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ctdonath
May 2, 2000, 09:30 PM
A 14-year-old friend just narrowly escaped getting mugged by 5 thugs. His rather distraught parents are asking me what defensive training he can get.

For an adult, the issue would be fairly straightforward: standard martial arts training plus handgun, alternately knife or cane. The issue gets muddled with under-age people. This kid's only option (successfuly done) in this incident was to run; with such a disparity of force, his only other preparatory options are denied him by law due to his age.

Thoughts? 14-yr-old vs. 5 muggers: how to prepare?

beastman
May 2, 2000, 10:23 PM
Perhaps some martial arts training might be in order. I have studied a little and some of the best advice my instructor gave was this: do what move is neccessary to break someone's hold on you and practice the ancient art of "run-fu". The martial art will help with confidence and assist in "getting out of Dodge".

SB
May 2, 2000, 11:38 PM
One thing they need to do is to find out exactly why he ended up in the situation in the first place, and to see if there is anything he can do to prevent this from happening again in the future.

patrickt66
May 3, 2000, 11:31 AM
I agree with HB. Situational awareness is your best friend in avoiding dangerous predicaments.. This doesn't mean that danger can always be avoided but remember, your brain is your most valuable asset in times of trouble.

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Think!

G50AE
May 3, 2000, 05:34 PM
Well, if this kid is 14 he or she should also start lifting weights.

stdalire
May 3, 2000, 05:40 PM
Running and avoiding places where most thugs are in is the best way to be out of trouble.

Martial arts and weapons will just come second when there is no more alternatives to be done.

thanks

[This message has been edited by stdalire (edited May 03, 2000).]

Glamdring
May 3, 2000, 07:05 PM
Weight lifting for a 14 year old is a bit iffy. I think kids should wait untill 15 or 16 for weight lifting because of the potential of damage to the still developing bones. But condition is good idea, I suggest biking and swiming with "rock climbing" or such because those activities are more enjoyable and can be done as a group. They are also more whole body effect than weight lifting is. Also will let you RUN better.

I believe male kid is what you are talking about?

Boxing and Judo together are good martial arts if the kid is INTERESTED in such. Boxing covers pyscial conditioning in a balanced manner, and also uses controled sparring and focus mitts for training plus footwork from the first or second week.

Judo covers takedowns and falling plus ground work joint locks and strangles.

If the kid is not interested in training then show them the basic exscapes from holds and strangels [the two finger peel off]. Also show them how to apply a strangle from rear [naked strangle] and front [ie guillotine]. Also show how to head trap and then apply knees [from Muay Thai].

Show them how to move in and "swim" an opponent or shake and shiver to get by and run [ala football defensive line techniques used against blockers].

Moving in and then running is often a better idea than trying to run away because of psychological effect and body movement [they have to turn around and then chase you vs just chase].

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There can be only one!

Glamdring
May 3, 2000, 07:17 PM
BTW 1 to 5 odds are bad if your ARMED!

Avoid if possible. But if you can't then hurt leader or closest one BAD and fast.

With 5 people vs 1 it sounds like the bully pattern more than mugging.

I drove school bus for 3 years and actually interogated several true bullies, since they were stuck in the front seat all the time and I had to put up with them I studied them, they were willing to talk about how they would pick on people. Pick someone they KNEW they could beat and still bring several buddies for insurance.

I learned a lot about self defense from driving the school bus. I quit because I could not stand the fact that so many of the kids were living in fear and suffering abuse, from other kids, AT school just because the system would not git rid of or correct the Goblins.

Sorry, I am ranting. There are REAL problems in our public schools. The teachers and administrators KNOW this. But they hide it from parents because they would lose their jobs it just a little got out.

If a kid seems afraid of something at school or unwilling to go, ask and listen to them about why. Chances are they have real good reasons.

ctdonath
May 3, 2000, 07:53 PM
Perhaps some martial arts training might be in order.

Yep, figure Karate, Judo or Akido should be minimum to teach basic concepts and ingrain fundamental moves (blocks, falls, etc.).

I'm just a bit struck by the issue that certain options are legally not available.

One thing they need to do is to find out exactly why he ended up in the situation in the first place, and to see if there is anything he can do to prevent this from happening again in the future.

My guess (few facts so far) is that they wanted a target and he walked by. I will be suggesting that the family move (they're on the edge of a bad area that's growing).

George Hill
May 4, 2000, 03:08 AM
Akido would be great and can be applied later in life to handgun fighting.

Reviewing the thread - 5 to 1 odds... Run.
Run fast. He did right.

Danger Dave
May 4, 2000, 07:49 AM
Fighting, even with bare hands, should be a last resort - whether 5-on-1 or 1-on-1. Remember, there are no teachers or referees to break it up if things go awry - and who's to say that just because you're out of the fight, they'll stop?

A few years of training would not prepare anyone to take on 5 attackers. It ain't easy to fight one guy who's an experienced fighter (I would assume that being a bully, he would have been in a few fights...), much less to fight more than one. The few (okay, two) people I've known that have succesfully fought multiple opponents (3+) in an open confrontation were:
1) Big guys themselves
2) Well-trained, experienced fighters
3) Highly skilled, exceptional fighters
4) In exceptional condition
5) Were tough as nails
6) Mad-dog mean when in a fight (both were pretty nice people other than that, though)

To fight more than one opponent, you have to be able to out-endure and out-fight them all. They all have to be exhausted, before you're even tired. This means, first, you'd better be in some serious cardiovascular condition - you're going to be doing a lot of moving around during this kind of fight (you never want to be caught in the middle), plus punching/kicking. Then, you'd better be able to eliminate each threat given the opportunity - so you'd better have skills, experience, & power to spare. But if you have all that, I don't think you'd be being picked on by bullies to begin with - they don't want to "pay the price" every time they want to intimidate you. So, unless you're some sort of marathon runner/triathelete turned pro boxer or something, HAUL YOUR BUTT OUTTA THERE!!!

None of this should be taken as discouraging taking some sort of training, however, just be realistic about your expectations. Nothing is going to quickly prepare (or ever fully prepare) him to face those kinds of odds. If you told me this kid was a 6'3", 260lb wrestling/boxing/karate champ, I'd still say running was his best option. One of those skilled fighters I mentioned gave me some sage advice: "If you fight, win or lose, you're gonna get hurt."

The only other advice I can give is be careful about what instructor you choose - that's probably more important than what style(s) you pick.

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Beginner barbarians probably had the idea that every house they broke into would be full of untouched loot and frightened, unarmed victims. It just doesn't work that way, my friend.

I hope these evil men come to understand our peaceful ways soon - My trigger finger is blistering!

ctdonath
May 4, 2000, 07:50 AM
Reviewing the thread - 5 to 1 odds... Run. Run fast. He did right.

Unfortunately, that almost didn't work. They kept up for a long ways, and he finally finished the escape by jumping into a stranger's car (someone saw what was happenening and offered to help whisk him away).

Simon Yu
May 4, 2000, 10:43 AM
Hmmm . . . Having migrated over here recently via Bladeforums, one question is what are the laws regarding a minor carrying a knife around? Obviously can't do it on school property but for other occasions it helps to have one handy for general utility purposes in addition to defensive situations. Knives, even small ones, can be very effective in combat even in the hands of an unskilled user, much to the surprise of many martial artists who decide to do "red marker" tests to test their knife defenses. More importantly is the visual cue. If you can't get away, showing a sign that you won't be an easy target can send a bully running, especially since of the "eww yuck" factor that even people trained in fighting have at the thought of a knife attack. Martial arts training is definately recommended to build fitness, techniques that can be mixed in with armed combat, getting out of holds, and hopefully the calmness to assess the situation around you and keep a clear head while figuring out how to escape. A style more oriented with striking than grappling might be a better idea with multiple attackers in the picture.

Of course, if moving is a viable option that would probably be the best solution. Assuming they don't wind up somewhere worse.

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G50AE
May 4, 2000, 11:32 AM
glamdring, weight training when done properly and under supervision is NOT iffy for a 14 year old, or for that matter any over 10. The key is proper form and good coaching. Elington Darden a researcher who works with Arthur Jones, the inventer of Nautilus, has pleny of documention on this subject.

Glamdring
May 4, 2000, 01:26 PM
G50AE: My concern with children weight lifting is that they might damage the growth "plate" of one of their long bones, because they used too much weight or because they used to much speed with a weight.

And while a 60 to 70% maximal weight (or less) workout might be safe I don't think 10 to 21 year old males would stick to that limit. I still remember how hard I and others in the gym pushed ourselves in college.

I can see how form would protect joints and soft tissue but not how it would protect bones?

If you have some references I would welcome an email listing them...it has been 5 or so years since I have done any real osteobiology.

zot
May 5, 2000, 01:38 AM
My son was attacked by 2 bullies on the playground...he,s 13...other kids a year older. The first kid put my son in a chokehold from behind while the other kicked him in the back, my son flipped the chokeholder aand hit him in the throat...open handed...then got up and kicked into second kids leg aand rightcrossed him...the kid limped away. the cops gave my kid a ticket for disorderly conduct...said he should run away...not fight. My son said if I'd a run I be running from them every day. Juvenial court said these kids have a history of being dumbass bullies...my son has a history of B honor roll and no previous fights...I taught my kid to disable eyes throat etc...but not to kill. But with 5 bullies I'd say RUN LIKE HELL!!! Any more than one is trouble...5 could be whatever???RUN LIKE THE WIND GRASSHOPPER!!
Do you hear the grasshopper at your feet?
:)zot

tonyz
May 5, 2000, 01:50 PM
I did but the 9mm slug Made him very quite!

I am not sure of the laws but what about mace, taser's, or stun guns?

Tony Z

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www.vote.com (http://www.vote.com)
also for gun accessorys. http://gungoodies.com

G50AE
May 5, 2000, 03:18 PM
It is a myth the weight training stunts your growth. The only type of growth that gets stunted is the growth of fat. If you want to be a fat slob, don't lift weights.

Glamdring
May 5, 2000, 03:49 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by zot:
My son was attacked by 2 bullies on the playground...he,s 13...other kids a year older. The first kid put my son in a chokehold from behind while the other kicked him in the back, my son flipped the chokeholder aand hit him in the throat...open handed...then got up and kicked into second kids leg aand rightcrossed him...the kid limped away. the cops gave my kid a ticket for disorderly conduct...said he should run away...not fight. My son said if I'd a run I be running from them every day. Juvenial court said these kids have a history of being dumbass bullies...my son has a history of B honor roll and no previous fights...I taught my kid to disable eyes throat etc...but not to kill. [/quote]

So how did that end up? A co worker's 1st grade daughter was chased and grabbed by a 3rd grader and then knee smashed severly enough that she had to be taken to ER. The 3rd grader has a history of course, so he loses his recess for awhile. And if he does anything else he will be out (yeah sure).

Simon Yu
May 5, 2000, 08:58 PM
tonyz: Have you ever read the results of stun gun tests? A few people at bladeforums have done tests on themselves where they applied a stun gun to themselves (in areas recommended by the manuals that come with them) and have not felt any effects other than perhaps an intial surprise at the jolt and then some minor pain. One tested how having a stun gun against them would affect handgun accuracy (keeping in mind that at that range you wouldn't even need to be TOO accurate) and was still able to get several shots into the "kill zone" of a target while zapping himself with his non-gun wielding hand.

Comments by people who have used tasers and stunguns have reported a wide variety of reactions ranging from targets not being affected or dropping to the ground. The shock seems to work if you think that it will or get caught by surprise. Remember that Rodney King still managed to keep resisting after taking a few taser hits.

Disturbing that people still buy the things and the makers keep selling them claiming that they'll work . . . :mad:

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"I look at it this way . . . If it gets any worse I'll be too dead to care."

Simon Yu

zot
May 5, 2000, 09:18 PM
Glamdring,my son is now on a list that if he
defends himself again he might be charged
with assault,no the 2 kids weren't expelled
or susspended, just warned again,the principal was on my sons side because he isn't a bully his grades and actions in class
show he's doing well,the principal told my
son he'd have done the same but its not
allowed,alot of police who CAN't really
enforce the law on minors is a waiste of time
kids fight and bullies will allways be,so I
told my son to watch his back and fight if
all else fails,but try to walk away and words
can't hurt so ignore them,he has no more
trouble with the 2 since and let off with a
warning

ctdonath
May 5, 2000, 09:33 PM
Have you ever read the results of stun gun tests?

Been on the receiving end of 30,000 volts. Felt like a bee sting. Proceeded to empty a magazine into a target.

To make a stun gun actually work, you have to apply the durn thing to the recipient for several seconds. Nobody is going to let you apply that pain for any extended period. The only fast-working application is to the spine, which has a good chance of killing the guy.

Glamdring
May 6, 2000, 05:22 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by zot:
Glamdring,my son is now on a list that if he
defends himself again he might be charged
with assault,no the 2 kids weren't expelled
or susspended, just warned again,the principal was on my sons side because he isn't a bully his grades and actions in class
show he's doing well,the principal told my
son he'd have done the same but its not
allowed,alot of police who CAN't really
enforce the law on minors is a waiste of time
kids fight and bullies will allways be,so I
told my son to watch his back and fight if
all else fails,but try to walk away and words
can't hurt so ignore them,he has no more
trouble with the 2 since and let off with a
warning[/quote]

I agree bullies will always exist. I commend both you and your son on the prep for this type of problem. And his restraint on not using permanent means.

Interesting to note that self defense isn't allowed. And the school assumes no liability for your son's injuries? While he is at school they are guardians or wards [not speaking legally but THEY are responsible for his well being and etc]. I have wondered why some parent doesn't try "child endangerment" or "child abuse" law suit against schools that let this stuff occur.

I would suggest documenting this incident in case another one happens.

George Hill
May 8, 2000, 05:43 AM
Training in martial arts is the best thing he could do...
Giving the kid a weapon is out of the question.
Education is the key - and that means training.

Simon Yu
May 9, 2000, 01:06 PM
George Hill, I would dispute that. Every kid is different and some can be trusted to handle weapons. I've seen plenty of kids ages 8 to 12 handle staves and swords (albeit lighter and shorter versions) in various martial arts classes without doing reckless things. If there's a significant difference in weight and strength, then unarmed martial arts can quickly lose their effectiveness. We're talking about a 14 year old after all. Isn't this the same reason many of us try to encourage women to get firearms? Since we're dealing with a kid in the middle of adolescent development so the weight and strength are likely to be similar to that of an adult woman. While I do admire and enjoy unarmed martial arts styles I also keep in mind that there was a reason that various weapons were adopted into them, a fact that many modern day practioners sadly seem to forget.

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"I look at it this way . . . If it gets any worse I'll be too dead to care."

Simon Yu

Danger Dave
May 9, 2000, 02:43 PM
Umm, I think what George was referring to is the fact that he can't carry any kind of weapon at school. They've expelled kids for drawing pictures of weapons, I'd hate to think what they'd do to the kid that shows up with a staff.

Teaching him how to use it, I have no problem with. It's just that the odds are pretty high he wouldn't be allowed to have it with him when he needed it. Besides, I still think it's best to learn how to use the things you know you'll have with you (fists, feet, etc.) first. Like someone said to me, having a weapon doesn't make you a fighter, any more than having a tool kit makes you a mechanic.

ClownFish
May 10, 2000, 02:20 AM
Sometimes in situations like that it's best to just take a beating without much resistance(given that the option of running is eliminated). If this kid retaliates with martial arts, those 5 thugs will just get meaner and more pissy and do god knows what. I've seen guys pummeled literally to black/blue cuz they tried doing spinkicks on some thugs. They get jumped from different directions and wake up in the hospital. I suggest this 14 yr old boy find some friends to walk home with and find a different route.

Simon Yu
May 10, 2000, 12:51 PM
Danger Dave: I wasn't talking about carrying it around in school, more for other occasions where there aren't so many people around or if he needed to get somewhere that he couldn't get to by choosing a safer route home. I obviously don't know the layout of his school, but often times they have multiple exits. While security tends to view this as a problem, having alternate escape routes always helps. So does blending into a crowd.

Knife combat doesn't just involve knives btw. There's a lot of use of the empty hand and kicks mixed in with bladework. People tend to focus on the sharp, pointy thing and not empty hands or feet. Also lots of focus on footwork. Many martial arts seem to focus on blocking a blow instead of just getting out of the way.

ClownFish: Unfortunately, martial arts have become commercialized, kind of like how boxing became practiced more in its sport form back around the early 20th century. Some people end up studying tournament style karate or tae kwan do which often doesn't translate into combat effectiveness. Many also get enamored with things like roundhouse kicks to the head and aerial kicks instead of more basic but more effective methods of attacking. And then there are those that have their confidence boosted TOO much by their training and don't know when to run away. Sadly, some instructors care more about making a buck than teaching more than just techniques to their students.

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"I look at it this way . . . If it gets any worse I'll be too dead to care."

Simon Yu

Danger Dave
May 10, 2000, 01:52 PM
Simon, I'm not criticizing your answer, but what's he going to do with a weapon while he's in school? If anyone else (like the bullies) report him for having a weapon, his locker, his vehicle, and his person get searched. Minors have no legal protection from unreasonable searches and seizures. If discovered, he's outta there, thanks to the zero-tolerance policies.

I know knife styles teach more than just the knife. I have to admit, I just have some reservations about knife fighting in general. To me, a knife is a weapon that can't be used to subdue an opponent (like a blunt weapon), it's purely a "lethal force" kind of weapon, like a gun. Maybe I'm wrong, but I doubt a jury'd buy that you pulled a knife for any reason than to try to kill someone (justifiably or not). With a clubbing weapon, at least you can say, "I tried not to hurt them any more than necessary," even though we know you should hit them with everything you've got until they're no longer a threat.

I almost forgot - my instructor told me about a similar situation he was in when he was in school (before he started martial arts training). 3 or 4 guys had jumped him & roughed him up pretty good, so he got a friend to watch his back while he found each of them, one at a time, and fought them all. After that, they didn't want to mess with him again.



[This message has been edited by Danger Dave (edited May 10, 2000).]

tatters
May 10, 2000, 08:59 PM
Weapons are a no no in any school. I would have the young person walk with someone if possible.

Or carry a weapon that doesn't look like one, such as a tennis racket or a heavy book bag.
Just like having a gun, at least something is better than nothing.

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"I learned a thing or two from Charlie,don't you know. You better stay away from Copperhead Road" Steve Earle

Kevlarman
May 11, 2000, 10:29 AM
Being a teen myself (I turn 19 this D-Day), I feel I should add something.

I've seen numerous beatings, and I still think the best option is to run away if possible. I routinely carry a Benchmade folder with me as it has utilitarian as well as defensive uses. Be careful though; weapons of any kind are not allowed on campus or at school events. I know this because in high school, I was carrying my knife on me while on a field trip to a homeless shelter. Due to my good grades and participation in student governemnt, the prinicpal did not move for expulsion. Instead, I got a 5-day suspension (too bad it was during the last week of the year).

How about carrying pepper spray? Or steel-toed boot/shoes? They oughta give you an extra "oomph" in your kick, as well as protection from falling objects :) Or perhaps an expandible baton (these may or may not be legal in some areas)? It doesn't take much training to wield a stick.

Regarding stunguns, they are pretty much an annoyance - the foreign made ones, anyway. I've had a couple stunguns, and both were made off in some overseas company. These units rely on pain to bring a person down. Guns advertising 300,000 or 500,000 volts are nothing; the pain is comparable to running your feet across a carpet on a dry day and reaching over to a metal doorknob. I recently acquired a new gun, this time made by Nova (http://www.nova-usa.com). This company has been the oldest provider of stunguns to the law enforcement commnuity. Supposedly, their guns use a special "pulse frequency" that not only hurts, but overrides the electrical impulses to the muscles. In fact, Nova's technology is now used in the Advanced Air Taser (http://www.airtaser.com) (26 watts, yeow!). Lemme tell you, it works (I have electrical burns on my forearm! :D)

I also believe martial arts is a good way to go. Something that involves numerous joint locks, throws, escapes, etc. are the best for self-defense. I took taekwondo for 3 years and am pretty advanced myself, but I think it was primarily for conditioning and self-discipline more than self-defense. Have you ever watched those ultimate fighting matches? Try and watch them and see what real (not Holloywood) guys do when they're duking it out. The submissions and escapes they do can be an invaluable tool in a street fight.

Of course, avoiding the situation altogether is the best way to go. If you can't, carry something. If that is not possible, walk with some friends.

Be careful out there, and know your surroundings (condition yellow)!

[This message has been edited by Kevlarman (edited May 11, 2000).]

Spectre
May 11, 2000, 04:56 PM
When (and if) I have children, the route I will follow will be something like this:

1) Balance work.
2) Hand/eye coordination games.
3) Speed practice.
4) Light muscle building (through exercise involving one's own body weight- including pushups, pullups, dips,etc).
5) Flexibility routines.

These are all things that can be done with all physically able children, even if you (the adult) know nothing about hand-to-hand. Then, when the child is ready (mentally) to learn some basic martial information, their body is already "primed" to take advantage of it.

I have heard from various sources (longtime Prevention subscriber and avid fitness enthusiast) that heavy weightlifting under 18- some say as late as 21- may be damaging to a developing body. I choose to believe this could be the case. Feel free to have a differing opinion.

Training with weapons, especially sticks and swords is advantageous for several reasons. First, and most obvious, is that the recipient learns to use a tool. Tools are helpful because they give a mechanical advantage, lending (usually) reach and power to one's energy. If one is familiar with a weapon type, it is easier to improvise from objects in one's environment. No-one that I know expects their child to take a Wakizashi or Claymore to school. The second, and even more important reason for manual-weapons training, is that it develops a much keener sense of the distancing and timing involved in real conflict, whether armed or not.

[This message has been edited by Spectre (edited May 13, 2000).]

Gino
May 12, 2000, 10:16 PM
As a high school teacher I have a suggestion. Sounds like the kid is in 8th grade if he is now 14. Next year he has the chance to get some major help in high school. How about the kid take up a sport like wrestling? He would get in good shape and learn a fighting skill, while making friends that would help out in situations like this. After a couple of years in a sport like this few people would look to pick on him, and if they did he would definitely be in shape to run away. Sounds like a best of both world kind of thing to me. Now if someone would let this kid know that I've just planned out his life for him... :)

Simon Yu
May 13, 2000, 01:09 PM
Danger Dave, I understand completely. Obviously, I don't go around carrying a knife at school. However, there tend to be lots of pens at school and a somewhat fancy pen (being made out of metal is the important thing here) can make a decent stiletto. Obviously not the prefered course, but if excrement hits the air circulator and you can't get away it'll be better than nothing.

Knives can be used to subdue an opponent. Cutting some of the muscles and tendons in the arm will make it unable to move in certain directions or unable to manipulate fingers depends what area is damaged. "Defanging the snake" is messier than some of the other methods of subdual out there, but will disable an attacker without killing them if done right. The problem is that some parts of the arm have big arteries and veins so you might cause a person you tried to just disable to bleed out. However, you would still be able to argue that you were only trying to disarm an attacker and didn't mean to hit a major blood vessel. Probably would look better to a jury than a disemboweling slash across the belly. Anything that would make things look better to the jury would help since when used as weapons, knives may well carry the worst stigma with only poison ranking worse.

Kevlarman, expandable batons aren't legal in a number of areas and won't get a kid in any less trouble than if they brought a knife. Pepper spray might also get that result depending on the state or views of the administrators.

And I wouldn't put too much trust into that stungun just from electrical burns until you try it on yourself (or a very understanding friend :D). Or are the electrical burns from actually using it on yourself?

As to a grappling or striking art, be aware that that subject has more controversy than a discussion about the effectiveness of 9 mm ammunition. A grappling art often won't be as useful if multiple attackers are around since they'll kick you in the head while you're on the ground with one of the others. The answer is to cross train to gain more possible options in a situation.

Spectre, you reminded me of one thing I forgot to mention earlier. If weight lifting is out of the question, push ups, pull ups, etc. can still help to build fitness.

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"If you're ever surrounded by a bear, a lion, and a lawyer with only two rounds, shoot the lawyer. Twice."
Simon Yu

PreserveFreedom
May 26, 2000, 08:35 PM
The last thing that I think you should do is give a weapon to a minor, especially if he/she is not trained with it. If a knife is pulled in self defense, it can easily be turned on him/her and may be fatal. The best option I can see, other than a good self defense course, is those small but loud alarms that can be worn. If you are attacked, you can rip a cord from it and an ear piercing siren goes off to:
1) scare away attackers
2) call help

Archie
May 27, 2000, 09:00 PM
Perhaps another thought is to take back our schools. Get involved in the school board and PTA and local law; push for "bully control".

Be warned. This is a long term project.

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Archie

chokeu2
June 12, 2000, 07:20 AM
I am getting in on this one late, but that is because I am new to this forum. But not new to martial arts. So I will throw my .02 in none the less.

First, do not let the kid get involved in traditional martial arts. They are good for some physical conditioning, sport fighting, but not street defense. Examples are Tae Kwon Do, most forms of Karate, aikido... Today, there is really one form of "karate" that is street effective, and that is the Oyama style.

Get the kid involved with arts such as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, or Mauy Thai kickboxing. In BJJ he will learn what to do when things go to the ground. Judo teaches you how to get someone to the ground, but does not really give you good insight to ground fighting because of the small amount of chokes and locks, compared to bjj. BJJ is all about joint locks and chokes from any position. Mauy Thai, is a probably the most devastating striking art in the world. it is a simple art, but highly effective. Because of the conditioning required, and the lethality of the strikes.

If you would like to kid to know about weapons, responsibility, and accountability, get him into Kali. It is an art with one purpose in mind. To destroy your opponent in short order. Most likely with a blade. it is a good art to learn consequences.

All of these arts are highly disciplined. They are tough to train in, but the pay off is worth it.

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Open Mind, Closed Fist