For the Martial Artists
I've been thinking a lot about taking responsibility for what happens around me and stop placing myself to be in a victim (though luckily I haven't had to learn that lesson the hard way yet, I would like to keep it that way). My family and I have begun getting familiar with firearms lately and I do plan on carrying concealed at the age where it's necessary (training for the several years until then).
However, it's likely that a firearm will never be used and for legal and ethical reasons it really is a bad idea to use it in a confrontation unless you really believe your life is dependent on it. And even then there are other concerns. What if it breaks or jams? What if I couldn't carry it into a public area? And probably the most important, can I really be self-reliant if I can only do that with a tool?
Right now I'm 17, 5'6" and 115 ish lbs. I could really stand to put on some weight and some muscle. I think a discipline such as a martial art would benefit me to take up in a couple of ways.
I took BJJ for about 6 months and it's not quite whta I am looking for. It was great for fitness but I was never under the impression that I could defend myself or had even made progress in that direction (other than the choke holds which I found very useful and easy to implement, thankfully having never had to outside the mat).
I'm now considering aikido, muay thai, or krav maga. I'm attracted to aikido because I like the idea of the ability to use momentum against an opponent, to use it as a defensive tool (as I understand it, very little attacking is done in aikido), and I really like the philosophy. I understand that fighting is rarely the best option for self-defense, and that more commonly you want to avoid a fight, get away from a conflict, or control a situation until you can remove yourself from it rather than beat the other person to a bloody pulp.
I like muay thai because hands down it seems like an efficient fighting style using multiple parts of your body for striking.
I like the idea of Krav maga as a utilitarian, effective style used to control and defuse situations that you might encounter in a street fight. I've heard that in a proper training environment you will be immersed in full speed and full stress situations from the beginning, which I like because I think it would get your body past not knowing how to react to the stress. I have also been told, however, that this is the most intense physically. I am not an athletic person, and while I am willing to work harder for more gain, I don't want to take on too much at once.
I'm also aware of the "armchair commando" thing that happens and that taking any one of these would leave me better off than talking about taking all of them. However, I was curious to hear what the martial artists here had to say.
Also, I forgot to mention, I live in a fairly small town and I am fairly confident that I can find good instructors in these in my areas. Other "niche" or less common arts, maybe not.
Martial Arts are good...
I am 50 now and as a younger chap I trained for a number of years. I got fitter, faster and more able to deal with actual or (much more often) the possibility of physical confrontation.
I have never had to batter anyone and it was only once that someone really insisted on fighting me. That was at a New Model Army performance, and all I had to do was turn the guy and wrong foot him a couple of times before he gave up and ran away...
Any other time I have always been able to talk my way out of it or just by adopting a posture that is loose and confident without being aggressive will put most people off.
I have taken the attitude that the best way to block a punch or kick is to not be in the position where someone is going to throw a punch at you in the first place...;)
The actual best style for you?
Some styles work better for smaller people, especially the traditional Chinese and Japanese styles. At 6'2" tall and lanky (90 kilos now) I learnt quickly that it is not the best fighting build compared to a smaller and more stocky guy.
If I had my time again I would be looking at the Krav Maga, it is a combination style and they train you to use everyday objects as weapons and to spar when dissorientated too, which seems like good fun. It is based on natural movements and probably one of the easier to learn, it is also a true fighting style involving punches, kicks and graples rather than a sport style which may not teach some of the more nasty stuff...
If you learn it young, at your age of 17, it will benefit you for the rest of your life. It will make you feel good and look good too, which will impress the ladies (or guys depending on your preference ;))
As for carrying a gun?
A different ball game entirely. I have never felt the need, partly due to living in the UK...
I suppose nearly everyone will run away if you point a gun in their face but I would always be worried that they might come back and shoot you themselves in revenge when you are not looking....
As a BJJ practitioner i say try again!
I six months you have barely scratched the surface and it is normal to think you have not learnt anything!
It takes around a year, training at leas 3 times a week before you get the hang of things, the first six months are just learning what not to do, not what to do.
After a year things start to fall together and make more sens.
IMO a gun and BJJ are the best combination as the only place a gun will not be useful is on the ground and this is where BJJ is the best.
Another thing to keep in mind, that americans don't seem to realize, is that not everyone is out to get you! Unless you actively look for a fight you probably won't be in one.
For self defense, several styles will serve you best. I am a 2nd degree black belt in tae kwon do, but have also studied kali, jun fan, boxing, and some jiu jitsu. The school where I studied used Bruce Lee's jeet kun do principles, meaning that you can gain something from all styles.
Even though tae kwon do was the focus for the teachings, when it came to self defense, it wasn't necessarliy pratical. Hence the use of other styles. The key here is: if you're in a volatile situation, get out as quickly as possible. If someone is threatening you, run. If you can't, incapacitate them, then run. It is very easy to control a situation without seriously injuring someone. And no offense, carlos, but in the street, the ground is the last place you want to be. While you're choking one guy out or putting an arm bar on him, his buddies are kicking your skull in and breaking your ribs. Plus if it escalates and the cops show up, you don't want to be tied up in a ground fight. Control the situation and get out. The styles I mentioned above allow for that.
What makes you think that this is "an age when it is necessary" to carry a concealed gun? Your exact concerns are important here. Generally, I can tell you that you should avoid sport fighting schools. Those guys would be better prepared than most for a physical confrontation but what they study is not the right tool for the job.
As long as you are standing up martial arts are useless if you have gun, once you hit the ground for whatever reason, your gun is probably no going to be much help.
Once on the ground BJJ is IMO the best thing to know, that is if you survive the soccer kick to the head, the needles on the ground, and the lava...
If you are in a situation where you are alone against a group, no martial art is going to help you, distance running will.
The best thing to do is not to get in fights in the first place, which is really not that hard.
The idea with a gun is to not show it, feet away, defuse the situation without it, and only pull it when ready to fire and end a life. A martial at adds another option. I will admit that as I grow up I feel that as a man I should be able to defend myself and others. I'm aware that I'll probably never use either and ok with that.
As someone who lives in a rougher neighborhood I have thought of taking martial arts again as well, I was a 1st degree black belt in tkd but I was 12 so I remember little and was taught very little.
I'm 5'11" 145lbs and 18 so I have muscle and am fast but in a typical street fight (which is common in my area) usually involves 2 or 3 17-21 y/olds on one or two smaller guys (basically a mugging except they don't steal anything) and I have been a victim myself except I was able to escape, might not be so lucky next time.
I would like to go into a MA that would teach me practical defense technique against multiple attackers.
From what I've read so far Krav Maga is looking interesting.
Just a note on the idea of carrying a gun and then I'm done because I don't want to de-rail this thread.
I think the idea of carrying a gun and knowing a Martial Art is a good one, but in my opinion, if you're in a situation where you might get into a grappling match, or a fight against more than 1 individual, if you're spun around, and one of them sees your weapon and pulls it out of your holster, all of a sudden both of your defenses are now not only useless, but one of them can very well end your life, and potentially that of others around you, or later on down the line.
I'd think very carefully about that plan.
Aikido is a good option. It doesn't attract too many knuckle heads so schools are less likely to be McDojos. Avoid Krav Maga. The civilian version is watered down to flashy groin attacks. It would still be helpful to know exactly what your concerns are as martial arts are not necessarily right for you. You say this is for self defense and in a self defense situation, you should pick flight, not fight.
P.S. I'm also skeptical of the wiseness of carrying for that reason, among others. If you are disarmed - and weapons retention is FAR harder than people might think - it'll go on the black market and then we're all ******.
And yes, to reiterate: Nobody is faster than a bullet. Nobody.
NEVER be on the ground. And BJJ guys will curse me for this criticism but it's true: you can only grapple with one guy at a time. If his buddy comes and kicks you in the back of the head, it's a fight ender. This applies to most martial arts to some extent as very few include multiple opponent work (and you'll NEVER study it if you go to a sport fighting place).
I do Danzan Ryu Jujutsu and we do Judo in class. I think any martial art class that is very physical will give you a better understanding of how to use the techniques. Look for a friendly group of dangerous people.
In any case, best not to get involved in a dangerous situation, but it is fun to train martial arts and spar with bigger people.
I trained intensely BJJ for three years. Most confrontations start standing so you have to know enough defense to survive the initial striking onslaught. This is not taught in sport BJJ schools. Second, I really don't fancy take down attempts on cement, etc. Thirdly, confrontations are not always one on one. I love BJJ but you have to face the realities. Of course anything is better then no training.
I almost caught him, but I have no idea what would have happened if that had occurred. I suspect I would have had my butt handed to me but this was in MY neighborhood, and as it was, at least one person saw what was going on and he picked me up in his car so we could chase them.
What seems like paranoia from a distance is based on the reality of having been victimized on several occasions- it happens all the time, in all areas of this country and with budgetary cuts, police departments are shrinking and under-funded at a time when they need to be able to catch more criminals. Also, it's hard to avoid "bad areas of town" when the city has them in places that have traditionally been good areas, but bad people moved in and others go to them specifically for the same reason the notorious Willie Sutton gave when asked why he robbed banks- "Because that's where the money is". Robbing poor people isn't going to be a very profitable venture.
If people would begin to respect others and their property again, we wouldn't even be having this conversation.
What I think is up in this thread :
BJJ is nice as a sport or/and MMA contests, ground fight is effective on a ring, but NOT on the floor of your local bars, night clubs or parking lot against multiple opponements.
Aïkido is quite nice, it teach you patience, selfcontrol and is quite effective against bigger and multiple foes. Itīs a quick defense against vicious punches and kicks that happen in street fight. Opponements are very close to each other throwing fists and feet whatever they aim at. Aïkido breaks that pattern down, keep distance between you and your attacker and getting him upside down in the blink of an eye is VERY effective against his confidence! Do that 3 times in a row and the guy will flee you!
Krav Maga is quite nice too but different. Easier to learn because itīs based on reaction of the body in stress fights situations. Very helpful, learn gow to react and avoid dangerous situation, IMO everyone should learn the basics of KravMaga, itīs pre-defense advice. Attacks are nasty because aim for weaker point ( hey!! Itīs a street fight!! Kick him the nuts!!) itīs very suited for peoplethat carry concealed guns, such as bodyguards and military.
I think that one person is not an other, find some moves that you are confident with whatever styles they are from and use it at the proper time and place.
Jeet kun do leitmotiv!
I studied martial arts for about eight years. I have a second degree black belt in Taekwondo and a first degree in Hapkido (the Korean version of Aikido). I was just a couple months away from testing for my third Dan in Taekwondo when I tore my left hamstring performing a kick I had done hundreds of times before. So I decided to give it up since I couldn't afford to be out of work for that long if I got injured again! I really enjoyed the physical exercise and mental conditioning of TKD but I probably wouldn't recommend it as a primary defense style of martial art, especially for someone older. Hapkido, or Aikido would be very good IMO, as they do not require as much physical agility. They are also IMO more well rounded, combining joint locks, throws, kicks, punches, escape techniques, etc. They are circular and teach you to use your opponents energy against them to redirect their attack, whereas a lot of fighting styles are linear and more predictable.
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