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Great article. At some point I will learn how to punch and kick and fight so that I WOULDN'T blow my fuse if someone angers me but instead learn to calm myself and know that I dont have to throw the first punch or get agitated by words but if the other guy attacks, I can take him down.
Alwaysbeclosing: Hey man. I'm glad you mentioned Wing Chun and other styles of kung fu. I actually wrote out a couple paragraphs about them but didn't put it in the article. Since you mentioned it though, I think I'll add them back in.
Like I said in the article, knockdown/full contact karate is better than nothing. However much of the effectiveness of Karate is based on the person rather than the art itself. Karate just isn't realistic. In full contact karate tournaments, you're not allowed to hit someone in the face or use throws on them. There is a difference between a real fight, and sparring. When you have two karate fighters fighting against each other in the karate style, then yes, it looks somewhat effective, but the fact is, that's not what real fights look like.
If you want to see what real fights look like, take a look through these videos. I'll warn you, some of this stuff is graphic.
Hitsu: As for Ninjutsu. I've never actually studied ninjutsu, so I can't say from first hand experience whether it would be effective, but from what I know, there really isn't a direct line to actual ninja fighting strategies. What's being taught nowadays as ninjutsu is just a modern reconstruction based on other Japanese arts, mostly consisting of Japanese Jiu-Jitsu, although Japanese Jiu Jitsu would probably be a fairly accurate representation of what ninja bare hand fighting techniques would look like as it is a direct descendent of Aikijutsu which is what was taught to the Samurai in feudal Japan. I can tell you this though, most standing joint locks (that's what a lot of Japanese Jiu Jitsu is) are very difficult to do in a real life situation. Although this is one art I haven't studied, so I can't say for certain if it would be effective or not. Sorry to give such a vague answer.
Great post Ethan. I vote for a sticky on this one.
The best knife fight advice / observation I ever heard (other than "run!") was: by the time you realize you're in a knife fight, you've already been cut. (Ethan, good to know you were a rare exception here and had time to actually see the blade).
The only issue I have with the article is listing MMA as legit could be a bit misleading. Due to the rise of the UFC (and similar lesser known leagues), there have been many, many schools repackaging themselves as "MMA" and basically teaching the same old thing. Old wine in new bottles. No school needs any certification to call itself an MMA school, so the old TKD school can sucker new students with a new name and offer the same old horse riding stance katas.
Martial arts instructors are like military recruiters, they'll tell you anything you want to hear. Some are legit, many are full of shit. Many have cult leader personalities and their students are cult followers who are treated as good students when they submit their wills (and wallets) to the guru, and are treated as "unworthy" if they possess anything resembling a mind that thinks independent of the guru's declarations. Think a combination of Jim Jones and Rex Kwan Do and you'll get an idea of what a lot of instructors are like.
Temporarily unavailable as I need to focus on other areas of my life. Only focusing on no more than two goals at once. Best of luck to you guys.
if chris wouldnt put it on his site then I would definitely put it on mine.
btw that first thaiboxing street fight video - its fake - notice how they throw their head back every time they get kicked in the face - to create a more dramatic effect. real fighters would keep their head and neck stiff and block the kick
Amazing Article...defintely deserves to be on the main blog and perhaps a new section (about defending yourself)...I haven't had to fight since about 2010...but I really want to learn how to defend myself...I do a lot of self improvement but this is important as well...I want to Muay Thai and wrestling...brazillian jiu-jistsu later...amzing thread though...combat should be a area of discussion on this site as well
Boy Toy: Glad you enjoyed it. I was thinking along the same lines when I saw them throwing their heads back like that. It just looked too theatrical. I think I'll remove that video if it's gonna go up on the blog.
Killer91: Good question. If you enjoy boxing, there's nothing wrong with doing it. It's a great skill and a great sport. However if your primary goal is to learn to win a fight, I would take BJJ. Work on your weaknesses, not just your strengths, because as you said, if you get taken down in a fight and don't have ground work skills, you're fucked. You can always take boxing back up after a year or two once you're solid at basic ground game.
Just wanted to know, what's your stance on Vovinam Viet Vo Dao ? It looks a bit like Krav'maga (on some points) from what I've seen - except the scissors technique of course, and that there are rules. I don't know however what it really is. Here is a video of the scissors technique :
It's pretty rare for me to come across a martial art that I'm completely unfamiliar with. I had to look Vovinam up cause I'd never even heard of it. From what I've seen though, I'm 100% sure Vovinam is bullshit. It's right in line with Tae Kwon Do and Hapkido.
I've heard of Systema and I understand the basic concepts, but I've never tried it because it looks terrible. I know a lot of people rave about it, but people also rave about mystic healing crystals too. From everything I've seen, I'm confident in calling bullshit.
Check out this video. Nobody is using any power, or resisting in the slightest. They're all just falling over at the slightest touch. None of this would actually work. Aikido is the same thing. Just a bunch of people pretending to get thrown, but at least Aikido is cool to watch.
A lot of Systema videos look like total bs. Keep in mind that Russians are crafty people. They will show cool things to get people to sign up. It doesn't necessarily means that the system is bs. You can look at Tae Kwon Do as an example. Koreans are crafty people too. But if they taught westerners Tae Kwon Do in the same manner that they were taught themselves, then they would be getting sued left and right. The result is a "family friendly" version of a real martial art, where you get your next color belt as long as your monthly check clears.
Systema is unfortunately going down the same path. It shows good demonstrations of fancy techniques, but the point isn't in the techniques. The point of Systema is that you make up your own techniques as you go along. There's no standard defense for anything. It goes more along the lines of Jeet Kune Do in that it focuses more on intercepting the attack. Here is a more convincing video of Systema in practice:
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