No worries, not going to debate your opinion. I'm actually glad you posted that article because I had checked out a Krav Maga gym last night (http://www.kravmagaberkeley.com/), and was considering joining. You may have saved me from wasted resources.
However, I am courious what other martial art you reccomend. I have done some Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, for about 4 months before I ran out of money. 200 USD a month for unlimited classes is quite high! However, I took full advantage of classes, attending 6 days a week, 9 classes total. That wore heavily on my body but I learned at a rapid rate and improved quickly according to my fellow BJJ'ers.
Anyway I digress... I was riding my bike home from work and was "jumped" by 3 guys. They knocked me off my bike and at first I "turtled up" and used my backpack to protect my body from blows. When the kicks continued, I realized this was useless, and tried to take down the largest guy (he looked to be about 40 pounds heaver than me) but was knocked unconcious with a kick to the head. They later caught the guys (apparently a group of 4).
I know a lot of people praise BJJ, but we nefver trained for 2-on-1 or 3-on-1 situations like I experienced. We also never praticed fighting from the ground against people standing up. I am unaware of any martial art that does.
I am hoping you can provide insight on a good MA/self defense class to take up.
Thanks and stay safe,
First let me tell you, I’m no expert. I’m not even ½ as good as some guys that do these things with serious commitment.
All I can tell you is what I did myself, what worked for me or what I saw that made me think one way or the other.
I first started with ITF Taekwondo, did that for a few months, then dropped it for box.
TKD given you good reflexes, speed, but the rules you have ( similar to most MA) don’t allow a fluent, realistic fight.
Besides, I’m not that interested in all the emotional/philosophical stuff. I wanted to learn how to fight.
TKD also has lots of kicks, some of them just stupid to put into practice in a real street fight.
As a rule of thumb, I would go with any kick higher than the waist.
Preferably low kick to the left, trying to sweep the attacker or bust his knee.
With TKD I also learned how stupid it is to believe a woman and a guy can fight in equal terms.
I spared with a girl that was pretty serious about it, she was competing in the world TKD ITF in Moscow and she was a pretty good black belt.
I spared with her and even though I had just a few months of experience and she had years, I had to be careful not to hurt her, while she went full force and other than pissing me off it achieves little else.
That one of the things I mentioned about Kravmaga (KM) not differentiating between guys and women. A women training as a guy isn’t doing things right. She should received self defense training specially for women since they have certain weaknesses that should be addressed and she’s be counting more on wits, rather than raw strength.
Boxing was great for me. It was just a moment when I needed to blow some steam and freely delivering punches was very liberating.
Any serious fighter should box for a LONG time if he/she pretends to achieve any level of H2H fighting.
There’s simply nothing else out there that gives you the speed of hands, the KO power and the defense box gives you.
Something as simple in box as keeping you hands up is sometimes ignored by fighters in MMA and end up paying for it dearly. Regretting the mistake when they wake up.
Is box perfect? No, of course not, nothing is, but at least to me it’s one of the most important pillars in a fighter.
Put a boxer in a cage with a MMA fighter and the MMA will always win. Even against a Tai boxer, just kicking the boxer in the legs will put him on the ground.
So why do I insist so much with boxing?
Because real street fighting isn’t UFC, or Mortal Combat. It’s not 1 on 1 combat till the end and unlike UFC you do NOT want to take the fight to the ground, even if you are a good ground fighter and even if many fights end precisely there.
Why not? Because unlike UFC and video games, ending in the ground can get you killed.
Just as an example, my brother got into a fight once with a guy, the fight went to the ground and things were pretty even…until a friend of my brother rushed in and kicked the guy in the head.
Even if Matt Huges is kicking your butt with a triangle choke in the ground and very likely about to brake your neck, if a friend of yours rushed in and kicks Matt Huges in the head like a soccer ball penalty with a steel toe boot, Mat Huges will end up dead or drooling the rest of his life.
That what you want to avoid in a street fight and that’s the boxer’s advantage.
In a crazy street fight where punches are coming from all around you, the boxer can go back against back with a buddy or a wall or tree, get mostly on defense with a conservative guard, and throw punches left and right.
Meanwhile, the grappler or wrestler can do crap. He can pick one guy and try to fight him one on one in the middle of the mayhem, and taking the fight to the floor which is almost suicide, or he can try to improvise boxing. Most probably doing a lousy job.
The ideal thing would be to do both box and Thai boxing, so as to add kicks, elbows and knees to the toolbox.
Grappling and throws such as the ones you learn in Brazilian Ju Jitsu and Judo are also important because you never know when you may end up using one.
Although boxing has proven most useful to me, a rear naked choke was what I used once against a guy and it worked great.
The guy was out and, fi I wanted it I could have snapped his neck or keep choking until he passed out or died.
Even if you don’t want a fight to end there, it’s very likely that a fight may go to the floor so you need to have some moves there as well.
Again, its street fighting, you never know when someone pulls a gun or knife, so unlike sports you have to keep an eye on the attackers hands at all time, preferably neutralizing with arm locks any hand for going to the waist were he may have a weapon.
Avoid fighting as much as possible. If you can then a couple quick punches and low kicks and get out of there.
Against multiple attackers try dropping the one closet as fast as you can, grab one by the neck or with and arm lock and use him as an obstacle between you and the rest of them, but get out of there fast.
You can beat them, but they have to be pretty stupid and very coward.
If they all attack at once you are done. KM choreographies aside, you don’t win against 2 or 3 guys that have a vague idea of how to fight.
You better run, and if you can’t run you better have a weapon.
A pocket knife will level the odds, even level them to your favor when dealing with multiple attackers.
That alone is reason enough to carry one at all times.
That’s my advice J, do box and Thai box. Box to develop fast hands, good defense of the head, Thai to complement it, then Judo and BJJ for grappling and floor fight.
For a tight budget, the best thing is to find someone that does MMA and you can get all these form the same place. Or a gym where you can cover most of them with different classes for the same price.
For the ground fighting you are asking about, a MMA guy can help you. It's mostly just limited to rotating towards the attacker, your back against the floor, legs cocked so as to kick the feet and knee when the guy gets close. In real fights, I'd rather worry more about getting back on my feet as soon as possible!