What art is best for street fights?

Hot Lunch

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I don't want to be the guy who ends up under a subway train. Or the guy who gets arrested for knocking him off the platform. One really neat hack to not be either of those guys is to not get into situations like that.
Yes, because whether or not someone physically assaults you without provocation is totally your decision.
 

Hot Lunch

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Nope.
The question is kind of: What equipment is the best for mountain climbing?
Your answer is: Do not climb the mountain.
Let's keep two things understood. First, he's not going to give an answer that makes sense to the rational-minded. Secondly, who cares what his answer is? You're not going to take life advice from him, are you? I hope not. If you do, then "don't get into street fights" will likely translate to "stand there and let him beat you up."
 

Kung Fu Wang

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"don't get into street fights" will likely translate to "stand there and let him beat you up."
One of my senior SC brothers in NYC told me (before he passed away) that the proudest thing that he did in his life was to save a girl from attacking by a guy in the NYC street. In Chinese, what he did is called "Xia 靘 - chivalry".

One time in Hawaii, a guy tried to pull a girl into his car. The girl was screaming. I got that guy into a reverse head lock. He lets the girl go. After the girl disappeared, I let him go. Nobody was hurt. Everybody lives happy ever after.

It's easy to say, "don't get into street fights". When someone knocks your wife down, it's wrong to either stand there and watching, or abandon her and run away.

We train MA not only to protect ourselves but also to protect our loved ones. The former, you can run away or avoid. The latter, you can't.

Sometimes, we just have to stand on our ground and help good to fight against evil.
 
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Hot Lunch

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We train MA not only to protect ourselves but also to protect our loved ones. The former, you can run away or avoid. The latter, you can't.
This is true for some. I'm a damned good distance runner (which is useless in a self-defense scenario), but a horrible sprinter. Running away is not an option for me, and attempting to do so would put myself in even greater danger.
 
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Bill Mattocks

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Yes, because whether or not someone physically assaults you without provocation is totally your decision.
That is self-defense. Street fights have a certain nomenclature, usually predicated by at least two parties being mutually combative.

However, to address your statement, at least some of that might be under a person's control. For example, many fights start in bars, strangely enough. Solution; stay out of bars, particularly the kind that have a lot of fights. You can't control everything, but you can limit your risk - that too is self-defense.
 
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Bill Mattocks

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One of my senior SC brothers in NYC told me (before he passed away) that the proudest thing that he did in his life was to save a girl from attacking by a guy in the NYC street. In Chinese, what he did is called "Xia 靘 - chivalry".

One time in Hawaii, a guy tried to pull a girl into his car. The girl was screaming. I got that guy into a reverse head lock. He lets the girl go. After the girl disappeared, I let him go. Nobody was hurt. Everybody lives happy ever after.

It's easy to say, "don't get into street fights". When someone knocks your wife down, it's wrong to either stand there and watching, or abandon her and run away.

We train MA not only to protect ourselves but also to protect our loved ones. The former, you can run away or avoid. The latter, you can't.

Sometimes, we just have to stand on our ground and help good to fight against evil.
Self-defense is one thing. Getting into street fights is another.

"I was assaulted and I defended myself."

Versus...

"Me and this other guy got into a drunken shoving match and it ended up in a street fight."

It's very easy to say don't get into street fights. Street fights are stupid. Avoid them. If you have to defend yourself, that's a different issue.
 

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That is self-defense. Street fights have a certain nomenclature, usually predicated by at least two parties being mutually combative.

However, to address your statement, at least some of that might be under a person's control. For example, many fights start in bars, strangely enough. Solution; stay out of bars, particularly the kind that have a lot of fights. You can't control everything, but you can limit your risk - that too is self-defense.

Statistically, About 20% of women in college are raped or sexually assaulted by physical force. If she defends herself, is that self defense? Or is it just her fault because she should have known better?

More to the point of this thread, if that female comes to you and asks you what martial art is best for defending herself from a would-be rapist, would you tell her its the one that helps her not get raped in the first place? This is a question Id very much like for you to answer, because, unless you can explain it to me, your opinions appear to be very irresponsible.
 

Hot Lunch

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It's way too late in the discussion to define "street fight" as something between two mutual aggressors who are equally at fault.

If we define it as such, then we have to presume that anyone who asks which martial art is best for a street fight is a hooligan looking to enhance their ability to commit violence. Never mind the fact that, more often than not, the person asking such a question has "soft target" written all over them. Or of the fact that hooliganism requires a serious dearth of discipline that is incompatible with the ability to commit to martial arts long term.

On the flip side of the coin, if you don't know which martial art is the most effective in a street fight, you could simply just say that. If you believe that there is no right or wrong answer to that question, you could say that as well.

Frankly, if someone CAN answer that question, you'd have to wonder how they'd know, and question whether or not they're someone you'd ever want to listen to or have influence on your children.
 

drop bear

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Statistically, About 20% of women in college are raped or sexually assaulted by physical force. If she defends herself, is that self defense? Or is it just her fault because she should have known better?

More to the point of this thread, if that female comes to you and asks you what martial art is best for defending herself from a would-be rapist, would you tell her its the one that helps her not get raped in the first place? This is a question Id very much like for you to answer, because, unless you can explain it to me, your opinions appear to be very irresponsible.
Although isn't there evidence that the don't get raped method is better than the learn to fight method?
 

drop bear

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Self-defense is one thing. Getting into street fights is another.

"I was assaulted and I defended myself."

Versus...

"Me and this other guy got into a drunken shoving match and it ended up in a street fight."

It's very easy to say don't get into street fights. Street fights are stupid. Avoid them. If you have to defend yourself, that's a different issue.
But you would still want to win that fight. Because getting beaten up is crap.
 

marvin8

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I get asked this a lot by people who are 'interested' in martial arts, or who want to know 'which art is best' for various things. "Street fights" always comes up in such discussions.

"What would you do in a street fight if XYZ...etc."

I always give the same unsatisfactory answer. Street fighting is stupid. It's pretty much the dumbest thing a person can do voluntarily. I'm not saying they don't happen. I'm not saying that a person might not be called upon to defend themselves in the street (although there are lots of ways to avoid being put in such situations, they can't ALL be avoided).
Many people interested in "martial arts" are interested in self-defense, not mutual combat. So, their less ambiguous question is "What would you do to defend yourself if attacked in the street (e.g., subway)?" As you said, your answer is more unsatisfactory to them. In mutual combat, both parties may lose their right to self-defense and is inadvisable.

I'm saying that fights are by nature chaotic. Random chance applies as much as skill or art does. I think that's the case here. And what a person might think of as a simple punch up can quickly end up being something the law considers much, much, more serious.

Here is today's example. I do not know who the instigator of this fight was. From the video only, it seems as if the person who survived was the victim; but you don't know what happened before the video started. Perhaps the person who survived had no choice but to the defend themselves with violence - I can't say and I'm not judging them.

What I *am* saying is this. Although neither person expected to die, one of them did die, and rather horribly as well. The other person's life is going to change in a very major way now. He won't be going to work tomorrow. He's going to have to hire an attorney, most likely. He may have to get a bail bondsman to get released from the pokey. Even if in the end it's ruled self-defense, he's got economic and other issues to deal with, not to mention that killing another human being often has a psychological impact on a person.


So yeah. "Which art is best for street fighting?" The one where you don't get in street fights. That one.
In your example, had the smaller man not defended himself, he may have been the one to fall onto the tracks and die. The bigger man is seen grabbing the smaller man with his left hand and cocking back his right hand as if to strike.

 

Steve

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Although isn't there evidence that the don't get raped method is better than the learn to fight method?

Good point, though there is some "learn to fight" in the "don't get raped" model that was studied. That said, the highly questionable logic is notably absent from that college self-defense program. I'm confident that if a woman asked them the same question (what's the best MA to use if you're being raped?), the response wouldn't have been, "Well, you went out on a date which is very risky behavior. You can't be date raped if you never date."
 
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Bill Mattocks

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Many people interested in "martial arts" are interested in self-defense, not mutual combat. So, their less ambiguous question is "What would you do to defend yourself if attacked in the street (e.g., subway)?" As you said, your answer is more unsatisfactory to them. In mutual combat, both parties may lose their right to self-defense and is inadvisable.
If the question is "what art is best for self-defense" then the answer is that there is no one-size-fits-all answer. If the question is "what art is best for street fights," then I maintain my reply that street fights are stupid and to be avoided.

I understand that the uninitiated often ask questions in their ignorance that experienced people realize are not the right questions to ask. I can't give an answer to such questions. "What's the best sword?" "What's the best gun?" "What's the best martial art?" And so on and so forth.

In your example, had the smaller man not defended himself, he may have been the one to fall onto the tracks and die. The bigger man is seen grabbing the smaller man with his left hand and cocking back his right hand as if to strike.

It's hard to say what happened before the video began. I used the video as an illustration of the way street fights can go. It is clear that it is possible that the incident in question might have been a pure self-defense situation by the smaller man. We don't know. We do know that the smaller man was arrested - I haven't read whether or not he was charged with a crime. If he is, that might tend to indicate that the situation was more of a mutual combat than a self-defense situation.

However, whether it was or was not self-defense, my point was and is that this is what can happen. Some folks, particularly those without experience in violence, have illusions about how so-called 'street fights' go. They are chaotic. Random stuff happens in them. The 'better fighter' doesn't always (I suspect doesn't even usually) win, it's random chance and sometimes there isn't even what you might call a winner. It's not a boxing matching. The fights I've been witness too and sadly had to get involved in (during my younger days as a Marine MP), technique goes out the window in many cases. People slip, slide, fall down, bust their hands on people and things, cut their fists on teeth, rip clothes and hair and flail around until they finally connect with something. In other words, pretty much exactly like the video. The smaller guy was able to connect with a couple of effective punches, but he didn't have a good base, because both of them lost their footing and went *ss over applecart. That's typical in my experience.

I've posted here in the past about drunks deciding to duke it out in the parking lot over some macho nonsense or another, and one of them slips and falls down, cracks his skull open, dies, and his combative partner finds himself arrested on serious charges.

All of this to say that street fights are stupid and to be avoided. I don't understand why this isn't simply seen as common sense and indisputable, but apparently people disagree with me and think street fights are nifty keen.

Now, given the video I posted, could the smaller guy avoided having to fight his way out of the position he found himself in during the altercation that was video'd? I do not know, because I don't know what happened prior to that moment.

Bottom line; self-defense is good. Avoiding the need for self-defense is better. Seeking out fights with people on the street is stupid.
 

Hot Lunch

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If the question is "what art is best for self-defense" then the answer is that there is no one-size-fits-all answer. If the question is "what art is best for street fights," then I maintain my reply that street fights are stupid and to be avoided.

I understand that the uninitiated often ask questions in their ignorance that experienced people realize are not the right questions to ask. I can't give an answer to such questions.
I can understand why a 3rd grade teacher might respond to "I don't know. Can you?" in response to a student asking "Can I go to the bathroom?" (i.e., the teacher is doing his or her job by teaching and correcting grammar).

But if we're doing similar things outside of that environment, then that's just bad social interaction. And it will likely come off to some (maybe even most), as though you're trying to act superior.

If I genuinely misunderstood someone, that's one thing. But if I understand fully well what they're asking or saying, there's no need for the pedantics.
 

marvin8

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If the question is "what art is best for self-defense" then the answer is that there is no one-size-fits-all answer.
That's your answer, may be not others.

If the question is "what art is best for street fights," then I maintain my reply that street fights are stupid and to be avoided.
Many people use both questions to mean self-defense and street fights that "can't ALL be avoided," not mutual combat.

I understand that the uninitiated often ask questions in their ignorance that experienced people realize are not the right questions to ask. I can't give an answer to such questions. "What's the best sword?" "What's the best gun?" "What's the best martial art?" And so on and so forth.
Others may assess their background, what they are looking to accomplish and suggest choices of swords, guns or martial arts that include drilling realistically using timing, energy and motion.

It's hard to say what happened before the video began. I used the video as an illustration of the way street fights can go. It is clear that it is possible that the incident in question might have been a pure self-defense situation by the smaller man. We don't know. We do know that the smaller man was arrested - I haven't read whether or not he was charged with a crime. If he is, that might tend to indicate that the situation was more of a mutual combat than a self-defense situation.
He was charged with involuntary manslaughter. How would that indicate they both agreed to have a fair fight, mutual combat?

However, whether it was or was not self-defense, my point was and is that this is what can happen. Some folks, particularly those without experience in violence, have illusions about how so-called 'street fights' go. They are chaotic. Random stuff happens in them. The 'better fighter' doesn't always (I suspect doesn't even usually) win, it's random chance and sometimes there isn't even what you might call a winner. It's not a boxing matching. The fights I've been witness too and sadly had to get involved in (during my younger days as a Marine MP), technique goes out the window in many cases. People slip, slide, fall down, bust their hands on people and things, cut their fists on teeth, rip clothes and hair and flail around until they finally connect with something. In other words, pretty much exactly like the video. The smaller guy was able to connect with a couple of effective punches, but he didn't have a good base, because both of them lost their footing and went *ss over applecart. That's typical in my experience.
In your example, what did happen is the smaller guy is alive and the bigger man died. Again if the smaller guy had not defended himself, he may have been the one dead.

I've posted here in the past about drunks deciding to duke it out in the parking lot over some macho nonsense or another, and one of them slips and falls down, cracks his skull open, dies, and his combative partner finds himself arrested on serious charges.

All of this to say that street fights are stupid and to be avoided. I don't understand why this isn't simply seen as common sense and indisputable, but apparently people disagree with me and think street fights are nifty keen.
I don't believe many people disagree with that. You may be taking what they're asking or saying too literally. They may be talking about street fights that can't be avoided and self-defense.
 
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Bill Mattocks

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That's your answer, may be not others.
Then they would be wrong.
Many people use both questions to mean self-defense and street fights that "can't ALL be avoided," not mutual combat.


Others may assess their background, what they are looking to accomplish and suggest choices of swords, guns or martial arts that include drilling realistically using timing, energy and motion.
Then they would be wrong.
He was charged with involuntary manslaughter. How would that indicate they both agreed to have a fair fight, mutual combat?
You made me go look it up. Yes, he was charged with involuntary manslaughter. Turns out he is a homeless person who had an open warrant for strangulation and a lengthy criminal history. Recall that in the video, he was pinned against a column by a larger man who was shouting and apparently threatening him. At one point, the larger man cocked his fist and threatened to hit the smaller man, at which time the smaller man hit the larger man, ending in the larger man's death.

Now, I still can't read minds and I don't have all the information, but I think it would be reasonable to speculate that the smaller man started the fight. The larger man apparently chose to engage, because he had the smaller man pinned against the column and threatened him with a fist. That sounds like two angry people going at each other to me.
But let's say the larger man was engaging in self-defense. If that was the case, it didn't work very well, unless one considers being hit and killed by a subway train a successful ending to a self-defense incident.

But in my opinion based on what little information I have now, neither man was engaging in self-defense at the point the video starts. The smaller man looks in the video as if he is the victim; he was not.

In your example, what did happen is the smaller guy is alive and the bigger man died. Again if the smaller guy had not defended himself, he may have been the one dead.
The smaller guy was apparently the aggressor, which is why he's been charged with involuntary manslaughter.


I don't believe many people disagree with that. You may be taking what they're asking or saying too literally. They may be talking about street fights that can't be avoided and self-defense.

You can believe what you wish. I have been involved in discussions here and elsewhere with people who believe that one builds 'street cred' by engaging in 'street fights', as well as those who believe that 'backing down' or 'running away' from a challenge issued by a random angry person in the street is cowardice and must be met with violence or one is not a man. I presume those are still around MT, but I don't see them anymore as I have the blocked.
 
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Bill Mattocks

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I can understand why a 3rd grade teacher might respond to "I don't know. Can you?" in response to a student asking "Can I go to the bathroom?" (i.e., the teacher is doing his or her job by teaching and correcting grammar).

But if we're doing similar things outside of that environment, then that's just bad social interaction. And it will likely come off to some (maybe even most), as though you're trying to act superior.

If I genuinely misunderstood someone, that's one thing. But if I understand fully well what they're asking or saying, there's no need for the pedantics.
I literally cannot answer the commonly-asked question "Which martial art is the best for a street fight." If the why behind that escapes you, or if you think there *is* a best martial art for a street fight, I guess I have nothing else to discuss.
 

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There are a few stories of historical Okinwan karate figures getting in street fights, and yes, some involved bars and alcohol. Most ended in just a few seconds. Here are three interesting stories/legends showing a variety of responses.

Motobu Choki was in a bar when a drunken knife-wielding patron threatened to kill him (no info on Motobu's state on inebriation). Motobu suggested they go outside to settle the matter. As the guy turned and walked towards the door Motobu took him out with a side kick to the back causing serious injury.

Arakaki Ankichi found himself in a bar fight that ended up on a stairway. (I think the other guy was a pro fighter of some sort.) Arakaki landed a toe kick to the guy's armpit that resulted with his death a few days later.

Another master (can't come up with his name right now) was faced with a troublemaker while on a bus. He suggested they exit to have more room for their fight. The troublemaker got off first, after which the master had the bus driver close the door and drive off.
 
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