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Old May 9, 2000, 02:43 PM   #26
Danger Dave
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Umm, I think what George was referring to is the fact that he can't carry any kind of weapon at school. They've expelled kids for drawing pictures of weapons, I'd hate to think what they'd do to the kid that shows up with a staff.

Teaching him how to use it, I have no problem with. It's just that the odds are pretty high he wouldn't be allowed to have it with him when he needed it. Besides, I still think it's best to learn how to use the things you know you'll have with you (fists, feet, etc.) first. Like someone said to me, having a weapon doesn't make you a fighter, any more than having a tool kit makes you a mechanic.
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Old May 10, 2000, 02:20 AM   #27
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Sometimes in situations like that it's best to just take a beating without much resistance(given that the option of running is eliminated). If this kid retaliates with martial arts, those 5 thugs will just get meaner and more pissy and do god knows what. I've seen guys pummeled literally to black/blue cuz they tried doing spinkicks on some thugs. They get jumped from different directions and wake up in the hospital. I suggest this 14 yr old boy find some friends to walk home with and find a different route.
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Old May 10, 2000, 12:51 PM   #28
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Danger Dave: I wasn't talking about carrying it around in school, more for other occasions where there aren't so many people around or if he needed to get somewhere that he couldn't get to by choosing a safer route home. I obviously don't know the layout of his school, but often times they have multiple exits. While security tends to view this as a problem, having alternate escape routes always helps. So does blending into a crowd.

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

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

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

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Old May 10, 2000, 01:52 PM   #29
Danger Dave
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Simon, I'm not criticizing your answer, but what's he going to do with a weapon while he's in school? If anyone else (like the bullies) report him for having a weapon, his locker, his vehicle, and his person get searched. Minors have no legal protection from unreasonable searches and seizures. If discovered, he's outta there, thanks to the zero-tolerance policies.

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

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

[This message has been edited by Danger Dave (edited May 10, 2000).]
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Old May 10, 2000, 08:59 PM   #30
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Weapons are a no no in any school. I would have the young person walk with someone if possible.

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

"I learned a thing or two from Charlie,don't you know. You better stay away from Copperhead Road" Steve Earle
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Old May 11, 2000, 10:29 AM   #31
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Being a teen myself (I turn 19 this D-Day), I feel I should add something.

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

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

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

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

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

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

[This message has been edited by Kevlarman (edited May 11, 2000).]
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Old May 11, 2000, 04:56 PM   #32
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When (and if) I have children, the route I will follow will be something like this:

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

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

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

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

[This message has been edited by Spectre (edited May 13, 2000).]
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Old May 12, 2000, 10:16 PM   #33
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As a high school teacher I have a suggestion. Sounds like the kid is in 8th grade if he is now 14. Next year he has the chance to get some major help in high school. How about the kid take up a sport like wrestling? He would get in good shape and learn a fighting skill, while making friends that would help out in situations like this. After a couple of years in a sport like this few people would look to pick on him, and if they did he would definitely be in shape to run away. Sounds like a best of both world kind of thing to me. Now if someone would let this kid know that I've just planned out his life for him...
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Old May 13, 2000, 01:09 PM   #34
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Danger Dave, I understand completely. Obviously, I don't go around carrying a knife at school. However, there tend to be lots of pens at school and a somewhat fancy pen (being made out of metal is the important thing here) can make a decent stiletto. Obviously not the prefered course, but if excrement hits the air circulator and you can't get away it'll be better than nothing.

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

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

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

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

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

"If you're ever surrounded by a bear, a lion, and a lawyer with only two rounds, shoot the lawyer. Twice."
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Old May 26, 2000, 08:35 PM   #35
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The last thing that I think you should do is give a weapon to a minor, especially if he/she is not trained with it. If a knife is pulled in self defense, it can easily be turned on him/her and may be fatal. The best option I can see, other than a good self defense course, is those small but loud alarms that can be worn. If you are attacked, you can rip a cord from it and an ear piercing siren goes off to:
1) scare away attackers
2) call help
Old May 27, 2000, 09:00 PM   #36
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Perhaps another thought is to take back our schools. Get involved in the school board and PTA and local law; push for "bully control".

Be warned. This is a long term project.

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Old June 12, 2000, 07:20 AM   #37
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I am getting in on this one late, but that is because I am new to this forum. But not new to martial arts. So I will throw my .02 in none the less.

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

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

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

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

Open Mind, Closed Fist
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