YouTube Channel for My Self Defense Blog

Posted by: John W. Zimmer
Under: HEMA, martial arts
19 Feb 2017


I would like to announce and explain about the “MySelfDefenseBlog” YouTube channel in this post. You know the old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words, well in this light – a video is worth ten-thousand words. I have had a youtube channel for years that I’ve used occasionally, but now after watching HEMA (historical european martial arts) videos for the last couple of years, a light bulb went off in my head – hey I can do that!


In this post I will discuss the evolution of the blog to vlog on youtube while retaining the blog. Also the strengths and weaknesses of each medium and what the goals are for me as I evolve as a martial artist – dabbling into HEMA.


First here is the youtube channel: MySelfDefenseBlog. One sample video:


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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.


embedded by Embedded Video

YouTube Direkt


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Under: Self-defense
17 May 2015


The title probably gives away my bias but as this is a Self-Defense Blog and I have over the years espoused the benefits of women learning self-defense as a minimum, the question by some is, “What am I learning, fighting or self-defense?” Some instructors realizing that many students taking a short-term self-defense class are not going to take a full blown martial arts class, interchange fighting with self-defense. So what? The goals of fighting and self defense are very different.


To have a win in a fight (for self defense or otherwise) one has to best their opponent. To have a win in a self-defense situation, one merely has to survive with one’s life intact. Of course coming out of the attack relatively unscathed is a plus and maybe possible if one is a highly trained martial artist (fighter) but not likely otherwise if one only has limited fighting training (read a short-term self defense class or aggressive spirit).


So for my example I will list an article of an Aussie woman with a black belt that managed to thwart an attacker with a bit of help after being caught in her unawares (walking with headphones). The article is here and I found a short video of a woman walking with headphones for your perusal.


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Under: karate, Self-defense
27 Oct 2014


I want to learn karate so I can protected myself against “any” attack! How often do you hear people saying that they can protect themselves because they know how to fight? I’ve heard it all of my life and bought into it sometimes. For instance if you have muscles – no one will want to fight you on the beach because you are not an easy mark (assuming muscles equate to fighting ability). Or you are a prize fighter superstar and become a jerk in a bar… thinking no one “can” get the best of you.


This over or sometimes no confidence is common among karate students. Students take lessons to learn how to protect themselves after all. In this post I’ll go over what karate can and cannot do for you as part of your self-defense strategy.


Once when I was working restaurant for a living (a long time ago), one of the cooks wanted to know how to win a fight with a karate guy. I was honest with him and told him his he had better sucker punch first and hard because if he did not get a fast advantage – he was going to pay dearly. More this story later but please read on if you want to hear my thoughts about karate protecting you from an assassin’s attack.


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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.


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Rape Escape! Do You Have a Plan?

Posted by: John W. Zimmer
Under: Self-defense
9 Apr 2011

We here at My Self-Defense Blog strive to keep self defense in peoples minds! For girls and women the risk of rape is a real possibility at some point in their lives. There are other dangers like assault, robbery, kidnapping but the real fear I think is rape for many women.

Generally I try to make the point that women should take a martial art ( judo, karate, boxing, wrestling, jiu-jitsu, kung fu, muay thai, aikido…) or even a short term self defense class! I make this point but I know that if it is not in the woman’s interests why would she go to all of the effort and expense to take this on?

In this post I will try to deal with this subject realistically within the realm of possibility and talk about what a good plan should include. To start this topic off, take a look at yet another self defense course going around and then we can talk.


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Self Defense Classes; Buyer Beware!

Posted by: John W. Zimmer
Under: Self-defense
9 Feb 2011

I am almost ashamed to be writing about this but before you read too much into the title, I want to assure you that most self defense classes are probably good. I even continually endorse kids, women and even men take these courses if they need a quick edge and/or are not willing to learn a fighting art. Researching for this post I found what I thought was a good story on a Los Angles self defense class and then it gave me pause!

I am a life long karate, judo, boxing, wrestling, kung fu, and any other fighting art I could find – enthusiast, so for me to say whoa… something is rotten in Denmark – is quite a a feat. You see like any other endeavor martial arts has its share of fakes and fly by night organizations – just as any other industry does but for the most part – the worst you can be harmed is to learn a mediocre fighting style that does not really work. Many people will start with one school and then end up taking up another and finely “get it!”

So in this post I will talk about one more thing to be aware (or beware) of when you consider signing up for a self defense course. I’ll also speak to what a self defense course should contain and other considerations. Ok if you are ready – please watch this video and see if your alarm bells don’t go off near the end and we will talk. There is a 15 second commercial and if you want – skip through this and get to the last minute to see the punch line.



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