Is all the Martial Arts and Self Defense techniques really that different to each other?

elwin

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Hi everyone!

This is just me being curious. What is really the difference between ALL the various forms of martial arts and self defense styles, when the techniques effective in real life violence are basically the same.

I mean the human body can only move certain ways. Whether you strike with your palm, side of hand or fist, the movements of your arms and hands are basically the same. Strikes with elbows, knees and head can't differ that much between styles really, neither is any kicking movements any different between styles.

What do you guys think?
 

Apatride

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Hi,

I am far from being an expert but I agree that you will find common stuff in different MAs because there are not that many different efficient techniques.

On the other hand, boxing has about 6 different punches but it can take a life time to perform all the possible combinations while doing the move properly, balancing your body weight and not leaving your guard down.
Kickboxing also has the same punches but traditional boxers have more time to focus on the hands so they are usually better with the hands while kickboxers have an edge with the feet.
Same thing applies to Judo (more throws) and BJJ (more ground/locks).
The tools (or emphasis on them) are different

And even talking about punches, a Karateka will look for 1 powerful and committed punch while a boxer will avoid throwing this kind of over committed punch. He will rely on multiple strikes but this is still different from the chain punch used in Wing Tsun.
The strategy is different.

Krav Maga will use any available tool but focus on reproducing the "real thing", it has to be efficient and if it works, it is right. No room for tradition here.
The goal is different.

Kombatan will use stick work to develop the muscles needed for efficient hand strikes while boxing will focus on empty hand strikes from the beginning.
The method of learning is different.

Tai Chi will develop your ability to move efficiently and your self control (extremely useful in SD) while boxing will teach you how to overwhelm an opponent with many fast punches.
The part of SD/fight addressed is different.

I could go on for hours but the idea is that you can not fully master everything in every possible way in a lifetime so you have to make a choice and different disciplines allow you to have this choice.
 

Bill Mattocks

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There are a variety of striking surfaces on the human body, and a number of surfaces that can be used to defend against strikes. So in that sense, all martial arts are similar.

However, the application of these surfaces varies depending upon the art in question. Thus, although a punch is a punch, some arts teach delivery in a different manner, or using a different method to generate power, or different footwork, etc, all based upon tested methods that their founders thought were superior as a fighting or self-defense system for particular reasons.

Those reasons might or might not be particularly applicable to situations that the average student might run into today, and some methods or systems might be of more or less utility and emphasized or de-emphasized accordingly.

There are no doubt differences based upon body styles as well, and levels of flexibility often seen in indigenous populations that might or might not exist where the system in question is trained today.

In other words, the tools are more-or-less all the same. The methods and techniques can vary quite a bit.
 

Touch Of Death

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Hi everyone!

This is just me being curious. What is really the difference between ALL the various forms of martial arts and self defense styles, when the techniques effective in real life violence are basically the same.

I mean the human body can only move certain ways. Whether you strike with your palm, side of hand or fist, the movements of your arms and hands are basically the same. Strikes with elbows, knees and head can't differ that much between styles really, neither is any kicking movements any different between styles.

What do you guys think?
I think there are some drastic differences. Many styles are designed around a certain range. TkD for instance spends a lot of time with long range attacks, Judo and BJJ are close range systems, and all the others are somewhere in between. Its a lot like Baskin and Robins; you don't pick just any flavor. They are not all the same.
Sean
 

MJS

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Hi everyone!

This is just me being curious. What is really the difference between ALL the various forms of martial arts and self defense styles, when the techniques effective in real life violence are basically the same.

I mean the human body can only move certain ways. Whether you strike with your palm, side of hand or fist, the movements of your arms and hands are basically the same. Strikes with elbows, knees and head can't differ that much between styles really, neither is any kicking movements any different between styles.

What do you guys think?

I'd say one of the biggest things is the way things are applied. You can have 2 arts, both that punch and kick, yet its very possible that they way they apply their techs will vary. I'll use my art, Kenpo, and boxing, as an example. Both have punches, yet I dont see many Kenpo people punching like a boxer punches. Application. :)
 

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I think many of the practical differences in application derive from different tactics or approaches to fighting that (obviously) were successful at some point or another, and were passed on. Many of the tactics themselves were influenced by different philosophies as well.

For example, in karate we have ikken hissatsu, which can be translated as one punch, one kill, and comes from the Japanese sword arts (one sword, one life). In contrast to this would be Ueshiba's Art of Peace (Aikido), which formed around the idea of winning a fight without hurting your protagonist (much, anyway, even though some applications of aikido can be pretty nasty).

BJJ uses the tactic of tying up your opponent and dominating him on the ground, probably following the philosophy that most fighters are (or were, until BJJ became as popular as it is now) less comfortable at that range, and are more easily controlled and submitted from there.

A weapon art like Kali derives from a region and a time when weapons were the norm, and you'd only fight without one as a last resort. In contrast, much of karate evolved on Okinawa, where traditional weapons weren't permitted for large periods of time, so they relied on unarmed combat to settle their differences (and made weapons out of some pretty strange tools).

So I see the real differences in martial arts as relating more to the philosophies of the art and the chosen tactics that these philosophies promote than differences in the techniques or even the applications, though these are of course there as well.

Another influencing factor can be the importance of competition in an art, and the degree of contact (and legal and illegal targets or techniques) permitted by this competition.
 

namelekane4

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Hi everyone!

This is just me being curious. What is really the difference between ALL the various forms of martial arts and self defense styles, when the techniques effective in real life violence are basically the same.

I mean the human body can only move certain ways. Whether you strike with your palm, side of hand or fist, the movements of your arms and hands are basically the same. Strikes with elbows, knees and head can't differ that much between styles really, neither is any kicking movements any different between styles.

What do you guys think?
In my years of experience, I had opportunities to see various systems. Found out then and even now that most styles are almost similar. To me what cuts the cake is the intensity of the individuals trainning regiment that made the difference. Whether if survives or not. Some martial arts system teaches techniques a little different and at different stages within their system.
 

K-man

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This is just me being curious. What is really the difference between ALL the various forms of martial arts and self defense styles, when the techniques effective in real life violence are basically the same.

The biggest difference is that most styles are now sport oriented. If you look at karate, Japanese styles such as Goju Kai, Kyokushin and Shotokan are prominant on the sport scene. Styles such as Okinawan Goju Ryu, Uechi Ryu or Shorin Ryu ... much less so.

In the sport scene you are facing an opponent at a distance of two metres, in a real threatening situation where you need to defend, you are within arm's length.

Now the techniques may appear the same, and in many cases they are. The difference is in the application. For example, the simple three point stance has no application if you are at two metres distance but in grappling range it is a mechanism to trap or trip your opponent. A upper "block" at distance looks pretty silly and most people would never envisage using it in a tournament but in close the same technique could be a forearm strike to the neck or jaw.

As a result of the different environment there is always spirited debate as to the practical use of karate in the real world of violence. I would maintain that you are what you train. If you train for sport as in Japanese Karate, Taekwando, Judo and BJJ then you are training for sport. It may be effective in a SD situation for some practitioners but against a street fighter it will probably fail for the majority.

MAs that train for violence such as Krav Maga, Systema and dare I say, traditional MAs such as Okinawan karate and, depending on training, the TCMAs, are designed to self defence. The training of the techniques teaches applications that are effective at close range.

Krav in particular relys on simple techniques that are easy to learn and will still work under an adrenal situation. Systema is more complex and will take longer to master.

If I was wanting to learn something quickly for SD I would be training Krav. With time on my hands and a lifetime to learn, Okinawan Goju is great. If you have several lifetimes you should be able to master Aikido ... or maybe I am just slow. :asian:
 

Chris Parker

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Hi everyone!

This is just me being curious. What is really the difference between ALL the various forms of martial arts and self defense styles, when the techniques effective in real life violence are basically the same.

I mean the human body can only move certain ways. Whether you strike with your palm, side of hand or fist, the movements of your arms and hands are basically the same. Strikes with elbows, knees and head can't differ that much between styles really, neither is any kicking movements any different between styles.

What do you guys think?

Are the techniques that different? No, not really, although that does depend on the system, for example a Koryu sword system may not be completely applicable, but aspects of old Jujutsu systems might (again, not entirely predictable). The important distinction between them is the approach and aim. And that I've gone into in a fair amount of detail in many other posts, if you have any questions or wish clarification, just ask.
 

fangjian

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Hi everyone!
when the techniques effective in real life violence are basically the same.

It depends on the environment where the style came from. If someone lives in a dangerous part of a city where attacks are frequent, and the method of ambush is by baseball bat, then a fighting method can be developed that will counter this type of attack in said environment.

The way things were settled in The Philippines was by a stick duel. So methods were developed.
In some prison systems, fighting techniques are developed that learn how to deploy a shank and how to counter it.

..and so on
 

fenglong

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Hi everyone!

This is just me being curious. What is really the difference between ALL the various forms of martial arts and self defense styles, when the techniques effective in real life violence are basically the same.

I mean the human body can only move certain ways. Whether you strike with your palm, side of hand or fist, the movements of your arms and hands are basically the same. Strikes with elbows, knees and head can't differ that much between styles really, neither is any kicking movements any different between styles.

What do you guys think?

I like this question a lot, I often busy myself with this topic, also due to my own developing work.
When you are good with imagination you can theoretically imagine a combat situation step by step and alter certain aspects of it to figure the changing results.

There is a lot more to a MA than just the physical method of a strike.
There are thousands of minor details that assemble into a unique circumstance, the direction a situation will head.

Here is an example.
2 people on the streets, P1 and P2.
P1 obviously in an aggressive brawler mood.

-How is the mental shape of P2? Besides regular things defining his current frame of mind, has he trained any certain mental techniques?
Maybe he trains a MA which includes danger awareness lessons, will he notice the potential threat of P1?

P1 making a step forward in an aggressive pose stating that he's ready to attack.

-Given P2 notices the upcoming threat, will he wait for the attack because he has learned a defensive MA? Will he rush in by the philosophy "attack is the best defense" because he learned an offensive MA or a certain MA in an offensive way?

P1 is throwing a long wide right hook, a common attack for someone who never trained any MA.

-Given P2 trained to wait for an attack, will he block the swing with a hard block, risking to get injured or to injure the attacker? Will he lean backwards to dodge the swing? Will he duck? Into which position will he put himself and which actions can he do next from this certain position? Will this reaction allow him to counter quickly or will it slow him down?
He may decide to lean back as taught in his MA but the slight loss of balance slows him down and he catches a frontal knee attack right into the torso.
He may have learned to control and twist his body even in weak balance situations to avoid the following knee attack.

He may decide to do a hard block but the attacking arm is curved enough to hit his head with the fist, or the swing is unexpectedly powerful and actually injures the blocking arm.
He may outclass the attacker's physical strength and injure the attacking arm.

He may decide to duck under the swing but loses track of the attacker rushing past him and is unprepared for a following attack.
The duck may be a common technique in his MA so that he can perfectly keep balance and instantly do a counter attack.



This was just a rough example without going too much into details, but you can see how complex a single second of a fight is.
Actually there are thousands of details to consider and not only what you do NOW matters, but how your current action will affect the situation and your following action.
 

Touch Of Death

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I like this question a lot, I often busy myself with this topic, also due to my own developing work.
When you are good with imagination you can theoretically imagine a combat situation step by step and alter certain aspects of it to figure the changing results.

There is a lot more to a MA than just the physical method of a strike.
There are thousands of minor details that assemble into a unique circumstance, the direction a situation will head.

Here is an example.
2 people on the streets, P1 and P2.
P1 obviously in an aggressive brawler mood.

-How is the mental shape of P2? Besides regular things defining his current frame of mind, has he trained any certain mental techniques?
Maybe he trains a MA which includes danger awareness lessons, will he notice the potential threat of P1?

P1 making a step forward in an aggressive pose stating that he's ready to attack.

-Given P2 notices the upcoming threat, will he wait for the attack because he has learned a defensive MA? Will he rush in by the philosophy "attack is the best defense" because he learned an offensive MA or a certain MA in an offensive way?

P1 is throwing a long wide right hook, a common attack for someone who never trained any MA.

-Given P2 trained to wait for an attack, will he block the swing with a hard block, risking to get injured or to injure the attacker? Will he lean backwards to dodge the swing? Will he duck? Into which position will he put himself and which actions can he do next from this certain position? Will this reaction allow him to counter quickly or will it slow him down?
He may decide to lean back as taught in his MA but the slight loss of balance slows him down and he catches a frontal knee attack right into the torso.
He may have learned to control and twist his body even in weak balance situations to avoid the following knee attack.

He may decide to do a hard block but the attacking arm is curved enough to hit his head with the fist, or the swing is unexpectedly powerful and actually injures the blocking arm.
He may outclass the attacker's physical strength and injure the attacking arm.

He may decide to duck under the swing but loses track of the attacker rushing past him and is unprepared for a following attack.
The duck may be a common technique in his MA so that he can perfectly keep balance and instantly do a counter attack.



This was just a rough example without going too much into details, but you can see how complex a single second of a fight is.
Actually there are thousands of details to consider and not only what you do NOW matters, but how your current action will affect the situation and your following action.
No leaning!
 

Josh Oakley

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Also, I have to wonder if the "average person with no MA training will throw a wide right hook" thing is true, or if people have just assumed it to be true.
 

Aiki Lee

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chinto

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ok diferent martial arts have diferent doctorins and tactics. the end result is the same, but how they use the tools and get there is diferent.

take for instance a punch at an aikidost. ... he changes body and blends with the attack and redirects the attacker and usually uses attemei to finsh the take down... attemie is a strike usually to head or neck or eyes.. not nessesarily a hard punch either. if the attacker stays there the aikidost usually either calls the cops or walks away.. if he gets up, and attackes again, then he may slam him down harder, but usually is not using multiple strikes and things to make him stay down.. he may pin him with a lock and then call the cops ..

now an Okinawan karateka, he will change body and block and other wise redirect the energy and take down perhaps to, but he will strike at least once, often several times with hands or feet or both to put him down hard so he can not get up and continue the attack. then he may call the cops or just walk away.

diferent docterin and tactics to get to the same result.
 

Tanaka

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To put it simple each Martial art has a different philosophical approach. Although you may see a wrist lock in many arts. The reason why and how they do it stems from the martial arts philosophy.
 

fenglong

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Now this point we got to is what I always wonder about.
I never really understood why MA always seem to stick to the same tunnel.

With my personal experience I have come to a point where I believe a few corresponding simple bases allowing for complex response is the best way to go, yet most seem to do the exact opposite.
Could it be that most MA get stuck too much with too many versions of the same answer to the issue "combat"?

At least that is my personal view, how about you guys?
 

fenglong

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Besides the fact that these Chinese don't seem to know how to use their styles, you can see really well what I mean when you cut the scenes into frames. Especially the drunken style they are showing there is really complex with loads of different body weight conditions.
If you go frame by frame you will see each body weight condition, trapping themselves by limiting their effective response opportunities down to zero.


 
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