martial arts/self defense,is it worth it?

Rich Parsons

A Student of Martial Arts
Founding Member
Lifetime Supporting Member
MTS Alumni
Joined
Oct 13, 2001
Messages
15,835
Reaction score
449
Location
Michigan
I play guitar .......but I really don't make any money from it. But I enjoy it far too much to ever consider quitting.

If it makes you "who you are", you must do it.

I play video games and get my kicked (* I do not have the time to play all the time ;) *) and I enjoy it.

Unless it is a means to get money or food or shelter, in today's society most do not do it unless they enjoy it.

So my point was, it is ok to walk away if you do not enjoy it.
If you are there for something else, and you ahve accomplished your goal then so be it. If you find out that art or instructor or school is not for you then so be it. Try another one or try something else.

If you want to be the best then put your heart/mind and body into it. :)
(* Note: Even if I did with music and or singing there is only so far I can go. *)

Accept what you can do and learn to live with it and learn to work around the issues.
 

Touch Of Death

Sr. Grandmaster
MTS Alumni
Joined
May 6, 2003
Messages
11,610
Reaction score
844
Location
Spokane Valley WA
there is an aspect about training in the martial arts and self defense that i have thought about for some time now that i would like all of your thoughts on.it has to do with why a person should put in all the time that it takes to get good at an art when the likelihood is that you will never have to use it is really there.it almost makes the training seem not worth it.
let me explane where my thought process is coming from.im a drummer and i practice the drums so that i can be better for performing.i know that when i practice that i am going to be able to go all out with my drumming skills when im playing in a band.the band is the pay off for me slaving away in the practice room for hours,days,months and years.i know that i am going to be able to display all of my hard work when i join that band and record a cd and start playing live with that band.but in the study of martial arts and self defense a person my never get the chance to really use the skills that they have worked so hard on.and then there is the fact that a person should not long to get into a fight on the street anyway.but it's a natural tendency to want to put into practice in some way what we have learned.to do this in a sport context does not fill that void because of the rules that are in the sport world of fighting.this keeps a person from being able to fully use the skills that they have worked on.also,if a person focuses most of their attention on sport fighting then i feel that when in a street fight they will not naturally use some of the most effect techniques that would put an attacker out of commission,like groin shots,eye gouges,ect.
so to sum it all up what im asking is why spend all the time and effort and money to become skilled in the martial arts and self defense when we may never be able to use it or at least use it to it's fullest extent?
i look forward to your replies.
I think having a discipline is important. I find I use Kenpo all the time. For instance I fall on the ice and kenpo helps me not crack my skull on the pavement. Should I rest assure i'm not going to fall on the ice ever again? Should I just assume I won't be attacked by some guy that didn't like the way or where I parked my car? Past experience says I should not assume anything.
Sean
 
OP
drummingman

drummingman

Blue Belt
Joined
Oct 19, 2006
Messages
290
Reaction score
0
Location
va
thanks all for the great response on this thread!
 

jkn75

Blue Belt
Joined
Aug 19, 2002
Messages
224
Reaction score
5
Location
Illinois
drummingman I viewed your profile and it stated that you were a bginner in the martial arts. As you progress through your journey in martial arts you will discover what the fringe benefits of martial arts are. In addition to being able to defend yourself the other benefits of martial arts are numerous and have been listed.

There is a great dichotomy to the martial arts that I can tell you about and you can read about but you won't truly understand it until the situation presents itself: Someone is standing in front of you that needs to be addressed he's in your face, he's yelling, but he hasn't been physical to you (this is when self defense would be justified & you would be completely justified legally and ethically to defend yourself). You want to hit him and shut him up/teach him a lesson etc. You realize that backing down and walking away is the best solution even though you could completely destroy him. And even though as you back away he calls you all sorts of names and it would be easier to prove how tough you are at that moment: you let it go and remove yourself from the situation.

Look at your drumming. When you play in a band you play a part. You are a piece of something greater. You can go crazy and play blast beats through an entire song but unless it fit, you have the skill and humility to self criticize and say "This doesn't work and although it may be a bit boring, it fits". Then you make it up on another song by saying "I want to do something different here I think it would fit".

Martial Arts is a piece of you and it plays its part. Although you may have started Martial Arts to learn how to defend yourself your journey will guide you to a place that fits you. It may be self defense, it may be competition, it may be any number of things. As a drummer you learned a complex paradiddle but would never put in a song because it just doesn't work. But it gave you something to practice that made all of your snare work a bit better. As you go on, martial arts makes everything a bit better and for some a lot better. But it will have an effect and reflecting after a year or 5 or 10 you will see just how far you've come.
 

matt.m

Senior Master
Joined
May 16, 2006
Messages
2,521
Reaction score
121
Location
St. Louis
Ok, here is my spin......"A martial artist trains so they don't have to fight." I know this sounds stupid but it has everything to do with it. It comes with confidence, coordination, self discipline etc.

Getting into a fight is easy, staying away from one is easy to. You just have to train yourself for it.

I have used MA for SD and physical therapy, increased self-esteem and coordination as well.

Martial Arts are unique in that they become for you what you want them to be.

I received expert shooter while in the Marines on meter ranges with the rifle and pistol. Did I know how to shoot? Yep, did I have to use that knowledge? Yep again. Did I want to hurt other human beings? No way.

Same goes with Martial Arts. I believe you were looking at and for tangibles, that are not always readily present to find.
 

Darth F.Takeda

Blue Belt
Joined
Dec 19, 2006
Messages
292
Reaction score
9
Location
Northern Virginia
For me, combat effectiveness is #1,everything else, allthough positive and benificial to my life, are secondary.
I have been in more fights and badf situations then I care to have been (I know, you should avoid trouble,ect. but sometimes it finds you and at least I did'nt live a quite boring life as a youth) so that influences my priority. I refuse to be the victum of some low life thug, so he can smoke crack and carry on hurting innocent people. I have kids to live for and I sure as Hell will kill for.
All that aside, I enjoy the arts and they have done far more for me than just help me fight. The friendships alone are worth it. Studieng something that has ancient roots is a kick for a history nut,like myself.
 

jdinca

Master Black Belt
Joined
Dec 8, 2005
Messages
1,297
Reaction score
11
Location
SF Bay Area
Because I'm not just in it for the self defense aspect. I'm in the best shape of my life due to martial arts. I've never been able to consistently go to the gym 6-8 hours a week for years. With martial arts, it's something I look forward to. I also buy into the philosophy that ma is more than just physical movement. I also see it as an avenue to improve myself mentally and spiritually. The physical part is actually the easiest to learn and it is also the vehicle used to improve the other two area.

My profession is the fire service. I train on things like hazardous materials responses, heavy rescue (including high angle) procedures, etc. Why, when those are such infrequent calls? Because you never know when those skills may be needed, and if they are, I'd better be damned sure I'm ready to deal with it, or someone could be injured or killed. I look at the self defense aspect of ma the same way. I may never use it but I'm going to be darned sure I know how in case I do, because otherwise, someone could be hurt, or killed.

Getting involved in ma is a very personal choice, especially when you decide how seriously you want to get involved. For some, it's not the right choice.
 

MaxRob

Orange Belt
Joined
Oct 10, 2013
Messages
75
Reaction score
8
Interesting indeed!
i have to agree with you, martial arts are ultimately made for real self defense , conditioning and high pain threshold , though not for all, is an essential, the Great Adriano Directo Emperado spoke of pain becoming your friend, the original practice of direct contact, now chained and retricted by legal provisions litteraly debilitating a self defence art to a sport with retrictions has implications when the real fight is out there ,overcoming painful strikes is not for all but for those of us with a high to very high pain threshold , a curse in normal life I assure you as your system is running without alarm bells, but in the event of your life being in danger the training, conditioning to a real street fight scenario can be a great advantage.
getting struck heavily in a painful rea where your oponent feels he or she has the better ie groin and other parts and very rapidly coming back
within seconds, and landing a full weighted Very rapid similar attack or otherwise is a winner for they don't expect it. To overcome pain quickly and strike back is an ace in he sleeve as it were!
i have on a couple occasions come out striking successfully where my attackers thought me done.
The practice of Kote Kitae in Okinawan Karate is most useful when one is looking beyond sport, in true self defense by increasing pain thresholds to a high level.
however these techniques are not for all , I repeat the Great Adriano Emperado's words " if you are afraid of pain you will be defeated the first time you are hit" "the best teacher is pain "and very very few today subscribe to that.
But for those of us who can withstand this it is an ace in the sleeve in the art of self defense.
to summarise yes many a good martial art has been modified by law rendering it bland and sporting.
 

Paul_D

Master Black Belt
Joined
Sep 25, 2014
Messages
1,240
Reaction score
437
Location
England
with why a person should put in all the time that it takes to get good at an art when the likelihood is that you will never have to use it is really there.it almost makes the training seem not worth it.
Simple, it's fun. :)
 

tifire

White Belt
Joined
May 30, 2009
Messages
19
Reaction score
4
Practicing martial arts is part of my life now. I have never though of whether it is worth it or not. Love it, enjoy it that's all it counts! Plus, doing MA keeps me fit:boing2:
 

Mephisto

Black Belt
Joined
Sep 26, 2014
Messages
594
Reaction score
234
I think everyone has given great advice, the short answer is we all train for different reasons. The op mentioned sport contexts in relation to martial arts. Every martial artist should have some aspect of competitive training. Most do, if you spar you're doing something competitive and sport based. You might not keep score or try to win but you're fighting and thats where all the training comes together. A lot of martial artists decry sport martial arts without having their opinions and thoughts questioned. Many just pass on what they hear from insecure teachers at their local schools. Do you really think a sport fighter will fight fair on the street or in a self defense situation? This is a ridiculous notion,there are plenty of fouls in the ring that don't stop fighters. Don't be so confident a sport fighter isn't prepared for the street. A sport fighter is often better prepared for self defense than any other system (excluding the FMA guys and weapons in general). A boxer will probably punch on the street and a grappler will put you on the ground. But a thug doesn't likeky have the defense to survive a barrage of strikes from an experienced boxer, and the boxer certsinly may grab it hold you and pummel your face. Do you think you can get an eye gouge in on someone that trains to avoid hands all day? Will he instantly crumple and die from a groin kick? Same for a judoka, will they politely throw a would be mugger on his back? No, they'll dump him on his head if they choose. The sport is not for self defense argument is old and played out. In reality both sport and street techniques AE good to know, a solid base in a sports system will give you well tested skills to fall back on when an opponent doesn't spontaneously combust from your knee stomp. "Deadly techniques" have value but anyone can do them and you can't train them. Watch Tyson v Holifield and reasses your thoughts on sports fighting and the associated rules.
 

tshadowchaser

Sr. Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Founding Member
MTS Alumni
Joined
Aug 29, 2001
Messages
13,461
Reaction score
730
Location
Athol, Ma. USA
This most likely has been said a few times in the thread (I'm just to lazy to go back and read all of them) but: we practice in hopes of never having to use what we learn ( we may dream of using it but we hope we don't). We practice for the event that some day may happen and maybe we have the knowledge and skill to survive.
 

Balrog

Master of Arts
Joined
Feb 11, 2007
Messages
1,709
Reaction score
401
Location
Houston, TX
there is an aspect about training in the martial arts and self defense that i have thought about for some time now that i would like all of your thoughts on.it has to do with why a person should put in all the time that it takes to get good at an art when the likelihood is that you will never have to use it is really there.it almost makes the training seem not worth it.
Have you learned CPR? I first learned it in 1980 and I recertify every year. I've had to use it a few times in 34 years. Did that make all that training not worth it?

We train for that one in a thousand event. We train to build our confidence to the point where the bad guys profile us and pass us over in favor of someone who looks like an easier target. We learn to fight so that we can learn how to not fight. But there's always that chance encounter with the bozo....

Yes, it's worth it. It can mean the difference between life and death.
 

Buka

Sr. Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Jun 27, 2011
Messages
11,200
Reaction score
7,498
Location
Maui
I pretty much agree with everything everyone has said. But there comes a time when you train just because you love to train. It becomes our own private Groundhog Day. And it's wonderful.
 

AIKIKENJITSU

Yellow Belt
Joined
Aug 12, 2006
Messages
44
Reaction score
8
Location
Puyallup
I’m a small man, 5’2” and in my younger days I searched for a martial art to learn just enough to protect myself. I checked into many and found none satisfying. Then one day I walked by a door and heard shouting and watched a guy striking another guy with six different strikes in two seconds. I started taking lessons that day in American Kenpo. I learned enough to protect myself after reaching green belt, but then it was too late; I had developed a passion learning and practicing Kenpo. To be able to learn so many ways to protect myself was interesting in its self. I enjoyed the movements, which made my body feel good.
I guess if you don’t develop an interest or passion in martial arts, you won’t go far in it and it’s just not for you. I have a fifth degree black belt in Tracy Kenpo , a third degree in Ed Parker (American Kenpo) and a fifth degree in Aiki-Kenpo. I also have enjoyed teaching others in the art for many years now. Martial arts is a character builder. I have had to use my Kenpo three times in my life to defend myself. I may never use it again but I will always practice and learn.
Sifu
 
Top