Self Defense DVDs

Discussion in 'Beginners Corner' started by brassmeister, Apr 12, 2012.

  1. brassmeister

    brassmeister White Belt

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    I am looking for some self defense DVDs primarily for my girls who are at or near college age who are unwilling (or not yet ready) to take up martial arts.


    There are, of course, very many out there but most seem geared toward martial arts fans or hard core survivalists. Krav Maga, for example, seems very practical but it is overkill.


    One set I have found that meets my requirements is "Captain Chris" Close Combat Training. It is very simple and consistent with what I know of self defense. But although I am less concerned with his over-the-top self marketing than some, he has got a lot of detractors out there. Several people have accused him of billing them for vitamins they didn't order after buying his DVDs.


    Are there more reputable self defense DVDs out there? Something that will impart a basic knowledge and perhaps spark an interest in martial arts.
     
  2. ballen0351

    ballen0351 Grandmaster

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    If they are unwilling to go to a martial arts class then all the DVDs in the world wont do anything but waist your money.
     
  3. Cyriacus

    Cyriacus Senior Master

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    This Thread again. Yay.

    And this is pretty much My Reply, to a T.

    Also, not yet ready? Is that a joke? Theyre College Age. There are 10-15 year olds Training in just about any given system, everywere in the world. Theres no excuses Im afraid.
     
  4. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Senior Master

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    If they're not interested, no amount of DVDs will change that. If they are interested, then they'll get past anything such as being "unwilling" or "not yet ready". There's little good that will come out of such an enterprise.

    All DVD's only really work in conjunction with actual in-school training.

    Oh boy. Look, there's no fraudbusting here, so being as delicate as I can, avoid that charlatan like the plague. There is nothing legit in anything he has claimed whatsoever. For reference, google "Captain Chris Pizzo", or just have a quick read through this: http://hockscombatforum.com/index.php?topic=4097.30

    If they're not interested, they're not interested. That's about the long and the short of it, really.
     
  5. Cyriacus

    Cyriacus Senior Master

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    How did I not see this the first time.
    Krav Maga is overkill? More like, relatively effective. Otherwise, Muay Thai is just as overkill. So is Boxing, perhaps even more so.

    EDIT: Just to clarify, Im not taking jabs at You. But Youve said two 'interesting' things so far :)
     
  6. oftheherd1

    oftheherd1 Senior Master

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    First, welcome to MT.

    Second, don't mind the negativism from the above posters. We get questions like this a lot. People come in asking in essence, what book or DVD will make me (or family) an expert martial artist in one week of reading or viewing. Those of us who have been in MA for any length of time know how much practice one needs to learn a martial art. Even to learn some useful self defense, requires more than just a one time class with no subsequent practice/refresher.

    Just understand, that totally without meaning to, you have insulted us for having to have spent so much time learning what we did, when there are so many books and DVDs promising instant results. I'm sorry, it isn't that easy.

    That said, self defense only, can be taught in a shorter time. But results from books or DVDs without a live instructor have not proven themselves in our opinion. One needs to put some serious (in attitude, not necessarily time) practice over a period of time, against opponents who really appear to be attacking. People need to be taught as part of the class, to get over fear of hurting an opponent (it's what the opponent intends). You might be surprised at how difficult that can be.

    Solution? Either accept they aren't going to go into martial arts or self defense until they are ready (even if you cajole them in, they won't commit, so they won't learn), or try to get them serious about defending themselves when necessary, no matter they don't want to make it a life time study.

    One thing to look at when they get to college is what classes they may have there. I know one university that provides self defense classes lasting 3 to 5 days, geared for women, at the beginning of each school year. That same university makes a semester of Judo a legitimate class for sports/fitness, and it is graded by the instructor. They have to demonstrate knowledge of the subject to pass, and receive 3 credits towards college graduation.

    Good luck with your problem. If you have more questions, don't hesitate to ask. We are a friendly and helpful bunch here, although we can get a little frustrated with what we consider to be the same question on a frequent basis, of how to learn everything that we know in 1/1000th of the time.
     
  7. Cyriacus

    Cyriacus Senior Master

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    ...Guilty.
    Even though I know that, and Im sure We all know that at this point, some things just bounce off a wall with a bit of sting. :)
     
  8. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    +1 and quoted for truth.

    And to the original OP, may I say that all of us would be interested if there were such videos or books that would be of real use in real-world situations, but they tend not to be in our collective experience as martial artists. Some disagree, but they're in the minority. Not your fault, but you inadvertently pressed a hot topic button; it elicits strong responses.

    For what it may be worth, the same is true of people who blithely go for forth and buy a can of pepper spray or a stun gun or even (shudder) a firearm and tuck it in a purse or glovebox and think they have the 'self-defense thing' under control. The best those things are is worthless. The worst they are is dangerous to themselves. With training, all of the above are good. Without it, not. There are no magic wands.

    If your daughters can't or won't consider investing time and effort into real martial arts or other self-defense training (boxing is good, even for women, FYI), at the very least I would recommend you try to get them interested in taking some of the free 'self-defense for women' classes often offered as short seminars at local police departments, churches, colleges, and martial arts clubs or training facilities. It may not be much, but real training; even a little, can be better than nothing, and worlds better than anything they can learn from a DVD or book.

    In my personal opinion - and I say this not as a martial arts expert because I'm not one - of even more importance is understanding where to go, when to go, with whom to go, and how to practice situational awareness. Women get raped running through college campus parks in the dark, alone; and it's more about where they are and their circumstances than their ability to defend themselves. Avoiding putting oneself into harm's way is the first step in self-defense. Fighting back is the last step, after all preventive measures have failed.

    Like most martial artists, I encourage everyone who is interested in defending themselves to get proper training. It's not only good for self-defense, it's good exercise, it's a community of good people, it builds self-esteem and self-confidence, and for some of us, it's a life-long passion and pursuit of excellence. It's not for everyone, but it's often worth investigating.

    Good luck to you and your family. I wish only the best for you all. If we can assist you, let us know; we're from everywhere, so the chances are somebody here will know someone in your area who can assist your daughters find some real self-defense training if they decide to go that route. Referrals can be a good thing.
     
  9. decepticon

    decepticon Green Belt

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    As others have said, unfortunately a DVD will not do the trick. If you truly have concerns for your daughters' safety, get them to a local self defense class in your area and encourage them to make the most of it. It is one of those things that they just have to physically do in order to learn. And even then, many S/D class participants report forgetting all that they have learned if they don't refresh their memories every few months.

    When I was college-age, I joined the university's karate class - temporarily. At that age, I just couldn't bring myself to spar. I had no desire to hit any body. End.Of.Story. It just wasn't going to happen. I wasn't mentally ready, for whatever reasons. Fast forward to today, now that I am a middle-aged mom, I have no problem at all with being willing to knock the crap out of some deserving individual. I have seen enough of the evil in the world, my aggression hormones have finally risen to the top, or whatever. But now, I am ready. I don't really care that there are 10-15yo girls training wherever. I wasn't ready for martial arts then, and perhaps neither are the poster's daughters.

    Unfortunately, the reality is that the criminal element doesn't really care whether the girls are ready or not. I imagine they would actually prefer Not. And that is what the op needs to communicate. Self defense is less about what you are ready to do and more about what you are ready to not have done to you.

    So in a nutshell, you can lead them to self defense resources, but you can't make them partake if they refuse to do so. However, you can encourage and support them. The best way (and IMO, the only adequate way) is to go to a real class with a real instructor so that they can learn the maximum amount to the best of their abilities.
     
  10. K-man

    K-man Grandmaster

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    I have shelves full of SD DVDs. I find them a valuable adjunct to the Martial Art I teach. Often I will incorporate some of the video into what I teach. However, I am interpreting the information from a martial perspective.

    I don't believe many people can learn SD from a book or video alone. There are too many 'little bits' that make techniques work. I despair at times when I see SD gurus teaching stuff that just doesn't work in the real world. If you are unfortunate enough to have learned that technique from the book or DVD then try to apply it in a real altercation, you will get hurt.

    As I said above, a person with no training will try to avoid trouble. Likewise a person with a lot of training will try to avoid trouble but if necessary has the tools to deal with that trouble. A person with a little bit of knowledge and false sense of security is likely to find trouble.

    As your daughters are not interested in martial art training, they probably wouldn't bother with watching SD videos either. Not to mention the hours of training required to learn anything of practical use. I would suggest perhaps you look up a local martial art school and see if they provide SD instruction. A little bit of quality instruction might be all you need at this time.

    If you are determined to go down the DVD path, I would suggest you look up a guy from England called Russell Stutely. He has a base of Shotokan karate and, despite all the marketing hype, he has some very good material available. But be warned, it is hard core. Self Defence is not about being nice. Potentially it is there to save your ****. :asian:
     
  11. punisher73

    punisher73 Senior Master

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    I had a friend loan me a copy of the Gracie's "Women Empowered" (at least something very similiar to that). I thought that it was a very good series and broken down into a lot of easy to learn lessons to practice. It addressed all of the situations that women would find themselves in. Granted, they downplay the role of striking in many cases since they are grappling based, but do make some good points on women not striking. Mainly, if you aren't going to train hard and do it right, you are just going to piss off your attacker.

    As to Krav Maga being overkill. Yep. It was designed for military use to take someone out immediately when your weapon is gone. It is NOT designed for civilian self-defense. So while some things may be used, it will be a watered down version of what it was designed for. It is a big mistake to buy into the hype that because it is used by the military or the police it is good for S-D. They have different functions and parameters and also different goals in mind to carry out the objectives. That goes for many other combative programs and not just KM. KM is just the most recent market fad.
     
  12. mmartist

    mmartist Green Belt

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    Krav maga is perfect for self defense..Krav Maga has a unique approach to personal safety that can be used by anyone regardless of age, gender or fitness level.
     
  13. Cyriacus

    Cyriacus Senior Master

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    Thats kinda what I was getting at.
    It isnt Overkill if its whats necessary.
     
  14. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Senior Master

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    "Captain" Chris Parker? Really? Russ, I'm hurt.... such a terrible association for me... I just want to curl up in a ball now and make it all go away....
     
  15. MJS

    MJS Administrator Staff Member

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    Videos/dvd/books, are fine as reference tools. But for a sole learning tool, especially if someone has zero martial arts background, no, they're probably not going to be that good.

    Perhaps, if they weren't interested in actual classes, I'd suggest some SD classes. They'll, hopfully, learn some quick, simple, effective things.

    As for overkill....well, alot of what we see in the arts, can be deemed overkill. However, we as martial artists, should be able to adapt our response accordingly. While Krav Maga may seem overkill, its a very effective and to the point art.
     
  16. brassmeister

    brassmeister White Belt

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    Thanks. Yeah, I expected some of what I saw here but I wanted to wait for a more even handed response before jumping back in.

    Just to add some more details, my youngest is a black belt (in a mixed tae kwon do program) so I well understand both what martial arts has to offer and the time and effort required to achieve those results. I'd love it if my older girls took the same interest. But they haven't.

    Also, I've had a fair bit of training myself in unarmed and armed self defense. I've taught the older girls what I know and they took one course when they were smaller. So I do have some sense of what is essential self defense technique, what is sport and art, and what is character building. (And, no, that is not an insult to marital arts; I love that my youngest is getting all of these things and wish my older girls were.)

    I also appreciate the vapid promises of DVDs and books. Though I could probably list of few books of value I've never tried self defense DVDs before.

    What I meant by Krav Maga being overkill is that it is designed for combat. Now obviously it can be applied to self defense but that it was not designed for that. The odds of my girls being attacked by multiple assailants with knives and guns are negligable compared to a simple rape attempt by a single individual in a dark hallway.

    The bottom line is that "enlist in a martial arts school" is just not useful advice at this time, as desirable as it might be to see them go. I'm unwilling to do nothing just because the older girls are unwilling to commit to a martial arts program.
     
  17. brassmeister

    brassmeister White Belt

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    This guy?

    http://russellstutely.com/

    (Same overhyped promises as "Captain Chris" but I would trust your opinion.)
     
  18. brassmeister

    brassmeister White Belt

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    As noted above, I did have them do this before but now that they are moving away it's not something I can offer. Many colleges offer such classes and I am pushing them to take those.
     
  19. oftheherd1

    oftheherd1 Senior Master

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    KM is newer than most MA, but the martial in martial arts, means the older martial arts were also designed for combat. Some have become more sporterized and there is controversy about that by those who think as non-sporterized practitioners, they are more "pure" and better able to defend themselves. The sporterized practitioners don't agree.

    I applaud you not wanting to do nothing. But at their age I suggest, as you probably know, you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

    Again, good luck.
     
  20. K-man

    K-man Grandmaster

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    Suck it up Princess! :kiss:
     

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