Self-Defense vs. Martial Arts?

Discussion in 'General Self Defense' started by arnisador, Sep 4, 2003.

  1. lvwhitebir

    lvwhitebir Guest

    Some sources I've read believe that the Shaolin arts were originally developed to defeat yourself, instead of another. It's original intent was to develop strength, stamina, flexibility, humility and respect.

    As mentioned before, the martial arts have a lot of aspects that you can explore. It's not just self defense, but character development, exercise, competition, and artistic expression. It's your choice what you want to get from it.

  2. hardheadjarhead

    hardheadjarhead Senior Master

    Aug 25, 2003
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    Bloomington, Indiana
    Very well put.

    I was hoping to host one of the Verbal Judo guys in for a seminar, but the financial risk was too large. I had intended to co-host it with the Police Department to defray the cost...but they didn't have a budget for it.

    This is good stuff, I think. "Verbal judo", or whatever one wants to call de-escalating a fight, would be a valuable component of a self defense program, particularly for kids (if you adapted it to their don't talk to kids like adults talk to adults...and they have different social dynamics). It could be put into any S.D. or M.A. program.

    Back to topic: I teach S.D. as a part of the M.A., but focus on the art more than I'd like to. I think any style has to look at their methods and put it into a modern context.

    Somebody wrote that standing in place and throwing line kicks doesn't work well for S.D., and that movement is required. Good point...but changing the drill really doesn't change the art that much, does it? And if it did, isn't that a perfectly acceptable evolution? If you modify the art you teach to reflect a more realistic SD approach for the 21st century it isn't so different than what people were doing with their arts 400 years ago.

    They teach tactical retreat, or the retrograde, in the military as a matter of doctrine. Defensive and offensive tactics are distinguished as well

  3. Black Bear

    Black Bear Guest

    There is martial art, there is martial science, and there is martial athletics.

    I did martial art for maybe four years or so, and realized that what I was looking for was self-defense, ie. martial science. In martial art, you can't say that any one thing is better than another, any more than you can say that ballet is better than opera. In martial science, you hold yourself to a far more rigorous standard. Things must be empirically sound, they must correspond well to the current context in which self-defense must be used. Multiple assailants, cold/impact/projectile weapons have to be dealt with, cement-friendly groundfighting must be included, psychology in terms of fear management, interpersonal dynamics, pedagogy, etc. Techniques are gross-motor and adrenaline-friendly. etc. etc. etc.

    Basically I found the answers I was looking for, and am now focusing more on martial athletics as an ongoing training/hobby thing.
  4. MisterMike

    MisterMike Guest

    It seems that Self Defense had become the label people in the U.S. are most comfortable with. There are also schools who claim they deal with "combat". Then there are the arts, which are clearly unmistakeable, such as Iaido. So you can break it up into 3 classes, Self Defense, Combat, and lastly the Arts, which are ways to preserve traditional teachings, whether or not they are applicable today.

    I think that most versions of what is taught today come from the Arts and Combat training, but have been "softened" to be more palettable to society. They have children's classes, or family classes, or cardio-this and that, which really do not give justice to Martial Arts. Look at Tae-bo...yukk..anways...

    Bottom line, there's a school, studio, dojo, what-have-you that will fill someone's needs.
  5. loki09789

    loki09789 Senior Master

    Jul 22, 2003
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    Williamsville, NY
    I think that conditioning as a component to a martial arts class is a good thing. Very little physical strength/conditioning is built into the majority of martial arts classes. The problem is when people take cardio kick/tae bo... EXCLUSIVELY and think that they can kick A** and take names. I think the Martial Art term is still applicable, what needs to be clarified from the instructor down to the beginner is what you want to do with your art.

    Some of the things mentioned make sense: self defense, cultural preservation, athletics, artistry... If you are running a family martial arts center and don't do a thing with community policing, DARE, Stranger Danger... or any of the other civilian based legal/state penal issues of force and deadly force, then you really shouldn't put self defense on the door. There are SO many skills that have nothing to do with sparring, kata and physical technique that fall under Self defense training.

    Paul martin123

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