I grew up watching Karate and Kung Fu movies and watching Boxing matches on TV. You see the fledgling full-contact Karate was not televised. So I was left with watching something on TV and then trying it with my friends. Never mind I did not really know what I was doing – most of the Karate/Kung Fu was bunk. Alas I was soon to discover that professional Wrestling was a bunch of hogwash too! So maybe Robin could take Kato? Well hmmm….
In this post I’ll zoom past my childhood un (or mis)-understanding of TV fighting as it relates to real self defense and speak about real self-defense moves as I have used in real fights (while working as a door man in my youthful 20′s).
As you all know that read this blog entitled, “MySelfDefenseBlog” I mostly speak for the underdog in society – the ones that criminals try to take advantage. I also support guns/laws that regulate guns so long as they make sense. This is why this case has been so hard for me. Here is the NY Times verdict piece.
The thing is whenever someone enters into an confrontation with another – things can go south fast. That is why I hated working as a bouncer at a bar. I was representing the bar when I had to throw drunk and unruly patrons out! I got in about one hundred fights in the two years I did that. One time when I was chasing a couple of pranksters down the street – a wise old black man watching the parking lot next door stopped me on the way back and gave me some sage advice. More on that but in this post I want to address the real issue I see – not the verdict but how people are treated based on the legal system in a state from my perception.
I was reading this story, about a guy with a knife attacking a woman walking though a park. I’ve heard too much chatter lately how women cannot really defend themselves against men as they are the kinder gentler gender.
Well let me tell you that I have always thought fighting was a state of mind (at least in part) because if you are a fighter and someone attacks you – you generally react!
When I was a kid I remember wondering what was best, wrestling or boxing. At the time I thought boxing was the best but when karate became popular in the 60′s – the argument became boxing or karate! Well fast forward past the 90′s (was a very confused time) and now if you ask any kid… they will no longer say jiu-jitsu but mma! Why to a teenaged kid that would not even watch a boxing match – MMA is king!
So why am I not impressed with the flavor of the day? I am not out to challenge anyone or trying to get an accomplished martial artist in judo, muay thai, jiu-jitsu, wrestling, or boxing to come over the dark side. But what I do want to do in this post is to examine how effective various martial arts would be in a real fight for an average guy/gal that has a couple of years experience under his/her belt.
I also want to look at some other factors such as the point of each martial art… you know what is it good for anyway? Don’t get mad but if your martial art has lots of rules that don’t easily transition to a real fight – what good is it in a fight (unless you are a world class fighter – then it makes no difference what you learn… it will all work)?
On the face of it – What? Am I a masochist? Do I like pain? What the heck am I talking about getting hit? Well to a non-fighter – it might seem strange but when I sparr… one of the things I really enjoy is getting the crap beat out of me in an initial exchange!!!
Backing up a bit – fighting is call an art. One past instructor told me fighting was a way of communication. Kind of a dance between partners. Well to use that metaphor – when you are attacked with everything but the kitchen sink and you are not really ready… there is nothing quite like that to wake you up!
In this post I will talk about how getting hit is good for the learning process and I would say a necessary part of the training process (if one is to excel). But first watch some MMA come backs for your viewing pleasure.
The news has been full of knife attacks and even the TSA has been considering letting people fly with small pocket knives. It is even scarier to some so removed from fighting or using hand tools that in my estimation I think most people think that a knife attack is not survivable!
I would like to make the point that as in any other kind of attack (read club, gun, baseball bat, hand to hand or whatever) – they are all serious. You can get hurt if you are not a trained fighter. Heck even if you are a trained fighter – you can get hurt.
In this post I’ll evaluate the obvious (to me) about knife attacks (or really any attack – they are all the same from a self defense point of view). But first review this video for a realistic overview.
This is kind of a Catholic vs Protestant argument that still goes on for some reason. What am I talking about? You know – If a school opens up in a strip mall for profit – many of the purists (read traditionalist Karate Ka) will smirk and wonder if the “McDojo” can trace its roots back to the old country (Read Japan or Okinawa). Traditionalists like to recite their lineage to prove their black belt is meaningful.
This is like the Catholics (disclaimer – I am a Catholic) or Orthodox Churches argument of Apostolic Succession (meaning they can trace their bishops back to Christ’s apostles. The thing about having an unbroken line of succession the church (or in the case of this post – karate lineage) is a valid church (or karate style).
The above lineage or succession validity based solely on an unbroken line makes no difference (argued by the new karate styles and Protestant religions). In this post I will evaluate the karate arguments both pro and con but would like to point out my position that old does not mean it is better the new (although it can be). New does not mean it is better than the old (although it can be). My only criteria is what works. Anything else is meaningless to me. Read on if you want to expanded version.