Martial arts for self defense

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drop bear

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Getting good at what you do doesn't mean you will be able to beat a criminal at what he does.

The only thing doing well in an MMA gym will show is how well you can do in an MMA gym. Boxers & MMA fighters have been beaten, stabbed, killed, and hospitalised by people who have no skill or training.

There is no doubt who here was the better fighter, there is no doubt who would win if they sparred in an boxing or MMA gym.. But the point is a criminal will not fight you, he will not play your game on your terms by your rules. he will do what he is good at, he wil paly his game, by his rules. So any test of your fighting skill is only a test of your fighting skill. The benchmark for self defence is only fighting when you A) do not understand the difference between fighting and self defence, and B) do no understand the nature of criminal violence.

The fact that you do not understand these different does not make the people that do understand them wrong.

If you want to get good at fighting, train for fighting, if you want to get good at self defence train self defence but dont make the mistake of assuming that getting good at fighting means you are good at self defence, or that getting good at self defence means you can win trophies in an MMA ring.

Isnt requiring people to be actually attacked in self defence situations so they can recognise the difference between training and the real thing kind of counter productive to why people learn self defence in the first place?
 

drop bear

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It does not mean that you dont take physical action no, but you dont engage in a fight. That is the point.

Muggers, sexual predators, drunken idiots trying to glass you because you were starring at my girlfriend dont stand six feet away in a fighting stance with their hands up in a guard and spar with you. They will be close enough to sucker punch you and then they will use distraction have you got the time mate? before they strike, in order to increase their chances of success. That is not a fight. Criminals dont want a fight, as there is the chance they could lose. They simply want attack you until you are no longer in a position to stop them getting what they want. They dont want the back and forth exchange of techniques that happens during a fight, they dont want to out point you or defeat you, or test their skill. They dont want to play your game (consensual violence/fighting) they want to play their game (criminal violence). Fighting is not a blanket term for violence, it is a specific term in which two or more people engage in consensual violence to test their skill or defeat their opponent.

Criminal violence (i.e. What self defence skills are designed to protect you from) is a very different animal to consensual violence. Fighting in the street like a pair of drunken idiots is NOT self defence.

The skill base is the same. For example if you were sparring and were in sucker punch range you would move out of range.

If you are self defending and are in sucker punch range you would move out of range.
A person who is good at controlling range will be good at doing so in competition or self defence.

You are confusing fighting with self defence, it is a common mistake.


Fighting in the street is illegal, self defence is legal. How then can they be the same thing? This audio book will explain the differences (and the similarities) between fighting, martial arts, and self defence. It also explains why people often confuse them as being the same thing, and why this confusion leads to people wrongly assuming that the ability to fight means you have the ability to defend yourself.

The Martial Map (Free Audio Book) | Iain Abernethy


No you don't have to at all. You are saying have to fight so the only possible solution to a self defence situation is violence, which is simply not true. You can walk away, you can use verbal de-escalation. Even if you have no choice but to act physically, you can strike pre-emptively and continue striking until the threat is neutralised, then run away. None of these three options are "fighting".

This is a self defence technique.


It does not look like two people sparring/fighting in the gym. Why not? Because it isnt, it is a self defence not a fighting/sparring.




I dont think you will find anyone that would disagree with that.


It does not mean that you dont take physical action no, but you dont engage in a fight. That is the point.

Muggers, sexual predators, drunken idiots trying to glass you because you were starring at my girlfriend dont stand six feet away in a fighting stance with their hands up in a guard and spar with you. They will be close enough to sucker punch you and then they will use distraction have you got the time mate? before they strike, in order to increase their chances of success. That is not a fight. Criminals dont want a fight, as there is the chance they could lose. They simply want attack you until you are no longer in a position to stop them getting what they want. They dont want the back and forth exchange of techniques that happens during a fight, they dont want to out point you or defeat you, or test their skill. They dont want to play your game (consensual violence/fighting) they want to play their game (criminal violence). Fighting is not a blanket term for violence, it is a specific term in which two or more people engage in consensual violence to test their skill or defeat their opponent.

Criminal violence (i.e. What self defence skills are designed to protect you from) is a very different animal to consensual violence. Fighting in the street like a pair of drunken idiots is NOT self defence.





No it isnt. A fight takes place between two or more WILLING competitors. By definition in self defence at least one persons is UNWILLING. You do not fight a criminal. Fighting is a back and forth exchange of blows between skilled martial artists. You do not want a back and forth exchange, you do not want him to get a go.


No you dont fight you protect them. If you train to fight, then when you knock someone to the floor you will rush over and keep hitting them until the ref comes over waves the fight over and pulls you off. Nothing wrong with that, well done, you have won. But if that is what you are trained to do, then that is how you will react under pressure. So you strike someone pre-emotively in self defence, and then the fall and are dazed. Your training kicks in and you rush over and follow up with additional (unnecessary) strikes, instead of choosing to flee when you had the chance., Now you are no longer defending yourself, now you are committing assault. All of the witnesses that have now turned round to see what the commotion is will see a dazed and defenceless man on the floor and you beating the **** out of him. This is the statement they will give to the police, and this is the statement that will convict you in a court of law. Imagine CCTV footage of that being played in court!

Fighting is about defeating an opponent. Self Defence is about creating the opportunity to get away from people who want to harm you.

When you train for self defence, when you strike pre-emptively and they fall and are dazed you dont rush over to defeat them you back away with your hands up palms out (to show all the witnesses that you dont want to fight) and then you get the hell out of there. Witnesses will give statements to the police saying they saw a man on the floor dazed and you backing away showing you didnt want to fight. The CCTV footage of that will look a lot better for you in court (in fact if you know how to get key phrases into you statement, it will never even get to court).


Fighting is as a term which refers to people engaging in consensual violence, either in the ring or in the pub car park to settle an argument. It starts six feet apart in a fighting stance with your hands up in a guard, and it needs certain specific skills. The purpose is to defeat or win over your opponent. It is also illegal in the street or pub car parks. Sparring is a fighting skill.

Self defence is about dealing with criminal violence, not consensual violence. It contains at least one person who does not consent, it will take place at sucker punch range, the purpose is not to defeat an opponent, but simply to create the opportunity to flee. It is perfectly legal, and more importantly it requires a different skill set to fighting. Sparring has nothing to do with self defence.

If I kick someone in the groin and run away this works for self defence. Does it work for fighting? No, because I will be disqualified for use of illegal strikes, and for failing to engage with my opponent (running away). Conversely, if you triangle choke someone in the ring, you win. Triangle choke someone outside the chip shop on a Friday night and his mates stomp your head flat. By no definition can a technique that ends up with you dead be argued to work for the purposes of self defence, and yet it works in a fight and so people who can fight assume they can defend themselves. They are different things, so they need different skills, and just because one skill or techniques works in one field does not mean it will work in the other. Hence sparring in an MMA gym has nothing to do with self defence. If what you are doing in the street looks like sparring then you are not defending yourself, you are fighting, and you are breaking the law.

Like I say, listen to the martial map podcast, it will explain why:-
Martial arts, self defence and fighting are three different things
Why people make the mistake of confusing them as being one in the same
How the skills needed for success in won DO NOT automatically transfer to success in the other.

Why is it that self defence has to come up with such massive presumptions? Fighting dosent. It either works or you get beat up.

Why couldn't a sport trained fighter kick someone in the groin and run away?
 

FriedRice

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I think the oft-mentioned point is that there are different ways to kick the knee. Some hurt. Some trash the knee. Nobody is trashing your knee, obviously.

You're wrong. During hard sparring or a fight, I'm throwing full powered kicks towards the leg in trying to hurt my opponent. If I get their knee, that's too bad. Then it's up to the Ref to either warn me, then take a point or DQ me. The MT Inside Leg Kick, sometimes I specifically target the knee as it's a hard one for the Ref to see (but usually, the inside thigh). The Oblique Kick is the one that has high potential to wreck the knee, but that's too bad because the other guy is doing the same to me.

That other guy, GPSeymour, made it sound like it's some kind of Master of Kung-Fu 36 Chambers whateverthehell, mystical power, +P+.... to kick someone in the knee or something. Been there, heard it thousands of times from theory fighters on the internet. Like I'm just going to just leave my leg there for him to kick it like a heavy bag. Same goes with anti-rape eye poking and nut-strikes. Something coming towards my face and or nuts, I'm moving, blocking or countering....just like I would with any other strikes.
 

FriedRice

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I should also add that some of us have bodies that don't let us do some of what we'd love to do in an MMA gym (or, in fact, used to do). If a good ground fighter gets me to the ground, I probably don't have reasonable recourse within safe technique because of my knees and feet - just can't get enough leverage without leaving myself limping for a few days. I'm still competent against someone who tackles me and tries to beat me, but if they have trained for any length of time in BJJ, they can probably beat my basic ground game now. Once upon a time, that would have been far less true.

Well if you're an old guy with worn out bodyparts, then that's way more reasons for you to not suggest how deadly you are if you were to kick someone in their knees and should be way more accommodating to sparring with rules.....a TON of rules (to protect you, not them). Starting with the rule of light sparring with Boxing gloves to backup what you say. Everybody spars light to even touch sparring, where it's only a tap, way more than hard sparring. And you can certainly prove and improve your skills through light sparring and can show that you've decisively beaten someone or been beaten.
 

FriedRice

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and even "going hard" has rules

Not really. If you go there, then it's usually going to be a situation where it becomes more personal and tapping may not stop the "sparring" until the guy winning, gets his fill.
 

FriedRice

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Because you don't let them. And the knee is a pretty strong joint. And as shown in competition a lot harder to break than the self defence experts have led us to believe.

Haha, so true. I'm more afraid of getting my knees destroyed in BJJ and especially Wrestling training than I am when fighting full contact in Muay Thai. Another myth is the deadly, throat strike. It doesn't tickle, but never stopped any of my fights nor hard sparring sessions..... just a little sore throat the next day that goes away on its own. A guillotine air choke, damage the throat way more and much more dangerous towards death.
 

ballen0351

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Not really. If you go there, then it's usually going to be a situation where it becomes more personal and tapping may not stop the "sparring" until the guy winning, gets his fill.
spare me the macho
We do it real BS. If your in a school it's not real and has rules.
 

FriedRice

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Of course it does, no one is saying it doesn't. A good punch is always a good punch.

By your "test" for self defence was sparring in an MMA gym, but you cannot test many self defence techniques with sparring (see the Lee Morrison video I psoted). So using sparring as a test for effectiveness is flawed is good for fighting techniques, but it is flawed as a test for self defence techniques.

So what's better than sparring in MMA? You pretending to eye poke someone or pretending to squeeze their testicles? Or do you actually train with real eye poking and real testicle kicking?
 

FriedRice

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Getting good at what you do doesn't mean you will be able to beat a criminal at what he does.

The only thing doing well in an MMA gym will show is how well you can do in an MMA gym. Boxers & MMA fighters have been beaten, stabbed, killed, and hospitalised by people who have no skill or training.
[/QUOTE]

That just tells me that some Self Defense guy who never dared to spar hard for knockouts, is not going to just get beaten, stabbed, killed and hospitalized by these same people who have no skill or training...but probably going to get raped hard, on top of all that. :)

People who've never sparred hard, for full knockouts....and regularly as part of their training, don't really know what a trained & experienced fighter can do in the ring and in the street.
 

FriedRice

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spare me the macho
We do it real BS. If your in a school it's not real and has rules.

By real, you mean that your school pretends to eye poke and pretend to kick at testicles right? :) You train with no rules, just as long they're pretend strikes.
 

FriedRice

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Well sparing is training and I've never tried to knock someone out "cold". That's not the purpose

Thanks for proving my point that you've never tested out your skills against trained fighters before.

Who says that sparring can't also be for the purpose of knocking out your partner, you?
 

ballen0351

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Thanks for proving my point that you've never tested out your skills against trained fighters before.

Who says that sparring can't also be for the purpose of knocking out your partner, you?
No I'm a cop I test my skills in real life against real criminals So I don't need to knock out my training partners to show how tough I am.
 

ballen0351

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By real, you mean that your school pretends to eye poke and pretend to kick at testicles right? :) You train with no rules, just as long they're pretend strikes.
no all training has "rules" that's the point. Training isn't real and never will be.
 

Tez3

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Well sparing is training and I've never tried to knock someone out "cold". That's not the purpose

It could be too that you don't have to try, you can do it anyway. ;)


All this macho stuff about sparring hard and 'real' lol, I've seen chaps like that in the gym but when it came to a real 'street' situation they froze. Mental attitude just didn't match what their mouths were telling us.
We've had accidental KOs in the gym and they don't really worry anyone because you know your opponent stops, you fall onto the mats, you get put in recovery position then helped up so nothing like real life. The worst that happens is you get embarrassed at being caught, no kicks to the ribs/head/nuts, no one pissing on you, no one robbing you etc. All this stuff about 'fighting for real in the gym' is nothing more than macho posturing by would be 'hard' men who think a 'trained fighter' is the worst you can encounter.:cool:
 

ballen0351

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It could be too that you don't have to try, you can do it anyway. ;)


All this macho stuff about sparring hard and 'real' lol, I've seen chaps like that in the gym but when it came to a real 'street' situation they froze. Mental attitude just didn't match what their mouths were telling us.
We've had accidental KOs in the gym and they don't really worry anyone because you know your opponent stops, you fall onto the mats, you get put in recovery position then helped up so nothing like real life. The worst that happens is you get embarrassed at being caught, no kicks to the ribs/head/nuts, no one pissing on you, no one robbing you etc. All this stuff about 'fighting for real in the gym' is nothing more than macho posturing by would be 'hard' men who think a 'trained fighter' is the worst you can encounter.:cool:
Id +Rep this post but they took it away...
 

FriedRice

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No I'm a cop I test my skills in real life against real criminals So I don't need to knock out my training partners to show how tough I am.

Not a big deal to me. Plenty to most cop can't fight very well, compared to trained fighters, if all they had is their cop training. That's why cops, Marines, Rangers, and whatever soldiers....join MMA gyms to get better at hand to hand combat.

And what's real life? Pulling out a gun, take cover and wait for backup? One of my MMA friend for 10+ years is a BJJ brown belt, Boxer and a 20 year cop from Southeast DC. Where are you a cop at? I know cops from neighborhoods where 3BR townhouses starts at $800,000 and they're super nice, even when they're called out to the shopping mall to stop kids from illegally skateboarding.
 
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