Martial arts makes you worse, not better at self defense

Discussion in 'Self Defence' started by Isaiah90, Aug 15, 2019.

  1. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    But how to get them into your Dojo/bedroom, that's the rub.... I've heard there might be an app for that!
  2. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

    Could it be......nah....couldn't it possible....we have the grand master of (枕头拳) Zhěntou Quán posting here on MAP
  3. Morik

    Morik Well-Known Member Supporter MAP 2017 Gold Award

    These are not 'way different', in my opinion. The main differences are:
    1. For sport fights, there are rulesets and often protective gear (e.g., gloves to protect your hands). In a self defense situation there is no ruleset.
    2. For sport fights, there doesn't tend to be an element of surprise (I'm not aware of any combat sports where there are elements of surprise). You can get ambushed and suddenly, unexpectedly find yourself in a self defense situation.

    What are the practical ramifications of those differences?
    For (1), it means that how you train may leave gaps in your defense that an attacker may be able to take advantage of. E.g., in Muay Thai you tend to protect the head and have a high stance. This leaves your groin open to strikes, but since groin strikes are illegal in Muay Thai, the stance is fine for Muay Thai. If you end up defending yourself on the street you are likely to go into the stance you have trained.

    That said, I still train to react to incoming kicks to that area. Not straight to the groin, but to the inside of the thighs, for instance, and push kicks can land on the stomach or thighs.
    If training for a non-sports purpose, the stance would be more 'ideal' to be trained a bit lower to help protect the groin more. And protecting the head would be less important (again, IMO), because you generally won't be fighting someone who is wearing gloves in a self defense situation. If they aren't wearing gloves, a bunch of targets on the head area become impractical because your skull will mess up their hands if they punch it in many places.

    So yes, it would be more ideal for self defense to train a lower stance and shifting the guard lower to defend more body & groin shots, and less concern about protecting the head (not no concern, just less).
    BUT--you need to do this under pressure. Actually training with people kicking your groin, and learning to defend that.

    Would that be better for self defense purposes? Probably, assuming you are training under pressure and learning the best ways to strike & defend yourself in that context. But I don't think it is a huge gaping gap--someone trained well (with pressure) in a striking art is going to be used to having people throwing strikes at them, and defending that. That is a huge leg up over someone who has not trained with pressure and is not used to having someone trying to strike them.

    For grappling sports, yes the rules typically don't allow strikes, and this can also make holes in your defense. Some techniques won't work well in an environment where your opponent can strike. But again, I don't think there is a massive gap. You see people transition from BJJ to MMA, and they do ok. For self defense, yes, ideally you'd be training with strikes allowed.

    One other thing on #1--there is a benefit to training in a combat sport over training outside of a sport context (again, in my opinion). And that benefit is that the sport will tend to refine & evolve over time to be more effective under its ruleset. This isn't just due to people at one particular gym figuring out the most effective way to respond to certain types of attacks--it is due to a feedback loop where someone, anyone, can come up with a more efficient attack or defense for a given context (e.g., changing the body mechanics of a strike so it lands faster without giving up much or any power), and then prove that this is more efficient in a competitive environment.
    This feedback loop is much slower outside of a sports context, and the sample size of events available to analyze is also smaller. (For sports, you have video recording of tons and tons of examples of people attempting to use the best currently known techniques for a given context. For self defense, there is not necessarily anything being recorded.)

    For #2, maybe there are training methods that can simulate ambush/etc. I am having a hard time thinking of how to truly simulate it... but I concede that sports-context training won't address the ambush aspect at all.
  4. Mushroom

    Mushroom De-powered to come back better than before.

    Army or Police would train that kinda thing (like properly with fake cities etc)
    Otherwise its stuff like stand in a middle of a circle of training partners and someone attacks you.

    Again tho, thats practice and short of hiding in the bushes waiting for your mate to come around, you cant really really simulate it. But thats the whole poiny of training, to get that instinct and reaction that bit quicker. Compared to someone who doesnt train it.
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  5. bassai

    bassai onwards and upwards ! Moderator Supporter

    The sim days that JWT offers are probably the closest “civilians” can get to this kind of training.
    The ambush scenarios he does are actually pretty realistic , but , at the back of your mind you know somethings coming , just not necessarily from who or which direction.
    axelb likes this.
  6. Isaiah90

    Isaiah90 Member

    It goes beyond changing your stance. Real street attacks deal with awareness, creating distance, being aware of your attacker's strategy, and knowing what weapons you're dealing with, etc. You could go into your stance, but that's only assuming your attackers let you. Attacks usually happen so fast that you don't have time to do even that. For example, there was a gang of attackers who ambushed a Muay Thai fighter on his way to class. They had knives and stabbed him to death. They didn't allow him to fight back.

    I agree somewhat, but remember that you're assuming your attacker is going to punch you. Your attacker could use a blunt force weapon to bash your head in so its unwise to leave it unprotected. If anything, you ought to protect your head more than other parts of the body because it's the most important part.

    Once again, it goes way beyond striking. There's alot of factors you have to deal with that Muay Thai doesn't effectively address like the environment, foul tactics, and weapons. For example, my friend told me of an MMA fighter who took down his opponent on the street but broke his arm by landing too hard on a sidewalk. He was completely defenseless. The opponent's friend came rushing in and they savagely jumped him.

    If you have to supplement grappling with striking or kicking, that shows grappling doesn't work as well as people like to admit.

    I agree somewhat. In many self defense courses, there's little to no sparring. It runs into the same problems that traditional martial artists face such as lack of realistic training and scripted demos. Luckily, my self defense training isn't like that and uses some of the training in combat sports.
  7. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

    a friend told me....... there was this guy...... yup....that is solid believable evidence for sure.... :rolleyes:

    Oh, and since you mentioned it....what exactly is your "self defense training"?
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  8. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    This unfortunately.
    Shmook, axelb and pgsmith like this.
  9. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside



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  10. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Moved on MAP 2017 Gold Award

    Ah that's terrible. That's some really indefensible "technique". Like that was all kinds of awful. It's hard to be constructive but I suggest you get yourself along to like a year or two worth of muay thai or something and 100% stop teaching your own defence system until you've become adept at martial arts.
    axelb likes this.
  11. Mushroom

    Mushroom De-powered to come back better than before.

    The varied flexibility is mindblowing.
    Frodocious, axelb and Dead_pool like this.
  12. Isaiah90

    Isaiah90 Member

    Here's a detailed explanation why most martial arts don't work in self defense.

    Wrong assumptions - Martial artists make many wrong assumptions about the streets. They assume it's going to be a fair fight. They assume they're going to face one untrained opponent. I could go on and on. When you're on the streets, you're not in your turf. You're in the criminal's territory. Street attackers don't follow your dojo or MMA gym's rules. They go by street rules which often has no rules.

    Trying to control too many variables - The second biggest problem with most martial arts is they try to control too many variables. They often do demos. with compliant partners and spar with people of the same style. They add rules of what is and is not allowed in sparring. Truthfully, you can't control everything that happens in the streets. There's going to be things outside of your control. You can't really predict how your attacker will attack. All you can do is make educated guesses.

    Unrealistic scenarios - Most martial artists engage in very unrealistic scenarios. They assume a street attacker will attack the way in a controlled manner usually in the defender's own art. That's far from reality. Most attackers attack chaotically with wild punches, kicks, bearhugs, bodyslams, headbutts, tackles, sucker punches, etc. It's going to be too fast and chaotic for your techniques to work.

    Unrealistic techniques - Most martial artists have unrealistic techniques. They're too flashy to work in combat. They usually think in sequences. The problem with sequences is you're assuming your attacker won't react or resist. They usually resist the moment you try to do your first technique which makes it harder for you to execute your second one.

    Unrealistic mindset - Most martial artists train with a sports mindset. They don't know the difference between an attack and a fight. An attack is a violent act meant to hurt you without your consent whereas a fight is agreed on. In a fight, there's some degree of respect and protection via. referees, mats, gloves, etc. That doesn't exist in a real attack. Street attackers have no problem bashing your skull in with a pipe. There's more blood and guts in street attacks than there is in fighting.

    Impractical exercises - Martial artists often engage in pointless work outs like flow drills and forms. Flow drills don't translate well to real combat for several reasons. 1) Your attacker won't stay in one range. Your attacker will start in one distance then move to another. 2) There's no intent to attack. People who do flow drills often attack with the intent for their partners to defend and counter then repeat. Martial artists say "well the point of flow drills is to practice your reflexes, speed, coordination, etc." Well, getting those benefits practicing flow drills is the equivalent of playing patty-cakes with your hands. Forms are also useless. You can practice your techniques on an imaginary opponent all day, but things completely change when you're dealing with a real attacker. Martial artists think they're improving their stance, structure, techniques, etc. by doing forms. They're in for a rude awakening when they get attacked and can't maintain their forms under pressure via. getting rammed against, getting punched wildly, etc.

    Ignorance of weapons and multiple attackers - Most martial artists neglect training against multiple attackers and armed attackers. They'll say "no art can deal with such situations" or "run" to justify bad training. If they do train against them, it's usually scripted and too flashy to be realistic. In fact, most martial artists who get attacked on the streets end up hurt or killed by weapons and/or multiple attackers.

    Ignorance of stress - Most martial artists don't realize stress can greatly decrease your performance. It's not enough to simply spar full contact. When you reached a certain level of stress, your brain forgets complex motor skills because it's not necessary for survival. That means all your flashy techniques become useless. You'll get tunnel vision, stiff muscles, difficulty concentrating, difficulty breathing, etc. If you don't know how to manage stress, your techniques will suffer and might find yourself getting beaten up regardless if you had the right training or not.

    Wrong techniques - Martial artists often train with the wrong techniques. They think if a punch or kick lands, it works. Nothing could be further from the truth. If it doesn't end the threat fast be it by breaking your attacker's limbs or knocking him/her out, it's not helping you defend yourself. Like the case with Meredith Kercher. She was a Karateka who got jumped by two people who plotted to kill her with knives. She fought for her life using Karate. She still got stabbed multiple times with knives, raped, and died with a sit throat. People can take Karate punches because they don't pack as much as power as other arts like boxing.

    That's why most martial arts are impractical for self defense.

    Post merged with existing thread
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 21, 2019
  13. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside


    Wait, didn't the mods just lock this in another thread you tried to create

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  14. Southpaw535

    Southpaw535 Well-Known Member Moderator Supporter

    My mistake. We chose to simply stick it here as a post to continue the discussion since this is where it seemed most fitting. Forgot to add a mod note explaining, my bad
    Dead_pool likes this.
  15. Alansmurf

    Alansmurf Aspire to Inspire before you Expire Supporter

    What a load of codswallop

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  16. aaradia

    aaradia Choy Li Fut and Yang Tai Chi Chuan Student Moderator Supporter

    So many things to say after that last post, I will stick to a few. Again, given your extremely limited formal training, you don't have the experience to make claims of "most martial artists"...................
    You don't know enough, and don't have enough experience with them to say what most other martial artist instructors believe. And based on both my own school and the many instructors that have been on MAP and my previous discussion board, you misrepresent them and what they teach, believe or disbelieve.

    You have no business saying what other people's techniques are like. Frankly, your techniques are quite lacking in so many basic fundamentals, you don't know enough to be judging others.

    If you go into a class with your glass full, then you can't learn. It seems to me that your few classes of formal training were a case of this. You didn't listen and learn, because you thought you already knew more. Denying yourself a chance to truly learn.:(:rolleyes: It's a shame, really.
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  17. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

    So, study most martial arts there have ya.....because you would need to for that statement to be even a little bit credible.....have you actually, truly train even one for an extended period of time with a real live, could reach out and physically touch him, teacher.

    Because I suspect you have about as much credibility discussing martial arts as I would discussing the game of Cricket which I saw once, on TV, in a Monty Python skit.
    SWC Sifu Ben, Dead_pool and axelb like this.
  18. KevinFrancis

    KevinFrancis New Member

    Sounds to me like OP suffered from classical, overly-structured martial arts syndrome.

    In memory of a once fluid man, crammed and distorted by the classical mess.
  19. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Moved on MAP 2017 Gold Award

    Worse, he never trained a day in his life unfortunately.
    KevinFrancis likes this.
  20. KevinFrancis

    KevinFrancis New Member

    I think OP already told us his fighting method of choice, ask a friend for help or gang up on one guy as a team.

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