Monday, September 10, 2018

Self Defense: What are the Best Martial Arts?

I have reached out to you a few times, it seems you are doing well.  Hopefully you tried the Vertx pants I recommended if you remember.  Anyway-on the subject of self defense disciplines, how do you feel about Brazilian Juijitsu?  My youngsters take it for fitness and discipline reasons at their age right now, however how do you feel it translates to modern preparedness?  I know from my limited fighting experience in my youth (don’t ask) you generally end up on the ground in some form of wrestling/striking situation anyway.  Does that translate?  Do you recommend vs. the traditional disciplines?
Please do not post my info-
Thanks much,

Hello Erine.
I believe that Brazilian JJ is one of the best martial arts for self defense and its great that your kids are learning it.
As you correctly state, most street fights do end up on the ground. Having said that, BJJ black belt or not, you do not want to end up on the floor in a street fight. Remember nothing is fair in a street fight and on the floor you are easily kicked and stomped. You may be easily beating your attacker with a rear naked choke when all of a sudden a buddy of his gives you a nice soccer ball kick to the head and its lights out for you.

For that kind of thing, scrapping on your feet against one or several attackers you just have to look at how modern MMA keeps evolving more towards striking. Its history repeating itself all over again from ancient times. There’s a reason why traditional boxing as we know it today exists in the first place. It’s the ancient art of landing a KO blow to finish the fight, that same KO punch MMA fighters look for in the octagon, the same art of hitting and not getting hit that goes back to 200BC, as the bronze statue “The Boxer at Rest” illustrates so graphically. As the great philosopher Iron Mike Tyson once said, “everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face”.

Boxing is the martial art that allows to most quickly dispose of one or more attacks. That’s why boxers usually do so well on street fights. Having said that you do need to know grappling, both for using it yourself and for countering. Here is where BJJ becomes very useful.
Ideally you would combine Boxing, BJJ and kickboxing.  Those are the ones I feel work best on the street. While its hard to do them all at least keep them in mind so as to try out when possible, or to ask to focus on if you have a MMA gym or a good instructor where you can practice different martial arts.

Some people really like Krav maga. I get it that with a good instructor it can be pretty good, especially when incorporating weapons, knives, sticks and guns. I see two problems with it though. First, in general (and your experience may be totally different), it tends to be extremely commercial focusing on “feel good” false sense of being a badass, all while practicing choreographic moves that don’t work for real. Second, the lack of competition means that, unlike boxing, you don’t get to fight someone trying to punch your face in for real. Same thing with BJJ and Judo, you have an opponent trying to beat you and that’s good, that’s the closest thing to fighting for real in a safe environment. I’m sure someone very offended will comment soon that in his gym their KM is the best and most lethal form of hand to hand combat ever seen in the universe, but that’s been my experience with 90% of the KM and KAPAP I’ve come across in different countries.

Another great martial art, especially for small children, is Judo. You learn great moves, there’s no striking which is a bit of a concern with young children and it gives them discipline, self-respect and a way to defend themselves, both from bullies at school and later in life.

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Ferfal, I just wanted to add my two cents, I have read your first book and have acted on alot of your advice its good stuff. I have a background in Taekwando from years ago and had since got older and heavier, basically about 40 lbs overweight. I started a Krav class about eight months ago and until then had no idea how out of of shape I was, we train hand to hand, weapons and do a lot of ground work. Its just three times a week but we usually are so sore and beat up from it that is about all we can stand. I am lucky to have some great instructors, one is currently in federal law enforcement with a 20 year background in judo and Bjj, the other is former military and owns an executive protection company, these guys are the real deal. So far I like the training, it is fairly intense and injuries are common, I like that the instructors train us in what works best, be it krav, bjj or judo. We spar occasionally, and just like anything in life results may vary, you will get out of it what you put into it, its all about getting to your personal best. At this point I am stronger, faster and better trained than at any point in my life, I have no illusions about my capabilities at this point, still about ten pounds to go and another year or two of training, but I am already so far ahead of where I started. Thanks for the advice, no doubt it will help myself and family in the future.