Way back when I was a kid watching Batman and Robin, I was trying to figure out how to throw a knockout punch. I figured from watching the shows that you had to pull your hand way back and swing as hard as you could! My childhood version of fighting was a bit off but I did know that knocking someone out was a good way to win a fight or in self-defense, live to fight another day.
But on this website for years I have focused on those who did not know how to fight, trying to uplift them and motivate them to learn how to fight, but if not that – at least take a short-term self-defense course. So in a manner of speaking I have dumbed down this website. Well as I get older I realize that I am not helping anyone by showing a few good moves and telling people that they can do this with a self-defense class. Perhaps but likely not.
So today’s topic of how to throw a knockout punch is a good example. For self-defense I would have told people to throw an eye shot or half-fist to the throat or a kick to the groin if someone attacked them. Now what would I do? I would just knockout the offending attacker and be done with it.
Is knocking someone out hard? For me? No. For an untrained fighter? Yes. An untrained fighter will need an edge to survive an attack. For me it is unlucky for the attacker to pick me as a victim because likely he will not realize I can fight and give me advantages. But even if he does not, (give me advantages) my go to move is to knock him out and figure out what happened later.
Today I’m starting to develop my youtube channel for My Self-Defense Bog, (MySelfDefenseBlog) where I can upload short videos showing some moves. The videos will be short and to the point at hand. Here is the first in that effort. I’ll go into more detail below after.
One of the fighter’s dilemmas is what happens when you grow old? I’ve written about this before but I want to take a slightly different tact other than entertaining the thought that old men will fight as good as young men. This is a case of diminishing returns. The older a man gets – the more his skill, strength, and stamina leaves him.
Specifically someone used to fighting any kind of sport karate (point sparring, continuous sparring, full contact or kick boxing, and even mma) will notice all of the hungry young pups giving the oldsters a run for their money. If an older fighter has not made the transition from fighter to coach at some point – what will be left? That is the point of this article. But first watch an old guy letting his gloves do the talking. I don’t know if there is any colorful language as these are not English speakers.
It was the mid-1980’s and I was having a conversation with an old guy I knew from another business. He owned a metal shop and the conversation got to fighting. He knew I used to own a karate school and thought I could take care of myself. He told me that he knew karate and was good at street fighting. We went back and forth for a while with our experience and I assumed since I outranked him I could win easily in any kind of fight. Well as you know in a street fight there are no rules. I squared off with Henry and as I was getting ready into my stance – he jabbed an eye-poke at my forehead!!! My ego was great and my counter punch caught him in his gut and I declared myself the winner!
It reminded me of my childhood cap-gun fights arguing who got who first. You see in a real fight it only matters who wins and winning most often is taking an early advantage and keeping it. Fights only last seconds if someone knows how to fight. I could not accept that a man in his 50’s could get one over on me (a fighter in his 20’s). But looking back on that incident the way a real fight would have gone is me temporarily unable to see while the old guy had his way with me.
I bring this up because of today’s topic, “Are the martial arts effective in a fight?” Save yourself some reading and I’ll tell you the answer now… maybe.
First I would like to mention that the martial arts I am speaking of include Eastern and Western martial arts. I am not discriminating here. I have always said fighting is fighting is fighting. No matter what techniques you choose to accomplish fighting – there are only so many ways to do it and everything is known. So I include karate, kung fu, wrestling, boxing, muay thai, jiu-jitsu (Japanese and Brazilian), judo, savate and so forth… any martial art you can think of I am including in this list.
Check out this short video from a school owner I found on youtube, Fred Mergen, about will MMA work in a street fight to frame the arguments.
You would not believe how often white belts (white, orange, purple, blue, green) ask me what would I do if or if I thought I could really defend myself if questions. I also see this type of question on other blogs and websites. I’ve even seen it stated that becoming a black belt does not equate to fighting ability. I’ve diligently read those points of view and found it is nothing new. Students and even some upper belts that have never been in a real fight wonder if what they know really works!
I’ve never considered this question after I started taking lessons at Tracy’s Karate so many years ago. You see I had tried some Japanese/Okinawan karate and Samoan Kung Fu/Karate (Lima Lama) and had those kind of questions before. Although I had not been in many real fights since Jr. High School – I had been sparring and going to tournaments. I was able to kick and punch ok but I was not consistent in winning those matches.
I did not really know how to fight (probably not the styles but the instructors). I will continue this story later but after going to Tracy’s Karate (now Dick Willett’s American Kenpo Karate Association), I’ve never looked back. Fighting is easy because Dick taught me what I was trying to accomplish while I was fighting. No instructor had ever done that before.
In this post I will address the question, absurd as it is, “So now you know karate; can you fight?” But first here is John Graden, a JLFS Master about building confidence.
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)?
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.
David Hays will be opening a new studio in the Ahwatukee foothills of Phoenix Arizona on January 12, 2013.
We will be teaching Tracy’s traditional Kenpo, the Joe Lewis fighting system of competitive tournament sparring and kick-boxing.
If you know anyone in the Phoenix area that is interested in lessons or an upper belt looking for a place to work out and/or help with coaching, please contact me at email@example.com
Thank you in advance for the support.