View Full Version : Practical street fighting courses

February 14, 2006, 09:50 PM
I'm looking to go the LE route as my career choice (I still have 3 years to wait before I could join, though). I was just wondering if anyone could recommend a good form of hand to hand training. I'm not really looking for a traditional karate type thing, but more of something based on practical experiences on the street.


matthew temkin
February 14, 2006, 10:17 PM
Start here.
The only currently widely taught system which is similar to this is Krav Maga.

February 15, 2006, 02:11 AM
You aren't going to learn to fight or defend yourself in a real attack/fight from any book or course. Your best bet is to commit yourself to training under the most realistic conditions you can. The most realistic training, short of going out to the bars and getting into fights, is in martial arts that have a HEAVY emphasis in realistic training against resisting opponents. No choreographed dancing and katas that you find in many traditional MA's. Nothing will put your technique to the test like a resisting opponent. The school needs to emphasize street defense and tactics.

I have found the best combination of styles to be Brazilian jiu jitsu/submission grappling for ground work and muay thai for stand up and clinch work. You have to incorporate all ranges and be comfortable both standing, in the clinch and on the ground. MMA/NHB training offers the best of all worlds but you must ensure that you're mindful of, or training for, the differences between fighting in MMA and a street fight where there are no rules.

If you are looking for a school there are plenty of directories online and it is easy to find feedback regarding schools and systems if you know where to look.

Good luck.

Blackwater OPS
February 15, 2006, 02:23 AM
Ju jitsu is OK, its was I was trained to use in the army, and it works well for some things, I have also trained in karate, boxing and wrestling, and Krav Maga. Krav Maga is the only thing I would reccomend, as it teaches effective practical martial art skill in a short period of time with RW applicability.

February 15, 2006, 02:40 AM
Krav Maga can be good for learning some useful skills within a shorter period of time. However, as with any martial art, this is HIGHLY instructor-dependent. I think the KM community has gotten watered down with it's growing popularity. Check your teacher's credentials. There are people out there that attend a seminar, get there certificate and start teaching as "official" KM instructors. Beware the seminar warriors.

February 15, 2006, 03:23 AM
Thai Kickboxing is usually fairly street-oriented, from what I've seen of it. But much of that depends on the instructor. I took Kenpo Karate up until I started college, and had the good fortune to have a very good instructor. He was ex-army, and had little to no interest in teaching the more sporting oriented forms. I could see the same material I learned being taught by a different man and leaving a student with no idea of how to actually fight.

I liked the taste of Brazilian Ju-Jitsu I had from him, but to me it seemed a very one-on-one art, limiting your attention to one opponent.

The instructor is every bit as important as the actual art.

February 15, 2006, 03:36 AM
BJJ can be very one-on-one if you limit your training as such. It is VERY important to differentiate between sport BJJ and self defense. IMHO there is no better art for groundfighting. BUT you must be mindful of your surroundings and get off the ground ASAP when you are in a hostile environment with potential hostiles willing to take boot shots at your head. BJJ provides very good training for dealing with an adversary on the ground but you cannot be content to stay there and show off. Train like you're gonna fight.

February 15, 2006, 07:15 AM
3 years?
so your what 18? why dont you join the USMC and go 5811 Military Police? you can get experience and be ahead of all the other guys when you get to the academy.
and trust me, youll learn to fight.

February 15, 2006, 08:12 AM
It's been mentioned before but Krav Maga is what you're looking for. I've been taking it for a little while now and I highly recommend it. Very practical. Consequently, allot of FED and State LEO's are being trained in Krav. I'll agree with soonerBJJ, it's instructor dependent, just like anything else. I recommend sticking with Krav Maga Worldwide (aka, National Training Center). If you go to www.kravmaga.com you can check for affliated schools in your area. Best of luck.

February 15, 2006, 08:45 AM
If you are going to train (serious training) for hand to hand combat, thinking you'll use it on the the PD, you might be surprised. I wasn't trained to go head to head with suspects on the street. Far too many real bad asses out there. Bigger, stronger and tougher. You'll be trained to subdue (attorneys like that better) and stop the aggression quick. Speaking of quick, it will happen quick. Instincts will kick-in. The perp isn't going to let you get him in a wrist hold or arm lock. He's charging, swinging, spitting or biting. In my day we carried, and used, a Kel-lite flashlight and wooden night stick. Don't get engrossed in all this combat fighting/hold techniques. It's great for UFC fighting. But, police officers begin with far too many restrictions and liabilites. FWIW: I saw many fighters calmed by simply, talking. Man to man. Verbal communication is more important in police work than any combat training.

February 15, 2006, 09:34 AM
9mm1033 is correct about what you will be facing as LE but it is still good to train a fighting art so you will have more of your bases covered. Also let's not forget that training is fun and the conditioning is good for your health. Being able to win (or survive) a streetfight is only 1 of the many benefits.

February 15, 2006, 09:41 AM
+1 for Krav. It's very easy to learn/remember and apply in my opinion.

February 15, 2006, 03:36 PM
Any real martial art will be of good use in street situations. By real, I mean NOT sport martial arts (like judo, aikido, tai chi, etc. Includes most karate and tae kwon do training). Haven't had any experience with Krav Maga, but I trained in karate for 17 years, then competed in full contact karate for 2 years, and it is a world apart from the stuff taught at the local Y.
Most LEOs are not fighters, they are trained observers who ocasionally have to go get someone. It's not TV-Land out there. If you want real action, go ahead and join the USMC, US Army or USAF and get some real training.

February 15, 2006, 04:07 PM
i've said it before, western boxing and wrestling combo. substitute as you wish i.e. muay thai for boxing or judo/bjj for wrestling, but if you want to kick ass you need a grappling base and a striking art both of which emphasize contact. you can get real boxing lessons for a third of bjj lessons, and a lot of towns have wrestling clubs. my area has true bjj for $80/month with around 6 classes/week. judo club is $15/month. shady part of town boxing instruction $25/month. some highschools let people wrestle with their team members for practice. just STAY AWAY FROM TAE KWON DO or any other mcdojo that babysits kids after school.

February 15, 2006, 04:07 PM
Several - Southern Praying Mantis, Wing Chun, Jeet Kune Do, Kali, Silat, Aikijujutsu, Chin Na, Judo, etc....look around for something that interests you and stick with it.

February 15, 2006, 04:38 PM
Krav and Brazilian Judo are the two I would look into. So your 18 and you want to be a cop. I hate to burst your bubble but if your a white male with no military background, you will have an UPHILL battle. In 3 years you are going to have a lot of vets from Iraq looking for jobs. Even if you Ace the entrance test, you will have a boatload of vets that will get extra points for being in the service.

Things that will help you get in.

1) Language skills..If you can speak another language that is a definate plus

2) Clean, Clean , Clean record. The teen years are the hardest times to stay on the straight and narrow, but try and don't associate with anyone involved in drugs or other criminal activity.

3) MILITARY. Tough decision since we are at war, but like someone else said it too, if you can get MP duty it will help a lot. There are supposely 2 year enlistment options in the military now, you could check that out.

4) Get into and stay in shape...real simple there are standards in running, weight lifting, etc for most departments, find out what they are and get fit enough to pass, and stay that way.

5) Some departments REQUIRE that you have a college degree. Make sure your the department your interested in does or does not require a degree. If it does not, don't waste you time going to college unless you are already interested in going. Most police department will actually pay for classes once your in. A CRIMINAL JUSTICE Degree does not give you any special treatment in Law enforcement over any other Degree (trust me I know this from experience). If your interested in a Fed position and they require a college Degree, Minor in CJ and major in something useful. Also a bonus would be to do ROTC while in college, so you get a degree and military in one shot..but it will be a long haul.

Hope this helps and good luck.

Capt. Charlie
February 15, 2006, 05:16 PM
Even if you Ace the entrance test, you will have a boatload of vets that will get extra points for being in the service.
Unless things have changed a lot over the last decade, veteran's preference doesn't give that big of an edge. A combat veteran will get 10 points added to his written test scores, while those that didn't see combat get 5 points.

It can make a difference during the oral interviews, but it usually doesn't. Depends on the interviewer, but there are usually specific guidelines on interviews that focus more on things like integrity, temperament, decision making under stress, etc.

It's been my experience that veterans usually make better officers. Generally, they're more mature, possess more self discipline, and have a better understanding of command structure. Right now, there's a nationwide shortage of LEO's that I don't think is going to be filled within the next 4 or 5 years.

Bo Hunter
February 16, 2006, 11:31 AM
A combat veteran will get 10 points added to his written test scores, while those that didn't see combat get 5 points.

75 = 85? Seems like quite an advantage to me....

Capt. Charlie
February 16, 2006, 01:04 PM
75 = 85? Seems like quite an advantage to me....
It would be, if the written exam was the only part of the selection process. When gaged overall, its significance shrinks somewhat. The written exam score may only be 40% of the overall score, which is based on other things like the oral interview, medical, psych, physical agility, polygraph, etc.

But, in all fairness to OneInTheChamber, we need to bring this one back on topic :) .

February 16, 2006, 02:24 PM
I have found the best combination of styles to be Brazilian jiu jitsu/submission grappling for ground work and muay thai for stand up and clinch work.

It's a good combination. http://ohanama.com I recently began my training there and it certainly seems like a good mix of three proven combat effective styles.

Don't discount more elaborate Chinese styles of kung fu such as Wing Tsung, Hung Gar, or even Tai Chi. Believe it or not chen taijiquan can be combat effective. The deficiency is that it's heavily based on muscle memory and requires decades of training to master and use for self defense when not combined with another form. Tae Kwon Do is not very combat effective against other martial artists but against an untrained fighter it does give one a slight advantage (assuming the training given was proper and not overly formulaic).

Even Capoeira can be combat effective (though it must be remembered that it's as much a game and a dance as it is a fighting system) when performed properly. Again, it requires a lot of training to pull off effectively and thus styles like Krav Maga and Muay Thai are more effective in the short term. It should also be noted that finding a good Krav Maga instructor can be difficult. Like many of the "American Karate" Bullshido/McDojos that came about in the 70s and 80s, there are some Krav Maga instructors who are basically American servicemen or other contractors that spent a little time with real students of the art while in Israel and then come back claiming to be masters.

A good martial arts school is gauged by peer review. Observe classes and training, ask for a free class to get familiar with their instruction style but try to get opinions from others in the area. When looking into Ohana I called around to other schools in the area and to local tournament organizers (and even gave the Gracie school in Hawaii a quick ring) to gather opinions.

The most important thing to remember is that there is no such thing as a "best" style of martial arts. Different styles work better for different people and there is no fighter anywhere in the world that can defeat any other man on the planet at any given time.

[/two cents]

February 16, 2006, 03:07 PM
Capt Charlie trust me I was in this guys position in the early 90's, I chose to go to college and get a Criminal Justice degree over going into the military. When I graduated a lot of guys were coming back from the 1st Gulf war and it was tough. Most LE written exams are kind of easy (to weed out the stupid), so if you ace it you got a 100, but combat vets got 110s, it is hard to compete with that. I totally agree with you that Vets make good cops. Most of my LE friends are Gulf War vets. It is just these wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are creating a lot of guys that can put "combat vet" on their resume.

February 16, 2006, 07:48 PM
But, in all fairness to OneInTheChamber, we need to bring this one back on topic .

Thanks, but keep on going about that combat vet vs. college grad thing. It's very educating for me.

I figured they valued a college degree a lot because they (LAPD) start you off on a payscale that is about 4-5K more a year.

Thanks for all the great info guys. I think I'm going to look further into Krav.