Need advice on what's best for me for self-defense

Monkey Turned Wolf

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I think the whole ABC, Krav Maga-like training can teach you certain things but it won't teach you to improvise. If you get taught a certain set of principles that you can apply in diverse situations rather than techniques it makes you more flexible.

I do think, at least this is my experience, that Silat can teach you this, so principles rather than a set amount of techniques. You do need to find the right teacher for such a mindset and a teacher that is only teaching beladiri (selfdefense).
This depends on the style: there are two ways too teach that I find equally valid. The first teaches general principles, and then makes it your job to create techniques based on this. The second teaches specific techniques, and through learning these techniques you are expected to eventually understand the principles behind them. One way results in quicker self-defense learning, while the other results in understanding the art as a whole more quickly. Then there's everything between those two options, which is where most teachers will fall on this spectrum.
 

Pittsburgh Arnis

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I'm male 29 and want to learn self-defense due to certain events which are taking place in europe.

But I don't know what would be best for me.

First of all, are there systems which are clearly better than others or at least more useful for beginners?
I want to do something which gives you results as fast as possible.
But I don't want something too brutal like krav maga where you simply kick,punch,hammer at the attacker
until he gives up. I see no real system in this it seems like random defense moves.

I'd rather learn a system of self defense which offers more than a few drills for different life event situations.
Like for example if somebody chokes you from behind then you do ABC. If somebody grabs you by the balls then
you do DEF and so on.
Cause if you only have solutions for scenarios you trained then what do you do if you're in a scenario which you did not train!?
These are some of the things I thought about.

What I also ask myself is which defense system is most complete so that it could deal with attackers which use
other defense systems? Are there systems where you can clearly say that they offer the best solutions for being attacked by other fighters like boxers,wrestlers,kickboxers,karateka...?

I watched some videos about Silat and Wing Chun and found them interesting. It's cool how they use their arms to counter attacks and to block. This looks impressive.
I also heard that wing chun is so good because it uses the optimal fighting distance which is close to the enemy while other arts like boxing don't get so close. I dont know if this is true or not.

some background infos:
I'm not flexible and can't do any high kicks is this an issue? If yes I could try to do stretching but I dont know how to do this without pain.
I am also not physically strong. I'm pretty skinny. Being skinny means you cannot hit as hard as others who ate stronger this sucks.
Sounds like you have a number of options. Sometimes having a lot of choices is good, but often this can delay making a decision. Some people call this "paralysis by analysis." Just make the best decision you can. I recommend finding someone who likes to teach but doesnt have a big ego. Also, take a look at how the other students get along. best wishes!
 

Langenschwert

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Learn to box. Quick results, on average. More important than the system is the training itself. Boxers learn how to hit and not get hit. That's pretty handy. After that, add some Judo or wrestling or BJJ. That should suffice for most purposes of being able to "handle one's self". That doesn't cover knife defence, and well, self-defence in general, which is a separate thing altogether.
 

Ironbear24

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Boxing doesn't come that fast. Everything takes time. To be honest though take martial arts because you want to and have a passion for them, you aren't going to have to learn to be a legendary fighter or something to defend yourself. People have defended themselves with laughable skill and are still alive. Pepper spray and Mace are also pretty good for that.
 

crazydiamond

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Krav Maga (or similar) if there is a good school near you. You seem to be talking self defense situations - rather than a common brawl or street fight - and you want to learn quickly simple moves to get away with life and limb intact.
 

BJJCop

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All martial arts are good for what they are designed for. Judo was designed for throwing skills for example, boxing was designed for hitting someone with your hands efficiently. Or things like Krav Maga designed for taking someone's weapon away - which is probably the art a lot of people have the most misconceptions about. As it's primary purpose was actually for disarmament and renowned on that note for counter attacking, historically. Krav is particularly bad for moving away from its actual real use and everyone screams ******** when its seen going way out of its practicality. That, along with post-war decline gives it the bad name you sometimes hear about. Always practice what you feel that you need to learn to do, not because its 'good' they're all good for what they're meant for! What I'm getting at is, self defense isn't black and white, its really one of grey if you think about it. Attacks or fights in the street very much depend. Don't pick fights, but if you get in one you better make damn sure you win. Therefore its quite realistic to actually train in everything; striking, grappling, and maybe self defense to supplement them if you choose, and that way you are fairly entirely rounded and have a skillset to prepare that much more of the grey area there is, might end up on the floor, might not. If you really are that serious about self protection that is.
 

lklawson

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All martial arts are good for what they are designed for. Judo was designed for throwing skills for example,
No offense, but only if you've never read what Kano wrote about the purpose of Judo. ...or about 2/3 of Judo's curriculum.

boxing was designed for hitting someone with your hands efficiently.
Again, no offense, but only if you're unfamiliar with the history of Boxing.

Or things like Krav Maga designed for taking someone's weapon away - which is probably the art a lot of people have the most misconceptions about. As it's primary purpose was actually for disarmament and renowned on that note for counter attacking, historically. Krav is particularly bad for moving away from its actual real use and everyone screams ******** when its seen going way out of its practicality. That, along with post-war decline gives it the bad name you sometimes hear about.
Again, this isn't my understanding of the history of Krav, though to be honest, my interest was much more focused on early (30's-ish) Kapap. Yerkow lineage, &tc.

Always practice what you feel that you need to learn to do, not because its 'good' they're all good for what they're meant for!
That's the tricky part, isn't it? Divining what "it's meant for." It's apparent that we have different ideas of what the intended purpose was. It will be much harder for a newbie to figure that out.

What I'm getting at is, self defense isn't black and white, its really one of grey if you think about it.
It's not? How could it not be black and white?

Attacks or fights in the street very much depend.
Depend on what?

Don't pick fights,
Well, yeah. We agree on that.

but if you get in one you better make damn sure you win.
Define "win."

Therefore its quite realistic to actually train in everything; striking, grappling, and maybe self defense to supplement them if you choose, and that way you are fairly entirely rounded and have a skillset
Yeah. We agree on this.

to prepare that much more of the grey area there is, might end up on the floor, might not. If you really are that serious about self protection that is.
What gray area?

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 

Langenschwert

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Boxing doesn't come that fast. Everything takes time. To be honest though take martial arts because you want to and have a passion for them, you aren't going to have to learn to be a legendary fighter or something to defend yourself. People have defended themselves with laughable skill and are still alive. Pepper spray and Mace are also pretty good for that.

True, but if time is of the essence, boxing has one of best ratios of "results to time put in" out there. While Judo is certainly potent, it takes about two years on average to be able to throw someone with any regularity. It takes less time to put together a reasonable boxing combo and land a punch with some regularity. At least that was my experience.

I do my unarmed MA for fun mostly. The chances of me having to use them for SD is laughably small. I just enjoy the science of BKB and Judo, just as I enjoy the science of swordsmanship. Just so happens it's a pretty good combo for SD too.
 

JD123

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I am not going to pretend I exactly know what I am talking about since I too am getting started in my MA journey. So this is based on research. Unfortunately in a self defense situation you have to be hard on your attacker. You don't know what they are planning on doing and they won't hold back.

From what I understand that is what Krav Maga specializes in. Fast ways to neutralize your attacker as well as if he say pulls out a gun or grabs you from behind you do this. Also from what I understand Krav Maga is easier to grasp. I can understand you don't want to do groin shots seeing how many of us are brought up its dishonorable and cowardly to hit below the belt. However if someone chooses to attack you for know reason honor goes out the window and you gotta do what you have to do.

I asked a similar questions the OP. You can spend months researching what style will be best for self defense. What's really important is finding a good school.
 

KenpoMaster805

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I would recommend American Kenpo Karate its aweome and you will liked it to American kenpo was founded by GM Ed Parker. I will also tell ya that American kenpo karate is an updated system based on modern day street fighting applies logic and practicality its also a thinking art
 

MAfreak

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No offense, but only if you've never read what Kano wrote about the purpose of Judo. ...or about 2/3 of Judo's curriculum.

Again, no offense, but only if you're unfamiliar with the history of Boxing.

Again, this isn't my understanding of the history of Krav

in case of judo and boxing, most people talk about the purpose it has NOW, then he might be right. ground fighting in judo was limited more and more over time and (i saw around here) the grappling techniques of boxing were exluded also (didn't even know before that there were any). so these styles would "evolve" to specialized sports like we know it today. for olympic gold medals or whatever championships...
in case of krav maga, indeed, this is not just for taking weapons away. what gave him that idea?
its for surviving in general.

when someone isn't sure but wants to train something helpful, i'd say start with kickboxing. its the basics of fighting, no belts, no asian terminology, no forms, no "complicated" grappling... and its techniques are like or included in muay thai, karate, taekwondo, ju jutsu, hapkido, krav maga etc., so one can switch to an other style everytime later.
 

oftheherd1

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in case of judo and boxing, most people talk about the purpose it has NOW, then he might be right. ground fighting in judo was limited more and more over time and (i saw around here) the grappling techniques of boxing were exluded also (didn't even know before that there were any). so these styles would "evolve" to specialized sports like we know it today. for olympic gold medals or whatever championships...
in case of krav maga, indeed, this is not just for taking weapons away. what gave him that idea?
its for surviving in general.

when someone isn't sure but wants to train something helpful, i'd say start with kickboxing. its the basics of fighting, no belts, no asian terminology, no forms, no "complicated" grappling... and its techniques are like or included in muay thai, karate, taekwondo, ju jutsu, hapkido, krav maga etc., so one can switch to an other style everytime later.

That's a broad brush you are painting with there. Have you trained in those arts?
 

Kung Fu Wang

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I want to do something which gives you results as fast as possible.
But I don't want something too brutal like krav maga where you simply kick,punch,hammer at the attacker
until he gives up.
If you can get a training partner and make this move work in the next 6 months, your time will be worth spending.

If your opponent attacks you, he has to step in. your chance to get his leading leg will always be there.

 
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oftheherd1

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oh sorry, i thought punching and kicking is part of these arts. and btw yes, i did.

So you have trained in seven martial arts? Or more if one counts etc. That is either very impressive for one under 30 years old, or perhaps somewhat boastful implying skill knowledge you could not attain without a lot of time to train in all those separate arts. If you have been able to do nothing but train all your life, and have acquired advanced skills/rankings in all those martial arts, I salute you. But I find it doubtful and I note you did not say what amount of training/ranking you had in those other arts. Could you share?

I can't really tell you about the other arts, but I have studied TKD briefly, and attained belt ranking in Hapkido. TKD was primarily blocking, punching, and kicking, with at my low level, some very rudimentary grappling during 1 and 3 step sparring. The Hapkido I learned indeed included punching and kicking, along with grappling, but all was surprisingly defensive in nature.

My lack of knowledge of other arts extends to kickboxing as well. But your wording (I can accept that perhaps English isn't your primary language) implies that somehow all those MA borrowed techniques from kickboxing. I think kickboxing may be a little young to make such a claim. I know based on the wiki article on kickboxing, Hapkido, TKD and other arts predate kickboxing. And Hapkido readily admits its age and lineage back to Japan.

But anyway, I am of the opinion that most all martial arts can be effective if learned correctly and skills are constantly improved on. I don't know that there is a one best or most effective MA. All have advantages and disadvantages, but all can be effective depending on the knowledge and skill of the individual practitioner, at least imho.
 

MAfreak

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i visited seminars, cross-trainings and other events in more styles than i can count, but my main experience was karate, kickboxing and mma. i never said, i'm a master in all of these arts and this also wasn't your question.
you don't really doubt, that the stance, punching and kicking is incredibly different from system to system, do you?
since this was my point. kickboxing teaches directly how to strike and block, and from there, one could switch to a system which extends this with open hand strikes, grappling and maybe weapons to a complete self defense system. but one already did a great and important beginning even when not sure, which system to join finally.
 

Tez3

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i visited seminars, cross-trainings and other events in more styles than i can count, but my main experience was karate, kickboxing and mma. i never said, i'm a master in all of these arts and this also wasn't your question.
you don't really doubt, that the stance, punching and kicking is incredibly different from system to system, do you?
since this was my point. kickboxing teaches directly how to strike and block, and from there, one could switch to a system which extends this with open hand strikes, grappling and maybe weapons to a complete self defense system. but one already did a great and important beginning even when not sure, which system to join finally.


Where do you think kick boxing came from?
 

lklawson

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So you have trained in seven martial arts? Or more if one counts etc.
His statement was "[kickboxing] techniques are like or included in muay thai, karate, taekwondo, ju jutsu, hapkido, krav maga..." What exactly is your problem with that statement?

[kickboxing] techniques are like or included in muay thai?
[kickboxing] techniques are like or included in karate?
[kickboxing] techniques are like or included in taekwondo?
[kickboxing] techniques are like or included in ju jutsu?
[kickboxing] techniques are like or included in hapkido?
[kickboxing] techniques are like or included in krav maga?

While a lot of this is pretty broad, particularly ju jutsu, I don't really see much to find fault with. Most modern kickboxing has a pretty basic set of kicks and punches. In general most martial arts, such as the ones he listed, do in fact include basic kicks and punches, often identical or similar to, that found in most kickboxing. So what's the problem? Do all of those arts, and others, include more than just a simple and abbreviated set of basic kicks and punches? Pretty much, yeah. But they do include those basic ones.

So what's the problem?

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 

lklawson

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Where do you think kick boxing came from?
In the U.S., it was mostly evolved from the "full contact" sport karate circuit which sometimes included Korean arts such as TKD and TSD. Mixed it with modern U.S. Boxing. So mostly "Karate/Taekwondo + Boxing" in the U.S.
 

oftheherd1

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That's a broad brush you are painting with there. Have you trained in those arts?

i visited seminars, cross-trainings and other events in more styles than i can count, but my main experience was karate, kickboxing and mma. i never said, i'm a master in all of these arts and this also wasn't your question.

That was my question, and you have answered it. Thanks.

you don't really doubt, that the stance, punching and kicking is incredibly different from system to system, do you?
since this was my point. kickboxing teaches directly how to strike and block, and from there, one could switch to a system which extends this with open hand strikes, grappling and maybe weapons to a complete self defense system. but one already did a great and important beginning even when not sure, which system to join finally.

Not only may there be differences from system to system, there can also be differences within systems. I don't understand how " ... kickboxing teaches directly how to strike and block, and from there, one could switch to a system which extends this ... " The TKD I studied certainly taught how to strike and block, and kick too for that matter. In the Hapkido I studied, we pretty much learned to strike with all parts of our body; head, shoulders, elbows, hands, knees, and feet, and weapons. I have no doubt had I progressed further in my TKD training, it would have been the same there with the possible exception of weapons. So I don't see how kickboxing has an advantage over, or becomes any kind of springboard to, other MA. Perhaps you could enlighten me on that. As I said, I really don't know anything about kickboxing as an MA.
 
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