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Thread: What is the best martial art for self defense?

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    What is the best martial art for self defense?

    The skill of self defense involves more than just the act of learning to throw a punch or breaking a headlock. There are so many situations that could take place; it’s impossible to cover all the scenarios in the martial art process.

    There are a set of assumptions that must be made:

    • The attacker will be aggressive
    • He will try to impose his will and his game plan over you
    • The confrontation will also include unpredictable movement and action
    • The situation will not subscribe to the rules of “fairness”
    • The attacker’s method may vary, this may include verbal attacks to intimidate you, strikes, pushes, grabs and attempts to restrain you pin you to the floor
    • The incident will be very stressful to you



    When, where, how many and with what will all depend on the spectrum of scenarios that is called life. The martial art you choose must have an answer to these assumptions. Furthermore, it must give you a set of fundamental principles that allow you to solve the various situations that unfold. There also will be times when fighting is not the best option to guarantee your survival.

    What martial art do you think is the best martial art for self defense?

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    12 Gauge

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    It comes down to ones willingness to learn. If one has been studying martial arts for 30 years, many of them IMO would be equal. For an adult just starting out I would say Krav Maga though is the "best".

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    Quote Originally Posted by 21bubba View Post
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    12 Gauge
    12 Gauge Slug.

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    ClickPOW mixed with SPRAYWHACK

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    Well, keeping it to empty-hand martial arts, I would start with a strong, traditional karate style. You need to be able to punch and kick hard, block and get out of the way, and understand tai sabaki (body movement), avoidance, and distancing. Then, I would spend some time in a judo or jujutsu dojo to learn what to do if you are taken down. Plan on several years of regular training to gain proficiency. If you are the impatient type and want to learn to fight right by God now, then I would suggest an MMA school or a good boxing gym. The other side of this is, regardless of what art you choose, get in shape and stay in shape. Cross train in some aerobic activity such as running or cycling. Do some kind of strengthening exercise several times a week...pushups and crunches (lots) are a good place to start. Aim for running three miles in under 30 minutes. Run some hills. Try to ride (cycling) 12 miles in under an hour as a starting goal. Cut out fast food, soft drinks, and too many sweets. Walk places that are not too distant instead of driving. Sell the riding mower and get a push mower. Take stairs two at a time. Quit using elevators and escalators. Work in the yard and view it as another workout. For God's sake, if you still smoke, stop it. Make yourself harder to kill. Go to the range several times a month. Learn to point shoot. Practice situational awareness.

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    All good points. I am a big fan of situational awareness. There is no doubt that situational awareness can get you out of trouble without the need to fight.
    Just a quick anecdote.
    My father had been car jacked. That basically means he was forced out of his car at gun point. Years later he was driving home late at night. He stopped at a light (which is a pretty dangerous thing to do in Johannesburg). A guy appeared out of the shadows and rammed a screw driver into the door on the driver side. The window shattered into a million pieces. Before the attacker was able to open the door, my father had put the car in gear and sped off. Had he been a little less aware and the attacker would have opened the door.
    I now slow down and scan the area before I stop at a light.

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    > 12 gauge

    I'll agree with that...

    On a serious note, it's a bad idea to engage hand-to-hand unless you have no other option. "If your enemy is in range, so are you" applies. Just because someone *starts* trouble empty-handed, doesn't mean they're not going to pull out a knife, gun, or even pepper spray as soon as they realize you're not going to be an easy victim.

    If it's serious enough to involve hand-to-hand, it's probably serious enough for "deadly force." And a few lawsuits have shown that martial arts skills will count as "deadly force" in some jurisdictions.

    Yes, there are occasional situations where you might know for sure your opponent is unarmed, but for the most part... unless there are local laws stringent enough that it's worth taking the risk not to use a gun, just cut to the chase and end the problem right there before you get hurt. That's the whole point, isn't it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by TRX View Post
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    ....Yes, there are occasional situations where you might know for sure your opponent is unarmed, but for the most part... unless there are local laws stringent enough that it's worth taking the risk not to use a gun, just cut to the chase and end the problem right there before you get hurt. That's the whole point, isn't it?
    The problem in my state (NC) is disparity of force is part of the law. If the attacker is of similar size and build, it could get you a prison sentence if your attacker has not shown a weapon yet. The difficult part is your attacker could be a very experienced street fighter and take you out with one blow. So H2H skills might, might, keep you from having to draw and risking trouble with the disparity of force part of the law, assuming only one attacker.

    No guarantees either way, of course.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fallsrider View Post
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    The problem in my state (NC) is disparity of force is part of the law. If the attacker is of similar size and build, it could get you a prison sentence if your attacker has not shown a weapon yet. The difficult part is your attacker could be a very experienced street fighter and take you out with one blow. So H2H skills might, might, keep you from having to draw and risking trouble with the disparity of force part of the law, assuming only one attacker.

    No guarantees either way, of course.
    You mean like her Then again, she looked tougher than the guy to begin with.

    Female MMA fighter beats up robber

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    You will find that Situational Awareness is a popular topic of this forum as it is key to avoiding trouble . Also keep in mind that Martial Arts means the arts of war and covers a lot more than hand-to-hand fighting. So, while a civilian thinking about self-defense won't need all the different aspects, there are some concepts that do apply like mindset, doctrine, and strategy.

    "Best" is a term I dislike for a number of reasons. While various arts have different approaches and styles, they all have something useful to teach if one understands the principles involved. People have different strengths and weaknesses along with different body types so what works for me may not be best for you. I believe the "best" martial art is the one that teaches you techniques and tactics you personally can actually use to render your attacker incapable of hurting you. That involves knowing how to attack the body targets that will be most debilitating. I also believe in having a range of techniques that will give you a flexible/gradient spectrum of defense. Everything from avoidance and verbal de-escalation on one end to lethal empty hand and weapon use on the other. This allows one to fit the technique to the level of threat but you must be able/willing to begin at or escalate to a higher level if necessary.

    A hand reaching to grab you can be simply parried as you move out of range. A grab can be reversed into control of the attacker's body or if necessary the joints broken and the attacker taken down softly with control, or slammed down with force.

    So, while some are better the others, most martial arts have value. Some of the techniques I value are:

    How to fall properly
    Vital and non-vital body targets
    Punching and kicking
    How to take your opponent off-balance
    Flips and throws
    leverage and joint locking/breaking
    Ground techniques
    Dealing with multiple assailants
    Gun retention/disarms

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    Three or four minutes of Youtube should get you through every situation.
    Work with what you got ... not what you hope for.

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    What martial art do you think is the best martial art for self defense? Shotokan. For getting you out of a bad situation, and making like a tree .
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    Whan I was in college I had a great opportunity to use a local Washin-Ryu dojo as the physical-ed elective (Heidi Ochi was the Sensi but had assistants actually do most of the "classroom"). In one semester I actually learned a great deal. Two of us (out of 24) in the class tested and passed yellow belt.

    Years later I had a boss who was a Sensi in Taekwondo. He invited me over to his dojo (much smaller) and asked if I would care to go through a kata to demonstrate my aptitude (I hadn't earned anything yet in his school) that was our Chon-Ji (Pattern 1 - kind of the "beginner" exercise). As I started he went over to a barrel and pulled out a whiffle-ball bat. He approached and started to swing into the blocks I was doing as I went through the kata. I'm glad I remembered correctly and I'm glad he did as well. Only a whiffle bat - but it was kind of intense. I stuck it out with him for a bit (sadly he contracted esophageal cancer and in two months from diagnosis he was gone) as his school was MUCH more practical. Karate is empty hand, but he taught many defensive techniques for armed opponents.

    Point being - the martial art you stick with is the one that will be of the greatest use. I'm not much worried about running up against some of the 11 year old black belt, but the unpredictable guy with a knife is another story. Even if you are armed you still may have have to buy distance and time.
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    Well I used to work as a bouncer and we had everything from boxers to mma fighters come in the bar and start trouble but the hardest to get a hold of and remove from the bar was the mma fighters. I would lean toward mma training as its pretty well rounded for most situations you could end up in , God help you be blind sided and get knocked to the ground but it would be nice to be trained were to go from there.

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