Unarmed self-defense

This is a discussion on Unarmed self-defense within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; I've been thinking about this for a while, and thought that I would run it by the collective expertise of this forum... As frustrating as ...

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Thread: Unarmed self-defense

  1. #1
    Member Array XDFender's Avatar
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    Unarmed self-defense

    I've been thinking about this for a while, and thought that I would run it by the collective expertise of this forum...

    As frustrating as it is, there are places and times when going armed is either "prohibited" (leaving aside that whole debate for the time being), impractical (e.g., at the beach), or potentially unwise (e.g., at my "little" brothers batchelor party where I know I will be consuming more than the usual one or two brewskis). In other words, as a practical matter, there will be times when I will be unarmed. And, knowing my luck, that is likely when I will be confronted with the need to defend myself.

    Also, I am moving into middle-age, have gotten out-of-shape and more than a little flabby, and feel the need to get back to fighting trim.

    So, the question is, what is the best "real-world" self-defense martial art? No offense to Tae Kwon Do or Karate practitioners, but I'm not talking about learning round-house kicks or katas, but real-world, fight-for-your-life skills. Anybody out there that can make the case for a particular martial art?

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  3. #2
    Member Array jlmdlm's Avatar
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    Personally, I think that you should look at Jui-jitsu and muay thai. Those are two that I think would help in both a ground fighting or standing situation.
    With guns, we are 'citizens'.
    Without them, we are 'subjects'.

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    Distinguished Member Array CT-Mike's Avatar
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    I have been looking for a Krav Maga training center near to me.

    Krav Maga is the official self defense system of the Israeli Defense Forces, and has been taught to hundreds of law enforcement agencies and thousands of civilians in the United States.

    Krav Maga is a simple, effective self defense system that emphasizes instinctive movements, practical techniques, and realistic training scenarios.

    http://www.kravmaga.com/schoollocations.asp
    Unfortunately the closest place is about 50 miles away. From the reading I have done, KM seems to be an ideal unarmed combat system.
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    I've heard nothing but good about Krav. My son studied it for a short time till the place lost its lease.

    If you want to put more time into something that "looks like Jui-jitsu" but has many other elements, Arnis (Modern Arnis) is very brutal--the stick elements all have empty hand applications--and there are lots of elements of small circle Jui-jitsu. But, it is not easy to learn. You can hardly practice in a realistic way because if you do your buddy will get broken.

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    Senior Member Array Cthulhu's Avatar
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    Look at the instructor more than the system being taught.

    I've known a Tae Kwon Do black belt who I wouldn't mess with, and a Krav Maga "instructor" who started "teaching" the system after attending one seminar.

    Picking a martial arts school/instructor is not an impulse buy.

    And incidentally, I've been training in the Filipino martial arts (kali/escrima/arnis) for the past six years or so.

    -JT

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    Member Array chuckE's Avatar
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    I agree that you should look at the instructor as well as the art itself. With that said, though I respect where Krav Maga came from, I would be wary of the real world experience of the instructors.

    I have trained with a guy named Paul Vunak years ago and he is based out of Southern California, but he has seminars all over the country. He also has certified instructors throughout the country as well.

    Paul studied under Dan Inosanto many many years ago and is one of the only remaining students teaching Jeet Kun Do concepts (of Bruce Lee fame).

    When Paul Was younger, he had a reputation for trying out the art in real life situations. Whether you think that's a good thing or not, he has been in many many fights and have trained with and trained many (including SeALs).

    He is also one of if not THE most dynamic instructors I have ever met or even seen on video.

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    Distinguished Member Array Paymeister's Avatar
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    +1 on Krav Maga: my daughter took six months of it before she went off to school, and profited greatly from it. I would start it myself except for the fact that I would probably die from the workouts.

    Re: weapon-free places and self defense - when you get old like me, you might consider the cane: see the "Reality Check" thread under Knives/Related. But bravo for you for taking the proper steps I should have taken years ago.
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    Be sure it is dirty whatever it is. Following rules is for losers.

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    Senior Member Array PaulG's Avatar
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    For fitness, I started working out with the Warriors Forge in Manassas, VA about a year ago. They specialize in combative fitness.

    They also bring in top notch gun, blade and empty hands instructors through out the year.

    That's where I met IMHO the best knife trainer ever, Tom Sotis.

    They also, have brought in Southnarc, Larry Lindenman, Sonny Pozikas and others

    I figure the best way to learn to fight while unarmed is to train with guys who have been there; done that.

    My future list for training includes Southnarc, Larry Lindenman, Sonny Pozikas, Chris Fry, Cecil Burch and of course Tom Sotis.

    This type of training lets you really know what you can do under very physical circumstances.

    My recomendation is to train with guys like these who have real world on the street experience.

    Just my 2 cents.
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    Senior Member Array Scot Van's Avatar
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    When attacked and I'm unarmed, I usually just curl up in a fetal position, cry and wet my pants. The disgust is usually evident on my assailants face, and I'm left alone. It is even better than arguing with yourself and pretending to be crazy (that works in groups, by the way. yelling at an invisible person to shut up or they'll get the hose has passersby give you wide berth).
    A man in the hands of his enemies is flesh, and shudderingly vulnerable. - author unknown

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    Senior Member Array Cthulhu's Avatar
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    I've had the opportunity to train with Sonny Puzikas in seminar format a couple of times during a couple of Tuhon Dionaldo's FCS Family Gatherings. Thought he was a great guy. Funny as hell.

    Systema guy and former Spetsnaz. Knows his stuff.

    -JT

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    VIP Member Array Cupcake's Avatar
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    I train in Jiu jitsu and recently began to dabble in muy thai. While there are situations where jiu jitsu is awesome, there are so many also where going to the ground is a terrible idea. Muy thai is a sport and gives you great striking skill when standing toe to toe with one other person, but multiples attacker or in really tight quarters (say, between parked cars maybe?) I think it is too limiting. While they're both a ton of fun (and great workouts to help with the flab and cardio) I don't think they are the best go-to art for self defense. By self defense, I don't mean got in a fight in a bar or party when I should've walked away, I mean street survival where you are an absolutely unwilling participant and just want to go home. They are however, miles ahead of sitting on the couch watching steven segal movies, and will toughen you up for whatever comes your way..

    I'll probably look for a good Krav School (research, research, research the instructor) at some point in the future, but I love my current school and instructor. It doesn't hurt that after paying for my kids, it only cost $30 more/month or me to train all I want in every discipline they offer. Maybe krav is in my future, or perhaps after gaining proficiency in BJJ and Muy thai, I'll find that kali and Pencat Silat round off my training well enough
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  14. #13
    Senior Member Array Scot Van's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cupcake View Post
    I train in Jiu jitsu and recently began to dabble in muy thai. While there are situations where jiu jitsu is awesome, there are so many also where going to the ground is a terrible idea. Muy thai is a sport and gives you great striking skill when standing toe to toe with one other person, but multiples attacker or in really tight quarters (say, between parked cars maybe?) I think it is too limiting. While they're both a ton of fun (and great workouts to help with the flab and cardio) I don't think they are the best go-to art for self defense. By self defense, I don't mean got in a fight in a bar or party when I should've walked away, I mean street survival where you are an absolutely unwilling participant and just want to go home. They are however, miles ahead of sitting on the couch watching steven segal movies, and will toughen you up for whatever comes your way..

    I'll probably look for a good Krav School (research, research, research the instructor) at some point in the future, but I love my current school and instructor. It doesn't hurt that after paying for my kids, it only cost $30 more/month or me to train all I want in every discipline they offer. Maybe krav is in my future, or perhaps after gaining proficiency in BJJ and Muy thai, I'll find that kali and Pencat Silat round off my training well enough

    I've been training in Muay Thai (sorry, Cup...couldn't let the mispelling of it slide) for sixteen years now, and began because it was immediatly evident that this style is useful. Muay Thai basics that you'll learn the first day are immediately effective. Rather than practicing katas and bothering with a whole 'belt' system, you're taught effective kicks, knees, elbows and punches from the first day. There is relatively little ego involved in a true Thai gym. Beware of machismo and 'bad ass' schools. You'll likely get forgotten in the wake of the one or two 'pro' fighters that train there.

    For Muay Thai, you could do much worse than contacting Master Lek in Columbus, Ohio to learn of a good school near you.

    Gaining proficiency in Brazilian JJ can take a lifetime, but is time well spent, and is certainly a good compliment to ANY style of stand-up fighting. Beware of phony instructors. If someone claims to have a black belt in BJJ, do your homework...the instructor should be more than willing to detail their entire development and give you the names of who they studied under. There are MANY pretenders out there, and few REAL practitioners of the true Brazilian form.

    Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy - Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Information Site

    This is a good reference site, and hopefully, you'll find a certified instructor near you.
    A man in the hands of his enemies is flesh, and shudderingly vulnerable. - author unknown

  15. #14
    Senior Member Array Cthulhu's Avatar
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    Technically, BJJ is a sport, too. Most martial arts being taught today have a "sporting" aspect, in that there are rules limiting what you can actually practice. If there weren't such rules, there'd be very few active practitioners in a short time span.

    My only issue with BJJ and other arts that focus predominately on groundfighting is that, if you're likely in a real self-defense situation and you go to the ground, there is nothing stopping your opponent's buddies from walking up and doing the Mexican hat dance on your head when you're on the ground. With today's breed of bad guy, they probably wouldn't even care if they accidentally stomped their buddy in the process.

    I think BJJ and other grappling arts are EXCELLENT for learning how to keep yourself from getting taken to the ground and how to get back up so you're in a better defensible position, but I don't like the mentality of rolling around on the ground as self-defense...ESPECIALLY if you carry concealed.

    Ideally, in a true self-defense situation, you have to have the ability to run the heck away if the opportunity presents itself. You can't do that if you're trying to Kimura somebody...especially if his homies have something to say about it.

    I'm not trying to knock BJJ or start one of the infamous USENET "my martial art is better than yours" arguments. I'm just saying there is no one answer, and the more well-rounded you can make yourself, the better prepared you'll be.

    I think BJJ in conjunction with Muay Thai is a very good mix. Not only do you have the basic striking aspects of Muay Thai, but you'll also have the familiarity of elbow and knee use, as well as some experience with fighting through a clinch.

    I'll echo Scot Van's comment: buyer beware! Not just with BJJ, but also with Krav Maga. There are a whole mess of phony BJJ, JKD, and Krav Maga "instructors" out there who've gotten their "certification" via one or two seminars. Again, judge the instructor, not the style.

    -JT

  16. #15
    VIP Member Array Cupcake's Avatar
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    You're right, it is of course, muay thai. My bad... I'll only say that while BJJ can take forever to "master" most students can have a fantastic advantage over the untrained in a few short months. Again, Bot BJJ and MT are sports that have their uses, but if one were to be looking for self defense only, I'd look for something that doesn't have so many rules and restrictions that get programmed in from so many hours of training by the rules.
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