Martial Arts Training And Self Defense: Do You Take Yours 'Trained or Untrained'


Yellow Belt
Nov 21, 2007
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Like religion and politics, martial arts are not for a lack of it's zealots. Decide right now, you can either A. Continue to "sip the kool-aide" or B. Look to improve and learn. One criticism about our training material is that it is simple and could only work against some one who is untrained. What the hell does this mean, exactly? Does trained mean a woman who takes muay thai or the serial rapist, sociopath who has successfully applied his trade a dozen times? Does it apply to the mixed martial artists or the bag-man on a pick up? Who do you want to fight for your life against, the martial artist or emotionally disturbed person (EPD) who gargles with pepper spray?

Personally, if I had my choice, I'd take my chances with the guy who thinks he has all the answers instead of the guy who has nothing to loose. Is our stuff simple, you bet it's simple. It has to be. Anything that works in life, let alone combat is simple and straight-forward. Here's a pop quiz, what's the most widely used technique with the highest degree of success and knock out rate? (Drum roll please...) The Over Hand Right! But that's so simple, everybody knows that. You learn that your first day of boxing. Since it's so simple and everybody knows it; why does it work? Because some one decided to seize the opportunity to throw it first. That's the essence of a fight, timing, opportunity and a little luck. And with more practice, you create more luck- funny how that works. The techniques have to be recalled under real-life conditions and have to work in a variety of situations. This means by nature they can't be complicated. As we mentioned countless times before, anything can be blocked if you know it's coming. But it only has to work once. And besides, you'll be approached in a way or by a person who is banking on the fact that you won't do anything. That's why they picked you in the first place. So anything you do has a chance.

So you're trained, great.

God bless you and congratulations. Now I heard Jon Bluming say something that I thought was right on the money. If you don't know who Jon Bluming is, get your google working. He said that grappling and submissions are treated as "support systems" and he continued to say that you'll spend a lot more time training your support systems rather that your primary self defense. That doesn't mean don't train in these systems, because you will fall back on these if you, well- miss. Which happens more than you think; but you want a front line of defense. But your primary systems are the priority!

This is this training comes in. It is your primary system.

Is it simple: YES. Basic: YES.

Let me ask you:

Would you rather practice knocking some one out or dragging them to the ground? Would you rather practice for a 5 -- 10 second blast or a five-minute round?

You'll know when your next competition is, you can plan and pace yourself. Make sure your injury free before the event. But do you know when you'll be attacked? It could be in the parking lot tonight after work. Are you warmed up? Do you have your training equipment on? Is the ref there?

Make no mistake, I am not advocating NOT practice other endeavors, I think they're great. Competition and training are excellent character builders and will prove their own worth in the grand scheme of things. But if you're serious about realistic, explosive self-defense, here's the check list:

1. Arm your self to the teeth. Guns, knives, Sherman tank.
2. Pepper spray, Stun guns
3. Black jacks, sap gloves, spring kosh, asp
4. The environment: bricks, rocks, garbage cans
5. Hands, feet, teeth simple straight forward basic technique. Strikes, gouges.
6. Grappling, submissions.
7. Everything Else

Bonus: the better shape you're in, the better all of this stuff works (yes, even shooting). The sharper you are, the better you will operate under stress.

So will this stuff "work" against someone who is trained- you bet, it has and it does. It's always good to have a back up plan, but first things first.

Musashi said, it's regrettable to die with your sword still in its sheath. Personally, I get looks from other martial artists when they catch a glimpse of what I carry. They look at me like "why do you need that stuff". My reply is, I'd rather have and not need it than need it and not have it. It also gives me a glimpse of how naive they are. Are you really going to depend on that when some street skel looks to put a hurt on you? Not me, I'm going home today.

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