Sports vs Traditional in terms of Self Defense

Flying Crane

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1. You didn't, the other guy who you supported, did. When I said "your" I wasn't specifically referring to you, but generically, to anyone who would use "lack of Knowledge" as an actual debate point. I understand you didn't, but the guy you supported DID.

2. If you aren't interested in participating in the discussion, why are you commenting here?

3. He is an expert and authority regardless of whether or not you believe it, or know it. And if you don't believe me, the Google bar is there at your service and free of charge.
1. Ok
2. Because I wanted to, thats how a public and open discussion forum works
3. No, if you hold him up as an authority, you need to be prepared to support that claim for those who may not be familiar with him.
 

Steve

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I havent dismissed his argument. I havent even watched the video. I merely state that Ive never heard of him. If I were inclined to debate the issue, you simply holding him up as an expert and therefor I ought to believe him would not be convincing to me. Before I would be inclined to believe him, I would need some further context to establish his credibility as an expert.

Just because you follow him and believe in him does not make him an expert and does not guarantee that others see him as such.

But hey, I dont care what he says one way or the other, because Im not interested in the debate.

Carry on.
Oh boy.
 

Steve

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1. Ok
2. Because I wanted to, thats how a public and open discussion forum works
3. No, if you hold him up as an authority, you need to be prepared to support that claim for those who may not be familiar with him.
He is a bona fide expert, whether you know him or not. His credential are easily verified, if you're actually interested and not just disrupting the thread. And they aren't really all that relevant, if you're interested in talking about the substance of his argument (for or against).

But you can't discuss his argument, because you haven't watched the video. So far, all you've done is admitted you aren't even interested enough in the topic to take a few minutes to educate yourself about the topic at hand and engage in the discussion. That's about as intellectually lazy as it gets.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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1. You didn't, the other guy who you supported, did. When I said "your" I wasn't specifically referring to you, but generically, to anyone who would use "lack of Knowledge" as an actual debate point. I understand you didn't, but the guy you supported DID.

2. If you aren't interested in participating in the discussion, why are you commenting here?

3. He is an expert and authority regardless of whether or not you believe it, or know it. And if you don't believe me, the Google bar is there at your service and free of charge.
None of the people you've responded to have actually argued with the point. The closest you got was someone saying "According to him" when you posted the original video. Others have debated the context, but the ones you are replying to (about the appeal to authority) aren't. They're just stating that's one person's viewpoint, and then following up with they're not familiar with the guy.
 

Steve

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Alright, to try and reset the discussion a little bit, for those who haven't taken the time to watch the video, the tl;dr version of the argument being made in the video can be boiled down to this:

Some preliminary statements:
  1. Self defense is defined as altercations outside of competition. We can discuss other definitions, but this is how they define it in the video.

  2. Don't worry about style. What you train is less important than how you train.

  3. Combat sports are styles that include live sparring, competition, and active drilling.
  4. Other styles focus on theoretical knowledge reinforced by passive drills and do not include competition or live sparring.

Assertion:
The general mental and physical skills development that comes from combat sports, allied with technical and tactical modifications are your best option for self defense.

That's pretty much it.

I happen to agree, for what it's worth. I think how @Tony Dismukes describes his own training is a good working example of what is described above. And this is consistent with how we learn to do things in every other example.
 

Oily Dragon

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As I lay here trying to get some sort of base tan, I was wondering why it is that grapplers always get their expertise questioned, but dudes who claim to be ninjas or heralds of a thousand year old art get a pass from their students.

Don't mind me, I started vacation mode a day early.

80652.gif
 

drop bear

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I don't know John personally, but he and my BJJ teacher are close and there are a lot of shared insights and approaches
Worth noting that John is a high level coach for BJJ, Striking and MMA. He also worked the doors in New York during a time when it was pretty rough so he has an unusually rounded set of experiences
John also has a good academic pedigree and I like the way that he applies intellectual thought and rigour to combat sports. This makes him a pretty unique / unusual
More than that he's proven his approach to be highly effective by having a profound effect on the sport of BJJ (& to a lesser extent MMA) and in my view this alone should earn him the respect to carefully consider what he's saying
I tend to agree with his point that:
- Combat sports are a very good way to teach you how to deal with the intensity of an altercation
- In order to apply your techniques in a live resisting situation you need to train under resistance and pressure (in my experience this is a general point and not necessarily required for an individual technique)
- There are technical and tactical adjustments needed to convert from a sporting/sparring context to a "street fight" / SD situation or however you define it

Where I tend to diverge from the way he presents his thinking is the degree of adjustments needed and how much influence that has on fundamental techniques. As he says a cross/hook can break your hand, but this represents the vast majority of a boxer's training focus. Many foundational throws can take yourself to the floor, an unguarded side control can put your face into your opponent's hands etc etc. This is even more pronounced with weapons: seionage will get your throat cut, a slip can do the same and so on. The risk of a mistake goes up exponentially so the distancing and trade offs to ensure 100% control of the weapon are very different

So I believe IF you want to study for "the street" then you have to go beyond "some simple adjustments" and delete into first principles and figure out how to get the benefits from both sides of the debate
In my view the best way to do this is by developing a deep understanding of both combat sports and well preserved, complete traditional arts, then find the balance

Yeah. He is very bjj in his outlook.

Which is kind of to be expected I suppose.
 

drop bear

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As I lay here trying to get some sort of base tan, I was wondering why it is that grapplers always get their expertise questioned, but dudes who claim to be ninjas or heralds of a thousand year old art get a pass from their students.

Don't mind me, I started vacation mode a day early.

View attachment 28326

Because the system sets that up. In grappling you are supposed to challenge held beliefs.

Your cool guy instructor isn't infallible. He might get beaten by an opposing hypothesis.
 

Steve

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As I see it, there are a few key points here.

First is an assertion that it is easier to adapt a well developed, reliable skill set to another context, than to rely solely on simulation. Combat sports, like all sports, are very reliable and predictable. If you do them, you will improve. And even if you don't have a lot of natural talent or raw ability, you receive direct, immediate feedback, both positive and negative, and can become proficient. If you keep at it, you will continue to improve. Doesn't matter which combat sport.

There's room to debate whether non-sport styles can manage this, sure. To be clear, non-sport styles build skills... but not necessarily fighting skills. But I don't think it can be argued that 100% of combat sports do this. You get better at doing what you actually do. If you don't fight, you aren't learning to fight. If you only fight in a grappling competition, you aren't getting good at striking. Seems obvious, I know, but that simple connection gets lost when we talk about self defense.

Second, working as a bouncer, cop, etc, is also a way to apply (and therefore build) skills and ability. So, he suggests by omission that combat sports are better than these other forms of application. There's room for debate here. I think combat sports have one real advantage over other types of application. It's a function of reps. If you do something infrequently, you will simply not have as much opportunity to apply the skills than if you do it more often. People who compete have a lot of opportunity to train for and apply skills in context. And if you're a cop, security guard, or bouncer, who trains in a combat sport, more's the better.

Third, he highlights that no matter how you train, any self defense situation involves transferring your learning from training to that situation. This is true whether you are training in a combat sport or in whatever self defense program you choose. So, another question is whether it is more reliable to train in a combat sport and then supplement that skillset, or to train in a non-sport, self defense focused program hoping that it will be close enough for you to bridge the gap (should you need to).

Lastly, I will propose that when we think about "self defense" training, we should not consider elite athletes, nor should we include cops, soldiers, or the guys who work in The Double Deuce. I think that's a red herring. Instead, we should consider what is best for the software developer who is interested in self defense, or the burger flipper, or the civil servant. Picture someone who may or may not be well coordinated, who has a fairly sedentary, non-violent job, and who wants to learn "self defense". What is the most efficient, effective way to teach that person?
 
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Nobufusa

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He is a bona fide expert, whether you know him or not. His credential are easily verified, if you're actually interested and not just disrupting the thread. And they aren't really all that relevant, if you're interested in talking about the substance of his argument (for or against).

But you can't discuss his argument, because you haven't watched the video. So far, all you've done is admitted you aren't even interested enough in the topic to take a few minutes to educate yourself about the topic at hand and engage in the discussion. That's about as intellectually lazy as it gets.
Thank you for writing this, saved me the hassle.
 

Damien

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I think the big problem here is everyone is talking at cross purposes about what counts as a combat sport. Some seem to have the opinion that if it's not a combat sport you aren't doing sparring, or if it is a combat sport it relates directly to fighting where you actually want to hurt the other person, or dissuade them enough that they don't hurt you (depending on how far we go down the self defence vs street fight discussion).

The problem is, this isn't the case.

Do combat sports have a sparring focus, yes. Does that sparring directly translate to being good in a fight- not necessarily. It's already been raised, but Olympic style TKD, or point sparring karate, doesn't exactly reflect a situation where someone want to hurt you. There's modification needed. In this case a lot more than say, Muay Thai or boxing, or MMA.

On the flip side plenty of styles which are by very definition not sports, include sparring. This might be hard knock the other guy out sparring (or close to it), or it might be point tapping. Why are they not sports, because a sport by definition is: "an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment"

I think you could argue dropping the entertainment bit. I mean who watches darts right? :p You could potentially replace that with a focus on the idea of competing; each person is trying to win, with the expectation of gaining something at the end of it. Importantly though, all combat sports have sparring where no one is trying to win, they are trying to learn, to improve, to put the reps in. It's only on occasion that you go into a full spar where you actively try to win for the purpose of getting something a the end. Does this shift in focus really have that dramatic effect on the skill outcome? I think not. Sure the pressure is higher, but sports do try to prepare fighters for this in training, no reason why you can't have this preparation outside of sports.

Now I'm not saying all non sport arts follow such a structure, just that they can, and some do. The distinction is not sport or not sport- that's just whether you get a trophy or belt at the end of it, or whether people are watching you for entertainment. It's putting skills to the test against a dynamically resisting opponent in a stressful situation. If you're at risk of being punched in the face whilst trying to do the same to someone else, you're probably (roughly) on the right track, within reason of course.
 

Damien

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Oh and it goes without saying that if you've got a crappy instructor who has no idea what he is talking about it all falls down. But there are combat sports coaches out there like that too.
 

Flying Crane

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I think the big problem here is everyone is talking at cross purposes about what counts as a combat sport. Some seem to have the opinion that if it's not a combat sport you aren't doing sparring, or if it is a combat sport it relates directly to fighting where you actually want to hurt the other person, or dissuade them enough that they don't hurt you (depending on how far we go down the self defence vs street fight discussion).

The problem is, this isn't the case.

Do combat sports have a sparring focus, yes. Does that sparring directly translate to being good in a fight- not necessarily. It's already been raised, but Olympic style TKD, or point sparring karate, doesn't exactly reflect a situation where someone want to hurt you. There's modification needed. In this case a lot more than say, Muay Thai or boxing, or MMA.

On the flip side plenty of styles which are by very definition not sports, include sparring. This might be hard knock the other guy out sparring (or close to it), or it might be point tapping. Why are they not sports, because a sport by definition is: "an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment"

I think you could argue dropping the entertainment bit. I mean who watches darts right? :p You could potentially replace that with a focus on the idea of competing; each person is trying to win, with the expectation of gaining something at the end of it. Importantly though, all combat sports have sparring where no one is trying to win, they are trying to learn, to improve, to put the reps in. It's only on occasion that you go into a full spar where you actively try to win for the purpose of getting something a the end. Does this shift in focus really have that dramatic effect on the skill outcome? I think not. Sure the pressure is higher, but sports do try to prepare fighters for this in training, no reason why you can't have this preparation outside of sports.

Now I'm not saying all non sport arts follow such a structure, just that they can, and some do. The distinction is not sport or not sport- that's just whether you get a trophy or belt at the end of it, or whether people are watching you for entertainment. It's putting skills to the test against a dynamically resisting opponent in a stressful situation. If you're at risk of being punched in the face whilst trying to do the same to someone else, you're probably (roughly) on the right track, within reason of course.
I would say a bigger problem is that a lot of people seem to treat this as a zero-sum game. If what I do works and you do something different, then by definition, what you do cannot possibly work. Its a completely flawed mindset and is often impossible to have a meaningful discussion.

People gotta find what works well for them and what they find interesting. That may well be something different from what the next guy is doing. And that is perfectly ok.
 

Steve

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I would say a bigger problem is that a lot of people seem to treat this as a zero-sum game. If what I do works and you do something different, then by definition, what you do cannot possibly work. Its a completely flawed mindset and is often impossible to have a meaningful discussion.

People gotta find what works well for them and what they find interesting. That may well be something different from what the next guy is doing. And that is perfectly ok.
You watch the video yet? I think that might be part of your problem.
 

drop bear

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Lastly, I will propose that when we think about "self defense" training, we should not consider elite athletes, nor should we include cops, soldiers, or the guys who work in The Double Deuce. I think that's a red herring. Instead, we should consider what is best for the software developer who is interested in self defense, or the burger flipper, or the civil servant. Picture someone who may or may not be well coordinated, who has a fairly sedentary, non-violent job, and who wants to learn "self defense". What is the most efficient, effective way to teach that person?

At what level are we cutting off elite athletes?

For example we take people from their sedentary jobs and train them to fight full contact.

At which point they are a lot fitter tougher and better mentally equipped than your average person.

So they are kind of both.

And I would suggest it is probably one of the more efficient systems to prepare someone for self defence because it develops those elite athlete/ bouncer attributes.
 

drop bear

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I would say a bigger problem is that a lot of people seem to treat this as a zero-sum game. If what I do works and you do something different, then by definition, what you do cannot possibly work. Its a completely flawed mindset and is often impossible to have a meaningful discussion.

People gotta find what works well for them and what they find interesting. That may well be something different from what the next guy is doing. And that is perfectly ok.

If you can build a case for a system then go for it.

I think it is where there is no evidence for that system that it gets dismissed.
 

Steve

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I think the big problem here is everyone is talking at cross purposes about what counts as a combat sport. Some seem to have the opinion that if it's not a combat sport you aren't doing sparring, or if it is a combat sport it relates directly to fighting where you actually want to hurt the other person, or dissuade them enough that they don't hurt you (depending on how far we go down the self defence vs street fight discussion).

The problem is, this isn't the case.

Do combat sports have a sparring focus, yes. Does that sparring directly translate to being good in a fight- not necessarily. It's already been raised, but Olympic style TKD, or point sparring karate, doesn't exactly reflect a situation where someone want to hurt you. There's modification needed. In this case a lot more than say, Muay Thai or boxing, or MMA.

On the flip side plenty of styles which are by very definition not sports, include sparring. This might be hard knock the other guy out sparring (or close to it), or it might be point tapping. Why are they not sports, because a sport by definition is: "an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment"

I think you could argue dropping the entertainment bit. I mean who watches darts right? :p You could potentially replace that with a focus on the idea of competing; each person is trying to win, with the expectation of gaining something at the end of it. Importantly though, all combat sports have sparring where no one is trying to win, they are trying to learn, to improve, to put the reps in. It's only on occasion that you go into a full spar where you actively try to win for the purpose of getting something a the end. Does this shift in focus really have that dramatic effect on the skill outcome? I think not. Sure the pressure is higher, but sports do try to prepare fighters for this in training, no reason why you can't have this preparation outside of sports.

Now I'm not saying all non sport arts follow such a structure, just that they can, and some do. The distinction is not sport or not sport- that's just whether you get a trophy or belt at the end of it, or whether people are watching you for entertainment. It's putting skills to the test against a dynamically resisting opponent in a stressful situation. If you're at risk of being punched in the face whilst trying to do the same to someone else, you're probably (roughly) on the right track, within reason of course.
You get good at what you actually do. Olympic style TKD folks have some real skill. Ive seen some TKD guys (and karateka) make the transition to MMA. It takes some time. Just like a pure grappler would have some work to do. But thats all layering skill onto skill.

What does a ninja get good at? What do they do?
At what level are we cutting off elite athletes?

For example we take people from their sedentary jobs and train them to fight full contact.

At which point they are a lot fitter tougher and better mentally equipped than your average person.

So they are kind of both.

And I would suggest it is probably one of the more efficient systems to prepare someone for self defence because it develops those elite athlete/ bouncer attributes.
good point. I had in mind where adults just staring out.
 

drop bear

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You get good at what you actually do. Olympic style TKD folks have some real skill. Ive seen some TKD guys (and karateka) make the transition to MMA. It takes some time. Just like a pure grappler would have some work to do. But thats all layering skill onto skill.

What does a ninja get good at? What do they do?

good point. I had in mind where adults just staring out.

Yeah. The thing is that normal guy idea seems to bleed in to this idea of acceptable compromise. And while I get people have priorities.

And your level of ability doesn't care about your bad day.

So we go from the question of what is the best way to develop someone to fight self defence.

To

What is the best way for someone who really doesn't want to put the time or effort in.

I want to train bouncers. But we only have two weeks kind of garbage attitude.

The half drawn horse.
 

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drop bear

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So here is the big issue with theoretical martial arts for self defence.

Now this is a really real security company training people to handle situations they actually might have to face

And five foot girl is never going to make this move work where100 plus kilo guy might. But even then who knows.(I rewatched this and they are trying to catch a punch. So almost never work for anyone.)

So he tells her with confidence that this is her go to move. Teaches that and actually sends her off to fight real bad guys.

It is a training culture that is inherently open to failure and to compound that is a culture that disguises that failure with false results and stories.

It is like they are just saying screw the consequences. And absolutely enrages me as a martial artist.
 

Steve

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Yeah. The thing is that normal guy idea seems to bleed in to this idea of acceptable compromise. And while I get people have priorities.

And your level of ability doesn't care about your bad day.

So we go from the question of what is the best way to develop someone to fight self defence.

To

What is the best way for someone who really doesn't want to put the time or effort in.

I want to train bouncers. But we only have two weeks kind of garbage attitude.

The half drawn horse.
Let me say it like this. Because who doesnt love analogy? Amiright?

How does a regular guy get good at playing the guitar? He plays a lot of guitar. If he takes lessons, hell probably see faster progress and may get better than he would on his own. If he has a really good teacher, maybe even faster. If hes already really good at playing the banjo, even faster yet. And in time, with effort, he could get really good, even if he doesnt have talent.

But you cant shortcut on the playing guitar part. Not uncommon for people to teach themselves to play, but step one is to get a guitar.

And if he learns to play classical guitar, it may take some time to pick up rock guitar maybe a little longer than if he were already a competent blues guitarist. But either way, hes much closer than a guy who plays rock band on the PS2 (even though that has a guitar like object and involves a strumming motion and a fingering motion).
 
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