May 8th, 2017 12:52 EST
Traditional Martial-Arts Compared to Self-Defense Systems
"Taking out an attacker to save your life or the life of someone you care about is more of a rush than the first drop of the famous roller coaster called "Colossus" at the theme part Magic Mountain which from the last time I rode this speed demon roller coaster was a drop of about one-hundred and fifty feet and at a complete straight vertical line downward"
We all know we now live in a very different society when it comes to the level and type of violence that three decades ago did not exist except on the sets of Hollywood action movies. We have seen things like terrorism in our country, police shootings, whacko people roaming the streets of wherever just shooting people for fun as if it was a video game in some arcade; it is getting very bad out there.
If you are like me, I am extremely protective of the people I care about. I know at times I can be very over protective and probably annoy them when I am wanting to know there every whereabouts and if they are now home safe but that is just me. And if you look up the meaning of my last name you will know why I am like that but....
You cannot be everywhere at any time to be able to be there to protect your family. The only way to be safe is to learn some sort of self-defense system to be ready for anything at any time. The question I have been asked and even have seen more and more articles on this topic is, "What is the best Martial-Art to learn for self-defense?"
Before we look at the answer to this wide arrayed question we have to first look at the traditional Martial-Arts systems and compare them to defending yourself. I have been into the Martial-Arts for over twenty-five years. I grew up in Los Angeles in the 1970`s and went to school with the not so law abiding citizens of the West Coast, so I have lived the days as a kid of street fighting and what works and what does not when faced with defending yourself.
The first advanced technique in the traditional Martial-Arts that no one really thinks about is to just "walk away" from a potential fight. Now if you are like me or how I used to be if you came up to me and wanted to challenge me to a fight I NEVER EVER would walk away I would say, "Go for it dude!?" and start firing punches and techniques at my opponent until they were not standing but over the years I got to the point of having the mind set of "Hey, you know I really am now a lover not a fighter" (Yea right!) there is no greater feeling than to nail a potential attacker or punk with a cross or hook and watch them turn to Jell-O as my fist hits them and they hit the ground! But wait...
Let`s look at this in a non-violent way. You should always try to walk away from a fight if it is a stupid reason to fight not a reason to defend yourself or a loved one. I believe to a point that violence is not the answer but again look at our violent society now and I also take the mind set of "fight fire with fire"
If someone came up to me and said now not back in my bad boy days, that they could take me in a fight I would probably look at them with a dumb look and say "Yea you probably could" then I would walk away but if I had to defend myself after trying to walk away I would do it with every ounce of mind and body that I could.
So, yes walking away from a not good reason to fight is an advanced technique but if it turns to a self-defense situation that is a completely different story.
So, what works for self-defense? By being one-hundred and ten percent mentally ready. I have seen many black belts in the Martial-arts get pummeled by a street fighter because those black belts were not mentally ready and hesitated in a street fight. You can lift weights 24/7, pound the heavy bag seven days a week and practice your techniques from morning til night and still be defeated in a self-defense situation by a more mentally ready attacker.
You ask, how do you get mentally prepared? It does help to have a fighting spirit and a warrior`s attitude but to get this type of mind set you have to do it through training, training, training, and more training with visualization training. What is visualization training?
You have to take each and every scenario in your mind when you are practicing and training and training to defend against that one attack. So, if you take one potential attack by saying, "If I were getting money out of an ATM Machine and all of a sudden around the corner comes a thug holding a gun, puts the gun to my back and says, "Give me your money" and we know this is very real potential nowadays to happen, how would you defend against this.
There are many different variations to defend against this attack so you take each and every one of the variations and practice it and see this really happening in your mind. You clear your mind of every other thoughts and just visualize this one attack and focus on it and see it happening while you defend against it getting out alive and do it thousands and thousands of times without hesitation and without thinking of anything else but this. If it ever does happen you will not hesitate and you will probably develop a little "kick butt" anger and want to hurt this low life degenerate without feeling one ounce of fear.
You do this type of training for every self-defense situation you can think of could happen out there and you start over time to develop the "No fear" mental training. If you have never had to defend yourself or been in a live or die situation it can be or is a very scary experience for someone that is not accustomed to this happening to them, so to develop the mental aspect of self-defense you have to visualization train, train, train and train more over time.
Also, has you practice your self-defense techniques and put each techniques together in a flowing concept you develop more and more self-confidence which starts to also develop the mental training. So, what I mean by a flowing concept is, let`s say an attacker throws a punch at your face with a right haymaker. And believe it or not most attackers that go around wanting to start a fight do not know how to throw a clean punch like a trained fighter. They throw what is called a haymaker or a wild punch.
This type of punch is so easy to defend against and even if they do connect on your head which is a very hard surface they will more than likely break their hand. So, back to the flowing concept, the attacker throws the haymaker punch with their right hand you slip to the left, the punch goes over top of you and to your right, you are now set-up in a position to fire a right or left cross to the attacker`s right rib cage which will knock the wind out of them and more than likely crack or break a couple of their ribs. After you connect with your punch you throw a few more right, left crosses or even a good hook to their ribs, then as they drop down to the ground from the pain to their knees. You grab their head come close with three or four Muay Thai kickboxing knees to their face and head. They are now in La La land and probably don`t even know where they are or what`s going on. You then could snap their neck by twisting it hard and fast to either the right or left side but if you want to spare them you could just step back as they are still staring into space from the hits they just took and finish them off with a right roundhouse kick straight to their face braking their nose on impact. I could go into many more ways you could deliver the flowing concept of techniques to defend against this one attack but I would end up writing a book on just this one way to defend against this one attack.
In a case, the concept of flowing techniques is multiple techniques thrown in sequence, one right after the other in a flowing fashion until the attack is defeated or over with. This also will include grappling techniques.
Now we are back to the first question of what is the best Martial-Art to use for self-defense. Most traditional Martial-Arts teach just that, the tradition of that style. So, when I took Tae Kwon Do a typical class which only lasted about an hour consisted of warm-up and stretching exercises. Then, the instructor would stand in front of the class and perform various techniques. The class would perform that technique and continue performing techniques for about a half hour.
After we practiced the techniques the instructor picked out for that nights training, he would pick two students to put on protective head gear, knee pads, Martial-Arts padded gloves and so on and would go up in front of the class to hold competition sparring training.
The instructor would stand next to the two students and referee them in a thirty second sparing match. After those two students were done two more would come up and so on until all the students in that evening class would get a chance to go up and spar for thirty seconds.
Look at this scenario of training, first off the traditional Martial-Arts mostly prepare for any upcoming competitions. In this case, my class was preparing for some upcoming big competition that has nothing to do with street survival. They train this way to keep students interest in paying their monthly dues so that Dojo can make money and keep students. It gives the students something to look forward to training for. Second, you are wearing protective gear with a referee watching every move to make sure no one gets seriously hurt.
On the street there is no protective gear, there is no referee, everything and anything goes and it`s all about getting out of that dangerous situation and going home that night to your family. So, no in my opinion taking a traditional Martial-Arts class and the concept of ho it is taught does not work in real life street defense.
You can take a traditional Martial-Arts class to learn the techniques if you are just starting out but then you can tweak those techniques to work on the street. Also, I would rather fight someone who trains on ten- thousand techniques over someone who trains ten-thousand times on one technique. It does not take a ton of techniques to be effective in a street fight but take proficiency on one technique to be effective.
Over the years I have practiced different styles in the Martial-arts and learned to develop my own self-defense system. My system consists of techniques from Western Boxing. Western boxing is just that, westernized boxing. Most Martial-arts philosophies originated in the orient. Western boxing originated out of India thousands of years ago and evolved in the West or this country and took on the concept of western techniques so it is referred to as Western boxing.
It is a devastating way of brutally fighting. No one hits harder than a boxer and as you put together the combination of punches it becomes a fighting system for the street. Western boxing is known as the American Martial-Art.
The next Martial-art that originated in Thailand is known as Muay Thai or the Art of Eight Limbs. It uses the feet, knees, elbows and fist as weapons and is another brutal way to fight. Like my statement above about tweaking a Martial-Art from the competition concept to the street defense concept this Martial-Art like Western boing becomes a lethal weapon.
The next Martial-Art that I like for street defense is Kenpo Karate. This style originated thousands of years ago in Japan and has been modified in its concept many times through the centuries. Ed Parker was the founder of American Kenpo Karate and I like the philosophy of it, "Lighting fast hand strikes in rapid succession" Again flowing techniques with speed is over whelming to an attacker.
The next style is not a traditional concept Martial-art but a complete defense system known as Krav- Maga. It originated in Israel and is based on complete self- defense and is used in military and police units. It focuses on weapons defenses and getting in and out of an attack with brutal strikes and even killing the attacker philosophy but I a very effective system for defending on the street.
So, you have to take the mind set if, are you going to become a victim in this violent world we live in now? Or, are you going to fight back and live another day? I think I would get the mindset of the latter.