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Self Defense is Not a Sport
 
 
Greg Newton Greg Newton is offline
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02-25-2012, 09:33 PM
 
In Sport you have RULES. On the street you have chaos and violence. Martial Arts training can be beneficial for exercise, health, and building self confidence, but more often than not, the techniques you learn have little real world applicability in a self-defense situation.

For example, John and I both studied Korean martial arts when we were young men and both of us had beautiful, focused kicks. As I aged and as the wear and tear on my sacrum, hips and knees accumulated, all those years of learning and mastering the various flying and spinning kicks were wasted as those skills were not available to me anymore.

John's reality check came when he met John McSweeney. McSweeney told John his kicking was excellent. Then McSweeney got up on John and said, "O.K., you are in a phone booth. What good are those kicks now?"

You can pick out similar flaws in any martial art or martial sport, running the gamut from MMA to Aikido. The rules and the things you did in practice to protect your opponent could get you killed on the street.

My Kajukenbo Sifu had a different way of doing things however. There was nothing fair about combat. You fight to win and you take every advantage. He even taught us this for sport. If you saw your sparring opponent favoring an injured area, ATTACK IT, take advantage of it and show no mercy.

Sifu was one of the strongest men I've ever met. Six foot tall, black and Blackfoot Indian, he was built more like a Somoan, with large bones and flexible muscles. He built his strength like we advocate here with hundreds of reps of pushups, squat hops, and leg raises.

I don't advocate this, but he was fond of taking on challengers who wandered into his school wanting to grapple or spar. Most times he would toy with them. On rare occasions he'd come across someone who was bigger and stronger, who also had enough training to make them dangerous.

In those cases fairplay definitely went out the window. He'd strike the testicles or the throat, something that would take them by surprise, and then after a throw or takedown, would choke them out. A simple formula, but it worked on some awfully big and strong guys.

Sifu was skilled enough and badass enough to do what he did. For the rest of us, we need to apply the same principle, but not necessarily the same order of technique. First off, you have to have the mindset of becoming totaly ruthless if you are attacked. Your attacker is not playing by the rules, so why are you?

Second, what are your weapons of opportunity? This isn't about being Bruce Lee. This is about getting out alive. If it takes smashing a bottle, a chair, or a set of keys into someone's face to distract them long enough for you to get away, then so be it. Always look for those weapons of opportunity.

Third, once you are committed to act, don't pussyfoot around. Do what you have to do and get away. This isn't dueling or playground fighting. If someone attacks you, it is life or death. Commit your action and be ready to follow through.

Fourth, never go strength against strength. If one technique doesn't disable or distract, move to another target.

Always remember, self defense is not a game when your life is on the line.

Greg Newton
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Last edited by Greg Newton; 02-25-2012 at 09:39 PM.
 
 
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sairasd sairasd is offline
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03-02-2012, 04:39 PM
 
Greg, I really like this post. Like we say at my workplace, use of force is NOT a 50/50 proposition. Avoid the violence if possible, make space, and deploy your tools as necessary to neutralize the threat. Once you do act, it is 180 percent...with no hesitation. There is a lot at stake here, and a lot of good advice to be found in your post. Thank you!

Dave
 
 
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firefox firefox is offline
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03-30-2012, 03:03 PM
 
A couple of weeks ago there was a post with a link to a video of John McSweeney demonstrating self-defense moves;and,in the last part of the video he demostrated the Tiger Moves. I saved it in My Favorites,intending to use it for future reference.When I tried to open it the other day,it didn't work. Would someone please post that link again - I don't remember who did initially. Thanks.
 
 
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tom tom is offline
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03-31-2012, 01:04 AM
 
Everyone's definition may be slightly different, depending on age, ability, and last action movie viewed, but my definition is, "if you can run away from it, it's not self defense - it's dueling."
 
 
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Greg Newton Greg Newton is offline
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04-01-2012, 08:59 AM
 
Firefox, you can search YouTube for the video. We took it down because the guy who posted it was a long term troll and we removed all his posts under that identity.

Greg
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Shep Shep is offline
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04-04-2012, 06:13 AM
 
I was just discussing this very topic with a friend of mine. I completely agree with what you have said Greg and as a 5 foot tall women I can't agree enough about it. I have friends who do Karate and they want to take on the world and often view me as weak for my stance on avoidance. I simply nod in agreement, but there is a darker side to it. Fact is I have trained that the best way to fight is to do as much damage as possible in the fewest strikes and then get away, and the damage I mean is either life changing or fatal. Never underestimate the person attacking you, even if it is a women, their intention is sinister enough said. So it is best for both to avoid a fighting.
 
 
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sully2rgj sully2rgj is offline
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04-05-2012, 09:36 AM
 
Greg I do agree in part with what you have said apart from the high kicks part. Obviously they are
suicidal to use in a real life situation but I still think they are benificial to practise as they teach BALANCE and help promote throwing attacks from all angles.
 
 
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Greg Newton Greg Newton is offline
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04-05-2012, 11:22 AM
 
Hi Sully,

I am not negative towards kicking, so much as you have to look at opportunity costs. It requires a lot time daily to stretch and practice high kicking. For pure self-defense, there are a lot of other things you could be practicing for the time and effort spent.

Too, as you age into your forties, fifties and beyond, practicing high and spinning kicks creates a lot of wear and tear on the hips, lower back and knees. You are better off working low to midsection kicking if self-defense is your plan.

However, if you enjoy kicking as part of sport or as part of art, and I certainly did when I was younger, go for it. It is a lot of fun.

Greg
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sully2rgj sully2rgj is offline
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04-05-2012, 11:52 AM
 
Hey Greg

True say. I remember reading a long time ago that kicks were originally only intended for below the waist for the very reason that they would be ridiculous to do head level. I think the high kick thing come from films and competition fighting etc..
However the beauty of self-defence is that it's the simple things that work best. Some people try to get all technical about it but what it all boils down to at the end of the day is hit your assailant first and hard with whatever is available. You only get one chance to get it right in most cases.


Sully
 
 
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MikeNY MikeNY is offline
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04-11-2012, 03:32 PM
 
In New York the Boxing Gyms use to teach what could be called Dirty Boxing, Self Defense Boxing or even Modern Bare Knuckle Boxing in the 1960s, it was quite effective. They also taught Savate in some Gyms. MMAs use Boxing for the hands, it is concidered faster then Karate or Kung fu, Bruce Lee abandoned traditional Kung fu for a style that included Boxing and Savate, since it was more effective.


 
 
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