How long does it take to learn how to realistically defend oneself?

Discussion in 'General Self Defense' started by Makalakumu, Jan 3, 2010.

  1. Deaf Smith

    Deaf Smith Master of Arts

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    First, if someone needed to learn SD and only SD then the 'art' should be bypassed. Yes and that includes my Taekwondo.

    Krav Maga is what I'd tell them to go check into.

    It's just that most arts have part of their time spend on forms, part on leaning the culture, learning dojo etiquette, etc... and not pure SD.

    KM is not an art, and there are no forms, no culture, and only one bow at the first and one bow at the end of class as for etiquette.

    I practice both TKD and Krav Maga, and have for some time. One is good for a base to grow from (TKD) and some SD skills, and the other is good for SD but not much for learning other things.

    Oh, and how long? If you put effort and go to many classes a week, KM can do it in six months.


    Deaf
     
  2. Gaius Julius Caesar

    Gaius Julius Caesar Black Belt

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    This is why I like a blend of traditional art, Combatve systems and elements of sportive traing methods in waht we do.

    The analogy we use is that our goals are to teach you enough to survive an attack in the first 3-6 months, what I call "Homestead defender".

    At this level it about turning the tables and getting away quick (and that should stay as a core theme forever). KISS techniques and tactics and basic aggressive mindset is stressed. Simple power generation and whatnot.

    The next level is what I call " Trooper level" or "Grunt Level" and it seems to fall in the 1-2 year. At this point your a mix Jujutsu and Combatives.
    You can throw, lock, choke, strike, grapple, and have some proficientcy with some common weapons.
    Your more a little more "relaxed" in conflict, you get into different power genrations, the techniques become tighter but also more lending to improvissions. Now the idea is to hurt the attacker very badly and get away. At this point most of our guys look like hard Jujutsukas, who can also strike hard and fast and you can see the Aiki elements in them.

    Then we strive for what I call "Warrior" "Knight" or Jedi level, this around year 3-5.
    At this level, wherever you go, the 4 foot circle of space around you belongs to you, someone enters it and you have a a good probability that they will regret it. At this point you could kill them if the situation arises or control them.
    You have your own "style" so to speak at this point.

    After that, it's time to train to be a Sith =)
     
  3. Guardian

    Guardian Black Belt

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    Don't they classify all those Reality Base Self-Defense Personal Protection Systems in as Arts per say like Krav Maga, Jim Wagners and all the rest. They are what someone needs for pure self-defense only here and in a quick fashion and as put here, you still have to practice and practice to keep your skills toned and honed.

    JMHO
     
  4. sgtmac_46

    sgtmac_46 Senior Master

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    I kind of think what he's getting at is a distinction between an art as a 'Way', or an end unto itself, or as martial skill, with a practical end in mind.
     
  5. MJS

    MJS Administrator Staff Member

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    Exactly and this, IMO, is where people need to make that decision...do they just take the barebones and go with it or do they invest more time to really make sure they're good at what they do?
     
  6. StudentCarl

    StudentCarl 3rd Black Belt

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    This is an interesting discussion, and I agree on principle with the comments favoring direct SD skill instruction systems. On the street it's a predatory world, and no worthy predator attacks without some observation and confidence in their skills. I think of 4 aspects of SD, (though I'm sure there are others):

    Situational awareness/avoidance--always best but not simple to know and
    not regular MA curriculum.

    Skills--that's been the core of this discussion, with many good ideas.

    Response under stress (+/- injury)--there are many terms and
    descriptions for what happens biologically, but you're not gonna be
    functioning the same as you are right now. Some people fold and
    some shine, but training improves performance if the training relates
    to high stress aspects

    Will to prevail--not something we train or talk about much, but life
    experience does shape it. Mental training can influence it.
     
  7. MA-Caver

    MA-Caver Sr. Grandmaster

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    A few days one can learn enough SD if the need was urgent. Problem with that is the unknown... where/when/how/why the attack will come. Heighten awareness will help eliminate or minimize the mystery behind those factors.
    The military bootcamp is 6-8 weeks of intensive training and one comes out with enough knowledge to survive an attack... experience however determines the length of survival.
    My time living on the streets helped me learn SD as I went on. I was lucky that I had prior (informal) instruction which usually got me ahead of the game or into a position to use the greatest SD technique of all... RUNNING!
    For those times I couldn't utilize that one... was everything else I had learned.
    One also must always remember that it's not only the techs one learns but having the mind-set to use them. As some have mentioned in this thread some BB's have had their asses handed to them out on the street. They were (IMO) not in the mind set of tearing the attacker a new one by any means necessary... other words... being just plain MEAN!
     
  8. Deaf Smith

    Deaf Smith Master of Arts

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    Yes. That's what I mean.

    Guardian,

    While I love TKD, and the 'Do', the way, I realize most people don't have years and years of time to do this stuff, nor all the stretching and forms and customs and language.

    So, that is why KM, and yes, places like REMCAT(Rocky Mountain Combat Applications Training). But you have to go to a place and workout a fair amount for months. KM, or Fight4Survival, or places like that are local and continuous.

    Taking a 3 hour course on SD is, well good only if you have a gun, and even then it has gaps as for protection. I've seen people take women’s 3 hr courses and while they get the ideas, it still isn't ingrained in their psych. And if your amygdale does not believe you can do it, you won't.

    I really enjoy TKD and KM and I get SD benefits from both (just as I do from IDPA and various classes in firearms self defense I've been in.) And between those and such courses as Ayoobs LFI-1 (40+ hrs, over half of it law), and SouthNarc’s ECQC (Extreme Close Quarters Concepts) and how to handle unknown contacts I see how it all fits together.

    But I know most people don't have the time I have (nor money.) So KM or Fight4Survival and six months is what I consider the minimum (and maybe a good combat handgun class or two.)

    But then, I always encourage students to make self defense a hobby and avocation. That way you always keep learning!

    Deaf

     
  9. First Action

    First Action Orange Belt

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    I think if you want to learn Self Defence for self defence, then don't train in martial arts, train in self defence. I also believe, as many have said, that it is the dog in the fight - but while this mental fight is obviously naturally stronger in some, I think it can still be instilled in most for whom it doesn't come naturally.

    As for how long it takes, it really depends on how hard you train. For self defense, some techniques can taught and used proficiently almost instantly. For traditional martial arts, I have heard from many that one week intense training (eg a muay thai camp) has the same results (if not better) as training casually for 6 months eg 2 or 3 sessions a week for 1 or 2 hours per session.

    www.fightingequipment.com.au
    www.firstaction.com.au
     
  10. wushuguy

    wushuguy Purple Belt

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    To learn a few techniques and use them is fairly straight forward and quick. One can use them to box after a few classes and get lucky. But to be able to adapt to changing situations or when attacks are not the same as what was practiced in class and maintain calm and collected can take years of practice.

    I tell my students that no matter how good the practice is in class, it very rarely happens that way in real life, so be prepared for "accidents" and if in class some one "doesn't do the technique right" just keep going and learn to adapt but try to stick with the principles.
     
  11. budogeek

    budogeek White Belt

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    I think there's a great discussion going on here, but maybe some misnomers?
    My two part answer:

    1.

    "To realistically defend oneself" really doesn't have to have much AT ALL to do with winning a fight.

    Fighting has a lot to do with trying to "WIN" and also MUST include two or more people.

    Said differently, if you were hired as a bodyguard for this person, and a threat came up, your first and biggest priority is their safety - to defend them from harm ... and must absolutely NOT start with dealing with the aggressor. You must pay more attention to getting your client to safety (turn, shield, remove them).

    You should NOT try to keep your client safe, and fight with their would-be attacker(s) at the same time. Now, if we believe this idea, we MUST ask ourselves: what if I hired myself as my bodyguard?

    2.

    If we really want to consider the learning of "realistic" self defense then we must also take legal issues into consideration.

    I can defeat my opponent by shooting him in the head, but the "real" ramifications indicate that I would have LOST this exchange (along with my possessions, family, freedom, etc).

    I know that this isn't as macho an answer, but it belongs in a discussion of "realistic self defense" - again, in my opinion.
     
  12. sgtmac_46

    sgtmac_46 Senior Master

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    That's not actually entirely true........IF the threat is imminent, neutralizing the threat IS the priority, as that is the quickest and most effective way of protecting the principle.

    I'm sure what you mean is that if a situation develops that is not imminent, the priority is to avoid it, and protect the principle.......but imminent situations require decisive action, and that often requires engaging and neutralizing the threat as quickly as possible.

    If the choice is taking a bullet or shooting the opponent in the head, it's a no brainer......no pun intended. Macho has jack to do with it.

    The equation is really simple......imminent threat requires aggressive violence. Avoidance prior to imminent threat is preferable, but once the situation is engaged, violent aggression is the solution.



    The standard military principle when dealing with an ambush (immediate unexpected violence) is to attack IN TO THE AMBUSH to disrupt it, as attempting to flee or avoid will only put yourself in the kill zone, and result in getting wiped out. There are times when AGGRESSION will save you where caution cannot.
     
  13. Peyton

    Peyton White Belt

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    I have not become a member of the Black Belt Hall of Fame nor ranked in three martial systems (Wado Ryu Karate, Judo and Aikido with experience in others) without a knowledge and a genuine and frankly hard won respect for the value of these and other arts.

    However, I do think we should be careful in confusing Martial Arts training with actual self-defense training. When we speak of “martial arts” generally people are referring to Asian based systems and arts. But we should keep in mind that all the unarmed Asian martial arts we see today are just that ‘arts’, not ‘application’ and they were never directly created for self-defense purposes either.

    Further these unarmed martial systems are recently developments historically; Karate was unknown in Japan until about 1920. General Choi helped solidify the style of TKD based on the Japanese Shotokan style around 1950.

    No unarmed martial arts have any history in actual combat either. The closest we cone to that is one master challenging another of a different style to consensual match. Let us keep in mind the simple fact that man is the ‘tool user’ and so he first fights with weapons, not his bare hands and feet. No battle or wear has ever been fought with bare hands and feet of course.

    Please do not misunderstand me though, martial arts does have self-defense value for some and for a few I have seen it has even quite tremendous self-defense power.

    But I will also say that in my observation for the majority of persons who study martial arts they do not very often develop any real self-defense ability such as they could successfully apply in an actual real world attack effectively. Yet we must also acknowledge here that martial arts study has significant rewards that transcend self-defense ability acquisition too.

    I do not teach any ‘art’ in my RMCAT school in Colorado because our focus is on practical self-defense and thus indirectly but powerfully, true self-improvement as well.

    The objective of self-defense training is to escape injury or death if attacked, and the first and best way to do this is to avoid being attacked. Hence, half my course is spent on teaching these awareness and fight avoidance and de-escalation skills.

    Very importantly as a bouncer/cooler in the seventies I know that understanding the human predatory mind and the criminal mind and the way these people ‘think’ especially when they get out of prison is at the very center of being able to handle these people in a way that avoids violence.

    In fact an ignorance of these type people’s thinking, especially of course in their concept of ‘props’ has undoubtedly put more than a few into their graves or in wheel chairs or life support etc, and quite needlessly and purely out of ignorance in many such cases.

    If you don’t know how these people think then you can say or do something that to you is totally innocent or at most just ‘wise cracking’, But for them that action or words of yours may for them compel them to spill your blood heavily and right on the spot and immediately too.

    The human predator and ‘hard timer’ do not and frankly they ‘can’t’ even give themselves the luxury of ‘thinking about it’ or doing anything less but ambushing you when you ‘dis’ them or fail to give them their ‘props’ in their eyes. You have forced it for them and you made it necessary for them to attack you. Understand that as they see it they had no choice at all but to bust you up or kill you right then and there.

    It is apparent today too that many people watch athletic contests like the Vale De Tudo, or any of the miscalled, NHB contests and then make the somewhat understandable error of making judgments about what real fight might ‘be like’ and what ‘might work’ best in a real fight. But this is most certainly a mistaken comparison because nothing that ever occurs in any prize ring regardless of the rules or lack of same is ever a ‘real fight’ at all.

    I know that again I can easily be misunderstood here so I will try to better clarify what I am saying. First I have a lot of respect for anyone that trains and wins his place in a NHB ring or a pro boxing ring etc. Indeed I have trained some such fighters. But the ring is not a real fight it is a consensual athletic contest and it has little relationship to actual fights in the real world. I have seen and been forced to participate in same scores of times 30 odd years ago in my bouncer/cooler work. A real fight is simply never ‘consensual’ by definition.

    In the ring both fighters know why they are there and exactly when they will be there and exactly who they will fight. None of that is true in any real fight and this is very important difference too.

    Only one person knows there will be violence in any real fight and that is the attacker and every real world attack is always some form of, or at least an attempt at an ambush. This reality is also why you can avoid being chosen as their potential victim most times if you are alert and aware too. If they see they can’t really ambush you because of your level of alertness and knowledge then they will pass you up for safer ‘game” elsewhere.

    I have interviewed muggers and killers, armed robbers and even ‘semi-pro’ hired killers both in and out of prisons for many years in preparing material for my self-defense programs. I have found a startling similarity in the thinking of all these people in the how and why of who they select to attack. Having written books on this let me capsulate it beyond reason by simply saying ‘they do not want a fight, but only a victim’.

    Also please understand that for every person who thought they were going to beat the hell out of me in my bouncer days, only a minority even started anything physical with me in the first place. And not because I “acted tough” either because that is a very serious mistake as the real predators out there will see through that pretense immediately and then it is like ringing the ‘dinner bell for them’. They know they have found their ‘pigeon’ when you try to act and sound ‘tough’ with them. They will smell your fear beneath this act at once.

    We need to stop thinking of self-defense as being about physical technique alone too. If I were to rank the most important assets you needed in effective self-defense I would put ‘skill at physical technique’ as perhaps the third down on the list.

    The first attribute one needs is the proper ‘combat mind set’ and this means ‘adrenal stress conditioning’ because no physical skill in the dojo or dojang will be of the least value to you without this attribute. Proper combat mindset makes it more possible to avoid the fight too.

    Second on the list would be “ a knowledge of the enemy’s ways” because this allows you to avoid the conflict most times and remember the truth is that any man can be beaten and any man can be killed. Real fighting is not a game of any sort.

    Then third would perhaps come physical technique skill. Frankly though you do not need too many ‘techniques’ in an actual fight as real fights only last a few seconds as a rule.

    Beyond even that most martial arts techniques are not really applicable to real fighting anyway. If you think your flying side de kick or lighting fast roundhouse to the head is going to ‘come up’ and decide the fight for you, then you certainly need to think more carefully. It is the techniques you learn in the fist six weeks of training, the simplest ones, the ‘basics’ of any art that are the very ones that do have self-defense applications.

    Peace be with you all good people and I do hope I have not offended anyone, that most certainly was something I wanted to avoid.

    And let me say this in closing, at some point in time ‘looking like Bruce Lee’ will seem like an amusing childhood fantasy for you and you may start to think about how you can take your art, and I mean your 'spiritual warrior essence'off the mat and into the world to try to make things better for others. Peyton Quinn
     
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  14. sgtmac_46

    sgtmac_46 Senior Master

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    Good points, Peyton, but I will voice my humble opinion that the real difference between Vale Tudo, MMA, NHB, or whatever the word du jour, and 'the street', for lack of a better term, is really one of mindset than of technique. A punch renders someone just as unconscious on the street as in a ring (actually more likely, considering the element of surprise).

    But what makes a good street fighter is the ability to be an ambush predator, applying the same techniques in an entirely different manner.........since there is no referee in the street to call a start to the action, the ability to read a situation, decide the best course of action, and pursue that course of action with commitment, is a far more valuable skill set for the street than in the ring, where physical conditioning and following the coaches game plan is the key to victory.

    Again, I think WAY too much is made of there being a difference between MMA and 'the streets' when the reality is that the only real difference is application, and a few specialized skill sets that can be applied with speed, surprise and violence of action on the street, that cannot be pulled off in the ring/cage.
     
  15. Nishibi Ryu

    Nishibi Ryu Yellow Belt

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    It does not take long to learn how to block and punch and do a basic kick, how well you do those basic things can take a life time. To defend yourself will not take long I remember when I first started I was quick to block and do all manner of things against someone who was not skilled or ready for what you could do.
    Realistically to defend yourself against an attacker depends on the abilities of your attacker, if he is druged up and phyco then good luck with that, if he is more experienced than you good luck or he may just be missing that link in the brain that says don't hurt people and just chill. Eitherway for you to defend yourself you must allow for the vairiables, so how long does it take to learn to walk away and let it be?

    Just my 2 cents worth of not much
     
  16. still learning

    still learning Senior Master

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    Hello, Just one time.....Once you get into a serious sitution....and came out without fighting?

    verbal, "sorry" so on.....and you walk away....."You learn a valuable lesson..on self-defense

    Verbal language? ....proper verbal langauage will work the firt time..
    --------------------

    as far as for martial arts skills...can be one class lesson ...but a life time to make it a part of you!

    Remember biting, eye poking, running...do not take many lessons to learn to use them!

    Aloha, ...very hard to defend against a false crack...giving it or defend against it!
     
  17. Deaf Smith

    Deaf Smith Master of Arts

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    Glad to have you here Peyton. That was a very good post.

    Deaf123
     

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