Best style of martial arts for self-defense?

Spinnor

Gold Member
2,091
292
For obvious reasons, boxing favors 1)
The women who started this post is not likely going to box her way out of trouble. In time her strengths could be her quickness, strength of her legs, quickness with her hands, but likely not much power behind them, and some street legal defensive weapons (including a gun if she wants to go that route).

Black_Cat_Self_Defense_Keychain__34833.1516146452.1280.1280.jpg


screen_shot_2016-12-13_at_3.16.01_pm_720.jpg


https://www.streetsmartforwomen.com/?fbclid=IwAR2aF5ALmwfTrgurZmH061FOWRjylcGMk93mXJKiVHcQ2mQl4IVrAbbec64
 

Attachments

28,438
4,781
Almost all fights in the absence of a weapon start out with one of them punching. This means that one must a) defend the attack, and b) neutralize the threat as fast as possible. Boxing is obviously advantageous in this situation
I completely disagree with this. I disagree with the blanket statement that "almost all" unarmed fights start with a punch and I also disagree that boxing is "obviously advantageous" in fights that do start with a punch. I have no good evidence that suggests that "almost all" fights start in a particular way, do you?

I would think that many fights start with open handed pushing or grabbing long before closed fists. And depending on how you define the start of a fight I would think that verbal or posturing may be considered the beginning of many fights. And to me it is not obviously advantageous to respond or defend in the same manner of an attack. Personally, when sparring against someone that I believed had boxing experience, I would never try to respond as a boxer would but rather go "below the belt" as quickly and frequently as possible where they are unused to defending themselves and unused to taking hits.
 
Last edited:

Demystifier

Science Advisor
Insights Author
2018 Award
10,364
3,193
The most efficient martial art techniques are those that are not allowed in sport competitions (such as UFC), simply because they are too dangerous. Some examples, which do not require a lot of skill and physical strength, are
- groin kick
- attacking the opponent's eyes with your fingers
- grabbing the opponent's hand fingers and breaking them by pulling in the right direction
 

HAYAO

Gold Member
300
137
I completely disagree with this. I disagree with the blanket statement that "almost all" unarmed fights start with a punch and I also disagree that boxing is "obviously advantageous" in fights that do start with a punch. I have no good evidence that suggests that "almost all" fights start in a particular way, do you?

I would think that many fights start with open handed pushing or grabbing long before closed fists. And depending on how you define the start of a fight I would think that verbal or posturing may be considered the beginning of many fights. And to me it is not obviously advantageous to respond or defend in the same manner of an attack. Personally, when sparring against someone that I believed had boxing experience, I would never try to respond as a boxer would but rather go "below the belt" as quickly and frequently as possible where they are unused to defending themselves and unused to taking hits.
Okay, we are probably arguing past each other. You are right, let's get into the definition of a fight starting.

My definition of a fight starting is when one is physically attacking in a way that can cause injuries. Why is this definition valid? Because as long as one of them are pushing you and/or verbally threatening you, you still have the option of talking things out and de-escalating the situation. However, once a physical potentially harmful attack is initiated, it is at this point that words or any attempt in de-escalating the situation is not a viable solution. Why? Because a punch is thrown once aggravated beyond one's control. This is a very basic behavior when one is mad beyond control. Even MMA fighters during staredowns that breaks out into a fight starts with one of them punching despite having tremendous amount of arsenal in terms of how effective they can attack the opponent. They don't kick. They don't attempt takedowns. They punch. Basically, your opponent is out of control at this point. Whatever you say is not going to make this guy chill. You are under attack.

At least in Japan, you are not allowed to defend yourself when the opponent does not physically injure you. Shoving and pushing, verbal threats are not considered an attack. A punch is. Unless the opponent has a weapon, you are not allowed to initiate your defense in Japan until you are physically attacked. Otherwise, it is considered a felony or at least an "over-defense".

Under this definition, with tremendous confidence, almost all fights begin with a punch. And yes, I have seen many fights in my life due to my upbringing and the place I was raised in. Even if you search through youtube videos, a fight almost always start with a punch. As a matter of fact, I have never seen a fight that doesn't. This is why boxing is the most effective because defense against a punch is the first likely thing you have to do. You can talk about all these offensive techniques but if you can't defend the initial attack, then it's pointless.

If you live in a country where you are allowed to defend yourself before the opponent physically attacks you, then obviously "below the belt" techniques work due to its nature. In that case you are right and perhaps I am talking about this purely from the given situation that I am in because I live in a county where that is not allowed (unless you are a woman, then you are allowed to do anything :-p).



The most efficient martial art techniques are those that are not allowed in sport competitions (such as UFC), simply because they are too dangerous. Some examples, which do not require a lot of skill and physical strength, are
- groin kick
- attacking the opponent's eyes with your fingers
- grabbing the opponent's hand fingers and breaking them by pulling in the right direction
Have you actually attempted this? Have you seen people attempting this in a fight? Because I have seen two fights where one of them attempted a groin attack, and eye-gouging, respectively, and both failed simply because it doesn't land on the right spot.

It usually doesn't work. If it does, you are just lucky. But relying on luck is not the best defense. Remember, what you have just described is indeed a "simple" technique, but a technique that is hard to do spar with because like you said, it is too dangerous to practice.

If you can't practice the technique, then the chance is that you will not be able to execute it effectively. The opponent is not a stationary target that cannot react to an attack. It is also a target that attacks you. A groin kick, is even worse of a technique because most kicks are telegraphed. A groin grab during grappling situation, however, is a viable option.


Attacking the eyes are equally difficult because eyes react faster than anything else. Once one sees something coming toward his/her eyes, the first thing they do is to flinch.

I have not seen a fight where one grabs the opponents fingers and break them by pulling them in the wrong direction. However, this is equally ineffective as it is quite easy to break free from a grab of fingers. What would you first do if one grabs your hands, forearm, fingers, etc? You pull it away, right?


To put this in another way, it's like shooting paper targets with your gun and think that you are actually combat capable. Yes, you get used to using the gun itself so you will improve. But in actual CQC situations, it is well established that those who practiced against actual human with airsoft guns are more capable soldiers, hence why several militaries employ them. Both of these drills needs to be performed to be effective. Just because you can hit the center of the targets that does not shoot back at you, does not necessarily make you a combat effective soldier because in reality, the opponents do shoot back at you.
 
28,438
4,781
My definition of a fight starting is when one is physically attacking in a way that can cause injuries
Both pushing and grabbing can cause injuries.

This is why boxing is the most effective because defense against a punch is the first likely thing you have to do.
Most martial arts teach defense against a punch. It is hardly an exclusive skill to boxing.
 
Last edited:

HAYAO

Gold Member
300
137
Both pushing and grabbing can cause injuries.
If you are talking about "can" then anything can cause injuries. But not many people will be arrested for misdemeanor or felony for grabbing or pushing people, while punching will probably do.

Most martial arts teach defense against a punch. It is hardly an exclusive skill to boxing.
You completely missed the point though. How much practice is actually done? How much sparring is done? How exclusively are you trained in defending against a punch or executing one? Do you think a kickboxer can win against a boxer in a street fights, where "actual" fighting mostly start out punching?

EDIT: Basically, if one goes to a self-defense academy and another to a boxing gym and train the same amount of time, the one who went to the boxing gym will have a completely different mindset and composure to difficult situation during real life situation. One who goes to self-defense academy will probably have to learn quite a lot of new things that require tremendous amount of time to be of any practical use, much less the mindset and composure that would also be very important in real life situation.
 
Last edited:
28,438
4,781
How exclusively are you trained in defending against a punch or executing one?
Exclusive training is not necessarily advantageous here. Certainly it is not obviously advantageous.

Even accepting your “all fights start with a punch” premise/definition, all that is needed is a threshold of training that allows a reasonable chance of functioning beyond the initial punch. Almost any martial art offers that so any boxer’s advantage up to that point is not obvious, and may be minimal. Beyond that point a boxer no longer has any obvious advantage and may in fact have disadvantages due to the exclusive training.

If you are talking about "can" then anything can cause injuries.
It was your definition, not mine. Seems like your definition doesn’t accomplish what you want.

My definition would be that a fight starts at the first physical contact with malicious intent. If there is no physical contact then it is just an argument and if there is no malicious intent then it would be something else like a sport or an accident.

But not many people will be arrested for misdemeanor or felony for grabbing or pushing people, while punching will probably do.
So are you changing your definition from “can cause injuries” to “will be arrested”?
 
Last edited:

morrobay

Gold Member
695
98

HAYAO

Gold Member
300
137
Exclusive training is not necessarily advantageous here. Certainly it is not obviously advantageous.

Even accepting your “all fights start with a punch” premise/definition all that is needed is a threshold of training that allows a reasonable chance of functioning beyond the initial punch. Almost any martial art offers that so any boxer’s advantage up to that point is not obvious, and may be minimal. Beyond that point a boxer no longer has any obvious advantage and may in fact have disadvantages due to the exclusive training.
From your argument, there's a high chance that you have not seen many "street fights", much less experienced one. That's a good thing of course. You shouldn't. But I am not saying this simply from speculation but from watching many other people fight, in real life, people of different ages, culture (US and Japan), those videos out there, and even myself although I was only involved in a fight once. I am definitely not saying this to glorify myself (I "lost" the fight anyway) and act like a tough guy, but just simply stating a well-backed perspective.



I. What martial arts can you get the best out of with the least amount of time?

The criteria should be: How much practical sparring can you get?

Bobman pointed out a very important thing in preparation for a self-defense: Reflexes, mental attitude, and adapting to what the other person is doing. I have seen tons of boxers, kickboxers, and MMA practitioners practicing with perfect fundamentals on mits and sandbags, but most of those fundamentals go out of the window for their first 10 to 20 sparring sessions. To be in a real-life situation is like that. If you don't have the mental attitude and aren't mentally prepared to defend, then whatever you learn is going to be useless. You need to spar a lot so that you get used to the situation, and thus can execute whatever you learned the way it is supposed to.


So what are some martial arts that don't waste too much time on techniques and let's you spar a lot?

Boxing, Brazilian Jujitsu, Judo/wrestling, sport Sambo, (and maybe I am missing some).

Everything you learn in boxing is practical in self-defense. Punches, ducking, footworks, fitness, etc. They are all useful in many ways. There are no wasted time in learning any of these. And yet they offer you great amount of sparring, where reflex and timing is developed, and also allowing you to also be mentally ready. Boxing is a popular sport and a well established and competitive one as well. There are plenty of boxing gyms out there, so for practical reasons, it is high up there on the list. Obviously, if the fight is prolonged, the fight may become a grappling match where boxing is neutralized. And yes, there are some cases where a fight starts in a grappling match. Fortunately, unless you are up against a very experienced grappler, the chance is that you know how to keep distance if you practice boxing, but of course there is never a 100% guarantee.

You might think BJJ has too many techniques. You are right. They do. But you are allowed to spar a lot even in the earlier stages where you haven't learned all of the sweeps and chokes and etc. In an actual fight, knowing only few submission techniques is more than enough actually. Rear-naked chokes and armbars are certainly good. Unfortunately, grappling-type martial arts are one of those where physical size differences directly affect your performance, more so than boxing. Also the premise is that the opponent or you take the fight to a grappling match, which usually happen in the latter stage of the fight when opponent realize that striking is ineffective. You be making a gamble to hope that the fight is going to start as a grappling match.

Judo/wrestling is also a good option. They also have variety of ways to take one down, but learning few of them and sparring can effectively get you what you need. Once they are down, you can do whatever you want (punch, armbar, stomp, whatever). Similar to BJJ, however, physical size difference and the situation where it is somewhat guaranteed that the fight is going to be a grappling match.

Sport sambo is like judo combined with locking submissions (no chokes though). So in a nutshell, it falls somewhere between BJJ and Judo/wrestling.


Why not Krav Maga, MMA, Combat Sambo, Muay Thai/kickboxing/karate, etc.?

All of these martial arts have significant learning curve, save for Muay Thai/kickboxing/karate. There are various situational techniques that are taught in these sport, so much that you will have to spend more time in actually learning them than in using them in spar. Also, some of the techniques are impractical and very rarely seen in an actual fight. Learning this is a waste of time for practical reasons. Muay Thai or kickboxing might sound similar to boxing, but kicks are quite useless in a fight as several people pointed out, unless you are very very well trained and the opponent is a complete novice. Kicks are more telegraphed, keeps you off balance, and no guarantee that it will be any effective compared to punches which tend to be more accurate. Taekwando is similarly useless for the same reason.


II. Boxing, BJJ, Judo/wrestling, sport Sambo. Which is the best?

This is where observing street fights become important.

Some attacks are in form of a surprise attack, which you have very little option and no matter what martial arts you practice, it is going to mean very little. Yes, Krav Maga teaches defense against surprise attacks, but a "surprise attack" is termed that way for a reason. If you are walking in the streets and someone grabs you, the chance is, you cannot figure out at the moment whether it is an attack or not. (It could just be your friend). You need some time to comprehend the situation before you can attempt any countermeasures. At that point, the opponent probably already finished the initial attack on you. So nothing will really work in this case in reality.

Majority of other attacks happen after an heated argument. When shoving and pushing and verbal threats comes, try to de-escalate the situation by talking it out or better, just run away. If it does not de-escalate, then what you should anticipate more than anything else is that a punch may come at any moment. Why a punch? Because that's what angry people do. They attempt to damage you the hardest way in the shortest amount of time possible. Some of the people on this thread claims that they would be calm and smart enough to engage in a more witty ways. Yes, it can happen but it rarely does. It is better if you prepare yourself for the most common form of attack than something not. You can train to be good at juggling soccer balls but what is the priority for that during a soccer match? Same thing.

The biggest priority at this point is not to get hurt. If you can run, run. If you can't, then anticipate the most common form of initial attack, a punch. So at this point, which is the best martial arts to practice to defend this? Well not BJJ nor Judo/wrestling nor sport sambo. Boxing, right? Boxing is a defense/offense combined sport. So you can come back with your own strikes. You also have mental readiness in taking the fight that will get physical because you spar a lot.

The worst situation is that you just take the first punch and you are knocked out, possibly permanently injured or death in the worst case. BJJ, Judo, Krav Maga, is meaningless here. But you may have better chance of survival if you used the time practicing boxing instead.


III. What's next? What if it doesn't work?

Usually, when one is overwhelmed with the striking ability of the other (if not knocked out), one does one of the three things: quit (just cover up until you are done, run away, or verbally submit), take you down, or attempt grabbing a weapon.

Grappling game do happen after attacker's first few attempts fails and yes, you sometimes do get caught. As an additional measures you may like to learn BJJ as a secondary option. Practice boxing first and get good at it first. Then consider also practicing BJJ.

If one grabs a weapon, then most of the martial arts mentioned here is more or less the same in terms of effectiveness.


If we have to learn BJJ and stuff anyway, then why not just learn MMA or Krav Maga or Combat Sambo from the beginning?

Because it is a jack of all trades master of none. You will need to spend years and years of practice and spars to be able to effectively deliver them in the real-life scenario. You can use the same amount of time mastering boxing and then BJJ than learn whole tons of extra that you might not be able to master. You look at the Krav Maga instruction videos with the instructors doing flashy moves to disable the opponents. I would like you to try mastering one of them and use it. The chance is, it takes tremendous amount of time even if you know what the opponent is going to come at you with. And that is just ONE situation-specific technique. How long will it take to master defending against a punch, which the punch is probably less telegraphed and faster with some element of surprise than the one shown in the video?



IV. Okay great! Boxing forever! Are we done?


No, one more thing. Boxing as the base for self-defense has its own intrinsic disadvantage as well. You can break your hands. This tend to happen for those with tremendous punching power, or those who have just started the sport. The former for obvious reasons, and the latter because the delivery of the punch tend to be not fully optimized that you hit with the wrong parts of your hands.


So why are you still recommending boxing?

Because there are too many other advantages than that. The mind game that it can play with your opponent once showing they discover that striking with you is totally futile, is also quite important. The confident look in you and the composure you gain from sparring often will discourage your opponent.


V. What if I am a women?

This is a tough question. To be honest, I don't know. I have not seen an actual situation in real life of a man attacking a woman...only on news and youtube and I can only judge based on that.

The above argument holds for a man vs man situation. Woman vs man situation tend to be much different from that and can be diverse. Man's intention to harm another man is usually simple: they want to steal something or something happened and is angry. However, when it comes to man's intention to harm another woman, the intention can vary. It could be to steal, it could be to molest, it could be to kidnap, it could be a heated conversion. The form of attack also varies.

Women tend to be justified more than men in defending themselves while taking the initiatives, and weapons are also justified more than the cases for men. In that case, you might want to stick with pepper sprays, electroshock weapons, and stuff like that than be physical. I don't know, but I would advise wrestling/judo or BJJ if you really want to learn martial arts. At least in Japan, man striking a woman is much less frequent than a man striking a man. If you don't really need to worry about punches (and kicks) then I say it is more practical to practice grappling instead.

The problem is that grappling tend to lead to bulkier build, which is not what all women wants. Aikido and Krav Maga is good, but it is way too situation-specific that mastering it to the level of practicality takes too much time.



So are you changing your definition from “can cause injuries” to “will be arrested”?
My definition stays.

Do you think it's complete nonsense that people pushing another is usually not considered a misdemeanor or felony whereas punching is. There is a reason why there is such difference. It was to make a point, not changing the definition like you have just unfairly did to me by playing around with my words in your favor and being nit-picky.

Everything is a "can". You can say to another person that they are stupid and the guy can just faint because of the shock, hit his head on a concrete and die. Sure, it "can" happen, right? Please don't blow it out of proportion to make other people's statement sound wrong. That's not a fair thing to do.
 
Last edited:
1,422
760
Everything you learn in boxing is practical in self-defense. ... Boxing as the base for self-defense has its own intrinsic disadvantage as well.
One of that is it won't defend really well against kicks. Yeah, I know it was already mentioned that:
kicks are quite useless in a fight as several people pointed out, unless you are very very well trained and the opponent is a complete novice.
That is right. But boxing is what makes one novice when it is about kicks. And actually, useless or not nine from ten will try kicking. Movies and such just carved it into everybody (and takes effort to remove the urge). The more experienced ones will keep it short and fast, but even so. There will be kicks. Kicks should be expected.
 
28,438
4,781
My definition stays.
Then a push or a grab is also the start of a fight since either can cause harm. Bringing in legal issues is irrelevant since the definition says nothing about legal issues. Pushes and grabs can cause harm so they apply according to your definition.

I do agree with your point about the importance of sparring. It is also important to spar against multiple opponents and to spar to escape.

Everything you learn in boxing is practical in self-defense
Not everything you learn in boxing is practical in self defense. You learn to not protect your lower body, to not seek escape, to not deal with multiple attackers, etc. Boxing is primarily a sport.
 
1,422
760
It is also important to spar against multiple opponents
Also, variety of opponents. Most places you can practice has this kind of shortcoming: you get opponents only with a specific style. In self defense no such thing can be expected. Style can be anything from a traditional school down to the most unreasonable barrage of kicks, punches and bashes; nail and teeth.
Once I've seen an instructor taking the floor from a stealthy shopping bag o0)
 
11
0
So which style of martial arts is best for self-defense?
It's an old thread but since I see it's been bumped I'll throw my 2 cents in, hopefully it will useful to someone.

Getting away from the situation - and staying away from stupid situations - is the best but if you're cornered one of the things you have to have in your arsenal is the willingness to react viciously, and having some training. There's a story going around recently about a Brazilian female MMA fighter named Polyana Viana who beat the stew out of a guy who tried to mug her. A quick web search on her name will bring up endless stories about it - she really messed this guy up. But she also has a lot of practice and conditioning.

Depending on the laws where you are firearms are one option, but you need to become facile with them and also be aware of the legal ramifications. I have a CCW, I also carry insurance, lots and lots of stories of lowlifes who are shot in the commission of a crime who themselves or their families come back and sue the person who shot them - doesn't matter if they were in your house attacking you, which happened to one of the instructors of my CCW class. There's a saying - better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6.

Are you prepared to hurt someone badly, even kill them? Are you prepared to shoot someone? Do you know *when* you're justified in shooting someone? Are you familiar with the laws related to firearms where you are, where you can and can't have one?

Are you prepared to gouge out their eyes, bite out their windpipe or carotid artery? Are you going to fold the first time you get hit? A lot of women have a passive mentality which doesn't serve them well in such a situation. Also being aware that street fighting isn't like the movies - it's fast, chaotic and messy. What I'd look at are methods that have their roots in the realities of real-world fighting.

I like the philosophy behind this woman's method that's tailored for women. She has a number of videos on Youtube.

http://www.dr-ruthless.com/
 

HAYAO

Gold Member
300
137
One of that is it won't defend really well against kicks...But boxing is what makes one novice when it is about kicks. And actually, useless or not nine from ten will try kicking. Movies and such just carved it into everybody (and takes effort to remove the urge). The more experienced ones will keep it short and fast, but even so. There will be kicks. Kicks should be expected.
Yes of course, I am in no way denying that there will be any kicks.

I have seen well over 30 fights in real life and I remember that around 90% start out with a punch. I only remember about 2 or 3 fights that started out with leg kicks. Maybe about 20 to 30% of the fights do include kicks in the entire fight. Kicks to the head tend to happen when the opponent is in a stance where intelligent defense is less likely (e.g. floored opponents trying to get up, which requires you to place at least one hand on the ground). Otherwise, most tend to go for leg kicks. There are more specific breakdowns of these fights like when and how a kick is delivered in a fight, but I think I'll stop here about specific details.

Let me talk about a story. So I first started boxing when I entered college, and later joined a MMA club few months year later. There were two other new guys, one with some kickboxing background, and one with black belt in kata-centered karate. The trainer told us that we should "mass-spar" boxing (don't know the English translation) to see how well we can perform. Because in a "mass-spar" you usually pull the punches and strikes before it lands so that you will not damage the opponent, we only wore gloves. Given that I had no kickboxing experience, it was supposed to be a boxing match. I was first paired with the kickboxer and that went out okay. But when I was paired with the karate guy, he didn't quite understand the instructions and what "mass-spar" meant and went full out on his punches and kicks. At that moment, I thought I was the one who misunderstood the instructions. I am a pretty small guy 5'4" and 115 pounds and this guy was 60 pounds heavier and around 5 inches taller. This guy tried kicking my legs, body, and head without shin protectors. But guess what, none (literally) of those kicks were effective on me. As a matter of fact, after three or four of the kicks I received, I was able to counter his leg kicks with my cross. At the time, trainer was called and distracted and was not watching. So the fight went on for about 1 or 2 minutes, and when the trainer realized that we were having a kickboxing match, he stopped us.

So what is the lesson here? An effective kicks are those that land perfectly. That guy is a karate blackbelt, physically much larger, no protections on the legs, and I was a complete novice in kickboxing at the time and wasn't even expecting a kickboxing all-out spar. You actually need to experience sparring a lot in order to perfect kicking techniques to make it effective.

Now, provided that most street fights do not include kicks, and much more punching and maybe grappling, what is the point of training for defending kicks? If you are a boxer who had enough time sparring, you are calm enough to expect any attacks and you automatically keep enough distance. Most street fights don't last more than 2 minutes unless it goes to the ground. Leg kicks are not going to be any effective at all in such short amount of time, especially if one is not well trained.

Since I have never taken videos of street fighting, I can only find youtube videos. I chose this video in particular NOT to show how boxers in street fight will perform, but to show you how kicks from untrained individuals in most street fights look like:

Does the kicks look, in anyway, effective or worth defending? Do you think the boxer is truly hurt because of that kick he just took? Let me break it down for you.

First, the kicker's clothing is far from suitable to throw a kick, which is true in many situation. Second, the opposite leg is not torqued to give enough room for the technique, reducing power. Third, the body remains straight against the opponent, further reducing the power. Fourth, the kicker is not defending his head with the opposite hand. Fifth, the boxer's punch land almost simultaneously as the kick lands, and the difference in the speed is apparent.

This is exactly what I have observed from the fights that I have seen in my life. The precision of kicks are significantly lower than the precision of punches. Defending against kicks can come later as a option, but you should knock on boxing gym's door first and train and spar well, and then go to a kickboxing gym.


Then a push or a grab is also the start of a fight since either can cause harm. Bringing in legal issues is irrelevant since the definition says nothing about legal issues. Pushes and grabs can cause harm so they apply according to your definition.
Well, the entire back-and-forth conversation between you and me about this point is more like you just trying to nit-pick a loophole in a definition. I would like to hear your definition so that I can nit-pick that for you and tell me if you would like it. I can do it, but it's not constructive. At this point, it would be obvious that any definition I give is going to be nit-picked and blown out of proportion because you cannot actually get to the point.

As an analogy, this is what you are doing:
Me "Don't say anything that can hurt other people's feeling"
You "So you are saying that I should never talk to you?"
Me "Why would you say that?"
You "Because any word 'can' hurt other people, inadvertently or not. Even the words I have just said. Maybe some of the words I have said might trigger your traumatic past if you have one."
Me "That's not what I meant. And the likelihood that I do have that trauma is low."
You "Then your first statement is poorly stated."

Do you often do this kind of conversation? I think not because I think you are a fair and understanding person elsewhere. So that means for now you are just trying to nit-pick what other people say to your favor.


I do agree with your point about the importance of sparring. It is also important to spar against multiple opponents
I agree with this. I would add that you should master 1 vs 1 sparring before you try anything else, though. I'll show you why.

1 vs many fights can be approached in two different ways:
A) Make it a 1vs1 then 1vs1 then 1vs1 then..., or B) Deal with multiple at the same time.

Needless to say, A) is the smarter approach than B). If you have extensively sparred 1 vs 1 and mastered it to a certain degree, then what you learned here can almost directly be applied in 1 vs many. Even in Krav Maga, many of the techniques of 1 vs many is essentially two step technique of breaking free and dealing them one by one, ideally. This is A).

The question then becomes, whether you can deal 1vs1 effectively in a short amount of time. So it is better learning 1 vs 1 and mastering it first than trying anything else.

But in any case, dealing with multiple opponents is extremely difficult no matter what you practice. The degrees of freedom in such case is completely chaotic and unpredictable that what you learn and "spar" against multiple opponents probably takes literally years to be effective.

Here's a video of how chaotic 2 vs 6 street fight is. I am not using this video to show that this is how boxer vs random people will play out. I am using this video because it best explains the chaos of dealing of group fights. In particular, you should see how much movements of each of these guys makes throughout the video.

There are some throwing around and kneeing in several parts of this video, and you can ask yourself how effective it looks. The guy being attacked isn't even looking that way and yet they are still ineffective. It is that difficult to land knees and difficult to get a hold on someone that is moving. This is how chaotic a street fight is.

Now, tell me if you think you can perform well in this chaotic situation. The answer is almost no, and if you think sparring against multiple opponents for a year can help you, then you have not experienced sparring neither. Spar would take you much more than an year before you are ready for multiple opponents. Instead, use that time to focus and master 1 vs 1 first.


and to spar to escape
I would like you to elaborate on this. Do you mean escape as in running away?

If you had to fight in the first place, then the chance is you didn't have the option of running away, anyway. If you can run away during a fight, then the you probably had the chance to do so in the first place. So sparring to escape effectively means that certain threats have been neutralized to give you enough time and space to escape.

Not everything you learn in boxing is practical in self defense. You learn to not protect your lower body, to not seek escape, to not deal with multiple attackers, etc. Boxing is primarily a sport.
There are a lot of false premises you have not mentioned here to make this moot argument. As for protecting your lower body aggravated people tend to target upper body more than lower body, particularly the head (see my reply to Rive about this). Everything you have just mentioned here applies to any other martial arts and self-defense academy, and not just boxing. Just because one practice a rule based sport does not mean they will follow the rules in self-defense scenario. Once you even start talking about "spar", more or less, it is a sport. Some self-defense academy teaches you eye gouge and how to execute it, but do you think you can perform that in spar? No, they won't let you. There is a rule here already.
 
Last edited:
1,422
760
what is the point of training for defending kicks?
The very basic of 'defending against kicks' is about the appropriate stance and balance. But with this you not only has reduced risk to get grounded, it has a general effect. Boxing, as a sport has this kind of blind spot and without learning some basics in this regard just with sparring (against opponents of the same style, mostly) this is hard to fix.

Maybe about 20 to 30% of the fights do include kicks in the entire fight... most tend to go for leg kicks
With this you just said that one out of three fight will come with a risk for the balance of an unprepared boxer.
Honestly, I think this ratio would be more close to 50%, but anyway.

So while I do respect most you have said here since it is quite collected and useful, for those who wants to start with boxing I would just suggest some basic lessons about kicks.
Also, I'm a bit suspicious if boxing has anything worthy to say about falling down.
 
Last edited:

HAYAO

Gold Member
300
137
The very basic of 'defending against kicks' is about the appropriate stance and balance. But with this you not only has reduced risk to get grounded, it has a general effect. Boxing, as a sport has this kind of blind spot and without learning some basics in this regard just with sparring (against opponents of the same style, mostly) this is hard to fix.

With this you just said that one out of three fight will come with a risk for the balance of an unprepared boxer.
Honestly, I think this ratio would be more close to 50%, but anyway.
I won't try to argue with your statistics because I do not know how many real fights you have observed.

Are you experienced in boxing? Have you ever fought a boxer? Did you see the video? Was the boxer off balance after receiving the kick? A trained boxers have tremendous balance. Sure, maybe not as much as kickboxing and wrestling, but boxing is just about balance as much as anything else. Without good balance you can't even throw a cross properly.

If you are not convinced, look at this video from 2:50
Tell me, do you think the boxer expected the leg kicks? Was the boxer ever off balance from the leg kicks? No. Not at any point.
Basically, this is what happens when untrained individual tries to kick with a boxer. It's completely ineffective. It is actually the guy that kicked that is off balance!


So while I do respect most you have said here since it is quite collected and useful, for those who wants to start with boxing I would just suggest some basic lessons about kicks.
Also, I'm a bit suspicious if boxing has anything worthy to say about falling down.
I respect your concern too, and it's valid.

The point here, like I said in this post (which you might have missed because it was long), is to practice boxing first and get good at it. Then you can start adding other things. Don't try to be jack of all trades. Be specialized at one thing, and then move on to another. It's about the priorities.
 
1,422
760
If you are not convinced, look at this video
Be specialized at one thing, and then move on to another.
These videos are about professionals, and I'm quire sure that they already has experience about fighting against various styles. The topic is supposed to give useful advice to beginners and individuals who aim only for not being completely helpless and nothing further: with only a limited amount of investment.
 

HAYAO

Gold Member
300
137
These videos are about professionals, and I'm quire sure that they already has experience about fighting against various styles. The topic is supposed to give useful advice to beginners and individuals who aim only for not being completely helpless and nothing further: with only a limited amount of investment.
Various styles as in boxer fighting a kickboxer? I highly doubt that. Most probably don't.

Yes, with limited amount of investment (and time), boxing is the first priority. It provides you good balance, good coordination, sparring(!), stronger strikes, footworks, FITNESS(!), and therefore true defense and offense. Kicking and BJJ and others can come later. Boxing provides you most of what you need in the least amount of time with the least amount of investment. If an enthusiastic beginners can train intensively and properly for three months in a boxing gym, one probably have enough skill set and experience to turn pro (in Japan you need to go to a boxing pro-test in order to become a pro). The test consists of two 2 minute rounds of sparring against another applicant to see your skills and whether you are eligible to turn pro. One would be scared of the term "intensively" as they may think they need to practice all day. Not really. 2.5 to 3 hours of practice everyday and a jog/running in the morning for 4 - 6 miles is adequate.

(EDIT: No, I am not saying you should intensively train like this. I'm just trying to convey the idea of how long and how intense of a training leads to how much ability in return. Also, you are right. Boxing gyms are not always that inexpensive. I don't know how much it cost you over there in the US, but it costs somewhere around $100 / month in Japan. If you don't want to pay that much...well good luck.)

There are some police department providing free self-defense courses like once a month or something. Unfortunately, I don't like the way people go there and think that they are now ready to defend themselves for several reasons. They are rarely told to be physically fit. This is also a big problem. They mostly advertise that you can learn to defend yourself without having to have to go through intense training. Wrong, unfortunately. Being fit is extremely important part of being able to defend yourself, and the false advertisements sometimes prevent that. You would be wasting time and also get a false sense of security.


But you are right. Let's not talk about professionals. I want to know what you think about the effectiveness of the kicks in this video, though.
It doesn't seem effective at all. Granted, we don't know if the boxer here is an amateur or pro. But even I, being trained in boxing club for just half an year was fully balanced against a karate blackbelt's kick who was 60 pounds heavier and 5 inches taller in my first ever (accidental) kickboxing spar. And I didn't even know how to check kicks back then.

You should be fine. You can certainly learn kick defense or grappling. I am no way denying that. I am just saying that the priority is not necessarily high.
 
1,422
760
I want to know what you think about the effectiveness of the kicks in this video, though.
Hopeless. Those guys are not even on guard as they walk forward, and their opponent is going for their chin without any hesitation or delay. That's what preparedness/sparring makes.
I don't think this kind of absolute disparity could make a good example.

Regarding this video what worth mentioning is that successful self-defense training results in breaking down that false confidence what the first two who got knocked out had and build up that kind of response (but without the aggressive intent to fight) what the 'winner' had.

I am just saying that the priority is not necessarily high.
Ps.: it is always said that shortcomings should be just patched, not turned around. That much effort is just not worth it.
 

HAYAO

Gold Member
300
137
Hopeless. Those guys are not even on guard as they walk forward, and their opponent is going for their chin without any hesitation or delay. That's what preparedness/sparring makes.
I don't think this kind of absolute disparity could make a good example.

Regarding this video what worth mentioning is that successful self-defense training results in breaking down that false confidence what the first two who got knocked out had and build up that kind of response (but without the aggressive intent to fight) what the 'winner' had.
That is why I said on the post above that the videos were not selected to show you how a boxer would perform against opponents. The videos were provided to show you how ineffective kicks are in reality, especially when the opponent is not trained.

Look, for the third time, I was not trained that much in boxing (because I was not that serious back then) when a karate-blackbet made a surprise full-out attack with his kicks and punches, and it wasn't effective nor did I lose balance; he lost balance when I countered. And I am like a midget from his perspective, and I am not particularly athletic neither.
 
28,438
4,781
I would like to hear your definition so that I can nit-pick that for you and tell me if you would like it.
I already gave it.
My definition would be that a fight starts at the first physical contact with malicious intent.
At this point, it would be obvious that any definition I give is going to be nit-picked and blown out of proportion because you cannot actually get to the point.
Here is the point, and I made this point after your first post. I disagree with your use of superlatives in your description. That “almost all” fights start with a punch and that boxing has an “obvious advantage”. If you had said “many” fights start with a punch then I would have no objection. If you had said boxing was “useful” then I would have no objection. But you way overstated your case.

You feel like you are being nit picked because you are sticking to an absurd position. In support of your absurd position on almost all fights starting with a punch you are attempting to define the start of a fight as the first punch. But you realize that simply defining it that way would be circular so you are trying to avoid the appearance of circularity by making a definition that you intend to be interpreted circularly but isn’t blatantly circular. You are getting frustrated because I am not cooperating with the ruse.

I agree that many fights start with a punch, especially between two males who have typical modern cultural upbringing in what constitutes manly conflict. I don’t think that most fights between two females nor between a male and a female begin that way. I am less clear on how fights between more than two combatants start. But I think that the categorical assertation that “almost all” start with a punch is wrong and I think that your attempt to make it a tautology is flawed.

But let’s accept your intended definition, so that only a punch is considered something that can cause harm. Now, consider this scenario: your personal favorite female (mother, wife, daughter, etc) is walking and is grabbed by an assailant who restrains her and takes her to a nearby secluded spot and proceeds to disrobe her. At this point everything has been done firmly but not in a way to cause any harm to her. Now, she gets an arm free and punches her assailant.

Are you comfortable telling your mother, wife, or daughter that she is the one who started the fight? I am not. A malicious grab or a push, to me, can be every bit as threatening and dangerous as a punch, perhaps more so. But by your definition she started the fight.

I think your definition is a bad one, and I think your “almost all” assertion that it was intended to support is also bad.
 
Last edited:

Evo

Mentor
22,874
2,349
This is nothing more than a personal argument, Hayao, if you wish to argue, take it to personal conversation, it is not a forum thread discussion. Closed.
 

Related Threads for: Best style of martial arts for self-defense?

  • Last Post
6
Replies
144
Views
15K
  • Last Post
Replies
15
Views
3K
  • Last Post
3
Replies
67
Views
15K
Replies
12
Views
10K
  • Last Post
3
Replies
74
Views
11K
Replies
13
Views
2K
Replies
1
Views
340
Replies
19
Views
3K

Hot Threads

Top