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Brawlrus

A word to those looking for the best martial art.

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This has been on my mind, for awhile. This is mainly for those who are looking to get into actual combat or practical self defense.

Many martial arts are going to offer you something, be it striking or grappling. You can train for years, learning to throw punches and knowing exactly where to kick your opponent and how to really lock in that darce choke, but it's not the most important part.

 

The important part of being able to defend yourself, in combat and self defense, is knowing what it's like to get hit, hard.

Mike Tyson may not be the smartest guy, but when he said "Everyone has a plan until they get hit." is probably one of the truest things you'll hear in the world of fighting.

So you have a killer left hook, what good is it really going to do you if you can't rebound from that weak ass slap you just took?

If you're being attacked(hence the need for self defense), you are very likely NOT going to be the one to throw the first punch. What happens in those short seconds after you take that hit, will decide the outcome. You need to learn how it feels to get hit and be able to shrug it off, fast.

 

I know some of you are just in it for discipline and fitness, that's fine, this isn't necessarily for you. Just don't expect to win any real fights if you've never properly prepared for one.

 

Ok, I think I got my point across.

 

Have a great day and for fuck sake, keep your hands up!

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Remember, there are no referees, rules, rounds, time outs or tap outs in real life.

 

One would argue that the ability to beat the tar out of someone in the ring/cage without getting yourself beaten up transfers well to most defense scenarios..

But of course, that's beside the point.

 

As for my own philosophy on the most important part of self-defense.. well, don't get into fights.

Some guy with a knife wants my wallet? Take that shit, I'd rather walk out alive and able to remedy the situation later than get myself stabbed and injured/killed.

Walking in a shifty neighborhood with a reputation for shootings/muggings? Take a taxi. No money for a taxi? Ask a friend for a lift. No friends? Take the long way around, walking is good exercise. Have no legs? Uh.. think of something to minimize all possible risk.

Has a young rapscallion has challenged you to a bout of fisticuffs that society expects you take up? You don't have to rise up to the challenge, you have a choice to walk away.

Unless you're a soldier or a cop, you will rarely need to use your martial arts skills to save your own life. 

 

Whatever a lot of people say, many self-defense situations can be avoided by using your head.

So why should I train a martial art if all I have to do is have a bit of situation awareness?

Many, many reasons. To keep fit, to develop yourself mentally/spiritually, to make friends (who'll drive you through rough neighborhoods, that's self-defense), to learn about different cultures, to embrace competition.. martial arts, competition based or traditional, will develop great toughness if trained right. Martial artists tend to be a good bunch.

 

In the end, learn a martial art if you want, but you would be wise to not count on your skills. Remember that, if you are forced to use your skills, there is a very high chance that you had a choice not to be in this situation.

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One would argue that the ability to beat the tar out of someone in the ring/cage without getting yourself beaten up transfers well to most defense scenarios..

But of course, that's beside the point.

 

As for my own philosophy on the most important part of self-defense.. well, don't get into fights.

Some guy with a knife wants my wallet? Take that shit, I'd rather walk out alive and able to remedy the situation later than get myself stabbed and injured/killed.

Walking in a shifty neighborhood with a reputation for shootings/muggings? Take a taxi. No money for a taxi? Ask a friend for a lift. No friends? Take the long way around, walking is good exercise. Have no legs? Uh.. think of something to minimize all possible risk.

Has a young rapscallion has challenged you to a bout of fisticuffs that society expects you take up? You don't have to rise up to the challenge, you have a choice to walk away.

Unless you're a soldier or a cop, you will rarely need to use your martial arts skills to save your own life. 

 

Whatever a lot of people say, many self-defense situations can be avoided by using your head.

So why should I train a martial art if all I have to do is have a bit of situation awareness?

Many, many reasons. To keep fit, to develop yourself mentally/spiritually, to make friends (who'll drive you through rough neighborhoods, that's self-defense), to learn about different cultures, to embrace competition.. martial arts, competition based or traditional, will develop great toughness if trained right. Martial artists tend to be a good bunch.

 

In the end, learn a martial art if you want, but you would be wise to not count on your skills. Remember that, if you are forced to use your skills, there is a very high chance that you had a choice not to be in this situation.

 

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Nothing much to add beyond with SugarRay said.

 

When you come down to it, all martial arts are impractical these days.  The situational awareness and confidence is a huge benefit, and probably effects daily life more than the ability to kick and punch and have "practical self defense."

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Anyone tries to learn a martial art in order to beat people up "in the streets" is a douche. Besides, only one martial art matters:
 

 

 

On a related note, if you have the time, watch this:

 

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An anecdote:

 

In 1996 I was in the Army and we went on a training exercise at Ft. Lewis, south of Seattle.  After winding up three weeks or so of work, we all went out and partied.  I went out in Tacoma by myself at night looking for a place to buy a pack of cigarettes.  A homeless guy pulled a revolver on me.  Even in the dark, I could see rust on it.  I spent 2, maybe 3 seconds thinking that  1) I doubt that thing is even loaded and 2) I should take it from him and beat the hell out of him for having the audacity to try to mug me.   Instead, I gave him two bucks and a quarter pack of camels.  It just wasn't worth the risk of getting shot for TWO DOLLARS AND A QUARTER PACK OF CIGARETTES.   When I got back and told the guys in my unit what had happened, I caught some shit for it.  That's a very testosterone fueled environment.  Everybody had all sorts of scenarios for what I should have done.  A couple months later, one of the Captains in my unit was mugged and he came up to me and told me "You know, when you got mugged I thought I'd never let anyone take my money, but when I saw the gun, I just handed it over and hoped he would leave."

 

Moral of the story-- don't try to be a bad ass to protect personal property.  There isn't much you can carry on your person that's worth dying for.  Especially not a couple of bucks.

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Everybody had all sorts of scenarios for what I should have done.

 

Everyone is apparently such a bad ass. I got mugged once in my life, by crooked cops with assault rifles in Southeast Asia. I heard multiple theories about what I SHOULD have done.

 

My theory is no matter what happens, as long as you come out of a situation alive and relatively well, you win. Successful self-defense.

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Everyone is apparently such a bad ass. I got mugged once in my life, by crooked cops with assault rifles in Southeast Asia. I heard multiple theories about what I SHOULD have done.

 

My theory is no matter what happens, as long as you come out of a situation alive and relatively well, you win. Successful self-defense.

 

My Sifu says this constantly. Situational awareness first. Then words. Then disengage. Only if ALL of these do not work do you strike, and the first thing you do is strike once AND THEN disengage, if at all possible.

 

The real world is not a Hong Kong wushu flick. Do the minimum to get out of the situation intact. That is the highest priority.

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So now that we've all agreed that it is better to avoid fighting if possible, I will say that twice in my adult life I've been attacked without provocation and boy was I glad I knew what to do with myself.  Once by a mentally ill man while shopping with my wife, and once by a drunk at a new year's eve party.  Both times I was able to end it quickly and without getting hurt.  

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Nubbins, I'm sorry you had that experience. I lived in Tacoma, Hilltop neighborhood, for awhile and it's pretty rough, but I never encountered that level of hostility. Mostly just tough guys screaming stuff at me from the porch and some very nice drug dealers...yeah, nice drug dealers, they are sales people, after all :)

 

 

Yeah, best to avoid the fight entirely. Michel Jackson said it pretty well, Just Beat It.

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Meh,   Given that I was only out a couple of bucks and a quarter pack of cigarettes (which I gave up smoking years ago anyway) it's pretty much a no harm, no foul thing and makes for an interesting story.  I wasn't hurt and I wasn't particularly rattled by it.  I've been actually shot at more than once and in a couple of different countries.  A hobo with a handgun isn't going to keep me up at night. 

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So now that we've all agreed that it is better to avoid fighting if possible, I will say that twice in my adult life I've been attacked without provocation and boy was I glad I knew what to do with myself.  Once by a mentally ill man while shopping with my wife, and once by a drunk at a new year's eve party.  Both times I was able to end it quickly and without getting hurt.  

 

Oh, definitely useful skills.

 

A drunk was being a dick to me at a friend's party, and I couldn't quite get him to stop by simply grabbing him (grip strength doesn't matter when you still have that weak spot between the thumb and forefinger).  But, the moment he grabbed my wrist I pretty much instantly applied a wrist lock without thinking.  He went down.  Fast.  When he was let up, he backed off.  (Though I am very, very glad his equally drunk brother was on the OTHER side of the table and couldn't lob a punch at me in "protective Older Brother" mode.  That would have sucked.)

 

Useful to have skill, did my best to not use it, and when I had to I made it count.

 

That being said, I use my ukemi much more frequently than wrist locks and throws.

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As my instructor (guro) always say, self protection > self defense. If you got into a situation that requires you to harm, or defend yourself, then you already made an error by being in that situation.

 

But then we train for that situation that will really require us to protect ourselves, our loved ones (family and friends).

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Mostly rattan, I believe. Humans are a lot more durable than one would think, especially under stress.

 

Here's a better one. They were using hockey sticks at one point.

 

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I got mugged once for my carry out of drink, well it was me and my pal. (Mind you this was when I weighted 60 kilo wet with out any muscle or martial art experience)

 

These two guys were moving to walk past us when my friend was hit by a haymaker out of the blue. My first instinct was to protect him so I rugby tackled his attacker to the floor, restrained him and tried to calm the guy down. That was when his pal booted me in the jaw, funny enough it's also that makes me believe knowing how to ground fight is next to useless. After me and my pal got to our feet we started to fight properly.

 

By that I mean, haymakers, body slams and headbutts. Ultimately the fight broke even and we decided to run for safety before it went too far even if it meant we lost our drink.

 

Since then though I've felt like I can handle myself and I haven't been intimated by the prospect of a fight especially now I weight a lot more and do boxing. Still in the case of a knife I'll run like the wind.

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Just a shout out to Dog Brothers. I had a day in LA where I worked with one of them on techniques, and I always wanted to spar, but I never got around to it. They're taking FMA back to the streets, and I love it. They Filmed a pilot for a show that never took off, too. 

 

THose sticks are definitely rattan, you can see the burn marks. 

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One would argue that the ability to beat the tar out of someone in the ring/cage without getting yourself beaten up transfers well to most defense scenarios..

But of course, that's beside the point.

As for my own philosophy on the most important part of self-defense.. well, don't get into fights.

Some guy with a knife wants my wallet? Take that shit, I'd rather walk out alive and able to remedy the situation later than get myself stabbed and injured/killed.

Walking in a shifty neighborhood with a reputation for shootings/muggings? Take a taxi. No money for a taxi? Ask a friend for a lift. No friends? Take the long way around, walking is good exercise. Have no legs? Uh.. think of something to minimize all possible risk.

Has a young rapscallion has challenged you to a bout of fisticuffs that society expects you take up? You don't have to rise up to the challenge, you have a choice to walk away.

Unless you're a soldier or a cop, you will rarely need to use your martial arts skills to save your own life.

Whatever a lot of people say, many self-defense situations can be avoided by using your head.

So why should I train a martial art if all I have to do is have a bit of situation awareness?

Many, many reasons. To keep fit, to develop yourself mentally/spiritually, to make friends (who'll drive you through rough neighborhoods, that's self-defense), to learn about different cultures, to embrace competition.. martial arts, competition based or traditional, will develop great toughness if trained right. Martial artists tend to be a good bunch.

In the end, learn a martial art if you want, but you would be wise to not count on your skills. Remember that, if you are forced to use your skills, there is a very high chance that you had a choice not to be in this situation.

Yes this is some what true but when someone pulls a knife or a gun on you and you see his face even if you do give him your wallet what's stopping him from pulling the trigger or stabbing you to take care of the witness. So that's why leaning a way of defining yourself is better because I don't know about many other people but if some one does go that far as to pull out a knife or gun doing nothing and trusting a theif to be a man of his word and trusting that he won't pull the trigger you mines well dig a hole right in front of you and then give him the wallet now there are many ways you can avoid this situation like for instance avoid the naiberhood but the ssecond most afficcant way to perfect yourself is to and I don't mean this in a bad way but ceep your ears and eyes open for any one around you at all times and suspect anyone you see or anything you here as a suspect for someone who could possible pull a gun out or knife out and watch where there hands are at all times. but if your looking for a type of fighting style that is all about self defence early on and also shows you how to throw a powerful punch I recemend kempo or prime kempo.

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