A man on vacation at a bar finds himself in middle of a fight and as so often happens – it is hard to discern the good guys from the bad. Well he puts some distance between the fight and his wife and scans for exits. One of the fighters notice and comes right at him! The vacationer side-steps the rusher and give him a little push into the table – grabs his wife and makes for the exit.
I don’t know about you but I’ve been in this type of situation before and it is a little scary if you have the family with you. This website has often evaluated different types of fighting styles and self defense but why does self defense work? I mean most bad guys can fight – right? If they can fight then why can some minimal self-defense training carry the day?
In this post I will delve into the question of why self defense works and what I think are some good ways to go about learning how to fight. Let me be clear that self defense is learning how to fight. More on that in a bit but first I’d like to show you the average caliber of fighters you have to prepare for in case you ever have to defend yourself. Take a peek at this video of a street fight – there are some weapons but no one seems to get hurt too badly.
I don’t know what was going on in this video but it seems to be one bunch of guys against some local guys. There were some clubs and a knife at one point but the injuries did not seem too bad. I saw one guy that seemed to know a few moves that kept him fairly safe. Without knowing if anyone was just in this fight I am just going to use this video to make my points.
Most of the guys in this video could not fight their way out of a paper bag. Sure they could wield a club, punch and kick but most of the moves were ineffective. I would guess that 80% of all fighters in the world are not good at what they are doing. I mean who cares how mean you look, how much you can drink, and how good your fight talk is?
Am I trying to be disrespectful to these and most fighters? Nope but I am making the point that if you agree with me that most people do not really know what they are doing when it comes to fighting – then you might understand why self defense training of any type – can work!
Let me point out that the 20% of people that can fight can include soldiers, cops, martial artists of all persuasions, and natural born fighters. Not all great fighters have been trained but more often than not – fighters had to have had some training to be good.
Are black belts good fighters? They can be but it depends on their training, ability and why they wanted to learn martial arts. I have known plenty of black belts that talk about what if this happened or that happened and wonder if they are ready.
How about soldiers? Can they all fight in hand to hand combat? I would guess that many that have been to war zones and have had to do it – can fight but not all. Many learn what they need to in modern warfare and depend on the weapons.
What about cops? Cops can learn how to be great fighters – many do not ever get proficient at fighting because it is not really part of their job. All cops have a black belt – you know the belt that holds their mace, baton, gun and radio.
So the point I am trying to make is to be good at self-defense – you have to become good at fighting. While it is true that limited self-defense can be effective because most people cannot fight their way out of a paper bag (including people that should be good at fighting) – you should not depend on the other guy being inept like the guys in this video.
Take a look at Bas Rutten’s take on a bar fight and while you are looking at it, realize that most situations he is speaking about would only work on untrained fighters (80% of what you find out there). I’ll add that Bas Rutten certainly is one that can fight – but the video is showing close hand to hand combat where an attacker is standing right next to Bas – a mistake for any attacker (that wants to win a fight).
Trained fighters do not give stuff away for instance by talking smack right next to their opponent. Anyone can sucker punch or kick anyone else if they are inside the critical distance. That being said, Bas does make the point (my emphasis) how easily most people can be beaten in a fight since they leave holes in their defenses.
I had a stepson from a former marriage that used to get angry and fight at the drop of a hat. I noticed that most times he came back with a black eye or such and told very animated stories about the fights and why the other guy deserved to get knocked out. Most of the time he lost and I asked him the question why be fought if he realized that he could not fight?
He told me that the other guy deserved to get hit! I persisted by pointing out that it took work and training to learn how to fight – why didn’t he just back away rather than resort to a fight? He did not have a good answer other than he got so angry that he could not back down.
What do you think fighting is? Is it merely learning a fighting style such as judo, karate, boxing or mma? Would any of those mentioned martial arts help you in a fight? Are any superior to each other? Are they easily adapted to self-defense?
Fighting is any method of combat including weapons or hand to hand. I tend to focus on hand to hand combat because most people do not carry weapons legally.
Learning a martial art can help you learn to fight. I mentioned 80% of the people cannot fight before but I think that 50% of the people that take a martial art cannot fight. This is because learning the moves half heatedly will not adequately prepare one for a fight. It will give most people an edge against someone that has not learned how to fight so it is still a goal worth attaining even if you goal is not to be a great fighter!
Any fighting style is good to learn. I used to be prejudiced against most because I personally like karate. But over the years I’ve seen and heard examples of judo, jiu-jitsu and even tai chi practitioners using those arts in self-defense! Why a boy even saved a girl from a dog by choking it with jiu-jitsu last year!
Boxing, karate, kung fu, muay thai, mma, judo, jiu jitsu, wrestling and more are all good to train for fighting and ultimatly self-defense! There is no best style! If anyone tries to tell you their way of fighting is better then the rest – he or she is mistaken. They will all work effectively in a real life self-defense secenario.
I’ve tried to make the point that most people, even people that say they can fight – cannot! Sure they know a few moves and against another inept fighter, it will seem to work but that does not mean they are any good.
It is kind of like learning how to play chess. Anyone can learn how to move the pieces and look like they know what they are doing but most will never be a master. If they ever play a master, they will be beaten 10 out of 10 games in short order. This is true even though they may play their peers and win 8 out of 10 games and appear to be a great chess player!
So if you agree with me that most people cannot fight, and if you take steps to learn how to fight and avoid beginners mistakes from the martial arts style you like (read Eastern or Weastern styles), you will stand a very good chance of defending yourself in a self-defense situation!
So I encourage everyone to head down to the gym, school, dojo, or club of your choice and learn to fight! If you enjoy the lessons, the school is good, and you have a desire to learn, you will be learning self-defense too. Here is a video of a school but there are many choices out there to make your self defense work!