Martial arts for personal defense.
The warriors way for self-defense and the martial arts route for personal defense.
Very often martial arts practice is touted as a method of self-defense but in this article you will find everything that your martial arts instructor will never tell you.
What I want to talk to you about is the relationship between combat/martial arts sport and self-defense, an intrinsic bond where the former is functional to the second and that you can’t do without but with the knowledge that when you deal with the issue of self-defense you have to switch into a totally different concept, a mental reset that not everyone can do.
Experience on the “field” teaches that the knowledge of combat techniques typical of some combat sports and martial arts a little too “refined” do not give real chances of victory, especially when facing you is a real street beater.
But now I want to make a premise, this talk often bores me because a street beater in the collective imagination is an animal, but this animal to make that fame means that he has had a lot of experience so it means that you are facing a fearsome opponent, it means that physically it is strong, agile, fast or just very naughty and cowardly.
If one approaches you and asks you for the hour or a cigarette and throws a punch at you, there is no martial art or combat sport that holds, and that is where the switch of self-defense arises where your knowledge in front of a stranger makes you implement postures, a distance, a position, a certain kind of attention to the context that can make you avoid giving the possibility to the “hit” to hit you when you least expect it.
Now I do not want to get into the specific issue of the aggressor, because he can be physically different, he can be armed, have an accomplice, but as soon as you realize and your guard is high and you are mentally set that you are in danger and you have to defend things totally change even for your attacker because he knows that if he wants to get close to hitting now he has to do it with another one that hits him , and if you know how to do it for him too becomes a problem!!
Especially if you have followed a training where there is a good balance of sparring in the training sessions.
I’m talking about bare hand against bare hands but. Here the theme of the post has a focus on self-defense.
You know what happens if you react and the attacker understands that the situation is getting complicated?.
That the hitter pulls out a weapon, taking a cutter, a knife, a stick, etc.
But how was a beast beating?
Yes but rarely as a one-to-one fight where both know that you have to beat or more in situations of numerical advantage.
Now I tell you this because probably if you get attacked by someone he feels safer, because he is big and big, he sees you little, etc.
Otherwise it would never have come unless it’s a killer who gets paid there to kill you!!
But I don’t think we’re in this situation.
So why all this?.
When someone discovers for any reason the need to learn to defend themselves, the options are always two plus one:
- the “easy” and dangerous way of weapons,perhaps with a kitchen knife tucked into your bag,
- or enroll in a martial arts gym, but where you have to go for years and where often you either get tired early and you let go of all the fighting skills for various commitments or you get passionate and you take the path of martial arts looking for the black belt as a goal (a tip?? Look for skills, the belt is a gratification but never like the knowledge and awareness of knowing how to use what you know).
- Alternative,pay someone who does it for you (you are not in control and dependent on someone else but it remains a solution adopted by many in different forms)
So much effort, hoping it’s worth it.
You don’t just know, you want to know in your deepest underwear if you’re really capable of facing aggression.
- But who hasn’t seen martial arts or special agent movies?
- Who hasn’t been fascinated by so much combat skills?
It excites you to have those skills, to lay out an energumeno, or a group of thugs or defend your girlfriend.
The idea that knowledge of a secret martial technique can turn you into a super man has infected more than one, creating legions of enthusiasts for one art or another also because of an endless trail of film films, not to mention the speculative interest in opening courses and gyms, the thriving business of schools.
Fashion in martial arts
And since the 1970s, new styles and methods have periodically sprung up from names often to most unknown people: judo, karate,tae-kwon-do, boxing, aikido, Thai boxing, Vale Tudo, Kung Fu, Viet Vo Dao, Jiu Jutsu, Wrestling, Kali, Jeet Kune Do,Wing Chun, Kickboxing, krav maga, etc. just to name a few… up to inventing names of pure marketing of people who he invents their martial arts and everyone wants to sell that his is better than another.
In short, many schools, many arts, so many truths, perhaps too many for those who want to choose and without venturing into the discourse of the real skills of teaching you the master where even there there there would be much to say with the risk that you will spend months if you are lucky or in some cases years learning useless and imaginative things, that they don’t actually evolve your real abilities to know how to defend and beat you effectively.
Now I’m sorry to disappoint you, but it doesn’t work like that!!
Somehow here we get to talk about the philosophy behind it the expert fighting project and the educational approach and method that aims to develop skills by going to work on individual arts in the various sectors (Striking, Fight, Weapons), therefore not a martial invention but a systematic approach that goes to develop specific skills and amalgamates them.
One of the fundamental principles is to develop skills working on the sectors, but this does not mean inventing “a name” and throwing in techniques but working on the individual arts, this is challenging?
yes, but that’s the way to learn.
You have to specialize
This means that for example if you want to learn the part of:
- Striking you have to choose one of the striking arts such as boxing, muay thai, etc.
- Fight you have to choose one of the wrestling arts like Brazilian Jiu Jitsu,Judo, Grappling, Sambo, etc.
- Cutting weapons and percussive you have to choose Filipino Kali, Silat, Short Fencing,Fencing, etc.
- Firearms you have to do shooting school and Krav Maga.
- Aggression Situations and Combat Psychology you must also choose the Krav Maga. Why am I also telling you?. If you don’t integrate other limbs, you won’t need anything to be a theorist.
What changes is the didactic method that is used in expert fighting, not martial art. A different approach!
When it comes to self-defense there is something very important to integrate that is the NO RULESaspect, so situational, tactical and strategic that is not sport.
The approach is based on professional teaching methods to develop on you the physical, psychological and behavioral attributes and qualities necessary to transform and shape you, to develop functional qualities.
Study techniques and make them functional in a non-cooperative context.
This applies whether your interest is only combat sport and whether it is self-defense even if in the second case the complexity of the possibilities requires a specific work that goes beyond technique and physical training because special attention, misconception, and strategies that need to be studied specifically.
Personal defense is the real MMA!!
As you can understand everyone has his own path and can not be equal for obvious reasons, such as:
- physical condition
- social background
- psycho motor skills (movements)
I’ve been working on a functional teaching method for years, where everyone has a step-by-step but custom-built path.
The funniest part in some ways is not the little boy who is easiest to train but a forty-year-old who after a few years does not believe in himself how his life has changed for the better, because yes, Martial art makes you better in every aspect of your life.
Now, talking about martial arts without specifying what area and what art, is like talking about nothing because you’re not identifying what art and not all of them approach combat in the same way and with the same purpose going to prioritize aspects that maybe aren’t of interest to you.
If you want to divide them into large and broad categories, you can divide them into 4 groups:
Striking disciplines, possibly also with the use of kicks as well as punches.
Many of these disciplines also have a sporty, sometimes Olympic- toe, use and are often the subject of tournaments.
Disciplines of wrestling,such as judo, free wrestling or Greco-Roman struggle.
In these techniques, shots are usually not taken, such as punches or kicks, but are “limited” to sockets, strangulations, joint levers, projections, etc.
Personal defense disciplines,such as Jeet Kune Do, Philippine Kali, Krav Maga and Wing Chun.
Such disciplines hardly have a sport-competitive application, as their practice involves the use of techniques “forbidden” or otherwise not applicable in a context that provides for the physical protection of the opponent.
You have to integrate combat sports into these arts because you can hardly understand them and you risk remaining a martial art theorist and it doesn’t make sense!!.
Traditional or other disciplines, altro generesuch as Karate, Aikido, Kung Fu, that eliminate the aggressive component of combat art, to use exclusively the aspect of physical exercise and harmony of movements inherent in the art itself, with forms and infinite hypotheses of attack pre-packaged but not adaptable to the chaos of combat.
Although some styles are more “hard” the time spent in the forms than the practical aspect unbalances these martial arts in choreographies hardly applicable in reality with a beater.
Mixed disciplines such as MMA (Mixed Martial Arts), but I see it as the integration and transitions of individual limbs to move from vertical to horizontal work planes.
Thus the study must be more in transitions connecting the various arts than it has “M.M.A. courses“.
You have to study striking and fighting arts after that studying transitions and here you get MMA.
So they were at the origin, M.M.A. courses did not exist.
(TodayI know only one who can do them and his name is Erik Paulson).
With these 5 large categories you can already start to orient yourself and then go into detail.
It seems obvious to me that if your goal is to learn techniques to defend you from a street beater, Tai Chi should not be the first option, unless you want to believe in fairy tales, although I have to tell you that any ancient martial art has often been distorted and therefore it is not to be ruled out that the actual combat applications have been lost.
Ps. Beware this does not mean that Tai Chi can not teach you important things for your martial art of striking.
Today you have to consider that the fight with bare hands has evolved and some limbs have become obsolete not to mention the training methods and equipment, so like everything although it is true that the man remained genetically similar in fact developed with experience a technical baggage that allows him to improve his performance thanks to a greater knowledge of his body and above all a new approach to the training method.
When you start inquiring about a choice of martial art, one of the first things you need to ask yourself is:
- What purpose do you want to learn?,
- what are your tastes? e
- how much time do you have to devote?.
The approach of combat sport and self-defense have a different path although the second to become functional needs sports training.
If your taste is exclusively ground-based but you’re interested in self-defense it’s a beautiful thing but it’s important that you also practice a striking sport.
I do not want the lovers of traditional disciplines, I know perfectly well that in the world there are genuine phenomena that can disarm an aggressor with the elegance and “kindness” of these millennial techniques, but these are exceptions well beyond the reach of the average man and woman.
It’s useless to explain to people something that on average only a few in the world are able to do, unless you find out how to bring out these skills.
Do you really want to learn?.
I think so.
I really like working on “normal people” , athletes for example of the UFC would be killers even if they were bakers, there are people who already have certain skills inside, regardless of martial art, but they can not be only those your references, unless you believe that Messi plays so football because to do football school in a good team in a good team , the champions already have something inside that you don’t have, or maybe you have, but that’s not the right approach that you have to have, it’s important that you make your way to get out certain skills.
It is clear that my advice as a martial choice, if your interest is personal defense, goes towards disciplines decidedly oriented to “real” combat, which involve training with bare hands and with weapons, against individual opponents or groups of opponents, within contexts and situations, etc. although I tell you that to develop many skills there is no other way than through the study of more sporty disciplines.
If you are very young a good choice is to start studying combat sports, and fighting arts and with time growing up with age orient yourself towards more conscious choices based on your martial interests, which can also go towards a deeper study of self-defense.
My path was roughly that.
I’m aware that today it’s hard to get away with so much offer, but it’s also true that if you watch on YouTube today you can know more than any martial art that intrigues you.
Imagine that you like traditional martial arts and you have clear ideas and you already know what to choose (perhaps because some of your friends practice that particular discipline), you just have to turn a couple of gyms to realize that “learn karate” or “learn Kung Fu”, just to give an example, is not like learning other sports.
When you say Karate or Kung Fu, it means referring to dozens of styles and sub-styles, dialects sometimes incompatible and incommunicable to each other, so karate, always to give an example, consists of a multitude of methods, such as Shotokan, Wado Ryu, Shito Ryu, Goju Ryu, just to name the most famous.
With Kung Fu is even worse, the dialects and underdialetti of this martial art are truly countless, with styles ranging from the terrible Wing Chun to the harmless and relaxing Tai Chi.
What style of that art do you prefer?.
Often for many it is a random choice.
I honestly find that as children it is very formative to study a traditional martial art while over time I think it is a useless obstinacy and that it is better that you explore more modern martial arts,those traditional foul for passion, culture, interest, friendship.
Again the choice is not easy, you are diving into a world of courses, exotic names, and amazing stupidities, here the pot sellers wallow us.
Each discipline “sells” a different sample of certainties to grab the title of definitive martial art with its particular punches, elbows, devastating kicks, not to mention the use of weapons, knives and sticks.
Ps. Do you know anything in life that offers a complete package? Where do you find everything there?
As if and not enough, dozens of schools and federations have singed in the wake of each discipline, each with its own creed and interpretation of what “truly” their martial art consists of.
Who’s going to. or is it you to invent a martial art?. Are you Bruce Lee? are you Dan Inosanto, he didn’t either, and you want to do it?
The result is that almost always in every gym you teach the opposite of the gym that is on the other side of the street in front and that teaches the same martial art called in another way and maybe with the same style putting in martial cabbage.
Needless to say, every teacher claims the goodness of his own method and considers what is taught elsewhere to be foolless.
That the only one in the world is him, the keeper of the truth.
If you choose any martial art to learn how to defend yourself in a context of self-defense is wrong because the type of art is important but still it takes commitment and years of training to start having a chance of survival in combat.
You want to speed up?
There is only one way, you have to train at least 3 hours every day, twice a week 1.5 hours is not a very fast and realistic route although better than nothing and I understand that life commitments lead to making choices but it depends on what your priorities are, but do not believe that 3 hours a week of training is enough , unless you do a one-to-one with an instructor and do other functional workouts on other days.
The technical and conditioning work in martial arts is among the most complex and articulate that exist.
Traditional training may for some be rather monotonous and repetitive as it is based a lot on the repetition of thousands of times of the same movement to acquire that “muscle memory”, those reflexes capable of making us react without thinking when the danger arises.
Not so, the secret lies in recognizing the inputs, the conditioned reflex starts from this principle and that is why Lee had abandoned the forms as a training method.
And then repeat endless times the same movement, the same punch, pulled in the wind or against a defenseless sack, down to repeat the same kick, stretching out the leg, turning the hip, bending the knee in support, etc. exhausting physical workouts etc serve?.
As athletic preparation and conditioning yes, but for the fight no!!
All this in exchange for what? What do you really get?
- Greater security?
- Better fitness (although there is no shortage of cases of “occupational diseases”, such as the well-known knee problems that afflict many practitioners of karate or “karateki” thanks to the use of unnatural techniques and postures)?.
- Better well-being?
- Inner discipline?.
- Greater psychophysical balance?.
- Better self-defense in the event of an attack?.
All true what is said?
It must be said that the chances of increasing your psychophysical well-being can be found in any other fitness sport, indeed, many martial arts are very lacking in athletic preparation methods, forcing you if you want to cure this aspect to supplement physical activity with extra hours of aerobic activity.
My advice is to do the athletic preparation apart
And what about the reason that, needless to deny, drives most to learn a martial art?
I’ve been in and out of various gyms and under various instructors for more than 20 years now, so I think I’ve had an idea.
Oddly enough, and contrary to what logic would like, the average participant of a martial arts gym is not a blood-seeking subject (although there is no shortage of such characters).
Many times, however, the average martial practitioner is the “loser” subject in the physical and/or character: thin, with glasses, hesitant enough to be classified as a predestined victim in an unreserved confrontation (as are the real fights), or it is the girl who convinces herself, encouraged in this by her unscrupulous instructor, that mastering the unlikely techniques, more like a ballet than a real melee, makes her more “safe” on the street.
Unfortunately this is not the case, and this applies not only to the most inexperienced practitioners, but also to their masters and instructors.
Many experiences, such as those of Rocky Mountain Combat Application Training (RMCAT), have shown that the “simple” knowledge of martial art, however complete and advanced, does not involve significant chances of survival in a specific context that requires it as self-defense.
Experiments have been carried out on this issue and the outcome does not seem to leave room for doubt.
The method that was used is to convene a group of volunteer martial arts experts of different disciplines and with a technical level ranging from the black belt to the advanced practitioner or instructor.
The people of this group, one at a time, are let into a kind of ring where there was a “real” beater, masked and dressed in a special padded suit that protects the whole body and head.
The instructions are to not attack as long as the energetic attacker who comes towards you with hostile behavior and heavy insults, does not touch or attack you.
In the event of an attack you can clearly counterattack with all your strength and with any technique you want, there are no limits.
The results were distressing:
- In almost all simulations the aggressor got the better ofhim. The masked energetic man who simulates the aggressor, after heavily insulting the subject, attacked him suddenly imposing himself on the bad guy.
- In very few cases, the participants of the experiment were able to react promptly and effectively and stop the aggressor.
- In most cases, the reactions were as well as useless but broken, awkward and still unable to stop the fury of the attack.
What has this experience taught?
Essentially a dozen things:
- Technical mastery is almost useless if this is not combined with adequate psychological preparation, especially with regard to the emotional control of fear and the ability to release all of its aggression at the right time.
- Martial arts in certain contexts are irrelevant, in street fights, where the context is “no rules” and every shot is valid. Already the fact that the attacker starts first puts an important limit that invalidates many of your martial abilities. This means that you must always anticipate the aggression, seize the moment before it signals that it is going to attack you or adopt postures and positions that limit the ability of the attacker to approach and hit you suddenly without you expecting it, because that’s what an attacker is looking for, he will never warn you by telling you now I hit you!!
- Rarely do you train to pull a kick in the groin with precision and force, indeed most of the time it is forbidden in many sports and arts, as it is not allowed to stick fingers in the eyes or bite and to use dirty boxing or illegal boxing.
- Many martial arts are hyper complicated when applied in the context of the street where it is a furious assault, a barrage of blows. In some disciplines, the learner learns dozens of unnecessary movements, rotations, postures and techniques.
- Only the simplest, quickest and most direct movements, such as some punching techniques, have real possibilities of use on the street.
- Your ability to move, footwork,becomes fundamental.
- Knowing dozens of techniques is for some a limitation when you have to react quickly, do not know what to do, they remain awkward.
- Inability to recognize signals that anticipate aggression
- Inability to know the inputs of a shot to make the defense and reaction effective.
- Not aware of ground-fighting techniques.
Better to know a single punch technique and use it well and instinctively?.
It may be but it is not quite so, to fight simple you need an important technical mastery and knowing one thing is not always adaptable to all self-defense contexts.
When your attacker is real and appears suddenly while you were quiet in relaxation and is not the friend in the gym where you work out but a violent and enmissoryed lunatic, the tension that you create in an instant changes all the context and the tactics and strategies you simulated in the gym can safely jump because your ability to think becomes almost nothing.
Most thugs are people who never went to the gym, but they learned to beat up in some brawl with friends or in jail and know exactly what works and what doesn’t.
Often they have learned to pull a single shot that knows it works because it has seen it do, like a punch to the chin, and they know how to use only that technique but with deception: they approach, with any excuse, at some point they strike without warning, trying to the last not to leak their intentions.
It’s not a sporty approach but more a coward, if it can hit you in the back, or while apologizing.
Aggression is usually a trap, it’s not about combat in the truest sense of the word.
Unfortunately, street beaters do not act like this: they do not even assume a real boxing pose.
They seem to speak to you normally, move their hands naturally, keeping them at medium height, without excessive emphasis and without clenching their fists.
Meanwhile they are approaching. And when they’re close enough… they hit you violently with a punch!
A shot like this can’t be parried.
You find it in your face before you even saw him coming.
And those who say otherwise do not know what he says.
The minimum distance to have a reaction must be at least 1.5 meters.
What does it mean?.
That to hit you has to make a movement and the shot, if the distance is the simple shot if he pulls you.
That’s why distance and footwork are two key elements.
Ps. The only chance you have is that you pull a“telegraphed”shot which is a shot that is “loaded” and therefore “warns you”:
The arm is carried back to load the blow, with the elbow well behind the shoulder, the muscle charges like a spring, and the fist squirts forward to strike.
Some traditional arts adopt this emphasis in loading the fist, and clearly these arts teach parades, surely they are strong but very visible shots.
Such a loaded shot can, in theory, be parried because the preparatory movement of the shot, however rapid, is able to put you in a state of warning!!.
If the aggressor manifests in advance the intent to strike you have in theory time to do something (even run away) in this order of effectiveness:
- Dodge and strike at the same time
- Paro and I hit at the same time
- Dodge and after I strike
- Paro and after I strike
Clearly the best condition is the advance, it is no coincidence the attacker always tries to approach and hit that you do not expect it. As you can see, he’s in third place.
Unfortunately, street beaters don’t do that: they don’t even take on a real boxing pose.
They seem to speak normally, they move their hands naturally, keeping them at medium height, without excessive emphasis and without clenching their fists.
Meanwhile, they’re getting closer.
And when they’re close enough… THEY HIT YOU!!
Despite these things they know there are “self-defense instructors”, maybe even well-known masters in their disciplines, who continue to teach their students how to get beaten by a stranger explaining that first they have to parry (high parade, medium parade, low parade), then counterattack (high fist, middle fist, etc…), according to a pattern that, in their trainings works, then when they try to do tests or sparring they seem clumsy.
YOU HAVE TO ANTICIPATE!! HIT YOU FIRST.
What about kicks?.
As a general rule in personal defense you only have to pull low kicks,never over the belt. No medium kicks and absolutely NO CALCI ALTI!!
If you want to use your legs use them to escape!!
Kicks are quite rare in street fights and rarely get above the knee, your targets must be:
- the knee
Now it doesn’t mean you can’t shoot higher kicks or even high kicks or anything, but the reasoning is based on what you have to do, but if one has special skills it doesn’t mean it’s not effective, but it probably has athletic characteristics and experiences that you have?.
High kicks because of the distance of the target need incredible timing to hit him in the face, or a very convincing feint or a combination with a high nick in the tail that requires a lot of experience because an account and do it with a half drunk standing there and an account with one who is attacking you with a barrage of punches.
Raising your leg too much involves some important contraindications:
- Raising your leg too much exposes your genitals which, as you know, are one of the favorite targets in street fights.
- The leg is slower than the arm. It’s a more powerful shot but less precise and fast and as you kick a kick you risk being hit by three punches.
- Your balance is compromised. For a moment you are hovering on one leg and in addition the ground may not be regular and with a good grip as in the gym, the shoes may not be suitable (smooth soles).
- Your clothes may be tight and not suitable for high kicks, preventing you from moving (tight jeans, long skirt, etc.
- You could be very cold and tear yourself off.
Despite these considerations, you still see instructors who continue to teach these traditional techniques in a totally different context where the focus is definitely not to look for a KO with a high kick.
Now I don’t want you to think that I want to put limits on some technique but I want you to know the truth, then there is one that spreads all with high kicks, in cinema we have many examples, but in cinema, in reality the game is more “simple”.
So since you’re in front of one or more “fucking heads,” the highest kick you have to pull you know where it is.
Now beyond the shots and techniques what I want you to understand is that it’s not art that makes the difference but it’s you, doing a big job of athletic preparation because it’s an important aspect and with a martial art that makes you develop important skills in combat.
Martial art must be functional to you and your characteristics not the other way around, must be functional to your goals. You don’t have to study to learn that art for its name or fashion but to learn the techniques that allow you to do certain things.
Passionate then is a consequence.
Do you want the black belt, the famous black belt or know how to use techniques?.
Because to take the belt “enough” to attend, to learn how to fight servants you.
Ps. Now don’t think it’s easy to take a black belt because it still requires commitment but I want the research to be about effectiveness and not about a symbol that’s beautiful and rewarding but only if it’s full of capacity.
You don’t have to be hypocritical because you also know that not all black belts or advanced students are the same, there are those who study for the level and there are those who study to learn how to make the techniques work.
The result is a black belt and the other a fighter independent of the color of the belt.
For both respect but you deserve your choice, I already made my own a long time ago.
When it comes to self-defense it is not so much martial art that makes the difference but a focus on context and adequate psychological preparation for combat because without adequate emotional control of fear and without the ability to release one’s aggression the techniques that studies may not even work.
In fact, self-defense is all there is before the fight, indeed a good personal defense should not lead you to the confrontation, it is based on prevention techniques.
If you get to the fight something didn’t work before or there was really no chance of avoiding it, and that’s where it’s important to have combat skills derived from combat sports or martial arts, but that’s because the previous job didn’t work out and you have to play the last card, the fight.
It’s not easy to find an industry professional but it’s important that you’re trained by a qualified person and you add a lot of “passionate” if you don’t want to risk throwing money and time, because it’s a specific job, that’s why I’ve built an educational system that works on multiple areas because personal defense is something extremely complex and it’s not a game.
In this context that is not sporty there is a big responsibility because if a student wants to do a fight because he feels safe but is not ready, in the ring there is a referee who if he is in trouble stops the match, instead on the street if you feel safe because you have done some technique tried a few dozen times in the gym and you feel safe even if you can not do a dick and react to an attacker requires that to the A student hurt him much if not worse, so the responsibility of a personal defense instructor is much higher than in any other martial art.
Awareness of your abilities saves your life but to be aware you really need to know your abilities even if no test can ever simulate the stress and variables that there are in an aggression by one or more strangers.
I hope that no one should ever find themselves in a situation like this where he is forced to defend his life.
Here the instructor, as well as an athlete, must also be able to identify psychological components of each student and lead him towards a mental ability able to change immediately when he is in a context at risk in order to be able to express and implement all the necessary survival strategies.
It’s not by everyone, but it’s worth looking for someone who can really make you better.
The Warriors way for self-defense!
Street Fight Mentality & Fight Sport
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