

Internal Kung Fu: Tai Chi Chuan is the best know style in this category. The other styles are Hsing-I, and Ba Gua. The focus is on training the generation of Qi (life force or energy), and the application of Jing (the manifestation of power through the use of Qi). The idea being that this energy is generated internally to the body, rather than through gross muscle movements as in Karate. Practice involves slow practice of forms, drills such as "sticky hands", and basically pushing a partner. There are punches, kicks and other strikes of course - but the emphasis is on the power coming from the Internal methods. There isn't much sparring that I have seen. It would seem that these arts don't have a lot of application in actual self defense.

Muay Thai: This art has western style boxing punches, elbow and knee strikes, and kicking. This is practiced as a sport, so many of the positive comments related to boxing would apply here as well. In my opinion this style has the most effective kicks of any


Style - utilizing a very powerful round type kicks to the leg as a common target area.


There is also a significant amount of techniques done from trapping or clinching range.


The disadvantages would be that there are very places to train in this art in the West, and the training is very strenuous and hard on the body. You probably won't find a school that trains for actual Thai style matches, but rather a school in another art that incorporates the techniques specific to this style. There is a lack of grapping beyond the clinching techniques I have mentioned.

Brazilian Ju-Jitsu: This is derived from Japanese Ju-jitsu, but is actually more similar to western wrestling, with elements of Judo and Ju-jitsu. Western style wresting takedowns are used, and most of the focus is on grappling on the ground. Chokes, armbars, and submission holds are used. The training is against a resisting opponent, as in boxing.


One disadvantage is that the majority of the training is on getting an opponent on the ground and fighting them there. It's very debatable whether this is advisable in most environments that self-defense scenarios would occur.

I purposefully have left out topics such as using weapons, defending against weapons, and fighting multiple opponents. These are all very much worth discussing, but are beyond the scope of what I'm discussing here. However, these topics are worthy of serious consideration.

I also haven't mentioned non-self defense benefits of these arts. That was intentional as well, but it's worth noting, that the non-self defense benefits probably far outweigh the self defense benefits for most people. If you aren't a bouncer, repo man, cop, or someone who is in dangerous situations on a regular basis - concerns such as health benefits, fun, and cost probably will be more important than self defense.


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Martial arts - How good are they for self defense? | 276 comments (236 topical, 40 editorial, 0 hidden)
Some experience too (none / 0) (#1)
by zephc on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 12:40:19 PM EST

I have some experience in Karate and a little in Wing Chun Kung Fu.

Karate: seemed unnecessarily mechanized, too much rote (i.e. katas)

Wing Chun: designed more for women and men with smaller frames.  It's very effective in that regard, but it requires learning to be very loose in the upper body, while keeping the lower body more 'rooted'.  This is easier for women, who have a lower center of balance, but was too hard for a guy like me where a good lot of his bulk is in his upper body (no, I'm not fat, just broad-shouldered and my legs are a bit too short proportionately).

Wing Chun , Karate, etc. (none / 0) (#5)
by guitartroll on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 01:51:49 PM EST

I agree with your observations here, especially abotu Karate. I haven't done any Wing Chun - but have heard that while it has a lot of speed, it really lacks power. Especially it's punches compared to western boxing punches.

[ Parent ]
methods left out of this discussion: (none / 0) (#34)
by zorba77 on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 04:38:13 PM EST

Ninpo: What was called ninjutsu, not the shit in the sho kosuki movies (although fun to watch), but Budo Taijutsu as it is modernlly called, combines punch/kick stuff with judo and aikido looking techiques, and utilizes a variety of weapons. Certain schools of it require gun handling for a 1st dan rank.

Penchak Silat: An indonesian umbrella of martial arts, think combining kung fu with arnis, interesting forms and a lot of blade work.
Return the West Coast to the Tribes of sasquatch!
[ Parent ]

I am searching for Silat, as far as Ninjitsu... (none / 0) (#36)
by guitartroll on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 04:43:04 PM EST

Well, I left out these arts, because I just don't have a lot of first hand knowledge in them. I haven't even seen them in person. Okay, I did meet a guy who claimed to do Ninjitsu at a Karate torney once. What he did looked like Tae Kwon Do to me, bu the did wear the Nija outfit. I though he was a bit of a flake.

As for Silat - I have seen a few schools in my area listed online. When I call, they are out of business. I guess it doesn't have the appeal to parents that Tae Kwon Do or Karate does...It is scarey with the knives, etc.

[ Parent ]

not sirprised to hear that (none / 0) (#71)
by zorba77 on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 08:52:27 PM EST

For Ninjustu: there are MANY bullshitters. Mainstays that are legit based on Japanese lineages are the Bujinkan, Genbukan and Jinenkan. these orgs are fairly good at policing fakes although that creates a decent amount of politics in my opinion. The dude you describe stinks sof cow excrement. Your observations on silat ring true as well, it aint for kids. Most schools are low key, low profile and if you were the typical soccer mom type, would you want junior playing with knives? My nephew will NEVER be touching my toys. ;)
Return the West Coast to the Tribes of sasquatch!
[ Parent ]
punches (none / 0) (#80)
by zephc on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 10:48:37 PM EST

Its a bit of a misconception about Wing Chun and punches.  Wing Chun emphasizes skeletal positioning and using the inertia in your limbs and body, rather than raw muscular power.  This is obviously advantageous for smaller-framed people (e.g. most women).  Indeed, Wing Chun Kung Fu was created by a (Shao Lin?) nun.

[ Parent ]
Self Defense (3.00 / 8) (#2)
by 1318 on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 12:50:49 PM EST

The best self defense is to win your battle without fighting. That is, not to place yourself in a situation in which punching, kicking, grappling are necessary.

It could involve paying your taxes and voting for that bond measure that funds a pay raise for the police, better equipment and training and a new 911 dispatch system. That is self-defense.

One author whose name escapes me talked about Privatized Profit and Commonized Cost (Garret Hardin?). The idea is thus: our economic system rewards people for taking publicly valued things and making them into privately valued things - for example a publicly valuable forest becomes a privately valuable chair, desk or house. Costs, for example pollution, are "commonized" - that is displaced on everyone. We all get to breath the pollution from cars even though only the car owner gets to enjoy the car (a "private profit").

Self defense implies crime, or defense against criminal action. As above, I'd argue that the best defense against crime is a public investment in a collectively safe environment. To pay someone to train you to protect yourself is to, in essence, withdraw from the common problem of criminal safety and to invest only in your own safety. The cost of this withdrawal is displaced onto everyone as they must deal with crime. You, however, are safe. You have privatized your own safety - a car alarm, a home burglar alarm, a hand gun, martial arts training, and perhaps even a body guard. Your measures do nothing to make the situation safer, and so they "trickle down" to others who cannot afford these deterrents.

Your article is, to me, loaded with these kinds of larger assumptions about who and what is to be "defended" by self-defense and simply focuses on the current trend in martial arts on "what is more effective".

The recent trend in "no holds" UFC style fighting has clearly suggested that brazilian jiu jitsu is the hot martial art flavor-of-the-month and this kind of discussion will definitly keep those particular instructors paying for their kids braces.

However, it might be more plausible to ask "which martial art is more entertaining to watch on pay per view" than suggest there is something in self-defense that needs questioning.

I had a friend who worked grave yard shifts and who was no martial artist, but he liked to stay up all night on his days off and wander around the city. He recounted to me how he was menaced by one fellow larger than him at 3am at a local 7-11 who he immobilized with pepper spray. Which makes me wonder - has any martial art been tested against someone with pepper spray?

It would deflate the whole "which martial art is more effective" pseudo-debate if it turned out a $10 bottle of pepper spray could immobilize someone with $30,000 worth of private training.

"So then, why don't you die?"-Antisthenes

I agree with some of what you said (none / 0) (#4)
by guitartroll on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 01:49:34 PM EST

Not so much the public ownership of items to discourage crime (are you serious, or trolling with this line of thought? I'm curious).

The pepper spray comment is somewhat valid. However, not everyone walks around with pepper spray in their hand ready to go. You wouldn't necesarily want to use pepper spray on a drunk boss at the Christmas party (well, you might WANT to), where as Aikido might be usable without losing you your job. From what I have heard of pepper spray, it's pretty nasty, and takes a lot of the fight out of you. I think it would put a real hurt on anyone, martial artist or not - but it's not something always handy (do you have some with you right now?), and not for every situation.

Certainly your point on not putting yourself in a situation where you would not have to fight is very valid. I follow that advice. However, it's hard to predict when and where when a situation like that would occur.

I agree with your observations on Brazilian Ju-Jitsu.

[ Parent ]

am I trolling about having police? (none / 1) (#23)
by 1318 on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 03:29:57 PM EST


If that's what you mean? No I'm serious. Public safety is a collective good. Japan is reputed to have a very low crime rate.

Would it make sense to ask all japanese women to take self-defense courses if...safety was widespread?

The investment in public institutions of safety increases your personal safety as well as that of everyone else. Investing in your own personal safety increases only your own safety.

Ultimately, I'd argue that public safety is more cost effective.

And if you're debating using aikido or pepper spray on your boss you definitely need another job in any case.

"So then, why don't you die?"-Antisthenes
[ Parent ]

I'm not sure if you are trolling or not (none / 0) (#27)
by guitartroll on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 04:04:57 PM EST

Your comment seems to imply that jointly owned property will decrease crime. I read that as a bit of a troll.

Sure, more police will decrease crime - I'm not arging with that. But if somebody jumps you on the way back from the grocery store - the fact there are 100 police in your city vs 60 won't make a difference unless one just happens to be right there.

[ Parent ]

uhm what? (none / 0) (#51)
by 1318 on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 06:20:02 PM EST

jointly owned property?

If you are arguing for the ability to be safe against any and all instances of potential possible harm then even the vapid exploration of "what martial art is most effective" spins around pointlessly. There is no way to be safe against any and all potential violence. Yes, if there are more cops but none to help you then you are screwed. But if you're a 10th whatever black belt in whatever and you're drunk, tired, recovering from eye surgery, or just happen to be in a dark blind alley then...you're fucked again.

The fellow who advocated firearms for self-defense had a valid point: if you are merely concerned with self-defense then why aren't you considered weapons?

I would offer another point about the nature of martial arts instruction. Mainly that, unlike the sale of hand guns in the US, there is no restriction on who may take them. So even if we were to take whatever style you felt was most effective there is nothing to guarantee that our attacker hasn't taken it longer, from better teachers, etc.

The whole "self-defense" title is itself a euphemism for "boxing". Martial arts teach offensive techniques which could be used by muggers and thugs as easily as grandmothers and teenage daughters.

What "boxing style" is most effective assumes two people of exactly equal capacity in every possible way in a situation that doesn't favor one over the other. This is clearly not possible to arrange for in real life.

I am reminded of the "who would win in a fight - a samurai or a knight?" threads on www.sonshi.com.

Some hypothetical martial artist in one style fights another hypothetical martial artist in another style. Who will win? Well, it's a silly question.

Another commentator posted about the need for "aggression" in the fighter. I'd have to buy that as pretty important. A good fight with no will to fight - no matter what style (s)he's mastered - won't fight very well.

Both the German and Japanese soldiers in WWII were famous for their indoctrination in the "will to fight". They fought with whatever crappy weapons they had, and improvised them if they didn't. I am reminded of the Monty Python's silly Black Knight - he certainly had a strong will to fight.

So, in the end, I think your piece needs a little more broad analysis. I still gave a +1SP since I think it had promise.

"So then, why don't you die?"-Antisthenes
[ Parent ]

I guess you lost me for a moment with this bit (none / 0) (#81)
by guitartroll on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 10:57:05 PM EST

I guess I had to re-read this a bit to get what you were saying:

One author whose name escapes me talked about Privatized Profit and Commonized Cost (Garret Hardin?). The idea is thus: our economic system rewards people for taking publicly valued things and making them into privately valued things - for example a publicly valuable forest becomes a privately valuable chair, desk or house. Costs, for example pollution, are "commonized" - that is displaced on everyone. We all get to breath the pollution from cars even though only the car owner gets to enjoy the car (a "private profit").

I have to admit I scanned your response, and at first glance it seems like you were going to say something along the lines of Communism = self defense. Which I interpreted to be a troll.

Anyways, you say this:

The whole "self-defense" title is itself a euphemism for "boxing". Martial arts teach offensive techniques which could be used by muggers and thugs as easily as grandmothers and teenage daughters.

What "boxing style" is most effective assumes two people of exactly equal capacity in every possible way in a situation that doesn't favor one over the other. This is clearly not possible to arrange for in real life.

I am reminded of the "who would win in a fight - a samurai or a knight?" threads on www.sonshi.com.

Some hypothetical martial artist in one style fights another hypothetical martial artist in another style. Who will win? Well, it's a silly question.

   That IS NOT the question I'm posing at ALL. I'm asking which art is the best for real world situations. I'm not assuming your opponent is a martial artist at all. If that were the case, I'd be makign a much stronger case for Brazilian Ju-Jitsu, because it works very well against almost all striking arts (which are the majority of arts in the USA, anyways).

You say:

If you are arguing for the ability to be safe against any and all instances of potential possible harm then even the vapid exploration of "what martial art is most effective" spins around pointlessly. There is no way to be safe against any and all potential violence.

Sure - this is true. there is no way to be safe against all violence.

There's no way to be safe against all car accidents, either. But seat belts, and air bags can help. Or would you argue there is no point since they won't make you safe against every car wreck eventuality?

[ Parent ]

1318 responds (none / 0) (#96)
by 1318 on Sat Jul 02, 2005 at 01:30:44 AM EST

I urge you to reread my argument which alludes to words by Garrett Hardin on the privatizing of profit and the commonizing of cost.

Martial arts "privatizes" personal safety. Supporting public safety through the local police "commonizes" public safety.

I guess that's communism for you - supporting the local police?

I suppose the die-hard capitalist would want to privatize personal safety as a commodity with no government tax-supported (socialist?) police to come to the aid of those who don't have enough money to afford personal security.

Luckily we seem to have adopted this most heinous form of socialism despite its prediliction for allowing both rich and poor to benefit from public safety.

hth,

-1318

"So then, why don't you die?"-Antisthenes
[ Parent ]

Police are not safety (3.00 / 2) (#123)
by duffbeer703 on Sun Jul 03, 2005 at 12:29:26 AM EST

Police enforce laws.

Police do not exist to protect you, they exist to protect the state.


[ Parent ]

Police protect citizens (none / 0) (#253)
by RadiantMatrix on Thu Jul 07, 2005 at 04:56:13 PM EST

The military exists to protect the state.  Police enforce laws, which are passed (in a democratic society) by authority of the people (whether directly or by means of representation).

In short, by enforcing laws the people pass, the Police "serve and protect" the citizenry.  For example, we have laws against assault, and laws about what you can do if someone wrongs you.  Together with police and civil enforcement of these laws, we avoid quite a lot of violence.  The media and the proverbial "Joe Sixpack" may bemoan the violence in our society, but we're still better off than we were before we had the presence of a strong Police force.

One of the major reasons violence is increasing is an inability for the Police to do their job effectively, and a diversion of the Police forces from their mandate (serve and protect the citizens) toward more of a military role.  Just because the Government often coerces Police into acting as Military doesn't mean that the purpose of Police is to protect the State.

And besides, We the People are the State, at least in principle.

--
I'm not going out with a "meh". I plan to live, dammit. [ZorbaTHut]

[ Parent ]

police protect propety (none / 0) (#263)
by Rhodes on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 04:18:32 PM EST


but not persons

You have no right to expect the police to protect you from crime. Incredible as it may seem, the courts have ruled that the police are not obligated to even respond to your calls for help, even in life threatening situations!.

quote is from following website, that includes case histories:

http://flyservers.registerfly.com/members5/policecrime.com/policeprotection.html

[ Parent ]

Sampling of those cases shows... (none / 0) (#273)
by RadiantMatrix on Tue Jul 19, 2005 at 03:24:50 PM EST

I read a sampling of those cases, and from what I can see, the rulings are that the Police are not required to respond to the threat of harm; in other words, the type of protection that police forces offer is enforcement ex post facto, which in theory acts as a deterrent toward future crime.

Like others, you missed the main thrust of my post: while police may in actuality serve to protect the State, that is not their purpose.  If we suffer the purpose of police forces to be subverted to the will of an elite class, we aren't doing our jobs as citizenry-electorate.
--
I'm not going out with a "meh". I plan to live, dammit. [ZorbaTHut]

[ Parent ]

They certainly do! (none / 0) (#265)
by duffbeer703 on Sat Jul 09, 2005 at 01:10:01 AM EST

While the day to day job of a policeman may not seem like it, police certainly exist to protect the state.

In the US, the military protects the state from external threats, and the police (and to a lesser extent the National Guard) protects the state from within.

[ Parent ]

Missing my point (none / 0) (#274)
by RadiantMatrix on Tue Jul 19, 2005 at 03:32:23 PM EST

You are missing two key points in my original post.  I will make them more clearly:

  1. The purpose of police is for protection of the citizenry; the actuality of how the force is used today is a result of a shift in behavior away from policing to roles more properly filled by military.

  2. According to the ideals of a Democratic Republic (such as the US purports to be), the people are the State, and therefore police protection of the State is protection of the people and vice-versa.  Unfortunately, due in large part to lack of participation and a general apathy on the part of the citizenry, the US no longer practically functions as a Democratic Republic.

As a result of the current practical operation of the US Government, police mandates have shifted toward protection of the most vocal and politically active members of society.  Essentially, this boils down to corporations and highly-affluent individuals (and the line between these is blurring).  The only solution I can see is increased participation of the general citizenry in the democratic process.

Unfortunately, those with the best ability to motivate the general populace (Media and Government) have a vested interest in the continued apathy of the Nation, as it concentrates national control in their hands.
--
I'm not going out with a "meh". I plan to live, dammit. [ZorbaTHut]

[ Parent ]

police protect local interests (none / 0) (#264)
by Rhodes on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 04:27:38 PM EST

not individual citizens

see link below for some nasty cases- all across the country

[ Parent ]

this should be the story (none / 1) (#7)
by insomnyuk on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 02:00:25 PM EST

+ 1FP

actual story as posted gets a big fat -1

---
"There is only one honest impulse at the bottom of Puritanism, and that is the impulse to punish the man with a superior capacity for happiness." - H.L. Mencken
[ Parent ]

Right On the Money! (none / 0) (#18)
by Pluto on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 03:08:24 PM EST

1318, you pinned it exactly.

From an Asian warrior point-of-view, there is no need for self-defense. Your opponent is dead before he can act.

Everything else is exercise classes taught at local strip-malls.
_______________________________________
Burgeoning technologies require outlaw zones... deliberately unsupervised playgrounds for technology itself. -- William Gibson
[ Parent ]

Indirect answer (none / 0) (#46)
by godix on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 05:20:10 PM EST

has any martial art been tested against someone with pepper spray?

Not sure about martial arts being specifically tested for it but I do know that there are several seconds after being sprayed with pepper spray where you can still see and act without problem. If the attacker knew how to hurt someone in a few seconds pepper spray wouldn't stop him. And that's ignoring the fact that through exposure a person can be somewhat resist to pepper spray.


- An egotist is someone who thinks they're almost as good as I am.
[ Parent ]
Umm (none / 1) (#57)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 06:48:55 PM EST

This is one kind of wankery someone was warning about. You can be a pacifist or rely on your pepper spray. I carry my knife with me but I also practice martial arts. This is because I want to be prepared at all times. Don't people have fire alarms, extinguishers and insurance at their homes? Just because I can be taken down with a $10 bottle of mace doesn't make my BJJ skills any less useful 99+% of the time when the next hormonally imbalanced bodybuilder attacks me.

"However, it might be more plausible to ask "which martial art is more entertaining to watch on pay per view" than suggest there is something in self-defense that needs questioning."

If you're implying BJJ is entertaining to watch, you obviously haven't seen any BJJ matches. Unless you know what you're watching (ie. practice BJJ yourself), it's just a long boring roll on the mat and in the end the other guy either taps out or passes out for reasons you don't know until you see the slo-mo.

--
"What's next, sigging a k5er quote about sigging someone on k5?"


[ Parent ]
On carrying a knife (none / 0) (#94)
by zenador on Sat Jul 02, 2005 at 12:12:32 AM EST

Someone I know from my work also carries a knife with him at all times and it makes me incredibly uncomfortable when I'm around him. My mind usually can't get past thinking "Why the fuck does this guy have a knife on him?" It's probably the main reason I avoid him outside of the office.

I asked him once about his knife and he told me that he was stabbed with a swiss army knife by his high-school nemesis. He's carried it with him for the last ten years and never stabbed anyone.

Do all knife carriers have a tragic knife story in their past?

[ Parent ]

I'm glad I don't /nt (none / 0) (#121)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Sat Jul 02, 2005 at 11:44:46 PM EST


--
"What's next, sigging a k5er quote about sigging someone on k5?"


[ Parent ]
What kind of knife? (none / 0) (#136)
by damiam on Sun Jul 03, 2005 at 01:47:27 PM EST

There are all kinds of justifiable reasons to carry a Swiss Army type knife around. Less so a 3-foot gleaming butcher knife.

[ Parent ]
It's certainly not 3 feet long (none / 0) (#163)
by zenador on Sun Jul 03, 2005 at 10:54:08 PM EST

But I can't really see what it could be used for other than stabbing people.

[ Parent ]
Where I work this is very common (none / 0) (#201)
by guitartroll on Mon Jul 04, 2005 at 01:49:25 PM EST

I'm an IT geek. Lots of guys have those clip on Spyderco style folders. It's pretty typical really.
I see leatherman tools on beltpouches a lot as well.
Where I work these guys aren't carring them cause they are working on hardware, wiring, etc. they are carring them just because.

When I lived down in redneck country, a big folder on a beltpouch was common too.

[ Parent ]

Weapons tilt the balance (none / 0) (#254)
by RadiantMatrix on Thu Jul 07, 2005 at 05:07:35 PM EST

I carry a knife (though not to work, it stays in the car - that's what Building Security is for).  The only possible use of this knife is as a stabbing or cutting weapon (well, it's kind of pretty too, but that's beside the point).

Why?  Weapons tilt the balance.  Remember, the true winner of a fight is one who can avoid the fight.  For starters, this means trying not to get into potentiall violent situations.  When that fails, a demonstration of force can sometimes deter an assailant.  This is the first place a knife comes in handy: drawing a knife and adopting a stance demonstrating your ability to use it can stop an unarmed, violent hothead and prevent any real violence.

If avoiding the fight isn't possible, being armed with a knife (and knowing how to use it) tilts the balance in your favor -- most assailants will be either unarmed or unable to use a knife effectively.  Of course, if your assailant has a firearm, it isn't a fight anymore, it's the time for you to surrender.  Good thing most assailants are unlikely to have a firearm.

Yeah, some people get freaked out by my knife, but it is carried discretely, rarely gets removed from the scabbard in public, and anyone who knows me knows that I would resort to using it only if necessary (which has been exactly twice in the past 8 years, neither of which required more than displaying it).  Anyone who carries a knife and respects the power they carry will likely frighten only people who have some particular fear of blades or who are not perceptive: the attitude of a respectful knife-carrier is very different from one who carries a knife as a "security blanket" or for lust of power.
--
I'm not going out with a "meh". I plan to live, dammit. [ZorbaTHut]

[ Parent ]

The Boxer Rebellion (none / 1) (#122)
by duffbeer703 on Sun Jul 03, 2005 at 12:21:50 AM EST

In the late 19th century, an organization of many highly trained martial artists and swordsman decided to rebel against the European legations that were dominating China.

Although they were supurb fighters and highly disiplined, they were slaughtered by an ad-hoc force of European, Japanese and American legation guards, who were of course armed with rifles and machine guns.

Modern weaponry is a great equalizer. A 70 year old with a $60 shotgun can kill a 5th-degree super black belt.

[ Parent ]

Muay Thai rocks! (none / 0) (#166)
by timyang on Sun Jul 03, 2005 at 11:55:08 PM EST

I vote for Muay Thai as the most effective and lethal of all martial arts. I study Muay Thai and I also did it under a Thai kru while I was in Thailand. So yeah it's nearly impossible to find real Thai krus in the West. And when you do find a Thai kru, he is usually instructed by the dojo owner to go easy on the westerners. My advice is: find the Thai kru and ask him to train you after his working hours to get the real Thai experience. Or else go on one of the Muay Thai training circuits in Thailand -- many travel agencies offer this as a travel package these days.
Tim
[ Parent ]
freonomics (none / 0) (#261)
by Rhodes on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 04:02:57 PM EST

actually the best crime fighting technique the US ever employed- better than the economy, more police, different police strategies is ... (proven using a lot of statistical measures) is ....

roe vs. wade.

legalized abortion

reducing the population base of potential criminals has been the most effective.

here is a link to discussion from one of the primary authors: http://slate.msn.com/id/33569/entry/33571/

[ Parent ]

eat a lot of spicy chilis (none / 0) (#262)
by Rhodes on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 04:05:25 PM EST

and you will have some additional protection against the chili [pepper] spray.  Although the onion gun would still funciton- hard to hit when you have tears in your eyes.

[ Parent ]
i dont think this is the right approach (3.00 / 2) (#8)
by insomnyuk on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 02:11:59 PM EST

While I too have dabbled with martial arts, I think your approach has a few problems.

1) There are an endless number of styles. Look at 'newer' styles like Krav Maga or Jeet Kune Do.  How is this a worthwhile exercise if you just arbitrarily pick and choose a few. You open yourself up to the objection: well you ignored '[any given style]' and that therefore disproves your case.

You have to put it in context, you can't just talk about martial arts and try to say a given art is valid in the real world when you are just comparing art vs. art. You need to give real world examples of martial arts helping people, like martial art vs. weapon.

  1. You don't talk about weapons.  Someone with 5 hours of training on a gun has an exponentially greater advantage over anyone who has received 5 hours of training in any martial art.
  2. Even if my previous problems are not at issue, you are merely listing a few subjective, personal observations about a few arts. More experienced people in specific arts may disagree with you, and furthermore, self-defense is not the be-all and end-all of martial arts.


---
"There is only one honest impulse at the bottom of Puritanism, and that is the impulse to punish the man with a superior capacity for happiness." - H.L. Mencken
Some good points (none / 0) (#11)
by guitartroll on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 02:25:48 PM EST

Sure I ignore all sort of arts, Krav Maga, JKD, Silat, etc. There are too many to talk about individually, but there are some commonalities with ones I listed. If would be a very long if I tried to address every esoteric lesser know art.

Your point about weapons is true, but I feel that's a whole different topic. I don't always carry a weapon around, and neither do most Kurons I'm sure. Defense against weapons is another topic, and I debated putting some in, but decided that it's too much for the scope of this.

Sure, self defense isn't the be-all end all of martial arts. If it was, all the Karate and Tae Kwon Do schools in the strip malls would close down. Most peopel do this stuff for other reasons, all of which can be just as valid or more valid than self defense. However, that's not what I'm really getting into here.

As far as personal subjective opinions - yep, you are right. But that is all anyone has. However, I will say that I have discussed this topic with a lot of people who have put significant numbers of years into some of the arts I listed, and have agreed with many of my observations. In fact, a lot of my opinions are based on people who trained in some of these arts for many, many years, then realised that they are useless for many self defense situations.

[ Parent ]

years of experience (3.00 / 2) (#133)
by frozencrow on Sun Jul 03, 2005 at 12:42:32 PM EST

As far as personal subjective opinions - yep, you are right. But that is all anyone has. However, I will say that I have discussed this topic with a lot of people who have put significant numbers of years into some of the arts I listed, and have agreed with many of my observations. In fact, a lot of my opinions are based on people who trained in some of these arts for many, many years, then realised that they are useless for many self defense situations.

A comment I have, which also applies to the actual article, is that it takes a long time to learn enough of the techniques that you can start really concentrating on the art itself. The name for a first degree black belt (the lowest black belt rank) is shodan, which means "beginning student." I mention this because most of the discussion I see so far appears to be about how effective the various techniques are. The techniques don't matter so much, they're just something you do while you're practicing the art. Well, that's not quite what I mean--the techniques need to be done correctly, and they need to be practiced, but they're not the important part.

People who concentrate upon the particular techniques used in an art and consider those to be the art itself will of course find themselves unable to effectively use the art in an actual encounter. I suppose that if the attacker stuck strictly to the attacks that the martial art student was used to practicing with, then it would be useful, but the odds of that happening aren't terribly good.



[ Parent ]
Krav Maga (none / 0) (#141)
by lonesmurf on Sun Jul 03, 2005 at 03:28:54 PM EST

It's not really a style.. it's more like a weird defensive class. I'm not really sure what the difference is, but I'm thinking that it has something to do with how much actual history the art has or as in this case, doesn't have.

Rami

I am not a jolly man. Remove the mirth from my email to send.


[ Parent ]
Weapons (none / 1) (#9)
by vadim on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 02:22:14 PM EST

Actually, it's a pity that you exclude weapons, because if I decided to try learning martial arts again, I'd like to train in one that is practical and teaches how to use a staff.

Why a staff? Because it's an incredibly simple weapon, doesn't look as threating as a gun or a knife, and has a longer reach than a knife. Sure, there aren't many of those lying around, but I bet something good enough is a lot more likely to be found lying in the street than a gun or a knife.

Now, this interest is purely theoretical. In fact, it's been more than 5 years since I felt any desire at all to fight against somebody. But just like you, if I'm going to train in a martial art, it might as well be good for something.

Anybody has any recommendations?
--
<@chani> I *cannot* remember names. but I did memorize 214 digits of pi once.

Staff? (none / 0) (#59)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 06:59:40 PM EST

When was the last time you saw a staff lying around? The only place I can imagine them being seen lying around is in cleaning closets. The only good weapon is the one you're carrying.

If you want to rely on a weapon, buy a gun/pepper spray or get a good combat folder and/or brass knuckles. I carry a knife everywhere I go. Also, I carry a heavy-duty carabiner in plain sight which acts as a key-chain and doubles as brass knuckle. There are other good choices, too, but those are mine.

--
"What's next, sigging a k5er quote about sigging someone on k5?"


[ Parent ]
Depends on where, I suppose (none / 0) (#64)
by vadim on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 07:30:18 PM EST

In the city, there aren't too many indeed. In my summer home in Russia there were plenty around though: tree branches, various tools, pipes, etc, and knowledge of how to put that to use would have been actually quite handy due to a very annoying guy who lived there...

I don't like the idea of pepper spray, as it's quite threatening and can cause blindness. The carabiner does sound like something I might use though.

Ideally I would like to do without something that can cause permanent damage, such as a gun or a knife. Rather, I'd prefer to learn how to use any nearby object to whack somebody if really needed.
--
<@chani> I *cannot* remember names. but I did memorize 214 digits of pi once.
[ Parent ]

Any solid object can be used as a weapon (none / 0) (#174)
by tetsuwan on Mon Jul 04, 2005 at 04:24:41 AM EST

From a 5th dan ninpo (etc) 130 pounds bouncer, with a lot of streetfighting/martial art experience, I know that almost anything can be used as a weapon. I haven't much more than a year of training in ninpo, but we did stuff like fighting with umbrellas. Even a jacket is better than nothing if you're attacked by someone with a knife. A typical scenario: a woman with black belt in karate was attacked by a robber. Her response was to hit the robber with her handbag and run away.

Martial art training can also contribute to minimizing the amount of damage in a fight. A police officer comment "fights ending without serious injury usually involves people with martial art training".

Why I would never carry a knife: fights with knifes can easily end with one part mortally wounded. Are you more comfortable with killing someone than running away? Really?

Njal's Saga: Just like Romeo & Juliet without the romance
[ Parent ]

Yes, you lame-ass FOOL (none / 1) (#176)
by cathouse on Mon Jul 04, 2005 at 05:43:43 AM EST

I am much more comfortable with using a knife, a stick, or any other field expedient tool to do as much injury as possable, as rapidly as can be managed, to any damn sociopath who criminaly assaults me or anyone with me.  I will continue to cause them as much damage as fast as it can be delivered until they utterly cease their asault.  Any lesser response is moronic and suicidal-at the least a betrayal of each and every one of the generations that produced you.

To put the formal arts in perspective, I would cite the incident which took place @1980 in a parking lot at San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf when an altercation between the world's number one ranking Tae Kwan Do master, in the US to be the guest of honor at a tournament, and two drunken French merchant seamen, one with a cheap switchblade: one dead Chop-socky fool and two hung-over Frogs charged with Murder.


pity this busy monster manunkind not

progress is a comfortable disease


[ Parent ]

I can't account for idiots (none / 0) (#224)
by tetsuwan on Tue Jul 05, 2005 at 04:04:43 AM EST

He could obviously just have run away. But he was over-confident, and they got lucky. I could reply with an incident where an American marine pulled a knife on Masutatsu Oyama and ended up in hospital with a cracked forehead.

In your line of reasoning, there's no reason not to walk around with an assault gun and kill people who looks like they want to attack you. Very few people are actually interested in killing, even in fights. But hey, I don't know, maybe you find it more important to mortally wound the attacker than to get away without getting hurt.

Njal's Saga: Just like Romeo & Juliet without the romance
[ Parent ]

Mas Oyama (none / 0) (#229)
by guitartroll on Tue Jul 05, 2005 at 11:32:31 AM EST

>I could reply with an incident where an American >marine pulled a knife on Masutatsu Oyama and >ended up in hospital with a cracked forehead.

Mas Oyama trained a bit differently than most TKD and Karate students do these days. Kyokushinkai is obviously an exception (it was the style he developed, after all).

[ Parent ]

The problem with Kyokushinkai (none / 0) (#236)
by tetsuwan on Wed Jul 06, 2005 at 05:28:19 AM EST

Is that it's quite useless if your weight is under 200 lbs.

Njal's Saga: Just like Romeo & Juliet without the romance
[ Parent ]

Just curious, why do you say this? (none / 0) (#238)
by guitartroll on Wed Jul 06, 2005 at 08:47:48 AM EST

As far as I know Mas Oyama wasn't a particularly big guy, and a lot of Kyokushinkai tournaments don't have any weight divisions. I don't think it puts any more empasis on size than any other type of Karate.

Sure - being a big strong guy is a huge advantage, but that's true of any martial art, especially any striking art.


[ Parent ]

Kyokushin - strength and aggressiveness (none / 0) (#249)
by tetsuwan on Thu Jul 07, 2005 at 05:36:34 AM EST

Oyama was a big fellow, at least in terms of weight. And remember that his generation of Japanese averaged 5'6' or so. I have four years of experience in Kyokushinkai. My club focused much on strength and aggressiveness. As a small guy, I soon learned that big guys will hurt me. The style offers very little to counter raw physical strength. The motto seems to be "meet strength with superior strength".

Aikido, which I'm practising now, has a whole different perspective. A lot of the techniques are easier to do as a short person on a taller, and the rule is to never meet strength fair and square. That, however, doesn't mean that weight and strength cannot be used as an advantage, of course.

In the end, it's very much about footwork and timing, and they require loads of training. A black belt typically requires some 600 - 1200 hours of training. Elite boxers probably have five times that, which of course give them a huge advantage.

But with the same amount and quality of training the boxer wouldn't stand much of a chance.

(And for the best unarmed martial artist in modern times my bet is mr Karelin.)

Njal's Saga: Just like Romeo & Juliet without the romance
[ Parent ]

Isn't this true of a lot of karate styles though? (none / 0) (#250)
by guitartroll on Thu Jul 07, 2005 at 10:31:25 AM EST

>The style offers very little to counter raw >physical strength. The motto seems to be "meet >strength with superior strength".

It seems like a lot of karate styles are this way.
I guess a few like Goju are more "soft" in some of their approaches.

Do you feel that Kyokushin is more this way than say Shotokan? Do you feel the same critisisms apply to other Karate styles?

[ Parent ]

The point of kata (3.00 / 4) (#15)
by SocratesGhost on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 02:50:02 PM EST

When I studied Karate (in fact, that Kyukushin style you mentioned that didn't have protective gear), I found the study of kata to be very useful. A kata is to martial arts what a book is to education. We study books to increase our experience with different strategies in handling a type of problem including how to even construct a sentence. We study kata, not so that we can repeat them exactly as presented, but so that we have experience with different strategies in handling an encounter, including how to even change your stance.

Think about the effect of learning many different kata: suppose you were in a stance in which you had just punched to your right with your right hand, you left hand is pulled in toward your side, and you're in a horse stance (bow legged, it looks like you're riding a horse). Now suppose that you receive a low attacked from the front, well, I know a kata which maneuvers my stance so that I can defend and respond to it. Alternatively, if I were attacked from behind, I know a part of a kata which lets me change my stance to respond to that.

-Soc
I drank what?


Questions about Kyukushin (none / 0) (#17)
by guitartroll on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 03:05:46 PM EST

Good point you made - I'm not so sure I agree, but it's still a decent point. I'm not convinced that guys doing kata for 75% of their training ever get much self defense ability, but I know Kyukushin is NOT that way, and that the sparring is very harsh.

What do you think of Kyukushin? I haven't ran into a lot of folks that have done it. What do you think of the sparring? How effective do you consider it for self defense? How often were you injured?

Myself I like Karate a lot for reasons entirely not related to self defense. Kyukushin is appealing, because I think it might have more real-world application.

[ Parent ]

re: Kyokushin (none / 1) (#40)
by SocratesGhost on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 05:04:25 PM EST

I think that part of the danger in this style of training is that it could encourage people to pull their punches. For example, while training with a partner practicing a simple punch during the class, we'd face each other. The point was to be able to gauge the distance so that our punch would land just short of a person, and stopping before we over-reached; the ideal would be to land it so that your knuckles would be just touching the gi and the target might feel the actual punch only slightly. However, in practice, I would recognize that I would mismeasure the distance and would pull my punch before fully striking the other guy.

Sparring, that's a different matter. Lots of bruises especially on the forearms and shins. And we sparred everyday, probably to counteract the tendency to pull our punches during training. One guy got a bruised rib and that was the worst that I personally saw but I saw one guy wearing an arm cast after a competition.

I think that not wearing pads means that there is as much of an emphasis on toughness training as well as defensive blocking and offensive attack. You had to learn how to brace for a punch, and that was frequently a part of the training. I'd be surprised if this wasn't included in the training of other schools, but I think people in Kyokushin probably pay a bit more attention to these parts because of our sparring style. So, for example, some days we'd spend part of the time with one of the junior students punching into our stomachs. On other days, we'd kick potato sacks filled with sand to strengthen the shins; some of these sacks were at body level and we'd also practice by blocking or punching directly into the sack to toughen the forearm, or doing a roundhouse kick into them. It should be noted that not only was the sand compact and hard as metal, but the material of the sack was not smooth but highly abrasive.

What's most interesting though was that it never attracted any of those yahoos who just wanted to kick ass. Those guys always seemed to go to the Kenpo Karate studio across town. It may have just been my particular community or the quality of our sensei, but I don't remember a lot of serious rivalry, just a bunch of people who wanted to learn the art. However, I've always thought that we got along well because our sparring was more... intimate... I don't know the right word, but that'll have to do. If you're going to be in a place where you have to take a full punch from someone, they had better be your friend. ;)

-Soc
I drank what?


[ Parent ]
Self defense? (2.50 / 10) (#20)
by kitten on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 03:16:37 PM EST

"We learn karate so that we may never use it."

By the time I was through, I was one degree from having a black belt (red belt, black stripe) in a variant of tae kwon do known as Choi Kwang Do, under Grandmaster Choi, and this was one thing that was drilled into us from the beginning (although not in those words -- that's a Simpsons quote).

Not long ago I was talking to some guys who were intermediate ranks in a nearby hapkido studio, and they were going on about how a low-ranking hapkido student could kick the ass of a middle-ranking tae kwon do student. This is probably true, since the first few belts in tae kwon do are things like learning how to breathe and stretch and you don't learn a lot of punches or kicks, but it also misses the point, which is that martial arts are as much, if not more, about discipline than pure ass-kicking abilities.

Low-ranking tae kwon do students usually think they're badasses for knowing martial arts (this is not unique to most martial arts students, I guess), and more than once I've seen them deliberately try to get into fights just to show off. By the time these guys are green or blue belts, they've mellowed considerably, and when you get to higher rankings you almost never see this sort of thing (almost -- there's always going to be some jackass), because by the time you've developed the ability to kick ass, you're also confident enough in those abilities that you don't need to, and you know how to get out of a scrape without fighting.

All those forms in tae kwon do and karate aren't for self-defense; you obviously aren't going to execute pre-planned patterns of memorized movements against an attacker. They're there to teach you mental discipline. Some instructors will have you do silly things like balancing crap on your head or outstretched hands or even feet, in front of everyone, to teach you the value of humility -- not spineless grovelling, but that you don't need to "prove" yourself and that just because you can kick a guy's face in doesn't mean you're above everyone.

For the very rare times you'd have to actually fight, though -- for what it's worth, those high kicks and such aren't worthless. Street fighting is an anything-goes situation, but people tend to watch your hands, and aren't expecting kicks to come flying out of nowhere. A kick to the head will put a swift end to trouble. Additionally, the blocks learned are highly effective if you know when to use them, and though I'm not sure about pure tae kwon do, in choi kwang do there was significant training with choke holds and weapons -- both offense and unarmed defense against, which is helpful.

The trouble is, as you pointed out, a lot of fights end up on the ground at some point, and neither tae kwon do nor karate are going to teach you a lot about how to handle that. Being "hard" martial arts the idea is to strike first and strike fast, leaving your opponent no time to take the fight to the ground. From my very limited experience with these matters, it's about as effective as any other supposition -- a lot of fights first involve some harsh words, then some shoving and then the punches come in. If you feel you're in a situation like that, you'll know (if you're a student of tae kwon do) how to put the guy down before anything happens.

Or better yet, you'd know how to walk away, or not get yourself into such situations in the first place.

Plus all that flexibility, balance, and coordination makes you a better dancer at the clubs, which impresses the ladies, and isn't that more important than kicking some idiot's ass?
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
Run Away. (none / 1) (#25)
by vhold on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 03:33:13 PM EST

I agree.

If you aren't armed, you most likely don't want to get involved in a fight with a stranger ever.  If somebody is sociopathic enough to attack you, there is a good enough chance they are armed, the last thing you want is to be grappling with a person and they start stabbing you.  Macho one second, dying in the street the next.

It's really more important to just use your instincts and avoid situations and places that feel dangerous, random stuff still happens, but most of the cases I know of people getting attacked by some random person involved them being in a known bad place at a known bad time.

The idea of defending yourself by beating everybody up is just an out of control fantasy.  I think it would be counterproductive to think that proficiency in martial arts is going to make you be able to handle bad situations that you would normally just avoid.

Although on the flip side of that, like you said, it will likely give you an air of self confidence that will help prevent you from becoming a victim in the first place.

[ Parent ]

Ninjitsu (1.50 / 1) (#31)
by kitten on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 04:25:09 PM EST

I should first state that I do not have a great deal of knowledge of ninjitsu, but as I understand it, one of the scrolls deals with exactly that mentality, and is full of stuff that ends with "..and then run away". Throw dirt in the guy's eyes, and then run away. Kick him in the nuts, and then run away. Throw something at him to distract him, and then run away.

Sticking around for a fight you can run away from is a fool's game -- even if you win you're likely to suffer some injury you could have avoided.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
Ninjitsu Hah! (none / 0) (#38)
by guitartroll on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 04:52:19 PM EST

I am very, very sceptical that you can find a school in the west that trains anything remotely resembling what actual Japanese Ninjas practiced.

I'd say if you found a school claiming to teach Nin-Jitsu, the odds are very high that you would learn a bunch of hokey made up moves, and moves borrowed from other Japanese arts that the instructor felt would simulate Ninjitsu.

It maybe that you could run across some actual Ninjas in the phone book, and go train with them in their Ninja hideout in the strip mall. Then again, you might just run into some kooks playing ninja.

[ Parent ]

You're probably right. (2.00 / 3) (#49)
by kitten on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 05:39:07 PM EST

I'm guessing there's probably a few schools you could find that teach it, but they'd be few and far between. Hence my disclaimer that I know very little about this. Still, in the context of what ninjas were for in Japan -- primarily espionage and covert operations -- it makes sense that they'd develop tactics that would let them run away if discovered, rather than staying around and fighting (risking loss, and then identification).
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
Ninja school (none / 0) (#173)
by chroma on Mon Jul 04, 2005 at 03:34:10 AM EST

I often drive past a place that advertises "Ninja Training".

Whenever I see it I have this fantasy of going in to learn the secrets of the ninja. After giving a tour, a pleasant Japanese gentleman hands over a thick contract for me to sign. "Just standard stuff, we have to worry about liability." As soon as I've signed the contract, I feel a shooting pain in my head, and everything goes dark. I wake up days later on a tiny windswept Pacific island. My ninja training is about to begin...

[ Parent ]

Actually... (none / 0) (#243)
by m4v3rik on Wed Jul 06, 2005 at 06:59:18 PM EST

Ninjutsu is in fact practiced in the U.S. as well as in a few European countries, Israel, and some other places. At least here in the U.S., Ninjutsu schools teach different postures, strikes, grabs, throws, etc. It goes without saying that the kind of things you would see on TV (climbing walls, and such) aren't taught because there is no practical use for them today. Most schools actually teach Taijutsu ("Art of the Body"), the unarmed portion of ninjutsu, first and then they teach actual ninjutsu. The martial art has been passed down by the Grandmasters of Ninjutsu, each being the sole person who is responsible for preserving the useful traditions and adapting techniques when necessary until they are ready to choose the next Grandmaster. The current was is named Masaaki Hatsume, and he's a written a couple books in case you're interested. Search Amazon or just google it.

[ Parent ]
Best ninjitsu.. (none / 1) (#44)
by vhold on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 05:16:35 PM EST

The best 'ninjitsu' I ever read was to just throw a sack of coins at the guy .. and run away.  

The modern version is probably to have a wad of loose bills outside of your wallet, grab that, chuck it at them and run.

Do they chase you, or start grabbing the bills blowing around?  Of course if they have a gun that wouldn't be too smart.

I actually once got mugged, and because I had just happened to have loose wad like that, of around $20, I didn't have to give up my wallet, which had around $180 (just went to the ATM earlier)  I got to see the guy again, in court, I wonder when he gets out of prison...

[ Parent ]

That's what people who can't defend themselves say (none / 0) (#26)
by guitartroll on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 03:38:16 PM EST

"We learn karate so that we may never use it."

I agree with the thought behind this. However, this is what people trot out when serious discussions of putting their skills to the test arise. Or so it seems to me.

Tae Kwon Do is great, but I really don't think it puts so much focus on actual self defense. I'm sceptical about the usefulness of the high kicks.
I'm sceptical about ability to stop a determine, even semi-skilled grappler from takign you to the ground. All evidence I have seen is to the contrary. Just my opinion.

[ Parent ]

That's exactly what I mean, yes. (2.00 / 3) (#30)
by kitten on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 04:22:13 PM EST

I agree with the thought behind this. However, this is what people trot out when serious discussions of putting their skills to the test arise.

And that's exactly the sort of chest-thumping bravado that's discouraged. Who sits around "discussing" how their skill can be "put to the test"? Put to the test how -- by fighting? What's the point?

By the time you realize you can kick ass, if you're disciplined worth a damn, you don't need to. Only those who feel they've got some macho crap to prove want to "put their skills to the test".

mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
IMHO this is how martial arts get diluted (none / 0) (#32)
by guitartroll on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 04:32:54 PM EST

I'm not saying that people should go out and get into fights. I'm saying that when possible, you should train in a way that closely mimics a real fight. So you can't do all of your techniques in this practice? Concentrate on the ones you can do.

I think there is a reason that you never see guys from certain arts doing well in Ho-Holds-Barred contests. Their arts have moved away from actual techniques that work in fighting.

It's easy to say "you should never fight". That way your art can consist of nearly anything, and you can say it's effective. However, sometimes you just have to put things to the test. Maybe not you against some bum on the street - maybe somebody from your art agaist someone else willing from another art.

[ Parent ]

correction, Ho-Holds-Barred = No-Holds-Barred (none / 0) (#37)
by guitartroll on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 04:44:55 PM EST

Ho-Holds-Barred = No-Holds-Barred

although Ho-Holds-Barred is interesting...

[ Parent ]

It's all difficult to judge.. (none / 0) (#54)
by vhold on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 06:32:52 PM EST

Like if you said the UFC was the best way to determine which fighting styles were the best because it allows all styles... you'd be overlooking the fact that it's all one on one fights in a relatively small little area.

Imagine trying to grapple somebody while there is a 2 on 2 or 2 on 1 fight, you'd be pretty screwed.  Also strikers barely have any room to manuever around in there, so the shooters almost always get the eventual take down.  

These martial arts are primarily designed for competition, and I don't think there's anything wrong with that, it's a sport afterall.

I think the UFC was dominated by brazilian jiu jitsu for a long time, and while I've only seen a few of the more recent ones, it seems to be almost all 'mixed martial artists' which means they don't really come from any particular school, they just combine some kind of grappling and some kind of striking with a lot of endurance training.  There were a lot more strikers winning by knock outs because they had the training to avoid holds and take downs.

Well, also, the judges were breaking up on the ground stalemates that didn't seem to be going anywhere, which changes the sport quite in the strikers favor imo.  It was definitely a way more mature sport then the first couple UFCs I saw which were mostly freakshows, albeit entertaining, of sumo vs kung fu, etc.  

They stop fights way sooner now when people are no longer defending themselves properly, sometimes all it takes is a guy's eyes rolling back or body going loose for a split second and the fight is over.  They seem to really take pride in the fact that they've had no deaths and a pretty low number of injuries.  It's kind of weird to think american football is probably more dangerous.

[ Parent ]

very true, but maybe it's the best we have (none / 0) (#82)
by guitartroll on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 11:11:21 PM EST

Sure the UFC isn't perfect. It's not really a 100% acurate test. But maybe it's the best available right now. I'm pretty sure the techniques that you see these guys use - which these days seems to be about 70% boxing, 15% Muay Thai and 15% Brazilian Ju-jitsu would work in real self defense situations.

In the first UFCs you saw a lot of different stuff. High kicks, silly traditional stuff, etc. Those guys didn't do very well. Some traditionalists were very embrassing in their fights. People like that stopped entering, or changed the way they fought.

I do think the UFC is a bit slanted to grapplers for the reasons you mentioned. It's not a huge slant however.

Really the UFC isn't anything new. Stuff like this went on often in "the old days", it just hadn't happened in the US before. Read about the challenge matches between the Judo guys and the Ju-Jitsu guys back when Kano had recently formed Judo. Who would have thought taking the most dangerous techniques out of a martial art would actually make it more effective? It's debateable if if did for self defense, but it sure gave the Judo guys an advantage, because they could train exactly like they would fight!

[ Parent ]

The only way to win is not to play. (1.50 / 1) (#97)
by kitten on Sat Jul 02, 2005 at 01:46:42 AM EST

You're talking about two different things here -- which is better for beating someone to a pulp, and which is better for self defense, which was the original question posed.

"Self defense" isn't just about fighting. Fighting should be the very last resort. Self defense should be a mentality that lets you avoid trouble when possible, keeping yourself out of stupid situations, and being confident enough that if some drunken moron is trying to push you around, you can walk away. Most fights I've seen get started when tempers flare and neither party is willing to back down because, goddammit, that would be pussy. He who knows he could kick a guy's face in doesn't need to prove to the world that he's not a wimp. He can walk away with dignity, and let the other grunt thump his chest about it. Who cares? This is the kind of thing that a good martial art will teach you, I think -- hence our instructors making us sweep out the dojo or balance things on our heads for no apparent reason. It's stupid and sometimes embarrassing and that's life.

So that's what I mean when I say self-defense. Being an expert in martial arts is kind of like carrying a gun for protection -- the idea is not to display your power at the first sign of trouble, but to avoid ever having to use it. Knowing that you have it is usually enough to make you aware of your environment and that you don't need to prove your dick size to everyone. The analogy falls apart when you realize that becoming deadly with a martial art means years of training, which will also teach you how to walk away, whereas just about any slob can buy a gun.

mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
Well, please let me clarify where we disagree (none / 0) (#144)
by guitartroll on Sun Jul 03, 2005 at 05:34:56 PM EST

Your points on self defense vs. fighting are excellent. I agree, and should have mentioned something like that specifically in my acticle.

However, there comes a time sometimes when avoidance of situations, awareness, de-escalations, humble nature, etc. won't keep you out of a situation.
Odds are, you won't have a weapon with you.

I'm not saying it happens a LOT. But it does sometimes happen, even to people who are very much going out of their way to avoid trouble.

The question is at that point is what martial art is good for those situations? The problem is that TKD is very bad for these situations from all evidence.

If you defend TKD by saying "we train not to fight", well that's sort of like a parachute manufactor making an intentionally flaky parachute and saying "well, you shouldn't be using it anyways - it's only for emergenies". It's TRUE you should not be using your techniques on someone except as a last resort. But what about when that time comes?

If you want to say that TKD is a great sport, that it trains discipline and humbleness, and will give you superior fitness - I'll buy all that. If you say it's just cool as an art, and just looks neat - I'll agree with that too.

It's just it isn't as good at self defense as other arts.

[ Parent ]

Then I don't have a great answer. (2.50 / 2) (#178)
by kitten on Mon Jul 04, 2005 at 06:09:40 AM EST

As I indicated I have very limited experience in fighting. Some friends and I used to have a group we called "Quilting Circle", as a euphamism for what was essentially a fight club (this was before the movie came out, thankyouverymuch), and we called it that because at the time we thought we'd get in trouble if we were caught ("Hey guys, are we, uh, 'quilting' tonight?"). As it happens, the second or third time we met, the cops were called, and after we explained who we were and what we were doing, their only response was "Cool, can we watch?"

This was almost no-holds-barred fighting, with two exceptions: no moves designed to permenantly injure or cripple, and no thrusting kicks to the head. The only safety gear was a mouthpiece and a pair of ten-ounce gloves (mostly so you wouldn't break your knuckles on some guy's skull -- they did nothing to soften the blow, nor were they meant to). Fights would go for three minutes, or until someone either keeled over or tapped out, unless both parties agreed at the end of the three minutes, in which case it would be extended to a maximum of five.

This group consisted mostly of martial arts students and military enlisted, mostly Marines. I was easily the smallest of this group, and hardly the most accomplished martial artist anyway, but I did it, mostly to see if I had what it took.

Depending on your outlook, I either did or I didn't.

As I said I was the smallest in this group. At six feet and like 140 pounds, I've got plenty of muscle, but I'm still just not a big guy, and against a hulking 240 pound Marine, "being strong for your size" just doesn't cut it. I got my clock cleaned most of the time, having my name drawn against these huge brutes and guys with training in more martial arts than I can even pronounce. I won maybe two or three times out of a dozen or so fights.

But the point was that I did it, knowing the odds were against me and I didn't stand much of a chance against these guys. You get in there, you give it your all, you get your ass handed to you on a silver platter that says "ASS", and at the end there's beer and camraderie.

Now as for tae kwon do, it's hard to say if it served me well. It definetly kept me from getting seriously hurt, as I was able to dodge or block a great many of the fists being hurled at my head, and all those forms and balancing acts gave me the ability to be quick and think fast, throwing kicks when the guy wasn't expecting them. It's too easy for me to say that against someone similarly sized, I'd have won quickly, but I've never had the chance to test it. And frankly, if you're up against someone twice your size, maybe it's time to throw your wallet at him or something, instead of trying to fight, no matter what you think you know about fighting.

It's TRUE you should not be using your techniques on someone except as a last resort. But what about when that time comes?

Again, hard to say. I don't imagine that most random assailants trying to grab your wallet are martial artists or wrestlers, nor is the drunk pendejo jerkoff trying to pick a fight at the club. Against such opponents, I'd guess that any martial art is going to help you. Everyone so far has been trying to compare one form to another, as though you're going to run into a gang of street toughs who just so happen to be aikido experts.

The reality of most fights is it's one punk with too much testosterone and not enough brains, and almost certainly no formal training, and he isn't likely to just fly in out of nowhere and start attacking you. There's usually some pre-fight shit-talking, or some shoving, or some menacing hooey or other -- all plenty of time for you to just leave, or buy the guy another drink, or whatever it takes. If it actually comes to blows, a solid kick to his sternum or a palm slammed into his nose will probably shut him up with a quickness. Such things don't require extensive training, but the training will give you the level head, the confidence, the coordination, the strength, the balance, and the flexibility you'll need to pull it off.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
You're a pussy. (none / 1) (#161)
by The Voice of Reason on Sun Jul 03, 2005 at 10:17:35 PM EST

Fighting should be the very last resort.

Please...tell me how your non-fighting self-defence works when someone on the street headbutts you. Bear in mind you've no experience fighting, you've not experienced being hit before, and you don't know how to fight other than kicking the air. Self defence without the experience and ability to back it up is less than worthless.

He who knows he could kick a guy's face in doesn't need to prove to the world that he's not a wimp. He can walk away with dignity

If you don't get into fights, you CAN'T kick a guy's face in. When you walk away, you're not walking away with dignity, you're walking away as a coward, because you know you can't fight, because you know you'll get your head kicked in because you have as much fighting experience as Bill Gates. So instead of standing up for yourself you slither away like a worm, humiliated in front of everyone. You pretend you've got your head held high, that you did the right thing and came away unhurt, but you died a little inside. A man with no pride is no man, he's a worm.

hence our instructors making us sweep out the dojo or balance things on our heads for no apparent reason.

If I paid by the hour to sweep the floor or balance something on my head, I'd get my money back. I can do that at home. But then I suppose when you've got an instructor who's never been in a fight himself and is just peddling bullshido for a living, he doesn't want to teach any fighting because his limp-wrist will snap the first time he tries to throw a punch.

[ Parent ]

You are what you eat, yes. (3.00 / 2) (#175)
by kitten on Mon Jul 04, 2005 at 05:14:03 AM EST

Please...tell me how your non-fighting self-defence works when someone on the street headbutts you.

Tell me what rough-and-tumble anarchy you live in, so I can avoid it. In my city we can walk around without being headbutted, you know?

When you walk away, you're not walking away with dignity, you're walking away as a coward,

Oh dear me, the headbutters of the world will laugh at me. Whatever shall I do!

and you don't know how to fight other than kicking the air.

I'm fighting the people whose tactic involves lowering their head and charging like a bull, right? Without provocation? I just wanted to be clear on this.

So instead of standing up for yourself you slither away like a worm, humiliated in front of everyone. You pretend you've got your head held high, that you did the right thing and came away unhurt, but you died a little inside. A man with no pride is no man, he's a worm.

Your analogies need work. You used this "worm" thing twice in as many sentences. It wasn't clever the first time.

If I paid by the hour to sweep the floor or balance something on my head, I'd get my money back. I can do that at home.

Yes, but apparently you didn't, which is why you live in constant fear of people headbutting you for no reason. Maybe you should have studied with me, but it's probably too late for you.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
pride (none / 0) (#260)
by Rhodes on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 03:54:04 PM EST

is a dangerous thing, especially for you.

[ Parent ]
Self-defense deosn't mean avoiding fights (none / 0) (#170)
by Dievs on Mon Jul 04, 2005 at 02:27:15 AM EST

  Self-defense is anything that allows you to walk away unharmed after meeting by two criminals intent on taking your money and raping your girlfriend.
  Backing off doesn't cut it.

[ Parent ]
troll (none / 0) (#259)
by Rhodes on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 03:52:24 PM EST

self defense is being aware of your surroundings enough that you are not provoked by the two thugs. avoidance is so much more useful, and reduces your risk, considerably.

[ Parent ]
What??? (none / 0) (#160)
by The Voice of Reason on Sun Jul 03, 2005 at 10:11:41 PM EST

by fighting? What's the point?

Perhaps you've misunderstood the point of martial arts. What you're looking for is probably something non-violent, like flower-arranging or dick-sucking.

By the time you realize you can kick ass

How the fuck do you know whether you can 'kick ass' when you've never been in a fight, and the closest you've been to physical combat is kicking the air?

Only those who feel they've got some macho crap to prove want to "put their skills to the test".

So you're effectively saying that these martial arts don't actually work.

Face the facts: unless you've been in a lot of real fights, you're no more skilled than someone who's never got off the couch on their life, no matter how many times you dance around in the dojo.

[ Parent ]

-1, Inspires too much wankery (2.83 / 12) (#21)
by thelizman on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 03:22:10 PM EST

The article, excepting formatting that is annoying, is itself decent enough to warrant a section vote. Unfortunately, its lack of depth is eclipsed by the wannabe wankery of the flip-wristed effeminite geek crowd eager to prove the their knowledge of some obscure style of martial art entitles them to not only comment on the whole field, but to brag about their ability to achieve x-level dan su or some such. Frankly, listening to Kittyboy brag about being a black belt threatens my respect for martial arts as a discipline.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
People often miss the point. (3.00 / 7) (#22)
by sudog on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 03:29:55 PM EST

Martial arts--any martial arts--are designed specifically to get rapid, combat-useful responses built into your reflexes. The constant motions and endless repetition of the same movements become incorporated into your muscle memory and can be used instantly in a reaction, completely or nearly completely without specific conscious direction.

As long as there is some use in a kata, it will be useful. The problem that Karate katas solve is one of practicality, really:

i. Constant, realistic combat with other individuals, as would be required to train "properly," invariably leads to injury.

ii. People usually have a lot more free time in solitude than they have the company of willing combat partners.

iii. Exercise is good for you.

Katas and similar self-directed practice solve these problems. They give you the necessary repetition, while at the same time providing visualisation exercises that, while not perfect, are *the next best thing* and give you a nice workout.

A mistake people often make is assuming that people who practice katas believe that katas are the end-all of Karate training. Karate-ka are perfectly aware that katas are only a tool that when employed properly, can provide some measure of benefit.

Consider someone who's practised nothing but kata for five years under the direction of a trained specialist. Now put them in the ring with someone who's never been in a fight before. My money's on the karate-ka. Just because the karate student can't whup someone who's been in hundreds of real fights before doesn't make it completely useless.

Another incorrect assumption people make is that the forms create little prisons of the mind: that katas end up limiting the person doing them.

Anyone who's actually done it for years or decades can sit back and laugh at this point, because they already know what I'm about to write: the constant practice puts the movements in your muscle memory, but you aren't locked into a specific sequence and if someone comes at you with something new, it's just as effortless to switch into something else: it's all like a book of basic structures that you'll find you can string together in new ways as the need arises, instantly. It's all in there: kicks, punches, blocks, throws, locks, feints. If you do them enough, they're *all* instantly available.


I doubt the usefulness of the moves in the katas (none / 0) (#28)
by guitartroll on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 04:11:18 PM EST

Sure, karate guys say things like "all the moves you will need are right there in the kata". Then you see them spar or fight - and they do nothing like in the katas!

In the katas, the hands are down. There are techniques like reverse punches from the waist, etc. that you just won't use in real life.

I'm give you that a Karate-teka that has been doing kata for 5 years will beat a guy that has never been in a fight, but how good of a test is that? Take the same Karate-teka, and put him against any one of the following with 5 months training: A boxer, a Thai boxer, a Judo player, a Brazilian Ju-Jitsu guy. I'm predicting the Katate-teka will lose all of these, all things such as size, age, sex and strength being equal.

[ Parent ]

You'd Be Wrong (none / 1) (#41)
by virg on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 05:08:35 PM EST

> I'm predicting the Katate-teka will lose all of these, all things such as size, age, sex and strength being equal.

You'd be wrong in that assumption. The things one learns in kata practice translate very well to physical motion. I've never practiced any of the arts you describe to put up against karate-ka, and still I'd have little difficuty besting someone who's trained for six months, no matter what they study, unless that study has been all-encompassing and as thorough as military training. Against a boxer? You must be kidding. I fought a boxer in a sparring match, and while we were each better in our own ways, if I met him on the street I'd ruin him because boxing doesn't provide defense against kicks. As to the others, none of them would have enough practice time in five months to react as quickly as I would with more years, and frankly in any hand-to-hand fight, it's that ability to react faster that wins every single time. There's simply not enough time to really lock down those sorts of movements in five months.

Next time you consider how a master fights, think about driving. Do you think about how hard to push the pedal when you accelerate, or do you just do it without thinking? Can you hold a conversation while you drive, and do you need to stop talking to concentrate on making a left turn? The answer is that the motions you use to drive are so ingrained after a while that you don't even need to think about it when you change to a different car. This is what the black belt represents: the ability to dodge an incoming attack without having to think about it, and often in spite of thinking about it. Just today I fell off the back of a truck when a pallet full of stuff shifted my way, and dropped four feet to asphalt on my back without any injury, because I didn't need to think about how to land, my body simply reacted to falling backward because I'd done it so often in training. If I'd only been at it for five months I'd never have reacted like that.

Virg
"Imagine (it won't be hard) that most people would prefer seeing Carrot Top beaten to death with a bag of walnuts." - Jmzero
[ Parent ]
So why to Karate-tekas do so badly in Contests? (none / 0) (#45)
by guitartroll on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 05:17:15 PM EST

If Katas and Karate as so effective, why do we not see people winning no-holds-barred events with these techniques.

It's not like Master ranked Karate-tekas haven't tried. They have just all been beaten soundly. So bad it was embarassing.

[ Parent ]

Well, (none / 1) (#85)
by trhurler on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 11:28:35 PM EST

To be fair, the no holds barred contests aren't really no holds barred, AND also there is increasing speculation that the contests may not be quite what they're advertised as. The kicks used make sense in that they're all below the waist, but they tend to be slow and look rather like WWF kicks - choreographed so nobody really gets hurt. Nobody ever punches as fast as you see boxers punch, nor do punches have any significant effect unless you are on the ground - that's just ridiculous. With the tiny gloves, the punches ought to be faster, and although boxers are among the best punchers in the world, some of these guys ought to be too. Then there's the fact that despite the contest rules, all the contestents know that if they actually use methods that might reasonably be expected to possibly cause death, they will face criminal charges.

In short, the most brutal, direct, and effective methods in real world use tend to be striking methods, but the most effective UFC and so on fighters are almost all wrestlers. This suggests that the tournaments are skewing the results.

Not that I'm defending karate - I just don't think a tournament proves much about what's useful in a real fight.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Okay, you have my interest up, now clarify (none / 0) (#90)
by guitartroll on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 11:47:43 PM EST

You say:

AND also there is increasing speculation that the contests may not be quite what they're advertised as.

I'm no disputing this might be true, but I've never heard anyone seriously speculating this lately. I mena sure peopel did whe the UFC first came out. Do you have any more info? If so, please provide it - I'd love to see it.

You say the following:

In short, the most brutal, direct, and effective methods in real world use tend to be striking methods, but the most effective UFC and so on fighters are almost all wrestlers. This suggests that the tournaments are skewing the results.

What do you base this on? I'm not so sure this is the case, but I'm certainly willing to hear your point of view.  

From what I've seen of the UFC these days, it's almost 85% striking! I seems like the grapplers had a huge advantage in the early years, because strikers couldn't deal with them. Now everyone cross trains BJJ, Boxing and Muay Thai - or something like that.

I'm not entirely convinced striking is the most brutal, direct, etc. Chokes, throws, joint locks/breaks are pretty brutal and direct as well.


[ Parent ]

Simple (none / 0) (#100)
by trhurler on Sat Jul 02, 2005 at 02:42:28 AM EST

First of all, you aren't going to see bone breaking locks actually used to break any bones in these competitions for one simple reason: there's no way in hell the law wouldn't get involved, wanted or otherwise. Chokes can be used, but at your own risk: accidentally kill or permanently injure someone, and your contract won't protect you. And so on. The brutal parts of grappling simply can't be effectively used.

Second, most of the competitions are strikers these days, but it isn't because everyone knows BJJ. It is because that's what the public wants to see. Matches that are over in 30 seconds or less due to a submission are boring. This is where the allegations of less than reality come in. No, these things aren't scripted like WWF or anything like that, but they are obviously slanted towards what audiences want to see. If they weren't, an awful lot of the nonsense that goes on simply wouldn't. Some guy pins another guy against the mat and spends a good thirty seconds punching him in the shoulders before hitting him in the head? Please. That would never really happen. A guy kicks another guy using all the speed and skill you expect of some WWF poser? Sure, buddy. Whatever.

If what you mean is that none of your friends say these things and you don't hear them on TV, when's the last time you heard "WWF is fake" on TV? Your friends know, as everyone does - it is just too ridiculous to be real - but nobody actually SAYS it on TV. These other fights are more believable if you want to believe, but if you look at early ones compared to today, it isn't hard to see the difference. Back then the audiences were small and the money wasn't much bigger. Now it is a huge deal. Why? Because it isn't dominated by a Gracie anymore.

These days, it is essentially boxing with kicks allowed. Except these guys would get pummelled by real boxers. Which tells you something - they're putting on a show. They're not all chumps. Many of them would beat the hell out of any boxer in the world if they met out on some street corner. BUT, that doesn't go on for six rounds.

If you're not convinced that striking is the most brutal, direct way to hurt someone, try to put a hold on a golden gloves boxer. When you wake up, you'll have a different point of view.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Some good points, but... (none / 0) (#143)
by guitartroll on Sun Jul 03, 2005 at 05:22:10 PM EST

Okay, interesting observations on the UFC. I have to admit I've only seen a couple of the more recent ones. I sort of thing of the 1994-1995 stuff as the UFC that showed Karate-tekas getting their asses handed to them. Since you posted this in the Kata usefullness subthread, I was expecting some defense of traditional karate from you. Instead, I get a defense of boxing, which I already know is extremely effective. Just one point. You say: If you're not convinced that striking is the most brutal, direct way to hurt someone, try to put a hold on a golden gloves boxer. When you wake up, you'll have a different point of view. I'll agree that boxers are great at doing some hurting. But I suspect against a BJJ blackbelt - 6 or 7 times out of 10 it might be the boxer waking up with a different point of view. Of course I'm not a BJJ blackbelt, or anything better that even a half-assed boxer - so for me to even say much more is wankery on the level of "who would win in a fight with zombie dogs vs radioactive monkeys?".

[ Parent ]
Karate-ka. Not -teka. And Judo-ka. (none / 0) (#198)
by sudog on Mon Jul 04, 2005 at 01:21:06 PM EST

Ka means student.


[ Parent ]
my bad (none / 1) (#204)
by guitartroll on Mon Jul 04, 2005 at 02:52:10 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Gah, you just don't know about this stuff.. (none / 0) (#239)
by jmzero on Wed Jul 06, 2005 at 01:34:34 PM EST

First of all, you aren't going to see bone breaking locks actually used to break any bones in these competitions for one simple reason: there's no way in hell the law wouldn't get involved, wanted or otherwise.

Tim Sylvia got his arm broken at UFC 48 because he didn't tap to a straight armbar.  We don't see more broken bones because most guys have the sense to tap out in that kind of position.

they are obviously slanted towards what audiences want to see.

This is somewhat true.  Guys like Renato Verissimo, who's a technical grappler but kind of boring, don't get invited back to the UFC unless they're very dominant.  Nothing shady, just smart marketing to a US crowd that wants punching.

And just one more reason to watch Pride instead of the UFC.  The Japanese audiences are much more educated, and the product Pride produces is thus much more balanced.
.
"Let's not stir that bag of worms." - my lovely wife
[ Parent ]

You need to watch more. (none / 1) (#191)
by jmzero on Mon Jul 04, 2005 at 11:13:26 AM EST

Nobody ever punches as fast as you see boxers punch, nor do punches have any significant effect unless you are on the ground - that's just ridiculous.

Recent K1's have included pro boxers, like Botha and Mercer (both ex-champs).  They're doing fairly well, with a solid edge over other fighters in punching - but they're not orders of magnitude better at it (and obviously still getting used to other fight components).  Certainly there's better boxers than Botha, but he gives some idea of how they compare.

And standing punches quite often end fights.  Have you seen a UFC since 1995?

The kicks used make sense in that they're all below the waist

High kicks are now EXTREMELY common.  Why?  Because a kick to the head can end a fight.

AND also there is increasing speculation that the contests may not be quite what they're advertised as

The major organizations are much LESS likely to feature worked fights than they were 5 years ago.    

but the most effective UFC and so on fighters are almost all wrestlers

The champ at HW is Arlovski - primarily a striker in practice (though certainly skilled on the ground).  Champ at LHW is Liddell - primarily a striker (though also a fair wrestler).  Champ at MW is Franklin - won belt by punching and recently mainly a Muay Thai fighter (though again, solid ground skills).  WW champ, Hughes, is indeed a wrestler.    Edwards, the closest thing to a LW champ, is a striker.  If anything, there has been a strange dearth in grappling in the UFC.  For years.

That said, the UFC is a small pond - and really Pride is where you should be looking.  Mirko Filopivic - probably the best MMA man in the world right now - is a pure kickboxer.  8/10 fights end with a high kick unlike the world has seen.  Probably ever.

You've got some good points and ideas - but you're speaking from very limited knowledge.
.
"Let's not stir that bag of worms." - my lovely wife
[ Parent ]

Your Mistake... (none / 1) (#232)
by virg on Tue Jul 05, 2005 at 12:21:44 PM EST

...is in changing the premises. Who cares about competitions in a discussion about self defense? Your original question was in what to use for personal self defense in a real world brawl, and if you're looking for something useful outside the arena, virtually any training of any kind of martial art will do, with a few exceptions like boxing (sorry, trhurler). It's the amount of time you spend that's important, and the reaction speed you'll build up. The only reason I tend to exclude boxing (and kickboxing) is that trained boxers tend not to grab a weapon if there's one at hand, and in a street fight the "hit your opponent and run like hell" strategy is often most effective.

Virg
"Imagine (it won't be hard) that most people would prefer seeing Carrot Top beaten to death with a bag of walnuts." - Jmzero
[ Parent ]
Um (none / 1) (#87)
by trhurler on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 11:36:46 PM EST

I dare you to go one round with a boxer of your same weight who is successful on any pro circuit. I will put substantial money on the boxer, because I know several things you apparently don't.

One: yes, boxing underemphasizes defense. However, boxers are good at covering their heads and noticing things in their peripheral vision. (In fact, the main thing that beating a guy on the head does short of knocking him out is reduce his peripheral vision, making him easier to hit.) Your kicks aren't as likely to land as you think, especially because compared to the strikes the boxer is used to, kicks are GLACIALLY slow. So you can probably forget about kicks as an advantage, except against knees, shins, ankles, and so on.

Two: the boxer's punches are faster than yours. A LOT faster. You have no idea until you face one. Without some training time facing that sort of thing, you very likely will not even see his arms move before you feel the pain. And if you think you've been trained to hit hard, you have no idea. Your opponent is stronger than you - take that as a given. He's much faster. He is used to hitting with gloves, so he has no fear whatsoever of harming himself. Your strikes, by comparison, will look to him like they're in slow motion. He won't bother to block, because he won't be there by the time your fist arrives anyway.

Three: even if you hit him, the boxer has lots of experience taking hits, fighting through pain, and even fighting while injured. This kind of ability only comes with long experience which you lack. Your kick to the head might be rough, but it likely doesn't hit as hard as a boxer's punch, which he's taken to the face numerous times.

Four: the boxer is going to dance around you. He will use his speed and reflexes to tire you out. And this is one area where probably no martial artist in the world can keep up: aerobic conditioning. Boxers are probably the best aerobically trained athletes in the world. If not, soccer and hockey players, but I'm betting on boxers. You simply will not be able to keep up with a guy like that. You may think "in the real world" it'll end quickly, but not if you can't hit him. You might grapple him, but in order to do that, you have to get inside, and he WILL hit you while you're getting there.

In short, I will place real world training and experience in actually getting hit hard and hitting back hard and so on over any training regimen in the world. This isn't unique to boxers, but it certainly applies to them, and it certainly doesn't apply to you.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Yes and no. (none / 0) (#106)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sat Jul 02, 2005 at 10:18:50 AM EST

Yes, you're right that boxers have a bigger advantage than most karate types realize -  but you said it yourself:

So you can probably forget about kicks as an advantage, except against knees, shins, ankles, and so on.

No sane martial artist kicks to the face in a real world fight - but a nice ankle stomp or kick to the inside of the knee works wonders.

But of a lot of it goes back to guitartroll's basic premise - people in the martial arts tend to think they are badasses because they know the difference between a back-knuckle and a reverse punch, but street fighting ain't no art.

As others have suggested here, I think the real purpose of any "self defense school" is to give yourself enough time to run the hell away.

How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?
[ Parent ]

Well, (none / 0) (#112)
by trhurler on Sat Jul 02, 2005 at 02:52:47 PM EST

The thing is, I bet you'll have a harder time stomping some boxer's ankle than you think, and getting in close enough to make it count WILL involve getting hit several times.

Even wearing regulation gloves, boxers hit faster and harder than just about anyone else. Remove all that weight from their fists, and guess what? They're even faster and hit even harder, and they apply it to a smaller area. Most well trained boxers who hit you in the head without gloves are going to knock you out immediately.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Heh. I know a boxer who agrees with you. (none / 0) (#114)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sat Jul 02, 2005 at 04:38:08 PM EST

He was very proud of the results of what was supposed to be a promotion for a martial arts school. After getting creamed a couple of times with the kicks, he learned the other guys timing, dodged the kick and nailed him with a roundhouse to the head.

How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?
[ Parent ]
feh. I forgot my point. (none / 0) (#115)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sat Jul 02, 2005 at 04:41:26 PM EST

Anyway, I guess my real point is still that it comes down to the guy not the school - if your fast and you've been trained to react and not stand and watch your opponent throw shots at you - I think that matters more than what style you've been trained in.

How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?
[ Parent ]
boxer without gloves = (none / 0) (#257)
by Rhodes on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 03:38:55 PM EST

broken hands. of course your face will probably be broken, too, but those gloves protect the puncher more than the punchee.

[ Parent ]
The Real World (none / 1) (#231)
by virg on Tue Jul 05, 2005 at 12:12:20 PM EST

> dare you to go one round with a boxer of your same weight who is successful on any pro circuit. I will put substantial money on the boxer, because I know several things you apparently don't.

Welcome to the real world, sir. This discussion is about defending oneself in a brawl, and your famed boxer's training wouldn't hold up to how to avoid the stool when I throw it at him, or how to duck and dodge a broom handle, unless boxing has started on weapons training since I last had contact with it. More importantly, you can talk about fast punches all you like, but no boxer exists that learned how to defend against a flying tackle (or any grab or grapple at all), and this I know from experience. So you may want to correct your experience to the actual dicussion.

Did you really think that a brawl is a clean fight outside of Hollywood?

Virg
"Imagine (it won't be hard) that most people would prefer seeing Carrot Top beaten to death with a bag of walnuts." - Jmzero
[ Parent ]
tough athletes (none / 0) (#258)
by Rhodes on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 03:41:48 PM EST

wrestlers have similar or better aerobic toughness as boxers-- partly because there is less money in "real" olympic style greco-roman or free style wrestling than boxing, and the actors in "pro" wrestling train to act and look impressive.

[ Parent ]
Yeah... (none / 0) (#159)
by The Voice of Reason on Sun Jul 03, 2005 at 09:58:48 PM EST

It's quite clear you've never been in a real fight before. Your post is full of 'ifs' and 'woulds'.

[ Parent ]
Real Fights (none / 0) (#230)
by virg on Tue Jul 05, 2005 at 12:01:39 PM EST

> It's quite clear you've never been in a real fight before.

Incorrect. I've been in several fights and near fights, and due to training I'm still here. One of the first things you learn from studying martial arts is that it's not a street fighting form. The only real street fight I was in involved realizing that I needed to outreach someone with a short knife, and realizing quickly that a folding chair has longer reach, and more impact, than a shiv. It worked like a charm, but this isn't the movies. Kicks and blocks and all have somewhat less effect than pelting someone with bottles or hitting them with a pool cue. Most street fights are dirty pool, and as I said before, it's speed that wins every time. It's great to talk about using karate in a fist fight, but real fights are rarely fist fights. Still, my reaction speed was part of my training, and it's served me well in the three times I needed it in conflict.

Virg
"Imagine (it won't be hard) that most people would prefer seeing Carrot Top beaten to death with a bag of walnuts." - Jmzero
[ Parent ]
actaully (none / 0) (#235)
by ProfessorBooty on Tue Jul 05, 2005 at 04:28:17 PM EST

Kata teaches you combinations.

You also need to practice them with opponents, its basically the same as prearranged sparring, and allows one to see how grappling can be involved and enables one to really understand what is going on in the kata.

I primarily teach my students through partner drills, which includes performing the kata with several partners.

You are right about one thing. Too many people study the basics and kata of a style and then procede to just kickbox.

[ Parent ]

Are the katas what we think they are? (none / 0) (#252)
by borys on Thu Jul 07, 2005 at 03:33:42 PM EST

When I was taking TKD as a youngster, I was told that some of the forms I was taught applied to different situations such as 4 attackers on each side.

Looking back on it now, it seems fairly impractical that these assailants would be so courteous & orderly as to wait their turn, apply the appropriate attack, etc. I've encountered the idea that katas are kinda like dictionaries of techniques that have been packaged so as to be memorable & practiceable alone. Having honed the skills, they are randomly accessible.

This doesn't explain why katas have the grouping and sequencing they do. Different traditions have developed differring explanations of the same forms. I think it is likely that the origins of the katas have been lost to many current schools.

Nathan Johnson has written a very interesting book, Barefoot Zen: The Shaolin Roots of Kung Fu & Karate, that explores the history of Kung Fu & Karate and their forms. He traces them back to Shaolin partner-contact meditation practices that developed into open-hand martial arts.

He gives pictorial evidence of someone performing a form such as Naifuanchin on their own. Then the same form is performed with a partner as if the form were meant to be a set of grappling techniques. What appeared to be disjointed strikes & blocks when performed alone, now appear to be a coherent sequence of locks, balance controls, and other such hand-to-hand techniques.

Look for it at the library! It was a very interesting book and brought up some interesting questions about the history we have received about these arts.



[ Parent ]
This is one of those subjects (2.66 / 3) (#42)
by Dont Fear The Reaper on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 05:09:49 PM EST

that are really really good at getting people flood the comments with inane opinionating. It doesn't even matter if they have martial arts experience or not, the question is just not a good one. It's not even that the non self-defense benefits far outweigh the self-defense ones, it's that the question implies the existence of something that simply doesn't exist.

The best style for self-defense is Jeet Kun Do, because there is no best style for self-defense, because there is no such thing as self-defense.

To paraphrase an idea from computer science, even thinking about the question is premature optimization, which is the root of all evil.

Your logic is flawed, or I'm missing your point (none / 0) (#47)
by guitartroll on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 05:27:02 PM EST

You say:

The best style for self-defense is Jeet Kun Do, because there is no best style for self-defense, because there is no such thing as self-defense.

I'm not really understanding what you are saying here. The guys I see practicing Jeet Kun Do have always claimed to be practicing a self defense art.

Of course a thing as self defense exists. There is such a thing as a self ( Speaking for myself, I know that I exist), and there are actions that can be considered defending that self. Some people train in those techniques, and this is what has been come to be called "self defense"

[ Parent ]

The self doesn't exist either. (none / 0) (#69)
by Dont Fear The Reaper on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 08:43:12 PM EST

You can argue that one about as long as you can argue about what style is best for self-defense, with about as much benefit.

"No art is superior to any other. That is the object lesson of Jeet Kune Do, to be unbound, to be free: in combat to use no style as style, to use no way as the way, to have no limitation as the only limitation."

[ Parent ]

That sounds great in a zen sort of way. But no. (none / 0) (#74)
by guitartroll on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 09:07:13 PM EST

Sounds good, but I do think that some arts are measurably better than others for certain type of fighting. Some are useless for every type of fighting or self defense. Some are good for many or most.

Sorry, Bruce Lee or not, I have to say that I disagree.

[ Parent ]

Exactly. (none / 0) (#88)
by An Onerous Coward on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 11:39:35 PM EST

The point isn't "Every style is as good as every other," but (to de-zennify it),  "When you're surrounded by three guys who want to hurt you very badly,  you don't worry about style.  Just do whatever it takes to be the last one standing."

Once the zen is taken out of it,  it doesn't sound all that impressive.  But some people need it to have a philosophical feel.  So KJD gives it to them.  Once again emphasizing the lesson:  if it works,  it's good.

[ Parent ]

Zen and JKD are not (none / 0) (#108)
by Dont Fear The Reaper on Sat Jul 02, 2005 at 11:11:39 AM EST

there to give you something that sounds philosophical or impressive, they are there to remind you that at least two or three nines (and probably more) of the (philosophical and other) questions we ask are useless, because they're too vague to be meaningful as a starting point for thought or discussion. If it works it's good, but "works" can't meaningfully be discussed with a criteria as vague as "self-defense." It would be far better to ask and discuss what self-defense even means.

[ Parent ]
Concerning martial arts and self-defense (2.66 / 3) (#48)
by codejack on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 05:28:06 PM EST

First off, my background in such matters consists of fights in school (many), fights in (or outside of) bars (not so many), and some training in different arts over the years.

So my biggest complaint is that you have missed the most important attribute a person can have to win a fight: Aggressiveness. Give me an 18 year old kid for a month to teach him aggressiveness, and NOTHING else, and I will back him against 75% of the black-belts out there. Note how the military trains soldiers; Teach them to attack, and worry about technique later.

As for the various forms, your comments have much merit, though it is worthy of note that most forms are specialized for the environment in which they developed; Tae Kwon Do, with it's fan kicks and such, is generally a good way to get killed in a street fight (Sensei Reynolds first rule: Never kick above the waist). Using against a man on a horse or ledge, OTOH, becomes a reasonable idea, if still likely to result in failure. However, this was the environment in which the art developed.

Karate, Ju-Jitsu, Hapkido, Kung Fu, etc all have similar strengths and weaknesses. Aikido, IMHO, is one of the most useful martial arts for self-defense, because of it's concentration on balance and using your opponents strength against them.

The two aspects of training you are looking at, self-defense, and the ability to fight, need to be separated to be effective. As others have noted, "...and then run away." should be the basis of any self-defense training. If you really want to learn to fight, go take whatever martial art you want, then walk into a biker bar, find the biggest guy in there, and spit in his drink. When you get out of the hospital, if you think you need more training, go do it again.

I should point out that the vast majority of fights I have been in wound up on the ground, and the most useful training I had came from high school wrestling. Also, lest anyone think that I am "wanking", I have had my ass kicked many, many times.


Please read before posting.

Good points. How do you train agressiveness? (none / 0) (#73)
by guitartroll on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 09:01:42 PM EST

Some good points. I did a few years of wrestling, so I identify with what you are saying about it.

Good points about fighting vs. self defense. I hadn't really thought to make the distinction in this write up. I agree Aikido is good for self defense, rather than beating people up.

I agree to a certain extent with what you are saying about the agressiveness. It's not to be overlooked. How would you train it? By really harsh training? Or what else?

I disagree about what you are saying about Tae Kwon Do. The Japanese occupied Korea during WWII and tried to stamp out all Korean martial arts - they did a pretty good job, by most accounts. They incouraged Japanese arts instead. After the occupation ended, the Koreans took the Karate they had learned and chaged it to make it "more Korean". All the stuff you year about horseback and all that are myths and legends. Korean backstory to show that TKD is an ancient Korean art. Really it is modified Karate. Look at the Katas - some are nearly identical. There many be SOME ancient Korean techniques that some people teach that aren't from Karate. I'd think maybe Tang Soo Do (which is even more similar to Karate), might have a few - because it does not have the sport focus that TKD has.

In Korean there is an art called Yudo, which is identical to Judo. It's practitioners might tell you that Judo is based on it rather than the other way around. It's a nationalist type thing.

[ Parent ]

Well (3.00 / 2) (#89)
by codejack on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 11:44:00 PM EST

There are different ways to train aggressiveness, depending on the desired result; Everything from football to military training involves a lot of it. Essentially, it is training to act on instinct, as opposed to the normal tendency to think about what you are doing. Then, when you train effective moves, such as with katas, they become instinctual, and you have an effective fighter. Without the aggressiveness, the tendency to think, and therefore hesitate, will get a person killed in any serious fight.

With self-defense, the aggressiveness isn't as important because it is inherently reactive. This also leads into the "...and then you run away" training, because you will lose a stand up fight by being reactive. Effective self-defense training should involve maneuvers to surprise and slow down the attacker long enough to get away.

As for Tae Kwon Do, I have very little respect for it, perhaps because it has changed due to various influences over the years, including WWII. As it stands now, too many of the moves are either reactive, being optimized for self-defense, or minimally effective, designed for speed in competition "tag" sparring, once again, perhaps effective for self-defense, but not serious fighting. And then there are the kicks; Kick above the waist, and you will die. Oh, if you are fighting someone who doesn't know what they are doing, intoxicated, and stupid, and you get lucky, you can knock his block off, but it never happens.

In case it is not obvious by now, I have a great deal of disdain for most "self-defense" martial arts. If you can avoid a fight, do so. You never come out of a fight better than you came in. If you can't, hit hard, hit fast, and above all, hit first. Everything else is window dressing.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
I just have one thing to say (1.50 / 2) (#50)
by collideiscope on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 06:02:30 PM EST

Brazillian jiu-jitsu +1 year + Muay Thai +1 year + weight and endurance training = instant badass

-------------------------------
Hope is a disease. Get infected.
Instant? (none / 1) (#52)
by iLurk on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 06:24:05 PM EST

2+ years = instant?

[ Parent ]
I wonder (none / 0) (#131)
by shokk on Sun Jul 03, 2005 at 10:36:26 AM EST

what people who have taken BJJ and MT for more than one year each would have to say about your "badass" style.  I'm sure no one with that portfolio has ever attacked someone or started a barfight.
"Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart, he dreams himself your master."
[ Parent ]
Not a martial art... (none / 1) (#53)
by gordonjcp on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 06:28:15 PM EST

... but it works for me. If you're 6' tall (about average and 14 stone (195lb or 90kg, for those of you outside the UK) and can lift a car engine, then people tend not to give you much hassle.

I've finished very nearly every fight I've been in. I've not started any of them.

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.


Maybe it's just UK (none / 0) (#58)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 06:51:41 PM EST

but my friend who's 195cm and 110kg pure muscle gets into fight because he is big and there's a bunch of idiots out there who want to take a stab at the chance of taking down that big guy. This was in America. I know the average UKian male has about as much testosterone in himself as a wet castrated female cat, so that might be the reason why you don't get harassed.

--
"What's next, sigging a k5er quote about sigging someone on k5?"


[ Parent ]
Oh, well... (none / 0) (#65)
by gordonjcp on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 07:45:06 PM EST

... every now and again you get people who want to have a go. I don't look that big, though. Maybe that's got a lot to do with it. Most of my weight is bone - my wrists are about as thick as someone else my size's ankles.

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.


[ Parent ]
Maybe its because Im not British, (none / 0) (#107)
by hoops on Sat Jul 02, 2005 at 10:48:56 AM EST

but how, exactly, does one castrate a female cat?
--Hoops
If I were a koala bear, the first thing I would do is urinate all over you and bi
[
Parent ]
Ask (f/s)en /nt (none / 0) (#120)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Sat Jul 02, 2005 at 11:42:33 PM EST


--
"What's next, sigging a k5er quote about sigging someone on k5?"


[ Parent ]
How to defend yourself - Monty Python style (2.20 / 5) (#55)
by smallstepforman on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 06:40:33 PM EST

Say someone attacks you with a Banana, the best way to defend yourself is to drop a 16 Tonne weight on top of the guy. And if the bandit decides to use a cherry or a strawberry, it's time to take out the heavy artillery - a 32 Tonne Weight from above.

Or you can master the... (3.00 / 2) (#67)
by 3waygeek on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 08:10:41 PM EST

Welsh art of Llap Goch or the ancient Lancastrian martial art of Ecky-Thump.

[ Parent ]
Well (2.50 / 2) (#56)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 06:40:34 PM EST

You seem to have a pretty decent rundown, there. The only self-defence martial arts worth anything on the street are the ones without (much) dogma. Many of the eastern martial arts are infused with ridiculous rules and dogmatic view of how a certain strike/kick/whatever is to be executed, whereas many of the western self-defence arts are more concerned about surviving a real-life situation.

So, brazilian jiu-jitsu and krav maga (my choices) are some of the best. Shoot-fighting and other MMAs are also good, but I doubt any non-hardcore martial artist would join any of the above (with the exception of krav maga) for purely self-defence purposes. They are hard sports for Real Men and injuries happen all the time.

I'd like to point out that your criticism of BJJ's reliance on ground-fighting is not entirely valid; the reason for this is that the fathers of the sport realized that almost all real-life fights end up in the ground. From my personal experience this is exactly the case. So they took the fights to the ground from the beginning. What is a valid criticism against BJJ, though, is that it works only against 1 attacker. That's why I take Krav Maga, too. OTOH, you're pretty much fucked if you don't have a gun against multiple attackers.

BJJ is a really great martial art, excellent exercise and is nothing less than devastating against a non-grappler (though even judokas and western wrestlers are easy). Since most people think fighting is about punching the other guy out, getting someone to charge you and grab you is a shock to most people; just look at the early Royce Gracie UFC fights where no one knew WTF he was doing.

I can attest that if the other guy doesn't know how to defend against even some of the most basic BJJ chokes or locks, it takes only a few seconds till the opponent is in an unescapable choke or joint lock.

In addition, I carry a good combat folder everywhere I go. I don't care what you call me, but I have that just for the same reason there's a fire extinguisher at home. If it was feasible and legal I'd carry a handgun or at least Mace, but it's not possible in Europe because "guns are bad, mmkay."

--
"What's next, sigging a k5er quote about sigging someone on k5?"


Observations on BJJ, question on krav maga (none / 0) (#70)
by guitartroll on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 08:47:44 PM EST

Well, I wasn't really trying to critizise Brazilian Ju-Jitsu. Actually, I thought I was doing the opposite. I was just offering a critique of everything, and though I should put in something about something that might be a weakness. I don't think BJJ has many, but the way I see the weakness with going to the ground is this - suppose the ground is covered with glass, etc. Not that unlikely. Being on the ground prevents you from running away as easily. I'm not slamming BJJ, just making an observation. Question on Krav Maga. I have heard it's mainly a collection of "deadly techniques" and there is really no full on training as in BJJ. Do you practice against someone resisting, or is it all one step sparring type stuff?

[ Parent ]
Krav Maga (none / 0) (#77)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 10:14:51 PM EST

Yes, Krav Maga is a collection of techniques designed to dispose of the opponent(s) with any means necessary as fast as possible so you can run away. Mainly b/c of this there can't be full-contact training, and the training relies on repetition of the techniques until they become second nature, and it depends a lot on your trainer and partner(s) how hard you can/do train.

--
"What's next, sigging a k5er quote about sigging someone on k5?"


[ Parent ]
Krav Maga redux (none / 0) (#110)
by caine on Sat Jul 02, 2005 at 11:24:13 AM EST

I wasn't going to post in this thread since I'm kind of opiniated in the subject but I have to reply to this. If you're training Krav Maga without a lot of sparring and full-contact training you're doing something wrong. Get another instructor. The "real" civilan version has a little less full-contact than the military version but basically every exercise you do after having learned the first few basics of a move should be against a live opponent in various levels of contact. The only martial art I've trained with as much or more sparring was BJJ. So once again; if you're not doing full-contact training in Krav Maga after the first 6-12 months you should start looking for another instructor 'cause you don't have the real deal.

--

[ Parent ]

Umm (none / 0) (#119)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Sat Jul 02, 2005 at 11:41:40 PM EST

I was a bit unclear what I meant by "full-contact;" it should've included "full-force," as well. When you train BJJ and some other "hardcore" martial arts, you often go at or near 100% intensity and force. In Krav Maga this is impossible because many of the moves involve striking at the groin or throat, for example. Therefore full-contact, full-force training is not feasible.

--
"What's next, sigging a k5er quote about sigging someone on k5?"


[ Parent ]
fatigue (none / 0) (#139)
by DDS3 on Sun Jul 03, 2005 at 02:43:37 PM EST

IMO, Brazilian Ju-Jitsu is more fatiguing that most AND, you find your self fatigued on the ground.

That's about the worst possible situaiton I can imagine.


[ Parent ]

BJJ and street fighting (none / 0) (#132)
by waxmop on Sun Jul 03, 2005 at 11:28:31 AM EST

The great thing about jiujitsu is the emphasis on getting out on the mat and trying to make something happen.

Anyhow, this ain't really an objection, but at some point I realized we were practicing for scenarios that would only come up between two jiujitsu fighters. Like, for example, ankle lock escapes, or how to get an arm bar on somebody turtling up. That's an unlikely scenario to deal with on a Saturday night.

IMO, for self-defense, the most important thing is training your mind so that you don't freeze up.
--
...if [outer-space trolls] did exist, SETI would be up to its arsehole in goatse jpegs. --Parent ]

You forgot to mention the bestest of them all: (2.75 / 4) (#60)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 07:03:03 PM EST

NINJAS!

--
"What's next, sigging a k5er quote about sigging someone on k5?"


What about Qi-gong (2.94 / 17) (#61)
by A Bore on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 07:18:16 PM EST

I am a practitioner myself. Every day I dig a hole and jump in and out of it 100 times. Then I run through a paddy field taking as light a step as possible. One day I will fly. How can an earth bound attack hope to deal with my gravity defying martial arts expertise. I will be like a wasp to him or her.

Comment of the month. +99999 FP. (none / 0) (#78)
by I HATE TROLLS on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 10:19:00 PM EST



[ Parent ]
you forgot trolo kiroshin (3.00 / 11) (#62)
by nlscb on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 07:26:48 PM EST

first, insult your opponents beliefs

then, as he attacks, use his own moves against him by baiting him w/ever more outrageous points, slowly putting him into a choke hold

finally, once he is caught in a choke hold, slowly make him realize his situation, with a final YHBT to knock him out

Comment Search has returned - Like a beaten wife, I am pathetically grateful. - mr strange

I think you misunderstand the Jiu Jitsu teachings. (none / 0) (#63)
by Apuleius on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 07:29:34 PM EST

A very basic level of JJ training (whether Japanese or American - not sure about Brazillian) will let you render just enough injury to your opponent to let you disentangle from him and run. (Your opponent won't be injured much, but it's not fun to chase a guy who just gave you a nasty limp and made you dizzy with a blow to the back of your neck. So most likely he won't. And if he does, you'll be running faster.) For most self defense contexts, that is all you need, even in multiple attacker situations. Jiu Jitsu teaches you things that you can do with very little risk of meeting with subsequent legal trouble, since it does not teach you much about being an aggressor. If you're just a layman, that is likely all you need. If you want to be a cop, or bouncer, or psychiatric orderly, you will need more than JJ, but before learning any other martial art, you must learn the laws of your jurisdiction.

Now, say you do work as a psych orderly, then a good martial art to learn is (surprise, surprise) American folkstyle wrestling. It is more a sport than anything else, but it does provide you with the proper frame of mind for subduing another human being, as an aggressor, and yet taking full responsibility for your opponent's well being. Not that I would recommend this line of work. Never met anyone who liked it.




There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
Sorry, but I must disagree (none / 0) (#68)
by guitartroll on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 08:41:09 PM EST

I've done Japanese Ju-Jitsu for a couple of years. I've had a couple of different instructors. I'm no expert by any means, but I think I have a handle on the basic concepts. I'm not saying it is WORTHLESS as a martial art. I'm sure some of it can work. It's miles better than Karate, for instance. It's just that I am convinced that not all the techniques work that great. Too much of the training is static, and pre-arranged. While I'm sure a fair amount of the techniques work fine, I'm not sure you are really going to be able to do them against a truely resisting aggressor based on the typical training methods. I'd bet that all the moves DID work at some point in the past, but have gotten a bit watered down over the years, until not all are totally the original working move. Without making it into Brazilian Ju-Jitsu, Judo or something else, I'm not sure a lot of the techniques can be practiced full on against someone really fighting back. If you were and orderly or bouncer, or cop, I'm sure you'd get a handle on what worked for you pretty quickly. I do believe someone training in this art will take away SOME useful techniques - just maybe not as much as you would be led to believe or might think.

[ Parent ]
TFT is the ULTIMATE in Martial Arts (none / 1) (#72)
by freddie on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 09:00:45 PM EST

Traditional martial arts assume that both parties adhere by the same ethical principles. Therefore the objective is usually not to hurt the other party but rather react to his aggression and submit him. These are not sensible assumptions to make in REAL street fights

From the website

Faced With A Gun To Your Head,
A Knife To Your Throat, Or
3 Thugs Following You To Your Car...


You'll Instantly Know What To Do,
Reacting Immediately To Save Your Life,
Leaving These Guys Sprawled
On The Ground, Totally Disarmed,
Writhing In Pain



Imagination is more important than knowledge. -- Albert Einstein
I went to the site - seems a bit like BS to me (none / 0) (#76)
by guitartroll on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 09:44:04 PM EST

Sounds like a collection of "deadly techniques" that you can't practice against a fully resisting opponent. I scanned the Black Belt article about it - the technique they showed looked like Japanese Ju-Jitsu to me.

The site seems to have a very cheesey almost multi-level marketing feel to it. He's mainly selling seminars that are $1500 or so a pop, for a few hours.

I'm pretty sceptical of this. I'm not so sure what seperates this from other "real life" collection of "deadly techniques" that you won't have practiced enough to really use. I don't know I would pay the fee to find out. I have to have some sceptisism of something that is supposed to make you deadly after a few hours of training. If it works, that would be a good deal - all you would need is money (and a day or two of training) to become a deadly fighter.

[ Parent ]

LOL (none / 0) (#86)
by Eight Star on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 11:33:01 PM EST

from
tftjointbreaking.com/
(yes, that's Joint Breaking)

But you can't possibly remember all this stuff. Hell, even I couldn't... and I know it backwards and forwards.
...
 I spent years training the most elite commandos including US Navy SEALs, 'Green Berets', Delta Force and US Army Special Forces how to use a Principles-based fighting system including joint breaking tactics that instantly left opponents not just disabled... but destroyed.

My focus shifted after the '9-11' disaster to teaching these same principles to CEO's and top executives from corporations such as Ford, Sony and Oracle, major international organizations like the Young Entrepreneurs Organization (YEO) and Young Presidents Organization (YPO), as well as select groups of civilians, like yourself, especially those considered "targets" by thugs and terrorists.

The moral of the story: Don't fuck with Oracle CEO's.

[ Parent ]

I was in a fight the other day, (2.00 / 4) (#79)
by Sesquipundalian on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 10:48:21 PM EST

with this guy at the subway sandwich shop. I used a crane sweeping kick with a reverse side thrust to take the guy out. As the fight went on, the kicks and punches flying fast and f*ckitty; The thing that I kept noticing was, after a while he was just trying to cover up the vulnerable parts, the testes and such. Later, during the bone crunching part, the sweat smell combined with the howls, was really something.

Tae-kwon-do totally kicks ass man!


Did you know that gullible is not actually an english word?
a fight shouldn't last more than a few seconds. (none / 0) (#167)
by Cloud Cuckoo on Mon Jul 04, 2005 at 12:18:14 AM EST

what did you do wrong?

[ Parent ]
i know what you mean (none / 0) (#210)
by Rhodes on Mon Jul 04, 2005 at 05:14:24 PM EST

especially when the ketchup ended up on the floor and both of you thought it was each others blood.

[ Parent ]
my mlp (2.00 / 4) (#84)
by Eight Star on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 11:18:56 PM EST

http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com/martialarts.html

Great link - I couldn't stop reading this stuff (none / 0) (#95)
by guitartroll on Sat Jul 02, 2005 at 12:25:23 AM EST

Very interesting stuff, and a very interesting perspective. I guess I take what everyone says with a grain of salt, and I'm not going to believe what this guy says out of hand, but I'm eventually going to read everything on that website. He certainly makes some excellent points, and I find myself agreeing with a lot he says.

I heard about this guy years and years ago - I had totally forgotten about him.

[ Parent ]

Hehe. (none / 0) (#109)
by Dont Fear The Reaper on Sat Jul 02, 2005 at 11:15:34 AM EST

Yet another one of those better-than-the-original-story-at-a-fraction-of-the-size comments. +1fp, great link.

[ Parent ]
No Nonsense Self-Defense (none / 0) (#142)
by chroma on Sun Jul 03, 2005 at 05:13:54 PM EST

http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com

I had read a bunch of this stuff after seeing a link on Slashdot. It should be required reading for anyone posting on this thread.

He points out that most "martial arts" or "self defense techniques" are focused on one thing: fighting. But you would be much safer if you learned about how to avoid a fight, how to recognize dangerous situations, etc.

The author spent a long time learning fighting techniques and getting into fights in bars to prove himself. He got older and realized that it was all pointless.

[ Parent ]

Some crazy texan guy once said (none / 1) (#92)
by Kurosawa Nagaya on Sat Jul 02, 2005 at 12:04:15 AM EST

(he was doing a demonstration on how to really hurt someone with martial arts)

If your in this because you want to know how to, and generally interested, fine. But if your in this for the ego then go get yourself a gun, you'll save yourself some money.

Bill Maher: You know it always amazes how you coloured folks manage to use the word fuck as a verb, an adverb and a pronoun all in the same sentence.

I don't remember the name of the thing... (none / 1) (#98)
by mjfgates on Sat Jul 02, 2005 at 02:06:16 AM EST

A few years ago, somebody did an "Ultimate Fighting" tournament, pitting practitioners of various fighting styles against one another. By the time they got to the third round or so of fights, nobody was left but wrestlers-- in a fight against somebody using one of the "striking" styles, they'd just grab the first limb the other guy threw at them and crawl up it and suddenly, hey, it's wrestling!

On the other hand, my wife once got grabbed by a guy who proceeded to drag her into a nearby alley to rape her. She punched him in the throat, he fell over gagging, and she got away.

Yes. (none / 0) (#104)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sat Jul 02, 2005 at 09:41:27 AM EST

I've heard the same thing - in any kind of serious fighting, learn how to fight "on the ground" because that's where the fight always ended up. (Actually, I've heard the same thing from my sparring instructor - most of his experience in fighting comes from growing up in North Philadelphia)

How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?
[ Parent ]
I'm about half way to black belt in american kenpo (none / 1) (#103)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sat Jul 02, 2005 at 09:33:58 AM EST

like most Americanized martial arts it's been through several changes on the way from China; but the emphasis is on practical self defense rather than on style - there's a lot of emphasis on blowing out your opponent's knees rather than high kicks for example.

But, by the same token, I'm still an un-athletic 40 year old desk jockey.

In the end, though, I think it has been worthwhile. While I'm still moving in slow motion compared to my 17 year old sparring instructor he has gotten me to the point where I can see openings and at least try to take advantage of them- and while I'll never be Jackie Chan I can at least react appropriately.

Most importantly (to me) is that by forcing my son to sign up with me, he's ended up discovering a sport he really enjoys - which makes all the crunches and bruises worthwhile.

How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?

Bullshido (2.75 / 4) (#111)
by HolyCoitus on Sat Jul 02, 2005 at 12:55:14 PM EST

My favorite site for looking at the martial arts and their effectiveness is at a site called Bullshido. The site makes fun of a lot of the things that are often accepted in the movies and has some people on the forums that are on various levels of the fighting game.
------
That's Scary.
Oh-so-unrealistic Taekwondo... (none / 1) (#113)
by lilnobody on Sat Jul 02, 2005 at 03:42:47 PM EST

Taekwondo, at first glance, is pretty unrealistic. Lots of kicking around in goofy ways, sport sparring that doesn't really teach how to hurt someone but instead to score points, an almost criminal ignoring of upper body abilities.

I thought that too, but it was ok, I was just doing taekwondo for exercise.

Then I met them. The guys who had been doing it forever. The guy who could break round river rocks placed one on top the other with the inner side of his knuckles, and not just break them, but shatter them, to the point where regular spectators wore safty glasses. The guy who kicked a practice pad so loud that it was, quite literally, louder than a rifle (it broke, of course, quite spectacularly). The guy who could cross the room seemingly without moving his feet, because his calf muscles alone, from years of kicking and sparring, were enough to literally throw him off the ground.

On the other hand, I learned how little effort is required to learn to be a modicum of self-protective. It's all about confident. Every try and pick up a cat that doesn't want to be held? Most people attacking you aren't any more coordinated than you are, and you'd be surprised how easy it is to stop an attacker. Hints: BITE BITE BITE, and EYES EYES EYES. Very few people have the self control to strangle a person while their index fingers are in their eye sockets.

In the midst of meeting a lot of people over 4 years of martial arts, of many different disciplines, I picked up a piece of wisdom from an older instructor, always told in his 'stories of wisdom' pseudo-korean accent. Worth noting is that this is a guy who had spent 35 years with taekwondo. It goes like this:

Many roads to top of mountain. All of them long.

View from top? All the same!

nobody

The Eyes (none / 0) (#137)
by Arkaein on Sun Jul 03, 2005 at 01:49:00 PM EST

I might have a bit of a problem with going for the eyes in a real fight. The problem is that it seems that there is an unwritten rule that you don't go for the eyes unless your very life is on the line. Going for the eyes against an attacker who "only" wants to beat and rob you might escalate the violence to the part where he's willing to kill you, or possible take out your own eyes in retaliation.

In other words, going for the eyes might just make an already dangerous adversary much more dangerous. I would do it if I thought it might be the only way to protect myself from serious injury and/or death, but not before.

----
The ultimate plays for Madden 2005
[ Parent ]

Well.. (none / 0) (#223)
by v1z on Tue Jul 05, 2005 at 02:33:22 AM EST

If the guy just wants you money or your shoes, what's the problem ? GIVE HIM YOUR MONEY.

Jeez.

[ Parent ]

Taekwondo (none / 0) (#138)
by DDS3 on Sun Jul 03, 2005 at 02:35:53 PM EST

Taekwondo is one of the crappiest MA around.  It's purpose is to excite the imagination and to learn how to unrealistically score points at competions in what can only be called, a pitifull display of poorly coordinated monkey dancing.

Taekwondo teaches very powerful kicks.  Truly!  Realistically, they are almost impossible to deliver.  Sure, IF you can deliver one, someone is going to be hurting.  Sadly, if a master of Taekwondo is in a fight (a real fight, not the monkey dancing Taekwondo competition crap) with even an established student of Karate, Ninjitsu, etc, the master will be dead or unconcious on the ground before he ever has the chance to land a blow; all things being equal.  Taekwondo is great exercise, and may help you if you are assaulted by someone that doesn't know what's going on.  Students of Taekwondo should learn to run away faster than most because if they fail to deliver, which is very likely, they are even more likely to find themselves in a world of trouble.  Think of this as trying to use The Karate Kid's Crane technique in real life.  Yes, the laughing starts now.  ;)

MA's like Karate are much more pragmatic.  Their notion is, strike quickly and be in position to defend and strike quickly again.  Sure, there may not be as much power as Taekwondo, but it doesn't take too many blows to disable or even kill someone if the blows are placed correctly.  One disabling blow to a knee, shoulder, foot, the "plex", eyes, shoulder blades, etc., is all it takes to effectively end a fight.  At the end of the day, if a situation where you think you need Taekwondo, is when you're most likely to find you're unprepared.  Worst, people that know Taekwondo and understand the power, as you obviously do, IMO, are more likely to put themsevles into woefully, horrible situations to which they have committed and will find nothing but horrible trouble.

MA's like Aikido, are great, but require a master's skill to be effective unless you catch someone off guard; which I guess is part of the teachings.  Unless you are a practising student of 10+ years, don't try to use this in real life.  Just run.

My main point here is, truly, Taekwondo should be feared -- if you can deliver.  Realistically, expect to be brutally beaten if you don't run away.

Long story short, if you are a student of Taekwondo, learn to run!  Learn to run fast!  And most of all, remember that Taekwondo is mostly an Americanize monkey dance to keep you in health so that you can run from trouble as quickly as possible.


[ Parent ]

Wing Chun Kung Fu (2.33 / 3) (#116)
by stuaart on Sat Jul 02, 2005 at 04:46:47 PM EST

I studied Wing Chun for a couple of years, and I also did capoeira for a bit. In my experience Wing Chun was a highly practical, non-showy martial art to practice with some real relevance to actual situations you might encounter on the street.

What is most compelling about it, I found, was the way in which you rely on simple positions and simple techniques (e.g., slapping to distract), build these up into a kind of language that can enable you to deal dynamically with many situations.

Wing Chun is a very close-up martial art, and you often stand within conversation distance of the other person. In this way it mirrors what can really happen in sticky situations. I recommend it probably because of the way I was taught it. Our instructor was very practically-minded, and for him, any technique even if it was not strictly part of the Wing Chun forms, was valid and useful if it could help in certain situations...

Linkwhore: [Hidden stories.] Baldrtainment: Corporate concubines and Baldrson: An Introspective


I think you're on target (none / 1) (#117)
by jmzero on Sat Jul 02, 2005 at 05:36:27 PM EST

And the common theme is this: if you're going to learn how to fight, you better be practicing at somewhere near full strength against a resisting opponent.

Imagine learning how to play basketball without playing basketball?  Sure drills help, and you can think some things through - but the only way to get good is to go out and do it.   Someone who's played 50 games is going to have a strong advantage against someone who's never really played.

...

A few people have mentioned the UFC (and other sport fighting competitions), and the dominance of grapplers over strikers.  It is worth noting a recent trend - strikers are doing much better than they had done.  Now that the basics of ground-fighting are more generally understood, the balance of power is shifting substantially.

Take a guy like Mirko "Crocop" Filopivic.  He has legs like trees, and ends nearly every fight with a kick.  He has a solid sprawl to keep the fight standing (even against world-class wrestlers like Mark Coleman), and only needs one rib- or skull-breaking kick to end a fight (though he still lost to BJJ expert Minotauro Nogueira - who's kind of an improved-in-every-way-and-larger Royce Gracie - in a great fight).  Current Pride FC middleweight Wanderlei Silva is another guy to watch.
.
"Let's not stir that bag of worms." - my lovely wife

UFC and WWF (none / 0) (#135)
by czolgosz on Sun Jul 03, 2005 at 01:43:11 PM EST

I've trained a long time. I remember very clearly what one of my teachers told me years ago when I asked about the value of tournaments. "They're good for fitness, but they're not real."

Even competitions that make some bona fide attempt to be real competitions have to be constrained so that excessive injuries don't take place. Competitors have to train within the rules. That makes them biased against certain highly effective techniques. Don't get me wrong-- I've fought in tournaments myself. But I'd never conclude anything about the effectiveness of a certain kind of technique based on tournament experience, except as it relates to winning the tournament under its rules. In a street situation, I wouldn't be constrained to tournament techniques. What I'd do on the street would be an immediate disqualification in any tournament. And the technique of "Run Foo" is definitely a good one in many real-life situations.

One of the challenges in all martial arts styles, which some solve better than others, is how to "train like you'll fight." Combine that with the need to acquire fitness and disciplined technique and all styles that aren't complete crap are just different solutions to that very complex optimization problem.


Why should I let the toad work squat on my life? --Larkin
[ Parent ]
UFC (none / 0) (#155)
by The Voice of Reason on Sun Jul 03, 2005 at 08:23:14 PM EST

I've seen that UFC thing, it's about as realistic as WWF. As long as there are rules, it's not real. As long as it's a formal 1 vs 1, it's not real.

If you want to beat someone who's supposedly good at UFC, simply employ the following tactics:

Headbutting
Gouging
Biting
Kicking in the balls
Blows to the spine
Elbowing
Choking
Kidney-kicking
Head-stamping
Spitting

[ Parent ]

Well, that's just ignorant. (none / 0) (#188)
by jmzero on Mon Jul 04, 2005 at 10:49:10 AM EST

Choking is legal.  Obviously.  It's one of the most common tactics.  You're obviously not a big fan...

Elbowing is legal in the UFC (well, other than downward strikes to top of head - but that's fairly recent rule).  In many events - most notably Pride (Japan based, and the largest organization) - head-stomping is legal.  In fact, one of Wanderlei Silva's main attacks is head stomping.  Most of the other techniques you mention are legal or have been legal in some organization.  For example, headbutts aren't legal anymore in UFC or Pride - but they were.  Losing them hasn't made a huge difference.  Go to Brazil.  You'll see many fewer rules but generally the same techniques.  Turns out it's a lot easier to kick and punch someone out than win by spitting.

In any case, the argument is stupid.  For example, try gouging someone who's a better grappler than you.  He's going to be getting the dominant positions, so he's going to be much more able to gouge than you.  Same deal with bites, headbutts, spitting (??), or blows to the spine (??).
.
"Let's not stir that bag of worms." - my lovely wife
[ Parent ]

UFC rules (none / 0) (#241)
by The Voice of Reason on Wed Jul 06, 2005 at 01:50:21 PM EST

Actually they're not allowed, I just read the rules on their website.

[ Parent ]
What aren't allowed? (none / 0) (#242)
by jmzero on Wed Jul 06, 2005 at 03:20:47 PM EST

We were talking about a few different things.  I'll be happy to be wrong, but I think you've misunderstood either them or me.
.
"Let's not stir that bag of worms." - my lovely wife
[ Parent ]
Self defense? (2.85 / 7) (#118)
by wji on Sat Jul 02, 2005 at 08:39:42 PM EST

I think you mean fighting, which is completely different. Neighbourhood Watch is self defense. Running away is self defense. Fighting isn't self defense at all in virtually any circumstance a normal person will encounter in their life, and even then it isn't the most important part.

In conclusion, the Powerpuff Girls are a reactionary, pseudo-feminist enterprise.
I agree with another comment below (none / 1) (#124)
by fleece on Sun Jul 03, 2005 at 02:47:13 AM EST

which intimated that the potential for wankery is high in this article. I think that's borne out in the comments so far...
so I'll try to be matter of fact in saying that in my experience in Jujitsu, a good advantage of studying any kind of martial art is that you become more impervious to pain, espec. if the school you study at allows appropriate amounts of sparring. When I first started Jujutsu, getting hurt during sparring would really stop me in my tracks, whereas now I normally don't notice I get hurt until sparring is over - actually it's not that I don't notice, but I don't get distracted by it. So in that sense, I feel I'd perform much better in a real self defence situation, as I would find getting hit/injured less distracting than if I hadn't have done martial arts. In terms of skill, I think it would take more years of study and dedication than I have given the art to reach a level of proficiency to consider myself to be highly successful in any self defence situation.
One thing you learn from sparring is that if someone wants to hit you, it's very hard to stop them getting through some of the time, no matter how skilled you are. Go to a karate tournament and see for yourself the winners are often as battered as the losers. To that end, I'd avocate attack as the best defence, if you are in a situation where physical aggression against you or your family is inevitable, as either way, you will get hit.



I feel like some drunken crazed lunatic trying to outguess a cat ~ Louis Winthorpe III
On "soft" styles (aikido) (none / 1) (#125)
by nate s on Sun Jul 03, 2005 at 03:08:20 AM EST

I'm a pretty low-ranking student at the moment, but I've been studying aikido for about two years so I have a bit of room to talk.

I think that the reputation for "hard" and "soft" that different arts get isn't really necessarily useful.  A lot of arts tend to blur together at the higher levels, and a lot of it will be really dependent on your specific instructor.

My girlfriend has a blackbelt in tae kwon do, and some of their high-level self defense techniques (derived from hapkido) are pretty "soft," relatively speaking.  And while aikido is reputedly "soft," getting your joints twisted to the point of pain or forgetting to block atemi to your face isn't exactly what I'd consider feathery.

Also, in a good school, the philosophy aspect will be available, but not forced.  It's that way at my dojo - we don't ever actually discuss the philosophy on the mat (in fact, most often my sensei will instruct us to keep our mouths closed in order to avoid biting our tongues while taking falls/hits, so we don't talk much at all!).  If you want to know about the philosophy, he'll recommend some books for you to read on your own time.  At some tae kwon do places I've seen, the master insists on drilling a "discipline, focus" sort of philosophy into his students at every turn, along with tear-jerking stories of human triumph in the face of great disability, bla bla bla.

It will ultimately depend a lot on you as a person, and your teachers, as to whether or not your art comes across as effective, hard, soft, useless, practical, philosophical, etc.  Martial arts are dizzyling variable; the most important thing seems to be to find something that works for you and your body type, and to stick with it long enough that you make it work for you.  If it doesn't seem to work, and you've given it your best shot, then consider a different teacher before you write the entire art off.

hapkido (none / 0) (#130)
by shokk on Sun Jul 03, 2005 at 10:12:42 AM EST

Luckily we have some Aikido people at our TaeKwonDo gym to teach along with the Hapkido.  As someone who is constantly demonstrated on for class demonstration, I can tell you the joint locks are incredibly painful, to the point of incapacitation.  Our gym has a high focus on self-defense while explaining that the forms are done to improve our technique for use in self-defense.  Sparring is only for competition and "not how it is in the real world".  If you can find a gym that also does grappling and ground fighting (where most fights end up anyway) you've scored a win.

I think if the original article writer had spent enough time in one discipline, instead of doing a world tour of martial arts, he would know why some of these techniques are taught the way they are.  Balance is essential for leverage and all the stances are teaching is proper balance in different positions.  You can only learn balance by repetitive use, like you did when you were a baby, so the drilling is constant.  Everything else is about getting the most power and leverage out of each move.

If you want something that is more likely to help you in a street fight, try some Krav Maga.  No focus on moving up the belt ranks, but lots of focus on not getting your nose broken or your balls knocked out of place.

If you need any other reason, consider it as exercise, which is better than the alternative you are doing right now, gaining weight in front of Kuro5hin.

"Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart, he dreams himself your master."
[ Parent ]

it's exercise (2.50 / 2) (#126)
by jcarnelian on Sun Jul 03, 2005 at 04:44:11 AM EST

Martial arts may prolong your life because they keep you in shape.

However, as for personal safety, your best bet is to avoid dangerous situations, to run or comply if possible, and to negotiate if necessary.  The fraction of situations where self-defense using a weaponless martial art is going to be necessary, legal, and effective (you are prevented from running away, your opponent is unarmed, and you can handle him) is going to be negligible, unless you are a woman or unless you are in prison.  And if you are going to face real thugs, you aren't going to be able to compete with guys that grew up fighting, have had to defend their life many times, are seething with anger, and aren't afraid of getting hurt.

Having said that, I'd go with one of the martial arts where the risk of injury during training is fairly low.  You can figure out which ones that are yourself.

you purposely (none / 1) (#127)
by Abominable Abitur on Sun Jul 03, 2005 at 05:13:28 AM EST

left in a few typos too. asshat.

you obviously haven't viewed much beyond a few matches, so stick with something and you might learn a thing or two. if you're looking for a fight you might want to check this shit out.

"Terrorism is only a viable "political activist" method for marginalized nutjobs, bottom line. The backlash that it causes makes it intractable for any reasonable ideology. Which is why you don't generally see wild athiest suicide bombers in america's streets." - lonelyhobo

Sambo/nt (none / 1) (#128)
by i on Sun Jul 03, 2005 at 06:19:00 AM EST



and we have a contradicton according to our assumptions and the factor theorem

Ninjutsu (none / 1) (#129)
by Raindoll on Sun Jul 03, 2005 at 09:06:40 AM EST

I have trained Bujinkan Ninjutsu only for a little while. I had a few instructors who were working as bouncers and security guards who claimed to have been using their skills in their work. There are no competitions in Ninjutsu, so it is concentrated only on fighting. There is an emphasis on not being too close or open to an attack from your opponent.

The most important effect the training got them was better reflexes - the ability to read people quickly and anticipate that a fist would be flying towards them the next half-second.
They had the best use of grappling techniques where they took control over the assailant, pinned him to the floor and tried to calm him down.
Fancy kicks and throws would not get them anywhere, and if they had hurt someone badly it would only generate bad publicity for the club or lots of serious questions from the police ...

Instructors also strain that fighting should always be a last resort. Regular martial arts training should also give you the fitness to run away. ;-)

Skill Versus Urgency (3.00 / 2) (#134)
by Misterfixit on Sun Jul 03, 2005 at 01:03:03 PM EST

Greetings.  Thank you for posting an interesting thread sure to generate all kinds of responses.  Self-defense is just that:  saving your life.

I began study of martial arts in 1968 at a small dojo located on Jagaru Road in Okinawa when stationed there with the US Army.  I have been a student in various places since then.

My skills are minimal: I do not profess to have any martial arts knowledge other than that of a rank beginner.  In my opinion the "color" of one's belt is not as important as the "rank" one holds in one's mind of one's skills.  It is vital to remember that whatever your Teacher tells you, you are the sole authority over your capability.  You might "qualify" for a one hundreth dan (if there were such as thing), but when the need to independently exercise your skills, only you are the arbiter of your skill level.

Martial arts of what ever flavor is an exercise in the mind's control over the body.  This is a given.  How the practitioner uses that control is what counts.

For self-defense, the first and best "defense' is to not be there at all.  Situational Awareness, if you will.

Secondly, if you are placed into an envelope of danger, you should endeavor to extricate yourself as soon and as safely as possible.  If that means running away, acting out the part of a sniveling coward, then do that and recall later how foolish the attacker was to have believed your acting.

Third, like the 1980's song goes, "You Dropped a Bomb On Me", if you have tools at your disposal for defense, then use them.  Recall that you are surprised but that your attacker will be more surprised by your aggression.  Even a rolled newspaper thrust into the attacker's diaphram will get his attention and delay him while you run away.

Fourth, if you absolutely must stand and defend yourself and your loved ones, fight to kill the attacker.  Do not be hesitant and remember that the attacker means to kill or gravely injure you and your companions.  Do anything it takes to completely disable the attacker and then kill him as quickly as possible.

Fifth, the use of martial arts forms may or may not be of use to you in your fight.  Some forms are only artistic exercises, developed through the years from more deadly forms.  For instance, if you attempted a tomenagi move (falling backward after grasping the attackers arms or clothing, extending the leg and ejecting the attacker over your body to a place behind you), you had better be prepared to do something other than stand up and bow quickly to your vanquished foe.  This is a crude example, of course, but illustrates how one must think through the situation from start to finish.

Sixth, use a weapon if you have access to one.  I love the scene from one of the Indiana Jones movies where he is approached by some character doing sword moves and chanting convincingly.  Jones pulls out his pistol and shoots the attacker.  "What ho!", you say, "but that isn't fair".  Not so -- he defeated his attacker in a simple and efficient manner.

Seventh, think about the alternatives, since there are many cases, particularly the "lover's lane" attacks where the man and woman are both killed but not before the woman is raped and tortured.  One case the man submitted to being anally raped by the attackers in order to preserve the woman.  The attackers killing him anyway but leaving the woman alive after raping her.  I submit that the man took a path he thought right, but died for his decision.  What action should one take in such a situation?  Fight, flee or submit?

At the end of the day, the sum of the equation is who remains standing.  Ryukyu Ryute Renmei teaches one to survive the encounter, using either grappling, thrusts or weapons, for example.  Other forms teach other means, but the endgame is the same:  survival.

Respectfully,

Dave Mann

My respect to you for your clarity (none / 1) (#181)
by cathouse on Mon Jul 04, 2005 at 06:52:53 AM EST

but I would disagree on one point-when there is some real thing which must needs be defended, even if you are left with nothing except one finger and one tooth, that finger needs to be pulling that tooth to where it can bite.


pity this busy monster manunkind not

progress is a comfortable disease


[ Parent ]

But we both agree ... (none / 0) (#213)
by Misterfixit on Mon Jul 04, 2005 at 07:43:36 PM EST

But we both agree:  any "real thing which must be defended" MUST be defended to the death if required by circumstances.  This is the paradigm of how a person defines his or her loyalties.  For example, when a person sincerely and thoughtfully states "my loyalties are, 1. My Country, 2, my family, 3, my fellow man, 4 myself" your conclusions about that person's dedication to being his brother's keeper are probably correct.

Man defends country first because without country there is no family; then family because without family there is not a reason for society (and) fellow man; then self because without self there is nothing.

Regards

[ Parent ]

Correction: (none / 0) (#237)
by BJH on Wed Jul 06, 2005 at 05:29:31 AM EST

That's spelled tomoenage.
--
Roses are red, violets are blue.
I'm schizophrenic, and so am I.
-- Oscar Levant

[ Parent ]
My own take on martial arts... (2.66 / 3) (#140)
by skyknight on Sun Jul 03, 2005 at 03:12:00 PM EST

I've taken Tae Kwon Do for many years, and also wrestled for a couple of years in high school. This seems to be a pretty good blend.

Despite what you say, Tae Kwon Do can be extremely effective in a fighting situation. It's not going to be of much use to you once you're on the ground, but if employed properly it can basically end a fight before it gets started. I'm fairly confident that a properly placed snap kick or side kick to someone's center of mass as delivered by yours truly would be either fatal or severely debilitating. The higher kicks can also be extremely disconcerting to someone who is expecting hand techniques. Either a spinning side kick or spinning hook kick can cause an opponent much grief in anticipating how you will attack.

Of course, if all you know is Tae Kwon Do, then a bit of bad luck is all it takes to get clobbered. If you're caught off guard by a surprise tackle, then you'd better know more than how to kick. This is why wrestling ability is indispensable. Not only can you win a fight on wrestling alone, but it can help you break out of an ambush such that you can employ techniques that require some distance between you and your opponent.

Also worth mentioning is that grappling techniques are basically useless if you're outnumbered. With Tae Kwon Do, however, you have the ability to quickly disable one opponent with a single blow and then deal with another one. Try doing that when grappling techniques are the only thing in your arsenal.

All that being said, you'd best not fight unless forced to do so. All it takes is some clown with a gun and the utility of your l337 ninja tricks is quickly diminished.



It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
Sorry, but I must disagree (none / 0) (#147)
by guitartroll on Sun Jul 03, 2005 at 05:47:49 PM EST

You say the following:

I'm fairly confident that a properly placed snap kick or side kick to someone's center of mass as delivered by yours truly would be either fatal or severely debilitating.

I must respectfully say that I doubt this is so. While I bet there are a few folks in the world that can kill someone with a single kick, I'd say it's highly unlikely that most martial artists could - unless it's just dumb luck.

Maybe you could try this experiment - find a Kyokushinkai Karate school. Call them up and ask if you could watch a class. Then show up and watch.
I suspect that will change your mind on the lethality of full power kicks, cause these guys do them on each other all the time.

If you still have doubts, ask one of them if you can kick them at 50% power. When that doesn't hurt them try, 70% power, etc. I supect that you will see that while full power kicks hurt, there are certainly folks out there that can take them to their center of mass without really being hurt that badly.

It's probably going to have the same effect on some guy you kick on the street. Okay, it might have more effect on them because they aren't as used to it as the Kyokushinkai guys, but your kicks aren't going to kill them, unless it's a freak accident.

[ Parent ]

When sparring in TKD... (none / 0) (#148)
by skyknight on Sun Jul 03, 2005 at 06:06:45 PM EST

we're wearing full body gear. When I actually do land a telling blow to the center of mass with full follow through it's not uncommon for my opponent to be knocked off his feet unless he is really big. At the very least, I should think that were they not wearing rigid chest protectors that this would constitute a debilitating blow, and with a bit of luck I think it could cause organ damage of a severe kind. A good hit to the solar plexus is really bad news. Also note that I said either a snap kick or side kick, not something like a round house. I just can't see someone willingly taking my heel to their solar plexus in a thrusting maneuver.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
Find a Kyokushinkai Karate school (none / 0) (#151)
by guitartroll on Sun Jul 03, 2005 at 07:32:03 PM EST

Find a Kyokushinkai Karate school. Ask to spar with them. I suspect you will revise your opinion of how deadly your kicks are.

[ Parent ]
It depends how you define deadly... (none / 0) (#152)
by skyknight on Sun Jul 03, 2005 at 07:51:25 PM EST

If someone is sufficiently skilled, then I perhaps won't be able to land a blow at all, and thus my kicks would not be deadly. However, your stationary target proposal strikes me as absurd. You realize that can people die from taking a hockey puck or baseball to the heart, right? At the very least, I suspect that broken ribs are quite likely, sufficiently likely that I can't imagine someone willingly letting himself be kicked in the chest or gut.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
I think you will cause less hurt that you think (none / 0) (#153)
by guitartroll on Sun Jul 03, 2005 at 08:03:04 PM EST

I could be wrong, and that you are just a tremendously powerful individual, far more powerful than the average human. It's certainly possible.

It's just been my observation that people that kick pads, and kick people that are heavily padded greatly overestimate the damage they are going to do to someone with their kicks.

In the Kyokushinkai schools they kick and punch full power to the body with no pads. They spar like this often, so I don't think people are getting killed.

You don't see kickboxers dropping dead from getting kicked either, in full contact kickboxing matches.

Also, say what you will about the current UFC - but there were a lot of folks kicking for real in the early ones. No one dropping dead from being kicked, sorry. Not even to being kicked in the head - but that is not what I'm talkign about here.

Sure -you can send your padded training partner "flying". But if he wasn't wearing the pads, you wouldn't kill him.

And yes, I have kicked and been kicked full power to the body with no pads. You can get hurt doing this, but like I said - if someone gets killed, it would be a freak accident.

[ Parent ]

Well, I won't make any claims of great skill... (none / 0) (#156)
by skyknight on Sun Jul 03, 2005 at 09:13:08 PM EST

but I am 6'6", weigh 240lbs, and can squat more than my body weight. That's three standard deviations above average height for a male, last I checked. I know that I personally certainly wouldn't let someone of my stature kick me in the chest, but maybe I'm just not that tough. I suppose that if I were to perform your proposed "kick test" on a body builder who possessed superlative abdominal muscles then he might manage to absorb it, but I was talking about a typical opponent, not Arnold Schwarzenegger.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
So why didn't you say this to start with? (none / 0) (#164)
by guitartroll on Sun Jul 03, 2005 at 11:11:42 PM EST

Okay, so you are much larger than an average guy.
Maybe you could kill someone with a kick. Your size makes it more likely.

In your comment you say this:

Despite what you say, Tae Kwon Do can be extremely effective in a fighting situation.

Why don't you say something more like this -
"Because I am a very large powerful person, it's likely I could hurt someone very badly by striking them, and it would be very difficult of someone of normal size to beat me".

Instead you claim TKD is a useful self defense art. Your proof of this is how hard you can hit. I have news for you, I don't think it's the TKD that is helping you hit hard, I think it is just being really, really big.

If you want to say you are a badass, that's fine - I certainly believe you. But don't think TKD is going to make a normal sized guy hit as hard as you do. I think you are hitting hard IN SPITE of the TKD, due to your large size.

[ Parent ]

Well, OK... (none / 0) (#189)
by skyknight on Mon Jul 04, 2005 at 10:57:00 AM EST

so maybe we were both a bit guilty of leaving out parameters that were relevant. My size is certainly a big factor, but size alone does not make for an effective fighter. Perhaps you would posit that you need a lot of size and strength to leverage TKD effectively? I think I am way more effective in a combat situation than I would be were I to only know hand techniques.

I think, however, that a style like TKD might be the only hope for someone who is horribly outmatched in a fight size-wise, short of running away. Probably a hybrid approach is the best bet for someone in that kind of situation. If they can land a good kick to the center of mass, it may serve to at least stun their opponent for a few moments, long enough to extricate themselves from the situation.

Really, though, a seriously asymmetric fight is just plain bad news, though. A few years ago this girl who is a friend of mine was going on about how great some self-defense class she took was. "Try me", I said. We squared off, and I used my superior reach to simply grab her by the upper arm, and said "OK, now what?", to which she quickly responded with a kick targeted to my groin. I twisted my torso and her kick landed painlessly on my hip, at which point I grabbed her by that ankle, pulled her toward me, slung my other arm around her back, and proceeded to hold her upside down, and asked her what she was trained to do in this situation. "OK, put me down now." I think I gave her a very valuable lesson that day, in that I demonstrated that she'd be far better off avoiding dangerous situations than relying on a few hours' contrived training from some lame club.



It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
Okay - soe points (none / 0) (#202)
by guitartroll on Mon Jul 04, 2005 at 01:58:56 PM EST

I never said that you should just stand there and be kicked in the chest (or kick someone just standing there) - I'm saying during the course of full contact type sparring. Think about it - matchs with full contact kicks take place all the time -and people aren't dropping dead from them.

In contests like the UFC there aren't so many kicks because they are usually slower than punches, and they aren't deadly. Sure Thai style roundkicks to the head knock someone out, but you were talking about kicking to the "center of mass".

If you were to put someone up against a brick wall, and side kick them with all of your 6'6" of power - I'd say yep, that guy is really going to be hurt badly. But I'm saying against a guy that is moving around - side to side back and forth, etc. you won't have nearly the power.

Your size does help a lot. It makes a huge difference. It will if you do TKD, boxing, wrestling, or whatever. Being big and strong is hard to beat.

I'm not so sure TKD is better for smaller people that other arts. I suspect not.


[ Parent ]

wood and brick (none / 0) (#206)
by Rhodes on Mon Jul 04, 2005 at 03:11:25 PM EST

While doing TKD training, I've side kicked through 6 inches of wood. That's a solid 6 inches of pine, no risers. I've not tried kicking through brick, but bones (along the weak axis) are not so much stronger than 4 inches of wood.

And I'm within one standard deviation of the mean for both height and weight- I'm 5'10" and ~190 lbs http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/bodymeas.htm (mean is 5'9", 180 lbs).



[ Parent ]

Well...It's not the same thing, is it? (none / 0) (#207)
by guitartroll on Mon Jul 04, 2005 at 03:37:20 PM EST

 There are a lot of reasons why breaking wood isn't the same as hitting an actual person. One reason would be that people aren't typically braced the way wood used in breaks is when you are kicking them. You aren't going to side kick some guy who is fighting you in the thigh and break his leg. It would be very,very rare if it happened.

  I've seen karate guys break cinderblocks, bricks etc. enough to know there are lots of guys out there that can do some impressive breaks. I know a lot of breaks are fake, and risers, treated boards, etc. are often used - but I have seen a few breaks where I'm sure this was not the case. I know this 'cause I helped set up the stuff they broke! These guys were breaking stuff for real, and I have to believe there are lots of people who can do it.

So...

  How come when ever guys that do only karate get in no-holds barred contests like the UFC, Pride, etc. they can't take someone down with one kick or one punch? Surely it would happen all the time if breaking skill translated to actual striking power in a fight. If you can break a cinderblock with your palm strike, shouldn't you be able to knock someone out with one hit? Nope - it just doesn't work that way. If it did, karate and TKD guys would win these things ever time, but they don't win.

[ Parent ]

Kick real hard... (none / 0) (#193)
by jmzero on Mon Jul 04, 2005 at 11:36:00 AM EST

...is actually a viable strategy, though not without risk.

Look a Mirko.  You watch him in training - he kicks the heavy bag 6 inches from the top, and it bends around his foot.  He's on an amazing run right now...
.
"Let's not stir that bag of worms." - my lovely wife
[ Parent ]

There's a lot of risk, especially... (none / 0) (#194)
by skyknight on Mon Jul 04, 2005 at 12:09:34 PM EST

if you use certain kinds of kicks. Personally, in a real fight I don't think I'd ever target a round house kick for the body, as there is way too great a chance that the top of your foot or your shin will connect with your opponent's elbow. That'll really wreck your foot, as I had happen to me in a sparring match last November (foot to elbow). If I'm going to throw a round house kick in a real combat situation, it'll probably be aimed either at their head or at their knees. The worst that can happen there is that you'll miss. Were I to work the body, either a side kick, spinning side kick, or front snap kick would be my choice, or perhaps an axe kick depending on their positioning, though usually that's likely to be a hit to the face or collar bone.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
That bears out in competition... (none / 0) (#195)
by jmzero on Mon Jul 04, 2005 at 12:40:59 PM EST

The most common kicks are side kicks to body, head and leg - with the better fighters able to change their target midswing.  Roundhouses are rare - and are generally either to legs (heel to thigh hurts) or "swing for the fences" head shots.  

It's an interesting time to be watching competitive martial arts.  We're seeing a much higher caliber of athlete competing than ever before, and recognizing the kind of performance increase that all sports have had over the last century.  Now that a sidekick to the body is a likely fight ender (broken ribs=hard to fight), we're going to see some more shifts in style.

Lately, even a ridiculously overmuscled guy like Bob Sapp is going down in a whimpering puddle if a body shot gets through.

For a while, I think we may even see somewhat of an arms race in leg power - until maybe even a checked sidekick to the leg starts ending fights.
.
"Let's not stir that bag of worms." - my lovely wife
[ Parent ]

See, your perception squares with mine... (none / 0) (#196)
by skyknight on Mon Jul 04, 2005 at 12:59:44 PM EST

much more than does the original poster's. I just can't fathom anyone willingly allowing someone to plant a kick around their center of mass. Your ribs will crack, and you're taking a serious gamble on organ damage unless you have amazing amounts of musculature or fat to pad things. There is so much momentum behind a properly choreographed side kick, and the heel is such a small area, that the results can be absolutely devastating if it lands properly. I suspect that the reason that fighters appear to take several hits in the course of a fight is really because most of them are glancing blows that attain only a fraction of the damage of a perfect hit. If we're talking about untrained, unmuscled people who weigh 130lbs dripping wet, then yeah, maybe, but otherwise you'd be crazy to let someone hit you without resistance.

In any case, I've kind of lost interest in TKD point sparring. I was doing olympic style the last time I was affiliated with a school, and basically the only things that get scored are round house kicks to the body, and very rarely a spinning side kick. Front kicks and side kicks are, for some reason, basically never scored unless you knock your opponent over with them, something that is hard to do when you're wearing really heavy padding. At my school, I would manage to score such points, but nobody else would, and usually what I thought would have been a very telling blow in a real fight would go unscored. Punches to the head are disallowed, and punches to the body similarly go unscored. This strikes me as being so unrealistic as to be silly, that combined with the fact that my instinct is to throw someone to the ground if they get in close as opposed to trying push away so I can return to throwing kicks.

I'd really like to find a new form of martial art to practice, but I'm not sure what it ought to be. I'd like to find one that can leverage my kicking ability but that would also give more time to hand technique and grappling. I'd love to have the opportunity to do more free formed sparring, though I'm not interested in significant risk of getting severely injured.



It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
Can I ask you a question? (none / 0) (#154)
by The Voice of Reason on Sun Jul 03, 2005 at 08:05:28 PM EST

I'm fairly confident that a properly placed snap kick or side kick to someone's center of mass as delivered by yours truly would be either fatal or severely debilitating. The higher kicks can also be extremely disconcerting to someone who is expecting hand techniques. Either a spinning side kick or spinning hook kick can cause an opponent much grief in anticipating how you will attack.

So...have you ever actually been in a real fight? Have you used any of these kicks against a real opponent in a proper fight? You say 'you're fairly confident', which leads me to believe that you're just guessing. I.e. your entire post is just fantasy. It's probably better if this discussion is restricted to people who've actually been in at least a few fights. And by fights, I don't mean in a dojo, I mean an actually fight, e.g. you're standing in a pub and someone comes up and headbutts you, completely unexpected. How would you respond to that?

This is why wrestling ability is indispensable. Not only can you win a fight on wrestling alone, but it can help you break out of an ambush such that you can employ techniques that require some distance between you and your opponent.

You're joking right? In a real fight, all you get from wrestling someone to the ground is it means you're on the floor for your opponent's mates to kick your head in. Anything that doesn't involve STAYING ON YOUR FEET is the path to hospital.

With Tae Kwon Do, however, you have the ability to quickly disable one opponent with a single blow and then deal with another one.

Have you ever actually done that? The only way you end a fight in one blow is if it breaks something or knocks someone out, or if he's someone like you whose never been in a fight before, and shits himself when he realises what a punch feels like. A series of fast successive HARD punches to the jaw are probably the most effective method. The jaw is linked to the brain.

You might find this site informative: http://www.geoffthompson.com/

[ Parent ]

No, not really... (none / 0) (#157)
by skyknight on Sun Jul 03, 2005 at 09:17:28 PM EST

It might have something to do with my size. If someone were to engage me in a fight, they would either have to be very large, very confident of their abilities, or very stupid. Remarkably, this basically never happens. I'm also reasonably practiced at getting a crazy look in my eye.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
Meaningless. (none / 0) (#162)
by The Voice of Reason on Sun Jul 03, 2005 at 10:40:58 PM EST

No matter what the size, everyone thinks they're god's gift until they get headbutted. Then they go down like all the rest. And once a fat bastard's on the floor he doesn't get back up again.

[ Parent ]
The trick, of course... (none / 0) (#190)
by skyknight on Mon Jul 04, 2005 at 11:04:36 AM EST

is not to get head-butted in the first place. Good reflexes are a guy's best friend. I'd like to thanks years and years of playing fast paced video games for my abilities as much as spending time in dojos or on wrestling mats.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
headbutt someone 2 m tall? (none / 0) (#205)
by Rhodes on Mon Jul 04, 2005 at 02:52:12 PM EST

some drunk volley ball player jumps up and headbutts skyknight? or is that a kick to the knee, followed by the head butt. why not just a kick to knee, followed by running away?

[ Parent ]
Height (none / 0) (#240)
by The Voice of Reason on Wed Jul 06, 2005 at 01:50:03 PM EST

It's actually easier to headbutt a tall person, you don't have to lean down so you get more leverage. Also it helps when your forehead is level with his chin.

[ Parent ]
Heh. Indeed... (none / 0) (#267)
by skyknight on Sat Jul 09, 2005 at 05:04:53 PM EST

Getting head-butted is not among my chief concerns. Usually I'm more worried about accidentally stepping on a small child or animal that didn't manage to make it into my peripheral vision. :-)

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
Question for all the most skilled fighters (none / 1) (#145)
by chroma on Sun Jul 03, 2005 at 05:35:44 PM EST

In what specific scenarios would you use your fighting skills? In other words, where would you be and what would be happening that you would need to kick, punch, or grapple?

Sometimes there's no thinking involved... (none / 0) (#149)
by skyknight on Sun Jul 03, 2005 at 06:14:12 PM EST

If things happen really quickly then a response can be precipitated on reflex alone. I recall one time at a high school wrestling practice I was just standing around talking to someone and another person was jump-roping near me. He deliberately came up behind me such that the rope snapped me on the upper back. It was a blinding sensation of stinging, and I in a fraction of a second without thinking about it I screamed, jumped, spun 180 degrees, and nearly took his head off with a crescent kick. Luckily, he stepped back and all he caught was a glancing blow off the shoulder. It would have been somewhat awkward if I had broken his neck.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
Your training (none / 0) (#172)
by chroma on Mon Jul 04, 2005 at 03:24:48 AM EST

Did your martial arts instructor tell you that you might go to jail some day for assault?

[ Parent ]
Actually, yes... (none / 0) (#187)
by skyknight on Mon Jul 04, 2005 at 09:57:40 AM EST

It goes without saying that it was drilled into our skulls that our usage of the art must be in situations that are obviously defensive. It was also suggested to me that after the altercation that you get the hell out of there instead of waiting around for the cops.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
And yet (none / 0) (#209)
by chroma on Mon Jul 04, 2005 at 04:10:57 PM EST

Why did you not learn your lesson that you should avoid assaulting someone who didn't deserve it? Or that you should be aware enough that you were about to be struck by a jumprope? Or that turning around and kicking isn't an appropriate response to a stinging sensation? Or that your kicks can easily be dodged?

[ Parent ]
Answers to your question (none / 0) (#165)
by guitartroll on Sun Jul 03, 2005 at 11:29:52 PM EST

>In what specific scenarios would you use your >fighting skills? In other words, where would you be >and what would be happening that you would need to >kick, punch, or grapple?

Well, I'm not the "most skilled" by any stretch. But I am the OP, so I'll try to answer. I imagine something like this:

  1. A) A drunk redneck has mistaken you for the guy his girlfreind is fooling around with. You are leaving a bar and going to your car. He walks up to you and says "I'm going to get you", and cocks is fist back for a haymaker.
  2. B) Same thing - but you don't see him coming, and he sucker punches you or tackles you.
  3. A) You come home from a hard day surfing the web and avoiding writing code at work. Unknown to you, a drug addled thief is in your house (He got in through the back window). You walk in to you bedroom, and surprise the stoned thief - who panics and attacks you with his fists.
  4. B) He attacks with a knife.
  5. You discover the secret plant where they make the Ninja Robots. The Ninjas discover that you discovered it...


[ Parent ]
Situations (none / 0) (#171)
by chroma on Mon Jul 04, 2005 at 03:22:04 AM EST

1A & 1B: If someone is really out to get you, what chance do you think you have defending yourself barehanded? Do any of the arts you mention in the original article practice figuring out when and how you're likely to be ambushed?

2A & 2B: Seems  like the thief is mostly eager to just get out of there. Do any of the arts teach the skill of talking down a panicked crackhead?


[ Parent ]

Situation answers (none / 0) (#184)
by guitartroll on Mon Jul 04, 2005 at 09:25:18 AM EST

>1A & 1B: If someone is really out to get you, what >chance do you think you have defending yourself >barehanded? Do any of the arts you mention in the

That's sort of the point, isn't it? Defending yourself the best you can with what you have?
Sure, if they are lying in wait with a sniper rifle, you have no chance.

I'm just talking about soem drunk guy who decides to attack on the spur of the moment. He's unarmed, and determined in that he just decided a minuted ago to lay you out. What's your problem with this scenario?

>original article practice figuring out when and how >you're likely to be ambushed?

Sure. A lot teach what they call "situational awareness". I guess it depends on the school, but some focus on this a lot.

One other thing - if you are used to sparring, your reflexes will be faster (no bullshit - even "point" style sparring makes them much faster), and you can see the telegraphing of a punch much quicker.

>2A & 2B: Seems  like the thief is mostly eager to >just get out of there. Do any of the arts teach >the skill of talking down a panicked crackhead?

Sure - I've sat through a few talks on this stuff by instructors. If the guy wants to go, let him go. Maybe he is freaked out, and thinks he needs to attack you though? Sometimes talking down doesn't always work.

I notice you conviently ellected not to address my Ninja robot scenario...

[ Parent ]

answers continued (none / 0) (#203)
by Rhodes on Mon Jul 04, 2005 at 02:43:37 PM EST

for the drunk redneck, the parking lot is gravel. you hear his breathing, and his "walking" on the gravel, and manage to open your door into his fist.

and for the panicked crackhead- suitable joint locks wake up the lower brain and lead to a suitablely quieter and more composed crackhead. and leaves you a hand free to call emergency services

[ Parent ]

My point (none / 0) (#208)
by chroma on Mon Jul 04, 2005 at 03:58:27 PM EST

It seems to me that barehanded fighting skills are almost worthless in the modern world. I think you proved that quite well. Many things have to happen before you can bust out your fighting skills: your opponent's not carrying a gun or other serious weapon, they're not ambushing you, they come alone, you're not armed, etc.

[ Parent ]
A drunk in the bar (none / 0) (#233)
by Cro Magnon on Tue Jul 05, 2005 at 02:30:48 PM EST

might very easily be unarmed and alone. And if it's a spur of the moment attack, he's not ambushing you. Obviously, if he has a gun and you don't, you're screwed, but if you're both unarmed, barehanded fighting skills are NOT worthless.
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
If, If, If... (none / 0) (#234)
by chroma on Tue Jul 05, 2005 at 03:06:35 PM EST

I've been drinking in plenty of bars in my life and have yet to have someone try to beat me up in one.

[ Parent ]
Effective for kids at least (2.50 / 4) (#146)
by cooldev on Sun Jul 03, 2005 at 05:40:07 PM EST

I took Tae Kwon Do for several years when I was a kid and it benefited me greatly. As a geek, TKD gave me confidence and helped me get out of the wasteland known as middle school unscathed. It also kept me somewhat fit and flexible, which is good because I wasn't really into other sports.

My favorite memory of middle school is when I was getting picked on during class by a bully that outweighed me by ~20 lbs (a lot when you're in 7th grade). It stopped when I delivered a quick, confident punch to the face. I pulled the punch to avoid causing more serious injury, and he knew it. I never got picked on again (well, beyond normal teasing that everybody endures). Amusingly, the teacher witnessed the whole thing and considered my action justified so I didn't get in trouble.

A couple other students in my TKD class had similar incidents, but no fights I ever I saw or heard about lasted longer than one or two punches or kicks from the TKD student before the other guy lost or backed down.

So, at least for a kid I'd say that martial arts are pretty effective. This is partly because most kids don't even know how to punch, dodge, or block effectively, so there's a significant skill gap.

Evolution of fighting styles on Wikipedia (none / 1) (#150)
by bethree on Sun Jul 03, 2005 at 06:15:08 PM EST

There's an interesting article on Wikipedia: mixed martial arts

Krav Maga (3.00 / 4) (#168)
by shmert on Mon Jul 04, 2005 at 01:38:26 AM EST

I've taken a bit of Krav Maga and it's a truly no-nonsense form of self defense. Case in point, pretty much all the scenarios covered incorporated--at one point or another--a sturdy kick to your opponent's groin.

I'm pretty sure that Jack Nicholson's character in Chinatown used Krav Maga when he took down the big guy who was trailing him outside the hotel. Kick to the groin, then lots of knees to the abdomen, and walk away. I could be making that up, and there's really no "technique" to identify Krav Maga, but it sure looked familiar when I saw that scene.

Our instructors also raised some interesting points about how to deal with agressors in a public setting. In addition to quickly incapacitating someone, it's important for you to appear to clearly be in the defensive role in the altercation, such as by putting up your hands and stating loudly "I'm not looking for any trouble". This becomes quite significant after the fight, when law enforcement arrives and passersby recount the scene.

One disturbing effect of the training: I found that I would compulsively plan how I would react if accosted by random people I saw on the street. I planted my boot in many an imaginary testicle, let me tell you. Eventually, I cancelled my membership and took up soccer. Much more carefree, but keeps the old kicking leg strong, just in case...

what good are martial arts? (3.00 / 2) (#169)
by Rhodes on Mon Jul 04, 2005 at 02:05:37 AM EST

One question to ask yourself, is do you want to be a fighter, or a warrior? If you want to be a fighter, buy a handgun, and go to the gun range. If you want to be a warrior, train in a style that fits your personality and your body type.

I've done 4 years of high school wrestling, 4 years of Tae Kwon Do in college (received my black belt), and am now 3 years into Aikido.

I'm relatively stocky, and wrestling / grappling arts fit my body type more than high kicking or punching (I have a very short reach).

My take on martial arts is that first, be aware of the surroundings, and your situation. When you are surrounded by 30 people, and someone just stole your cell phone- you can buy another cell phone.

Second, train hard enough to be able to run away.

Any violent confrontation is more and more likely to put you in direct physical harm (or cause enough damage to your opponent to put you in financial harm), no matter your training. That, and you are more likely to go to jail. Perhaps training will come in handy.

The essence of training is to confront, and avoid conflict. Confronting results in a non-violent conclusion- violence in the rarified sense that words can harm.

holy cow... (none / 1) (#180)
by aendeuryu on Mon Jul 04, 2005 at 06:39:01 AM EST

Can't speak for the Japanese and Chinese martial arts, but for the Korean ones, you need to do a bit more research.

Hopefully, if you missed the mark with the other Asian styles as much as you did with Taekwondo and Hapkido, other people who're more knowlegable will speak up.

Common points for most of the examples below -- alot of what gets learned is going to depend on the master, and whether or not they're going to want a lot of sparring or focus more on technique and forms.

Taekwondo: Punching and kicking martial arts, with pretty much all sparring involving kicking only. To attain a black belt in Korea you'll need to memorize a set of forms, do a quick sparring session, and perhaps do some extra skill tests. Kicking-based sparring is going to involve a lot of open fighting, so if you're cornered or in a close hand-to-hand combat situation, you might be at a slight disadvantage. Post-black belt allows for some weapons training. Lots of fitness and flexibility. You only need to memorize about one routine per belt, so masters frequently spend a good two to three days a week practicing technique and fitness, and one day a week sparring. Often, more frequently on the advent of a competition.

Hapkido: Most certainly NOT 80% Taekwondo, Hapkido is an amalgamation of punching, kicking, grappling, and weapons training/defence. Progress from white to black belt level requires extensive grappling training involving practically every form of hand-to-hand defence imaginable, as well as punching and kicking defences, and even judo attacks. Around the black belt level you get to learn how to be proactive instead of reactive, defend and attack with daggers, and upper dan levels include swords and bo-staff training. Sparring will mostly just involve kicking bouts, however, since the grappling would be too dangerous for those involved. Usually no memorization of routines, and little in the way of forms. Striking technique, however, is very important. You can make a strong argument that hapkido is one of the deadliest martial arts out there, rivalled only by its Chinese and Japanese counter-parts. It deserves a bit more than the two-sentence dismissal given in the article.

Gumdo: Sword-based martial art. Two main styles: Haedong Gumdo and Daehan Gumdo (hopefully, if the English spelling is wrong on the second someone will pipe up). Probably the least useful in terms of actual self-defence, Haedong Gumdo is almost entirely forms-based, while Daehan Gumdo is the sparring type which is most similar to Japanese Kendo. Other hybrids exist which mix the two, including HanGuk Gumdo, which combines the forms and routines approach of Haedong and the sparring of Daehan. Little real-world application, although once you get your black belt you can actually buy samurai-type swords legally.

The upper levels of most of this stuff allows for a certain amount of creativity. Hapkido demonstrations will sometimes involve fans and even more exotic weaponry, down to using a cane, a schoolbag or even your own black belt to string up your opponent.

Judo is also pretty popular here (refered to as yudo, though), and given the success of former judo practictioners in mixed martial arts competition, you can guess it's pretty effective, if only because of the ridiculous strength and speed advantage gained by having to fight in deliberately crippled conditions. Taking an upper-level judo master and giving him some basic punching and kicking training is a potent combination.

I purposefully have left out topics such as using weapons, defending against weapons, and fighting multiple opponents. These are all very much worth discussing, but are beyond the scope of what I'm discussing here.

On the one hand, you want to talk real-world scenario practicality, and on the other, you want to dismiss something like knife-fight training? That's really odd.

I'm also talking about the way these arts are practiced in the present day, in the western world, as I have no experience training in Asia.

It's possible that you might have bitten off more than you can chew, then, given your mission statement with this article. You really ought to spend some time in an Asian country studying this stuff before trying to opine on the usefullness of martial arts.

Holy Cow yourself..:-) (none / 0) (#183)
by guitartroll on Mon Jul 04, 2005 at 09:17:49 AM EST

I'm not really sure how any of your observations on TKD show I'm off the mark. I've seen all the stuff you describe, and it's pretty much exactly what goes on in Karate schools as well - except with way more focus on kicking.

As to Hapkido - I can only say what I've seen and heard. Maybe it's trained differently elsewhere, but in the USA the grappling seems very weak. People that I have talked to that trained a few years in this style and they switched to Ju-Jitsu mentioned how weak the Hapkido grappling seemed.

With your description of your training methods in these arts, your really proving the points I was trying to make not refuting them.

Since you bring up weapons, I'll say this. Most martial arts I've seen it fanciful exotic weapons, that would have limited utility - just because you aren't going to have the sai, tonfa, tai chi sword, etc. around.

I have seen some good knife and gun defenses from arts such as Ju-Jitsu and Aikido. I guess a pretty long article coudl be written about this stuff, but I didn't feel like doing it.

As to what I left out in my article - feel free to write one yourself about training in Asia and weapon defense and attacks.

[ Parent ]

to clarify... (none / 0) (#192)
by aendeuryu on Mon Jul 04, 2005 at 11:17:23 AM EST

With your description of your training methods in these arts, your really proving the points I was trying to make not refuting them.

Hardly.

Your original point was that Taekwondo's drawbacks were similar to Karate's, which were twofold: first, the implication that Karate's emphasis on the Kata was a distraction from proper self-defence training, and second, that Karate focused on practicing different kicks which were of questionable utility in a fight.

Not knowing Karate, I can't comment on how off the mark you are with that martial art, but in Taekwondo, the focus on the Pumsai is limited. You can work on it once a week and it won't interrupt your progress. Which means that you can spend most of the time perfecting kicks, which are of such a great range to improve overall flexibility, strength, and speed, and also to give you a greater number of target options. In addition, if you're training at a proper Dojang you can get plenty of sparring training to work a good set of kicks into your repertoire. Quite a few of those odd-looking kicks can come in really handy when sparring.

Your next point was that Hapkido was 80% Taekwondo, which, not taking anything away from Taekwondo, is nonsense. Hapkido involves a maximum of 50% punching and kicking, and that 50% includes punching and kicking defence, which in itself involves very little to do with Taekwondo. There is also NO focus on Pumsai. It is approached in a radically different manner than Taekwondo.

Got space in your fight? A year's worth of dedicated training in Taekwondo is excellent. Sparring on a weekly basis with the rest of the week spent on fitness and technique perfection will make you handy in a fight. Combat that involves a bit of distance between the fighters will often favour the one who is precise and fast, and Taekwondo will train you very well in that aspect, if you apply yourself.

Little to no space in your fight? A year's training in Hapkido is excellent. I would invite any of your friends who feel Hapkido is an inferior martial art in any way to come to Korea and test their mettle. If I had to bet on a martial art, I'd bet on the one where every second technique you learn would be banned in a sanctioned mixed martial arts fight. That's not to say one is superior to the other in an altruistic sense, but in terms of self-defence, Hapkido is an extremely capable discipline.

Since you bring up weapons, I'll say this. Most martial arts I've seen it fanciful exotic weapons, that would have limited utility - just because you aren't going to have the sai, tonfa, tai chi sword, etc. around.

Hapkido weapons training starts with the dagger, and progresses to the staff and then the sword, involving techniques that can be transferred to any old stick, pipe or baseball bat. As previously mentioned, the really high levels involve studying how to turn absolutely ANYTHING into a weapon. You can't evaluate whether or not a martial art is suitable for self-defence while discounting one of the aspects of a martial art that make it IDEAL for self-defence.

And this is all besides the point because of another issue, which is this: Commenting on the utility of martial arts based on what you've seen in the U.S. without seeing what's going on in the east is like someone commenting on the state of basketball having watched nobody but Australian pros play it. Limit the scope of your argument enough and of course you'll be correct, but you'll also be limiting your argument's relevence.

[ Parent ]

Clarification on some points, and appologies (none / 0) (#200)
by guitartroll on Mon Jul 04, 2005 at 01:39:27 PM EST

What I'm saying about Karate and TKD is this. There is a lot of focus on things such as Kata, one step sparring, techniques that look good - but aren't good for actual fights. The sparring is point style, and bears very little resemblance to what you would do in a fight. People that train in these arts for years revert to boxing techniques in a fight.

TKD in particular focuses on high, flashy kicks with lots of speed, but not a lot of power. Some kicks are really powerful, but very, very unlikely to land in a street fight or self defense situation.

Maybe you are clarifing the amount of time doing katas vs sparring, etc. at schools where you are at (I'll assume South Korea?), but really the other points stand, and I don't think you have really addressed them. Please feel free to do so, and I welcome you to raise points that will change my mind.

I stand corrected on Hapkido. It's entirely possible that there are some great Hapkido schools in the world that teach vastly different stuff than I have seen. The ones I have seen and heard about were as I described. In fact, I've heard some people say that in the USA it was common for people that had a falling out with their TKD organization to break off and form a HKD school, where they pretty much taught the TKD they knew, with some grappling thrown in. Here in the US, pretty much anyone can rent a space in a strip mall, take out an ad in the yellow pages, and open up a school.

I don't mean to insult Korean arts. I have a lot of respect for TKD - just not for self defense. It's amazing for what it is - which is mostly a sport, and excercise.

[ Parent ]

sigh (none / 0) (#212)
by aendeuryu on Mon Jul 04, 2005 at 07:13:19 PM EST

There is a lot of focus on things such as Kata, one step sparring, techniques that look good - but aren't good for actual fights. First off, I've already addressed your point on the Pumsai (that's the Korean equivalent of Kata, if you're wondering). They are a part of Taekwondo but do not dominate the learning of it. As for techniques that look good, you might as well question why professional sports do drilling when it doesn't seem realistic in an in-game situation. You do it to refine techniques that are VERY helpful in an in-game situation. If you cannot understand this, then I have to suggest that maybe you're having some real trouble grasping what physical training is all about. The reason for the focus on high kicks in Taekwondo is, once again, to force the legs into a full range of motion, to improve flexibility, to improve strength, speed and fitness, to gain target options. These things come in handy in a fight. This cannot be accomplished by constantly repeating low- to mid-range kicks, which are relatively easy. And if you doubt the effectiveness of this stuff in a fight, you're welcome to come and try to start one over here with one of the local Koreans. If the student is training for competitive sparring, of course that style of fighting will not be as effective in a self-defence situation, but that is irrelevent to the effectiveness of the martial art as a self-defence tool. Logically, you're bankrupt here: part and the whole fallacy. It's entirely possible that there are some great Hapkido schools in the world that teach vastly different stuff than I have seen. It's more than possible, and you're not just incorrect about Hapkido. Once more, I invite you to visit the home of a martial art and observe it in action before pretending to be an expert in something you're not.

[ Parent ]
I must disagree, although I wish you were right (none / 0) (#218)
by guitartroll on Mon Jul 04, 2005 at 10:17:18 PM EST

  So basically you are saying you practice unrealistic moves like high kicks so you will be better able to do realistic moves like low kicks in an actual fight? Or do you actually believe you are going to bust out those spinning jumping kicks in a real fight?

  Maybe they do TKD differently in Korea, but from what I've seen in the states it consists of techniques that are mostly pretty far fetched for any self defense situation.

  If folks are doing it for point karate or TKD tournaments, then it's great stuff. But for any actual self defense situation, I would say that:

  1. There is a lack of many useful hand techniques.
  2. The majority of kicks are high, flashy and unrealistic for self defense.
  3. There is no real grappling techniques.
If you are comparing TKD to someone untrained, then sure they can defend themselves better than that. Compared to someone who has studied a mix of boxing Muay Thai and Brazilian Ju-Jitsu, they will be much less effective. I invited you to come to the states and start a fight with a BJJ blackbelt with the above training..:-)

  Look I know I'm pissing you off by insulting TKD. Or you think I'm insulting it. I'm not - it is GREAT for what it is. Maybe you need to have more of an open mind, and realize I might have a point here that you are unwilling to consider.
I know you don't value my opinion much on this, and that's fine, but really there is a lot of provable, empirical evidence to support what I'm saying about TKD. Check out the 100's of no holds barred fights out there - leave grappling out of it if that bugs you, you just don't see that many TKD techniques in use. Ditto for what "security professionals" , police, etc. use.

  I wish I were wrong on this. An art like TKD is beautiful, and I wish it were as good as you imply. Boxing and BJJ are really pretty boring. They are bland, but they do really work. TKD works a bit, but it's just not as effective as these other arts for self defense.

[ Parent ]

your frame of reference is severely limited (none / 1) (#219)
by aendeuryu on Tue Jul 05, 2005 at 12:00:23 AM EST

Look, you're not pissing me off with regards to Taekwondo, you're just misrepresenting the martial art. Comments like "I wish you were right" and "I wish I were wrong on this", on the other hand, are condescending to the point of hilarious, because if you came to Korea and tested some of your assertions with regards to Taekwondo and its lack of effectiveness in self-defence, you'd learn how wrong you are the hard way.

You might want to look up the following logical fallacies: Hasty Generalization & Unrepresentative Sample (for focusing on a U.S.-only sample), Slothful Induction (for ignoring evidence being pointed out that contradicts your argument), False Analogy (for comparing martial arts used in competition to a self-defence scenario), Fallacy of Exclusion (for willingly exluding martial arts as it's taught in Asia, and for omitting weapons self-defence in the original argument), Composition (because Taekwondo practitioners practice high kicks, that's the martial art's focus), Undistributed Middle (for comparing Karate and Taekwondo because they both have routines), Limited Scope (your scenarios are much more limited than "self defence" in general), and Non Sequitor (because a form isn't useful by itself in a fight, practicing the form is detrimental for self-defence purposes).

Go look those up, then respond, if you like. But until you correct your errors in logic, there's no point continuing this.

[ Parent ]

Here are some responses (none / 1) (#225)
by guitartroll on Tue Jul 05, 2005 at 09:32:08 AM EST

>You might want to look up the following logical >fallacies: Hasty Generalization & >Unrepresentative Sample (for focusing on a U.S.->only sample),

  Well, I purposefully only directed the scope of my article to the western world. In a sense it's an unrepresentative sample - but then so would an artice about heart disease in the western world. If the heart disease article purported to be just about the west, then snuck in data about the east, then there would be a logical flaw. Look, my article is about the west, and I never said it was about anything else. I'd love to go to Korea, but right now it's not in the cards. Why don't you come to the west and test your assertions about TKD, because my article is about the west?

>Slothful Induction (for ignoring evidence being >pointed out that contradicts your argument),

Well, I acknoledged your point that Hapkido might be different in Korea. I'm not so sure what other evidence you have presented that contradicts what I'm saying. Why don't you list it out in some bullet points for me?

>False Analogy (for comparing martial arts used >in competition to a self-defence scenario),

Well, If you look at the competitions I'm talking about (UFC pride, etc.), you'll see that there's a lot of actual contact going on. I'm not saying these contests are EXACTLY like a self defense situation that you might get into in a parking lot with a drunk. But I think you can see how they are similar in lots of ways. I think you are missing the point so I'll spell it out for you:

  1. They are making full power contact
  2. Pretty much any technique is allowed - very little restrictions to targets
  3. There really isn't any protective gear to speak of (okay, very light weight gloves).
Lets contrast that with TKD and point sparring:
  1. Lots of protective gear is worn.
  2. Full power not allowed.
  3. Certain strikes and targets no allowed (way, way more restrictive that in the UFC, etc.)
  4. Grappling, chokes, etc. , loint lockes, etc. no allowed.
>Fallacy of Exclusion (for willingly exluding >martial arts as it's taught in Asia, and for >omitting weapons self-defence in the original >argument),

Well, you got me there. I have no experience studing in Asia, so I didn't even try to write about it. I was too lazy to write about weapons.
Obviously, you like to write and know something about these areas. Why don't you write an article about them?

>Composition (because Taekwondo practitioners >practice high kicks, that's the martial art's >focus),

Well, it's certainly something TKD spends a lot of time doing, isn't it? I'd say that 80% of the strikes in TKD are kicks (that % is a direct quote from an olympic TKDer I heard on a NPR interview). From what I've seen and experianced of TKD the fast majority of these kicks are above the waist in practice sessions. In competition, they are all above the waist. Basically, TKD is doing 80% of it's strikes as kicks, and the majority of them are above the waist. So, yeah - I'd have to conclude that high kicks are a really big part of TKD. In fact, I'd bet if you came up to 10 random TKD students and said "what sets your art apart from all others" - the answer you'd get the most would be something about the high kicks.

>Undistributed Middle (for comparing Karate and >Taekwondo because they both have routines),

Well, there's more to the comparision than that. During WWII the Japanese stopped the practice of Korean martial arts, and encouraged the practice of Japanese ones. After the Japanese were gone, the Koreans didn't want to practice something Japanese - so they renamed what martial arts they were practicing. Tae Kwon Do IS Karate that has been modified a bit. The Koreans added to it a bit, and changed it a bit (the high kicks, for example) - but it's very, very similar.

In fact, in the USA - almost all TKD schools I have seen have a big "Karate" sign out front. Look at the forms! Download some Shotokan karate forms off the web, and take a look. Tell me there aren't lots of similarities!! It's not just the fact both do forms, it's that the forms are very similar.

The techniques are very similar - the punches, the stances, the blocks, etc. The kicks are very similar as well, but TKD obviously has more varied kicks.

>Limited Scope (your scenarios are much more >limited than "self defence" in general),

I guess. I'm lazy and didn't feel like writing something huge. I still feel the points I made stand.

>and Non Sequitor (because a form isn't useful by >itself in a fight, practicing the form is >detrimental for self-defence purposes).

Well, in the sense that forms practice takes away from practice that can be targeting self defense moves, yes it is. If an average student has time for 3 hours of classes a week and 3 hours practice on their own - and they practice forms for 1/3 of that time, then they have lost those 2 hours where self defense moves could be studied.

Also, it could be argued that the moves in the forms teach bad habits for self defense. In a very, very stressful situation people revert to what they have trained the most. Also, when startled as well. So if in a class 90% of the time a technique is done a certain way, and 10% of the time it is done the "self defense way", which way do you think will come out under stress?

>Go look those up, then respond, if you like. But >until you correct your errors in logic, there's >no point continuing this.

Well, I've tried my best. Why don't you make a serious effort to address my points above?

[ Parent ]

I'll bite... again (none / 0) (#222)
by v1z on Tue Jul 05, 2005 at 02:08:46 AM EST

(...) there is a lot of provable, empirical evidence to support what I'm saying about TKD. Check out the 100's of no holds barred fights out there - leave grappling out of it if that bugs you, you just don't see that many TKD techniques in use. Ditto for what "security professionals" , police, etc. use.

You're wrong. If you want empirical evidence, you would have to look at what figthing art has the *fewest* members involved in fighting, or, if you really want to find the so-called best martial art, the martial art that has the largest relative population that have been forced into a fighting situation, and come out on top.

Beating someone to a pulp in the ring on tv, isn't self-defense, that's the Roman definition of circus. It's also very different from the situation you're in, if you're stumbeling home from a party, a little drunk, and confronted by three potential attackers.

As for "you just don't see that many TKD techniques in use" -- do you by that mean that you don't see a lot of straight punches, hooks, low kicks and blocks ?

Or that the fighters don't have a defensive, yet mobile stance ? Just because a technique doesn't look like it comes straight out of a kata doesn't mean it *isn't* a technique.

As I've stated elsewhere, I've not practiced enough Karate nor TKD to comment in detail on the techniques, but as the other poster has mentioned, it is important to drill technique. Some do it in kata, some do it by practicing a few kicks every day -- most do a mix.

The important part is that if you *do* have to strike at someone, you manage to lock your fist right, and focus your energy. You have to keep your balance, you have to have control over your breath, and you have to be ready to block an incomming attack.

Please explain what part isn't part of TKD training.

Just because Bruce Lee founded a new line of martial arts, doesn't mean he didn't pick up anything from his TKD training.

Ditto for what "security professionals" , police, etc. use.
In most civilised countries, both police and private security are charged with *protecting* people. They do that from an advantaged position; they wear protective gear, and somtimes weapons. They try to *remove* tension from a situation. When they *are* overpowered however, they tend to defend with all they've got -- sometimes taking such extreme meassures as shooting at a suspect with a high-powered sniper rifle.

Again comparing this to a typical self-defense situation doesn't make much sense.

[ Parent ]

Some responses (none / 0) (#227)
by guitartroll on Tue Jul 05, 2005 at 10:12:48 AM EST

>if you really want to find the so-called best >martial art, the martial art that has the >largest relative population that have been >forced into a fighting situation, and come out >on top.

Well that's a good point. I'd love to see those numbers.

>As for "you just don't see that many TKD >techniques in use" -- do you by that mean that >you don't see a lot of straight punches, hooks, >low kicks and blocks ?

Pretty much, yeah. Not in the way they are done in TKD. See my last point in this response for a clarification of what I mean.

>Or that the fighters don't have a defensive, yet >mobile stance ? Just because a technique doesn't >look like it comes straight out of a kata >doesn't mean it isn't a technique.

Actually I don't have a problem with the stance TKD uses for fighting/sparring.

>As I've stated elsewhere, I've not practiced >enough Karate nor TKD to comment in detail on >the techniques, but as the other poster has >mentioned, it is important to drill technique. >Some do it in kata, some do it by practicing a >few kicks every day -- most do a mix.

Sure, this is true. But you will do the techniques the way you practice them. That's sort of the point isn't it? To do something over and over, until is is second nature? The problem is a lot of the TKD techniques in forms, and in sparring aren't really valid self defense techniques. When in a stressful situation, or startled - you'll revert to these techniques. Go look at Skyknights response where he mentions that he does a high jumping kick in response to a percieved threat without thinking about it.

>The important part is that if you do have to >strike at someone, you manage to lock your fist >right, and focus your energy. You have to keep >your balance, you have to have control over your >breath, and you have to be ready to block an >incomming attack.

I guess it's all how you define these things.

>Please explain what part isn't part of TKD >training.

Well, okay. Here goes:

  The focus of TLD is on high, flashy kicks. That's where a LOT of the training time is spent.
These kicks aren't so useful in self defense situations, because they have a low chance of connecting, and they leave you very vunerable. Also, it's worth noting that no matter how fast you are it takes a lot longer for your foot to get up to the level of someones head, than for your fist to go straight out in a jab to hit someone in the head.

  There is a lot of focus on jumping and spinning kicks. They look great, but they are easy to see coming, and aren't the greatest for self defense.

  The punches are unrealistic as well. Reverse punches come from the hip, and are locked out. Other strikes are chambered WAY back, and locked out. If you know about Ju-Jitsu - you can appreciate the opertunities these locked out techniques give you.

  As far as blocking - it's pretty hard to actually use blocking techniques against someone who is REALLY trying to hit you in non-TKD or karate style. Have a boxer friend put on some gloves. Have him try to hit you boxing style with fast punches that are pulled back. Tried to use blocks to stop the punches from coming in. You will see that moving around and covering up is a lot more effective than standing and blocking.
TKD folks and Karate folks will say "well that is why we do cover up and move around, etc." - and to a certain extent they are right WHEN THEY SPAR.
But when they do forms, or practice techniques one after another, they are doing these blocks as a big part of their training.

[ Parent ]

A good teachers is hard to find (none / 0) (#246)
by v1z on Wed Jul 06, 2005 at 09:06:04 PM EST

Well, to quote one of my Jojutsu instructors, on his response to my statement that "I had hoped to be able to practice karate while in Japan.":
"Karate is a fine art, but it's very hard to find a good teacher."
(I believe he held 3. or 4. dan in gojoruy karate, but considered it more of a hobby). And after visiting a few dojos, and talking to various people, I've come to realize that this statement holds true for all of the martial arts.

My personal (limited) experience with Tae Kwon Do has led me to believe that if you practice ITF TKD, you are likely to have a good teacher. It may be some of the other TKD organizatons have the equivalent, or more strict, requirements for achieving, and holding the title of senior instructor -- but I've seen the kind of TKD practices you've seen; and I agree that it's not something I'd recommend for self defence.

It is very sad that TKD has become as divided, and riddled with bickering as many of the older martial arts -- doubly sad as the original structure of TKD should more readily be able to resist such in-fighting, than most other MAs I'm aware of.

But please, let us not get into a religous fight over what constitutes "real" TKD -- I really don't have enough experience with the art to comment.

I believe the strict requirements for becoming a master are a very good thing; ofcourse, many dojos and clubs in the west wouldn't have existed, if all arts followed the same guidelines. On the other hand, the quality of many arts might have been higher.

My point about TKD techniques earlier is that practically every kind of strike, kick or block is in the TKD lexicon of techniques -- and blaming bad instructors for their students misguided training is often more appropriate than blaming the art itself.

If you don't have a senior instructor in your dojo that has practiced for at least 15-20 years, I would suggest you try and find another art to practice in your area. It's not that young, dedicated people, can't be good instructors -- it's just so very, very rare they be gifted enough, and experienced enough to have the wealth of knowledge required to take on the responsibility of running a dojo.

At the very least, make sure you travel to see other instructors, preferably ones holding around 5th dan and up depending on the art, at least twice a year, or as often as possible. It's what I try to do now, with Aikido -- not because we have poor instructors in my dojo, we just don't have anyone that's really qualified to be the head of a dojo. Sadly, I've yet to have the opportunity to study Aikido in Japan, and I've found it very hard to even try to maintain a semblance of my former (lowly) level of Jojutsu technique -- but hopefully I'll have the oppurtunity do something about that in the comming 12 months.

As for "irrational" responses in a potential self-defense situation; I certainly agree that if you want to be able to do reflexive self-defence, then you need to a lot of direct self-defence training.

Competition is a sport, and while you practice speeed and stamina, you don't neccerely practice correct technique for self-defence.

Please, also remember that while you can practice many katas or forms alone, most arts also have an abundance of katas that require both an attacker and a defender; If such katas are practiced with the correct mindset they can be a great asset for self-defense.

Lastly, if you find yourself punching air, then you're *not* practicing a kata. If you don't know who, where and why you are hitting, and alomst as importantly *not* hitting -- then you don't understand the kata, and need to study the theory -- preferably from a master, optionally from a book.

Kata is a very demanding form of training, traditional "individual" Karate and TKD katas even more so. After all, how often do you have to fight without an opponent ? To be able to train techniques in a reactive, adaptive manner, without any tangible oppononent requires great deal of understanding, dicipline and focus.

As for "full locking" punches -- I'm not sure I follow you: noone in their right mind locks any joints, certainly not during any kind of explosive technique, like a punch. If only because you'll ruin your elbows and knees with poor technique after a few thousand repetitions. And I've yet to see any martial art that *teaches* you to lock your joints.

Your complaint is about as valid as complainng about judokas that hit their head when preforming ukemi; it's simply wrong execution of the technique.

[ Parent ]

You've confused "leathal" techniques (none / 1) (#182)
by v1z on Mon Jul 04, 2005 at 07:41:06 AM EST

Judo is (along with ju-jutsu) one of the few martial arts that actually actively uses proven leathal holds in competion, not only training -- namely strangulation (popularily called choke holds, but while stopping airflow is dangerous over a period of minutes, stopping blood to even one side of the head is potentially leathal in 15 seconds).

Now, very rarely would you be justified to kill someone in "self defense" with a choke hold, but it certainly is leathal technique. Unfortunately police officers do this quite often.

This is before you consider the effect of a throw onto pavement on someone without any ukemi traning. Particualry if you *try* to land your victim on the head.

This is one of the reasons kicks to the heads sometimes leads to deaths in brawls also -- rarely you'll kill someone with the kick, but hitting the back of your head on cement certainly can kill you.

Now, your post is supposedly about self defense; And if you want to be able to win a fight there are a few rules of thumb:

1) If you have to fight, strike first, and strike hard.

2) Learn how to take punches (you'll rarely be able to do 1) unless you're an asshole or a sosipath, because if you *could* you should run).

3) Learn how to fall without injuring yourself.

4) Learning how to grapple -- or at least get up off the ground quickly.

I'd say Aikido is a very effictive form of self defence, but only if you actually practice striking and all the techniques Akido defends against seriously -- rarely will you see an Aikidoka that can hit or kick -- and therefore few actually are able to preform Aikido as effective real-life self defense. This isn't a problem with Aikido per se, though.

I'd agument Aikido with Karate or Tae-kwon Do for strike and kick technique, judo or ju-jutsu for grappeling, and kick-boxing for speed, and learning to take a beating.

Personally I'm just a beginner at Aikido, and I'd certainly not employ aikido as self defense yet -- I'm more comfortable with a jo, using judo, or preferably getting out of the situation :-)

I've witnessed a few fights -- some ugly -- but I've yet to be forced to participate in one. And I've yet to hear about any serious fight that couldn't have been avoided with a cold head, and maybe a little less to drink.

And lastly -- if you want to become a good fighter, the only way to do that is a lot of training -- 5 years if you practice 3 times a week with a good instructor, or 3 years if you beat up people every weekend. You'll probably become a better person going the long way round, though.

Let me clarify "deadly" techniques (none / 0) (#186)
by guitartroll on Mon Jul 04, 2005 at 09:36:59 AM EST

>Judo is (along with ju-jutsu) one of the few >martial arts that actually actively uses proven >leathal holds in competion, not only training -- >namely strangulation (popularily called choke >holds, but wh

Sure this is very true. All these arts, contain moves that could kill. I don't dispute that hard throws and chokes can do it.

Of course, If you know a bit about Judo and Ju-jitsu, you will know that a lot of wrist locks,
finger locks, etc. - basically small joint manipulation has been taken out of Judo. I guess it would be pretty easy to break someones wrist accidentaly if you were trying to do a joint lock on someone who was really fighing it. Lots of stuff has been taken out. But I didn't do a good job clarifing the "deadly" stuff that was left out.

When I sid "deadly techniques" I was being tongue in cheek and talking about "secret pressure point strikes, that must not be practiced on a human, lest you make them collapse instantly". And similar stuff. That's why the "" marks, I'm very sceptical that this stuff works.

A lot of arts have this "deadly" stuff that can only be practiced in katas (see, I'm using the ""s again). I'm thinking about stuff guys like George Dillman are talking about.

[ Parent ]

Judo (none / 0) (#211)
by shinnin on Mon Jul 04, 2005 at 07:11:22 PM EST

Judo: Has many of the techniques of Japanese Ju-Jitsu, but has many of the "deadly" techniques removed. By taking out the punches, kicks, wrist locks, etc. you are left with some techniques that are safe to be used in a sport. Lots of throws, falls, trips, and groundwork. Most of the practice is against a resisting, moving opponent.

Judo can be pretty wicked against unprepared assailants off the mat. A girl at my Judo club was assaulted from behind one night in a rape situation. She threw her assaulter, his bones were smashed all up one side. He was hospitalised and ended up in a wheelchair. Obviously, though, it depends on the situation.

[ Parent ]

How about "uncontrollable" ? (none / 0) (#221)
by v1z on Tue Jul 05, 2005 at 01:40:21 AM EST

>> Judo is (along with ju-jutsu) one of the few
>> martial arts that actually actively uses proven
>> leathal holds in competion, not only training --
>> namely strangulation (popularily called choke
>> holds, but wh
>
> Sure this is very true. All these arts, contain
> moves that could kill. I don't dispute that hard
> throws and chokes can do it.

I think you misunderstood my point. A strike can be crippeling, but you need a considerable amount of training and luck to be able to kill a moving opponent with a single blow or kick. While incapasitating an opponent with a single blow isn't quite as difficult.

Now, if you are able to fasten a starngulation hold on someone, however, you'll most certainly be able to kill them. Hopefully you'll have enough control to let go before brain dammage and/or death sets in, but in a stressfull situation, that might not be the case.

Either way, my point was that judo and ju-jutsu allow these techniques not only in training, but also in competiton -- which goes a long way to increase the judokas ability to employ them for self-defence.

> Of course, If you know a bit about Judo and Ju-
> jitsu, you will know that a lot of wrist locks,
> finger locks, etc. - basically small joint
> manipulation has been taken out of Judo. I guess
> it would be pretty easy to break someones wrist
> accidentaly if you were trying to do a joint lock
> on someone who was really fighing it. Lots of
> stuff has been taken out. But I didn't do a good
> job clarifing the "deadly" stuff that was left out.

Actually, very few "deadly" techniques have been removed from judo. The reason shoulder and handlocks have been removed is that the pain treshold for these joints are too high. While the pain treshold of the elbow and knee joints are much lower -- resulting in earlier warning to the Uke that the lock is working.

(You might think a wrist-bend is very painful, but if someone were to strain your elbow as close to the actual breaking point, as when you feel the pain of a wrist lock, you'd quickly reconsider).

Kneelocks were removed because in open competitions some small practioners would jump into a knee-lock from standing position, turning it into a semi-throw, often resulting in a broken knee.

Similarily the scissor-throws have been removed from competition, due to frequent injuries.

But a broken knee, arm, or hand will rarely kill you, even if you might be crippled for life.

At any rate, these teqniqes have been removed from competiton judo, but some are still part of the various self-defense katas. Unfortunately many people practice judo, without any regard for the martial arts heritage of the sport.

Let us also not forget that judo is in fact a sport, and devised especially as a way to keep some of the ideas from ju-jutsu alive in a peaceful society.

As for other modifications done by Kano-sensei himself, and others after him, some are improvements on ju-jutsu techniques, and some are simply "kinder" versions of techniques.

> When I sid "deadly techniques" I was being
> tongue in cheek and talking about "secret
> pressure point strikes, that must not be
> practiced on a human, lest you make them
> collapse instantly". And similar stuff. That's
> why the "" marks, I'm very sceptical that this
> stuff works.

Well, a strike on the jaw will certainly drop someone instantly, if you hit correctly. As for preassure points, they do work (albeit maybe not as dramatically as in a ninja-movie :) -- but it's still very hard to strike that precily in combat.

Striking at the throat, might be one of the few "easy" ways to actually kill someone with one blow.

But I've not practiced enough of neither Karate nor Takekwondo to comment too much on kicking and hitting.

> A lot of arts have this "deadly" stuff that can
> only be practiced in katas (see, I'm using the
> ""s again). I'm thinking about stuff guys like
> George Dillman are talking about.

Well, I think "uncontrollable" techniques would be better then. That would also include shooting with live ammuntion on a human, for instance. It would be great training in killing, but not something most societies would accept.

[ Parent ]

Very good points (none / 0) (#228)
by guitartroll on Tue Jul 05, 2005 at 10:16:28 AM EST

I think you have made some excellent points here.

[ Parent ]
slap boxing (none / 0) (#185)
by astrx on Mon Jul 04, 2005 at 09:26:44 AM EST

First, my background: i have taken about three years in tae kwon do, then three years in tang so do, then four years in kali (mixed version). i dont think that i saw anything about kali mainly because it is a martial art devoted mostly to stick and knife fighting. since i took a mixed version, a lot of wing chun was incorporated for empty hand stuff. the main principle of kali, as it has been taught to me is "defang the snake" basically meaning demobalize the opponent. most initial hits are to the legs or arms, with the assumption that if the persons arms or legs are gone, then they will not pose too much of a threat anymore. we use sticks to break bones, and knives to cut tendons. i thought this was a very practical martial art, because i always carry a knife, and it definitely helps to immoblize people with much greater skill/speed/strength. the unfortunate downside is that my skills are split with half of them good for empty hand combat, half for weapons. as for kali versus grapling techniques, on kali practitioner told me "i hate jiu jitsu guys, thats why i carry a neck knife". grappling i believe is the worst form of martial art against a bladed weapon. but anyway, i'll get to the point. i grew up in a predominantly black (african american) neighborhood, and so went to a black school. i doubt most of my classmate took martial arts but they definitely got into a lot of fights (lets not get into a racial discussion, i do not imply any causality here). anyway, i noticed a huge difference in the "self defense" training i got and the actual fighting style of most people around me. i believe most martial arts, when dealing with defense against a strike, are dealing with what i call committed strikes. strikes where a great deal of force is applied, and possibly balance is offset momentarily by the attacker. in my school, no one faught like that. fighting styles basically derived from game skills from our youth such as slap boxing. because of this, a very leaned back stance was taken, and speed was everything since in slap boxing only a touch to the face is needed. with this being said, it would be almost impossible to grap one of these people because they where so fast.

Jiu-Jitsu (none / 1) (#197)
by tannhaus on Mon Jul 04, 2005 at 01:10:50 PM EST

I disagree with your assessment of Jiu-jitsu.  I studied Akayama Ryu Jiu-jitsu for 2 years.  I studied Kyokushin karate for 2 years before that.  I would say jiu jitsu is VERY realistic.  Of course, it depends on the instructor, but we were always cautioned NOT to do takedowns if there were other potential attackers around.  We were also cautioned against using the Aikido style wrist techniques on anyone BUT a drunk.  We frequently had sparring sessions against resisting, moving attackers.  So, I'd say your assessment is pretty off.

As far as brazilian jiu-jitsu, you are very off as well...especially if you're considering Gracie Jiu-jitsu...which was honed in barroom brawls.  Hoyce Gracie is the least indicative of the style of all the brothers...and they will tell you so.  

As far as Kyokushin, you mention the knockdown tournaments, but that is only a small part of the training.  The dojo I trained in did not, but the larger dojo actually had a boxing instructor come in from time to time to help with hand techniques.    The ritualized forms are good for showing technique...just like a boxer working with a bag.  But, your fighting technique is going to differ.

Okay - but some clarification (none / 0) (#199)
by guitartroll on Mon Jul 04, 2005 at 01:23:57 PM EST

>Hoyce Gracie is the least indicative of the style >of all the brothers...and they will tell you so.  

His name is Royce. All the brother's names begin with an "R". I'm not slamming BJJ's effectiveness - I pretty much thought I was doing the opposite. It's not perfect, though.

As far as your Ju-Jitsu experiance. It seems a bit different from mine. I guess mine was mostly more traditional. From what you say about your school, it sounds like my critisisms wouldn't apply so much.
You can see my point about certain techniques - such as the one you mentioned?

[ Parent ]

Kung Fu (none / 0) (#220)
by overcode on Tue Jul 05, 2005 at 01:03:14 AM EST

I have about a year of experience in Li family style Kung Fu.

Our school doesn't have many students, because we don't teach the things new students are generally excited about. Our style is very defensive, with a strong emphasis on avoiding the fight in the first place (one of our forms begins with a hand clap and a "Kiai!" shout, which we're taught should remind us to try to solve any dispute verbally first). Our sifu has often said that the best way to win a fight is to be on the opposite side of the street from the person who wants to start the fight.

Kung Fu teaches us self control, quick thinking, flexibility, confidence, and internal strength. Fighting is only a secondary purpose. Sure, we could do some serious damage to an aggressor, but it would be unthinkable to start a fight ourselves. We don't claim to teach the "best" style of Kung Fu, if there is such a thing, but we do claim to teach something that is useful and beneficial.

From my experience in sparring against other people in the school, I know I would be better off in a fight now than I would have been before I started. I know how to observe my opponent, keep my balance, predict his moves, and react quickly.

The benefits of good martial arts training are enormous. A year of training made me a much stronger person, both physically and mentally. But fighting is a very small part of the overall picture.


My thoughts (none / 0) (#226)
by rsayers on Tue Jul 05, 2005 at 10:09:55 AM EST

I trained at a McDojo in TKD as a kid, I think the self confidence part may have been a bad think.  As I looked back on what I leared as well as looking at what a kids class teaches today, there is no way I could have used that stuff to defend myself.  Never once did I get to try any of the great techniques we  learned on a live opponent.

I also trained in Kung Fu for about a year.  Many of the techniques were pretty good.  I had the advantage of training with a buddy of mine who was also pretty hardcore so every jointlock, throw, whatever could be tested against someone who was indeed resisting.  With all the stuff I learned here though, I only felt a handfull of it would be helpfull in a real fight.

I think the main shortcoming of Martial arts is that they have to make money.  A TKD school can attract a wide amount of people who want to get in shape, learn some self defense, or simply enjoy martial arts a a hobby.  Schools have to make the class setting appropriate for a wide range of people.  While TKD may be a great martial art, if they trained in a way that made it really effective, they would have much fewer students.

I'm currently training in brazilian jiu jitsu and striking.  By striking, I mean pretty much MT, but with more western boxing than anything else.

Because I've actually grappled to the point of exhaustion, been hit in the face, thrown knees and low kicks with force, I would have no hesitation using this stuff in a real fight.  I've already figured out what techniques work best with my body  type, so I'm not left to discover that something doesnt work out on the streets instead.

art or utility? (none / 0) (#248)
by dimaq on Thu Jul 07, 2005 at 03:57:43 AM EST

you gotta decide whether you what you want exactly - the art or the fighting bit of a martial art.

arts tend to fall into the useless category in general, if you wanted self-defence, you would have studied krav maga.

next question how much self-defence do you want? for example you may want to learn a self-defence style that puts emphasis on legality of your actions, or perhaps on subduing an opponent without causing them much harm. at the other end of the spectrum you may want to learn a self-defence style emphasizing you rate of survival when faced with multiple armed and deadly opponents (like the movie gun-fu/kata).

in short, re-evaluate what attracted you in the first place.

Art, utility, or sport? (none / 0) (#271)
by David Bruhn on Mon Jul 11, 2005 at 03:20:03 PM EST

If you view martial arts as a sport, you'd more probbaly want a style that focuses more on sparring and more active techniques than many grappling styles.

I do Tae Won Do, mainly as an art and sport, although I dispute the assertion that it's not useful for self-defense.

[ Parent ]

Effectiveness of a martial art depends on the user (none / 0) (#251)
by enfoldedorder on Thu Jul 07, 2005 at 12:38:01 PM EST

Effectiveness of a martial depends on the user. The primary things any martial art trains one (imho) in are: a) readiness and awareness (japanese call it zanshin) b) technique c) controlled release of violence and/or anger (or lack of it -- personally, I'd fight an angry opponent than a cold calculative one). d) adaptability While harder martial arts forms like Karate etc teach you striking, soft martial arts like Aikido teach you to be adaptive and fluid (though there are strikes as well) and use something very important (the assailant's intentions and force) to your benefit. In a street fight, one would have to "think on his/her feet" (no time to plan, etc) -- if there is sufficient training, it'll simply kick in (auto pilot) -- the body will know how to act/react. A combination of the two (blending -- as it is called in Aikido lingo; and striking would then both be needed in order to be effective). The important thing is whether the fighter is mentally capable of doing another person harm. While on paper (and in talk) it's easy enough to envision, the ground reality changes...

The topic is too difficult to test. (none / 0) (#272)
by kelbear on Tue Jul 12, 2005 at 05:57:55 AM EST

The problem is that the context of grading a martial  art is too difficult. The martial artist is going to be the ultimate factor in how effective the martial art is.

Some styles are more suited some folk, close-combat and straight-line standup works for short heavy-set men. Obviously doing the same for tall lean men is a bad idea.

How much effort goes into the martial art and how it is taught is going to be important, this should be known intuitively. You wouldn't get the same training from a fitness oriented school, a traditional school, and a combat-oriented school. However, all 3 lend new focus to the same art, giving a mix of benefits that are all desirable.

I'm sure many will look to MMA(Mixed Martial Arts) fighting for insight, and my personal opinion is that MMA'd give the most accurate account of one-on-one fighting between two men of the same weight class and both training their asses off for practical hand-to-hand combat application. Takedowns and pins are probably the most practical in one-on-one combat and are probably the least desirable in multiple opponent combat(Use the right tool for the job).

Self-defense is not restricted to combat everytime. A timid person doing some training will benefit most from the experience in that they learn to stand up for themselves in social or professional situations. In my own opinion, combat is the least significant benefit of martial arts. Most people simply are not attacked, and just a casual knowledge of self-defense should have instructed you on how to avoid becoming a statistic: Don't go looking for trouble.

In the end for self-defense purposes, the best style is "Run-Fu". Its probably got the highest success rate of self-defense, plus it's great conditioning. The emphasis on cardiovascular fitness extends the lifespan by several years, particularly in an age where obesity is a major trend. Excercise. If you're in a dangerous situation you shouldn't be looking to get your first taste of life and death combat, you should be looking for your best chance at life. As for situations where it's not just your life at stake, that's a story for another day.
*I am dead, leave a message and I'll get back to you as soon as possible.*

Best Self Defense (none / 0) (#276)
by evodevo on Sun Dec 04, 2005 at 12:21:04 AM EST

So with regards to the striking arts like karate etc. - what happens when you're a 5'4 110 lbs man who can only curl 20lbs? How can you grapple with someone and apply JJ moves if you're not naturally strong? Would Aikido be better? I'm thinking of Aikido or Krav Maga but I really don't know.

Martial arts - How good are they for self defense? | 276 comments (236 topical, 40 editorial, 0 hidden)
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