Are Konsei Martial Arts effective for self-defense?

Mark Lynn

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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 and oftheherd1

I agree that it seems odd that they don't list who they earned their ranks from or what organization. As a martial artist looking for a school that would be something I would look for because it would give me an idea on what they teach or how they teach it.

However if they are no longer associated with the organization, or if they aren't really teaching say ITF style (I'm just picking out a style of TKD here) TKD, anymore than what does it matter? In fact it stirs up more controversy, because someone on forums like this will call them out and say they are fakes and such, or they haven't been part of this organization for so long etc. etc. Instead it appears to be downplayed because it's not important to them (business wise) or their potential students who they trained with. They are teaching a blended art, parts of other arts to make a whole art, they aren't claiming to teach all of the arts contained within Konsei Martial Arts, just parts of them. Kind of like teaching MMAs with the emphasis on being healthy, fit, changing the character (lifestyle) and self defense instead of sport MMA.

For the general Mom and Dad looking to enroll their kid, or doing a family activity together, or someone looking to get into shape or make some changes in their lifestyle; they won't care about your styles lineage, your history, your rank etc. etc. They will care about the price of lessons, the school (location, cleanliness, equipment, lessons etc.), the instructors skills and appearance, and how they are treated. They won't know going into the school how effective anything is (just like the o.p. here) so they will care about the other things first. However we as martial artists tend to look at everything backwards compared to someone who is just entering the martial arts; we'll over look a lot in the shape of the school, travel farther, pay more, etc. etc. to get the training we want from who we want (and the instructors history is part of what wen want to know).

So their not listing their histories, or giving long winded explanations of what they take from where etc. etc. can be a simple business decision on their part not to muddy the waters for the new potential students rather than them being fakes or hiding something.
 

skribs

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Mark, you are making a lot of assumptions. Personally, the training style can vary as much between schools within an art as it can between arts, and unless you’re blending certain teaching styles together, doing stuff that is “different” might end up being contradictory. For example, unless they’re doing one-step sparring drills from older-school TKD and/or forms, then you are probably not doing much TKD-style training. I’ll also say the closest thing I saw to “advanced” kicking was a jumping side-kick, which not only is not very advanced, but it is one that wouldn’t be super useful in a fight.

So *maybe* TDK/Kenpo, MT, BJJ, and Aikido…but I only really saw basic strikes in the video; no grappling, nothing that looked directly oriented at self defense, nothing that showed much speed or power. I also disagree that it was a “high stress” situation for that girl. Like I said, she was wearing a black belt. A black belt shouldn’t mean “your average person”. It should be someone who strives for excellence.

If you are wearing a black belt during a demonstration, you should show a mastery of the art, which includes more than just “hit the pad every time.” The people in the beginner class at my school can hit the bag every time. Should they be black belts?
 

drop bear

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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.


So the op's video was doing some sort of self defence kick boxing pad drills rather than the sports version.

Bec rawlings is a legitimate quality striker. And so the comparison is valid.
 
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Mark Lynn

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Mark, you are making a lot of assumptions. Personally, the training style can vary as much between schools within an art as it can between arts, and unless you’re blending certain teaching styles together, doing stuff that is “different” might end up being contradictory. For example, unless they’re doing one-step sparring drills from older-school TKD and/or forms, then you are probably not doing much TKD-style training. I’ll also say the closest thing I saw to “advanced” kicking was a jumping side-kick, which not only is not very advanced, but it is one that wouldn’t be super useful in a fight.

So *maybe* TDK/Kenpo, MT, BJJ, and Aikido…but I only really saw basic strikes in the video; no grappling, nothing that looked directly oriented at self defense, nothing that showed much speed or power. I also disagree that it was a “high stress” situation for that girl. Like I said, she was wearing a black belt. A black belt shouldn’t mean “your average person”. It should be someone who strives for excellence.

skirbs

While I wait for an hour on hold with on the customer service line with SATE FARM Insurance, I'll converse with you.

I agree with your point about training styles varying between schools whole heartedly, as well as it being contradictory, however it could also be complimentary. Who knows really? There isn't enough info about the style, training systems etc. etc. to really know what they (the school) are about. I agree with you in that I didn't see any real advanced kicks either and it was just basic punches. However I don't think that was the point of the video to show all of that in the first place. They just showed a generic overview of techniques that is one part of their system with the girl demonstrating.

While I agree that a black belt shouldn't be "your average person" that doesn't mean that they aren't. Not all black belts are super cut, not all are ferocious fighters, some are kids some are adults, some have special needs, some are in their golden years. What I meant by average was it is a wide cross section of people of all ages, weights, sizes, sexes, etc. etc. On top of this every school has different requirements for black belts, there is no standard across the city/county/state/country lines as to what a black belt should or should not be. If that girl is a black belt in their system then chances are (we didn't see her test, so we don't know for sure) she met her requirements, and I'd venture to say that it wasn't just what was shown on the video. But we have no clue as to what else she had to do, her training history, etc. etc. After looking at other video on the school owners YouTube sight you will see his black belts are a large cross section of people as can be seen in the links I posted at the bottom.


If you are wearing a black belt during a demonstration, you should show a mastery of the art, which includes more than just “hit the pad every time.” The people in the beginner class at my school can hit the bag every time. Should they be black belts?

I was speaking in generic terms meaning she had targeting skills, she had some speed, some power, some form. When doing drills like this everyone makes mistakes, beginners give up or start over, more advanced people flow with it and continue on flowing into the next combo. I didn't see her start and stop etc. etc. other than her working through the mental stuff (which I thought was more the point of the video that her technical mastery of the art per say). Per your question, I don't believe that just because a beginner hits the pads every time they should be black belts and that wasn't what I was saying that just because she hit the pads she should be a black belt. As I stated in the previous paragraph, we really have no clue what else she had to do to earn her belt, we take it on faith that she did.

In regards to your statement that you should show mastery of the art in a demonstration, who's to say that showing mastery in the art was the whole point of the video. We don't know what the point was. The other videos on the website seemed to show how diverse the school was, different drills, different equipment, different ages of students etc. etc. they didn't show mastery of the style, they didn't emphasize lineage, they didn't emphasize the style etc. etc. I think this video is one in the same vein of marketing reaching out to the general population to entice people to come to the school. Nothing more nothing less.

Just to be clear I too believe a black belt should strive for excellence, I'm not advocating mediocrity in the martial arts. However I'm also not putting my standards for my students onto another school that I have no clue as to what they teach etc. etc. That seems to be the case here on this thread. Because none of the video showed any ground work people posted that the O.P. probably wouldn't learn ground work there, because ranks and ranking organizations aren't mentioned the school is suspect, because they listed different styles of influence that was called into question, because someone's kick faster the skills of the school were called into question and so on.

This clip from their school is more of an overview of what is taught and per the O.P. question as to whether or not they will learn self defense skills, plenty or different techniques and such are shown here.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqD-nsRats8&list=PL3ct7-3fA5HeVqfISeoKDZGoB3AllirvZ&index=37

and
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QV7OmZUR1oo&list=PL3ct7-3fA5HeVqfISeoKDZGoB3AllirvZ&index=17

As to one of their weapons kata here is a link
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGhCnBUkGJo&index=27&list=PL3ct7-3fA5HeVqfISeoKDZGoB3AllirvZ

Here is their empty hand form #1
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yz9o-O5aUUo&index=29&list=PL3ct7-3fA5HeVqfISeoKDZGoB3AllirvZ

here is empty hand form #2
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFWyimBDa0Q&list=PL3ct7-3fA5HeVqfISeoKDZGoB3AllirvZ&index=30

As to Aikido here is what is taught and it is different than BJJ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0iIZxHl9bJw&list=PL3ct7-3fA5HfS23wmyFCvofsHc8FN4Ggj&index=15

From the above clips you can see a much wider view point of the school than just the kickboxing videos the O.P. posted. It is also pretty clear that to me at least the main instructor has a background in TKD and he (or someone else) made his schools kata up but they aren't standard TKD nor Kenpo forms. Looking at the other videos (forms and weapons) there is more of a competition influence in the system that I had originally thought and posted towards. However the competition angle seems downplayed (since it's not emphasized more on the website and in videos).

One final point on the blending of styles there are three videos on his YouTube channel that show Capoeria, some more with Wushu forms as well as the Aikido etc. etc. You can see the Capoeria style kicks in their sparring and forms as well as the Wushu type kicks. So I don't think it is redundant to list the different styles. You also can see basic throws from the Jujitsu as well as the blending take downs of the Aikido.

However one thing I have learned is that I spent way to much time looking at videos and arguing with State Farm. Had I just looked a little deeper into school's You Tube Channel I would have understood what Konsei means and how it relates to their school and not spent as much time on this thread.
 

Tony Dismukes

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Mark, thanks for tracking down those videos. I tried to dig through the school's YouTube channel, but got tired of wading through all the "Batman vs Catwoman" type skits.

I'm still kind of "meh" about their kickboxing, but it is much better than their grappling. The grappling demonstrated by the black belt students is not very good at all. "Bob" doing the aikido demonstration in that video seems a bit more experienced. He's also not listed on their website as an instructor. I wonder if he was a visiting instructor doing a seminar.

BTW - the schedule on their website doesn't list any "Konsei" martial arts classes. It's all fitness, yoga, and kickboxing. I wonder if they teach the weapons forms, self-defense applications, and grappling in their "kickboxing" classes.
 

skribs

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While I agree that a black belt shouldn't be "your average person" that doesn't mean that they aren't. Not all black belts are super cut, not all are ferocious fighters, some are kids some are adults, some have special needs, some are in their golden years. What I meant by average was it is a wide cross section of people of all ages, weights, sizes, sexes, etc. etc. On top of this every school has different requirements for black belts, there is no standard across the city/county/state/country lines as to what a black belt should or should not be. If that girl is a black belt in their system then chances are (we didn't see her test, so we don't know for sure) she met her requirements, and I'd venture to say that it wasn't just what was shown on the video. But we have no clue as to what else she had to do, her training history, etc. etc. After looking at other video on the school owners YouTube sight you will see his black belts are a large cross section of people as can be seen in the links I posted at the bottom.

The problem here is this is a marketing video. Here is how a good marketing video works…

  1. You see someone struggling physically with the task and getting trained on how to do it better.
  2. You see them struggle with their confidence, and the instructor build up their confidence.
  3. You see a training montage of them learning new techniques and improving.
  4. You see the potential of what you could achieve.

The person doesn’t need to be on the level of Jet Li, but they should be above average. What I saw in the video is average for students who have been doing martial arts for less than a year, not above average for several years. That’s the problem. Your marketing campaign should put your best foot forward, to say “this is what you have the potential to become with hard work and our training.” Your demos should also be your best foot forward, because those are what gets your sport and your school recognition from outside. If that was their best foot…

In regards to your statement that you should show mastery of the art in a demonstration, who's to say that showing mastery in the art was the whole point of the video.

The part I’m talking about had her in a ring, with people sitting around the ring on chairs or bleachers watching. That was a video of her doing a demo for those people.

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I'm just going based off the videos in the OP, but from what I could tell there wasn't anything that stood out to me. I didn't come out of that video with any sort of "wow" factor on any aspect. That's the problem.
 

Tony Dismukes

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Okay, getting back to the original question. I think the school is probably fine for the demographic they are aiming for. It's a family-friendly fitness and recreational activity that balances fun and challenges. It wouldn't be my first choice as a place to develop a high level of martial arts skill or self-defense ability, but not everybody needs that.
 

drop bear

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Okay, getting back to the original question. I think the school is probably fine for the demographic they are aiming for. It's a family-friendly fitness and recreational activity that balances fun and challenges. It wouldn't be my first choice as a place to develop a high level of martial arts skill or self-defense ability, but not everybody needs that.


There are some tkd kick boxing clubs that are family friendly and are legitimate though.

Jamal hasan comes to mind.
 
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