how confident are you in your art ?

Discussion in 'General Self Defense' started by jobo, Feb 8, 2018.

  1. Danny T

    Danny T Senior Master

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    I say; Depending on the situation...I'm better than some and no so much compared to others. I'm still working on it but have survived quite well so far.
     
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  2. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes Senior Master

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    I'm currently weighing in around 190 pounds. Add 25% and that's 237.5 pounds. I've sparred and dominated a number of guys that big or bigger.

    I'm 53 now and I was never that athletic when I was younger, so most of my sparring partners have at least a 25% advantage in general fitness. Many of them who are my size or smaller have a strength advantage of more than 25%. Some of my sparring partners have a strength advantage of 50-100% or even more (MMA fighters, wrestlers, former strongman competitor, manual laborers, natural athletes).

    Based on my experience in grappling/boxing/kickboxing/MMA sparring with these guys, I'd say I have a substantial advantage in a fair one-one-one unarmed fight with most untrained opponents who only have a 25% advantage in size, strength, and fitness.

    Give that opponent some good training and/or fight experience, and the gap narrows. If they have natural talent and a good work ethic, then some of these guys are able to catch up to or surpass me within 4-5 years. (If they have less talent, then it will take longer - sometimes much longer. Sometimes they never catch up despite their physical advantage.)

    If their advantage in physical attributes is greater than 25%, then they need less training to even the odds. I've sparred guys in the 280-300 pound range that I was able to beat because they were beginners. Give them some training and I start working hard to just survive. I did some Judo randori recently with a guy half my age who was a former wrestler, college football player, and strongman competitor. I'd say he had at least a 100% strength advantage - possibly more. He had only been doing Judo for a few months, but it took all my skill just to keep it an even match. (At least I was able to keep it even. One of his other randori partners got a concussion from being thrown on his head.) Give that guy another year of experience and he's going to be a monster.

    Of course, this is mostly hypothetical when it comes to a self-defense situation. If a potential attacker is alone and unarmed, then the vast majority of the time I will be able to avoid, defuse, or walk away from the situation. I have no interest in the monkey dance. In contrast, predators look for some form of overwhelming advantage - surprise, size, weapons, numbers - so they don't have to risk anything resembling a fair fight. The question specifies no weapons or numbers. I'm big enough so that most potential attackers won't count on their size for an automatic win - even if they are 25% bigger. Surprise is still an option. I've learned enough about awareness so as not to be the easiest target for a solo ambush, but it could still happen. If I get KO'd in the first shot, then obviously my skills won't save me. If I'm only stunned - I have enough experience with that to think I have a good chance of surviving long enough to recover my wits and come back even against a stronger attacker. Still, a lot depends on how devastating the initial surprise attack is.
     
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  3. wab25

    wab25 Blue Belt

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    Just to toss out another view, this one from Jigoro Kano (Kanō Jigorō - Wikipedia):
    He seems to think there is more to Judo than just the brutality aspect. I note that he says the brutality aspect (he calls it becoming strong and able to defeat opponents) is a necessary part of it.
     
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  4. marques

    marques Master Black Belt

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    If someone is untrained, big and strong, it doesn’t look that bad.
    If someone is deceptive and clever, I will be in trouble without knowing...
     
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  5. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    Just a preface to my reply - you've asked two different questions, one in the title of the thread and one in the OP. I assume the OP version is what you're looking for, so I'll answer that. If you want the answer about the art, let me know and I'll toss it in, as well.

    I have pretty good confidence that I can handle the greater strength and fitness of an untrained person. I've handled (in limited circumstances) significant differences in reach, weight, and strength against less-trained (than me) people, even in areas where my training is relatively thin (groundwork, for instance). There are areas where I know I am more exposed. A BJJ blue belt will likely give me trouble if he gets me to the ground and I'm not in side mount. With my limitations in my feet, I simply don't have opportunities to resist in some of the ways I once could have, even as my skill improves there.

    If I end up in a prologned encounter, I'm in trouble. I'm in significantly worse shape than I was a year ago, after a series of injuries. I'm building back up, but slowly, and haven't yet been able to get back to any level of running (the only cardio I've ever found not tedious, long-term).

    Now let's add in the exceptions (which I suggest you probably are, from past discussions). I'm talking about the folks with higher levels of personal aggression in fighting, who have gotten some experience (though not necessarily training), and have good coordination and power without training. Those folks are equivalent of someone much more trained than themselves, as part of their natural advantage. If they also keep quite fit, they add acquired advantages.

    Some of this is supposition on my part. In training (even in sparring) my aggression level is low. I simply don't play a highly aggressive game except when acting as the "attacker" in drills. I know from experience that I'm considerably more aggressive in actual altercations, but I don't know how that translates against someone with high aggression - does it counter their natural advantage enough? I don't know. Some of my training is to take advantage of someone being overly aggressive in their attacks (using a similar principle to counter-punching in boxing, I think), so that tool is part of my prep for someone who is significantly more aggressive.
     
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  6. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    The highly muscled guys have presented fewer challenges than the ones with functional strength (developed from regular activity, rather than bodybuilding).
     
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  7. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    This is an area where "easy" training doesn't equip for defensive use. A guy who's been in a few fights will be much better prepared for the violence (and less likely to cave under it) than someone who's had a few years of soft sparring.
     
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  8. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    Those confrontations are the ones easiest to keep from turning physical.
     
  9. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    If anyone has those in their comfort zone, they need some new comforts.
     
  10. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    I think a message got lost along the way (at least, I hope that's what happened).

    MA (those that have a real fight/defense/combat focus) should help develop necessarily brutal tools for fighting, and also help develop a more peaceful approach to life. I can't speak to how yin/yang and related concepts are truly viewed in Asian cultures, but this is the yin/yang of MA to me. I used to have a bit of violence that simmered under the surface, and only popped out when I was really angry at someone or very frustrated. It wasn't useful for fighting, because it didn't show up in response to fear or surprise. MA practice - and the physical outlet it provided - helped me control that. But not because what I train is peaceful - I don't train to defend peaceably. I train to do controlled violence upon someone who is trying to do violence upon me.
     
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  11. ChaiTeaTaiChi

    ChaiTeaTaiChi White Belt

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    I feel very comfortable with 14 years of martial arts with a focus on self defense.
    I am slowly bringing my students up, but most are seeking health benefits over martial study.

     
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  12. Martial D

    Martial D Senior Master

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    I say I have no faith at all in my style(s) and art(s) other than to be what they are;tools and ideas. I do however have confidence in my training, in my body to be strong and quick and in my muscle memory to react to things without having to think about them. In this, my art/style(s) are just one of many components.
     
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  13. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    Your example is how I think zen should be as well as Yin/Yang. It's a balance and not a removal of Violence. Your original violence is still with you. It's just separate from your anger and frustration .
     
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  14. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise MT Moderator Staff Member

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    \

    Love it Buka! you and I are all set! No worries. ;)
     
  15. Anarax

    Anarax 2nd Black Belt

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    Though I'm a little unclear on the 25% condition, I think I understand what you mean. Someone who essentially has more strength and mass than we do. In that case, yes I feel confident I can defend myself against a larger, stronger yet untrained opponent.

    The basic technical skills of having a proper stance, covering in basic guards and knowing how to strike and where are huge game changers.

    Honestly, I think what really changes it is the psychological dynamics of fighting. Flinching, adrenaline dumps and not being conditioned to fight overall is what I've seen breaks people. I've seen numerous sparring sessions with new people that haven't had any martial arts training before breakdown after getting hit. Not being able to deal with pain is also a significant factor in fights. You can be the best technical fighter in the world, but if you get hit hard and can't push through the pain your technical skills won't save you.

    Some of this is also based on the situational circumstances. For example; your average person will probably not feel a strong urge to fight someone if they were to sneeze loudly in a movie theater. However; a 90 pound mother will fight tooth and nail if someone is trying to harm her child. Essentially your desire to fight is usually relative to the reason and context of that actual fight. However; the fighter conditioning stills plays a substantial factor into the outcome as well.
     
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  16. Buka

    Buka Grandmaster

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    Big guys, small guys, fast guys, crazy guys, untrained guys.......I've never met anyone yet who was easy to fight. So, to me, size might matter in the physics of things, but that's about it. We don't get to pick who we will defend against. We just try to defeat the suckers.

    Here's hoping to staying lucky.
     
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  17. TMA17

    TMA17 Black Belt

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    I'm 6'1" 170 lbs. I've always relied on speed and agility in the sports I played. I have no MA background other then shadow boxing, hitting the heavy bag, light sparring and 3 months of WC. I've always been pretty athletic and coordinated, but have only been in one fight my entire life.

    My kung fu would be boxing as that is the only art so to speak I've practice for an extensive amount of time, albeit non professionally. Size doesn't always matter, however if there are two equally trained and skilled individuals, the favorite would likely be the bigger/stronger individual. I've seen many big dudes that are extremely slow and sloppy/uncoordinated. I've seen some that are not.

    You raised a good question. If I continue to study WC, I foresee it taking me a few years (1-3 in private lessons) to be comfortable using it in a real street fight situation. Right now I'd resort to what I know (boxing).

    I am not taking WC strictly for self-defense purposes, although that is one thing I hope to gain from it. I do question it's effectiveness as an art regularly as you can probably tell by the questions and posts.
     
  18. TMA17

    TMA17 Black Belt

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    I think that's great personally and sort of what WC can offer someone.
     

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