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Old 10-29-2006, 00:17   #1
RJ1670
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Which one?

Which form of martial arts is a good, practical method of self defense? My wife and I are wanting to take a class together, but neither of us know alot about martial arts.
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Old 10-29-2006, 10:38   #2
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Wow, you opened up a huge can of worms with that question. The following are my opinions only.

Strictly self-D, for a woman also? I'd probably go with a knife fighting class. You can carry a folding knife almost anywhere and that would give her a chance against most male attackers. A stick fighting class (escrima or something similar) would be cool too, but you couldn't carry those around as easily. You could leave them in your car and in your house and have some level of access. Of course, there's more gun training, maybe enroll in multiple handgun classes.

I'm one of the folks who thinks that unarmed, one-on-one martial arts are awesome, but I question application to real-world defense.

Take Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, my favorite art, for example. It's great IF you're about the same strength and size as the other guy, it's one-on-one, and there are no weapons. That's a heck of a lot of "ands" for one sentence. The idea behind BJJ is to get the fight to the ground and win it by striking the other guy, choking him out, or dislocating one of his joints. It's easy to see how that's less than ideal if there's a second attacker, especially if he's armed.

Folks who are into striking arts must face the fact that A LOT of one-on-one fights end up on the ground. With multiple attackers, the odds get even worse.

Edit: I also have an issue with traditional martial arts for adult males, when the objective is strictly self-D. Every martial arts class I've been in had quite a few injured folks, from back spasms to concussions to broken bones. There are long-term consequences to many injuries. As a fully-grown adult male in good physical condition, I think my chance of defending myself are fair with my current skill level. It doesn't make any sense to me to [probably] be less physically able to defend myself due to injuries, even if I have an enhanced skill level. I didn't used to think of stuff like that at 20 years old, but I sure do now at 35. I still might get back into BJJ, but it'll be for personal interest and fun, not self-D.

Last edited by DBradD; 10-29-2006 at 22:09..
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Old 11-01-2006, 10:03   #3
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I too have been wondering about taking a martial arts class for self defense reasons. I have been watching a lot of older UFC videos, and I think this is what sparked my interest. Are Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and Gracie Jiu-Jitsu the same? With Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, it went to the ground every time, that is where he wanted to end up. He even managed to submit Dan Severn while on the ground, a guy who is several times bigger than he. This is the type of martial art I am most interested in, however, I have no idea where I would be able to take a class on this?
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Old 11-01-2006, 10:44   #4
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{Are Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and Gracie Jiu-Jitsu the same? With Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, it went to the ground every time, that is where he wanted to end up.}

Not really, there two seperate arts but closely overlap each other with numerous takeoff and spinoff frombarzilian ju-jitsu.

It like saying Camry DX/SE/CL/GT/wagon/sedan the same car, same mfg in all purpose but small changes between them and then to add a twrist throw in a corolla into the mix
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Old 11-01-2006, 11:48   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Timothy658
I too have been wondering about taking a martial arts class for self defense reasons. I have been watching a lot of older UFC videos, and I think this is what sparked my interest. Are Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and Gracie Jiu-Jitsu the same? With Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, it went to the ground every time, that is where he wanted to end up. He even managed to submit Dan Severn while on the ground, a guy who is several times bigger than he. This is the type of martial art I am most interested in, however, I have no idea where I would be able to take a class on this?
For all practical purposes, I'd argue that they're the same.

That's my favorite martial art also and the Gracie vs Severn fight is my all-time favorite moment in sports. That being typed, I have to ask myself if it's smart to go to the ground in a real life self-D situation and the answer is clearly "no." It's only smart against one unarmed BG, a rare situation. For that matter, if faced with one unarmed BG, I can probably just egress the situation. If there is a second BG, especially with a weapon, taking one of the BG to the ground is suicide.

It all depends on what one wants. For fun, fitness, etc., I think grappling is great. There's no better workout and it's a blast. Strictly talking self-D, give me a weapon any day. I don't like striking arts at all (no fun at all, for me anyway), but I'd take them over grappling for self-D if I had to remain unarmed. Landing a strike while retaining the ability to run isn't perfect, but is a lot more practical strategy.

If you want to take a grappling class, you just need to look for BJJ, jiu-jitsu, judo, or any of the other similar styles. If you live anywhere but the boonies, you can find a class.
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Old 11-02-2006, 18:01   #6
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I would mainly be interested in this for fun, but I also like the self defense application as well. Is Jiu-Jitsu a difficult martial art to learn for someone who has no experience?
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Old 11-02-2006, 18:28   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Timothy658
I would mainly be interested in this for fun, but I also like the self defense application as well. Is Jiu-Jitsu a difficult martial art to learn for someone who has no experience?
I thought it was pretty easy to go from no skill at all to being ok at the basics. In the year I took classes, I went from no clue to being able to get folks in arm bars, chokes, knee bars, etc.; basic reversals, hold downs, takedowns, etc. also. I only went two nights/week. It all came together for me during my last class. We had a new guy in there who was about 4-5" taller than me and about 30-40 lbs heavier. He sparred with me the entire evening and I was able to beat him easily over and over, with a variety of submissions.

One of the biggest things is fitness. I thought I was in good shape when I went to my first class and actually threw up after sparring for just a little while. The physical demands of grappling are unbelievable.

To me, the biggest downside to any martial art is the chance of injury. If a grappling class spends much time on throws and takedowns, you can bet your life that you and/or folks around you will get hurt with some regularity. I saw lots of injuries and without exception they were during throwing--broken ankle, injured feet, knee, elbow, ribs, knocked about half out, etc. Regardless of breakfall training, people get hurt. I've seen this consistently in the three classes I took (moved around a lot back then).

I actually got a back spasm after one of my last classes from being thrown about 80 times, mostly on the same side. That was 10 years ago and I still have that exact spasm from time to time and can't even stand up until it goes away. I've stayed in pretty good shape also, but this just doesn't want to go away. This is the kind of thing that makes me think that a fully-grown adult male's self-D potential will likely decrease by taking a martial art. Better off being healthy, staying fit, and carrying knives and guns--talking strictly self-D here.

Jiu-jitsu classes usually have less throwing than judo or wrestling, so that helps.
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Old 11-02-2006, 18:46   #8
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Krav Maga is good for self defense and it is something that you and your wife could do together. It's also a great way to stay in shape while your learning to protect yourself. BJJ is definately something to add to that because most of the ground work done in Krav Maga is in the later levels. Go to this link and check it out.

www.kravmaga.com
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Old 11-03-2006, 12:54   #9
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Find a martial arts school that has a lot of LEO/Corrections officers (prison guards) in it. Odds are it's a good school that teaches techniques and strategies that have been used in real fights a number of times. My TKD school is that way. The head instructor is the local Defensive Tactics instructor for the PD's in this area. Our school is mostly LEO's and prison guards.

I prefer standing arts and use my grappling skills to keep me there or get me back there if I hit the ground. If you talk to most BJJ instructors, they teach JKD or something else for SD, and add BJJ to it as a supplement.

FWIW, just about any art if it's performed realistically can be effective for SD. Finding a school that trains that way is the trick. A good krav maga or JKD school is usually a good starting point, but both have a lot of McDojo's calling themselves those styles too.

BTW, if you're doing BJJ correctly, you can be a LOT smaller than your opp and still pull your moves off. You just have to have a higher skill level. See Gracie (170lbs) vs Severn (240lbs), or shamrock (220lbs) as a prime example.
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Old 11-03-2006, 19:08   #10
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Are injuries pretty common in a beginners class? I started lifting weights a little over a year ago, and am making good progress in it, and I'd like for it to stay that way.
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Old 11-03-2006, 21:35   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Timothy658
Are injuries pretty common in a beginners class? I started lifting weights a little over a year ago, and am making good progress in it, and I'd like for it to stay that way.
In every judo and jiu-jitsu class I went to, there was no beginner's class. These schools were not like TKD or karate where they have so many students that they were broken into different groups. Their idea of "beginner" was a brief intro to breakfalls then they "throw beginners easier." The problem is that just "dropping" a fully-grown man on his back/side/shoulder/head/whatever from 3-4' in the air will damage things. If you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Throwing is designed to take the enemy to the ground, hopefully hurting him in the process. Unlike striking arts (where they really can hit "easier," use protective gear, etc.), there's not really any way to throw somebody "nicely." It's either "throw them in a way that hurts" or "really bury them."

As an adult, if I were looking for a grappling school, I'd look really hard at how much time they spend on takedowns, throws, and groundfighting. Some takedown work is necessary (gotta get there somehow). I've never seen anybody get hurt during groundfighting. If they spend a lot of time on throws, forget it--my opinion only, of course. Somebody will surely chime in who's taken 27 years of judo and never saw a single injury. I think groundfighting-oriented classes are safe enough for my tastes anyway and I might get back into that someday, mainly for fun.

Edit: I should make my opinion clearer: The thread is about choosing a martial art specifically for self-D and I'm arguing that a fully-grown, perfectly healthy adult male already has a fair chance of defending himself. The skills from some arts might just barely enhance his chances (because most fights are not going to be one-on-one, no weapons anyway so go out and get more weapons training), but there are injury risks involved. If our fully-grown adult male has injuries, he's obviously decreased his chances of defending himself. If the main motivation is enjoyment or personal interest, then that's a whole other argument.

Last edited by DBradD; 11-04-2006 at 07:45..
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Old 11-07-2006, 23:01   #12
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The real key, as someone already mentioned, is to find good quality instruction. If you are learning self defense you want a no BS class that teaches based on proper application of techniques/principles which you will practice until they are second nature. This can be almost any style as most martial arts with a solid foundation are really the same. I can draw many similarities between Karate, Kung Fu, Jiu Jitsu, and Aikido. The human body can only attack, bend, break and fall in so many ways! Once you have an understanding of the techniques it doesn't matter what style you call it. However, there is no shortcut. You will not learn true effective self defense from traditional martial arts within a few months. This will take time and again, it's only successful with quality instruction and practice.

Weapons training is not a bad idea because this is what weapons are designed for, to make a level playing field unlevel. Which is more dangerous, a 5' stick weilding 110 pound female or a 6'2" 200 pound man? The only problem is when the weapon is taken away or lost. What happens next? What's the backup?

This is where systems like Krav and other self defense classes may be useful. Again, with the right instruction. One key that can't be overlooked is attitude. Having the right "don't quit, don't loose" attitude is sometimes the difference between loosing and walking away. But typically in a real fight, everyone get's hit, it's just a matter of how much and how badly.
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Old 11-11-2006, 16:58   #13
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Quote:
RJ1670
Which form of martial arts is a good, practical method of self defense?
www.attackproof.com

http://www.hockscqc.com


for solid, free text information that puts you into a realistic frame of mind, go to

www.nononsenseselfdefense.com
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Old 11-11-2006, 18:51   #14
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I would suggest the following:

Join Martial Warrior and view a section called the 'Training Hall'. In this section are two sub-boards, one is called 'Beyond Self Defense' and is authored by Steve Zorn the Founder of Personal Safety Unlimited. Here he discusses various elements a practical realworld self defense. His bio is available from his profile on the board.

The other sub-forum is called 'Reality Check' which I author. Short bio; active Deputy [16 years], six different police instructor certifications, three black belts. I've taught LEO and Corrections academies, military pilots [Coast Guard], off-duty LEO/Corrections and E.P. Agents. I have conducted personal protection, rape and abduction preventions seminars. Not patting myself on the back here, but I have a level of education in this area. This information is provided on the Martial Warrior board free of charge.

There are several other areas of the board such as a Self Defense and Combatives section that has input from other high liability professionals and also a Womens Self Defense area. The board has additional links to websites that expound on this topic.

The board is members only to keep out the net ninja and cyber warriors. It is free and easy to join. Simply register and then click the link that is emailed automatically to you. It is a small professional board that has attracted not just martial arts instructors but those in the combatives/self defense industry as well as published authors. It has a wealth of information that will help you and your wife to make an informed decision.

Stay safe.
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