I'm trying to understand how martial arts competency works...

Zombocalypse

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So...

At the low end of the spectrum, you have the ultra untrained people who are basically prey anywhere they go, and then at the other end you have people like Buakaw and Lesnar... So that's how it works? Is there a point where the line kind of "bends" on two different directions?

...with one line going the MMA route and the other the self-defense route?

Or is it a general rule that the more "UFC-champion-y" you get, the better you get at self defense as well?

I hope you all understand the question. Thanks.

My Judo training starts in February 5th. Finally.
 

Steve

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I think its more like this, if you replace the current labels with ones that are more contextual. A person brings traits, skills, training and experience in a unique mix that will lend itself in different ways to different contexts.

7A53036E-01A5-4140-B968-6DD3576E19B0.jpeg
 

drop bear

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So...

At the low end of the spectrum, you have the ultra untrained people who are basically prey anywhere they go, and then at the other end you have people like Buakaw and Lesnar... So that's how it works? Is there a point where the line kind of "bends" on two different directions?

...with one line going the MMA route and the other the self-defense route?

Or is it a general rule that the more "UFC-champion-y" you get, the better you get at self defense as well?

I hope you all understand the question. Thanks.

My Judo training starts in February 5th. Finally.

Ultimately yes.

It is about efficiency. For example a lot of self defense tools and concepts can be short cut by punching people so hard they fall unconscious.

.
 
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skribs

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First off: congratulations on signing up for Judo! Signing up is the hardest part. Showing up is next. And then showing up a second time. Generally, if you do that, you're going to stay a while and learn a lot.

Instead of a line, think of it as many lines, and some of those lines aren't just limited to a single dimension. There are a lot of different aspects of martial arts that can make you competent or not.
  • Size (generally, bigger is better)
  • Athleticism (strength, speed, agility, the kinds of things that would be primary stats in a video game)
  • Breadth of knowledge (knowing the right technique for each situation; including various strikes, grappling techniques, weapon skills, and intangibles like awareness and de-escalation)
  • Depth of knowledge (knowing how to use each of those techniques correctly)
  • Age (older comes with more world experience and potentially "old man strength", younger comes with a faster recovery time)
  • Experience (knowing when to use each of those techniques)
  • Aggression (are you emotionally capable of knocking someone out in the ring, or even potentially killing someone in self-defense)
  • Confidence (are you confident in your abilities or is your lack of confidence going to hold you back)
And probably many more that I'm not thinking of. It also depends on what your goal is. Being competent in self-defense is different than MMA, because A) a loss in MMA is not likely to kill you and B) most self-defense situations are going to be against much less talented folk than in an MMA match. Being competent in Judo is similar to being competent in BJJ, but both are very different than being competent in boxing.

However, two things are very clear:
  1. Training is better than not, no matter what art you train or whether you are a "hobbyist" or a competitor.
  2. Technique multiplies strength, it doesn't replace it. If you balance your time in the gym and in the dojo, you will have much better competency than if you only do one or the other.
 

Tigerwarrior

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So...

At the low end of the spectrum, you have the ultra untrained people who are basically prey anywhere they go, and then at the other end you have people like Buakaw and Lesnar... So that's how it works? Is there a point where the line kind of "bends" on two different directions?

...with one line going the MMA route and the other the self-defense route?

Or is it a general rule that the more "UFC-champion-y" you get, the better you get at self defense as well?

I hope you all understand the question. Thanks.

My Judo training starts in February 5th. Finally.
Brock Lesnar is a tough fight for the top 1% of martial artist dude Is a brute, like real life incredible hulk. Brock smash! Lol but I'd say there is some carry over from mma to self defense and vice versa. Knowing how to box or muay thai and also knowing grappling is good for everyone. I'd put a pro mma fighter ahead of most street toughs unless weapons are involved then that mma fighter turns into a deer in headlights unless he's had some weapons defense training. But generally a pro mma fighter can handle themselves in a 1on1 with no weapons. They have almost all the attributes needed for fighting and know how to throw hands and strangle people so yeah they are ahead of the average dude unless average dude has more experience or has same experience and is in just as good shape. But never underestimate a traditional martial artist, almost all the sensei or teachers I've met who have been training for 20-30 years or even longer have some tricks up their sleeve and be able to level the playing field in some way until they are taken out of their element if they only train one aspect of combat. Good luck in your Judo training, I'd also recommend strength training as a supplement to your training, do it on off days when you get to the point you can do your regular judo training and not be fried for 3 days in a row from fatigue. It may be called the gentle way bur my first lesson in the gentle way was learning how to take a fall. Expect to fall alot in your first 3 months.
 

Holmejr

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I know this doesnt necessarily answer your question, but My gut feeling is that you should just do it and grow with it. Your abilities or lack of abilities will show over time. Maybe, youll quit, or stay a weekend warrior, or grow into teaching or become a MMA fighter. Who the heck knows? It will reveal itself to you as you grow. At 67 Im glad I stuck with it. I move a heck of a lot better than my peers. It keeps me in shape to play singles tennis and I can still beat up my grandkids and kids for that matter
 

WaterGal

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I think its more like this, if you replace the current labels with ones that are more contextual. A person brings traits, skills, training and experience in a unique mix that will lend itself in different ways to different contexts.

View attachment 29472

I like this analogy, but now I want to get a black belt in Cocoa...
 

punisher73

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So...

At the low end of the spectrum, you have the ultra untrained people who are basically prey anywhere they go, and then at the other end you have people like Buakaw and Lesnar... So that's how it works? Is there a point where the line kind of "bends" on two different directions?

...with one line going the MMA route and the other the self-defense route?

Or is it a general rule that the more "UFC-champion-y" you get, the better you get at self defense as well?

I hope you all understand the question. Thanks.

My Judo training starts in February 5th. Finally.

Tough question to actually answer in a short time. VERY short answer, "no" the lines don't split between the MMA route and the S-D route. They can for some people based on what they like and are focusing their training on though.

A "streetfight" can mean A LOT of different things to different people (criminal assault versus ego fight to save face versus defending another person etc.). Same with "self-defense". Many s-d situations can be avoided or de-escalated without the need for any physical confrontation. If your focus is on not getting into fights, that is a win. You could be GREAT at self-defense because you know those skills and never get into a fight.

For example, my instructor has been challenged and been in many fights. One time, a high school kid was trying to get him to fight and look cool in front of his friends. It would have been no problem with his training to put a beatdown on the kid. But, through his training he understood the situation and didn't want to hurt the kid. So, instead he faked a heart attack and the kid got scared and ran off. He saw the kid many times after that and the kid would cross over to the other side of the street and would avoid my instructor.

BUT, I am assuming you are talking about situations that do get physical. Any martial art that has a person applying their techniques against a resisting opponent will prepare you for the street. There are many MA's out there that do that. There is still a group out there that thinks if you don't see it in MMA then it won't work. This is not a true statement.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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Or is it a general rule that the more "UFC-champion-y" you get, the better you get at self defense as well?
In general, yes. If you are better in the ring then someone else, you'd also probably be better in self defense. You can specialize in something specifc, but that'll probably help you out in both places. But there are three caveats to me.

1: Situational awareness. Most mma/sport schools don't teach this because you don't need it in a ring-you know the other person is there to fight you, and no one else will interfere. You also know the terrain. That said, most self defense schools don't train this either, mostly because they never learned it. Unless you're really lucky, or in a career that trains it/it's aprt of the job, the best bet is to find seminars on the topic.

2: Verbal de-escalation. Again, not something you need in sport, because you're not trying to de-escalate your opponent. You want to fight and win. This some SD schools actually do teach, but my experience has been that it's not done all that well. If you want this skill, I'd recommend either become a therapist, work in retail/customer service (and take the lessons you learn there outside the job), or go to therapy and learn de-escalation skills from the therapist. Also learning to be humble and controlled in general will help with this.

3: Weapons. Some sport MAs do teach this, like fencing, kendo, or the dog brothers, but for "UFC-champion-y", no. This part isn't necessary but it can help, and you actually can learn it in martial arts schools. That said, it's only helpful if you are willing to carry and use a weapon, or know how to translate your weapon knowledge to improvised weapons like a pen or scissor (FMA does a good job of this in general). Also, know yourself and what you're willing to do. I've received minimal training in firearms, and don't carry a gun, because I don't know for sure that if I had to, I could pull the trigger. And freezing up while holding it could be worse than not having it at all.
 

drop bear

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There is more examples of sports fighters engaging in real life self defence than SD guys. They arrest more bad guys. They beat people up more in fights. They are just generally engaged in that sort of thing more. Generally because hard chargers are going to hard charge.

Go on youtube and try to find a krav maga guy or something in a real live situation and you will have a hard time.

So there is more depth of knowledge regarding practical self defence in the sports fighting community than there is in the self defense community. And the system is set up so you can tell what works a lot more easily.

This division between sport and self defence is mostly made up to enable people to create a niche and not have to compete with other systems head to head.

It is the equivalent of painting a shaving razor pink and selling it as a girls razor.

There are some exemptions and nuances to this. They are only important on a micro level.


So here is Tim Kennedy explaining the difference between a street sprawl and a wrestling one.

If you did a wrestling sprawl you wouldn't explode. You just might bang your knees up a bit.
 
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GreenieMeanie

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So...

At the low end of the spectrum, you have the ultra untrained people who are basically prey anywhere they go, and then at the other end you have people like Buakaw and Lesnar... So that's how it works? Is there a point where the line kind of "bends" on two different directions?

...with one line going the MMA route and the other the self-defense route?

Or is it a general rule that the more "UFC-champion-y" you get, the better you get at self defense as well?

I hope you all understand the question. Thanks.

My Judo training starts in February 5th. Finally.

MMA is where you develop skill. Self-defense gives you some extra very useful things, and makes your technique movement and choices relevant to the environment, people, and possible weapons. The problem is, that the market is so diluted by people selling a Rambo or Jason Bourne fantasy, it's not so easy to tell where you get quality information.

Fundamentally, fighting is all the same, but the purpose of the training changes from era to era. Right now, the rage is BBJ, UFC, and Krav Maga that has been successfully marketed to people who know nothing about fighting. If you look at a "self-defense" manual from 100 or more years ago (when being a somewhat competent fighter was an expectation as a man), the principles and moves are hardly different. It's just a matter of finding a practitioner that is an expert in those principles.
 

hoshin1600

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I think Steve's chart is accurate as a representation.
I would use the analogy of a grocery bag. What you want to eat will determine what goes into it.
If karate-ka of old okinawa read this thread they would say martial arts is more about character than fighting.
the fact everyone here measures martial arts by the effectiveness within MMA is nothing more than a modern bias and view point.
If your starting point is the measuring stick of UFC then you end up with the same results everytime. If however your starting point was different. Lets say a post apocalypse world that combat relies on heavy armor or guns, then the measuring and end result would be very different. Drop Brock Lessnar into a gladiatorial fight or a samurai with weapons and he will only survive long enough for the blood to drain from his body. Success will change in accordance with the rule set. Don't take a knife to a gun fight and don't depend on muscle for a weapons fight.
Those who view martial arts as a means to assess their skills within MMA are limiting the definition of martial arts.
Maybe it would be better to call the modern trend "Ring Fighting". Yes ring fighting is applicable to interpersonal combat, buts its limited when weapons or other factors are involved. Where as martial arts could include firearms and other weapons and tactics that are useful in theaters of combat outside the ring.
 
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Zombocalypse

Zombocalypse

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In general, yes. If you are better in the ring then someone else, you'd also probably be better in self defense. You can specialize in something specifc, but that'll probably help you out in both places. But there are three caveats to me.

1: Situational awareness. Most mma/sport schools don't teach this because you don't need it in a ring-you know the other person is there to fight you, and no one else will interfere. You also know the terrain. That said, most self defense schools don't train this either, mostly because they never learned it. Unless you're really lucky, or in a career that trains it/it's aprt of the job, the best bet is to find seminars on the topic.

2: Verbal de-escalation. Again, not something you need in sport, because you're not trying to de-escalate your opponent. You want to fight and win. This some SD schools actually do teach, but my experience has been that it's not done all that well. If you want this skill, I'd recommend either become a therapist, work in retail/customer service (and take the lessons you learn there outside the job), or go to therapy and learn de-escalation skills from the therapist. Also learning to be humble and controlled in general will help with this.

3: Weapons. Some sport MAs do teach this, like fencing, kendo, or the dog brothers, but for "UFC-champion-y", no. This part isn't necessary but it can help, and you actually can learn it in martial arts schools. That said, it's only helpful if you are willing to carry and use a weapon, or know how to translate your weapon knowledge to improvised weapons like a pen or scissor (FMA does a good job of this in general). Also, know yourself and what you're willing to do. I've received minimal training in firearms, and don't carry a gun, because I don't know for sure that if I had to, I could pull the trigger. And freezing up while holding it could be worse than not having it at all.

Thanks.

I sincerely believe I have number two in your list mastered because I've met some real weirdos in my life. lol. That kind of experience, I think, teaches you to de-escalate. I got so good that with a single sentence, I can make it absolutely worse if I feel like messing with the guy. I just choose not to because there's no benefit to it.
 
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Zombocalypse

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MMA is where you develop skill. Self-defense gives you some extra very useful things, and makes your technique movement and choices relevant to the environment, people, and possible weapons. The problem is, that the market is so diluted by people selling a Rambo or Jason Bourne fantasy, it's not so easy to tell where you get quality information.

Fundamentally, fighting is all the same, but the purpose of the training changes from era to era. Right now, the rage is BBJ, UFC, and Krav Maga that has been successfully marketed to people who know nothing about fighting. If you look at a "self-defense" manual from 100 or more years ago (when being a somewhat competent fighter was an expectation as a man), the principles and moves are hardly different. It's just a matter of finding a practitioner that is an expert in those principles.

How much do you think of fighting is just pure instinct?

You know what, I've been holding back with my words in this forum but... I've actually led an incredibly violent life growing up. I was simply smart enough to curb my tendencies soon enough that I would not end up in prison. There was a time in my life when I literally fended off a group of five guys vandalizing my house by myself with a metal pipe, as an eleven year old. It's really heartbreaking to admit but it is what it is.

A lot of fighting seems incredibly psychological. Many techniques seem to just be a matter of instinct. To throw a powerful punch, just swing your fist and put your hips into it. Even with bad technique, a great timing will cause real damage. I've stunned people with a well-placed punch.

The one thing I'm truly curious about is at what point does instinct needs to be replaced with formal training for more effective combat. Because honestly, I once improved my wrestling ability with zero coaching simply by stopping to stubbornly always shoot for a double leg. I've also once used a shortcut to home when I was a junior high school student and got accosted by a thug. It was easy to shrug him off since he seemed to only victimize insecure people.

I literally just bought an alloy baseball bat yesterday. It is a thing of beauty and after literally just thirty minutes of swinging it around, I seemed to figure out a way to fight with it. Of course it will never be battle-tested but I feel like a lot of what I learned from that lone training session is just common sense. The idea, for example, of keeping your body relaxed at swinging the bat for more snap and speed in the hit felt like a very natural and common-sensical conclusion.

I've had friends who had the uncanny ability to attract hostility while I stood there wondering why my dear friends can't just lovely let it go and walk the hell away...

I'll start Judo training on the fifth of February and I am excited with what I'll learn.

So, to restate my question... How much of effective fighting is just pure instinct and how much of it is legitimate "ancient Chinese secret"?
 

Tigerwarrior

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How much do you think of fighting is just pure instinct?

You know what, I've been holding back with my words in this forum but... I've actually led an incredibly violent life growing up. I was simply smart enough to curb my tendencies soon enough that I would not end up in prison. There was a time in my life when I literally fended off a group of five guys vandalizing my house by myself with a metal pipe, as an eleven year old. It's really heartbreaking to admit but it is what it is.

A lot of fighting seems incredibly psychological. Many techniques seem to just be a matter of instinct. To throw a powerful punch, just swing your fist and put your hips into it. Even with bad technique, a great timing will cause real damage. I've stunned people with a well-placed punch.

The one thing I'm truly curious about is at what point does instinct needs to be replaced with formal training for more effective combat. Because honestly, I once improved my wrestling ability with zero coaching simply by stopping to stubbornly always shoot for a double leg. I've also once used a shortcut to home when I was a junior high school student and got accosted by a thug. It was easy to shrug him off since he seemed to only victimize insecure people.

I literally just bought an alloy baseball bat yesterday. It is a thing of beauty and after literally just thirty minutes of swinging it around, I seemed to figure out a way to fight with it. Of course it will never be battle-tested but I feel like a lot of what I learned from that lone training session is just common sense. The idea, for example, of keeping your body relaxed at swinging the bat for more snap and speed in the hit felt like a very natural and common-sensical conclusion.

I've had friends who had the uncanny ability to attract hostility while I stood there wondering why my dear friends can't just lovely let it go and walk the hell away...

I'll start Judo training on the fifth of February and I am excited with what I'll learn.

So, to restate my question... How much of effective fighting is just pure instinct and how much of it is legitimate "ancient Chinese secret"?
I'd say someone just going on instinct is more dangerous than someone with little training. Bruce lee said something like when I first started a punch was just a punch, then I learned there was more to it etc then comes the phase of training it, then eventually you master it and can do it without thinking with perfect form and technique and once again a punch becomes just a punch once again. Muscle memory and reps will get you to the level where you have instinct and technique, instinct is good and technique is good and reflexes are good but you need the whole package.
 

Gerry Seymour

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There is more examples of sports fighters engaging in real life self defence than SD guys. They arrest more bad guys. They beat people up more in fights. They are just generally engaged in that sort of thing more. Generally because hard chargers are going to hard charge.

Go on youtube and try to find a krav maga guy or something in a real live situation and you will have a hard time.

So there is more depth of knowledge regarding practical self defence in the sports fighting community than there is in the self defense community. And the system is set up so you can tell what works a lot more easily.

This division between sport and self defence is mostly made up to enable people to create a niche and not have to compete with other systems head to head.

It is the equivalent of painting a shaving razor pink and selling it as a girls razor.

There are some exemptions and nuances to this. They are only important on a micro level.


So here is Tim Kennedy explaining the difference between a street sprawl and a wrestling one.

If you did a wrestling sprawl you wouldn't explode. You just might bang your knees up a bit.
Many folks who train self-defense prefer to think sport moves simply stop working in the street. Like the sprawl, many of them have limitations that are handled by making an adjustment or using a different version.

Knowing how to sprawl for competition means youre probably able to use it outside competition - though you might need a new pair of jeans.
 

mograph

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Training might help you:
  • fight without injuring yourself
  • fight for a longer period of time (stamina plus efficiency)
  • control anger (not taking it personally), and thus maintain a broad field of vision
  • focus your attack to end a fight quickly
  • discourage them without injuring them (and risking legal penalties for yourself)
  • maximize your power by distributing the effort through your entire body
  • draw them in to give yourself a better position
  • know when to apply a specific strategy to a specific situation (e.g. maybe to beat retreat).
 
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