The Martial Arts Thread

AsenRG

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I find it curious how we're always talking about military when it comes to martial arts. Meanwhile, the actual techniques the military uses are almost always going to qualify as "excessive force" for a civilian.

Of course, if it ever comes down to a situation where such levels of force would be appropriate, you'd wish you'd focused more on those. But that's exceedingly unlikely.

Furthermore, the military, possibly excluding spies, has to train personnel to win. Their death might be more acceptable than retreat... and they're going to have weapons. At least their rifles, if they're out of bullets, and those make a far superior club than the shin kick.
But to a civilian, retreat is the preferable option. If anyone is attacking you in your house, come on, there are weapons everywhere in a modern house:smile:!

And then...."if it's unarmed 1 on 1" is a funny assumption, too. Because the really bad guys out there would laugh at us if they were reading this forum. If it involves them, it's not going to be unarmed.
Well, except on your side, if it depends on them:evil:.

As a guy with a turbulent past says on his site, in his old neighbourhood unarmed violence was for beating "people you don't consider a threat" (including "disciplining" women and children). Anyone that was a threat got the full treatment. And that included numbers, surprise, and weapons (and whatever other factors you can get on your side). Preferably as many of those as you can muster at once.

So yes, you can consider me to be training in unarmed applications for fun. The real application, to me, is either weapon-based, aims to let me deploy a weapon, or is immediately disabling. Whether this comes via a shot to the liver, a throw to the ground, or whatever, or me grabbing the nearest object...well, that's of secondary importance.
 

Voros

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...possibly excluding spies, has to train personnel to win. Their death might be more acceptable than retreat...
Reminds me of Melville's great film about the French Resistance (based on his RL experience) which was expressly unheroic, Army of Shadows. There, if one was going to be captured by the Nazis it was better that you die before they took you into custody as breaking under torture, as you inevitably would, endangered your colleagues.
 
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AsenRG

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Reminds me of Melville's great film about the French Resistance (based on his RL experience) which was expressly unheroic, Army of Shadows. There, if one was going to be captured by the Nazis it was better that you die before they took you into custody as breaking under torture, as you inevitsbly would, endangered your colleagues.
Hence "possibly" in my post. And I'm sure than in other circumstances spies might have to win, no matter the cost to them or the enemy:smile:.
But you'd note that even for the spies in that movie evading is by far preferable to fighting to the death, just as it is the case with civilians:wink:.

In short, different kinds of violence require different solutions to training and even, I know that's heresy, different curriculums.
 

Stevethulhu

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Hence "possibly" in my post. And I'm sure than in other circumstances spies might have to win, no matter the cost to them or the enemy:smile:.
But you'd note that even for the spies in that movie evading is by far preferable to fighting to the death, just as it is the case with civilians:wink:.

In short, different kinds of violence require different solutions to training and even, I know that's heresy, different curriculums.
Training for a fight is a different beast entirely from training for self defense. When I'm doing a self defense course and the instructor is showing how to escape a grab by breaking fingers, that's not appropriate for a cage match. Just as going to ground and pound isn't appropriate for a bar fight against multiple opponents.
 

AsenRG

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Yeah, there was a very fun video with Marines facing UFC fighters. Without weapons, the Marines would have lost, no doubt...but that's exceedingly unlikely for them.


Reminds me of a Russian joke:
"In order to get into unarmed combat with the enemy, the soldier must:
1) Fucking lose on the battlefield the assault rifle, handgun, knife, his belt, his spade, the bulletproof armour, and his helmet.
2) Find a smooth surface without a single stone or stick.
3) Find on said surface a kindred spirit from the other armed forces, who has also managed to lose the same amount of items.
Then he can begin unarmed combat with that guy."
 

Stevethulhu

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Yeah, there was a very fun video with Marines facing UFC fighters. Without weapons, the Marines would have lost, no doubt...but that's exceedingly unlikely for them.


Reminds me of a Russian joke:
"In order to get into unarmed combat with the enemy, the soldier must:
1) Fucking lose on the battlefield the assault rifle, handgun, knife, his belt, his spade, the bulletproof armour, and his helmet.
2) Find a smooth surface without a single stone or stick.
3) Find on said surface a kindred spirit from the other armed forces, who has also managed to lose the same amount of items.
Then he can begin unarmed combat with that guy."
Man, the comments thread under that video is hilarious. People really believe that MMA is the holy grail, the undefeated champion of all combat. Especially when there's no rules.
 

BedrockBrendan

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Man, the comments thread under that video is hilarious. People really believe that MMA is the holy grail, the undefeated champion of all combat. Especially when there's no rules.
I think hubris can affect all people invested in martial arts. The key is to not dismiss something that might be useful, and to not assume because something works or doesn't work in one context it won't work in another. But I will say, MMA definitely have a lot you can gain from. I remember when I was doing TMA and at one particular place where they did one step sparring drills (basically self defense moves against a partner). I didn't see how ineffective many of those moves were until I tried them in an MMA gym against someone fully resisting and using things like BJJ. I think the key ingredient though is an actively resisting opponent. I would definitely say, MMA does deserve a lot of the respect it gets because it really can teach you what it is like to face a resisting foe where both striking and grappling are permitted.

I feel like martial arts has gone through a kind of thesis (traditional ma), antithesis (MMA) in the past few decades and now we are at a point where people are more ready for synthesis. Ten years ago the biases and emotions still felt too high. Now it feels like people are mellowing out a bit.

That said, I think it is very foolish to think that just because you've essentially prepared for a fist fight with MMA (which it is good practice for), that you can handle any situation because there are just too many variables. An MMA fighter is used to going up against people in their own weight class, and even if you are sparring against classmates who are outside your weightless, they generally will go lighter on you if you are smaller. I trained for many many years in martial arts, doing a lot of full contact sparring. I am only 5'7" and when I was training regularly I was 146 pounds to 155 pounds (now I am about 130; and at my heaviest I was 190). I wouldn't want to have to defend myself, even if the fight were just limited to fists and kicks, against some random opponent in the real world because all it would take is for the person to be two weight classes above me for any skill I have to become not very effective. And even if the person is exactly my size, less skilled, or smaller, you never know what the outcome will be. And in real life, people carry knives, guns. Even if you beat them, they could come back with a group of friends (I've heard plenty of stories of martial artists winning a fight in the real world, only to get shot or stabbed by the other person and their friends later on).
 

BedrockBrendan

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Reading this thread makes me think: Damn... I need to get back into shape.
I've recently begun that project myself. I stopped training due to illness and wasted away to about 120 pounds. This past summer I started lifting weights again, doing light boxing exercises and set up a heavy bag in the yard (which I used until the neighbor next door got two pitfalls who got aggressive anytime we hit the bag---which I wouldn't mind but there is a hole in the fence and I am 70% sure these dogs can leap over it from certain vantage points). Every so often my old trainer comes by and we hit the pads together. I have gained about ten pounds of muscle and feel a lot better. It is also encouraging me to eat healthier. I haven't gone back to doing road work or gone back to train at a gym (I don't think in my present condition either of those would be wise choices), but I am feeling more like my old self.
 

Stevethulhu

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I think hubris can affect all people invested in martial arts. The key is to not dismiss something that might be useful, and to not assume because something works or doesn't work in one context it won't work in another. But I will say, MMA definitely have a lot you can gain from. I remember when I was doing TMA and at one particular place where they did one step sparring drills (basically self defense moves against a partner). I didn't see how ineffective many of those moves were until I tried them in an MMA gym against someone fully resisting and using things like BJJ. I think the key ingredient though is an actively resisting opponent. I would definitely say, MMA does deserve a lot of the respect it gets because it really can teach you what it is like to face a resisting foe where both striking and grappling are permitted.
We do one steps. They're fun, but also, like most things, quite situational. Of course, many things we do would see you banned from MMA if they were done for real, like a slip and a stamp to the knee. Or elbows to the throat or kidneys, grabbing individual fingers, throws and takedowns while also applying an arm lock. And so on. There's a bunch of things that you can't do in MMA that are taught in Shukokai karate. But then, we seem to be kind of where several of the Venn diagram circles intersect. Yes, it's a fairly traditional style of karate. We do kata, basics, sparring and so on. But we also train to do thing that aren't very nice in terms of sport karate. But then, the style was founded in the 40s as a deconstruction of the exact same arguments you see today. Only against historical styles as they were taught back then.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

I feel like martial arts has gone through a kind of thesis (traditional ma), antithesis (MMA) in the past few decades and now we are at a point where people are more ready for synthesis. Ten years ago the biases and emotions still felt too high. Now it feels like people are mellowing out a bit.
People are starting to realise that actually, there is a core of useful teaching in so-called traditional styles. There seems to be a realisation that many MA are actually M. The style I train in, while it wouldn't be perfect for fighting in the octagon (itself derived from a Chuck Norris movie, therefore karate), it wouldn't hurt as a foundation. It's just the training regimen would need to be adapted to a full contact, rather than light contact environment. The grappling and takedowns we do are very basic, so that would need to be supplemented, too. Which seems to be how some of the newer fighters coming in are training.

That said, I think it is very foolish to think that just because you've essentially prepared for a fist fight with MMA (which it is good practice for), that you can handle any situation because there are just too many variables. An MMA fighter is used to going up against people in their own weight class, and even if you are sparring against classmates who are outside your weightless, they generally will go lighter on you if you are smaller. I trained for many many years in martial arts, doing a lot of full contact sparring. I am only 5'7" and when I was training regularly I was 146 pounds to 155 pounds (now I am about 130; and at my heaviest I was 190). I wouldn't want to have to defend myself, even if the fight were just limited to fists and kicks, against some random opponent in the real world because all it would take is for the person to be two weight classes above me for any skill I have to become not very effective. And even if the person is exactly my size, less skilled, or smaller, you never know what the outcome will be. And in real life, people carry knives, guns. Even if you beat them, they could come back with a group of friends (I've heard plenty of stories of martial artists winning a fight in the real world, only to get shot or stabbed by the other person and their friends later on).
I've said for years, if you want to learn how to give and take punches, do some boxing.
 

BedrockBrendan

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I've said for years, if you want to learn how to give and take punches, do some boxing.
This was a big lesson for me when I transitioned to Muay Thai and boxing. And it was one of the first things the instructor commented on. He was muay thai fighter but had a background in karate (most of the people there came from some kind of traditional MA background it seemed). His philosophy was you should keep whatever tools from your TMA background you can use in the ring or for self defense purposes (he used to use some kind of back sweep kick from karate all the time in sparring---not sure of the name). But he also said the thing you really gain from sparring and from full contact is learning how to take a hit, which is a kind of conditioning that does matter. You also learn what hurts people and what doesn't.

Also boxing is an amazingly graceful thing to learn. It takes tremendous skill to box well. And there is a lot of subtle nuance to it. Just going from muay thai to boxing was challenging because when it is all punching, you really learn to explore using your fists. It took me ages just to learn how to punch hard properly.
 

BedrockBrendan

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We do one steps. They're fun, but also, like most things, quite situational. Of course, many things we do would see you banned from MMA if they were done for real, like a slip and a stamp to the knee. Or elbows to the throat or kidneys, grabbing individual fingers, throws and takedowns while also applying an arm lock. And so on. There's a bunch of things that you can't do in MMA that are taught in Shukokai karate. But then, we seem to be kind of where several of the Venn diagram circles intersect. Yes, it's a fairly traditional style of karate. We do kata, basics, sparring and so on. But we also train to do thing that aren't very nice in terms of sport karate. But then, the style was founded in the 40s as a deconstruction of the exact same arguments you see today. Only against historical styles as they were taught back then.
The problem with one steps in the style and place I learned (which was a great TMA school otherwise) was they were always practiced in a way where neither side put full effort or resistance into it. So it started to feel choreographed. I get that certain one step moves (like an eye gauge or something) you can't complete. But many of them you can. You can punch a person in the head, you can begin a limb breaking technique until someone taps, etc. Obviously an explosive kick to a joint or something, you couldn't' practice. But that is only a small portion of what we were doing in one steps. And you can at least do full resisting in the steps leading up to the joint strike. My worry about stuff like that is if it isn't being trained as close to completion as it can be, I feel like it gives a sense of false security (I know for sure I had a sense of false security from one step for years before I got humble).

Again, I am not anti-TMA. I am of the mind that TMA is good and useful. I just think there has been value in the MMA critique of TMA and now we are in a phase where both TMA and MMA can more readily learn form one another. And I think a lot of the criticisms about TMA come from trends that were more prevalent in the late 80s and 90s than in the 60s and 70s. Like I said before, whenever I met the old school Taekwondo guys they were all about power and very challenging to spar with. I wouldn't underestimate them simply because they come from a TMA background. Back in the 70s, Taekwondo sparring was harder and more violent than it was by the time I got involved (we still went full contact without stopping----in TKD you didnt' stop when a point was scored----but the olympic style started to favor speed over power, and also implemented a rule that you couldn't punch to the head, though you could kick the head). I think the latter rule was the thing that hurt us most when we moved beyond TKD----but its purpose was to preserve the integrity of the style as a kicking art. Also they started making us wear heardgear, which they didn't do in the 70s and 80s.
 

BedrockBrendan

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People are starting to realise that actually, there is a core of useful teaching in so-called traditional styles. There seems to be a realisation that many MA are actually M. The style I train in, while it wouldn't be perfect for fighting in the octagon (itself derived from a Chuck Norris movie, therefore karate), it wouldn't hurt as a foundation. It's just the training regimen would need to be adapted to a full contact, rather than light contact environment. The grappling and takedowns we do are very basic, so that would need to be supplemented, too. Which seems to be how some of the newer fighters coming in are training.
It is also worth pointing out that something like BJJ is derived from TMA. And plenty of traditional styles work well in an MMA context. I did some Judo and that can definitely be brought very easily into MMA sparring (and there are plenty of examples of Judo people doing well in MMA).
 

AsenRG

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Man, the comments thread under that video is hilarious. People really believe that MMA is the holy grail, the undefeated champion of all combat. Especially when there's no rules.
Well, MMA is good for what it does. (Also for some limited pressure-testing of certain techniques, because gloves and rules).
The question then becomes whether you need what it does.

Also, MMA brought a well-needed and even overdue* critique to the way many traditional styles are practiced in (probably) most schools in the West. For that, I am eternally grateful to MMA.
But I also find that MMA would do well to look at the way TMA are practiced and why, or even just to look at the way BJJ is practiced in its native Brazil (from what I know).

And of course, wrestling is among the most traditional arts, and I don't think anyone would doubt the abilities of wrestlers in the cage.


*In the past, such "critiques" have been offered simply by other schools, because it was seldom the case that all schools in an area were in the same state. And if they were, they were offered by schools from other places. They just didn't need to critique the "traditional" way itself.



And now the question is how to put all of the above in a game:grin:!
 

Voros

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Anyone who wants to see a great boxing match should catch Inoue vs. Donaire one of the best fights I've seen in quite a while and there have been several great fights this fall.

5dc439727eece5631e5a74b5.jpeg
 

Stevethulhu

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So I took a bit of a plunge last month. I've been training in Shukokai karate for maybe seven years now. But after getting really dissatisfied with various things, I've moved to a different club and started learning Goju Ryu karate.

I know, karate doesn't work, MMA Uber Alles, you need to do blah blah blah instead. But you know what? I'm nearly 50 and I've never been in a fight in my adult life. And I have no intentions of getting into one. I'm not training for a match at any kind of contact level. Self defense is a byproduct, not a thing to aim for as far as I'm concerned.

But training with a good group of people at all kinds of ability levels? Pushing myself and only measuring success against myself, not some macho bullshit? That's why I've switched to a traditional Okinawan style. So what if I have to earn my black belt all over again?
 

The Butcher

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So I took a bit of a plunge last month. I've been training in Shukokai karate for maybe seven years now. But after getting really dissatisfied with various things, I've moved to a different club and started learning Goju Ryu karate.

I know, karate doesn't work, MMA Uber Alles, you need to do blah blah blah instead. But you know what? I'm nearly 50 and I've never been in a fight in my adult life. And I have no intentions of getting into one. I'm not training for a match at any kind of contact level. Self defense is a byproduct, not a thing to aim for as far as I'm concerned.

But training with a good group of people at all kinds of ability levels? Pushing myself and only measuring success against myself, not some macho bullshit? That's why I've switched to a traditional Okinawan style. So what if I have to earn my black belt all over again?
Awesome. I trained Shorin-Ryu and we cross-trained with Goju-Ryu and Wado-Ryu all the time.

Maybe it’s me but it does tend to draw a different crowd.

And it’s certainly not devoid of real world value.

Hope you have kobudo training. I didn’t do much of it but it does make for badass photos...
 

Rob Necronomicon

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Pushing myself and only measuring success against myself, not some macho bullshit? That's why I've switched to a traditional Okinawan style. So what if I have to earn my black belt all over again?
If you are enjoying the training man, then that's what counts... And there's nothing wrong with looking for a new challenge at any age.

I'm taking up surfing in the summer and I 'aint no spring chicken! :smile:
 

Voros

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I can only find the highlights of it
I've got a Dazn subscription on my PS4, it is a good deal imo, costing only $100 a year whereas a single PPV fight is $75. Plus soccer and football if that's your thing.

And there are boxing torrents out there if one wants to go down that road.
 
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Stevethulhu

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If you are enjoying the training man, then that's what counts... And there's nothing wrong with looking for a new challenge at any age.

I'm taking up surfing in the summer and I 'aint no spring chicken! :smile:
Surfing is hard! I've only tried indoor surfing and that was bad enough. The beaches by me are terrible for actual surfing. All flat with no waves to speak of.
 

Rob Necronomicon

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Surfing is hard! I've only tried indoor surfing and that was bad enough. The beaches by me are terrible for actual surfing. All flat with no waves to speak of.
Yeah, everyone has been saying that it's very hard. I've just moved to West Cork so there's some good surfin' down there. But you've got to wear a wet suit because it's so cold. Ah sure, I'll give it a go and see what happens. :smile:
 

Voros

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Yeah, everyone has been saying that it's very hard. I've just moved to West Cork so there's some good surfin' down there. But you've got to wear a wet suit because it's so cold. Ah sure, I'll give it a go and see what happens. :smile:
The hardest thing about surfing on the West Coast is that most of the good beaches will have experienced surfers who hate newbies because we suck at surfing and get in their way.
 

AsenRG

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The hardest thing about surfing on the West Coast is that most of the good beaches will have experienced surfers who hate newbies because we suck at surfing and get in their way.
You mean there's a hobby that isn't welcoming? Who's going to alert the Twitter crowd:grin:?
 

tenbones

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The hardest thing about surfing on the West Coast is that most of the good beaches will have experienced surfers who hate newbies because we suck at surfing and get in their way.
Locals only bro.

Yeah, it's *always* been a problem. One solution is go to the local surf-shop (and when I was in LA - it was Dive N' Surf) and you could meet people to take you out and learn the ropes, and maybe give you some cover from the local's only assholes.

Surfing is *great* for balance development in martial arts. Not to mention fun as hell. Truly, it's something that will be with you always even when away from the water.
 

BedrockBrendan

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Locals only bro.

Yeah, it's *always* been a problem. One solution is go to the local surf-shop (and when I was in LA - it was Dive N' Surf) and you could meet people to take you out and learn the ropes, and maybe give you some cover from the local's only assholes.

Surfing is *great* for balance development in martial arts. Not to mention fun as hell. Truly, it's something that will be with you always even when away from the water.
Nothing is going to get me in there with the sharks
 

Antiquation!

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I have always wanted to get into martial arts; I have a few good friends who regularly practice BJJ, and I got some *extremely* loose practice "sparring" with them (they could have easily wiped the floor with me and were mainly just illustrating movements and techniques). Unfortunately due to time and financial restrictions I've found it very difficult to get into (but then again, I suppose it's the kind of thing where if you really want to do it, you *make* time for it...). Recently I've considered doing some crash-course self defense training, either in a dedicated class or going for a high-utility, quick-entry (if bare) art like Krav Maga but I don't know of any reputable trainers in my area.

In any case, being a newlywed of about 6 months, becoming proficient in the marital arts has superseded my immediate desire to delve into the martial ones. :clown:
 
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