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Old November 13, 2014, 08:08 AM   #1
baddarryl
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Getting Started in Self Defense?

Hi all. I have never been a fighter and have only been in a couple which was a long time ago! I am now 46, in reasonably good shape, but am not a large man and have a mild case of asthma. I have always felt a little vulnerable in public and really don't want a Zimmerman episode in my life. How does a guy like me get started in self defense that would really maximize street readiness and needs to stick with a fairly tight budget? Thanks.
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Old November 13, 2014, 11:50 AM   #2
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Some boxing clubs offer decent rates and training. ...and learning to get hit and keep going is important. Work out a trade with a martial artist or????
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Old November 13, 2014, 12:46 PM   #3
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It sounds like you want to learn defensive street fighting, both armed and unarmed.
Very different than most of the disciplines.
When you shop around for someone to teach you, make sure they understand what you want.
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Old November 13, 2014, 02:13 PM   #4
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<diffidence> you might want to look at http://nononsenseselfdefense.com/ -</diffidence>. There is a lot to read and much of what he says seems very realistic and reasonable to me.

He starts with the premise that someone who wishes to assault or harm you "wants" something from you - something tangible like money, or intangible like deference/respect. You can avoid some confrontations by diffusing - giving the "respect" - and others by being someone who nobody wants to mess with.

Apparently he taught or still teaches Martial Arts and is of the opinion that it is a sport, not something you use on the street. There is street fighting, but this guy seems more into getting the reader to recognize/analyze/understand the evolving confrontation and either avoid it or turn it to his advantage.

Please understand - I'm not any kind of expert at any of this, I'm an old man who enjoys going to the range and trying to put holes in paper where I want them. But I also have a sense of not being well-prepared for real conflict, so I read a bunch and do some pushups/chinups/etc. to try to stay limber.

Hang in there.
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Old November 13, 2014, 02:52 PM   #5
Dragline45
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Look into Krav Maga or something similar, it covers defensive and offensive techniques for real world situations you may find yourself in

As far as you not being a large man, technique can trump size, something I learned when I used to wrestle. With that said, strength is absolutely a benefit, and if you don't already you could look into some weight training. While I am only 5'8, I am very muscular and weigh in at a relatively lean 210lbs. Weight lifting in my opinion is one of the most rewarding endeavors not just for the physical benefits but for the mental as it is a total connection of mind and body.

All that aside, situational awareness may be the most useful thing you can practice.

Last edited by Dragline45; November 13, 2014 at 03:12 PM.
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Old November 14, 2014, 03:05 AM   #6
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Quote:
How does a guy like me get started in self defense that would really maximize street readiness and needs to stick with a fairly tight budget?
the sooner you get started the sooner youll get proficient because realize that whatever fighting style or martial art you take will take a long time of dedication to practicing to become proficient on the street. I would look at an art that includes grappling techniques....

Technique is more important than size or strength, if there is an opportunity in your area take a look at Aikido, requires no strength.
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Old November 14, 2014, 04:55 AM   #7
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As much as people (generally without formal martial arts training) like to bemoan it's effectiveness in "the street", it's really quite effective.
Weather you actually wind up using most of the techniques, formal martial arts does a very good job of teaching you body mechanics, and gets you comfortable with hitting, and getting hit.
I took karate through college, and a huge part of what we worked on was maintaining balance in a fight - and conversely getting your opponent off balance.
We certainly did throw some fancy kicks in there as well, but basic grappling skills and throwing good punches are pretty universal skills.

Also, unlike someone who professes to teach "street fighting", beginning karate (or whatever) classes are relatively easy to find, affordable, and are regulated enough that you have a pretty good idea of what you're going to get.
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Old November 14, 2014, 02:46 PM   #8
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The best martial arts training stresses tactical thinking. If you can avoid a confrontation by with alertness and common sense, that's the best way. Responding to an attack is somewhat like using the worn-down eraser on the end of a stubby pencil. If one hadn't have made the mistake in the first place, there would be no need to use the eraser.

Sooner or later, we'll make a mistake or be mighty unlucky. However, the first and most important component in a self-defense plan is the mindset.

You have considered your physical health, and you know you your mind and body doesn't work as well under stress because of your asthma. So keeping that treated and staying in as good as shape as possible is the next step. A good instructor will help you examine variables like that and work around them.
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Old November 18, 2014, 01:30 PM   #9
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I would start with a general Martial arts course to get to a BASIC learning level ( black belt) then move to a more advanced level of training. Tae kwon do is a good place to start building confidence. A myriad of styles claim to teach fighting skills, but few have the legacy of original fighting styles.
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Old November 19, 2014, 04:39 AM   #10
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Baddarryl, we all need something in between harsh language and firing a gun to get by in some situations. I too have considered getting some form of hand-to-hand skill. I haven't figured out just what would be best, but there has been a consistent theme here:
Quote:
Originally Posted by boondocker385
learning to get hit and keep going is important
Quote:
Originally Posted by dayman
and gets you comfortable with hitting, and getting hit
Quote:
Originally Posted by somerled
first and most important component in a self-defense plan is the mindset
So, are you okay with getting hit? Maybe suffering some damage? Personally, I don't know how I would react, because I have an inner-ear issue. I suspect that if I got slugged, I would be too off balance to effectively fight back, even though I am in good physical condition otherwise, at age 58.

Most any of the suggestions above would serve to educate you about how your body and mind will react to violence. Then, you'll know more about how to progress.

Finally,
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Tyson
Everybody has a plan... until they get punched in the nose.
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Old December 13, 2014, 05:57 PM   #11
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Krav Maga... and read those half a dozen books about the mentallity of violence written by Rory Miller.
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Old December 14, 2014, 12:04 AM   #12
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Aikido, or any of the Jiu-Jutsu styles come in rather handy.
Tai Chi, while considered an "Old Folk's Art" is rather deceptive...when applied properly.

They work Slow as well as Fast...so practice is effective in creating muscle memory.
Also have various levels of response, from simply restraining a BG, to arm/leg breaks, to Lethal response.

If you USE a martial art to save your life, DO NOT MENTION THE ART TO LEO's or DA's.
Best to have been trained in another city...the farther away the better
And dang sure don't mention what techniques you used...that's just asking for it.
All they need to know is that you were fighting for your life & doing the best you could.
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Old December 14, 2014, 12:14 AM   #13
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1) Start working out. Crossfit is good, but anything will work. Just start; tune the program later. Do at least 30 minutes every other day.

2) Any martial art is better than no martial art. Choose one that is very close to your home and attend frequently. Make sure the classes involve sparring. Boxing + grappling or Krav would be great.

3) Attend a sequence of weapons courses.

a) NRA Basic Pistol
b) Any two day "Level 1" defensive handgun course
c) Any two day "Level 2" defensive handgun course
d) SouthNarc's ECQC course which combines unarmed and armed defense. (www.shivworks.com)
e) Point Shooting Progressions with Roger Phillips (https://fightfocusedconcepts.wordpre...urse-schedule/)

This will give you a very well rounded skill set (assuming that the defensive handgun courses include night shooting sequences).

Add any two day defensive knifing course at any time.

You may want to add a carbine or shotgun course into the mix.

Last edited by tomrkba; December 14, 2014 at 12:26 AM.
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Old December 15, 2014, 09:38 PM   #14
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Getting started in self defense?

May I suggest looking into cane/stick fighting. You can carry a piece of hickory most anywhere, and with a little training, an older person can effectively defend himself.
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Old December 15, 2014, 10:32 PM   #15
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Quote:
Getting Started in Self Defense?
Yes Krav Maga is a good place to start.

Then I'd take some classes from such as SouthNarc or other reality based training companies.

A few weeks of self defense courses are not enough.

And if you are like me, join a marital arts dojo and work your way up.

Do it as a hobby/avocation and master the art.

You will find in order to become very good you have to live the art.

And if you live the art and practice it over the decades it becomes part of you (but it does take quite a while!)

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Old December 18, 2014, 02:54 PM   #16
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Personal story, YMMV.

I'm in my 70s and now almost six years post Coronary Artery Bypass graft (x3).

Shortly after my surgery, I and three (old and somewhat infirm) guys got together with a formerly active duty U.S. Marine who ran a local Mixed Martial Arts business and we took a bit over 40 hours of Krav Maga training.

It was a lot of fun.

The instructor taught the techniques very much as self defense and made a point of drawing a distinction between what we were learning and martial arts, which he described as a sport which he taught to his MMA students.

He did not believe that Krav was/is a sport and there were no prizes, scores, or belts awarded.

(I understand that there are some who now teach the methods as martial art or sport, but our instructor did not/would not agree).

I for one feel much more confident in myself now than I did before training and I feel I have a lot more options available to me other than my EDC.

It is a common belief among many students of Krav that the training produces a change in the trainee that is perceptible to potential predators and reduces the probability of being targeted.

That's an empirical question that, AFAIK, has yet to be answered.

I'm happy I've taken the training and I'm happy I continue to practice.

While I've never made contact with another person with a Krav Maga move, I do credit the training with giving me the confidence to face down a street criminal who was attacking my son without having to display my EDC. I was confident in my ability to have taken him down/out had it become necessary.

Go take some training and don't wait 'til you're as old as I am .

IMHO, self defense training will serve you better than martial arts.

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Old December 18, 2014, 11:45 PM   #17
teejhot.40cal
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Take a Martial art that you enjoy and that you will stick with. For me that is Brazilian Jiu jitsu. Had a chief in the coast guard get me into it and I love it. Its great exercise (yes being in shape is important in this) and a lot of fun. All of the martial arts tend to be. The fact is you can't take one class and have the muscle memory. You won't have time to say hold on let me think about this. Plus it might even help the asthma. A self defense class is great but when you think about it, you will forget a lot of the stuff they teach you plus it won't help you stay in shape like martial arts will.

Quote:
1) Start working out. Crossfit is good, but anything will work. Just start; tune the program later. Do at least 30 minutes every other day.
I am also a workout nut who does crossfit. Crossfit is not the best thing to start out unless you are in a crossfit gym with a crossfit instructor. A lot of people who are new to working out and try crossfit end up with an injury. They don't have a good base and think they can jump in and do it the way its done on tv or they have incredibly bad technique. You're honestly best to go to your local gym and get a trainer that understands how to build a good solid base. Just my 2 cents
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Old December 18, 2014, 11:57 PM   #18
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I would recomend looking for a good Do Jo in your area. Whatever martial art you choose, you will gain a degree of confidence with your ability.

With all the "political" correctness these days people do not know how to fight or to deal with a violent encounter. In my LE Academy class 23 years ago, there were some who NEVER been in a fight or got hit in the face! It was pretty funny during self defense (red man suits) the shock and indignation that was shown when the opponent hit them in the kisser or landed a good hard kick.

I still laugh to myself thinking about the reactions "hey, is kicking allowed.....hey you can't hit in the face!! People who have never gone hand to hand will assume the fetal position and die when the chips are on the line. Need to learn to dig deep and fight with every last breath until you either win or die....or you will die. That is what a real fight is like! To steal a phrase from another, the only "fair" fight is the one where your personal tactics SUCK!
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Old December 21, 2014, 03:15 PM   #19
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Quote:
1) Start working out. Crossfit is good, but anything will work. Just start; tune the program later. Do at least 30 minutes every other day.

2) Any martial art is better than no martial art. Choose one that is very close to your home and attend frequently. Make sure the classes involve sparring. Boxing + grappling or Krav would be great.

3) Attend a sequence of weapons courses.

a) NRA Basic Pistol
b) Any two day "Level 1" defensive handgun course
c) Any two day "Level 2" defensive handgun course
d) SouthNarc's ECQC course which combines unarmed and armed defense. (www.shivworks.com)
e) Point Shooting Progressions with Roger Phillips (https://fightfocusedconcepts.wordpre...urse-schedule/)

This will give you a very well rounded skill set (assuming that the defensive handgun courses include night shooting sequences).

Add any two day defensive knifing course at any time.

You may want to add a carbine or shotgun course into the mix.
I appreciate the mention.

I have been very busy since I resigned from Suarez International trying to get all of my past work back on the internet, since it was all deleted on my resignation. If anyone is interested in seeing where I am coming from, my blog does have nearly 50 of my articles, with plenty more to come.


https://fightfocusedconcepts.wordpress.com/
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Old December 28, 2014, 04:07 PM   #20
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In general, forget Tae Kwon Do or most oriental-style martial arts, i.e. "karate lessons." Their usefulness in a vicious street encounter is vastly overrated, thanks to Hollywood movies and "Walker Texas Ranger." Modern "karate" is about as useful on the street as reading tea leaves. It used to not be that way, but it is now.

BJJ is certainly more realistic and practical, but still requires a certain amount of size and strength to really be effective, as well as a LOT of practice, and it's worthless against multiple opponents. If you're a smaller than average guy and have had a few weeks of BJJ, and find yourself being viciously, savagely attacked by a 6 foot, 220 lb. brute, you're going down, maybe permanently.

I don't know anything about Krav Maga. Get on Youtube and check it out. I've heard some good things about it.

In ANY martial art - karate, BJJ, Krav Maga, whatever... 90% of what you get out of it comes from you, not the art itself. It's not like you're going to learn some "martial arts techniques" that will magically enable you to juggle thugs like dice in a cup. Um, no.

But to simply augment your defensive ability, think outside of this martial arts box. A good start is a good pepper spray, and there's probably nothing better than the Fox Labs 5.3 Cone Mist. I love this video of two bouncers trying it out:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kAkHPuBM8U

Learn to use it right... don't wave it around in front of you, where it can be dodged or knocked out of your hand. And DON'T put it on your key ring!

Another BIG thing that can help is old fashioned situational awareness. Be aware of what's going on around you, and adapt accordingly.

And, of course, practice and get training with your firearm. Good luck.
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Old December 28, 2014, 05:20 PM   #21
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The best way to learn martial arts on the cheap I have found is through college/university clubs. Many will allow people from outside the university to join to boost their numbers. Check your local schools out and see if they have any clubs you can join. I would look for a club taught by an adult, either a faculty or staff member at the school that is also a martial artist or outside volunteer teacher rather then a club with a college student doing th eteaching. Mainly because th estudent will eventually graduate and leave and the club will either dissolve or quality will suffer.

I have trained Aikido in universit clubs in two different countries with some incredible instructors.

I would worry less about what art to study until you find out what is available that fits your schedule and price range. Not every art is taught in every location. What I generally suggest to new people looking to learn for self defense is to find a school that allows you to practice what you learn against a resisting opponent that tries to stop you from doing th etechniques. Boxing, Wrestling, Judo, BJJ, Kyokushinkai Karate, and Muay Thai are all well known for this type of training and can get you to a decent level relatively quickly.

I love Aikido, but it takes a long time before you can use it to defend yourself, most especially if you have no other experience against a resisting opponent.
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Old December 29, 2014, 04:11 PM   #22
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After four black belts, two additional teaching certificates and lesser belts/ranks in about 6 other martial arts, I'll just offer this:

Go to a school where the students can do what you want to do; where they move like you want to move. There are only so many ways to hit and kick, so find a style/teacher/method that agrees with your ideas of what you want to do, and start learning it.

If you find holes in the system, find additional training to fill them. But eventually, your base training should be something you LIKE.

FWIW,

Larry
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Old December 29, 2014, 06:49 PM   #23
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Brand x martial art discussions are kind of like caliber wars. Anything you get hit with is going to hurt in the end. If your talking about martial arts training, observe some classes and have conversation with the instructors. Good training from a competent teacher will benefit you more than finding the "best style." Look for something affordable that will meet your needs. You mentioned already being fit - that's a really good start and more than most people bring to the table when they start this journey. Train two or three times a week and accept that you'll only be your best when you practice often. If your talking about firearms training,(some people distinguish between the two) good instruction and good equipment are a must.

With that out of the way - self defense encompases so much more than martial arts or firearm manipulation skills. Self defense is your mind, body, and spirit working together to create a perfection of self. It's getting to know yourself - your abilities, your limitations. So much of self defense is the development of your warrior spirit. Without a warrior spirit, or mindset, or whatever terminology floats your boat, physical skills are useless. In a nutshell, self defense begins inside your head.
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Old December 29, 2014, 08:50 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruark View Post
In general, forget Tae Kwon Do or most oriental-style martial arts, i.e. "karate lessons." Their usefulness in a vicious street encounter is vastly overrated, thanks to Hollywood movies and "Walker Texas Ranger." Modern "karate" is about as useful on the street as reading tea leaves. It used to not be that way, but it is now.

BJJ is certainly more realistic and practical, but still requires a certain amount of size and strength to really be effective, as well as a LOT of practice, and it's worthless against multiple opponents. If you're a smaller than average guy and have had a few weeks of BJJ, and find yourself being viciously, savagely attacked by a 6 foot, 220 lb. brute, you're going down, maybe permanently.

I don't know anything about Krav Maga. Get on Youtube and check it out. I've heard some good things about it.

In ANY martial art - karate, BJJ, Krav Maga, whatever... 90% of what you get out of it comes from you, not the art itself. It's not like you're going to learn some "martial arts techniques" that will magically enable you to juggle thugs like dice in a cup. Um, no.

But to simply augment your defensive ability, think outside of this martial arts box. A good start is a good pepper spray, and there's probably nothing better than the Fox Labs 5.3 Cone Mist. I love this video of two bouncers trying it out:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kAkHPuBM8U

Learn to use it right... don't wave it around in front of you, where it can be dodged or knocked out of your hand. And DON'T put it on your key ring!

Another BIG thing that can help is old fashioned situational awareness. Be aware of what's going on around you, and adapt accordingly.

And, of course, practice and get training with your firearm. Good luck.
If you plan in grappling yes tkd or karate is useless. If you're not there is definitely use for them. Literally to say they are useless for street fights is a wrong and ignorant opinion. A lot also depends on your instructor. Like someone said, it's like a caliber war. Just learn to effectively wield what you have.
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Old January 3, 2015, 11:15 AM   #25
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begining

Your going to get a lot of people give you differnt arts and methods. I have studied different arts and self defense and an instructor for 35 years. You want to fgo to a directory old days phone book. Look at what school are available (dont forget the Y). Go and check them out, intervjew the instructor. Ask about credentials where study and there main focus.
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