It was a dirty little secret but well known fact among serious practitioners back in the Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris heydays of traditional Martial Arts that any semi-pro boxer, or a seasoned military hand-to-hand instructor, could usually beat most Karate ‘black belts’ anytime they felt like it in a real fight.
In fact, statistics have always shown that the average store front dojo diploma mill black belt holder today DOES NOT really have that much of a much better chance of winning a street fight than any other average guy out there.
So why is that?
For one thing they waste too much time and physical energy on useless ‘style’ practice instead of hard core compact strategies and techniques more suitable to today’s extremely bad behavioral environment.
What Are Martial Arts Good For?
In ancient warfare times, where modern traditional Martial Arts evolved from, there might have been a real time use for a jump flying side kick to knock a horse soldier out of his saddle.
But to waste all that time practicing and developing that technique and many like it when it has no advantageous purpose today unless you think that it might be necessary to launch one of these techniques against an Outlaw Biker who flicked his cigarette butt at you when you walked by on a public street by ’jump spinning back kicking him off his Harley?
A real bad mistake even if you succeeded.
So this means that you really aren’t learning anything useful with most traditional styles in Martial Arts schools that would be generally guaranteed to work in most ’real time’ dangerous situations?
Most ‘traditional’ Martial Arts training schools in styles like Karate, Kung Fu, Aikido, Judo, and other historic teachings are simply not up to ‘par’ when it comes to the modern violent physical confrontations so common today. Obviously not all Martial Arts promote and graduate students who can’t put up a good fight. So don’t bother arguing that you are a black belt rank in some traditional style, because in this venue the scarce exceptions definitely prove the rule.
Don’t get me wrong: the development of American Martial Arts schools in the 20th century were a good thing. They taught us discipline, some physical fitness, and even kept our kids from turning into complete couch potato texting addicts. These traditional Karate schools brought us where we are today and they really should be respected for that.
But are they the best choice for the serious prepper or concerned individual who believes they need to know a good highly effective method for bare handed defense against being physically assaulted?
Lets sweep the dirt of dubious delusions under the rug and do some Martial Arts ’Myth Busting‘. We’ll talk about five ideas that you can easily hear almost every time people talk about Martial Arts.
1. Martial Arts always win in street fights
While being a Black Belt in some traditional style is better than nothing in terms of helping you out when trying to survive a physical assault, most Black Belts simply are not that specifically well trained to purpose for a guarantee of any higher percentile of success when confronted by a seriously dangerous psycho trying to hurt you.
Bad actors on the street, especially the younger physically strong gang punks, are often rough and violent enough to give even trained and hardened police officers a rough time in a physical battle.
A street combat instructor once said, “Martial Arts is something you do ‘With’ somebody, and hard core street fighting is something you do ‘To’ someone’. “ Try not to forget that!
Video first seen on Black Belt Fighting
2. You must be a high ranking Black Belt in Martial Arts to really be any good at defending yourself in a fight
A lot of people, even Black Belts themselves, really believe this sort of Bovine Squat. It’s understandable because you usually spend years of working out and spending money attaining the coveted ‘legendary’ Black Belt rating in any Martial Art style, and you should by then be proficient enough in punching and kicking to easily whip some ass with some decent physical fitness behind your moves.
But that doesn’t mean you’ll ‘always’ defeat your assailant or opponent. If you’re a strict traditional style fighter you may, in fact, be at a serious disadvantage right from the start against thug with a lot of dangerous experience as a street fighter.
3. Old or frail people have no chance fighting physically with anyone so Martial Arts would be a waste of time for them
While most senior citizens probably will never make it to a MMA cage tournament except as a spectator, although there are even a few octogenarians who will hurt you so badly if you mess with them that afterward you’ll swear your stupid ass was stomped by a 30 year old World Class Kick Boxing Champion!
A lot of dangerous punks learned the hard way that we ‘mature’ citizens are not as ‘weak’ as we might generally appear. It has been proven in the statistics of actual police reports that seniors have a built in ability to hold their own in emergencies and dangerous circumstances with a presence of mind power and determination that could only be developed and forged through years of adverse human experience, and paying their dues in society in various schools of ‘hard knocks’ in an unforgiving world.
Video first seen on World Champ 20001
4. The best Martial Arts come from military training like Navy, SEALS, or Special Forces
Truth be told, this myth is the most widely, but erroneously accepted misrepresentation of Martial Arts training at the moment. The FACT is that most military training these days barely give lip service to unarmed hand-to-hand combat training.
Once upon a time in maybe WWI and WWII where battalions of infantry attacked each other en masse on foot. Back then soldiers did, indeed, often enough engage in hand-to-hand combat, but usually with a bayonet fixed to the end of their rifle. And before they ever got down to smacking it out bare knuckled while rolling around in the mud, they’d use their ’trench knives/daggers’ with a built in set of brass knuckles on the handle.
So back then in army basic training, they did teach some hours of very ‘basic’ hand-to-hand fighting eventually emphasizing the ‘spirit’ of the bayonet. Which was…to kill, and keep on killing, even if you ran out of ammo.
But our modern military is designed to use firepower weapons, period. Unlike previous warfare, today’s squad level infantry units can amass inordinate amounts of severe overwhelming firepower after enemy contact in the form of artillery, airpower, rapid light and heavy armored cavalry, individually carried mortars and guided rocket launchers, and even drones now. All resourced from the radio or laptop of the squad leader, are deployed far ahead of any eyeball to eyeball shootouts.
The Navy Seals, Army Green Berets, Marines, and even the Air Force special operations soldiers all have their own ‘advanced’ schools of physical hand-to-hand combat training. If you want to see just how intensively ‘realistic’ they can make it and how serious the training can get, take a look at this video:
Video first seen on Harry Bank 99
5. Fighting for minutes at a time
This is mainly the fault of Hollywood. Virtually ALL movie versions of ongoing fist fights are a complete exercise in specious nonsense. Even the better movies like Segal’s and the Jason Bourne series and the newer James Bond episodes are a far cry from reality street fights.
Maybe the fighters depicted in these movies could conceivably have the sheer super human physical fitness training and aptitude to continue at full throttle energy blast through multiple minutes of active smash, kick, and flip.
But their heads and bodies taking all those hits simply would not last through such a long running smack down fight where the participants are highly trained killers without at least being knocked unconscious or seriously maimed in less than the first 20 seconds, or so of such seriously violent confrontations if they were to happen in real life.
Which is the whole point behind serious hand self-defense techniques when they are superior techniques with a high rate of proven efficiency success.
Most street assault fights and violent one on one robberies are won, lost, or over, one way or the other in less time than it took you to read this paragraph.
Which mean 3 to 10 seconds.
But that wouldn’t sell action movies, would it?
There is so much crap in Martial Arts these days thanks to movies and profit only oriented schools that the first thing you have to learn about fighting is the reality apart from the fantasy. Otherwise most of what you think you ‘know’ about hand-to-hand fighting will at best be useless, and at worst could get you hurt and potentially killed.
So if anybody has any further questions at all about anything related to martial arts or hand-to-hand self-defense, please feel free to ask in the comments section and I’ll help you get where you want to go.
This article has been written by Mahatma Muhjesbude for Survivopedia.
H. Gill | March 9, 2015
During my time with the British Army, H2H combat was referred to as “Jxp Slapping.” The course was very basic and similar to the material taught in the US Army combatives. The instructors constantly harped about two things: A) A fight shouldn’t last longer than 10 seconds – else you have a problem, and B) “Don’t Play With Your Food” – get the fight over with quickly. Get in, get it sorted and move on. The longer you stay in a fight, the greater the chances are that you are going to get hurt.
krvzl | December 11, 2015
Sounds about right. In addition, we were taught that your focus should never be on anything except putting your buddy in position to handle it for you — hence the focus on holds and submissions over strikes, which are as I recall the entirety of level 1 US Army Combatives. On a modern battlefield, the chances of you finding yourself absolutely alone locked in hand-to-hand combat are infinitesimal. Training is focused on the fact that while you are locked in hand-to-hand combat, there is a high likelihood that someone (most likely more than one someone) will be right there waiting to take a shot or otherwise step in once the opportunity presents itself. The objective is really “don’t die until you can be assisted,” not “kick the sh*t out of the other guy”. Anything else, realistically, is pretty superfluous.
Also pretty useful for handling disputes.
Kurt | March 9, 2015
I would recommend looking at a program called
TARGET FOCUS TRAINING
For when violence is your only choice for survival.
Mahatma Muhjesbude | March 10, 2015
Yup, good training there. I’ve done a lot of it and know these people.
Allen | March 9, 2015
Have a look at Lethalo. I think you will find something in there of use to anybody wanting to survive a confrontation.
Fox | March 9, 2015
As a retired Marine, and one with both military and civilian hand to hand combat, the main advantage in taking martial arts training is learning how to fall properly. There may come a time in hand to hand combat when you are thrown to the ground. Landing correctly will not only prevent damage to your body but also allow you to regain your footing quickly.
Being 72 years old now does not concern me as much as it does younger people. My body still has the same muscle memory it always had and I know that any street fight will be won or lost in the first 10 seconds. Good thing since I know I’ll run out of breath in about 30 seconds.
If you are going to train at all, learn how to put power into your punch and kick. One well placed hit will usually end the fight. At least long enough for you to get away.
TAK | March 11, 2015
Martial arts training is something that ages well, and you said it right, it’s muscle memory. I just turned 60 and I don’t feel much different when I practice some moves, the basics I learned 40 years ago. Slower, sure, and not as much stamina, but the aim is still here and some of the power. My advice is to develop an instinctive low kick with power, into the shins with a good pair of shoes or boots, hard, several times if you can. Before the shock of the first kick to the shin wears off – and they will be shocked because if you do fight back people expect a telegraphed roundhouse punch – go for the knee. Stomp if you can with the flat of your foot but the toe can work too, it just misses more often. Brutal I know, but anyone above 10 years old is too old to be fighting anyway, they deserve what they get. After 1 or more HARD kicks – run!
Ben | January 19, 2016
Martial Arts age well too because there is a tendency to strong arm an elderly person rather than punch them. Being grabbed is a martial arts practitioners dream scenario. Punching is largely unpredictable- not so much the case with joint manipulations.
Mahatma Muhjesbude | October 26, 2016
My punching is very predictable. It hits like a hammer and never misses.
Oldskoolgenius | December 30, 2016
If you’re punching is predictable then you’re telegraphing your punches, which leaves you vulnerable to counter attacks.
Spencer scaccia | June 6, 2016
Lol my main targets are knee, balls, throat. Because now matter how big or muscly you are, those spots will still take you down in a second, however throat is only if you fear for your life, because all it takes is eight pounds of force, and you’re dead!
Black Leapord | August 19, 2016
That my friend is absolutely true .
Ben | May 3, 2017
8 pounds of force, huh? How come you don’t see boxers dying in every other fight? We take shots in the throat all the time. We brush them off and hardly even notice them. Have you ever seen a boxer dropped because he got hit in the throat?
You can pretend to know what you’re talking about, but there are going to be a lot of people that see through your bullcrap.
Randy | December 17, 2017
it takes 16lb to break a bone…..That sound about right….Boxers wear gloves
STEPHEN "THE MONEY" | May 25, 2017
So I am going out on a limb here and I’m going to guess that you have never been in a fight Spencer? First off being very small areas landing a successful attack on one of those targets is very difficult. Secondly, getting hit in most of those areas during a fight, with ll of your adrenaline flowing, you hardly even notice it.
I would love to see a person with these tactics in mind trying to fight someone. The “knee attack”, I have hard so many people say they would kick someone in the knee right away, boom! The fights over! Attacking someones knee, is a flat out huge mistake. It is probably the easiest thing to defend against, and draw the person in/have them off balance. And now completely freaking out that their mythical knee kick didn’t instantly kill their opponent.
Travis Tomaszkiewicz | July 8, 2019
the knee thing is a misconception, as is the balls….i’ve been hit in the balls with no cup while sparring, never once did it cause me to stop fighting.
knee kicks/stomps are legal in many if not most MMA leagues and so far there has never been a major crippling/maiming injury.
there’s been a few fight enders for sure, but it’s far from the guaranteed thing you and so many others make it out to be…
Fish | October 24, 2016
Good for you. Getting power into one’s strikes involves developing speed with relaxed muscles (until the point of contact), learning to get one’s hips and weight into the strike.
Nick | March 9, 2015
Great article! You definitely touched on the realities of traditional martial arts and their place in a true violent encounter. Many people don’t realize that the human body does all sorts of things when people experience combat stress. It has been scientifically proven that people lose fine and complex motor skills when their heart rate rises to a specific level. Gross motor skills are truly the only thing a person can count on when faced by a truly violent assault. Traditional martial arts do offer some level of protection but only after the practitioner practices a specific move so many times. To practice specific responses to specific threats complicates things because the attacker will no doubt attack with something the practitioner hasn’t practiced on. Therefore, besides awareness, the best combatives program to learn should be a simple set of combatives that are practiced over and over and over until they become a reflex. Once these combatives become a reflex, find a school that will test your reflexes. Remember, aggression is key and facing violence with overwhelming violence is always best practice.
Mahatma Muhjesbude | March 10, 2015
I see you’ve seriously studied some ‘real’ martial arts, Nick. When i get the chance I’ll reveal some of my best training secrets which make your ‘counter attack’ in the event of an ‘assault’, virtually invincible. For now, however, let’s realize that maintaining physical fitness and as you said, ‘reflex’ muscle memory firmly established in your body is a tremendous advantage. If you haven’t accomplished this yet, get thee upon a speed bag and when you get to where you can make it hum like a chainsaw including elbows and shutos thrown in while not missing a beat, then we’ll go from there.
In my better days i used to be able to also mix in an inside crescent kick (to the face) with the punches without missing a beat just to ‘muscle memory’ in a kick with the combinations.
Make sure you DON’T hit the bag like the boxers do where the fist is almost horizontal and the impact is on your last couple knuckles instead of the first two. You can shift the angle of target (bag) approach left/right/up or down, but the linear impact must be between your top two knuckles straight through your forearm with no bent wrist upon impact.
Always keep your elbows turned down and in and do a vertical fist straight in strike with the top two knuckles of your fist strikes. This may seem awkward at first but you’ll get it to work and when it does it will be like blasting ‘buckshot’ fists on your assailant’s face.
Plus, working the bag is good upper shoulder exercise which ALL of us could use because most activities in our daily lives never require lifting our arms higher than the kitchen counter for more than the second it takes to get something out of the cabinet!
Black Leapord | August 19, 2016
Very nice . I practice as much as I can with all of the techniques I’ve learned . it’s all about learning the reflex .
Marc Lawrence | March 9, 2015
There are some true facts in what he was trying to say these are as follows: One If you only train to fight in a rule bound method, yes will loose in street fight as there are timeouts in real fight! Learn to fight in all ranges and with what ever is around you! Two- Anybody who has taken decent self defense class can fight back, yes maybe technically but they have not learned the willingness too! You have to learn to fight like tiger if you are not one now! Three-Seniors can fight back but reality it is harder for them due to physical limitations, I tell them stun canes & pepper spray are great start and back it up with another weapon. Three-Military combative systems are limited, that he got right, yes they are I know I have them come as students and we train them. Four- If a fight last more that 30 seconds you have problem, after 30 seconds it anybody game, get it done quickly! In closing if you are looking for really good training for hand to hand fighting skills, do not do MMA, any Mc Dojo training unless that is your thing for fitness, look for a back-yard close nit group, like Filipino Martial Arts, Muey Thai-(non sport), Kajikempo, Kuntaw, Bartistu, Apache Knife fighting, Savatte, or hard core boxing. All of these are good training. Be willing to get a little bruised up train hard as if you life depends on it because it may someday. Be willing to fighting like tiger but do not go looking for trouble! Oh yes one more thing, if the Marines ever open up that Last of the Mohicans Trail to some of FMA guys I go with guys, maybe they could come play with us at the Wilton War games!
Mahatma Muhjesbude | March 10, 2015
Yes, You’re right Marc! And i did cover exactly what you said in the original article but they shortened because it was too long for the web format they have. (there’s so much on Martial Arts out there that it NEVER Ends, LOL!)
And I agree, unless you’re a physical punishment–oops, I mean ‘fitness’ person more than anything else, MMA training might not be worth the time and effort. Especially if you only want/need to defend yourself simply and effectively.
While you wouldn’t want to be a ‘bully’ and mess with a 190 pound bad ass MMA competitor in a bar fight because of his sheer awesome physical fitness. They are not allowed to use the best techniques in ring competition because the fighter pool would soon be diminished due to serious injuries and the promoters would lose money if all the fights ended in the first round, lol!
As far as ‘WILTON War Games, remember, we don’t want to actually ‘hurt’ our young Marines in training, LOL! Marines have the most intensive psychological mind training in aggressiveness and will to fight than any combat group in the world. They would never give up until you hurt them enough to kill them. I’ve worked with them in real combat. So We have to keep these great guys in good health so they can continue to keep us safe in this dangerous world.
I’ve always wanted to hop on my Bagger make it out to the Bahala tournaments In CA but with my luck the Yellowstone Caldera would blow just as I’m happily cruising by and since they didn’t allow CC I (is it allowed now?) I chickened out. But I really wanted to give it a shot because I’m not an ‘armchair’ Martial Artist’, I was a pretty well known circuit Karate Tournament competitor and a ranking member of the MBBF (Midwest Black Belt Federation) And AKA back in the day and an original ‘Shoot Fighting’ competitor, So I was always afraid that if I went to Wilson and got my 6′ 200 pound bad ass kicked by one of those skinny Escrima girls that my Alpha Male image would be ruined FOREVER!. LOL!
But I’ve studied enough Arnis and I’m a weapons specialist to certainly appreciate the Philipino fighting methods and training. In my humble, but extensively educated opinion, there’s not much of a ‘badder’ martial training anywhere that i know of.
Thanks for your observations, Marc!
Ajanis | July 4, 2016
“Marines have the most intensive psychological mind training in aggressiveness and will to fight than any combat group in the world.”
Really? Provide evidence for this ridiculously jingoistic and self-flattering statement. What the hell makes you think there aren’t other military groups in the world that have training regimes that are just as demanding as (or MORE demanding than) your precious marine corps? It’s this kind of bombastic and self-promoting rubbish that causes people all over the world to despise Americans. Have you ever heard of the SAS or the Spetsnaz for example? Do you have any idea how demanding and difficult it is to get into those forces? The US marine corps, on the other hand, has a pass-rate of more than 90 percent. Almost all registrants pass their boot camp. I’ve got news for you: Any group or organization that has an almost 100 percent pass-rate cannot possibly be anywhere near as difficult or demanding as you are pretending. Go ahead and say exactly what these incredibly stressful conditions are that your marines are subjected to that you claim are so impressive and yet have a 100 percent pass rate.
Buckshot | March 10, 2015
Excellent article and spot on. I was a street cop in the San Francisco bay area from the mid 70’s to the late 90’s. In my first street fight, as a young rookie, I used a martial arts blade strike on an armed suspect in a hand to hand fight. The strike subdued the suspect and broke my right hand! Not exactly a perfect outcome. 6 months in a cast due to complications and a lifetime of arthritis. And of course a royal butt chewing by command who pointed out that my baseball bat sized flashlight would have been a better choice. Lesson learned! In the many street fights I engaged in over the ensuing years I never again struck a suspect with my hand. Instead, it was either a baton strike or my favorite move, the carotid restraint hold. Put them to sleep in 10 seconds or less and leave them with a lasting memory! Many a potential repeat offender opted out when they saw me warming up in the bullpen. If you can’t end a fight in seconds, you will end up with injuries for a lifetime. Fast, furious and forceful….there is no room for “art” in a gutter brawl.
tim | March 10, 2015
Wonderful insights! Give em the sleeper!! haha. Intent is everything isn’t it? Once you have intent, it is easy to avoid conflicts where there is no real threat. Correct?
Mahatma Muhjesbude | March 10, 2015
Yes, Tim. It is always good to be prepared/trained –for/against the ‘unavoidable’, but the best strategy is the ‘avoidance’ as a primary tactic. This is why AAM (Acute Awareness Mode) of your environment is so critical to street survival.
The old Martial Art Master’s used to say this upon handing you your Black Belt:
“The fight you always win…is the one you don’t get into.”
“The fight you Never Lose is the one you never had.”
TPSnodgrass | March 10, 2015
I served “my time” in SoCal, and learned quickly, that the School of Maglite-Strikes, to the knees, elbows, collarones, and thrusts to the solar plexus, were faster in stopping the will-to-fight in suspects, than anything else.(this was pre-TASER days…)
Haven’ forgotten that either. Couldn’t do squat with the issued PR-24, (what a PIECE of dung that is-for me), was qualified with my straight-stick and used that or the Maglite religiously. Never did like to “fight” at all with the creepy people. Preferred to talk them into cuffs by boring them to tears, if necessary. Now that I’m officially approaching the cusp of “senior citizen”, I’ve learned that “conflict avoidance” is something I adhere to!
Buckshot | March 10, 2015
Congrats TP on making it to retirement. Don’t sweat the
“senior” status, it’s actually a pretty good deal! Lot’s of discounts!…LOL…Like you, I hated the PR 24. It came along for my agency after I had been on the job carrying hickory for 5 years. Actually, I rarely used the hickory either. Now sap gloves and flat saps?….those were pretty sweet!
Like you, these days I’m a low key guy. I live on my ranch in north Idaho, which is an open carry state. So I carry my 1911 openly on my right hip and my fixed blade Buck knive on my left side. And you know what, I seem to meet a nicer class of folks when I’m in town.
Mahatma Muhjesbude | March 11, 2015
Hey, BUCK! you and TPSNOD are making me twitch and fart with flashbacks, loll! Yeah, those were the days! All street cops learned ‘Martial Arts’ the hard way all right. Even though i was a freshly minted spring steel bodied black belt I always hurt myself in the beginning when fighting with some of these mopes, especially if they were hopped up on drugs. They didn’t feel the pain of even a hard kick to the groin or instep stop so they’d fall down enough to cuff, and then you had to get in close and bloody. They gave us supplemental ‘clothing allowances’ in our paychecks for all the torn and ruined and blood stained shirts, lol! You learned fast what really worked and what really didn’t
I tried the sap gloves and they certainly worked well but too ‘obvious’ and hot in the summertime. And like Snod said, when they invented the Maglite the whole ‘ball’ game changed. So much so that i believe a couple large municipal departments, like Chicago, at one time, banned their people from using them(only the wood baton was ‘regulation’ equipment, Chicago didn’t even want you to carry fiberglass batons. we didn’t give a shit too much what the rules were, however, we did what we want, lol) due to the numerous litigations and burden on the city’s funds to settle claims on so many ‘citizens’ with injuries. I seem to recall they even caused a couple deaths, But that’s because a lot of cops didn’t think before using them. A hard whack to the outside of the shoulder or thigh usually brought pretty instant compliance like TPSN mentioned. WITOUT having to crack the poor suckers skull and then take him to the hospital and have the ER nurses and doctors whisper things behind your back like POlice BRUtality! PO-lice BRUTALITY, LOL
I still think that a foot long ‘C’ cell Maglite if they made them with a 600 lumen strobe light would be almost a perfect police tactical weapon if they trained them in a little Silat or Arnis to go along with it. You shine it in a ‘potential’ adversary’s face, even in daylight, and they’re instantly blinded. Then you step in and do your ‘thang’, cuff ’em, and go home to drink beer another day! It would even be a good personal self defense tool to carry in your back pocket when walking around at night. Nothing wrong or illegal with shining a light at somebody approaching you, especially at night. Hold it up and shine it at your ‘subject’s’ face with the flared bulb end at the bottom of your hand grip so it looks like you’re about to hammer a nail. This positions you for a very rapid down strike hammer type blow of only about a 45 degree arc. Almost un-blockable and too fast to avoid if you’re fast enough. This is how i used to approach a suspicious traffic stop when i always walked up to the car window. Blinding Light in the face, night or day, and cocked and locked for an instant wham strike if something went really South.
As an academy instructor i tried everything at one time or another for police work, but a maglite with a high powered bulb is hard to beat if you know what you’re doing.
I don’t know how you California guys lived so long, lol! I’m glad you made it,lol! We’re the Vets, now, who have to keep every body ‘sane’ in the social equilibrium as our legacy. You must have been really bad ass boys back in the Sunshine State? . When i visited LA –maybe 25 years ago on a homicide case, even then i couldn’t wait to get the hell out of dodge. What was the life expectancy of those motorcycle cops? About that of a door gunner on a chopper?, I actually knew a Marine Force Recon dude who wounded out of two tours in unbelievable combat and then got on the job and drove one of those CHIP bikes! He thought it was ‘relaxing’!! It must have been shell-shock? Talk about pushing your luck?
I’ve been very very ‘lucky’ in life for all the misadventure and way out stuff i’ve been exposed to. Every day i still wake up to see the sunshine I take a deep breath and become profoundly grateful. And like you Buck, I live ‘remotely’ in the Midwest but when i get into town it’s such a nice peaceful friendly place with everybody carrying either open or C. I’m even starting to see a couple back window Gun Racks, in pick up trucks like you Cowboys out West like to use, lol! One of the duputies did the old ‘forget that they left the baby basket on the top of the car’ trick, only this time it was his AR-15 carbine with a loaded 40 round magazine. And of course it slid off around the first turn. A kid found it later on the curb and his father promptly and politely returned it!
But in the state’s biggest city last year, the Federal Goon Squad was once again in the process of violating the citizen’s rights with some kind of bullshit anti-2/A disarmament Sting by setting up a pawn shop front. Only it really backfired in their face. They lost one of their own select fire M4 and ‘other’ weapons on the old reverse okey-doke theft by the potential felons they were attempting to create! I have to check but I still believe they haven’t yet recovered it!
Like You, TP, I also had a ‘black belt’ in the highly effective Ninjitsu of Bullshiting and Boring them into submission, LOL! I preferred that much more than violence. Police had a lot of ‘discretionary power’ I can’t understand why they don’t use it correctly anymore? I kind of retained that talkative ‘talent’ in my private life unfortunately and that’s why I never get invited back a second time to the barbecues. My dog, however, is never bored and always listens politely with interest.
Didn’t the ‘Sleeper’ hold actually originate in California. When i first learned it that’s what it was called, The ‘California Sleeper’? It’s a good ‘passive’ technique but like everything else, it got abused to restriction. You have to apply it correctly and ONLY long enough effect incipient black out and then it must be IMMEDIATELY released. 60 seconds or more and you will likely permanently do brain damage and any longer can potentially kill them.
What do you guys think is ‘wrong with the picture’ about the cops today who ‘shoot first and ask questions later?’ We just had one last week in the big city in this state.
I had my share over the years of some ugly shoot outs but in the too numerous to remember encounters with homeless PTSD vets, Kids playing and pointing toy guns that looked just as real as real ones in the pre-pink tip days, and mentally ill or medicated persons ‘acting out and being crazy’ …
and i never had to kill any of them?
Buckshot | March 11, 2015
Hey Mahat, congrats to you brother for making it to retirement! I visited Chy town once about 15 years ago. The wife and I were doing the retired RV America thing. Had a lot of fun, but can’t say I’d ever go back. Rode the train in and admired the view of the “affordable” housing on the south side. All I could think of was my .45 only had 8 pills. Of course, that was pre 218 days, so I guess that made me a gangsta like all da utter homies?
I don’t know if the “sleeper” originated in the communist state of Kaleephonia, but I certainly did my best to advertise it! I put more people to sleep than an obama and clinton speech combined! Heck, I even used it on my kids when they wouldn’t go to bed! (just kidding……sort of.. : ) BTW, 10 seconds is about the max. 60 seconds and you’ll be calling for a toe tag. I did one for 20 seconds once and had to chest thump the dirtbag. He was a big, fat and drunk ape who had 100 lbs. and 5 inches on me. And I was solo. I was pretty jacked so once I pinned him I wasn’t about to let go. He on the other hand, did “let go” with his most recent menu choice. That was the probably the only thing that saved his life and kept me out of jail. He turned a very lovely shade of blue!
I did my “leather god” tour in northern Ca. It wasn’t too bad…traffic wise. But the novelty wears off quickly when your’re riding a motor in 100 degree summer heat and a blue suit.
I agree with you, the Mag made for an awesome “persuader”. But the best weapon I ever had was hairy, all teeth, weighed 110 lbs. and had no sense of humor. My K9 Levi, a very large and fearless German Shepherd. In all the years we were partners, only one perp was dumb enough to take a poke at me…..and Levi left him in “stitches”…LOL…..Ahhh those were the days!….no foot pursuits, bar fights or cat naps on graves with one eye open!..LOL We had the perfect partnership. I handled the driving and shooting and he handled the chasing and biting! Like you, I don’t understand this new crop of LEO’s. It seems like someone forgot to tell them that the job is a “contact sport”. I don’t like the tasers or bean bag rounds. And it seems like the only options they know are either tase or blaze?
I’ll close my senile ramblings with one last anecdotal story that happened to me just last week. I was at the gas station filling my dump truck when I noticed an old gentleman filling his car in front of me. He was tall, fit and ram rod straight. I figured he was about 90, at least 30 years my senior. He had on a ball cap and a black windbreaker with the following stitched on the back…LAPD retired, Korea AF, WW2 veteran. Naturally, I had to talk to this “old timer”. Yup, he had served in both wars and the LAPD. I was humbled! I told him I was retired as well, but my time could never measure to his service. I told him he was my hero and I thanked him for his courage and unselfish service. He smiled and humbly replied….”I’m just a dinosaur”. I hope some day soon these new crop of “fire breathers” will recognized that with God’s grace, we all become dinosaurs. And dinosaurs deserve our eternal respect and gratitude.
carmela Tyrrell | March 10, 2015
Well – I will wade in here and offer my two cents from the perspective of teeny tiny lightweight that had access to martial arts books ; but no Dojo or instructor until I hit my mid 30’s. The books being bought were a result of being bullied and not being able to bulk up fast enough to make a convincing boxer. So… for me – simple things like a rotation punch(was I ever surprised when little old 95 lb me sent a 200 lb guy sprawling to the ground with one!) , kicking, falling, rolling, and blocking – all came from practicing what I found in those books. I have no idea whether or not I would have gotten those things in boxing lessons; I only care that they work for me.
The first time I walked into a “real” Dojo for beginner classes – three things stood out in my mind:
First – there was no mention, let alone emphasis on meditation (which you can you can use to go at will into a ‘zone’ where you control your emotions – I mean to the point of what they used to call battle rage. If you haven’t been there – I can’t explain it to you – all I can say is your reflexes are perfect, your mind is clear, and there is no fear. So to me, modern martial arts in the US is similar to eastern yoga vs fake and dangerous to mind/body/soul western yoga. Case in point, in western yoga people don’t do enemas etc routinely (for cleanliness) – yet all the Hindu texts mention this and other cleansing methods that would drive away paying customers that want “peaceful relaxing feelings etc”. I was, indeed, wondering just how “authentic” these martial arts schools really were. Thankyou for confirming my suspicion that they aren’t what they are portrayed to be in the movies. That being said – I still find myself wondering if the authentic Ninja traditions of Japan, etc are, in fact, worth studying for street fighting.
The second thing I noticed in Western Dojos was that indoctrination took the place of meditation and the development of body energetics (which were mentioned often in the books I read years ago. Of all the reasons why I never went further in the martial arts – this was the biggest one.
Third – these classes and modern schools do not appear at all to be aimed at teaching you how to street fight. Yes – you learn to punch, etc – but it is all about form for competition – not getting down and dirty on the streets. If I’m going to spend time learning how to punch – I don’t want muscle memory that tells me to stop short of the target, or aim slightly to the side. I want to hit straight on with my “chi” and fist, etc – if that makes any sense.
Eh – but maybe I am wrong and should just go back to the quarterstaff I made from a tree and try not to thwack myself in the head with it.
Mahatma Muhjesbude | March 10, 2015
How are you?
Actually this article was originally much longer as i believe it was supposed to be for the monthly one but instead they made it a short article. But i did expand in the original about your concerns. Actually I think i had around 10 different myths to start and more analysis of types of training, as i certainly personally covered quite a lot of them in almost 50 years of ‘practitioning’, LOL
To cut to the chase, as they say, Most martial arts training is a waste of time in real time assault confrontation situations, just as most gun slinging pretty much is, as well. I once asked the legendary Jeff Cooper (privately) why he teaches people how to shoot ‘differently’ when i know he doesn’t ‘shoot’ like that. He said ‘well, if they knew how difficult it really was in terms of practice and dedication to become really really good, they’d never shoot at all. So i just teach them enough to ‘encourage them’ and get ’em interested, lol. And the true ‘experts’ will take it upon themselves to advance to excellence after they get started if they are not discouraged’.
Same with martial arts/combat street fighting. If most people knew from the start how MUCH training and practice AND the dirty little one, PHYSICAL FITNESS is involved in fight skills to achieve high efficiency levels of success probability with techniques, they’d never start training! So traditional dojo martial Arts formal training starts slow and carefully, otherwise students, espeically younger and older on the spectrum would just up and quit. Hard work is Boring, LOL! in most cases, unless it’s a labor of love and then, of course, you never work a day in your life!
But to get to the core of your inquiry, the Fight training today has evolved into some very interesting advanced training that winds up being a hybrid combination of highly effective specifically oriented ‘training’ that defies the old ‘training’ and can be specifically ‘tailored’ to each individual, thereby saving tons of training time and hard work, etc.!
Most master weapons and fight instructor instructor have the ability to do that and many are doing ‘custom’ training seminars such as ‘Senior Self-Defense’ and specialty ‘women’s self-defense’ etc.
The idea is that not everything out there works well for everybody but what doesn’t work for somebody might work well for another person, and conversely. Remember even a jump back spinning trampoline skipping hand standing toe strike will work quite well if certain initial qualities of the confrontation are optimal and you practiced that technique for most of your waking and sleeping life, lol!
But when it comes down to KISS principles and ‘cost-effectiveness’ the best ‘techniques are really the easiest in terms of natural movements as long as you practice them enough where they become reflex instinctive in your muscle memory. The ‘mind power’ thing also factors in, of course. And we train that into the person as well.
The ones i occasionally do i call Female Emergency Assault Reversal (FEAR) (for the assailant when he encounters a gal who can handle herself). It’s quite different from traditional Martial Arts. And you can gain super high proficiency in the privacy (or what’s left of it) of your own home.
As far as Western v. Oriental Tradition, well, you know what they say, to make money, it has to appeal to the western marketing machine and consumer mentality.
I’ve traveled all over the world and when I visited India I wasn’t too impressed with the indigenous hygienic habits there. But it was very interesting to visit the so-called true burial place of Jesus! And the food wasn’t too bad, lol!
So yeah, I wouldn’t waste the money and time joining the local Tai Kwon do school, for exactly the reasons you mentioned, and depending upon your body’s chronalogical wear and tear endurance/capacity, it might do more damage to the cause than good. And the archaic Bo (staff) is usually reserved for Martial Arts Theater and tournament entertainment demos. But did you ever wonder why you never see a full contact knock out tournament with the staff?
From you comment it seems that you don’t want to go out bar hopping with your street fight club butt buds and beat each other to a pulp every chance you get, but instead would like to quickly smack down somebody following you or grabbing you with a couple quick moves hard enough so that their brains won’t have any capacity left to thank you properly for the tune-up?
If we get anymore interest on this i might have to make a short ‘video’ article on it. Like the Senior Marine and the Choke out Cop implied here in the comments, one good ‘shot’ usually ends the fight if solid enough on the right target. And a good aggressive ‘combo’ attack definitely will get you far enough away for an escape strategy. But ‘good’ means just that. It has to be practiced enough where anytime you ‘throw it’, you have a 98% target acquisition ratio and this depends on a lot of thing you still would have to learn.
Start by watching some real street fight videos of punks and bullies and just freaking idiots pumped on drugs or alcohol and getting into real street fights for fun while their butt buds video them on their cell phones. You need to ‘study’ the dynamics of body movement. And then I’ll be able to reveal the secrets which you’ll see in what you are watching.
Then get a ‘speed bag’ set up. (medium heavy bag you’ll also need later if you continue’ Speed bag and socket mount (four bolts/nuts) can be mounted to a 3/4 3’x 3′ or a little larger piece of plywood–doesn’t even have to be round, can be square, and mount it in your basement or garage. I’m sure there’s Yutube videos on how to learn speed bag. For hard street self defense this is an essential skill which you’ll immediately understand after you gain some proficiency, and all you do is hit it differently with a vertical fist, elbows tucked inward so you come down like you are swinging a hammer. Then put a little body torque into it once you get the rythm going. Then single fist rapid fire, elbows, etc. Once you are proficient in that–few minutes a day, easy at first so you don’t get sore shoulders, maybe a month and you’ll look like a pro–then you work the actual target focus strikes on the heavy bag. or better yet one of those ‘Bob’ human torso targets you see in the dojos. If you have a couple people practicing maybe you could all pitch in for one.
I don’t take on a student unless they can do that. Even older ladies can do that well enough with some careful practice to establish the necessary kinetic striking energy required.
If any of this is simply ‘out of the question’ due to some physical restraints then you can just default to one or two almost no power strikes i teach and the 3rd phase of knife or a pistol.
That’s about all you’ll ever need in terms of ‘self-defense’. And it’s about the fastest learning curv and also the least expensive. And quite seriously effective, as long as you have the critical ‘survival’ mindset, which I also teach along with the physics.
carmela Tyrrell | March 13, 2015
Good morning. I am doing fine – the house is still standing and intact after yesterday’s DIY adventures, so that’s always starting things off right. 😀
How are you doing?
Thankyou for your feedback and advice – and yes – my primary concern is self defense. I will definitely get a speed bag and have at it. When was younger, all I had was a wiffle ball and some yarn; so I just put that at different heights to practice punches and kicks. It worked, but was too predictable.
With regard to the bo staff not being used much outside competition – no – I’ve never wondered why it isn’t used in real fighting. I found out early on it’s not much good for anything beyond extending reach. Even then it seemed more trouble than it was worth because I always had to get myself out of its way. But then again – I was just tinkering in the back yard; not actually working with a trainer. A lot of the pictures in the books never made sense to me… BTW…
I defintely agree with the comments on ending a fight with one hit. In my own experiences, if I did not get my point across with the first punch or kick; a few more weren’t about to be any more convincing.
Looking forward to more articles on these topics!
Have a good day!
pat Cavyell | March 10, 2015
I read your article and agreed with a lot of the things, at first I disagreed with your evaluation of martial arts training since I have done it all of my adult life. I do fight full contact tournaments and there are a lot of people there that are good and some I would not want to fight on the street. But you are probably right that most schools are just in it for the money and each belt test gives them more. And I have not really went to a lot of different schools to see how they are. I do think that if you are in a good martial arts school and take it seriously and also fight at competitions you are certainly better off in a fight than the average joe blow that does not fight regularly. I think that the main thing whatever type of self defense you plan to use then you should practice, practice,and stay in shape. But above all being a fighter is in your mindset and that is 90 percent of the battle.
I understood you more when I read your response to Carmela so thanks for listening to my two cents worth, I think you’re one of the good guys and I am thankful for people like you getting out the message.
Mahatma Muhjesbude | March 11, 2015
Thanks for the response, Pat. After thinking about it, here’s a better articulation of the reality explanation. Over the last generation or so, the idea and pragmatic applications of ‘Fight training’ have changed dramatically.
Back in the formative years, if you spent enough time and effort (notice i didn’t say practice) and achieved a rank of Black Belt in almost any style you ‘usually’ could very adequately defend yourself against ‘almost’ anybody.
The main reason for this was because Most everybody else, except boxers and combat vets simply didn’t really KNOW how to fight, at all! Mainly because fighting, in and of itself, was not a normally pleasureful endeavor, and usually NOT a priority on one’s daily wish list.
Now, however, thanks a lot to the incessant proliferation of extremely violent movies, books, and video games and the resulting social imitative behavior manifestations, People are simply ‘evolving’ into a more violent disposition in life in context of both becoming inured to the ‘distastefulness’ of violence and becoming more willing to ‘engage’ in violent physical behavior, including some who ‘thrive’ on it in a perverse psychology.
Throw in that the technical and physical evolution of ‘fight training and skills’ have also advanced to keep up with the intensity of violence, and the short answer is that Martial Arts and Black Belt training just ain’t that good anymore like it might have been in the old days, for what you have to deal with today.
Today, there are far more either formally or informally ‘Trained’ street fighters who have attained a level of dangerous physical proficiency than there ever was back in the days.
So It becomes highly ‘specialized’ if you really want to be able to deploy a method of self-defense training succesfully, AND certain other factors such as physical limitations and or superiority, MUST be considered and techniques modified accordingly for pragmatic application.
I’m not disparaging Black Belts. I’ve got three of them in different disciplines, myself. And today, a well rounded Black Belt knows a sufficient amount of street self defense technique and can teach them, even if their ‘style’ doesn’t emphasize hard core hand-to-hand CQB. But My flying technique days are mostly over if I don’t want my lowest disc to degenerate further and spend the rest of my days in a wheel chair instead of on my nice Bagger. Ditto with down and dirty grappling/submission fighting which is not my ‘cup-o-tea’ anyway, I mean, I like throwing someone else down, but I don’t like being down there with them, lol! So i ‘practice’ something just as ‘good’ but a little different than these popular old style techniques for all practical use.
As far as trying to be one of the ‘good guys’, yes, I try. There must be homeostasis in higher consciousness in life, otherwise life deteriorates quickly. In today’s troubled world you have to engage in something called ‘Proactive Value Creation’ as an individual avocation or otherwise you’ll eventually default to unintentionally becoming one of the bad guys. It’s just the nature of the existential beast these days…
Brian | March 11, 2015
I get really aggravated reading an article like this. You throw every martial arts school in the same pot. I am a Kyokushin Karate teacher, but I have trained in a lot of Reality Martial Arts like Target Focus Training and Krav Maga, and that kind of approach is what is used in our self defense. Using these methods, I have trained local police and Highway Patrol who have put their training to use and been successful. There are some traditional martial arts schools who understand the realities of real combat and adjust their self defense curriculum accordingly. I would suggest people research a martial arts school to see how they teach self defense, there are some good ones out there. We are not all McDojo black belt paper mills.
Mahatma Muhjesbude | March 12, 2015
Thanks for your observations, Sensei, but i hope your level of Martial Arts teaching ability is better than your reading comprehension skills?
NOWHERE in this article discussion did anybody “throw every Martial Art school in the same pot.” Or state that “ALL schools are McDojo Belt Mills”. The distinctions were clearly made and analyzed, and the rest of your comment here actually replicates exactly what I pointed out throughout the information.
Take a deep breath, relax, clear your mind take your unfounded ‘aggravation’ away from your essential emotional content and release it upon a heavy bag.
K. Best | March 11, 2015
Former Marine here too. Great article. I’m in my 30s and have been out for a while. I’ve always wanted to get back into physical shape and stamina by way of martial arts, not just becoming a gymn rat. What’s the best way, and how about the external arts where you use the assailants energy against them as leverage?
Mahatma Muhjesbude | March 11, 2015
Semper Fi, K! If you’ve been ‘out for a while’ because of war disability or any illness, then you should ask your doctor the extent of your physical strain and stress abilities and adjust from there Any physical fitness is better than none and martial arts training is one of the best but due to the power/force factor you have to be careful and go a little slower and easier at first so you don’t set yourself back from another injury.
But if you just were like so many of us and somehow transmutated into a Potato from sitting at your job so much and then on the couch too much then you could probably benefit from any regular training.
I too, can’t relate to regular sterile gym work outs because why do that when you can get similar and potentially better exercise while Learning a valuable skill?
If you are a ‘self-starter’ and you don’t have any extensive formal traditional Arts training like Tai Kwon Do or Karate then it would be far more better to start with a punching bag rather than punching air in slow motion at a traditional school for months before you learned anything that might work. The speed bag and heavy bag are in my experience and opinion the fastest, least costly and best way to learn advanced physical smack down, bar none.
Read my other comments here for how to do that in more detail and you can probably find some pretty good Yutube vids on how to work the speed bag. Speed bags are cheap by comparison to other work out stuff. After you get ‘hot’ with the speed bag you then integrate combinations with full blast on the heavy bag. It doesn’t have to be a full size pro level Everlast, You can even DIY with a heavy canvass/cloth or duffel bag with rope and duct tape filled with sawdust from the pet store and rags and this will work.
At some point you’ll have to learn the ‘best’s strikes and then kicks for most efficient tactical speed. And how to ‘dynamically’ work out for the best results. Bag work is excellent pneumatic.lung exercise, and you’ll be amazed at how ‘good’ you’ll be able to get. I’m pretty sure i’m going to have to do an article soon with an depth study and demo of that. It all boils down to less moves than anyone thinks.
Push ups and chin-ups are still the best all around way to increase your upper body power.
When you get good at bag combos in terms of speed,accuracy and power–and you’ll know it when you do. Then if you think you wouldn’t mind the ‘community’ benefits of martial arts study, you might want to try something like Krav Maga training at one of their specialty schools if one is close enough for you?
‘External Arts’ are fun to play with, like Aikido and a couple others, and other leverage and submission techniques. But they almost never work in real time dangerous attacks unless you are a super master. First of all because they depend on the assailant doing the first ‘move’. I don’t like that. When you fully understand the mechanics and physics of ‘action v. reaction’, you’ll see that if you’re waiting for something to happen, you are at a disadvantage because you are not ‘controlling’ all of the action. When YOU are initiating the action at your choosing of time and place, You are in control. Now I know this sounds a little ‘out there’, and out of the ‘self-defense’ paradigm until you totally understand this. But don’t worry about it now. If you want to increase the chances to almost certainty that you will win the hand-to-hand confrontation, you have to think and act outside of the Traditional Martial Arts Box
Buckshot | March 11, 2015
Hello K ,
I had a little different approach than others with the heavy bag. I didn’t hang it from the ceiling, I left it on the mat in my home gym. I got the heaviest bag I could find (I think it was about 200 pounds) and I would go “terrier” on it. I say that, because when I would dive into the bag it reminded me of my terrier on a chew toy!..LOL I found that “ground fighting” the bag was much like shadow boxing. And talk about a work out???….man, that bag never gave up! I’d throw elbows, knees, head butts, strikes, throws, pins…..you name it. I’d even prop the bag up against a stack of mats and go into it. I always felt like the constant contact with mass and resistance helped accustom me to the real deal. Of course, my wife would bust up laughing whenever she caught me in the gym with what she called my “girlfriend”….(man, women can be brutal) Sounds a little crazy, but I sure liked it! These days I have to occasionally wrestle the
livestock on my ranch. And I can tell you, there ain’t a dude big enough or bad enough to win a wrestling match with a 1200 lb. , pissed off mamma cow! And it doesn’t help that I’m not the brightest bulb on the tree! I’ve even been known to put on a MC helmet and play “head butt” with one of the goats. And I always lose that game!
Mahatma Muhjesbude | January 24, 2017
Well, Omer, there’s a couple comments besides yours here that I’ll be addressing with inherently the same poblem. Maybe it’s my style of prose but my excuse for terse vernacular is the editorial constraints of our article lengths. And sometimes they edit out pertinent phrases that change the article meanings. But not in this particular article.
Everything was explained and qualified and stated well enough for anyone who has above 6th grade reading comprehension, or went to another school besides government common core agenda based mind control schools, is not mentally limited to only understanding text messages, or is not simply is too lazy to peruse, rather than skim, an article?
So to reiterate the point you are making, I NEVER said anywhere in the article that ALL martial art black belt level training is ineffective. Just To too many of them are not adequate enough for serious street reality to waste your time on if all you want/need is hard core winner take all street hand to hand. Not the ego trip of being a super genius Ninja Black Belt to impress your friends. Especially when you factor in the cost in time and money.
In fact, in the article, I did mention, that if you did spend a lot of time and effort earning a Black Belt with a decent school, ‘you should be able to defend yourself and kick some ass if you have the mental ability besides? If the traditional school also does extra training in reality scenarios, that’s even better.
But it still wouldn’t be as good as straight out specifically oriented hard core ‘Street Hand to Hand’ training, with none of the non-essential stuff that would likely get you defeated and hurt.
And as far as ‘underestimating’ you traditional kung Fu skills, I would like you to explain why anyone in their right mind would use “half power’ strikes in dangerous life or death street attacks, and actually ‘train’ for something so stupid as anything less than all out full power execution?
Until you can, you’ll have an epiphany as to why people often underestimate the ‘Myths’ of a lot of traditional styles.
And that was the message in the Article.
oMER | January 24, 2017
No one would uses half power in training with heavy bags and training equipment !!! You dont use full power on your training partner!! Do boxers spar full power with there sparring partners?? Martial arts is not about whats effective and whats not…its a blue print then after fundementals are mastered then the practionier makes the adjustments neccassary to make it work real time ….thats whats makes a martial artist!! And oh yes thats a traditional concept!! OOOPS CATS OUT OF THE BAG!!
Fox | March 13, 2015
Coming back to this page was really refreshing to me. It seems like a lot of you folks are Seniors and have learned how to stop and smell the roses. It seems to me like a bunch of old farts sitting around and speaking respectfully to each other, gaining and sharing from each other’s experiences. I found my self subconsciously nodding to many of the comments, even giggling at times, and wondering what it would be like if we could all just meet up someday and chew the fat.
A few years ago, I had an earnest young fellow ask me what I had seen in my long life that made America different today.
My answer was swift and succinct: “Honor” Loss of it has seeped into almost every facet of daily living. Every where from sales people to politicians who no longer seemed compelled to apply any ethics in their careers. Thankfully, if you yourself have retained your honor, you can pretty well spot these folks quickly. It is so rare to meet kindred spirits these days that I have to take the time to commend them, (as I do all of you writing in to this article) and to express my appreciation for meeting them. (all of you reading this included.)
Being raised by a workaholic and a deep thinker, I learned at an early age the value of being honorable in all my dealings with others. The Marine Corps simply honed that mind set to a fine edge. Sure I was a little crazy in my youth, but the basics have stuck with me and over time have mellowed me out some.
One of the best lessons I ever taught my kids is that it takes courage to be honest. If you practice being honest with yourself, it becomes easier to be honest with others. Like John Wayne once said, “Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”
I’m sure you street cops know from experience the same things that those of us who served in force of arms know and that our service was “hours and hours of endless boredom, punctuated by moments of sheer terror.” Right? Pappy Boyington said that in his book, “Baa Baa Black Sheep”
Anyway, I am awed and honored to be part of such a noble group.
May all your fights be swift and may you walk away proud that you kept your honor doing it.
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Alwayswatchbehindyou | July 23, 2015
I used to live on the streets… I have survived multiple knife based attacks using nothing but raw instincts and base-physical strength to survive… that doesn not however mean that I have not nearly died myself several times… the world is a harsh place and it isn’t really that forthcoming of people who have no skills to defend themselves…
recently however I met up with a friend and discussed techniques and scenarios involved in street fighting (he’s a martial artist whereas I’m a veteran street-fighter)
I found he had very little to say about or really have much knowledge based on how to counter these situations… especially hard for him was when I presented him with a fightout with one man and another pulls a gun on you… I asked him what he would do… he said use the first man as a meat shield then go from there… I said NO!!!… you need to find a way to close the gap and dissarm and potentially kill both of them if you have to… I told him methods and found he took more interest to someone who has more experience out in the real world of ‘back-street-alleyways’ and ‘dark-street-corners’…
aside the point I enjoyed the article… it really opened my eyes to a few different things…
I wish you much safety for the future… so remember… Alwayswatchbehindyou 🙂
Kyle | November 22, 2015
One thing to keep in mind as well that, IMO, is a big distinction, is that there is a huge difference between street fighting versus street violence. A lot of people prepare to deal with so-called street fighting when what they really are trying to prepare for is street violence. A thug, or a gang of them, may not have any interest in fighting you. They will shoot you, stab you, sneak up behind you and bash you over the head with a bottle, tire iron, bat, etc…and then proceed to beat your skull to a literal pulp if say for revenge purposes, or jump you with a gang.
Numbers and weapons are how humans conquered the animal kingdom and how they have fought each other for thousands of years. There are some people who think of themselves as “street fighters” but what they really are are a form of brawler.
kirk carlson | January 3, 2016
As someone who has trained in the martial arts for over 57 years I wish that everyone who has any thought of getting into the martial arts for self-defense, would first read your very wise article. Traditional martial arts of almost any type, will get you KILED in a real street fight unless you are virtually of a Master’s level. A good bar fighter, a punk with a knife, or just some clown on PCP who is feeling no pain, but has gone insane will take your life unless you know how to incapacitate him in a couple of seconds. Hopping around, doing spin kicks, roundhouse kicks and such in a crowded bar is a sure way to get gutted. Kata will get you killed. You have to know how to be brutal, inflict a lot of pain and damage fast then get the hell out of there. Some type of efficient, no-nonsense, street fighting course is the way to go for the average person, unless of course, like me, you’re willing to devote countless hours of learning and blood and sweat soaked training over scores of years to become a truly dangerous man! -Kirk Carlson
kirk carlson | January 3, 2016
As someone who has trained for over 57 years in various martial arts, I wish that anyone who was considering taking a course in martial arts would first read your very wise article. Unless one is of a master’s level in a martial art any bar fighter, street punk, or clown too spaced out on PCP to feel any pain will take your life. Kata will get you killed. Using spin-kicks, high kicks and right hooks in a crowded bar will get you gutted. The average Joe or Joann needs to learn how to inflict extreme pain and damage on an aggressor/s in a few seconds then get the hell out of there. I would suggest an efficient, no-nonsense, street fighting course. Unless of course you’d like to take the time, as I did and spend decades in sweat and blood soaked training to become a truly dangerous man! – Kirk Carlson
Saj | March 13, 2016
Great article Mahatma… I am in my 40s and live in Delhi, India where street brawls are happen over trivial issues like parking, wrong overtaking etc… I used to brawl in my 20s – also learnt Karate and did serious body building. Have broken noses, ribs of other people and have had my nose, ribs and hands broken… I agree with your article that most forms of martial arts do not equip you for street fighting. I remember my first karate bout after nearly six months with another guy who also joined around six months back – as soon as the bout started all the punches, blocks and kicks evaporated and at one point of time both of us were throwing punches blindly hoping something would connect. I got lucky… It made me realize that for it to become part of muscle memory it would require a very long time… Since I had been in brawls before I knew that the highly stylized form would not be useful for street fighting….
Fighting is physical and now in my 40s even though I am fit (for my age) I know a punk who is 15 – 20 years younger with street fighting experience will knock the stuffing out of me… Fighting is also mental and now that I am married and take care of my 81 year old father and 72 year old mother, I am maybe a coward and avoid street fighting…
Had a recent confrontation with a young crazie – it reached the point where he tried snatching a pitch fork from a nearby road worker’s hand to attack me… In my earlier days I would have probably picked up the rod inside my car and dived in… This time however even though he was abusive, I stood outside my car without trying to get inside but did not shout back – lot of times when you run they chase you down and try hitting you… After a minute of telling me how he would clobber me this guy turned and walked away… Got into my car and drove away… Was I a coward – maybe… However what I know from my brawling days is that you lose control in fights very fast and both outcomes were not desirable – I get hurt/killed then life for my parents and wife changes… I hurt/kill him and end up in India’s infamous prison (a fate worse than death) then too my parents and wife have their lives changed… Wisdom and/or responsibility are making me walk away from brawls… Personally I don’t like it since mentally I only remember fights that I walked away from and not the ones that I lost but now I have to think about how my brawling will affect other people…
Thanks… Be safe… Sajeev
tom | April 25, 2016
Spot on! I’ve been training in martial arts for 35 years. When I began in 1980 my teacher told saw me practicing kata. He punched me hard in the chest and asked me if it hurt…..obviously I said yes as I was trying to catch my breath. From then on he conditioned me to be able to take a punch. I became strong rather quickly……but it wasn’t until my first streetfight that I was in a whole new dimension of fighting. I continued in martial arts but I made it a rule to have at least one streetfight every week…..at 13 it’s pretty easy. Later I worked in bodyguarding and personal protection. Although my martial arts training and conditioning came in handy….my experience came from real life situations….when you find out that a certain martial arts technique doesn’t work it hurts…..for days and that’s if you’re lucky.
Today at 45 nothing much phases me…..when I here today’s kids taking about a new move they learned at the gym I still ask them to spar full contact with no rules and no gear……they refuse because they are unsure of themselves.
I’ve been in hundreds of real life combat situations and none of them have lasted more than 10 secs.
Hope this message reaches many as more people than we realize need to read this
Dallas Buyck | April 30, 2016
I’ve fought over 200 bare knuckle fights starting at the age 6 by grade 10 I had 15 under my belt.. Anyone that tries to explain this stuff in my opinion is guessing. Conditioning isn’t important in a street fight.. It’s all about engaging and making every hit count.. How u do that is not for me to explain… It just happens way too fast!! With all due respect martial Arts are useless in a fight… You don’t think hear smell taste or anything in a fight. ask the best hockey player or the best tennis player why he’s so much better than all the rest and I’ll guarantee his answer won’t satisfy you (because he doesn’t even know)
Tyler | May 6, 2016
Its not about thinking about your training and strikes when a martial artist is in a fight its all about the muscle memory that every martial artist develops from practicing and repeatedly demonstrating and completing these moves on top of that, the fact that us martial artists constantly spar one on one to practice our distancing and muscle reading to determine whats going to be thrown next to best position, block, and counter your attack.. Your post about your whole “bare knuckle fights since 6” is complete bullshit because you don’t even know what your talking about, because if you were serious about it you would know one hundred percent that its not about mindless swinging its about reading you opponent!
Saurian96 | April 30, 2016
How much or how many styles martial arts can an average person learn like if they started at the age of 21?
Tyler | May 6, 2016
I am thoroughly unhappy with this post and do not agree with his opinion… what he believes is “useless style” does only vary with certain types of karate.. my style Uechi-Ryu Karate originates from china and was originally known as pangai noon is a form of Chinese boxing with incorporated jujitsu training and was used by Okinawan villagers to defend themselves against the Japanese when they invaded Okinawa.. we don’t dwell on style we focus more on technique, body strength, and natural body armor along with grapples, blocks, counters, legs, arms, stomach, chest, shoulders, back, lats, and occasionally groin conditioning to strengthen the muscles to get used to being hit.. in my opinion on which is “deadlier” is the fact you never know who is going to win a fight until the fight happens.. circumstances always change and there is no for sure answer who is going to win or which is “deadlier” next time do some research and not shit on martial arts.. thanks
klepp0906 | May 10, 2016
Think you kinda miss the point. Traditional martial artists technical ability was equivalent to fighting prowess because just as today, they were as are among the most polite and disciplined people on earth.
They could resort to wildly charging or flailing their fists like today’s brawlers which would certainly make their “way” of fighting largely invalid. Back then they were isolationist and valued honor and respect. They had too much discipline to fight like an uncivilized animal. A problem that doesn’t seem to occur to most westerners.
Evidenced by the complete ignorance or occlusion of this central point by almost all “e” articles on the subject.
Gregory aaron hill | May 15, 2016
I’m 66 years old I have resumed martial arts in Wing Chun for street survival. Along with my boxing experience.I agree with most of your comments buts I feel most things or situations are relative.like I said I agree with most of your truth but I’m going to continue to train hard, pray, stay alert, and train with a good gun and hopefully I wiil survive.
Spencer scaccia | June 6, 2016
I believe this person may have had a bad experience with martial arts, while I agree with some parts like the length of a fight and how movies display this terribly, martial arts is a great tool to utilize in a fight. This useless style he is referring to is probably the “forms” however the concept of these is not for use in a fight but to exercise and work your muscles because when your doing those kicks while maintaining a low stance you feel the burn after the first 4 seconds. And I’m ashamed to say it but he’s right when he says there are some schools that do not prepare you well for a fight, not a particular art , but the specific dojo( or dojang). I spent a year in a school that taught me nothing I needed, once I found this out I went to another art 2 years later. It is a huge difference. Now I now maybe 230 different ways to break someone’s bones, or throw them, or choke them. They teach these with “techniques” and you have to understand no one in a real fight is going to grab you or punch you exactly the way you practice, which is why the best thing to bring to a fight is an quick ,adaptive ,and innovative mind. These techniques however supply your brain with tools to use, like a multi tool, not one tool will work every time, and some times u need to use a tool for something it’s not usually used for. Improv and quick thinking are the most important.
Mahatma Muhjesbude | June 28, 2016
No, Spencer, I never had a ‘bad’ experience with Martial Arts. In fact, I credit my over 40 years with Black Belt instructor credentials in several disciplines with not only saving my life on many occasions, but with providing a ‘way’ or Tao of living that produces higher value in humanity.
As far as the perhaps controversial nature of the content to some, this was just part of the ‘analysis’ requested by the editors.
I’ve also written Martial Arts books (under another name) and participated in MBBF tournament competition and wound up a top competitor back in the 90’s.
You seem like a realist but you’re not going to like this next statement.
The reality is that It’s almost physically impossible to be able to use 230 different techniques to maximum successful application percentages. in the short time you had been ‘training’. Unless you are Superman?
victor | June 28, 2016
Then what should a person do if he wants to become a lethal fighter? Can handle street fight situations
Mahatma Muhjesbude | October 26, 2016
Victor Sorry for the long time response. Been working on the Trump campaign so that we may keep out liberties. When Hitlery takes your guns, do you think they’ll just stop with that? Remember in past times they banned Martial Arts, as well, that’s why there’s an Island Martial Art , the name scapes me at the moment, that was disguised as a dance!
Well, there are compact/compressed technique training such as those by my old friend at Target Focus Training and some others that can make a major difference in a much shorter training period these days? I mean like only a few weeks?
Also A combat street version of Bruce Lee’s techniques is gaining popularity.
Just getting yourself in stronger ‘fighting’ condition like punch/kicking a heavy bag, until you get your kick punch combos down to eyeblink speeds, and each hit being hard and accurate is a pre-requisite (doing it correctly of course) for serious fight capability, and getting super fast and strong punches into your muscle memory with a speed bag for a few minutes a day on average will make all the difference in the world. Then, you can start expanding to some other techniques for specific scenarios.
Taking combat Street Krav Maga is my recommendation with a lot of practice in Gun disarmament.
I personally still teach a few cops who are not naturally Big NFL Tackles some quick take down stuff so they don’t need to shoot down everybody they ‘think ‘ they fear and lose everything they own to lawsuits. Bor spend their best years in prison. but I require them to have some parallel muscle power enhancement training to go along with it. They we go all out full contact wrap up training-in redman armor suits of course. before i certificate them.
There’s an old saying ‘less is more’ and in some respects that applies to serious deadly MA. especially in street defense.l In the far too numerous occassions I had to participate in such in-humane examples of disgusting primitive lower consciousness I rarely used more than three of about a dozen ,moves out of the hundreds i could probably still demonstrate-to take them out for the knock out. And if it were a deadly assault, it would likely default to only a few ‘lethal’ moves, depending mostly on position in the type of attack.
Point is, these days in modern street warfare it is much better to be ‘scary good’ at a few moves, than to be able impress your butt buds with a pantomime of a 100 flying dragon dances.
Pablo | July 3, 2016
What do u think about the fights in the MMA/Octagon any good in a reality situation when confronted on the streets.
Mahatma Muhjesbude | October 26, 2016
Hi Pablo, good question. This is a big on going debate and here’s the answer.
These fights are like Pro NFL. They will go all out even if it means they have to hurt you to win, Also they all know each other and mostly are friends.
So they are NOT out to kill each other. So their very restricted training and competition tactics and techniques simply do not rise to the level of a highly specialized deadly street fighting or hand to hand combat. Notice I didn’t say
‘Self Defense’ Maybe for litigation purposes you wouldn’t mention that you are a master at Hichen Hisatsu or a ‘fast blade quick kill’ expert with your pocket carry tactical folder.
But make no mistake, there is huge difference in the WAY and INTENT of highly dangerous street fighting.
Having said that , the answer to your question is that if you do, however, for some insane reason come up against even an amateur MMA practitioner with a few fights under their belt, in a typical bar argument, you would probably be better off saying you’re sorry for whatever you did to piss him off and buy him a drink. Unless you are highly trained in and go to seriously ‘take him out’. Ever since Master Lee demonstrated the importance of physical ability in fighting all you have to do is watch one of these MMA athlete grab and flip over their heads an untethered 200 pound heavy bag for several minutes in a workout to get my drift? And don’t forget either than you really cant NOT know some good street fighting techniqes and not be totally unfamiliar with them to not use them in a street fight. It would only require a slight change in target focus and strike form.
So, Yes, they would be VERY well situated to defend themselves and Win, in a reality situation.
Mr. Gabriel C. Doe | August 1, 2016
I think your article has some good points training, exercise (lots of stretching should be included), however, due to resent events surrounding Law Enforcement Officers, the only thing they seem to be good at is bullying unarmed civilians, so I have to admit I’ve lost some repect for them recently (not all of course!) I served in the military for 8 yrs and I am a veteran . I am also a practitioner of Southern Chinese boxing and I can honestly say I have some experience in fighting on the streets though I don’t claim to be an expert, the only real danger for real fighters is that some punk might have a gun or knife! Most of these young street tough guys workout but, don’t know how to fight well (except sucker punches) but wish to be disrespectful. Yes, there are schools that are no good, but that doesn’t apply to all of them, I have been living in Asia for 5 yrs now. Anyone believing what they see in the movies as applicable in real fighting are in for a rude awakening.
Pablo | August 2, 2016
even in the octagon there is lots of room for improvement !
Mahatma Muhjesbude | October 26, 2016
Mr.Gbriel, Yes, good observations. What’s happening with the police is a big issue with me as i am of the ‘breed’. The problem is two fold. First they are intentionally not being trained properly to prepare them to eventually become Police State Storm TroopingGestapo, with no regard for the rights of peons. as this Totalitarian scourge continues to destroy the last great Libertarian Nation on Earth.
Secondly, the average cop comes from the same gene pool as the rest of us. So due to the rapidly growing social disease of mind control through cognitive distortion of reality, what would you expect with the ultimate end result of an average cop? Especially since the initial psychological screening process does not rise to an adequate level of value to prevent problems.
So what Military were you in, Asian or American? What part of Asia are you living in? If Hitlery gets in, which is pretty certain at this point, unfortunately, I’m thinking of ‘ex-Patriating’ and I’ve always liked Asia when i traveled.
jayson p del | September 24, 2016
I have taken up Goju-ryu Karate-do. NOT HAPPY. I have always had the question of how I would do in a fight, because I have never been in one, past grade-school stupidity. My Sensei that I learned from said that a martial art style and real fighting are totally different, and a kung-fu master friend of mine said I was weak, because I am nice and shy. Here are my questions:
1) Does knowing karate improve my fighting skill a little?
2) Does perfecting only a few basic skills (hand strikes, front kicks, blocks) improve my chance at surviving a street fight, as opposed to using every technique I learned?
3) Is it ok to kick testes in a street fight?
4) Does competing in martial arts competitions improve my fighting skills if I decide to compete?
Thank you in advance.
Fish | October 24, 2016
No Rules on the Street, groin strikes and eye gouging fair game, as well as biting if you don’t mind risking HIV, etc.
If you do real full contact, even with pads, it will be helpful…
Mahatma Muhjesbude | October 26, 2016
Jay, without knowing your age or experience in life level, it would be hard to determine if you really have what Bruce Lee called ’emotional content’ issues with regard to hard core fighting. Briefly, Fish, here below, or above, has it right. And yes, almost any martial arts competitions, even tournament point/trophy competitions help improve speed and coordinations.
Mich | October 6, 2016
Have you ever been in a street fight and if so, how many?
Fish | October 24, 2016
If your martial arts training is hard & realistic, it betters your odds of surviving an attack on the street and increases your awareness such that most attacks can be avoided altogether. A combination of striking and grappling arts is essential. Attacks on the street are sudden and violent and I know because I’ve been sucker punched more than once, had a knife pulled on me as well as guns on 3 occasions. It’s all talk until your life is on the line, then we’ll see how you act under a fight or flight adrenaline rush with nobody there to save you except yourself…
Black Belt WTF Taekwondo
Black Belt Kindai Ryu Jiu Jitsu
Green Belt Hapkido
White Belt 2 Stripes Gracie Jiu Jitsu
Oliver | October 26, 2016
I found this article very interesting to read, and had some very logical and well reasoned arguments. I myself practice Kung Fu and the way that our particular variant is taught focuses on basic techniques for keeping yourself covered or atleast not getting hit too hard without doing anything fancy. But we are still taught traditional and complicated techniques yet only after a minimum of four years or more and a red sash (Kung Fu equivalent of a black belt) takes twenty years or so.
More to the point, my question is whether you think that traditional martial arts that incorporates more simplistic and realistic techniques and that take years upon years to truely become a master of the style (rather than churn out highest-grade rankings or “diploma mills”) would have a viable chance of success in a modern day street fight.
Mahatma Muhjesbude | October 26, 2016
Well, Oliver, That’s another hard one to answer. But not for someone like me.
I know this will cause butt roid blow outs on a lot of people who pride themselves on having years of training under a so-called master Sifu or an actual progeny of Gichen Funakoshi who trained Jelite Japanese Samurai Warriors in WWII, but all that…
…means relatively little in the plight of engaing in mortal physical bare handed up close and dirty combat.
Martial Arts is an archaic term in application. The old tradition commercial style schools evolved primarily, as with all banal humanity, as a means to earn a living, not teach a purpose oriented skill for optimal pragmatism.
In other words there’s a huge difference between styles taking years to earn
a blackbelt and modern mission oriented scientific hard core hand to hand combat. That’s not to say that someone studying a particular style of martial arts for several years Can’t defend themselves adequately, Indeed, if they can’t they better re-evaluate their situation, Because there are enough so-called fight ending/winning strikes and blows taught in traditional arts also. So not being able to formidably ‘defend’ yourself then would be more of a deficiency of contact/sparring training. Especially since the social ‘Status’ of being a high ranked black belt was a time consuming and costly venture and should you not be able to dispatch some ass when required, then you just pissed away a lot of wasted money.
But the hard cold reality that life demands whether anybody likes it or not, is that you simply don’t need to be a Black Belt or Red belt or any other belt/sash/rope except the one i might be using as a garrote, to do a hard core take out of anybody.
I have two hard style Karate black belts/shodan in Bushido, and Godan in Shorei Go-ju and several other ranks in various weapons disciplines and actually was a ‘founder/promoter’ of full Contact Sport Karate in Chicago where much of it began back in the days. I was a MBBF Tournament competitior/judge/instructor, and did some hardcore shoot-fighting, and my face tells the tale of the early days of bare-knuckle cage fighting in New York, just for bragging rights, because I’d never fight like that in a real street confrontation where anything goes.
But I haven’t even demonstrated a Kata in maybe 10 years.Not that I can’t, But because it just has no use anymore in modern street fighting. And a black belt just doesn’t mean as much or impress anybody anymore when anyone can get one on line from a so-called ‘Master’ teacher?
And the final reality is that I and many other ‘specialty’ instructors can take a physically able person and get them to a 90% ability to quickly and decisively defeat most anyone who starts with them. Within less than a year of short but regular training/practice and ability testing along the way.
Same with a gun or a knife.
Fish | October 26, 2016
All boils down to how realistic your training is. If your opponent offers no or little resistance, it’s unrealistic. If s/he punches in slow motion, it’s unrealistic. The more realistic the training, the better prepared you will be for an actual encounter (but you will also likely suffer more injuries in training). It’s a trade-off.
David Bolling | November 14, 2016
I’m not a martial artist or street fighter but I want write a scene where an intermediate karate guy who knows simple techniques but has no understanding of real nature of fighting where are no rules. He faces an experienced woman who doesn’t necessarily want to injure him but make him understand quickly the difference between winning points in a tournament is different than a street fight and then ends the fight convincingly. He has the moment to understand the reality and then it’s over. If the reader understands the difference between even an experienced belt holder or movie hero and the serious fighter who really knows how to end a confrontation then I have succeeded in writing the scene. Thank you for your response to a non practitioner of your craft.
Mahatma Muhjesbude | November 14, 2016
Well, David, that’s an interesting literary dilemma. Kind of like the old military Warfare expression that ‘if you’ve never actually experienced real deadly combat yourself, you simply can’t understand it’.
I personally wouldn’t worry too much about that because most readers know and understand the difference between a wannabe and a serious professional warrior, for instance. We’ve all seen the movies and read the books. It’s almost a ‘granted’ that the one who wins the fight simply has more and superior qualities of all the criteria in combination for being a winning fighter. Belts and so-called training notwithstanding.
And again, there are just too many of these elements to saturate the reader with, if they don’t have a clue.
It would be better to simply focus on your ‘action’ prose to make sure the picture of the fight it presents is one of authenticity and believability. Then leave the final observation up to the reader themselves.
But For your ‘scene’ purposes, in terms of ‘unexpected psychology’ and assuming the reader knows absolutely nothing about fighting, you simply might want to try something like…
‘ He didn’t finish his smart mouth threat and never knew what hit him.
As he tried to push his thoughts through the mind numbing pain and edge himself up off his knees, he barely glimpsed a streak of blurred movement and then felt his throat tighten up in a vice like rear naked kill choke as the sweet scent of a woman wafted through his bleeding nostrils.
“Do you see the white light at the end of the tunnel yet, asshole?” she said with an almost sensuous whisper in his ear.
The only thing he saw was that he was way out of his league. He knew he was lucky to be alive. She could have easily killed him instantly, anytime it pleased her.
This just lets the action itself show the skill/experience disparity between the two without going into boring strike/kick/punch detail explanation, especially if you don’t know what you’re talking about. And, of course, the reader definitely grasps the notion that this gal was the ‘real bad deal’ and later on instead of right away for ‘suspense’ purpose you can ‘reveal’ that she didn’t hold any black belt ratings but was a highly experienced Israeli Mossad hand to hand expert who had killed more jihadists with her bare hands than she had with a gun. Hope that helps?
Good luck with your writing!
Phillip Purifoy | January 10, 2017
I really enjoyed reading your article and I think your information regarding the myths of martial arts is absolutely correct. The question I have for you though is about Bruce Lee. Although I absolutely admire him as a martial artist and even more as a philosopher, I often wonder how well he could defend himself flat on his back in the guard position. I am wondering what an informed and insightful person like yourself thinks about that and could you perhaps offer some comments.
Mahatma Muhjesbude | January 27, 2017
Phil, sorry for the time it took to respond, so many buckets on the list, so little time…
Never met the master, although I did meet his wife and his main protégé Dan, Inosanto once. I don’t remember for certain if in any of his movies if he demonstrated fighting on his back, but I doubt it because if you study Bruce’s teachings, it’s not really a fighting system dynamic that expects to be down on the ground on your back in a defensive position . To Bruce, and other real time experienced fighters, being in that ground position already means you screwed up and are losing at that point. In modern hot and heavy street attacks, it is common for an attacker to try to take his target victim to the pavement but not to do a submission choke or lock on him. It’s really to just pin him and stun him into a relatively stationary position of control temporarily so his partners in crime can slip in from the shadows and more easily kick the victim’s head in or even stab the subject.
In Bruce’s Manual, ‘The TAO of JEET KUN DO’ (way of the intercepting fist), which was one of the earliest comprehensive studies on real time street fighting that considered the concept of motion dynamics of real time hand-to-hand fighting. As opposed to the rigid stationary self defense training usually taught where the aggressor throws a ‘stationary’ strike, and all you have to do is work your technique (LOL!) without him moving or you even hitting the opponent, and you imagine that you are learning how to really defend yourself, LOL!
But in his Manual he does address attackers who are trying to come in and try to take you down and what to do BEFORE they get you on the ground.
Because with Bruce’s way of fighting, a clinch, grab, and Jujitsu throw down would likely never happen, he illustrates a counter attack against the Gracie hallmark tactic of duck and charge in for the waist/hip grab and/ or leg lift and flip down or grabbing the feet and pulling him off balance and down with an instant mount.
After Gracie and his students first started using their tactics in Tournament sport/point fighting, where it was virtually never seen before he had a tremendous advantage because most kick and punch fighters never used or even saw that style of fighting and it ‘got the drop’ on them. (pun intentional)
That’s one of the reasons they started calling it ‘mixed martial Arts’. (for your historic edification)
The Gracie practitioners never got me down for a submission tap out because it was relatively easy to defend against if you were an advanced fighter and knew it would be likely used against you in a tournament. So I always saw it coming and avoided/countered the take downs and kept it at a hard punch kick level and the win was decided on that rather than a tap out.
Surprisingly to me the ground/submission Jujitsu movement took over the knock out popularity and fighters trained in that more and that’s how you then got all these relatively out of shape chuboochkie cage fighters doing half naked sweat and body fluid exchanges while slow motion rolling around on the matt for most of the boring fight?
But in reality, They don’t allow in the tournaments a couple modified, but extremely effective counter attacks to an approaching take down because of their lethal potential or severe minimum spine damage if deployed in full power mode. I’m not going to describe them here because wannabe amateurs should not be playing with these moves when wrestling around with their butt buds.
But if someone on the street tried a Gracie takedown with me and I couldn’t read his mind beforehand by noticing his eye movements and didn’t see the body language that his feet were showing me that he was positioning for a rush in take down, and I couldn’t take him out before he moved, because it was dark outside-which it usually is in real scenarios- And he actually frogged quick enough to get his arms around my body and we were starting to go down, I’d have more than enough time during my resisting the fall or even on the way down, to end his tackling days by putting him in a wheelchair for the rest of his life, if not making them deceased, (depending upon how merciful I felt that day). Especially because both his arms would be ‘occupied’ which is sort of like trapping himself, it would be embarrassingly easy.
And if for some inconceivable reason, That only god would know, That I didn’t instantly snap his neck beforehand like the proverbial twig, and he did get me flat on my back and was then trying to choke me out, or just straddle to pin while trying to punch me out, (an easy escape if you know what you’re doing’To put it succinctly so as not to make this comment a whole magazine article,
There are several very successful counters to this. Just start with everything professional (LOL!) MMA Cage fights don’t allow, LOL! And that should be enough to handle anybody on top of you when you are flat on your back if you are well practiced at it.
Or put another way. If the eye gouges, the ear slaps, severe throat jabs, head butts to the eye socket/nose area, or hard hair pulling or face grab peel off didn’t get him off of you, all of which aren’t allowed in Tournaments.
Then I ‘submit’ to you (but really never would) that there are not too many places on the human body that would not be ‘immune’ to a hard ripping human BITE and provide an immediate gross flinch pain reaction guaranteed to freeze all action/fighting on the part of recipient of the bite. Some more particular targets like the nose, ear, lips, or GAWD forbid, the throat or neck, would almost guarantee the immediate natural instinctive revulsive reaction of exploding OFF off you like he was hit by a lightning strike. releasing you from the ground to your advantage.
Of course some of us hard core ‘practitioners’ who can chew gum and walk at the same time would already at the same time we were chomping on bad meat be pulling out their punch dagger from under their neck sheath, or the switchblade in their pocket, or the blade in their sock sheath on their leg, or the small pistol in their ankle holster on the other leg for good measure. All relatively easy to access in such a circumstance if you train for this.
So, that was the long answer. The short answer for you to what Bruce would do if ‘flat on his back in a guard position’ would probably be…
he’d likely never let himself get in that position in the first place. And if he did, he’d hurt the ‘Mo Fo’ like he’d never been hurt before’ for embarrassing him.
Hope that helps answer your question.
Rance | January 17, 2017
whoever wrote this article actually has very little or no experience in combat quite clearly, the best form of streetfighting isnt what is trained by forces nessasarily. i know several marines and they all say despite what the public thinks they learn or practice very little hand to hand combat,the idea is if you dont have your weapon on you to shoot someone and find yourself in a position where it has come down to hand to hand combat then you,ve failed,
the only guys to spend more time on the subject is special forces and even then not in as much detail as we the public would expect, the sas and navy seals etc use aspects of krav maga and jui jitsu which is close qaurters combat and is very effective but again they dont dedicate themselves entirely to this, their other military training takes presidence, so a member of the public that trains in either of these 2 forms of combat and afew others ie mma or kickboxing, aikido on a regular basis several times a week would no doubt be more accustomed and familier to hand to hand fighting than yes even special forces, ive spoken to marines ,paras, and yes even a couple special forces, and they all have agreed that a member of the public that trains regularly would more than give them a run for their money in a streetfight if not even be taken out by them,
author needs to note that not all martial art practitioners are as bad as daniel san from movie the karate kid, a lot are dam good and even lethal if they truely intended to hurt one or more people, and alot arnt even black belts and theyd still do this,
and also that not all military men are mystical ninja,s ? they dont do as much as you think im even told this by the guys themselves, so please stop watching the constant stream of hollywood navy seal movies out there, i even witnessed one guy that only trained in kickboxing for 6 months and got started on by 3 marines on a night out and the marines all got owned and taken out,
so get this straight, someone that trains regularly in any of the martial arts mentioned will obtain the skills and conditioning to overcome and take on most armed forces guys in a streetfight, they train sometimes yet we train all the time end of.
Mahatma Muhjesbude | January 24, 2017
Rance, First off, You said “Whoever wrote this article actually has very little or no experience in combat quiet clearly…”
While I realize some of you ‘Mythical’ Master Ninjas also have ‘Mythical’ supernatural powers to instantly know a person’s private life experience when you don’t even know who they are and never met them except in your ‘pipe’ dreams, So as a ‘brother’ in the Arts, so to speak, please allow me to help you on your dubious fantasy endeavor, by re-directing your obvious cognitive departure from this planet’s dimensional awareness back to the concrete reality zone.
While you were probably barely a future twinkle in your Mommy’s eye I was leading a squad of Special Forces in close quarters-sometimes hand to hand-combat so brutal and horrific that the best Hollywood Directors and special effects could never adequately replicate it, because it would shock the sensibilities of most normal people.
After some hard core years of ‘being all you can be’ just to kill and destroy, I got a little tired of nothing but the death and destruction of warfare and tried Law enforcement in major cities with the hopes of doing some good. So I chose to work mostly tactical undercover in extreme crime areas where at that time the police weren’t as ‘training’ deficient as they are today and did more smack downs then shoot downs.
We didn’t have Tasers. I had a blackjack in the back pocket of my jeans and if I had enough time I’d put on a pair of sap gloves for an imminent Street fight to grab someone we wanted. They never came willingly. And unlike today, you couldn’t just summarily execute them when they didn’t have a gun. High crime area street police work was not for the physically weak or timid.
I became well ‘schooled’ in multiple opponent fighting, the empirical knowledge of which I brought to the dojo on my off time where I was one of the black belt instructors. I continued advancing my training over the years, becoming a National top rated competitor in the MBBF AKA circuit, and helped promote and competed in some of the first commercial full contact shoot fighting cage events. Among too many other related achievements to mention here.
Because of my ‘real time combat experience and related credentials’, I then got into private ‘warfare’ contracting way before it was common public knowledge due to the BlackWater controversy, I did it not “because you can take the Warfighter out of the war, but you can’t take ‘war’ out of the fighter” mentality/conditioning. It was just because of the obscene amount of tax free cash they paid us which was simply too good to pass up!
So bottom line on that, Rance, is that guys like me have more experience and Forgot more about reality combat and street fighting, than you’ll Ever know! No matter how ‘regularly’ you train, LOL!
Next, You must put yourself in a side fighting stance, do a deep diaphramic prana hold… Grip your buttocks solidly and then try hard to evacuate what’s left of your brains from your ass and then dip them in Drano to clean them out before re-inserting.
Your mind is obviously are too contaminated by the shitty Mystic Magic of Traditional Martial Arts to allow you to notice in your remedial attempt to absorb the info in the article. Otherwise you would have noticed, in Myth #4 here, that the standard military training was already specifically qualified by comparison to substantial MA skills/Training and you simply roughly parroted the same conclusion after your ‘comprehensive’ interview of some military personnel?
Which proves that your reading comprehension levels are sadly deficient. Did you manage to at least graduate from H.S.? I would send you a copy of an MA book I wrote from real time combat incidents but I’d rather give it to somebody who has more focus and task discipline to completely absorb and understand what is written?
I hope your ‘regular training’ doesn’t suffer from that cognitive disadvantage?
Because NO, Rance, Get THIS Straight:
Just because you practice regularly every week Doesn’t mean you are learning Optimal skills with the most value production. All it means is you might be able to knock down a skinny ass half drunk punk in a bar who starts a poke and shove fight with you. Huge difference in a grip to the death with a rock muscled street criminal fresh out of the joint AND his partner in crime, on meth, both twice your size ambushing you in the parking lot at night with a knife and pipe???
It’s HOW you Specifically Train! And that was the ‘clearly’ presented point of the Article, Delusional Mythology notwithstanding.
By way, your ‘clear’ disdain for Marines in Screaming throughout your comment. So okay, we’ll include those Marines who only had basic training and nothing else in your big fight conquest ability. But again, that’s nothing to brag about?
I’d still rather have a young inexperienced Marine with me by my side any day in any fight than some ego inflated store front super Sensei (in his own mind) who thinks he’s bad because his suck-ass students like to test themselves on drunk soldiers in the lizard bars near the base…and wiggle their little wienies like kiddie chops class in a circle jerk telling ass-kicking stories?
Sooner or later they’ll try it on some old combat Vet weather beaten Jarhead like the instructor in the Marine video here. And they’ll suffer the ultimate lesson that they will remember for the rest of their lives, if they can still remember anything.
I’ve seen it many times…
Omer | January 24, 2017
I do not agree with all tradional arts dont prepare u for the street!! maybe you had bad teachers or you did not have the talent to make your art work for you!! Iron palm, animal vital point strikes, chi kung iron body traing, basic boxing, learning to throw non telegraphic strikes was all part of my kung fu training !! Maybe you never felt a half power throat strike that the only way your still around is because it was pulled back to half power ….after you were on the floor for 30 min to recover!! Do not underestimate tradtional arts on the street!!
Mahatma Muhjesbude | April 27, 2017
“Half power throat strikes? Uh huh. Okay. Omer. Good luck with that.
Omer | April 27, 2017
yes we had good luck with it …no one dies because they were half power……gasping for breath of course ….full power would be fatal!!!I dont think you know to much about the martial arts!
Mahatma Muhjesbude | April 28, 2017
I was being politely sarcastic.
But You don’t think I know much about Martial arts, huh?
Well, You’re probably right. I’m still a ‘student’ in the greater schema of the ‘Art of War’.
But I’m sure I probably forgot more about hand-to-hand combat, then silly comic book fighters like you will ever learn.
And at least I’m not as mentally defective as stupid fucks who think they know how to do something so ridiculous and still very dangerous as a so-called “half power’ shot to the throat?
And careful with your snot-ass reply or I’ll quit being polite and prove to you how stupid you really are in front of everybody, here.
Omer | April 27, 2017
yes it was good luck …no one died ….full power would be fatal and for the street only.
suraj | March 31, 2017
I took karate for six months and now after 7 years i forgot all the moves.Is there a martial arts which is easy to remember.
Mahatma Muhjesbude | April 27, 2017
As with all physical skills, maintenance keeps your skill level in tune. That’s why people with specialty skills have to occasionally take refresher courses to keep their ‘know how’ up and running smoothly.
This is even more important in physical skills, and critically important in hand to hand combat. If you forgot, you obviously were not keeping up on your practice. And if you try something you haven’t practiced in years, it will likely get you into more trouble.
If regular practice is a problem with your life style or something, I’d advise you to just carry a pistol as it only takes a few things to remember for basic functioning and use in self defense, take a course on deadly force usage, and then try to avoid any and all deleterious or confrontational situations at all cost.
Joshua | April 26, 2017
Hey thats not true. And those flying kicks are juat in the movies you ass. Ive been doing it for 10 or 11 years. Yeah i learned feom books and dvds and still are learning. Im no black belt and yet ive defended my self quite a bit. I dont do it for fight or even defending my self. To me it is an art, but i assure you if you you can defend your self. I have against 2 people at once. Sooo…..
martial arts | July 9, 2017
Martial arts is about being an artist with what you do.
courtellis | June 3, 2018
Hey here is something new, if you practice whatever it is that you practice and simply understand you may not win them all you might actually get somewhere. I get a lot out these articles and videos and I take from them one sound and absolute thing, there is nothing predictable about fighting nothing…even the guy with the haymaker, why? Because everybody has a chin and you can get you ass whooped on any given day. Street fight instructors? get real there aint no one who can teach you how the streets are going to operate on any given day. You get your ass stomped by a bunch of angry bikers, Latin Kings, Bloods Crips, or whoever for simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and thought process will in deed change. Why? Because you think these people are ignorant and will fall for anything because your “Training” is better than his training? Grow up and actually talk to people who don’t give a shit about special training and understand anything that you learn is only something you add to your tool box. These people don’t care what it is martial arts training military training whatever, as long as it is another option to add to your tool box. Saw a dude get into a fight with a couple of gang members and while he was trying grapple the with one dude, the kid managed to break free from him and without thought kicked him in the head with a perfectly well placed flying side kick, “WTF!!” I thought, and we fortunately broke it up before it got worse. The guy proceeded to goad the members to fight him to finish the fight with the kid, and got his ass kicked by that kid; who simply used HIS tool box. This is nothing new, and later when asked the kid told us he ‘d been practicing Taekwondo for years and learned how to use it in a street fight. The kid’s answer was simple: “What I was supposed to get my ass kicked by some bitch ass because he can grapple, aint nobody that stupid to play that game. I let him think he had me then beat him at his own game!!” They walked off and the guy just sat on the ground looking confused, so anyone on any given day is subject to an ass whoopin’!! Remember practice what you doand be open tothe fact that you can always learn something new!!
Parto | December 15, 2018
Trained in Judo and Karate for more than 40 years highly ranked in both have a lot in the (tool Box) but I know I can still get my ass kicked on a bad day, don’t under estimate the attacker and run if you can, if you cant I would put the grappling as the better defence as it is explosive surprises the attacker and you can control him/her with joint locks , but don’t make the mistake thinking a judo is just throwing to place the attacker on his back , I can put them down on there back or there head and I have done , training in the arts what ever it is gives you an advantage but doesn’t make you invincible any experienced martial artist would tell you that or there not worth there black belt
Travis Tomaszkiewicz | July 8, 2019
i’d be interested to see him at least mention where he came up with that 3-10 second time frame.
i’ve read several articles that put the average (based on viewing of a few hundred street fight videos) between 20-40 seconds, and my own research using the same method with a measly 25 videos averages the fights out to 27 seconds.
there are no techniques so effective and good that they have such a high chance of seriously damaging an opponent to the point of ending the fight in 3-10 seconds reliably. (maybe if you watch a compilation of knock out videos.) that goes for groin strikes, and knee kicks/stomps which are billed as being so dangerous and effective…
Jason | November 16, 2019
I trained original ITF Taekwondo and earned high Dan blackbelt. I also trained Pekiti Tirsia Kali and achieved Guro rank. I’ve earned a blue in BJJ and 2 years of Muay Thai. At the end of the day, it has all been valuable and honestly is hard to say which art is which these days in terms of my execution of techniques. I’m not a Special Forces military guy or anything but I am former military law enforcement and civilian law enforcement. I’ve also worked in EP and occasional bouncer. I think traditional arts made what is a chaotic world for me, a more orderly world. It gave me discipline, enhanced my understanding of respect and increased my spirit. I am also a very effective and efficient striker. I have great grappling and clinch fighting experience and through repetitive drilling and training have a handful of techniques and combinations that have proven effective for me 9 out of 10 times. I hear a lot of folks cutting down traditional arts but personally I’ve made over 4000 arrest and a number of them involved resistance which most of the time I have overcome. I have never considered myself a fighter. I’m a survivalist and if I hit you first or kick you, you are probably gonna be hurt or have a broken knee or injured ligament. I’ve also been beaten before like everyone. But that’s life. At the end of the day, TMA is awesome. Cross training even better. Only thing is weak is opinions.
Steve marlin | August 8, 2020
Very informative post on martial arts techniques. actually practice makes the martial art much strong.