Martial Sport VS Self Defense

Discussion in 'General Self Defense' started by TaiChiTJ, Mar 4, 2018.

  1. skribs

    skribs Master of Arts

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2013
    Messages:
    1,945
    Likes Received:
    424
    Trophy Points:
    158
    Location:
    Lakewood, WA
    Regarding the overlap...I think one of the advantages with martial sports vs. self defense is that many self defense classes do things half speed, non-contact or light contact, and/or don't train for failure. On the other hand, martial sports are all about reading your opponent and practical application of your technique.

    (This is just to play devil's advocate as I feel both approaches have advantages and disadvantages).
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple Senior Master

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2012
    Messages:
    4,041
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    New York
    I'm not a fan of this argument, and it's made all the time. To me, it's the same as when people say "TKD schools are mcdojos", or even "most TKD schools are mcdojos". It's discounting what the purpose of SD classes are, and how they can be done effectively, by focusing on the ineffective ones. SD can very easily be full-speed, moderate-heavy contact, and training for failure. SD classes also can teach someone how to read someones intentions before they become an 'opponent', along with outside of the gym. The only thing SD is inherently missing when done right, IMO, that competition has, is cross-school/out of school competition that ensures what you are learning against people A B and C will also be effective on people X Y and Z.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. CB Jones

    CB Jones Senior Master

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2017
    Messages:
    2,825
    Likes Received:
    1,156
    Trophy Points:
    253
    Location:
    Saline
    Like in Minority Report? :D
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
  4. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    Messages:
    15,161
    Likes Received:
    2,613
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Covington, WA
    Most important thing, I think, is managing expectations. The best self defense training is to start out as a person who isn't a dick and does not engage in any high risk behaviors. That works for just about everyone. From there, a person who worked as a bouncer prior to enlisting in the military, and who is (or was) a cop, who also trains and competes in MMA, AND who has a particular interest in how all of these skills can apply in various contexts. Now, that guy will be excellent at self defense.

    You could likely get by with just not being a dick and not engaging in high risk behaviors. Having any one of the other elements above will help.

    Bottom line, though, without one of the above elements, or something very similar (i.e., a gang enforcer or some other professionally violent person), you can train self defense all day long and be no better able to defend yourself. Self defense isn't something you learn in a vacuum. It's applying skills you already have in the context of personal safety.
    Look at a relatively simple skill, like CPR. It's generally performed incorrectly, and largely ineffective (as best as I can tell, people who receive bystander CPR have about the same survival rate and rate of recovery as those who do not receive help until the EMTs arrive). Self defense is like that. It makes people feel better, but otherwise, is more about feeling safer than being safer.

    So, threads like this irritate me. Not because it's X vs Y. But because it's apples and apple pie. Martial sports are probably the most accessible path to self defense skills for most people. Self defense programs for regular, non-violent people, that don't include "martial sport" are deeply flawed, like an apple pie without apples.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. Buka

    Buka Grandmaster

    • MartialTalk Mentor
    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2011
    Messages:
    8,149
    Likes Received:
    4,874
    Trophy Points:
    448
    Location:
    Maui
    I don't agree that you can train self defense all day long and be no better able to defend yourself.
    I don't mean just for a day, obviously.

    Are you speaking of the stereotypical - one guy steps up and punches and just stands there like a statue. If so, okay, but I don't actually know anyone who does that. Or are you talking about self defense training in general, which includes a lot of fighting?
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  6. ScorpionShawn

    ScorpionShawn Yellow Belt

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2018
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Location:
    Cleveland Ohio
    Tim Larkin 100% on point!
     
  7. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    Messages:
    15,161
    Likes Received:
    2,613
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Covington, WA
    You can teach a skill, but you can't learn it for someone. E.g., you can teach a skill to an administrative assistant the same way you teach it to a cop, but you can't learn it for them and you can't do it for them. You can, however, develop traits im folks who are receptive by teaching them behaviors.

    I'm talking about the office worker, computer programmer, teacher, hair stylist or otherwise non-violent person who has never been a bouncer, soldier, cop, bodyguard or hitman. Let's call this group "almost everyone." These folks who take "self defense" classes aren't learning skills that will make them more safe. Or to be fair, there is zero evidence that they are. They MIGHT be learning behaviors that will help them be more safe, but I don't think these behaviors are specific to self defense training. Skills development in a self defense class is going to be limited, regardless of how long they train.

    To be more specific, for these regular people, I think the aspects of a "self defense" course that actually help are not specific to self defense training. In other words, among the traits they are developing are self-esteem, confidence, a sense of community, positive role models, a fighting spirit, fitness, and athleticism (well, those last two are not always intrinsic to self defense classes). You can develop these same traits doing Zhumba or Tae Bo, or training for a Tough Mudder course.

    Look at it like this, @Buka. Look at all the tenuous leaps of faith one must take for which there is no supporting evidence, and in some cases, evidence to the contrary:

    1: You have to believe that the skills you are learning actually work for someone.
    2: ... that the techniques will actually help you and not make things worse.
    3: ... that you can perform a technique at all.
    4: ... under pressure, in the safety of training.
    5: ... outside of training, in some context (i.e., on the job, in a ring)
    6: ... AND then in the context of self defense.

    There are some folks teaching self defense to other folks here who think they're at 6, but are really stuck at somewhere between 3 and 4. The good news is, if you reach step 5, it's a relatively short leap to step 6.

    Going back to the point I led off with, we commonly see people teach a system and then build expertise in a system. Can this work? Hard to say. And is there anything wrong with it? Nothing at all. If you have a system you teach, call it Buka-do, and you teach people to nutshot and curbstomp bad guys, it's up to you to establish the criteria for evaluating their performance. You could absolutely teach someone to be an expert in Buka-do. Will that make them able to fight off a bad guy? Absolutely no way to know.

    Now, I understand that some guys like Gerry insist that you can skip step 5, but Gerry has yet to offer an example of someone developing skill in something without ever actually doing it... other than self defense, of course.
     
  8. skribs

    skribs Master of Arts

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2013
    Messages:
    1,945
    Likes Received:
    424
    Trophy Points:
    158
    Location:
    Lakewood, WA
    Hence why I used many qualifying statements like "many" and "just playing devil's advocate".
     
  9. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2014
    Messages:
    15,834
    Likes Received:
    3,613
    Trophy Points:
    308
    Yeah? tentatively.

    As soon as you are training in real time against resisting guys with pads and rules and junk.

    You are kind of doing sport.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2014
    Messages:
    15,834
    Likes Received:
    3,613
    Trophy Points:
    308
    We call that the difference between being a martial artist and a fighter.

    Same thing happens when someone goes from pads or drills to sparring.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple Senior Master

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2012
    Messages:
    4,041
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    New York
    Eh. In my mind a sport has specific rules that do not change and you are actively competing with others. So if I have someone attack me with a foam bat while I try (and often fail) to escape or gain control/disarm him, that's a SD drill to me even though it's real time. If there was a circuit of foam bat fighting, with rankings and standardized scoring, that would turn the same exact activity from a SD drill into a sport.

    Theres a benefit to the second one in having more people to compete against, likely develop better tactics from a larger school, and a better idea of how well I do, but i don' see it becoming all that popular. Not going to stop me from getting hit with foam bats though, or take away the benefit I do get from it.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Mountie

    Mountie Yellow Belt

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2018
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    Canada
    TKD was my first martial art. My cousins/nephews still take it.

    Love the art. But then some schools give it a bad name....



     
  13. Buka

    Buka Grandmaster

    • MartialTalk Mentor
    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2011
    Messages:
    8,149
    Likes Received:
    4,874
    Trophy Points:
    448
    Location:
    Maui
    I think I was thinking something other than what you were actually saying. [wait, what?]

    I was thinking "self defense' training as being actual Martial Arts training, you know, training every day, sparring all the time - fighting resisting partners, many of who are better than you.

    A "self defense course"....not really too good unless it's a four day a week course for ten years. And you fight, a lot. I don't think many folks can defend themselves if they don't know how to fight.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. Anarax

    Anarax 2nd Black Belt

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2017
    Messages:
    834
    Likes Received:
    239
    Trophy Points:
    58
    Location:
    New Mexico
    The premise of "Martial Art Sport Vs Self Defense" I think is flawed for a few reasons.

    All sport variants of a style have very different rule sets and some are further removed from real conditions of combat than others. For example; I left sport fencing because the rules became so convoluted to the point I was developing bad habits that were transferring over into Kali. Resetting after each strike, not using three-dimensional footwork, only staying at medio(medium) range were bad habits fencing was teaching me. It was becoming more of a hindrance than an asset in martial arts training. Kali sport competitions in the US aren't the best examples either, the WEKAF tournaments are just two guys swinging at each other in fully padded suits with zero emphasis on technique nor defense. However; competitions in the Philippines are much better and more realistic with very little to no loss of practicability.

    It's doesn't have to be an either or situation. Take a professional fighter and teach him situational awareness/self-defense tactics he's gonna perform pretty well in a self defense situation. Take an out of shape self-defense instructor and whip him into fighting shape he'll also perform very well in a self defense situation.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    Messages:
    15,161
    Likes Received:
    2,613
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Covington, WA
    Think about it like this. No one trains self defense . Everyone is training something else, and hoping that those skills will be there for them in a different context (self defense).

    If you think about it this way, things begin to click into place .
     
  16. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

    Top Poster Of Month

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2012
    Messages:
    16,982
    Likes Received:
    4,878
    Trophy Points:
    448
    Location:
    Hendersonville, NC
    As someone who trained primarily in SD schools, I agree. What you've pointed at is the major weakness of the common SD approach. Bringing in live sparring, at least occasional full opposition, and realistic expectations of failure rate is a big step.
     
  17. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

    Top Poster Of Month

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2012
    Messages:
    16,982
    Likes Received:
    4,878
    Trophy Points:
    448
    Location:
    Hendersonville, NC
    I kind of agree. But if we accept that, then most SD schools have some level of "sport" in them, too. Not all, certainly (I've trained in some that had none), but most. Sparring/rolling/randori is not unheard of.

    EDIT: Usually, the difference is points. Those usually get left out.
     
  18. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

    Top Poster Of Month

    • Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2012
    Messages:
    16,982
    Likes Received:
    4,878
    Trophy Points:
    448
    Location:
    Hendersonville, NC
    They are training skills intended for SD. A small distinction, but I agree that it's a significant one.
     
  19. Anarax

    Anarax 2nd Black Belt

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2017
    Messages:
    834
    Likes Received:
    239
    Trophy Points:
    58
    Location:
    New Mexico
    Are you suggesting the father should have been responsible and shouldn't have taken his 4 year old daughter to a bar at night? How dare you suggest such a sensible approach to parenting. Next you'll tell us parents shouldn't take their kids to protests.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  20. CB Jones

    CB Jones Senior Master

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2017
    Messages:
    2,825
    Likes Received:
    1,156
    Trophy Points:
    253
    Location:
    Saline
    Just for clarification....It actually was a pizza restaurant
     

Share This Page