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hollow point
June 21, 2000, 08:21 AM
I have decided to take a martial arts class to facilitate my Personal Protection Instructor training. I have a friend that has offered to teach me Tae-kwon-do. He is a third degree black belt and he seems to be very tradition oriented with his teaching. Having no martial arts training, my question is if the t-k-d is a good style to study for self defense? The other style he teaches is something that sounds like "gee-coon-do" and I truly know nothing about this one. It might be better suited to self defense than t-k-d.

Any input is appreciated.

Thanks,
HP

TaxPhd
June 21, 2000, 10:04 AM
My background is in Judo, so take this for what it may be worth, and with a huge grain of salt.

TKD seems to me to be very sport oriented, with a lot of flashy, high kicks that just don't work on the street. If someone gets past those kicks, clinches, and takes the fight to the ground, the TKD practitioner is likely in a world of hurt. In some of the early UFC's (Ultimate Fighting Championships) there were several high level black belt TKD practitioners that got their clocks cleaned, usually by grapplers. These guys would try a flashy round house kick, get dumped on the mat, and spent the rest of the time trying not to get killed.

I would seriously recommend a martial art with a heavy focus in ground fighting (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Judo, Wrestling, Sambo, etc.) coupled with something that teaches effective striking (Muay Thai may well be the best, and good old Boxing can be very effective).

The "ge-coon-do" that was mentioned is probably Jeet Kun Do. This is Bruce Lee's amalgamation of many different styles. There are probably others here that can comment more on this.

HTH!!

hawkgt
June 21, 2000, 10:13 AM
Sounds like the other style is Jeet Koon Do. I mis-spelled the middle word. That is a style developed by Bruce Lee. I studied a traditional Tae Kwon Do school ( Chung Do Kwan ) and its teaches more than kicking ( i.e it wasn;t sport oriented as you see it now). It provided a good base. Since then I've trained in various other styles. The most important thing is to find an instructor and style that works for you. The same thing doesn;t work for everyone, etc

Things to think about is how would you prefer to fight. If you want to keep them at a distance ( Tae Kwon Do ), close quarter combat ( AKido, Judo, Gracie Ju-Jitsu ), medium distance ( most karates ). Once you become proficient in a single style you should really start cross training as well, to get the different techinques and philosophies. Also two TKD school can be completely different, and the same goes for any Martial Art.

Then what does the instructor/school focus on? Street survival, tournament fighting, etc. You can learn from each, you just need to realize their focus. You are not going to want to go for the quick kill nessecarily, nor for the "good point"

Personally I really like Ed Parker's or the Tracy brother's style of Kenpo/Kempo. It has a good mix of close quarters, as well as kicks, etc. I also think it provides a good base, from which you can add in things from other styles.

I would say give it a shot and see how you feel about the instructor/style in a few months.

[This message has been edited by hawkgt (edited June 21, 2000).]

[This message has been edited by hawkgt (edited June 21, 2000).]

Danger Dave
June 21, 2000, 12:03 PM
If he teaches both, why is offering only to teach you one style? I'm curious - he may well have a real reason for this.

There's a lot of "instructors" out there, but very few that are truly what they claim to be. Some don't even know they're not "for real" - they weren't even taught by real instructors. There's no regulation of martial arts in the US, and there are lots of "high ranking black belts" that had a few years training and decided to buy a black belt to impress someone and make a few bucks "teaching", and lots of schools with "black belt programs" - you know, "pay $$$/month for x months, and we'll make you a black belt". If an instructor can tell you exactly how many months/years it will take for you to become a black belt, walk out.

It's difficult for someone who has never studied MA to distinguish between the BS and the real McCoy. That's compounded by the fact that you will encounter more BS than real martial arts while you're out looking.

My advice would be to look at the instructor, not the style. Try to find one that has studied some striking and grappling-type arts. Find out where they studied, who they studied from, what organizations they are a part of. Talk to their students. Good luck.

TaxPhD, the Judo guys didn't do that great in UFC either. Does that mean Judo isn't a good art for the street? Naahhh. I'm just messing with you. I've heard the same claims about the impracticality of Judo (ie, "it's just a sport - no good for combat"). I've know plenty of people that studied both, and, while they usually have a preference for one, they never slam the other. I also noticed that the "TKD" person in the first UFC showed up at another and was labeled as a "mixed arts" or somesuch fighter. Some of the older Kwans are still around (Chi do Kwan, Chang Moo Kwan, etc.) and the instructors are still teaching a fighting art, not a tournament style.

KOG
June 21, 2000, 12:29 PM
The proper spelling is "Jeet Kune Do" which translates into "the way of the intercepting fist". One of three arts that Bruce Lee taught. Much of its basis is from concepts from Wing Chun Gung Fr which Bruce Lee originally studied. Later, he broke with tradition and was one of the first people to popularize cross-training in different martial arts from muay thai kickboxing, to grappling, to weapons.

Dan Inosanto, former student/training partner/friend of Bruce is THE authority on Jeet Kune Do and a sh*tload of other stuff. Beware in that many people claim to have studied with Dan when they have not.

I think the advice about finding a good instructor is a good one. There are a lot of instructors out there claiming this and that and only want your money. Many aren't certified by the well-known instructors but say they are so they can market themselves. I think any style can be effective as long as you do what you're taught. A tkd person shouldn't try to grapple unless they've trained in such, they should stick with what they've trained in.

I think the individual and their training is more important than the style. If you train hard and work at it, that's what's going to count. If you go to brazilian jujitsu classes once a year and don't practice you may not be as effective as you want to be.

TKD too often is taught as a sport and they use the Olympics as a marketing ploy. Some TKD is pretty good. I recommend styles such as Kali, escrima, Kun tao, and Indonesian pentjak silat, Jeet Kune DO (JKD). Those systems work primarily in non-sport type activity. Whatever you choose, look for a place that allows full contact. Now, you don't have to go to some place where you get your brains beat out everyday, I actually recommend not going to a place like that.

But, you need a school that works with full contact but in a gradual and controlled manner. Muay Thai, grappling, silat, kali, Jeet Kune Do are all full contact arts. You just want to avoid karate schools that do nothing but kata and one-step sparring. Again, not trying to flame karate but I've seen schools that indeed do nothing but kata, competition and forms training.

In addition, if it's a school that teaches a lot of striking, there needs to be heavy bags, speed bags, focus mits, etc. Many school only punch/kick air and it's a rude awakening when you they have to hit a real person.

Again not to flame but the UFC and similar contests should not be the "testing ground" to what's good and what's not. There are rules in those matches and not everyone who steps in there is/represents who they say they are. A judo person isn't going to do so well if they step in a kickboxing ring and a kickboxer isn't going to do well on the judo mat. In real fights on the street, anything can happen.

Further, another big reason I recommend Filipino and Indonesian arts over others is their use of weapons. You actually learn how to use the weapon as it's intended, not for show. Often, fights can and do involve weapons so one needs to know how to protect themselves against them and also how to use a weapon to gain the advantage to stay alive.

And bear in mind, no matter the style or how bad-*ss someone is and trains, sometimes you just can't overcome the odds of a fight or are in the wrong place at the wrong time; that's real life. Good luck

Fadingbreed40
June 21, 2000, 07:51 PM
There have been some exceptional martial artists to have come from TKD, however, they themselves were exceptional. My advise is that if you are serious about realistic self defense, stay away from it. It is, for the most part, sports oriented. Even then, you see very few TKD stylists at Open Tourniments, as they do not fare well. I loved competing against TKD stylist - easiest, quickest fights I have ever had in competition. I hold a 1st Dan in Okinawan Kempo Karate and have observed TKD's self-defence techniques and felt that the students were being cheated. Is my style superior? No, just a bit more realistic. For self-defense, I would recommend a GOOD striking art, wresting or any other grappling art, and some good old fashion boxing. One must be well versed in all aspects of combat. For great summission techniques, throw in a little JuJitsu as well. Good Luck,

liege
June 21, 2000, 09:40 PM
You can get a bit more info on the various martial arts at:
http://www.martialartsnet.net

Glamdring
June 22, 2000, 12:53 AM
My $.03

If you carry a gun you need to study weapon retention and disarms [yin/yang relationship there] first.

If your a cop or security guard then you need to learn some restraint techniques [defensive tactices, aikido/akijitsu]...if your not a cop or security guard skip that.

Other than that study knife/stick fighting [kali, escrima, etc] and go to a boxing gym and a judo club a bit.

Main threats in hand to hand are knifes, head/neck blows [which boxing will teach you to defend against] and strangles/jointlocks [which Judo will teach you to defend against].

Far easier to find good instructors for boxing and judo in this country than most other styles. You don't need to become expert...just attend boxing once a this week and judo once next week and so on...in a few months you will know the basics...the other thing is that with both boxing and judo you will practice contact with safety vs various sized and fairly high skilled opponents.

Many boxing gyms have current or former amature or professional champs on hand if you can spar with them for 3 minutes you should be able to handle a goblin on the street with a knife and gun near to hand.

crobrun
June 22, 2000, 07:16 AM
While this site is biased toward Mixed Martial Arts and generally not favorable toward "traditional" martial arts, there are alot of VERY helpful people on this site. http://www.mixedmartialarts.com/
Hope this helps.

Rob

[This message has been edited by crobrun (edited June 22, 2000).]

Danger Dave
June 22, 2000, 07:30 AM
Fadingbreed40:
"you see very few TKD stylists at Open Tourniments, as they do not fare well"

Ummmm, what kind of open tournaments? Most of your point-fighting "open" tournaments (e.g. Battle of Atlanta, US Open, Diamond Nationals, etc.) are dominated by eclectic "American Karate" tournament styles, which are almost all TKD ripoffs. I've seen schools that focused so much on tournaments that they didn't even teach how to get out of a simple choke hold. Teaching stuff like that takes time away from practicing "tournament-winning" techniques, like the "open your fingers and let your glove slip out just a bit so you can have a little extra reach and score" backfist.

I fought in a few open tournaments and I can tell you, there are competitors and there are fighters. I've been beaten by people who didn't have the power to stun a fly, but they were quick and could touch you with a glove. Then, I've beaten people I would hate to know I had to fight for real. Last but rarest are those who can fight and compete - They're hard to find, but they're out there, too. Winning tournaments is winning tournaments, nothing more.

I won't even talk about cheating, or favoritism by judges, except to say it happens.

I haven't seen too many Japanese or Okinawan stylists at TKD tournaments, either. Most of them can't kick well enough to compete in a tournament that emphasizes fast, powerful kicks above the waist. The typical complaints I hear are that Japanese/Okinawan stylists can't kick, and TKD stylists can't punch. I think there's some merit to both statements, but generalizations can get you in trouble - I've seen Japanese stylists that can kick very, very well, and TKD stylists that were exceptionally powerful and fast with their hands. It depends on individual ability/preferences and the quality of instruction they received.

hollow point
June 22, 2000, 01:41 PM
Hey guys, thanks for the info. I was a bit mistaken about his styles though. The other one wasn't the Jeet Kune Do, it was "Hap Kee Do". He showed me some of the stuff during lunch today. Mean stuff that stuff is, I can barely type my arm is so sore.

He said it was joint manipulation, I told him that as long as it wasn't possession with intent that it was probably ok. :)

Danger Dave
June 22, 2000, 02:17 PM
Hapkido - The Way of Connected Power
Another Korean art. Jujitsu, Aikido, and Hapkido all came from Aikijitsu, a Japanese grappling art. Hapkido focuses on joint locks. Weapons are also part of the style, including the cane and bo staff, among others.

Still don't know why he doesn't teach you both TKD and Hapkido - one picks up where the other leaves off, so it's not like you're trying to learn 2 different ways to do the same thing.

Fadingbreed40
June 22, 2000, 02:28 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Danger Dave:
Fadingbreed40:
"you see very few TKD stylists at Open Tourniments, as they do not fare well"

Ummmm, what kind of open tournaments? Most of your point-fighting "open" tournaments (e.g. Battle of Atlanta, US Open, Diamond Nationals, etc.) are dominated by eclectic "American Karate" tournament styles, which are almost all TKD ripoffs. I've seen schools that focused so much on tournaments that they didn't even teach how to get out of a simple choke hold. Teaching stuff like that takes time away from practicing "tournament-winning" techniques, like the "open your fingers and let your glove slip out just a bit so you can have a little extra reach and score" backfist.

I fought in a few open tournaments and I can tell you, there are competitors and there are fighters. I've been beaten by people who didn't have the power to stun a fly, but they were quick and could touch you with a glove. Then, I've beaten people I would hate to know I had to fight for real. Last but rarest are those who can fight and compete - They're hard to find, but they're out there, too. Winning tournaments is winning tournaments, nothing more.

I won't even talk about cheating, or favoritism by judges, except to say it happens.

I haven't seen too many Japanese or Okinawan stylists at TKD tournaments, either. Most of them can't kick well enough to compete in a tournament that emphasizes fast, powerful kicks above the waist. The typical complaints I hear are that Japanese/Okinawan stylists can't kick, and TKD stylists can't punch. I think there's some merit to both statements, but generalizations can get you in trouble - I've seen Japanese stylists that can kick very, very well, and TKD stylists that were exceptionally powerful and fast with their hands. It depends on individual ability/preferences and the quality of instruction they received.

Dangerous Dave,

Let me begin by saying that if I have offended anyone, that was not my intention. My tournament experience and observations was "cut off" during 1995. I still stand by what I experienced and what I was exposed to during my competing years. I will have to agree with you concerning what goes on in tournaments. The ethics, or the lack thereoff, politics, "techniques" and favoritism is awful. In addition, it just wasn't realistic. I had my share of wins, but it just wasn't satisfying. After I made my Black Belt, I gave up the tournament scene as I could not, with a good concience, be apart of what was going on. General statements can get one in trouble and I will specifically say that concerning styles and competitors that there are many, many variables, exceptions and so forth. I was taught a few "tournament techniques" but they were clearly taught with the warning that these very techniques (the majority of them) will get your clock cleaned in the streets. I have been blessed with a traditional sensei whose teaching methods were so hard that most never made it to the point of being able to test for 1st Dan. I was his 17th Black Belt in his (at the time) 24 years of teaching. My sensei, too, believed in being multi faceted and believed in the grappling arts as well. Although we were strictly tested in our art for advancement in our style. My sensei, for example, do not teach children due to the teachning methods our style uses. Saying that, my son was enrolled in a reputable TKD school where plenty of children were being taught. During that time he was attending middle school with an extremely tough reputation due to the surrounding "under privileged" neighborhoods. My son was always taught not to fight and to walk away if possible. That, unfortunately, did not always work at his school. He repeatly and on a routine basis got his clock cleaned dispite his advancements in TKD. I starting working with him and after having talked with my sensei, he was enrolled in my dojo. After awhile, (in only self defense) he began cleaning clocks so well, the school became weary of him and expressed to me that he was capable beyond his years. Maybe we were just lucky. We did not produce a bully, in fact if he can "walk" he will at a drop of a dime-he rather be your freind. He like I, don't believe in fighting. Anyway, I do not actively participate anymore as I am disabled and don't get out much. Again, my intention was not to offend anyone (and I probably did not). I was sharing what I learned based on my exposure. There always have been exceptions.
Take care, Robert
[/quote]

KOG
June 22, 2000, 02:56 PM
"Hap Kee Do" is actually spelled "Hapkido" and stands for "the way of coordinated power". It's best described as a combination of Japanese style jujustu and tkd. Supposedly, the founder of Hapkido, can't remember his name off hand, studied both a kicking art and a joint lock art and his two teachers got ****** at each other so he took off and founded his own style.

Lots of kicking and joint locks. Works off 3 principles: circle, water, non-resistance. Pretty good stuff though you have to stay in it for a while to get really good at it. The joint locks are good, but you have to really, really good to do them effectively. Breathing exercises, lots of falling, too which is good.

I see a lot of TKD people who claim to teach Hapkido when in fact they don't. Traditional Hapkido is very picky about the way they do their techniques and that's the best way to spot the real from fake. For instance, all the kicks are thrown with the lead arm in an on-guard position close to the ribs for protection. Most other styles like karate and tkd, when a roundhouse kick is thrown for instance, the lead arm is extended and out to the side. Whichever you decide, be dedicated and realistic, have fun and you should be okay.

I'll also second Dangerdave's observation of tournaments. It can depend on the tournament, but the ones I have seen are all about winning points, forms, etc. The competitors also only train for such competitions and nothing else, and of course the cheating. Not all are like that but many are.

Danger Dave
June 22, 2000, 03:42 PM
Robert, no offense was taken, I assure you. I have no doubt that there are TKD schools who aren't teaching "the way", if you get my meaning. I've seen them, I've sparred with them. I just don't want anyone to discount TKD because of the stereotypes associated with it (e.g. can't punch, no good, etc., etc.). They're all just that - stereotypes that may or may not be true. Like I said, I've fought with Karate stylists that could kick very well (better than me, for sure), and I do know for a fact that many TKD schools don't emphasize hand techniques enough (TKD tournaments discourage much punching).

One of the things that I think discourages people about TKD is that it simply takes more time to learn to use the kicks effectively than say, a punch, or even a low kick. It's harder to stand on one foot than two, and it's harder to kick to the ribs than to the groin. Doesn't mean it's any less effective, just harder to learn to do. One of my instructor's instructors said it takes about eight years to learn to do a side kick correctly - in the meantime, it's not as effective as it can be.

If you want to hear some stories about cheating at tournaments, my instructor could give you an earful. He competed in the late 60's, so it ain't nothing new. He had one Japanese fellow he was competing against tell the judges "Give him the point!" after he nailed the guy 3 times in a row... It's pretty bad when the guy you're fighting has to do the judges job for them! He was a referee at the *** world championships the first time they were held in the US (Chicago). It would tick a lot of people off to know what he said about the "fair" judging there.

Back on subject, what KOG said about Hapkido is right - Hapkido takes a lot of work, the techniques have to be executed very well to work properly (I was/am taught by a 7th dan in TKD/3rd in Hapkido). But when properly done, ouchie, them joint locks hurt. If nothing else, a few lessons in that will teach you not to grab anyone you know nothing about. Now, about the extending the arm bit, the only time I was ever told to do that was when the kata called for it. Other than that, hands up, elbows in.

hollow point
June 22, 2000, 03:48 PM
Danger, I guess that in actuality he is offering to teach me both. The TKD is the only one that I had heard of, so that is the one that I picked up on. I feel like I will end up learning both, once I get involved with it.

He appologized to me today by telling me that he was taught in the "traditional" way and that was the way he teaches. He said that it is harder this way, but more rewarding.

I am not interested in tournaments, but more interested in the mindset, discipline and exercise that I can bring to my CCW class. I feel that the "traditional" type would be best suited to me.


-JHP

ChuteTheMall
June 22, 2000, 10:40 PM
As a Tae Kwon Do practicioner, I agree with most of the above posts. It is a wonderful activity if you have the right instructor, but for real world self defense you need a blend of hand strikes, chokes & throws, grappling and locks, and common weapons. TKD puts too much emphasis on high kicks and playing tag to be a deadly fighting art, but the most important variable is the actual instructor who will patiently guide your performance.
Go for the Hapkido if it is self-defense oriented, with at least some practice in shoes and street clothes. Otherwise check out the JKD unless you can find a real WW2 style combatives instructor.

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Some people have a way with words. Others not have way.

LawDog
June 22, 2000, 11:57 PM
Try different schools until you find the one that feels good to you. Me, I like aikido and hapkido, but that doesn't necessarily mean that those are the best arts for you. Experiment.

I would, however, advise you to take some hits during training. Prove to yourself that you can fight through the pain and shock.

Good luck and have fun.

LawDog

[This message has been edited by LawDog (edited June 23, 2000).]

jetrecbn1
June 23, 2000, 09:03 AM
I am into progressive fighting(JKD). What my instructor teaches is BJJ and Kickboxing, with knife/stick. All martial arts have something to offer. I am 65in and 165 medium build, and have beaten guys over 300lbs. People like to say BJJ is the most realistic, I beg to differ. With my experience I am not going to shoot in on a 300lb guy, I would break his knees than walk away. If I do end up grappling, I am not going for intricate arm locks, and knee bars, I'm going for eye gouges, bites, and any other cheap trick.
DOMINANT POSITION-If you can't get it or maintain it, RUN. If you don't want to run, you would have to want it so bad that you're willing to die, or kill your opponent.

Chuck Ames
June 23, 2000, 10:55 AM
HP,

Personally, I would learn a system of combatives, which includes basic strikes, kicks, restraints, and grappling. Remember, even Bruce Lee said that in a fight he only used the basics, and if you look at his self defense book, there is very little flash, but a lot of knee kicks.

Fights are fast and violent and the most determined/violent fighter wins. Good technique helps, but a fighter with excellent technique and a moderate fighting spirit will get creamed by a fighter with moderate technique and and a hard core fighting spirit.

Just my .02 cents.

Chuck

Fadingbreed40
June 23, 2000, 11:07 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Chuck Ames:
HP,

Personally, I would learn a system of combatives, which includes basic strikes, kicks, restraints, and grappling. Remember, even Bruce Lee said that in a fight he only used the basics, and if you look at his self defense book, there is very little flash, but a lot of knee kicks.

Fights are fast and violent and the most determined/violent fighter wins. Good technique helps, but a fighter with excellent technique and a moderate fighting spirit will get creamed by a fighter with moderate technique and and a hard core fighting spirit.

Just my .02 cents.

Chuck[/quote]

Chuck - Fighting spirit is just about everything. There are "untrained" street fighters with fighting spirit who could, unfortunaly, wipe off the street with many Black Belt holders. What is the old saying? Its not the size of the dog that counts its the size of the fight in the dog - or something to that effect.

MTAA
June 26, 2000, 03:52 AM
I'll step over the theses on martial arts and give you a bit of practical advice, avoid the friend and find a real martial arts gym with a teacher who has devoted their life and profession to his/her art of choice. As a beginner you will need the advice and attention of someone who has an estabilished track record teaching students.

I have kickboxed on an amatuer and professional level for the past four years. I also teach a children's Muay Thai class at my gym, with that in mind, I wouldn't feel comfortable knowing that a student was relying on me for their professional safety. Make sure you inform the instructor of your intentions and feel the person out to see if they are looking out for you and not just trying to turn a buck.

Gunter
June 26, 2000, 06:46 AM
It depends on your intentions and your philosophy. If you want to spend many years training three times a week, take any classical martial arts whose philosophy is compatible with your own. If you are going to be around the same people for years, better make sure you have something in common.

If your goal is personal safety, you might like to read "The complete Idiots' Guide to Self Defense". It is 95% awareness and avoidance (remember rule #1: Don't be there), and just 5% basic fighting moves. Learn only what you can train comfortably.

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If the priority of the archive over witnes accounts is given up, history ceases to be a science and becomes an art.

http://www.ety.com/tell/why.html

Skorzeny
June 26, 2000, 04:53 PM
I'll add my two bits to this thread.

One thing that I would look for in selecting a "martial art" for self-defense is whether or not techniques are taught in both Kata (form) and Randori (free-sparring) formats.

Kata is important because one needs to build smooth and efficient techniques and attributes. However, Randori is of a paramount importance because it teaches one to deal with a dynamic opponent, one who moves unexpectedly and resists powerfully.

Systems like Aikido and Hapkido are nice and excel in attribute/skill building. However, because they are almost exclusively practiced in Kata format only, often their practitioners are unable to deal well with real world attackers. Similarly, many "combatives" systems teach excellent techniques, but do not practice them in free-sparring, so are unable to actually perform them in a realistic encounter.

Now, free-sparring does not mean Olympic Tae Kwon Do-style foot-slapping game. The more realistic free-sparring is, the better preparation it is for real self-defense.

When I trained my wife, for example, I spent many months training her in ground grappling (mainly Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Shoot Wrestling) techniques only, practiced only statically. Then, I started to introduce free-sparring with grappling only.

When that progressed sufficiently, I introduced her to striking techniques (punches and kicks, but mainly elbows and knees). Now, when I free-spar with her, I use "little" slaps, elbows, knee bumps and foot-slaps as well as what I call "power" moves (meaning, no martial art techniques, but common thug moves like headlocks and two-handed chokes). Occassionally, I put on very thick gloves and use moderate strength punches while she does all that she knows.

In the future, we will probably start using thicker gloves and protective gear and go all out. Naturally, I will very gradually increase my strength "level."

When that is done, we will probably start introducing dummy weapons. And it will go on and on until we die or she loses interest.

Now, there is a bunch of morons near where we live and they claim to teach self-defense (mainly based on a rather flimsy style of Tae Kwon Do and a few months of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu). Even though some of those guys there weigh over 200 lbs., they are deathly afraid to even spar with my wife (despite the fact that she weighs little over half their weight) after seeing how we train.

But that's another story. Sorry about the rambling...

Skorzeny

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For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the supreme excellence. Sun Tzu

Skorzeny
June 26, 2000, 04:59 PM
Ahh, forgot to mention this... There is a really good resource and tips for martial arts on:
www.royharris.com (http://www.royharris.com)

Check it out. I got the graduated training idea from one of Mr. Harris' articles.

Skorzeny

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For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the supreme excellence. Sun Tzu

Halo
June 26, 2000, 09:34 PM
I am interested in taking up a martial art to learn some basic defensive techniques that would have practical value on the street. I have read about an Israeli method known as something such as "kravmagda", which I am sure I have misspelled, but does anyone know much about this, and would it be something worthwhile? I am also hoping to take up fencing, mainly out of historical interest, but I suppose it would enhance dexterity in general.

KOG
June 27, 2000, 02:17 AM
I am not aware of any kata/forms in aikido and definitely not in Hapkido and it does in corporate sparring. They do do a lot of techniques that work okay when your oppononent is static, but it's a different story when the person resists. Some is useful and some you just look at and say, "the chances of that working out are slim", unless you've been training in it since you were 5.

As far as Krav maga, I personally wasn't impressed with it. It looks good, but the moves seem way to choreographed and reality just isn't going to happen that way. But, if you like it and it does something for you, than that's all that is important.

Like Skorzeny and others have said, I prefer arts with the contact: Kali, escrima, grappling, boxing, etc. You could look into finding a boxing gym and maybe taking a wrestling class at a local college if the martial arts schools are few and far between.

Danger Dave
June 27, 2000, 06:59 AM
Halo, most of the 20th century military hand-to-hand styles I've seen (Krav Maga, whatever our military teaches, etc.) are nothing but streamlined versions & combinations of random techniques from older Asian styles of fighting, usually Jujitsu related styles (possible exception of Russian Sambo). You'd learn the same thing in about the first 3-4 months at any comprehensive martial arts school. On a modern battlefield, skill with a rifle is more important than knowing 17 different ways to kick your opponent in the groin, so they only require a passing knowledge of a few hand-to-hand techniques - from what I've seen, most military hand-to-hand combat training teaches a few techniques, but the students really don't get enough practice time to learn them.

Skorzeny
June 27, 2000, 09:37 AM
KOG:

I was using the word "Kata" in its broad sense to mean pre-arranged series of attacks and defenses (rather than a series of codified techniques as in Kodokan Judo).

Aikido is exclusively practiced in such a fashion (I do this, then you do that...) unless you belong to a Tomiki Aikido Dojo (Tomiki was a student of both Kano and Ueshiba). However, most Tomiki Dojos are moving away from Randori (free-sparring) and Shiai (competition) nowadays. Tomiki Dojos are pretty rare to begin with, by the way, and are unlikely to be found in most parts of the US.

Hapkido is practiced the same way with joint locks. Its "free-sparring" is largely Tae Kwon Do in style and practice.

I agree with you fully that these stand-up joint-lock type systems are extremely difficult to execute against a resisting opponent, which is why I so strongly advocate Randori training. These systems do have some value, particularly for police officers (they are good for weapons retention - the one instance where an attacker willingly puts his wrist within your grasp).

Boxing and wrestling are all good components of a good self-defense system, but by themselves, they do have very signficant limitations. Also, the atmospheres of boxing and wrestling training are very intimidating to most folks.

Skorzeny

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For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the supreme excellence. Sun Tzu

KOG
June 27, 2000, 11:01 AM
Roger that Skorzeny and I agree. I was taking "kata" or forms as say, "pinan shodan" or something in which the practitioner does a whole set of moves solo. Both aikido and hapkido do indeed do their techniques as you describe, a sort of one-step sparring type of deal. Good in the beginning to learn the technique but you do need the randori/sparring to see how it works in real time and often it shows how much more the practitioner needs to practice.

Even though those styles can be good, when you see several cops struggle with a perp, it shows that it's not all that easy to use on someone sometimes. I think the boxing and the wrestling would be effective because they are simple, quick to learn without having to remember the fancy moves of wrist twisting, etc. I also agree that military hand-to-hand probably isn't emphasized as much since firearm and other training is more widely-used.

Spectre
June 27, 2000, 06:52 PM
I am personally partial to older Japanese battlefield (koryu bujutsu) styles. These will be harder to find, but if you are willing to invest a lot of time, are very rewarding. Some of the more common of these in the States will be the "x-kans" or "Takamatsuden" (Bujinkan, Jinenkan, Genbukan) . If you check out a teacher from one of these organizations, use the same careful approach you would any other unknown entity: there are very good and quite poor teachers both even in this (though, I know of no poor teachers in the Jinenkan (http://www.jinenkan.org/); then again, it has the fewest schools of the three). Do not train with anyone who proudly brags they were taught by or trained with Stephen Hayes. I have trained under Mr. Hayes, and I was most happy to move on when my initial contract expired.

Skorzeny
June 28, 2000, 10:11 AM
Spectre:

With all due respect, Koryu Bujutsu is not entirely appropriate for today's environment.

Fighting systems have to be examined in historical and geographical context. What may have been appropriate for an era with long swords, armor and horse may not in an era with firearms, lawyers and cars.

I am certainly NOT suggesting that Koryu Bujutsu systems lack merit. I am merely suggesting that they may not serve the person who first posted the question about self-defense, compared to, say, a modern, scientific way of training.

They sure do seem and sound cool, though... But I guess that is the case with all mythical/mystical things...

Skorzeny

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For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the supreme excellence. Sun Tzu

jetrecbn1
June 28, 2000, 12:18 PM
Skorenzy, I have taken some classes with Roy. He is great. He has received flak from other BJJ instructors(he was not certified). I have grappled some of his students and I think they are a bit under other Gracie schools(also depends on individuals), but if you talk about street fighting, I think they would be better prepared.

Glenn E. Meyer
June 28, 2000, 01:45 PM
This is way out of my expertise, so this is worth what you paid for it.

Several friends of mine who do serious martial arts say they have profited from the
Insights (Hamilton's bunch) unarmed classes.

I didn't do them as I had a rather broken wrist at the time. I did find their defensive knife class to be a worthwhile one.

Spectre
June 28, 2000, 03:09 PM
Skorzeny:

While you have always come across as a knowledgeable individual, I think we can happily agree to disagree. Personally, I notice a resurgence in armor, and the systems I speak of were at the cutting edge of firearms utility in their time. As well, some of these systems were used by Japanese policemen who were forced to use nonlethal means against members of higher social classes, so I feel it is fairly apparent they can be used in harmony with common sense in today's dynamic environment.

The real self-defense begins in the American legal system.

-Masaaki Hatsumi, soke, Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu

Skorzeny
June 28, 2000, 05:05 PM
jetrecbn1:

You lucky dog! I have been meaning to train with Roy Harris, but haven't had a chance. I am planning to be in San Diego in a few months and will most definitely try to get some private lessons with him. His website, IMHO, is the most balanced, informative and useful one for those who are interested in martial arts for self-defense.

Spectre:

I guess we will have to disagree, indeed! However, I would like you to consider why Koryu Bujutsu "went out of style."

In the first place, Bujutsu, as a whole, is not the most efficient, scientific method of learning martial arts. All of us really owe a debt to Kano Jigoro (founder of Kodokan Judo) for marrying the Western scientific principles and Eastern martial techniques and creating the first modern system of martial art.

Before Kano, Bujutsu (or what remained of it) was not trained in a systematic, scientific fashion based on an efficient curriculum, nor were they practiced in Randori.

I could go on, but I would bore everyone to death... In any case, please consider why Koryu Bujutsu went out of style (before the Age of Mass Media, obviously since movies and TV often affect what people study nowadays, rather than "effectiveness" per se).

Skorzeny

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For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the supreme excellence. Sun Tzu

Spectre
June 28, 2000, 09:42 PM
Skorzeny,

I'm rather surprised at this response from you, as I think it fairly obvious why koryu arts aren't as popular: folks spend less time on the battlefield, these days. Kobudo take time, sweat, and blood. It's easy with these ancient arts to understand how little we know, but how great we can become. These combine to reduce the attraction to the modern "instant gratification" dancersizers.

I think it beneath you to suggest most modern arts are scientific (and these ancient, experience-proven techniques not) at least, with a straight face.

Skorzeny
June 29, 2000, 03:30 PM
Koryu Bujutsu went out of style long before the arrival of "dancercizers" or any form of mass media, for that matter. Koryu Bujutsu, by definition, included sword fighting, spear fighting, archery, horsemanship, swimming and other Japanese medieval military arts. Empty-hand fighting in real traditional Bujutsu was limited to skills in keeping those weapons in battle (what we might call today "weapon-retention") and some basic defenses against similar weapons (spear, sword, and etc.) when one lost one's own weapons. Pre-eminent among the arts was swordmanship and defense against swords.

With Meiji Restoration, a modern military force and banning of sword-wearing, many of the Bujutsu systems went through a process of transition. Many of them began to concentrate more on empty-hand skills (since weapons were largely banned) to remain "current." Many systems of this period (such as what eventually became Daito-Ryu Aiki-Jujutsu and Aikido) demonstrate their origin in their techniques in that they are derived from defending against "traditional" attacks (overhead "chops" - sword, Bo attacks - spear, etc. etc.). These transitional systems were initially restricted to the members of particular clans, but some were taught to outsiders, largely for money. Lacking a coherent, scientific training curriculum, techniques were often taught at a price (meaning there was price per technique). Despite this, even the transitional systems like Kito-Ryu Jujutsu, Fusen-Ryu, Daito-ryu were all going out of favor by the middle of the 19th century (they did completely after 1947).

About this time (late 19th century), Kano Jigoro created the first modern martial art (or science, to be exact) in Kodokan Judo, by combining Western scientific principles with the techniques of the "transition" Bujutsu. For the first time, principles of leverage, balance-breaking (Kuzushi) and others based on physics were taught in a specific curriculum. Randori came into being. When Tokyo Police held the first contest (the Ultimate Fighting Champion of its day) to select the most ideal self-defense system for its officers, Judoka from Kodokan demolished the practitioners of every Jujutsu-Ryu that came to participate.

This event basically ended "Bujutsu" in many ways. They survived in obscure form by emphasizing the mythical and mystical elements of their systems. In today's America, it has become fashionable to say that one trains in an "ancient, lost fighting art, shrouded in mystery." But the reality is that true Koryu Bujutsu went out of style with Meiji Restoration. Transitional systems looking for a new role hung on for another fifty years or so, but was finally fogotten and faded into obscurity by the end of WWII.

Today, it is my opinion that those who seek to learn viable self-defense skills are better served by training in rational, scientific systems of fighting in firearms, knives, sticks and empty-hand skills rather than "ancient" systems with a touch of romantic aura. Koryu Bujutsu is a beautiful thing as a well-preserved Japanese blade is a beautiful thing, but in practicality, both are obsolete and have been for over a hundred years. Now, does that mean you cannot use Koryu Bujutsu for self-defense? No. I suppose it is about as viable as using a Kantana for self-defense. But there are better alternatives that produce much better results with corresponding less effort.

Remember Kano's maxim of Judo: Minimum Effort, Maximum Result.

If "art," "beauty" or "history" is what one is interested in, certainly Koryu Bujutsu is fantastic, but if self-defense is what one is looking for, then Kano's maxim applies.

Skorzeny

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For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the supreme excellence. Sun Tzu

[This message has been edited by Skorzeny (edited June 29, 2000).]

Spectre
June 29, 2000, 04:39 PM
Wow. I actually enjoyed reading your last post! Who are you, and what have you done with Skorzeny! ;)

I will readily agree that koryu bujutsu is not for everyone. However, I also am aware that there are practitioners of these arts that have accepted all challengers, and never been defeated, including the last two heads of the Kashima Shinryu (http://ksr.biomechanic.org/facts/). This seems to make debatable your suggestion that the arts in question are virtually useless. Now, Skorzeny, I know you know everything-but anyone else reading this may benefit or enjoy reading the following (http://ksr.facade.com/essays/07b-misu.html).

[This message has been edited by Spectre (edited June 29, 2000).]

Erik
June 29, 2000, 06:33 PM
If you know a decent Hapkido instructor, take him up on the training. It's a relativley versatile art, compared to many. You could do far worse.

Skorzeny
June 30, 2000, 08:58 AM
For unarmed self-defense, I recommend the following:

Striking: Western boxing, Muay Thai, Savate, Jeet Kune Do.

Trapping: Jeet Kune Do.

Grappling: Free-style or catch wrestling, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Kodokan Judo (caveat: not Olympic-oriented), shoot wrestling.

Weapon-defense: Filippino styles (Arnis, Escrima and Kali).

For example, boxing, Judo and Kali together OR Muay Thai, BJJ and Kali would be good combinations to study.

One should also train in weapons-oriented systems involving handguns, shotguns and rifles if possible.

Skorzeny

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For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the supreme excellence. Sun Tzu

KOG
June 30, 2000, 11:56 AM
The nice thing about Kali, providing you can find a good instructor, is that it's the parent art to arnis and escrima so if you learn kali, you get arnis and escrima. In addition, trapping, boxing, kick boxing are included in the panantukan portion of kali as well as other stuff. Grappling is there as well, though not to the extent of BJJ or judo as kali emphasizes bladed weapons; not the stuff you want to roll around on the ground with if you have a choice.

I also second the idea of training in all weapons; blades, sticks, and firearms. Perp isn't going to play fair, why should you? Get all the advantage as possible.

Skorzeny
June 30, 2000, 12:51 PM
Spectre:

First of all, I don't know everything, but I do consider myself to be something of an expert in the history of combative systems.

Secondly, as many systems (legitimiate or not) of fighting there are (and perhaps more), there are those who claimed that they have never been defeated.

Largely, it is a matter of 1) deception, 2) exaggeration and 3) lack of experience. Meaning, some blatantly lie about their losses, some exaggerate their accomplishments and claim "super duper ultimate warrior" status and some simply hadn't fought enough against skilled fighters in a wide variety of circumstances to know.

Heck, I could run my own Dojo, "invite everyone" to fight me and beat up my students and claim that I've never been defeated.

Mythically, it is said that Ueshiba Morihei never lost a fight, but even if it were true, that does not make Aikido a viable self-defense system.

It's really about time that some of us left the "shrouded mystery of the ancient arts buried on some Chinese monastery" world and face reality.

Skorzeny

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For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the supreme excellence. Sun Tzu