A question about good ol' hand to hand


January 8, 2003, 10:42 AM
I am thinking about taking some kind of fighting defense class.

Way back when I was 18 I bought one of those ASP batons. I stopped carrying it because I was afraid that not knowing how to "fight", it would get taken away from me, and would be used on me.
So fast forward a decade +. My state doesn't allow CCW yet, so I don't carry. (I would carry if I felt firepower was needed, but then again, if I know it's needed, I wouldn't go)
So...last summer I bought a knife to carry. And the old ghosts have come back. I get jumped in an ally, manage to get the knife into play...but have it taken away from me, etc. (Yeah, I have thought about "What if they get your gun away from you? I feel more confident with a gun though. And if they do get it away from me...well. I'm probably dead anyways so it doesn't matter, but I still need to know how to fight.)

I know I don't have the dediation to take karate or tae kwondo or anything like that, and I don't see much advantage to them.
What I want is basic "Military/Cop" type skills so if a crackhead grabs me as I walk by, I can get him off me, and get myself to help/cover.

Is there anything like this offered? I don't think one walks into a karate place and asks for The Street Defense Course...

I am going to have my Marine brother show me some tricks once I get back to the States, and hopefully before he gets sent to the Gulf...


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El Tejon
January 8, 2003, 10:55 AM
How about boxing? It keeps you mean and lean, how to strike and move and teaches you to get hit. Throw in some judo or HapKiDo as well?

January 8, 2003, 11:59 AM
I'm not trying to be a smart alec, but if you are not inclined/willing to take the time/effort to learn a martial art, what makes you think that some other "system" would be any more effective?

If you are not willing to take the time and effort to train, regardles of what you learn, you will be ineffective, and may even make a situation worse.

From all the people that I have taught martial arts to, the hardest time is the first few months into the training. In class, they learn all this new stuff that seems facinating, but in a real situation, they are still not ready or able to defend themselves with the taught techniques properly. They get a false sense of ability and tend to try and do more than they are capable.

Be mindful of this.

January 8, 2003, 01:23 PM
I think that's why I have avoided all the formal defensive courses. I'll be walking down the street with my 4 Tuesday's worth of classes when someone goes for my wallet...

I just figure if my little brother can join the Marines, then come home and do the "Hey bro, watch this" routine, and all of a sudden I'm on my a$$...then I should be able to do that as well.

One thing I know that I need to do is get a weight bag and some gloves. Hang it up in my garage. Cause, well. I hit like a girl. It's sad, but true. That's why I bought a .44. :)


January 8, 2003, 05:12 PM
Don't forget though, that your brother wasn't taught these things once and then told to go into a war zone. His main job is to blow things up and kill people, therefore his onmly focus is on the tools that will allow him to survive a battle.
I've met a bunch of guys that were in the service and they still
could not fight. Your brother just might be a good natural fighter.

As far as the bag goes, that's a good start, but make sure you learn the proper mechanics of how to punch. That is almost as important as the speed and power of the punch.

January 8, 2003, 09:13 PM
Being human, I like using tools, as they give us a mechanical advantage, and they are what seperates us from animals. It takes much less effort to defend yourself with a tool than with your bare hands. Find something you like to study, sure, but don't think for a minute that somehow you are safer because you're not carrying something that could help you when you needed it. The basic "manual of arms" for ASP is simple, and you can learn it in an hour. Practice every other week for 30 minutes, and you'll be pretty capable.

January 8, 2003, 09:30 PM
There ARE workshops designed for street survival, some of which are very good - some aren't. These are ususlly 2-day to weeklong and designed to help you learn awareness as well as 'fast & furious' attacks to get out of the danger zone. Knife workshops are also good.

Look for one in your area.

Anything like a dedicated martial is a waste of time if you don't want to commit to the practice. A good MA instructor would have you working on just falls for the first few weeks and I don't think that you are interested in this.

Don Gwinn
January 9, 2003, 10:20 AM
My cousin Jeremy went off to the Marines and came back a fighter, too. Two guys tried to take his wallet while he was playing basketball on his first leave back here, and he whupped one of them and caused the second to flee. He'd never been known as some kind of badass before.

There are probably three components. First, they do learn some hand to hand and practice it. Nothing like your average karate instructor has done, maybe, but some practice and some knowledge goes a long way.

Second, generally a kid with a decent attitude in average shape goes off to the Marines, and he comes back big, strong and fast. All the guys I've known did, anyway. Even if they're not particularly big and bulky, the average graduate of Marine basic is strong compared to the average person on the street.

Third, the mindset. This, to me, seems like the important part. Jeremy didn't talk like a high school kid who'd beaten off two attackers, all atwitter and boasting. He was offhand, casual and businesslike. The Marines had turned him into the kind of fighter who fought to win and dominate all opponents without really considering any other way of doing it.

You could always go into the Marines if that's the training you want. They'll also provide you with a personal trainer who will help you maintain your dedication to the training regimen. ;)

January 9, 2003, 03:37 PM
Thanks for all the tips so far!

I have been exercising quite a bit over the past few months, and that alone has made me feel a bit more confident. At least I should be able to outrun an attacker now! :)

I am going to check on some courses, Kansas City is a pretty big town, I'm sure there's something around here! I'll drag a couple of my fellow gun owning computer geeks along for support...

As far as the Marines go...My dad was one, and now my brother is too. I should have joined...I have had many reflections since high school thinking to myself...If I had joined up...

Well...if I'd had joined up like a friend of mine did...he's been in Korea, Serbia, Somalia, and is currently somewhere near Iraq.

thanks for the tips.


mons meg
January 9, 2003, 06:10 PM
Second what Don mentioned about mindset. I may not be as strong or fast (defintely not as fast) as I was when I left boot 15 years ago, but the **** attitude is definitely still there. ;)

That being said, the closest I have gotten since then to a great aggressive workout was at the Muay Thai/FMA school I have been to off and on since then. Learned way more about fighting at the MA school, but the Marines do a much better job of fostering the "correct" fighting mindset.

Don Gwinn
January 9, 2003, 06:49 PM
Well, the Marines have a bit more control than a MA instructor, after all. :)

January 11, 2003, 02:16 PM
What I want is [...] skills so if a crackhead grabs me as I walk by, I can get him off me, and get myself to help/cover.
If this is really all you're after, you might consider Aikido. All the training I've seen is geared precisely to how to deflect attacks. More traditional dojos also teach mental awareness, to help detect and avoid problem situations before they turn into attacks.

Some dojos offer training to anyone who walks in and pays a nominal mat fee. You don't have to pony up huge $$ for membership up front and you don't have to commit to showing up for future classes.

January 15, 2003, 11:16 PM
as taught by Fabairn, Sykes, and Applegate. They focus a lot on simple, brutal tactics. I did notice that a lot of it is "go for the jewels" stuff, and it kinda made me wonder what to do if I had to fight a woman? :D

Boxing's good because you learn to take punches and spar constantly.

I used to be into martial arts, but a lot of schools I went to were only into selling belts and making 10 year old black belters and unrealistic sparring (do you really want to do an aerial spinning back kick in a fight?). I came to find that these were McDojo's. :mad

Learning some boxing, grappling and knifework would do anyone good.

January 16, 2003, 12:35 AM
Boxing would be not only a good set of skills to pick up, but the conditioning is outstanding. Some kind of grapping would be a good compliment to boxing (I do Judo myself) to round out your set of skills. If you take up boxing and Judo you'll end up in great cardiovascular shape if nothing else. That, and you could likely make short work of any crackhead that would want to grab you...

January 16, 2003, 09:43 PM
My choice is WW-II style Combatives, Ala Fairbairn and Applegate. Modern instructors using these methods can be found, men with very good reputations such as Carl Cestari and Kelly McCann (aka Jim Grover).
I reccomend you get copies of Kill or Get Killed by Rex Applegate and Get Tough by W.E. Fairbairn and study those. Carl Cestari's tapes and Jim Grovers tapes are also going to help you.
Copies are available for free online, .pdf or .html formats, but a text copy is best, because you can have it right with you whenever you are training, and can use it away from the computer.
Get Tough: http://www.vrazvedka.ru/main/learning/ruk-b/fairbairn-01.shtml

Kill or Get Killed: http://www.gutterfighting.org/files/Kill_or_Get_Killed.pdf

Infact, check out all of www.gutterfighting.org its a great site. Just as a note, I dont have much use for the knife methods, except the Smatchet techniques... they arent so suited for situations normal guys (and girls) might face, they are more specialized and have weaknesses for street CQC, IMHO.
But the hand to hand combat aspect of it is great.

Study these methods, and let them at least help you in developing your overall techniques system. I find that people who read books, use video's, spar with training buddies and go to seminars, all with "reality based" systems, like COmbatives, instead of taking full time martial arts classes, end up with their own method, picking what works for them, and running with it. Its how I do it and it works for me. :)

January 19, 2003, 03:07 PM
A question about good ol' hand-to-hand...

Greetings, Kamicosmos

Any self defense training is only as good as you make it. It is true that some "Martial Arts Academies" are nothing more than dollar drains. Lots of $$$ for lots of:banghead: . Kansas City should have a few good schools, though. Let your fingers do the wallking. Stay away from Tae Kwon Do as it has become a "sport martial art" in most areas and is the Olympic Martial Art. Also, I would not recommend a school where there is no contact. Never been in a fight where there was no touching!!. :what: Check with local LEO's for approved short courses. Most of all, find sometning you can feel comfortable with and get you to the level you want to achieve.

"Hit 'em hard in the right spot"

Good Luck.

Ron L
January 19, 2003, 07:45 PM
I'm not trying to be a smart alec, but if you are not inclined/willing to take the time/effort to learn a martial art, what makes you think that some other "system" would be any more effective?

That's a great question and what I was thinking when I read the post too. I think I understand the question. Why take some classes for 6 months before they even start teaching the "meat" of the self defense technique. Here's the thing, although some techniques seem boring and simply fake punching at thin air, what they do is build coordination for the moves and incredible muscle memory. Basically (and don't laugh) remember the Karate Kid movie? Wax on right hand, was off left hand, paint the fence, etc? What was going on was the basic coordination and muscle memory training. When SHTF, muscle memory took over and instinct moved in. Now, that being said, is there a reason for an extensive time in hitting air? Probably not, but the basics are necessary and won't let you down when the chips fall. Consider a self-defense that balances basic training and SD techniques.

January 19, 2003, 09:45 PM
In addtion to all of the other excellent info so far, you may want to check out this guy's stuff http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com
and I've heard good things about the Isreali system, too

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