View Full Version : different hand to hand disciplines?

December 15, 1998, 02:26 PM
I am new to this list, so pardon my ignorance.

Can someone give a list of different hand to hand disciplines and a short explanation of each.


Mike Mello
December 15, 1998, 11:42 PM
A very large and complex question. Is their anything in particular that you would like the forum to start from?? Asian, Western, modern, ancient, military, civilian. Maybe that will help us.

Rob Pincus
December 15, 1998, 11:58 PM
Mike's right, Ddunn.

There are entire websites/books/schools dedicated to each and every martial art and countless versions of many popular arts exist.

Anyone one of us might come up with a completely different list of even the "top 10" and very few people (I'm definitely not one of them)would be qualified to begin to try to attempt to answer your question as it is stated.

But, if you find such a complete list, please to post a link! ;)


December 16, 1998, 07:40 PM
Sorry, I thought I was asking a simple question.
I was thinking about learning a hand to hand discipline. The question is where to start.
I am a 27 year computer dude. I am looking for something to keep/get back in shape and if the need be defend myself. In the past, when diplomacy and philosophy was not going to work, I used feet (to run away) or my environment to keep my skin intact.

Some other points that may help you help me. I am a hunter/shooter (bow, pistol, and rifle). I am currently located in Columbus, OH. I have never sought a fight, but if one comes my way and I am just, I am unlikely to back down.

Yes, I want to be a warrior, philosopher, statesman.

Rob Pincus
December 16, 1998, 08:17 PM
WEll, that may be the best follow up on record around here!

Without knowing what is available inyour area, I would suggest that you find out. Maybe as simply as looking in the yellow pages and seeing what forms are being taught. ASk around, see what you hear. Then come back and use the TFL "search" to see if some of those arts are being discussed. Ask guys like Mike M. specific questions about specific arts and you are liekly to get some great answers.

Furthermore, since you are in columbus, I expect to meet you next June, as I am running a celebrity Shoot in Lucasville at that time and need all the particpants I can get! Get your shotgun ready. (and you might even head down to Anderson's sporting Clays for some practice.) ;)



Mike Mello
December 17, 1998, 04:48 AM
Great idea Rob! Ddun, checking the yellow pages is a great start, come back here and will all discuss the good and the bad. I do know of one Ohio group, but I wouldn't recommend them. If you want to talk to me directly, you can contact me through GSGI's web site at www.gsgi.org

I'm also sure there is someone in the forum, Hilton comes to mind, that may know of someone if I don't. We'll do our best to help you out!!!

December 17, 1998, 09:43 AM
"27 year-old computer dude", implies to me that you maybe geographically bound to a certain locale due to your career. If so, the conventional suggestion is to go through the entire phone book and start a list of all the martial arts places that you might like. Narrow down, prioritize the list, and visit every place. But don't stop there. Also be sure to ask everyone you know what other styles are out there and which do they think best fits your criterias.

While just about every style will "keep/get [you] back in shape", only a few is actually good enough for you to "defend [yourself]".

"I want to be a Warrior, Philosopher, statesman" is a noble goal. As painful as it is for me to say this, even fewer schools pursue this avenue.

Other helpful tidbits is to make sure you have a one-on-one chat with every teacher at some point and make sure that you actually like that teacher. If not, no matter how promising the style itself is, cross it off your list. Also, try to avoid long-term commitments. Three months minimum is probably enough to give you an idea of whether you want to spend the rest of your life training in this style or not. Finally, never be afraid to leave for any reason.

You are definitely asking the right question in the right place(s). Some of the people on here are the best in the business. (Oops. "Business" is a bad word. :))

December 17, 1998, 09:45 AM
On a separate note, are organizations such as GSGI (or anything else similar) willing to take students? I mean, for long-term commitments similar to other MA schools, or do they just offer seminars?

Mike Mello
December 17, 1998, 09:50 PM
Long term is tough SB. GSGI largely deals with the law enforcement and Spec Ops community. Ones who "must" because of their business callings, catch training classes when they can and taking what they learn back to their own agencys. We have and do teach civilian classes, again on the seminar format.

Any training is better than nothing. There are some groups out there that personally I would steer clear from. Anyone who has the "I've got X number of confirmed kills or I've trained this group or that group or I was 19 time world champion of Asia", are groups to stay clear from.

December 18, 1998, 06:12 PM

Everyone has to choose their priorities. I used to train at a school in Dayton- in fact, I moved from SC just to train at this school (this was not unusual for this school!). If you want to do some great training, I advise Shawn Havens. At some point in my life, I will probably move again just to train with this man.


December 21, 1998, 12:13 AM
You could also look into obtaining a book entitled "The Original Martial Arts Encyclopedia -Traditions-History-Pioneers"

Published by Pro Action Publishing.
Mine is copywrited 1993, perhaps it has been updated since. Alot of information in its 400+ pages, although it is not as good as getting information from an instructor or student concerning a style, it is a good resource.

December 31, 1998, 03:04 PM
Sorry this is soooo late.

For a good list of martial arts forms, check out:


January 9, 1999, 11:52 PM
hey, a fellow computer geek! I'm assuming that you were getting at reccomendations as to what style to begine training in. There is no simple answer to that. DO some research on your own and see what you come up with. IMHO, and I've trained off and on in different things (mostly Tae Kwon Do) for the last 10 years is that there is no one magic bullet style. The Gracie Style seems to be billed at the one ultimate form of fighting these days, I just can't agree with that. Learn as much as you can in as many styles as possible, kicking, punching, wrestling, grappling, joint locks, basic weapons, try to learn as much as you can and don't stick yourself to any one style.

old biker
January 15, 1999, 11:04 PM
Wonder if this is a fighting forum or dancing! Yer all dancing around the mans question. I lived in Colo Spgs for over twenty years, Tha's where the Olympic Training Center is for the US Judo team. I also hung out in several DoJos and compared the styles. Kumate, and after hours ego exercises between the different instructors separated the fighting arts from the Ballet Types. Carve this in stone gentlemen, Karate whether Korean or Japanese will never defeat Judo or Ju Jutsu. Period, anyone is invited to attempt to teach the Gracie Masters anyplace anytime. There has been a $10,000 check at their DoJo for a very lng time. The Gracie school leans more toword the grappling style, it does'nt mean they are not taught all the locks, throws, nerve centers to strike etc. I've been to many a party nite that the Karate guys got tossed on their backsides by the Judo team NO problem. Those pretty kicks and hand atm strikes are just a handle for a trained opponent to use as a hande to grab, twist and throw.



Mike Mello
January 16, 1999, 09:28 AM
Old biker,

You need to watch some of the latest no holds bar matches, such as the one where Maurice Smith (a kickboxer, karate guy) knocks out at first a Kodokan judo player from Japan, then an Olympic style wrestler. NO system is perfect. Which is a better round? 45 cal or 9mm. If it knocks the threat down and out,,,"it" was the better round. It still takes the individual to aim the weapon.

January 28, 1999, 05:11 AM
May I add that Maurice Smith trains at the Lion's Den with Ken Shamrock to learn grappling, and has spent time on the ground in the Gracie-style at other schools as well.
I say this not to argue, I love striking arts too, but it is only recently that the strikers like Maurice have started learning groundfighting to stay OFF the ground. Maurice has used his ground skills every time he gets caught...to get back up!
I believe in the high-impact arts, but I train heavily in Gracie Jiu Jitsu and have for years just in case I get taken down.
It is wise to learn both...


Mike Mello
January 28, 1999, 10:10 AM
Don't get me wrong Thad, I love the ground stuff (not to toot my horn, but I've had the pleasure of training with Royce, Rickson, Cleber Luciano, Fabiano Iha, Yuri Nakamura, Erik Paulson and others, its called being spoiled in California.) My point was that even grapplers can get their butts kicked. Sometimes its luck, sometimes its skill. Combat is a funny thing at times when Mr Murphy gets invovled.IMHO

January 28, 1999, 12:47 PM
If anyone is interested, do a search on an earlier post I did regarding the Gracies.

Their stuff can be defeated. No one, IMHO, has taken the $10,000 yet because of all of the things they won't let you do when you get down there. The deck is stacked. Full stop. End of story. Try to impose restrictions in a real fight sometime, and tell me how it goes, when the fight goes to the ground.

Don't misunderstand, they're good folks, and it's not a waste of time to study other disciplines, but a healthy dose of skepticism is always in order, including what I say.
If they're stuff works for you and gives you a big woody, so be it.

That's what impresses me about GSGI, is the absolute lack of nonsense sales hype. (while I'm doing a plug for GSGI, where IS that 1999 class schedule?)

And, while we're at it, why do we even use the term "no holds barred". It is an illegal "private" fight, and anything in the U.S. that I'm familiar with is NOT a true "no holds barred" match! A referee and restrictions? Gimme a break.

I saw a videotape from Asia once, and in a real "NHB" fight, it happens very, very fast and one person doesn't walk away. Ever. Frankly, I was surprised to see some folks that know better, misuse the term. We should all know how to fight vertically and horizontally.

Have I been misinformed?? (smile)

January 28, 1999, 06:58 PM
Yep, you guys are right. Real fighting is not like the UFC and I know of a black belt in Gracie who was recently defeated on the street. I will not go into details on a public forum, but it happened...on the ground, and it was one of the Gracie relatives. He took it to the ground, and he got royally trashed when his street smart opponent beat the living tar out of him with his fists after using a few "illegal" techniques. It was a real fight, (over a chick), not a match.

I too live in SoCal and have had the good fortune to train with many of the world's best. This is a great place to live if you want to train with the best and are willing to pay loads of cash do do it :(.
I use Gracie JJ as a piece of the puzzle, but I would never go into a fight looking to use it. It is just there as a backup in case things go down, and even then, it is not the only tool in the toolbox, it just gives me a feel for the ground.
My primary art is JKD Concepts under Paul Vunak and I much prefer the dirty and explosive tactics of that streetfighting art over tackling someone and trying to armbar them while I get a bottle over the head or a boot in the ribs from an onlooker, and rolling around in broken glass on asphalt.

We in JKD Concepts teach to use Brazlian Jiu-Jitsu so that you understand the ground and don't get taken out by a groundfighter. We learn it with the idea of understanding all ranges, and the ground is a very foreign place if one has never trained in that range.
It is like learning American Boxing for the street. Boxing is a sport with rules and if used alone can be defeated by simple street tactics. But, if you take Boxing and use the hand and footwork skills of it, coupled with some street savvy and some other arts to cover the shortcomings, your punching skills will be very effective in short order.
Much like Maurice Smith's tactics, one need to understand grappling before one can hope to break free from it and bring the grappler back into your preferred range. If you do not have any understanding of grappling, and a grappler gets hold of you, your odds diminish exponentially. This can be seen time and time again in the UFC's, up until nowadays when the strikers are smart enough to learn grappling as well. Now many of the strikers use their elementary skills in grappling to MAKE the grappler play the stiking game.
Just to note, I think we are all agreeing here and I am not arguing, I am just notoriously longwinded ;)

Never the less, UFC is a sport, with rules etc and long matches. They also outlaw all the things that are really effective when your life is on the line, and they specifically, form the beginning, outlawed the things that make it difficult to grapple...like biting. By now, through more and more rules, the UFC has outlawed just about all my favorite street tools, like the headbutt for one example of many. I would probably get trashed in a UFC fight because I could not do any of my favorite and well-honed techniques (did you know that Paul Vunak has come up with over 100 different biting techniques on the ground, and we train them vigorously? Things like that get ugly really fast).
As a bouncer of several years, I have seen a whole lotta streetfights so I feel that I have a good grasp of what goes on. Real street fights are quick and dirty if either one of the contestants is street experienced.
I have seen a couple of drunk idiots go at it and manage not to hurt each other in three minutes of flailing and rolling, but as I said, if either one of the contestants is street savvy, the fight is quick and nasty.


January 29, 1999, 01:54 AM
couple of questions/comments;

1- Thaddeus, what is JKD? so many acronyms,
so little time...

2- I seem to sense a thread in the above
posts; that the key point is to be
well-rounded in all aspects, rather than
a god at one. yes? no? if so, what are
the action items to work on? my uneducated
guess would be;
- ground fighting
- grappling
- "clinch fighting", i.e. knees & elbows
- conventional boxing
- kicks and sweeps
ordered by relative distance, I guess.

the followup question of course is,
what simple combination of arts will provide
basic coverage? I would guess, for instance,
that jiu jutsu + western boxing + kickboxing
would be broad enough and practical enough.

now THAT question ought to generate some
serious web traffic...

Mike Mello
January 29, 1999, 01:21 PM
Hey Thad,

How is Vu, haven't seen him since he moved out of Huntington Beach.

January 29, 1999, 06:18 PM
My humble opinion - I agree with your assessment. BJJ, boxing, and Thai kickboxing would give you broad, effective skills for unarmed combat, in a relatively short time. The kickboxing should cover enough western boxing, but they often overemphasize kicking techniques because they are required in competition to land eight kicks per round - looks cool, and keeps the boxers from competing. I'd start with the kickboxing, and work in some BJJ training, say once a week. If someone tells you their style is best, smile and agree with them, but cross training is the only way to go. Every style has some bad habit that can be exploited. Just pick one and start - it's all good. dk

January 29, 1999, 10:34 PM
Hey Mike, I haven't seen Vu in a while actually, but I try to train with Roy Harris and Tom Cruse every week, usually not acheiving that goal, but I see them a lot.

I agree that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for the ground, Boxing for the fists and footwork, and Muay Thai for the clinch, elbows and kicks is a good combo. All are sports which is good and bad. Sports are good because they require a lot of full contact usage and training, and what you learn, works! Sports lack a little, IMHO, though because they fail to train you in "non-sporting" (i.e. deadly/maiming) techniques. At least the parts you do learn really work though...

JKD is "Jeet Kune Do". There are a few different lineages of JKD, but I prefer the one that decends from Dan Inosanto to Paul Vunak which is called "Jeet Kune Do Concepts" and often called "Progressive Fighting Systems" because that is the company the Paul Vunak started. You can pick up tapes by Tom Cruse, Paul Vunak, Sharam Moosavi and Roy Harris from Panther productions to get a good feel for Jeet Kune Do Concepts.


February 1, 1999, 01:59 PM
Check out the SCARS system taught by Jerry Peterson. Very enlightening.....

February 3, 1999, 06:09 AM
I would like to comment on DK2 and thaddeus.
Having practised Daito- and Hokuto("FinnJutsu")ryu Ju Jutsu and Myau Thai and Kali. (Okay some JKD-Jun Fan gung Fu and Aihendo.) I feel that one would benefit from practising some armed art in addition to the mentioned excelent combination of Kick box/some form of combat wrestle. I'm not claiming that it needs to be Kali, or Pekiti Tirsia or any other S/SE-asian thang.
But my point is that it is usefull if for nothing else to learn respect towards blades even if U aren't going to carry them.
Knowing now what I know I feel that some of the more arcane Ju-jutsu counter blade techniques might be somewhat hazardous without aid of armor.
Moreover practising with weapons might clear to some the sad fact that most "self defence techniques" taught in sport forms arent mostlikely to work against persons that have knowledge in use of arms wether learned by fighting each other or by more formal training.
I allso noticed that my friend who had only one year experience in ju-jutsu but was national medalist in youth divisions in both boxing and olympic free wrestling, wiped the floor with me and most of my clubmates while freesparring.

That's my .02$ worth :)


November 11, 1999, 11:11 PM

<"I say this not to argue, I love striking arts too, but it is only recently that the strikers like Maurice have started learing groundfighting to stay OFF the ground">

Actualy, grappling has been heavily emphasized in Western combative boxing for several centuries.

To cite Price's 1867 American work on the subject(actualy, work started on this one in 7 years earlier, but got delayed, what with a Civil War erupting and all);

"Wrestling is another, and in fact a very important branch of science, and for scientific purposes consists of "Side-falls," "Back-falls," and "Cross-buttocks". The latter is most generaly in use, and is one of the most dangerous falls that can be given, and one from which splendid results oft-times follow. We shall commence with "Back-falls," and bring the other in rotation. We could cite numberless cases where men have been placed hors de combat by recieving the slightest possible fall. We seriously advocate its use wherever practicable."

And from Sir Thomas Parkyn's 1727 English work;

"(G) Boxing.

1. By all means have the first Blow with your Head or Fist at his Breast, rather than at his face; which is half the Battle, by reason it strikes the Wind out of his body.

2. If you have long Hair, soap it : The best Holds are the Pinnion with your Arms at his Shoulders, and your Head in his face, or get your right Arm under his Chin, and your Left behind his Neck, and let your Arms close his Neck strait, by holding each Elbow with the contrary Hand, and crush his Neck, your Fingers in his Eyes, and your right Hand under his Chin, and your left Hand under the hinder Part of his Head ; or twist his Head round by putting your Hand to the side of his Face, and the other behind his Head."

Scads of other refferences available upon request.

<"It is like learning American boxing for the street. Boxing is a sport with rules and if used alone can be defeated by simple street tactics">

Actualy, American boxing styles, much like their parent styles in England(see Parkyns above, again), are combat-oriented, and don't follow any "rules". Price again, discussing a technique known as "Fibbing";

"After securing his head in this position you may pound away upon it very pleasantly, with the other occasionaly changing.

It will be altogether needless to say that we are referring more particularly to your pleasure, than that which your opponent may enjoy during the operation; as singularly enough this affectionate fashion of bestowing your favors, seems scarcely so agreeable to the recipient as it may be to yourself. In spite of his dislike, this may however be persisted in, either in the Prize Ring, or in a personal "scrimmage," whenever you have an oportunity for paying him such a delicate attention. If handsomely done, it will by no means improve his beauty, as it is tolerably certain to impair his temper."

Or in regards to chancery;

"We are also informed that Bill had Sullivan in this position, which would undoubtedly have gained him the prize, had not Sullivan persuaded him to let go, saying he would give in; and then he knocked Bill down for his simplicity. This second method of catching a man was also a specialty of your humble servant."

I should note that Sullivan and Bill were both sportsmen, not primarily combat-oriented. Even sport boxing is traditionaly much rougher than the "soft" modern sport.

Oh, and in response to something on KnifeForums that came up a long while ago, but isn't worth bothering to subscribe to that forum to ammend, Western boxing actualy utilizes the vertical punch almost to the exclusion of the horizontal punch, as linear vertical punches are better suited to the penetrative strikes at key targets a boxer prefers-and has been doing that for a number of centuries. See Johanne Georg Paschen, 1659.

Too many people out there who don't know the difference between the traditional combative and the recent sporting styles. True boxing, that is the combative styles, is a complete and competent system of unarmed combat, and quite definately a match for anything coming out of the East, and I'll go so far as to thrown in Brazil, and what the hell, the rest of the world too. Many Eastern martial artists have a hard enough time as is with modern sport boxers. Maybe I need to get on one of those t.v. fighting programs everyone is always talking about to demonstrate.

Which isn't to say that just because you happen to study real boxing that you can automaticaly take on and defeat any practioner of any other style, as individual competency varies from person to person in every art. It's a start though.

Matt VDW
November 12, 1999, 08:19 AM
Did ddunn ever find a good place to train in Columbus, OH? I'm in Columbus, too, so I'd be interested to learn what's available locally.

November 12, 1999, 11:42 AM

You've asked the proper question - let me see if I can answer -
I'm not wedded to any particular style, and I'm not an expert by any means, but I've been pursuing this goal for about twenty years, since I first learned hand-to-hand in the Marines at 17. (God, has it been that long?) :(
All this is, of course, my opinion.
If you do not know how to fight, learn an art that will teach you to kick *ss and which will get you in shape - kick-boxing or savate or something like that - from a good instructor you respect. Also work at home on a bag learning how to hit and do pushups, situps and run - get strong and get some wind. (Of course, the best thing to do is join an elite military unit and spend three or four years doing NOTHING BUT training and fighting) ;)
You may never have to kick *ss - I never have - but it's great for your confidence. :)
After that - which might take anywhere from six months (if you train every day) to several years, learn something that lets you control a situation - joint locks, takedowns, and what I've used ALL THE TIME - grab releases. The best way NOT to get in a fight is to get the guy to LET GO and walk away. Judo, jujitsu, submission wrestling, aikido - that kind of thing.
At the same time, work on your mindset - which will mature (hopefully) as your skills and confidence develop - so that you can choose the correct response to the threat - walk away, run away, hold for law enforcement, or take out as quickly and brutally as possible. If you want to be a warrior, philosopher and statesman you have to be prepared to do ANY of the above.

Anyway, that's my 2 cents :)

[This message has been edited by Alex (edited November 12, 1999).]