View Full Version : Best style for me

Michael Drew
05-13-2008, 04:23 AM
Total newb question. My wife said she wants to join a school. So I am trying to research different styles in our area. One right down the street from us offers aikido, jujutsu, boxing, bjj, capoeira, kali/silat, karate, kickboxing, kung fu, judo, mma, muay thai. Basically our goals will be self dicipline, a good workout and being able to efficiently defend ourselves.

Michael Miller
05-13-2008, 05:59 AM
If it were my wife, and i wanted to feel the most confident with her being able to defend herself, i would more than likely go with a blade oriented system such as Kali/Silat. IMHO it makes for better awareness, sensitivity, addresses a more realistic approach to combat, and is effective no matter what your age, size, shape, or gender. I would also add in elements of Kino Mutai, Muay Thai, and BJJ, but blending them into the Kali mindset of combat, not sport.

Michael Miller
05-13-2008, 06:05 AM
By the way, I probly shouldn't have used the word "defend" sense that's a victum's word. I once heard a Kali man say something to the effect of "I don't defend myself, I attack people that attack me first" :)

Michael Drew
05-13-2008, 06:28 AM
Thank you for your reply, I emailed the sensai I know they offer 2 free classes, perhaps we can try kali/ silat and muay thai.

Xuan Mai Ho
05-13-2008, 06:33 AM
I study both Escrima (Kali) and Wing Tsun (kung fu). Escrima is fairly direct in it's approach to self-defense. Also, it's not just a bladed system, it's a weapons systems. So, we're trained to see any object as a weapon.

I'm a smallish woman (5'2" and around 130lbs). I feel most confident when I have some sort of weapon in my hand.

Another system that I am intrigued with but have not had a chance to try is Krav Maga.

Yael Grauer
05-13-2008, 06:46 AM
I would recommend jiu jitsu and/or Muay Thai and/or boxing or MMA...and I'm a pretty small woman too and trained in Filipino martial arts (knife and stick) pretty extensively. Most of it won't work when it matters. And I don't see walking around with a ton of weapons and feeling really paranoid as effective self-defense.

Michael Drew
05-13-2008, 06:54 AM
Thank you, my wife is small as well 5'5" 125 lbs so I appreciate your opinions.

Xuan Mai Ho
05-13-2008, 07:00 AM
I wouldn't say that it's necessary to carry around a ton of weapons to defend oneself nor is it useful to be paranoid.

However, it is useful to see that anything you have in your hand (whether it be a stainless steel coffee mug or a pen) can be used as a weapon. I would say that if you find a Filipino style that emphasizes learning how to effectively use weapons (and your body) versus disarming, you might want to at least give it a try.

That said, it's also not just the style but finding an instructor that your wife likes and wants to learn from.

Michael Miller
05-13-2008, 07:03 AM
There's alot of debate that begins happening among practitioners when you try to exchange the terms and systems of Kali, Eskrima, and Arnis...Kali being the first named indigenous system of the Philippines, while Eskrima and Arnis were coined after Spanish arrival. To tell the truth the art wasnt even called anything, it was tribal and passed down in families...didnt even have a name. Kali came from blade work, but the ideas / methodologies do translate to stick, cord, projectile, and empty hand ...yes, very true concerning not just being a bladed system, but seeing everything as a weapon.

Michael Miller
05-13-2008, 07:16 AM
Yael, i would agree with alot of fluff being in FMA, but that goes for any art...i would not go as far as to say that ALL FMA would not work when it really matters. I'd say that both you and i know of people, as well as certain systems that would more than hold their own when it really matters :) As for carrying around a ton of weapons, or being paranoid, well, i don't indorse that eaither. Like Xuan Mai Ho mentioned, awareness is useful...a stainless steel mug works, just as a pocket knife, tactical pen, and / or kobotan pepperspary could go a long ways. I wouldn't be above firearms training eaither, if for no other reason than to learn about the weapon.

Mike ODonnell
05-13-2008, 08:01 AM
Dale Carnegies defense course "How to win friends and influence people"....best defense is a good offense...

I don't take any MMA so my opinion is more unbiased...but honestly...the last thing you want in a fight is to get taken down...so I would focus on anything that focuses on defense while standing...once you are down you can be in alot of trouble especially if you or your wife weight less than your attacker. Or just take the hockey player route...grab the guy's shirt and punch him as many times as you can while taking a few in the face yourself....that and I'll use anything around me if someone comes after me with a weapon...like a chair...pipe...some starbucks coffee....no rules...only living....that and walking away (if you can) is always the best option....

Yael Grauer
05-13-2008, 08:14 AM
No, I tried all those techniques against timing and resistance with trained MMA artists and you can have all of the hubud lubud and shit in the world and it still doesn't work. Try it sometime.

But I'd love to see some people take their tactical chopsticks and pens to the neighborhood I teach at and see if they can use it on the streets during gang initiations.

Michael Miller
05-13-2008, 08:27 AM
Mike, I have heard alot about that course...it sounds really good, i may have to check it out!

I'm with you as far as not wanting to fight on the ground! Take any good BJJ man, put him on the ground in a street fight, add some broken glass, maybe a suringe or two lying around, body fluids, whatever...on top of that throw in more than one person, some weapons etc and all of a sudden pulling guard just isn't as fun.

I don't even know if i would punch with a closed hand, or grapple like i used to...i want to end things quick, not box, or roll around looking for a submission. It would be all about headbutts, knees, elbows, biting and eye gouges in addition to pepper spray, and some last resort blade work. I have used the hockey shirt over the head thing a time or two i must say lol

Your right though, the best thing you could possibly do would be not to get caught in a bad situation in the first place...walking away, or atleast around, is better than any punch, kick, submission, or weapon that you could ever use!

Michael Miller
05-13-2008, 08:58 AM
Your definitely right about certain drills, i was speaking more of distilled technique, sort of like what Burt Richardson teaches. You know, taking what is useful and discarding the rest. Look how his stick and blade work evolved compared to the type of thing your talking about, its totally different now than when he did hubud drills, or really any of the original Inosanto blend...shoot, its more different than it was even 2 years ago! Thats not to say he threw it all out, he kept some from Dan, he kept some from Eric knaus of the Dog Brothers, he kept some from Illustrisimo, and Sulite, on top of what he had tested under real resistance against skilled opponents. I don't think that you could argue that Burton doesn't train with alot of the top MMA guys, as well as test everything he preaches.

Yes, i always try and test things in real time, against resisting opponents, some of it worked, some of it didnt, i kept what worked, discarded what didnt...i been doing that for years. MMA guys have no clue how to deal with alot of things, especially concerning evironmental awareness, a blade, a firearm, how to deal with multiple opponents, how to fight from close quarters, or under different distress...i have tested alot of things like thiis, and seen it first hand. Thats why i think Burt had a great idea when he took MMA training methods and applied them to street encounters!

I grew up in a HORRIBLE neighborhood, so i have somewhat of a clue to what your alluding...again, take what would be useful to you, and discard the rest. IMO, in my experience, from where i grew up, and what fights i have seen, or been involved with growing up, as well as being a bouncer for several years...i would definitely use a pen, or any other thing i could grab if it helped me to survive. Shoot, i saw a kid get beat with a trapper keeper in gym class one year so im not above grabbing anything i can get my hands on lol

Michael Miller
05-13-2008, 09:05 AM
I remember Guro Dan saying that if you really wanted to be a good stick fighter, just practice for hours making Xs on the heavy bag

Mark Bennett
05-13-2008, 09:05 AM
My Advice, try them all and find which ones you enjoy and seem the most real. To be effective for self defence youíre going to have to spend at lot of time on any art, maybe years, so if you or your wife don't enjoy what you are doing no matter how good it is for self defence, you are not going to put that time in.

Really don't understand this view about not going to the ground in a self defence situation. Of course you don't want to go to the ground, but this is self defence when anything can happen, so you need to be prepared for that eventuality.

From my experience in a number of arts I would go for arts that have a high focus on live training (sparring) against resistant opponents. Itís the only way to know what works or does not work for you.

Yael Grauer
05-13-2008, 09:17 AM
Actually, I tried testing out a lot of my FMA on friends who trained with Burt and that's when I realized it didn't work for me against them. Good thing to figure that out before a real encounter.

I really like this article on the problem with a streetfighter mindset:

Anton Emery
05-13-2008, 09:22 AM
I would say pick a combat sport that emphasizes the qualities you need to succeed in a real fight, timing, energy and motion. You need something where you are working with a resisting opponent, not in a rhythmic pattern, and not just standing there, but moving like you would in a real fight. That does not mean people have to get hurt or take each other's heads off, but doing a flow drill in kali or having an instructor shout commands while one person punches and other blocks does not develop any usable fighting skill. Something like boxing, kick boxing, muay thai works well for striking because you are hitting pads, hitting an opponent that is trying to move, and having someone try and hit you back. You discover quite quickly in that environment what works and what doesn't.

That doesnt mean that your wife has to get beat up her first day in class, or ever. A good school should take it to whatever level she wants. She might start doing some shadowboxing, learning footwork, eventually hitting the bag or pads. She might later on gear up and go light with a resisting, more experienced opponent. But she will know how to move, how to hit, and what to do is someone is hitting her. Alot of the traditional martial arts don't teach this way.

The same things goes for any grappling art. I see schools that supposedly teach some grappling, but when i watch the students roll they are not working against realistic resistance and are making alot of mistakes because of it. And again no one has to get hurt, though in grappling this is less of an issue because there is no striking.

At Straight Blast Gym they use the I method, which is Introduction, Isolation, and Integration. The instructor will teach a technique and then you practice it with an compliant partner (introduction). Then the instructor will bring the class back in and iron out any issues, and then you will drill with Isolation. There is where your partner is giving you enough reistance so you don't succeed all the time, but he is not shutting you down totally. This lets you build realistic timing and resistance. Say i am practicing a basic takedown, I'll shoot in, my partner might let me take him down a few times, then he will resist more so i have to work harder, at times not taking him down at all. Integration is grappling to submission but starting in the position you learned in class. So say we were working on the mount position, one person will start in mount and roll to submission, then when someone taps you switch and roll again. This lets them practicing what they just learned in a wide open roll, with all submissions and other positions being options as well.

Alot of people say that the ground is the last place to be in a fight, and i would agree. So i would say if you don't want to go to the ground, then learn what to do when people try to take you down, which means learning how to grapple. Then you will be able to stop their takedowns, or just take them down yourself and end up on top.

As far as weapons goes i think that self defense systems like Tony Blauer's stuff has alot of merit. Its easy to learn and based on gross body mechanics. its not pretty, but real fighting never is. I find for myself its much healthier to train BJJ/grappling for sport, know i have some realistic skills that may work if i ever have to use it, but realize if its multiple opponents or weapons that no fighting system will totally help me.

Matt Thorton explains all this much better in his blog.

http://aliveness101.blogspot.com/2005/07/why-aliveness.html Its work/family safe.

Sorry if the above is kind of a longish rant. Its always the first thing that comes to mind when i read about people wanting to choose a martial art. Its hard to know what to look for if you are new to it all.


Michael Miller
05-13-2008, 10:01 AM
Yael, you mean you don't like suprises? lol Yep, always best to figure that stuff out before you actually have to use it! Burts stuff has a tendancy to help open alot of peoples eyes...gotta love Matt Thornton too, actually he and Burt were good buds, and barrowed a lot from eachother. I had read those articles before that you an Anton had listed... they have alot of truths in them. I don't agree with everything Matt says, but overall i really respect him, as well as the way he conducts himself as a man, and martial artist.

Michael Miller
05-13-2008, 10:07 AM
I thought this was a good thread concerning dead drills
http://sayoc.com/forums/index.php?PHPSESSID=7bec9cfb8864c6b941ad2a2860f9db e7&topic=1248.0

Darryl Shaw
05-14-2008, 06:24 AM
Total newb question. My wife said she wants to join a school. So I am trying to research different styles in our area. One right down the street from us offers aikido, jujutsu, boxing, bjj, capoeira, kali/silat, karate, kickboxing, kung fu, judo, mma, muay thai. Basically our goals will be self dicipline, a good workout and being able to efficiently defend ourselves.

If I had to pick from the styles on offer I'd go for muay thai but if I were looking for a style for real world self defense I'd combine the philosophy of Jeet Kun Do with Krav Maga. If you're serious about self defense though it's worth reading some of the classic works on the subject such as Kill Or Get Killed by Rex Applegate (http://www.amazon.com/Kill-Get-Killed-Rex-Applegate/dp/1581605587/ref=pd_bbs_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1210769546&sr=1-1) and Get Tough by W.E. Fairbairn (http://www.amazon.com/Get-Tough-W-E-Fairbairn/dp/0873640020/ref=pd_bbs_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1210770454&sr=1-3)




Derek Weaver
05-14-2008, 05:28 PM
Hopefully this won't kill the debate going on, but having trained in Muay Thai, Krav Maga (fortunate enough to do gun defense seminar with Sam Sade), some boxing, BJJ/MMA stuff I would say that for a smallish woman, Krav Maga is the key.

For anyone that's looking for a practical application of force in a real life situation it's the way to go. A good instructor will use SPEAR techniques for defense, as well as teach proper punching and work on conditioning.

In the streets the only things that matter are: winning/staying alive, and doing it quickly. Would you rather root around for a key/pen/blade? Or would you rather knee strike to the groin, punch to the neck, stomp the foot, eye gouge, defend takedowns etc?

The fact of the matter is that in a real life situation, we don't have time to pull weapons when held up or attacked. But often our attackers will be armed. With proper defense training, you can give yourself a much better chance of disarming and incapacitating an armed attacker.

Add in the intense conditioning that a good instructor will instill in his/her students and you have one well prepared citizen.

Michael Miller
05-15-2008, 12:08 AM
I have only briefly experienced Krav Maga for myself, but most the people i know who have more experience with it do not feel good about the way the civilain system is taught here in the United States. They also feel unconfortable in how it addresses firearms, and edged weapon awareness. Most feel certain defenses they perform would get you killed under real life conditions with a aggressive resisting attacker.

Also, a person that is aware, and has spent enough time with skilled opponents under live conditions is not going to be "rooting" around or digging for their weapon when they are confronted. If you do not know your weapons, cannot access and deploy them efficiently under stress, then you don't need to be carrying any, period.

In my experience there is no way your ever going to disarm a skilled aggressive attacker with a blade before getting wounded yourself...it just won't happen. This is some of the fluff Yael and i were talking about...teaching people things that will get them killed, teaching them about going for "disarms" and "defenses" puts them in a entirely different mindset than what they need to be when dealing with the type of violent encounters we are talking about. Im not saying it cant ever be done, im saying lets talk about high percentages for the average person.

I wanna see somebody go for a disarm on one of the Piper guys without getting bled out.

Something to think about from a fellow martial artist...

"When people say they are a master of "empty hand" versus knife I think they mean "empty hand[gun into felon's torso]". Whenever someone tells me they have no fear of a knife, I challenge them to do the "marker drill" with me. I take a water-based red marker, jam it into the end of an eight-inch piece of PVC, and tape the two together. I tell the "knife expert" to try and disarm me while I proceed to make him look like a Jackson Pollock painting. This usually tends to breed humility in most martial artists (I know it gave me a healthy dose the first time I did the drill)."