As readers of this blog know self defense issues are near and dear to my heart. Often times I read other websites recounting rules of self defense strategies and I wonder – what? I mean often times there are no hard and fast rules. I see non-fighters talk about yelling fire, or kids grabbing a leg and hanging on and I wonder – have they ever tried this stuff?
Well I was offered a look at Mr. Martin’s book, “Self Defence Tips Everyone should Know” and not only enjoyed the read – found it refreshing to have it written by a fellow fighter with similar experience working the door! So what I am saying is if you like the way he gets his point across – you don’t have to worry about the content being sound. In this post I will highlight some of the issues and solutions Neal Martin provides in his self defence book.
When you walk into a karate school, one of the first things you notice are weapons on the walls. There are also trophies and pictures but the weapons are what I noticed right away. After watching karate movies and seeing how deadly weapons could be I wanted to learn how to use them!
But after a quick reality check I realized that most of these old weapons that would still work on an unarmed opponent – would have little effect against even a taser. Nowadays the personal self defense standard weapon is a gun. But after some more thought on this – I live in California where the gun laws are pretty strict – only the cops and crooks have guns outside homes.
In this post I will try to address the question if martial arts weapons are worth anything today or if you are just wasting your time that might be better spent learning how to use a taser, mace or a gun to augment your hand to hand self-defense.
I came across a story about a woman that was a student of karate, who got diagnosed with cancer, fought it, and earned her black belt! That got me thinking about the obvious benefits of karate but does it also include fighting disease? I’ve heard many strange things attributed to karate lessons but normally the accepted wisdom is gaining self-confidence and increasing fighting ability.
I know nowadays dog are thought to help the healing process just by making people happy in the hospital. Heck I’ve heard of a new twist on the age old tried and true method of praying to God – meditation and visualization. But to many people if you cannot see it, touch it, quantify it and prove it with a double blind study – it does not exist.
At times I have reviewed various techniques that while would work – are very worrisome from an unconscious shiver point of view. In this case a girl or woman has is already fighting for her life and limb; she is already being attacked or being sexually assaulted. Her choices are to try and comply and hope the guy will let her go or fight for her life!
The attack is a classic self-defense scenario. A bad guy isolates the victim and then robs, rapes, or murders the victim. The extra confusing thing here is some times a woman will find herself on a date that also turns into a sexual assault!
Disclaimer – I am a guy so I don’t understand most of might be happening in a woman’s mind at this point – only from a self-defense, fight or flight response point of view.
In this post I will review what happened to a woman as she recounted to me and a post I’ve found on this very subject on a martial arts self defense site. I tend to get guys responses where they purport to have iron nuts that cannot be harmed by a woman… I just accept that – although ladies – it is not true.
The when to fight question haunted me as a young boy. Before I learn any fighting I used to avoid fights if I could. I did not really know how to fight but I was better than average in sports – so I did not have to fight much before 5th grade. Later in the 5th grade a kid came up to me and challenged me to a fight and then smacked me. I did not even fight back! I did not think I was allowed to fight and did not have much confidence. By not fighting back my fate was sealed – I got beat up!
When my dad taught me the old one – two, and told me it was ok to fight back if attacked, I did ok. But when I knocked someone down I stopped and asked if he gave up. That was all it took to stop a fight in grade school. You only fought until the other acknowledged your win. Kicking a downed opponent was not done. Later when I learned Karate – I was taught how to punch and kick and how it was better to run from a fight if possible. I never ran and I finished all of my fights when the other guy gave.
So is it better to know how to fight and not do it? Or is it better to stand and fight? But the real question is if Martial Arts Philosophy it any better then Western Martial Arts (read boxing for self-defense) Philosophy? Here is a Kung Fu TV Series about, “Cowardice is the Wisdom of Weakness.”
I used to watch Zoro as a kid and of course picked up sticks and fight with my friends. Later as I got involved in Eastern Martial Arts (I knew as Martial Arts), I discovered that kicking and punching is a more effective fighting method. I learned some sword katas in Kenpo but the stress was mostly on knowing how to use an improvised weapon.
So Kendo never really interested me much you see as one cannot walk to the grocery store with a Samurai sword strapped to your belt. Also I am not descended from Asia so there is no particular familial historical interest either. I always wondered how my ancestors survived the dark ages and how one used the weapons of the day but again – they would not work for real fighting today.
I saw this video the other day and got to thinking about Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA). This post is just my thinking about taking up sword fighting in a modern age.
When I was a kid we debated about who would win in a fight – the boxer or karate guy. I would point out that the karate guy could kick the boxer in the nuts. My friends would call kicking sissy fighting and for girls. I don’t know if we ever settled that debate but since then the definition of fighting as expanded to include wrestling, judo, jiu-jitsu, muay thai, kung-fu and so on.
We followed boxing because that was the most popular. Later in life karate (PKA, WKA) tried to mimic but it never really took off. In the 1990′s after the toughman contests – the ultimate fighting challenge started changing how we watched fighting. My father’s generation did not think much of MMA but the baby-boomers and beyond loved it!
So here is the question – does boxing or MMA really demonstrate who would win in a fight? You know that age old question kids argue about. In this article I will argue for No – MMA is just another flavor of boxing in this regard. But it is fun to watch and argue about who is the best fighter.