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.
You live in a city or country where you cannot carry a gun and your car breaks down. Your cell phone is out of juice but you see a store a couple of blocks down the street. Earlier in the day you had attended martial arts training and still have a trunk full of weapons. Now you see a bunch of guys approaching talking garbage.
I know this is a contrived situation but I had to figure out a way that one might legally have spears, staffs, swords, daggers, clubs, tomahawks, and such to talk about the differences in fighting methods. Before we get going into this discussion I would like to mention my expertise is with unarmed combat (Kenpo Karate or Eastern Martial Arts (EMA) if you will). While I have always had an idea how to use improvised weapons (I understand Kenpo staff fighting methods) , I’ve only started practicing improvised weapons and historical European weapons (HEMA) in the last year or two.
I’ll will try to limit this discussion to the differences I see at each distance. To start lets take an unrealistic view of how an unarmed man might fight a long sword attack.
26 Sep 2016
We hear a lot about how caring liberals are and how mean conservatives are regarding the Syrian refugee issue. This is probably fodder for tonight’s debate. For a long time this was difficult for me as a Christian because on the one hand, wanting to help people in dire straights (the reason we accept refugee’s) and the other hand, not wanting any more un-vetted refugee’s from war torn areas that we have no guarantee would give priority to victims of Genocide, Rape, and Slavery!
For me the question was answered when 56 of 10,801 Syrian refugees accepted by the US, were Christian. So considering the additional risk of ISIS seeding terrorists (no 2 year vetting) into the Muslim refugees – I would like to the US stop accepting any refugees from that war torn region. If the US is not going to favor arguably the most affected victims of the Syrian crisis (those being killed off for their Christian beliefs) then that is a deal breaker for me. I see no reason to risk American lives with any ISIS terrorists entering our country with Muslim refugees.
I’ll link to the genocide story here.
That is my opinion after careful consideration.
I totally understand if you don’t want to take my opinion – so I suggest you do your own homework. I welcome both pro and con opinions so long as they are civil, no cussing, no name calling… – just your opinion and any arguments. I welcome civil discourse and the only reasonable way good people can start to understand opposing points of view.
9 Aug 2016
When I was a kid I used to watch how Kato (Bruce Lee in the Green Hornet) could beat thugs with knives and clubs in fights! Boy he made it look easy. I said at the time I wanted to learn how to do that. The thought that one could learn some secret techniques and then walk the back streets at night in confidence was amazing!
Well fast forward 50 years and I still think it is cool but I have more of a jaded eye. My older self realizes that there is a fair chance the guy with a weapon will win. Is it possible to fight a short dagger without any weapons? Sure but is it smart? No. Unless you are trying to collect on a life insurance policy, I would advise you to hedge your bets a bit.
First take a look at this HEMA (Historical European Martial Arts) club owner for his take and then we will discuss. If you don’t want to watch the video – the take away is you should fight back with a weapon – improvised or not.
9 Jul 2016
As a young parent one of the things I had to deal with early on was how to keep my kids safe from all threats. Now most of the worrisome things were in the home like falling objects and hot things. But as your kids grow most parents find out more and more are out of their control. Bullies at the playground and school can be worrisome as well as muggers and rapists to and from school.
What is a parent to do? I learned early on I had to teach my kids how to fight. Not so formerly as you might think from a Kenpo instructor but playtime at the Zimmer household was dad against the kids! This helped make my boys tough. It did not make them bullies because I was the opponent – not all of my kids friends. So the first time I had to teach my youngest how to fight he was being harassed by a group of kids at the end of the block on his way to 7/11 (convenience store). More on how that turned out later.
Over my karate career I have taught lots of kids how to defend themselves! But back in the 1970’s and 1980’s a parent had two choices, Boxing or Karate! Wrestling was not a choice but most boys knew some how to wrestle. It worked fine against someone who did not know how to fight. Girls did not learn wrestling in school.
Your choices today include, Boxing, Karate (kung fu, kenpo, taekwondo), Jiu-Jitsu (traditional and BJJ), Muay Thai, Judo, & Wrestling, and MMA has even come out in some circles as a martial art (and their are schools).
I will make the point that if your children need to learn self-defense – then Boxing, Karate, or Muay Thai should be taught. I will explain this and why wrestling, judo, jiu-jitsu, and even mma (if ground work is stressed) does on lead itself easily to self-defense.
First here is a video of children learning striking via boxing lessons for your perusal.
When I was a kid watching Batman and Robin, I used to see the dynamic duo picking up common objects laying around and use them as weapons! I mean the bad guys already had weapons of some kind before they attacked. The really cool thing about an improvised weapon is it can even the odds and take the advantage away from your attacker!
In this article I will talk about improvised weapons and how one might add some of these into your sparring workouts. Why would a martial artist want to train with common object as weapons? Why not train with only traditional martial arts weapons? The short answer is you have to improvise with what you have if attacked. Take a look at this video I found that does a good job of sparring with weapons but not so much realism when it goes to the ground (more on that later).
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When I was a kid I used to watch old karate movies and I used to see the master punch the bad guy and he would go flying! As a gullible kid it seemed that karate punches were almost magical. As I grew up and learned a bit of karate – I learned how to break boards and bricks and thought I had a good punch. I mean all of the board and bricks were scared of me.
That was always the argument when I first got into karate – did boxing or karate have the most powerful punch. Boxers thought they did and the formal karate guys thought the did. Well I’m not going to sway any boxers opinions here but in this article I’m going to discus boxing vs karate punches, where the power is generated and some differences. And I will give away my secret to throwing a really power punch… relax.. more on that later but first here is a video that frames the question very aptly.