How practical is Martial Arts for self defense?

Discussion in 'General Self Defense' started by AceVentura, Jul 24, 2020.

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  1. AceVentura

    AceVentura Green Belt

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    For as much time and money one can invest in martial arts, is it really that practical to train strictly for self defense reasons? Even as a fifth degree black belt if you get attacked by an angry mob of seven people you are going to lose that fight. If someone studies for a year, are they now able to fight off an aggressive attacker who is 40 pounds heavier than them? Probably not. So for teenagers and young adults who join because they have been bullied or attacked, thinking they can learn to protect themselves, is that a reality? Or are there some students who can train for years and still not be able to protect themselves against a bigger, stronger, attacker?

    Thankfully I have never had to use any of my training to protect myself (came close a few times) so I don't know how I would have applied what I learned.

    I know there are endless debates about different styles and that is not what I am talking about, just in general terms.
     
  2. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    It works surprisingly well.

    I have dropped guys with some pretty big reputations and I am a very average martial artist.

    Grappling especially because most people can't do it.
     
  3. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    Yes it is......you really think someone like Jon Jones or Francis Ngnao or joe Lewis etc couldn’t beat some random drunk?

    no there’s no guarantees and of course no one can beat seven people but it gives you a lot better chance than sitting on your *** doing nothing
     
  4. Buka

    Buka Sr. Grandmaster

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    Time and money. Yeah, that’s the ticket.
     
  5. Rat

    Rat Master Black Belt

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    Ones that focus on fighting are obviously the better ones at it, second is probbly sport. But it can work pretty well, or you can realise you just wasted 10 years of your life to get put in a coffin. Pascals wager, martial arts edition.:p
     
  6. Duss D Gnutz

    Duss D Gnutz Yellow Belt

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    I've said this before in another thread: training in a martial art costs money, and most people who have the money usually have the luxury of not living in an environment where they would ever have to use it.

    This, right here, is the ONLY video I can find on YouTube of a martial artist in a real fight versus a non-martial artist.



    Frankly, I think that the only reason the martial artist won is because he started doing a bunch of fancy-looking crap, and successfully intimidated the non-martial artist. This caused the non-martial artist to use extra caution and not be nearly as aggressive as he might have otherwise been.

    I'm going to ruffle a few feathers when I say this: I think that the overwhelming majority of people claiming to have successfully used martial arts are lying. And not necessarily to make themselves appear "bada**," but to add more perceived credibility to something they've invested so much time and money in when other people question it.

    I grew up in a rough area... however, I'm 40 years old and I've only gotten into one fight in my adulthood - I was 23. Yet, there are people younger than me claiming to be able to count on both hands how many times they've used their martial arts.

    I've not met a single person who claims to have gotten into a fist fight at McDonald's, yet there's a new video of one going viral every week.

    Shouldn't they're literally be THOUSANDS of videos like the one I've posted, in order to match all the claims of people having used their martial arts?
     
  7. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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  8. Christopher Adamchek

    Christopher Adamchek Purple Belt

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    couple of things to address here

    If the goal is solely self-defense - many scenarios require very little martial arts, its better to have verbal and social awareness and skills to handle the situation combined with some minimal techniques to help you escape, or put you in a safer position as you get through the encounter

    being ready for a fight - is different, depends on how and what you train to be ready to handle aggressors

    you also brought up a nice complexity issue of multiple opponents, weight differences, and age
    I heard this explained well (i cant remember the martial artist video i heard this from)
    but say your a 1st dan black belt average competence and we think of 10 kyu system
    if your aggressor would be a beginner joe white belt
    - but is 5 years younger than you then its like the difficulty of one belt higher
    - for every 20lbs heavier its also like one belt higher
    - and for every guy its like two belt higher

    So if i face two would be white belts but each is 10 years younger than me 60lbs heavier
    that makes each of them 7 kyus in so its like fighting hardness of fighting two brownbelts not far from you, (difficulty wise) - as a rough way to calculate difficulty even if youre still able to wing
     
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  9. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    Depends on who you're defending yourself from. Wouldn't it? I mean, if you're using your kung fu to defend yourself from a drunk in a bar, it might work just fine. What if you're being picked on by the school football team? Or being sexually assaulted by your date? Or being beaten by a cop or several cops? Or by a group of violent protesters? What if you're a social worker and work with people who are often homeless, mentally ill, and/or addicted to drugs/alcohol?

    Context matters. Doesn't it?
     
  10. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    In high school, my first job was at McDs. I worked in two different locations around the UW. One was on University Avenue, just north of 45th and is long gone. That one was the worst. I was 16 years old, making $3.35/hour and would routinely be sent out from the grill area to break up fights, kick groups of kids out for loitering, move people who were homeless out so they wouldn't take "showers' in our bathroom, and all kinds of things that were (in retrospect) pretty crazy.

    The other one was on the other side of the University, on 35th and it's still there. We had a fight in the parking lot one time that escalated to the point where a window in the restaurant was shot out. I also was the guy asked to go out and keep people from eating the left over food out of the garbage, which to this day makes me sad.

    At the time, I was wrestling and in good shape, and had about a year of wing chun training under my belt (not enough to really learn much of anything). Thinking through all of the actual altercations I was in, never able to really use the training I had, as rudimentary as it was. I do think my fitness level really helped, though. I appeared to be fit and strong, which helped me get their attention, and I feel like I could have run away had I needed to.
     
  11. Duss D Gnutz

    Duss D Gnutz Yellow Belt

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    I think it all comes down to this:

    If you are a non-martial artist, and you can hold your own in a fist fight (i.e., you win a few, you lose a few); I wouldn't recommend martial arts for the purpose of self-defense. You've pretty much got all the tools you need in that arena, and the benefits of martial arts training will likely be marginal. If such a person wants to take martial arts, great, but it should probably be for other reasons.

    For the "nerd" or "geek" who has never thrown a punch in his life, and is now finding himself in a situation where he may need to? THAT'S who will benefit the most from it, in terms of self defense.
     
  12. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    [QUOTE="Duss D Gnutz, post: 2006277, member: 42694’’]

    Shouldn't they're literally be THOUSANDS of videos like the one I've posted, in order to match all the claims of people having used their martial arts?[/QUOTE]

    No. The vast majority of what happens in the world is not filmed and posted on YouTube for the world to gawk at.

    Do you believe that if you cannot find it on YouTube, then it did not happen?
     
  13. Duss D Gnutz

    Duss D Gnutz Yellow Belt

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    I believe that whenever either situation happens, the odds of it being filmed are the same.

    So when all the McDonald's fights are being filmed, but the martial artist vs. non-martial artist fights are not... then you need to start asking questions.
     
  14. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    Then you have a vastly unrealistic worldview.

    Did you take a dump sometime in the last couple of days? Did you eat dinner? Did you put gas in your car? Did you buy some groceries? I can’t seem to find any of it on YouTube...
     
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  15. Duss D Gnutz

    Duss D Gnutz Yellow Belt

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    Uh oh! Somebody's mad!
     
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  16. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    Not even remotely. Be careful about projecting... :rolleyes:

    I’m simply pointing out how unrealistic it is to point to YouTube as any kind of authoritative resource for what actually happens in the world.

    We live in this bizarre society where some hold a belief that everything that happens should be filmed and posted. This is really odd, but lots of people seem to believe it.

    It really isn’t difficult to see through that nonsense.
     
  17. Duss D Gnutz

    Duss D Gnutz Yellow Belt

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    I stand by what I said.

    You may not find videos of ME doing those things on YouTube, but you WILL find videos of PEOPLE doing them.

    That being said, if it does not strike you as odd that McDonald's fights are being filmed and martial artists versus non-martial artist fights are not... then that's a classic case of cognitive dissonance.

    The majority of the people who claim to have successfully used martial arts in real life are full of it.
     
  18. Duss D Gnutz

    Duss D Gnutz Yellow Belt

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    I'm also going to throw this out there: from my own personal observations, people who practice Eastern TMA are the ones making the most claims. And, the more "useless" their art is reputed to be by others, the more claims of using it that they have (hello, to all the aikidoka out there!).

    Meanwhile, I don't hear stories that often coming from western boxers, or practitioners of martial arts whose effectiveness is not normally questioned (Muay Thai, for example).

    These are things I'm thinking about when I read people's stories.
     
  19. Buka

    Buka Sr. Grandmaster

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    Pancake.jpg
     
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  20. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    I don't agree that they're full of it, though I do think cognitive dissonance is a big part of it.

    If you talk to a lot of self defense guys, they will say that NOT using their fighting skills is an example of successfully using their self defense skills, disregarding the fact that people interact with others all the time without fighting, even when they're angry or upset or aggressive. There's a lot of this kind of circular logic involved in martial arts training.

    The things I tend to appreciate are performance based, where there is a clear result. Whether it's making soap, pottery, carpentry, espresso/coffee, cooking, baking, etc. That mentality informs the kind of martial arts styles that make sense to me. Not disparaging other arts, but just if you're going to make claims, they should be substantiated by... something... anything. Does it need to be a video? No. But it should be somewhere on a spectrum above subjective, biased, and unverifiable. Unless it's just a sales pitch, and then it doesn't even need to be true.123
     
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