How much is self defense training needed?

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Discussion' started by m1k3jobs, Mar 28, 2011.

  1. m1k3jobs

    m1k3jobs Dudeist Priest

    I like to get a feel for the number of people on MAP that actually get involved in fights.

    • Not in training at your gym/dojo/academy/school.
    • Not in training at your gym/dojo/academy/school.
    • Not as a part of your job.
    • It has to go beyond harsh language, threats and pushing and shoving.
    • No almost fights.
    • No playground fights, grade 10 and above only as those fights can have bad intentions and the participants are old enough to have some basic skills and big enough to make it count.

    Just fights on the street, in bars or pubs, sporting events as a spectator, traveling hither and yon or even at home. Give a little background on your age, marital (not martial) status and the circumstances.

    I’m curious because there have been multiple self defense or good on the streets threads lately. I really wonder if there is an actual need for this or is it more of a perception.

    From what I’ve read and personal experience once you get beyond your early 20s and get married and settle down the chances of being in a fight (see above) drops tremendously.

    I’m currently 57 years old, married and I haven’t been in a fight since getting out of the US Marine Corps in 1974. Now I am a big bloke at 6’1” and 250 lbs which might have something to do with it.

    Any input would be appreciated.



    PS. If your experience is similar to mine where you haven't been fighting as an adult please post this information as well. Thanks.

    End edit:
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2011
  2. Haakon

    Haakon Valued Member

    Same as you Mike, right down to 6'1 and 250 lbs. I haven't been in a real fight since highschool. But there have been a time or two when I think the attitude and confidence gained from martial arts training have defused the situation where it didn't get to a fight. Few people want to get beat, and if they don't think they can win a fight they are unlikely to start it.

    I also suspect you'll get a different response from people in the UK, for some reason they seem to get into a lot more fights than people in the US - just an observation from reading MAP and other sites.
  3. Microlamia

    Microlamia Banned Banned

    I haven't been in a fight outside martial arts class since age 12...the fact that I have several facial piercings and wear clothes that make me look 30kg heavier probably helps :)
  4. Kuma

    Kuma Lurking about

    Aside from work, I haven't been in a fight since 2001. That one was in the Marine Corps, just proving that beer and testosterone don't mix. Still good friends with the guy I fought with. I'm in my thirties, married with kids, and aside from work and training don't really do too much else.
  5. Killa_Gorillas

    Killa_Gorillas Banned Banned

    I just butt scoot and crab walk everywhere, so any would be assailents fall directly into the gravitational pull of my d34dly 9u4rd and perish. Plus it's a great tricep workout. Can be hard to get attention at the bar though. oh and with regards to marital staus I'm a total pimp.

  6. John Titchen

    John Titchen Still Learning Supporter

    I don't recall ever being in any fights at school.

    In my University years I was involved in a number of serious incidents with strangers that I couldn't have got out of non violently at the time (including attempted muggings) though with the hindsight of age I could have taken steps / been educated in such a way that would have avoided most of them altogether - however some you just have to chalk up to random violence.

    In the decade and a half since then I've been in a few situations that I have no doubt would have gone physical had my conflict management training enabled me to defuse the situation.

    Is the training needed? I'd say in general it depends on your age, your sex, your location (and its crime pattern) and your lifestyle. There are people who don't really need it, others who just need an awareness briefing from time to time, and others still who could benefit from physical training. Of course there are also people who don't 'really' need it but gain peace of mind and a better quality of life from having had it.

    The OP is right that generally it is the teenage years that have the highest risk. Here's a table of the age of offenders (violent crime)from the last 10 years of the British Crime Survey:

    Age of offenders Lowest % Highest % 09/10 %
    Aged under 16 8% BCS 08/09 14% BCS 05/06 12%
    Aged 16 - 24 50% BCS 04/05 05/06 55% BCS 08/09 53%
    Aged 25 - 39 30% BCS 08/09 34% BCS 04/05 06/07 31%
    Aged 40 or older 12% BCS 05/06 06/07 09/10 13% BCS 04/05 07/08 08/09 12%

    Haven't had time yet to make up an equivalent table for the age of the victims! I've been concentrating on injury rates first in my data analysis order.
  7. Willsy

    Willsy 'Ello love

    I'd also agree...didn't get into fights at school (which was a pretty good run at an all boys school) but since arriving at uni have been in 2 fights and numerous defused confrontations. I'm sure that'll stop once I leave the drunken student environment.

    Hilarious mental image! I bet that goes 2 ways, with females as well?

    EDIT: Also new sig, I'm still laughing
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2011
  8. Hannibal

    Hannibal Cry HAVOC and let slip the Dogs of War!!! Supporter

    How much car insurance do you need?
    How much medical coverage?
    How many fire extinguishers will you need in your home?

    Self-Protection to me is the same. Everybody needs some level, and you choose a lower or higher level of skill development and prep based on your personal risk analysis.
  9. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    I haven't been in any serious fights as an adult. I think the most serious fight had to do with the other guy having drunk too much alcohol and that one just ended with me holding him down on the ground until others came to break it up. It was at a party in a house.

    Do you count where the other guy doesn't really fight back as a fight? I mean I escorted a guy out of a room by placing him in a shoulder lock, he swore he was going to get me the whole time, but he backed down at the end. I think in a lot of cases you get someone angry but as soon as they figure out you got some skills, they back down.

    Do you count where you don't fight back as a fight? I've had several cases with people I know, one lasted probably a minute where the person just punched at me and I sort of covered up a bit and took the hits. If the person had a knife, I would have been dead but it was someone I knew. I get punched and kick a lot in training so none of the hits really hurt me, in fact it was strange but the one hit that rocked me was an open hand slap to the side of my head. Strange how punches didn't hit me anywhere good but that one slap just rocked me. After a dozen strikes, I lost count, maybe more, the person just stopped and I left the room. All was back to normal later.

    Those are probably the worse of it. Nothing serious. I do think things could have been worse if I hadn't trained for all these years.

    There was one time when I just made contact and maybe looked at guy kind of funny. It seemed to me that he lunged at me and I checked his arm and stopped his momentum. I'm really not sure what happened, I just did this instinctively... anyway, I kept walking. I looked back and he and his two friends were looking in the crowd for someone and looked angry... I think it was me, I just blended into the crowd and moved off in another direction. The point here is that probably for most, the most dangerous situations happen as a result of the pack mentality. You may be able to avoid a fight one-on-one but when you get a group of people (a gang or just buddies) together, they start thinking like a pack and are much more inclined to use force. I mean we just call it multiple attackers in martial arts, but it is really a whole dynamic of combat based on how people interact when in groups, when in a pack or gang.

    You may get a few killers out there, even bad asses, but even they know that a pack of people can tear them apart, no matter how strong they are.

    A very big aspect of self defense is not for just protecting yourself, a lot has to do with protecting others and recognizing the signs of pack behavior. So it isn't that you can fight, when you and your companions are up against a pack of enemies, you are going to have to work together to get out of it. I want everyone I'm with to be able to fight or avoid fighting. We all protect each other and the innocents.

    Why is team work and back up so important in the police and military, special forces? Because people are stronger in numbers.
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2011
  10. 47MartialMan

    47MartialMan Valued Member

    It is strange the more you age or take upon other responsibilities, the less you fight and moreso avoid such places.

    I have been in many fights, win and lose in my youth, but as such I stated above, it is lesser.

    Do you need car insurance if you don't own a car or don't drive?
    Do you need medical coverage that you cannot afford?
    Should you install a smoke detector or fire sprinkler system rather than having many fire extinguishers?

    Preparation is a key, but along with that should be the study of what is actually needed.

    To me fighting and defense are almost different.

    A fight could be more easily avoided.
  11. Hannibal

    Hannibal Cry HAVOC and let slip the Dogs of War!!! Supporter

    Precisely - you assess your needs and train/plan accordingly. My needs are by occupational hazard exponentially higher than the vast majority of the populace and so I gear my training towards this.

    To continue the insurance analogy/paradox, you never need insurance in your daily life...until the day that you do!

    Sun Tzu said it better but I'll be damned if I am dragging that 10,000 quote up again!
  12. 47MartialMan

    47MartialMan Valued Member

    To reiterate:
    Preparation is a key, but along with that should be the study of what is actually needed.
  13. Kobudo-man

    Kobudo-man Valued Member

    Age 16-24: Yay university students!

  14. Amber

    Amber Valued Member

    As a general rule; yes; however I'd be concerned about more than JUST this. I used to live in a very dodgy area because I couldn't afford anything better - self defense WAS important to me then. One evening, I was out with a friend. A complete stranger, accompanied by a friend of his own, came up to me quite quickly, asked for a smoke, and before he stopped for my answer, attacked me. We exchanged a few punches, and I got him on the ground. At this point, neither of our friends had gotten involved, but once I started getting the upper hand, his friend pushed me off him. The original attacker kicked me in the head around 6 or 7 times; and my friend stood there in shock - it was lucky the police happened to show up and taser him.

    A few near misses too, won't go into those - but I lived in an extremely notorious area for violence, and worked late many nights. These days I live in a much nicer area, so I don't really view self-defense as important; but I still like to play with it.
  15. kilat02

    kilat02 Valued Member

    I haven't been in a fight outside my job or sport. My opinion is that 99% of the possible fights you get in can be avoided. people unwilling to back down is what get's most people in fights.
  16. 47MartialMan

    47MartialMan Valued Member

    It isn't a matter of another backing down as it is also the matter of not being there in the first place
  17. f3racer

    f3racer Valued Member

    33 5'8" 195
    US Army
    USD instructor.

    i havnt been into a street fight in probably 10 yrs, but i work part time as a bouncer at a biker bar that my wife manages. so you can imagine fights. 8/10 times its not a fight. its more or me wrapping someone up who is already fighting. when i worked law enforcement at ft stewart (02-09) it was probably 1 or 2 fights a week. there have been a few times recently where i have been in the position to fight and either the other person backed down or i did. more of me baking down than the other way round. i have been trying to think about my career. i would like to think that self defense is needed. i see it every day. more and more young kids who have neve done anythign athletic ever. never been into a fight. they need something to break them in i think. if the situation approaches them what will they do? probably freeze and get the crap kicked out of them. they have to be taught not to freeze up, if they cant walk away.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2011
  18. 47MartialMan

    47MartialMan Valued Member

    From the few closest friends who are LEOs I have, they rather not fight,
  19. f3racer

    f3racer Valued Member

    i like to fight in a controlled environment. at ft stewart there really isnt much choice. the deployment rate there is unreal and soldiers come back ready to go get stupid.
  20. ArthurKing

    ArthurKing Valued Member

    I grew up in Northern Ireland in the 70s. We lived on several pretty rough estates, to be honest, avoiding getting robbed or just beaten for any number of reasons was pretty well a daily occurance. Had a few scuffles at school, hastled by 'security forces' on several occasions. Me and a group of friends were once attacked by another group when i was at college, again, nothing serious. As an adult i've always managed to avoid fights, particularly when out with my mrs, she's always made it clear that she doesn't want me to hit people, even if i feel capable and justified in doing so. I love my sparring and hard training, but i know it's not real. I think i've simply learned all the avoidance rules early on and stay out of those places/situations, or recognize them very quickly and then get out!
    So this is kind of about not fighting but i think it's probably the one area of self-defence that most people just don't get.

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