Are Konsei Martial Arts effective for self-defense?

Danny94

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Hallo.
I recently found a Martial Arts Academy that teaches "Konsei Martial Arts". It combines techniques from Taekwondo, Kickboxing, Muay Thai, Escrima, Aikido, Grappling, Kenpo Karate and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Me and my girlfriend want to start Martial Arts, so I`d like to know if this style is useful for self-defense, particularly for women.
I found videos of two women who have been training in the Konsei Martial Arts Academy for many years. How good, fast and strong are their kicks and punches in your opinion? Are they at least good enough to beat and untrained man or an attacker?

Women's Kickboxing - YouTube
Awesome Girl Kickboxer - YouTube

This website explains the concept of "Konsei Martial Arts". Do you think it is good, effective and useful for beginners?
John Pecoraro - A martial artist making a difference - San Francisco martial arts | Examiner.com
 

Tony Dismukes

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I assume you're talking about this place?

They appear to be teaching a generic kickboxing method derived primarily from boxing and tae kwon do, with an emphasis on fitness rather than competition. I've seen worse, but I've also seen much better. Some of the technique being demonstrated is oriented more towards flash than effectiveness.

The instructors bios are suspiciously devoid of any detail on their martial arts training and qualifications. John seems to have had some amateur boxing experience in his youth. According to a newspaper article, Adam supposedly has a 5th degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, although it's not mentioned on the website and their is no indication of who awarded it to him. Carol also claims a 5th degree black belt, but doesn't specify what art. I suspect that rank may be in her family's art.

I don't see anything in any of the videos showing any grappling - aikido, BJJ, or any other form. Given that the website doesn't mention any grappling and none of the instructors has a background in it, I wouldn't expect to learn any grappling skills there.

As far as whether the women in the videos are good enough to beat an untrained man, eh, depends on the man. I wouldn't want to put them up against someone who was significantly larger.
 

skribs

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The list of arts is much longer than it really should be...
Muay Thai includes all the techniques of Kickboxing, plus some. I'd also argue that anything Taekwondo adds on top of that (unless you're doing forms or going for TKD-style sparring) is going to be flashy kicks.
"Grappling" is a generic term, not an art. BJJ and Aikido covers grappling, so that's redundant.
I don't know much about kenpo, but I assume it's also largely redundant with MT.

The video looked like a cross between Muay Thai and Taekwondo, and not very fast. I didn't see much grappling at all. When the girl is doing speed roundhouse kicks, she's kicking maybe 1.5-1.75x per second. In our sparring club at my school, we're encouraged to do 2x per second for longer than that, and some are even faster. The important thing is this is the demonstration that they chose for an advertising video. It's not like it's a newbie who's just starting. Their techniques looked decent, but their speed was really unimpressive to me, especially for an advertisement.

Another art that combines different ones together for the purposes of self defense is Kajukenbo, that might be a good one to try.
 

Tony Dismukes

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The list of arts is much longer than it really should be...
Muay Thai includes all the techniques of Kickboxing, plus some. I'd also argue that anything Taekwondo adds on top of that (unless you're doing forms or going for TKD-style sparring) is going to be flashy kicks.
"Grappling" is a generic term, not an art. BJJ and Aikido covers grappling, so that's redundant.
I don't know much about kenpo, but I assume it's also largely redundant with MT.

The video looked like a cross between Muay Thai and Taekwondo, and not very fast. I didn't see much grappling at all. When the girl is doing speed roundhouse kicks, she's kicking maybe 1.5-1.75x per second. In our sparring club at my school, we're encouraged to do 2x per second for longer than that, and some are even faster. The important thing is this is the demonstration that they chose for an advertising video. It's not like it's a newbie who's just starting. Their techniques looked decent, but their speed was really unimpressive to me, especially for an advertisement.

Another art that combines different ones together for the purposes of self defense is Kajukenbo, that might be a good one to try.

I forgot to mention it, but there is no Muay Thai influence in those videos. None. I spent over a decade training Muay Thai and I feel comfortable stating that no one in those videos does Muay Thai.

That's no surprising since, judging from the instructor bios, none of them has ever trained Muay Thai.
 

Dirty Dog

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It looks to me like fairly generic kickboxing with a little 'ground and pound' practice. Is it effective? As always, that depends on the student, not the art.
 

Mark Lynn

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I have a little bit different point of view then the other posters. Just by watching the videos, reading the article, and going over the website, I don't see much of an issue with the school.

Hallo.
I recently found a Martial Arts Academy that teaches "Konsei Martial Arts". It combines techniques from Taekwondo, Kickboxing, Muay Thai, Escrima, Aikido, Grappling, Kenpo Karate and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Me and my girlfriend want to start Martial Arts, so I`d like to know if this style is useful for self-defense, particularly for women.

I have no idea what Konsei Martial Arts is, I searched for it and basically found listings for schools or other junk but nothing that really described the art more than the article. So this school teaches a combined martial art; centered around personal development, physical fitness, and self defense. Nothing wrong with that. The instructors look fit, like they live the lifestyle they preach, so they would probably motivate you. The classes looked diverse (exercise wise) so that can help keep you interested, lots of different equipment to use etc. etc. They are upfront in that their program is centered around a more healthy lifestyle approach; and not teaching you to become the next kata king, or King of the Ring, or that you are learning a 1000 year old system that can be traced back to it's roots in India predating Buda or some nonsense.

Looking at the videos, I did see some semblance to MT pad drills I learned from Master Chia back in the 80's, kickboxing drills, looked like the AXE kick from TKD as well as the Spinning Back Fist and the Turn Kicks, they taught basic falling/rolling. On their website they said they taught the escrima sticks and the bo staff, in the article it also mentioned the Jo and Katana.

In fact I would be more concerned if you were say checking out the school because they were teaching escrima, or the Japanese or Okinawan weapon arts, more so than wanting to try out the martial arts and wanting to learn self defense related material. Because to be honest that material seems more out of sync with their school goals than the the blending of the other arts.

I found videos of two women who have been training in the Konsei Martial Arts Academy for many years. How good, fast and strong are their kicks and punches in your opinion? Are they at least good enough to beat and untrained man or an attacker?

Women's Kickboxing - YouTube
Awesome Girl Kickboxer - YouTube

This website explains the concept of "Konsei Martial Arts". Do you think it is good, effective and useful for beginners?
John Pecoraro - A martial artist making a difference - San Francisco martial arts | Examiner.com

I watched the first video and that was a promo developed for a purpose, which appeared to be to once again promote the school building skill and mental toughness in the girl more so than displaying her awesome fighting ability. I think it achieved that purpose. But the video showed the girl doing punches to the pads; basic boxing and MT combos with wrapped hands. But this could have very easily been any JKD, Boxing, MT, Krav Maga school, and for that matter any TKD or karate school that teaches kickboxing. Does this mean she can fight off any untrained male? No, but does she stand a better chance than the average untrained female, I'd say yes. Would her elbows hurt if they connected with someone's jaw, I'd say yes. Without the training at the school would she even know to through the elbow if she was attacked?

Best thing to do would be to check out the school personally, take part in the classes, see if they fit your schedule and budget. See if you enjoy the instructors, checkout the students, has taking the classes made an impact in their lives, do they enjoy class, how does the school treat the younger students etc. etc.
 

Mark Lynn

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I forgot to mention it, but there is no Muay Thai influence in those videos. None. I spent over a decade training Muay Thai and I feel comfortable stating that no one in those videos does Muay Thai.

That's no surprising since, judging from the instructor bios, none of them has ever trained Muay Thai.

Tony

I respectfully disagree here. Watching the 1st promo with the girl I saw a lot of drills and combos that were very similar to the MT drills I did in seminars with Master Chai back in the 80's or MT techniques (pad drills combos) that Guro Inosanto taught. I didn't think they were stating they were teaching MT as an art, rather the system they taught was a combined system of yada, yada, yada, and therefore MT is an influence. For instance while TKD has elbows in their forms, because it is not allowed in sparring you didn't really train the elbows with the pad drills in boxing combos like you see in the videos. But since they are allowed in MT, I'd say the elbow, the knees the leg kicks etc. etc. are an influence from MT, as are putting them in pad drills and moving from one range to the other as well. While the switch kicks and extended type roundhouse kicks are seen in the Olympic style TKD, back in the 80's when I was learning TKD it was more of the kicking and retracting (you know the flippy stand on one leg multiple movie style kicks), so depending upon what system of TKD they owners/instructors learned that might be an influence as well (as in the MT style roundhouse kicks).

Just to be clear I'm not saying the techniques are good or bad MT, or that the instructors are ranked in MT, or anything. I'm just saying I believe I see a MT influence and that they aren't being misleading saying their method of teaching has an influence in MT. However I can also see how someone who spent years training in MT might look at it and say they are not teaching MT.
 

Mark Lynn

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The list of arts is much longer than it really should be...
Muay Thai includes all the techniques of Kickboxing, plus some. I'd also argue that anything Taekwondo adds on top of that (unless you're doing forms or going for TKD-style sparring) is going to be flashy kicks.
"Grappling" is a generic term, not an art. BJJ and Aikido covers grappling, so that's redundant.
I don't know much about kenpo, but I assume it's also largely redundant with MT.

I agree that MT and Kickboxing is redundant, with MT having more techniques in it, however I disagree with the your point that the list of arts is longer than it should be. Just looking at the info provided on the school Konsei Martial Arts is a combined system that combines techniques from several systems of martial arts. They aren't claiming to teach all of the systems but rather a collection of techniques found within the systems, so since the body only moves in a certain way it is conceivable that while the techniques might look like they are found in several martial arts; the training drills, the training methodology, the application might come from one art that in a sense sets it apart from the other arts.

BJJ and Aikido are different so while they might take a technique or defense from Aikido, they might take another from BJJ that is not found in Aikido. Likewise they might take a move from high school wrestling (grappling), or to get out of a hold they might break the finger that isn't allowed in BJJ competition or in Aikido, but the principle (behind the finger lock/break) is learned from small circle jujitsu. While Modern Arnis (the system I study) has some sections of ground work in it, it is no where near as extensive as BJJ, JJ, Aikido etc. etc. and yet we have elements or influences from small circle jujitsu, some of my techniques I learned the principle behind them in an Aikijujitsu seminar and apply them in my Modern Arnis. It is an influence but it didn't come from Modern Arnis nor from the professor. So I will teach some "grappling" in my classes and state (to my students) that this technique has an influence from Aikijujitsu, giving credit where credit is due.

Kenpo is probably more of American/Chinese influence (I'm thinking along the lines of Paker Kenpo lineage) and therefore has more self defense related material than MT. So this too would be an influence that would be promoted to show where the technique, skill set, body of knowledge came from. It is completely different than the grappling arts, the MT/kickboxing, or the TKD.

The video looked like a cross between Muay Thai and Taekwondo, and not very fast. I didn't see much grappling at all. When the girl is doing speed roundhouse kicks, she's kicking maybe 1.5-1.75x per second. In our sparring club at my school, we're encouraged to do 2x per second for longer than that, and some are even faster. The important thing is this is the demonstration that they chose for an advertising video. It's not like it's a newbie who's just starting. Their techniques looked decent, but their speed was really unimpressive to me, especially for an advertisement.

I think the key is in your sparring club, your club has a different purpose than this club; this video is for demonstration, to entice the average viewer, the newbie thinking about getting into the martial arts, the average person who's has fear, who's kind of iffy about getting started etc. etc. What do they see? A girl of average looks that they can relate to, getting personal instruction from the instructor, struggling and being coached to overcome her fear, and then succeeding. I seriously doubt someone sitting around timing her kicks was ever thought about in the equation. I mean the average woman isn't going to say that "Her kicks are to slow, I'm going down the street to the gym where they kick two times per second, with the drill Sargent coach making them go faster and faster". No the average person is going to look at her and relate to her struggle, her looks, and say if she can do it so can I. And then possibly go down to the studio and take a class, then maybe sign up.

Now a hard core fighter or someone looking to get into the UFC type competitions might look at that and say "I want a harder core school" and that's fine with them (I imagine) because that is not what their school appears to be centered around. Look at any of their videos and you don't see the MMA fight club influence; the metal music, tattooed hardcore fighters, body piercings etc. etc. Instead it is around healthy living, and physical fitness, and self defense. As a promotional video I believe that is what is being promoted. I mention the girls looks because she isn't the supper cut, anorexic looking super model, she is someone that any person can relate to in her age group, healthy and fit. The people standing around watching the girl are the target audience (in a sense) Mom, Dad, and the kids. If these are the people you want to attract then you don't want to show "Lil" Johnny ground and pounding "Lil" Suzy. Even if she picks her self up off of the mat after taking the beating, hugging Johnny then raising his hand to congratulate him and turning around to the camera with a black mouth piece (so it looks like she has no teeth in her mouth). While the instructor and father in us might be going "You go girl", "Yeah that's my girl, she takes a beating and keeps on kicking", or "I pity the boy who messes with her when she 16"; the moms there would be saying "Not only No but HELL NO. Let me at the kid who was hitting my daughter, I'll beat the crap out of him!"

Another art that combines different ones together for the purposes of self defense is Kajukenbo, that might be a good one to try.

True Kajukenbo is a great art for the purposes of self defense, the problem is that it's not an art that is found everywhere.
 

oftheherd1

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I assume you're talking about this place?

They appear to be teaching a generic kickboxing method derived primarily from boxing and tae kwon do, with an emphasis on fitness rather than competition. I've seen worse, but I've also seen much better. Some of the technique being demonstrated is oriented more towards flash than effectiveness.

The instructors bios are suspiciously devoid of any detail on their martial arts training and qualifications. John seems to have had some amateur boxing experience in his youth. According to a newspaper article, Adam supposedly has a 5th degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, although it's not mentioned on the website and their is no indication of who awarded it to him. Carol also claims a 5th degree black belt, but doesn't specify what art. I suspect that rank may be in her family's art.

I don't see anything in any of the videos showing any grappling - aikido, BJJ, or any other form. Given that the website doesn't mention any grappling and none of the instructors has a background in it, I wouldn't expect to learn any grappling skills there.


As far as whether the women in the videos are good enough to beat an untrained man, eh, depends on the man. I wouldn't want to put them up against someone who was significantly larger.

I think your bolded comments say more than most in this thread. It is very rare to see people speak of their black belts without naming the art they have them in. I have to wonder what they are hiding. I would be more trusting of someone who stated they studied several MA, but that even though they never achieved BB in any, learned a lot they thought if combined, would make a good MA, and started a school to teach those things.

From the videos it looks like one might get good training in cardio. One may even get MA training. I would need to see more to comment for sure one way or the other on that.
 

Tony Dismukes

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Tony

I respectfully disagree here. Watching the 1st promo with the girl I saw a lot of drills and combos that were very similar to the MT drills I did in seminars with Master Chai back in the 80's or MT techniques (pad drills combos) that Guro Inosanto taught. I didn't think they were stating they were teaching MT as an art, rather the system they taught was a combined system of yada, yada, yada, and therefore MT is an influence. For instance while TKD has elbows in their forms, because it is not allowed in sparring you didn't really train the elbows with the pad drills in boxing combos like you see in the videos. But since they are allowed in MT, I'd say the elbow, the knees the leg kicks etc. etc. are an influence from MT, as are putting them in pad drills and moving from one range to the other as well. While the switch kicks and extended type roundhouse kicks are seen in the Olympic style TKD, back in the 80's when I was learning TKD it was more of the kicking and retracting (you know the flippy stand on one leg multiple movie style kicks), so depending upon what system of TKD they owners/instructors learned that might be an influence as well (as in the MT style roundhouse kicks).

Just to be clear I'm not saying the techniques are good or bad MT, or that the instructors are ranked in MT, or anything. I'm just saying I believe I see a MT influence and that they aren't being misleading saying their method of teaching has an influence in MT. However I can also see how someone who spent years training in MT might look at it and say they are not teaching MT.

The pad drills are common to a number of systems. I was looking at the stances, body dynamics, and so on. Lots of martial arts use elbows and knees and roundhouse kicks. I just don't see any influence of Muay Thai form in their movements. It looks like boxing + TKD movement to me.

That's not to say it's a terrible school. I've certainly seen worse instructors out there. I just suspect that all of the martial arts influences listed besides boxing and TKD consist of the instructor watching a video, reading a book or attending a seminar.
 

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How good, fast and strong are their kicks and punches in your opinion? Are they at least good enough to beat and untrained man or an attacker?

IMO you can't really tell much from the videos. Maybe it was just a workout, maybe just part of class. I don't think it was put on youtube as an example of self defense talent. I think any of us here could be filmed doing the same drills and you probably wouldn't be able to tell anything more than what you can guess from those clips.

You and your gal should go train. You might like it, you might even love it. If you put in a few months you'll both probably have a better idea of how the place is. At the very least, you'll both have a better idea of what you really want from Martial Arts.

As for " how good" there's really no intensity there, so it's tough to say.
 

Dirty Dog

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Almost none at all.

So what was the point? You did have one you wanted to make, didn't you?

The pad drills are common to a number of systems. I was looking at the stances, body dynamics, and so on. Lots of martial arts use elbows and knees and roundhouse kicks. I just don't see any influence of Muay Thai form in their movements. It looks like boxing + TKD movement to me.

That's not to say it's a terrible school. I've certainly seen worse instructors out there. I just suspect that all of the martial arts influences listed besides boxing and TKD consist of the instructor watching a video, reading a book or attending a seminar.

As TKD goes, it's fair. Many of the kicks seem telegraphed, and there wasn't much power (the "knock downs" were bad acting...). But as mentioned, this was a demo, not full contact.
 

drop bear

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So what was the point? You did have one you wanted to make, didn't you?



As TKD goes, it's fair. Many of the kicks seem telegraphed, and there wasn't much power (the "knock downs" were bad acting...). But as mentioned, this was a demo, not full contact.

It is a comparison to another female quality striker doing pad work. So people can view that and answer OPs question.

How good, fast and strong are their kicks and punches in your opinion? Are they at least good enough to beat and untrained man or an attacker?
 

skribs

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Mark, I’m not saying they should only list 1 or 2 arts. I’m saying that “Muay Thai, BJJ, and Aikido” would be a sufficient list just based on what is listed. Maybe kenpo or taekwondo, but most of it is redundant.

I think the key is in your sparring club, your club has a different purpose than this club; this video is for demonstration, to entice the average viewer, the newbie thinking about getting into the martial arts, the average person who's has fear, who's kind of iffy about getting started etc. etc. What do they see? A girl of average looks that they can relate to, getting personal instruction from the instructor, struggling and being coached to overcome her fear, and then succeeding.

The particular part of the video I was talking about, the student was wearing a black belt and was surrounded by spectators, so that part of the video I am assuming this is a high-caliber student in their demonstration team, and not the part of the girl who is overcoming her limitations.

The good part of any training montage is when you see where they end up, sort of a before and after. The “after” in this video wasn’t very impressive.
 

Chris Parker

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It is a comparison to another female quality striker doing pad work. So people can view that and answer OPs question.

How good, fast and strong are their kicks and punches in your opinion? Are they at least good enough to beat and untrained man or an attacker?

Except… the OP's question is about training for self defence, not ring competition… quite a difference there…

That said, nothing inspires confidence that the school in question gets that either… they might, or they might not… can't really tell from the scant information here.
 

Mark Lynn

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Mark, I’m not saying they should only list 1 or 2 arts. I’m saying that “Muay Thai, BJJ, and Aikido” would be a sufficient list just based on what is listed. Maybe kenpo or taekwondo, but most of it is redundant.

skribs

I understand your general point kenpo and TKD, Muay Tahi and Kickboxing, I'll even go with the BJJ and Aikido seem to be similar and can therefore be redundant; however if Konsei is a set system of or style of Martial Arts that is a blended style (like Kajukenbo) and the blending of these arts is what makes it a distinct style then I think it is perfectly fine to list them.

For instance say they are using the advanced kicking techniques from TKD and those techniques are part of the curriculum, like wise they are taking though the quick hand rapid fire hand responses along with the back up training theories to support those strikes for self defense from Kenpo, the ground game of BJJ and the evasion tactics and body shifting from Aikido; then in reality they aren't redundant. About the only one that is redundant is the Muay Thai and the Kickboxing.

I have a friend that does Parker style Kenpo, and we both trained under the same American TKD/karate instructor. Over the years I seen his Kenpo develop as he trained in that system; his hand techniques, his self defense, is completely different than how we were taught TKD. Just like over the years my TKD was really altered by my training in Modern Arnis. From my training experience, I can see how they would list taking techniques from Kenpo and the TKD and it not be redundant. I haven't practiced BJJ nor Aikido, but I had college roommate who did Aikido and I've seen the BJJ and again I believe they could separate them as well as separate influences.

The only one that is really redundant is the kickboxing and the Muay Thai because they are both stand up sports, where two fighters are kicking one another under similar rules using similar types of kicks and hand techniques. Both MT and KB also are trained similarly using the pads, focus mitts, heavy sparring, and one on one coaching. MT has more types of techniques allowed knees, elbows, leg kicks, and take downs so it is a fuller art than the generic KBing.


The particular part of the video I was talking about, the student was wearing a black belt and was surrounded by spectators, so that part of the video I am assuming this is a high-caliber student in their demonstration team, and not the part of the girl who is overcoming her limitations.

The good part of any training montage is when you see where they end up, sort of a before and after. The “after” in this video wasn’t very impressive.

I get that too, however for the school the way they were promoting it, i.e. healthy lifestyle, self defense related etc. etc. I don't believe they missed their mark either using her. They weren't promoting themselves to be kings of the ring, nor competition oriented for that matter. Rather it was healthy lifestyle, physically fit, character or personal development, and self defense.

As far as her skills went, I didn't see her (or at least it didn't stand out in my mind) miss the pads (targets), she had decent speed and power (again for the average person non competition oriented), and she was doing it under stressful conditions.
 

Mark Lynn

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Except… the OP's question is about training for self defence, not ring competition… quite a difference there…

That said, nothing inspires confidence that the school in question gets that either… they might, or they might not… can't really tell from the scant information here.

I agree. The schools promos, their website, the article etc. etc. never mentions competition as the schools focus. They do mention the owners son competing back in the 90's but that's it. So if that's not the focus of the school, it shouldn't be how they are judged. However what they do promote it appears they back up healthy lifestyle, character development etc. etc.

However I concur that the videos, the article, the website etc. etc. I saw nothing that demonstrates their self defense training. Just because a person can hit pads doesn't mean their being taught effective self defense, but it doesn't mean they aren't being taught it either.
 
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