Discussion in 'Self Defence' started by Judderman, Oct 11, 2004.

  1. Judderman

    Judderman 'Ello darlin'

    Essentially this will probably be a mute point, but what level of fitness do you advise for self defence.

    An obvious answer would be the fitter the better, but is there a minimum level of fitness you would advise?
  2. redsandpalm

    redsandpalm shut your beautiful face

    Initially aim to be able to run a mile in under 6 minutes. Should be enough to sprint out of trouble, and obviously after that... as fit as possible.
  3. Ikken Hisatsu

    Ikken Hisatsu New Member

    what kind of question is this? are you aiming for the lowest level of fitness that will let you scrape through? I dont think there is an answer to htis anyway, too many variables. level of fitness is a hard thing to measure, but I do think that someone should not be overweight, and should be strong and durable and healthy if they are serious about self defense. the role that physical attributes such as strength, toughness, and speed play should never be underestimated. you might be the greatest technical fighter, but if you go down like a lead balloon after one punch to the guts it wont mean much.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 12, 2004
  4. blessed_samurai

    blessed_samurai Valued Member

  5. Ikken Hisatsu

    Ikken Hisatsu New Member

    he is onto a good point. for him, constant training is simply not available, so strength mixed with a bit of grappling ability, a hardass attitude, and some good old experience create an effective means of fighting. and really, its that kind of person who is going to win a fight. I think he underestimates how much help his grappling experience gives him though- after only a few months of doing judo only twice a week, I was throwing people who weighed 50 pounds more than me and having my way with them on the ground (get your mind out of the gutter ;))

    anyway. weight training and a good level of fitness, in terms of things like swimming and running, and some basic MA knowledge, along with the right attitude, will get you quite far. obviously not into the pro ranks, but enough to deal with joe drunk on the sidewalk.
  6. TkdWarrior

    TkdWarrior Valued Member

    I was thinking...
    fitness is good, everyone should get into health and fitness, but let's say before this AHA moment, the guy wasn't fit, and now he want to learn SD, should he go and start looking for GYm membership for Good Self Defense Teacher?
    so unfit guy doesn't deserve to defend themselves???
    Sad. :(
  7. Ikken Hisatsu

    Ikken Hisatsu New Member

    I dont get it. if he is serious about self defense he will be fit, or get fit. a lot of people take up martial arts to fulfill (such an odd word) both of those things. if someone does martial arts but never gets fitter, he is not serious about his training. training the mind as well as the body are two sides to the same coin.
  8. blessed_samurai

    blessed_samurai Valued Member


    Usually activity will lead to more activity. And also, no one said anything about deserving to defend onesself.
  9. Eero

    Eero Valued Member

    I think so too. A martial artist should do his homework.
  10. TkdWarrior

    TkdWarrior Valued Member

    so unfit guy doesn't deserve to defend himself?

    what about a Person who is about 60+..??
    what about a person who is handicapped?
    what about a person who ...(put any disablities)?

    Listen I would not look in for SD if the teachers says me to go n get fit... Okay...
    I would prefer if he says "let kick some major butt" and u'll get healthy as side effect?

    NO question about it... But you are talking about MA and I m talking about SD.
    There's difference.. well not exactly but we as Martial artists around the world created it... and some other reasons...

    When I trained someone for SD, I remember not at all talking about Fitness.. know why? because I knew FItness is easy but getting SD attitude is way beyond tuff... people shut off their eyes n ears to truth...
    they want to know x technique to do confront x techniques..

    we are taking wrong approach... the guy who wrote the article in T-nation is pretty right about fitness and get strength...
    but does that also apply to women?? to Old people?
    if it isn't it's not SD.
    wat he says might work for him(works for him as I figured after reading the article), might work for some others who got the same thinking... but for others it's different.

    when you are talking about SD, you are talking in broader prespective, You just can't put MAists in there... can you?..
    think about it guys..
  11. TkdWarrior

    TkdWarrior Valued Member

    ah another thing, I don't want to put you into thinking that SD is tuff or blah blah some other nonsense.... It's easy only if you get it...
    I dunno which SD experts(George thompson I think) talks about signals, Green-Secured, Yellow-Warning, Red-Fight time(action not reaction). but he's right about one thing... it takes time to switch from secured and safety to Fighting attitude... that's wat I m talking about geting it...

  12. Ikken Hisatsu

    Ikken Hisatsu New Member

    you realise you just quoted yourself and then started arguing about what you said? I dont follow you here. learn to type legibly. use less dots. and no one said they dont deserve to learn sd.

    quite right.

    no, there isnt a difference. self defense, martial arts- both have the same ultimate goal of being able to beat another human in a fight.

    yes, attitude plays a huge role in martial arts. a sissy will never get anywhere.

    no, its not SD suited for them. if you are a huge, 7 foot tall, 300 pound mountain of muscle, you want to use that to your full advantage.
    sure is.

    learn to type.
  13. oldshadow

    oldshadow Valued Member

    It is a fact the bigger, stronger and fitter you are the better you will be at defending yourself. You will need less skill to do it. More skill plus fitness equals better SD.
    The smaller, less fit you are the more skill required defending yourself.
    When an instructor teaches SD they should be honest with the people they teach. They should evaluate the disadvantages the person may have and be honest with them on what they need to over come them.
    Any instructor teaching self-defense should follow the first rule the same as a doctor someone’s life could very well be at risk. “Do no harm”.
  14. Judderman

    Judderman 'Ello darlin'

    As I said in my original post, echoed by Oldshadow, the fitter you are the better.

    Unfortunatly not everyone has the same level of fitness. The fitness required in a SD situation is not the same as going 3X5 muay Thai. It does give you a distinct advantage, but not everyone has the time, ability, or (unfortunately) the motivation, to get that fit.

    Remember the average real encounter will probably last less than a minute, often less than a few seconds.

    Is it possible to define what a minimum level of fitness and strength shoulod be, specifically for SD? If so, what would you say that is?
  15. oldshadow

    oldshadow Valued Member

    I don’t think there is a minimal level of fitness for self-defense as long as the instructor is honest with them on what their abilities will be at their current level.

    One point on the length of time in a SD situation. It may be only minute or so but, it will be a very tiring minute even for a fit person due to the stress. The SD situations I have seen did last longer the a minute also.
  16. Judderman

    Judderman 'Ello darlin'

    So are you saying that fitness and strength should be proportional to skill?

    Fair point.
  17. redsandpalm

    redsandpalm shut your beautiful face

    I've been in situations that lasted longer than a minute - also being in a real SD situation is incredibly draining. Now that I'm doing MA I hope I could finish things quicker but I have had very little SD experience since starting it.
    I still think you should at least be fit enough to run away (as a minimum level)! If you're small and unfit but highly skilled, you can fight and stand your ground (for a little while at least) but that's it! What if there's loads of them, only one of you, and they don't stop until you make them stop. You won't be fast enough to take your opening to get out of there when it comes. Are you going to stay there and fight everyone? Are you going to maim/kill them all if neccessary?
    If you're old/disabled and have difficulty running away - that's life, all you can do your best, but there's no excuse for a fully abled martial artist not being fit enough to run to keep him/herself safe.
  18. alex_000

    alex_000 You talking to me?

    I believe that one should be able to fight 2x2min rounds (after warming up) without getting tired. Also it's good to have less/or 25% body fat .

    Thats for learning a striking art BTW.

    For self defence i don't think a certain level of fitness is needed.
  19. KickChick

    KickChick Valued Member

    For sure strength, speed and endurance do play an important role in how fast you can run and do make most of the self-defense techniques you learn more effective. One would only assume that your physical fitness would make you less intimidating and less like a victim to an attacker rather than an extremely overweight individual or say a fray older senior citizen.
    And don't forget flexibility which gives you greater range of movement to get out of holds and to kick more effectively.

    Perhaps that is why I have found (IMO now) that less fit individuals tend to carry weapons.
  20. Colin Linz

    Colin Linz Valued Member

    Fitness is a very specific for the activity. What is fit for one activity is not for another. Even maximum heart rate is activity specific. The term martial art is too diverse to say what the correct level of fitness is. Sport orientated martial arts will require a very good aerobic base, while self-defence will require good anaerobic power. Therefore a sports based art will spend considerable time just working on building a good aerobic base, while the self defence based art may focus their efforts in a different direction.

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