Self-defense thread

Psalm27

Woodpecker
Gold Member
What do you guys think is the best form of self-defense? Do you practice any martial arts? Do you own guns? Discuss.

Here is my favorites list:

1. Good social skills to de-escalate and disarm a potentially volatile situation
2. Sprinting, running and good aerobic fitness
3. Guns and a concealed carry permit if you live in the USA
4. Brazilian jiu-jitsu, because when they grab you, you can't run away and must fight

All of that said I have begun training running and brazilian jiu-jitsu. In my country I can't really get a gun for self-defense.
 

stugatz

Pelican
Active Self Protection on YouTube is a wonderful source for seeing how you can talk your way out of a fight (while also not making yourself a target by caving in). Trying to learn that, as I tend to be a naturally belligerent person and can’t depend on luck these days.

Would like to learn a martial art, something viable in a real fight - thinking MMA, as muay thai seems like it’s too niche. (Maybe judo, but I struggle to wrap my head around how I can base a fight around nothing but throws.)

At the moment losing weight (down 15 pounds since my peak lockdown weight) and trying to fix any problems there.

I don’t plan on owning a firearm anytime soon, as they’re prohibitively expensive for me. Improving my finances until then.
 

fortyfive

Sparrow
What do you guys think is the best form of self-defense? Do you practice any martial arts? Do you own guns? Discuss.

Here is my favorites list:

1. Good social skills to de-escalate and disarm a potentially volatile situation
2. Sprinting, running and good aerobic fitness
3. Guns and a concealed carry permit if you live in the USA
4. Brazilian jiu-jitsu, because when they grab you, you can't run away and must fight

All of that said I have begun training running and brazilian jiu-jitsu. In my country I can't really get a gun for self-defense.
You have a good list.

I will add this after 10+ years with some judo but mainly Muay Thai and classic boxing.

Fighting is mostly about punching, then kicking, then wrestling. But there is always punching to head and body.
What many people don't realize is you can't learn to fight by not fighting. Same as any human activity. (driving, cooking, swimming, etc.)
To learn and accustom to fight, you must often fight.

Sparring in the gym is not the same as survival on the street without rules but streetfight cannot be simulated 5 days a week for obvious reasons...
The truth is most people even in the gym and during sparring sessions are very reluctant to be punched and kicked.
Being every week repeatedly punched, kicked to the head, and the ribs are less enjoyable than some other human interactions I know, but strangely somehow I like it -)

Youtube and non-hard-contact learning with someone is great and much better than nothing.
But there is no substitute for full contact sparring/fighting.

The raw feeling when you are giving and receiving punches, kicks, chokes, with full force without restriction... how this can be learned without actually doing it?
 

C-Note

Ostrich
Gold Member
Having seen hundreds of videos and read stories of real-life self-defense situations, in both the West and in Japan, the two disciplines that seem the most practical are boxing and judo. Most fights start with punching, which is where the boxing comes in handy.

If you want to grab the other guy (or girl) to restrain them or throw them to the ground, then that's where judo excels, and I've known some bouncers (ahem, "security") who have told me that judo helped them in their job more than any other martial art. Judo teaches you to grab someone by their clothes which is one reason why it's so useful in real-life situations. Standing BJJ, which is similar to judo, includes some useful choke holds and joint locks. The problem is that most BJJ schools focus on the sport aspect of the discipline, which is 90% oriented to ground techniques.

Of course, the other disciplines like karate, muay thai, Krav Maga, Aikido, Tae Kwan Do, Hap Ki Do, etc have some good techniques (like the head yank to a knee-to-the-face kick, which is a very good self-defense move), but a lot of their techniques are more advanced and technical and not as easy to employ in an unexpected encounter as the basic boxing and judo moves.
 

DeusLuxMeaEst

Pelican
Gold Member
Veteran BJJ athlete here.

The best self defense is to avoid dangerous situations. Project strength and be physically and aerobically fit.

With that said, I say a combo of Muay Thai / Boxing with Wrestling / Judo / BJJ gives you the best chance in a real fight with no weapons involved.

The biggest thing is that with these arts you are training as close as possible to 'real' without having to go to the hospital every week.
 
One of the things that you should note is that so long as you got the hand tools, a cheap 3d printer (were talking 200-300$ usd) and an internet connection you can make your own guns. They've got designs for Glocks, AK-47s, AR15s and some homemade designs (such as the revolver shotgun). Only problem is making the ammunition (if you can figure out a reliable, easy to make primer that doesn't require any materials that would put you on a fed watchlist please post it all over the internet).
 

stugatz

Pelican
Veteran BJJ athlete here.

The best self defense is to avoid dangerous situations. Project strength and be physically and aerobically fit.

With that said, I say a combo of Muay Thai / Boxing with Wrestling / Judo / BJJ gives you the best chance in a real fight with no weapons involved.

The biggest thing is that with these arts you are training as close as possible to 'real' without having to go to the hospital every week.
Isn't that what MMA is, more or less? I don't know if it varies per gym and per region, but I figured (conventional wisdom) that mixed martial arts was Judo, Boxing, and Muay Thai married together.

I keep mixing up judo and jujitsu (completely lost as to what Brazilian jujitsu is) - so many of these disciplines just sound alike to a noob like me. All I know is that I see too many taekwondo gyms around where I live, and I'm not too interested in that one.
 
I've been on and off doing kickboxing for years and it didn't help me in a robbery-type situation one bit

If someone ambushes you or comes at you with a weapon you run as fast as you can. Or you hand over your belongings. Simple as.

Really, everything else is just projecting. I have been in a situation like this at least 5 times. Can't prepare in any way for a 14 year old drugged up kid with nothing to lose to suddenly jump on you clenching a rusty kitchen knife
 
1. Situational awareness to avoid potential fights
2. Good social skills to de-escalate tension
3. When neither of the above works, Krav Maga

The main issue is that there are very few good KM schools in the United States, and the main company (Krav Maga Worldwide) is mostly a marketing scam that will make you pay for years of membership before learning things that, in reality, you could be learning on your first day. It’s worth finding a good teacher because if and when you find him, you’ll be better-prepared for 99% of potential situations than other systems are going to provide for you.
 
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Pendleton

Pelican
Pepper spray is another option. Considering how little respect the legal system has for the right to self-defense, it is good to have an option that incapacitates but is non-lethal. And many of the feral people inclined to be violent in the US are Karen types - old people, women, insane and other types against whom a court is only likely to allow very little force in self-defense.

I carry a gun when I am in the US. I do boxing for exercise but have mainly learned that I would likely break my hand on the first punch in a real fight.
 

Grow Bag

Woodpecker
The go to guy in America for surviving in the hood, is James Lafond. He lived in Baltimore and had many fights and developed his skills accordingly. He has written a number of books on street self-defense.
 

fortyfive

Sparrow
From my personal observation of many bar fights (live, no youtube), the biggest obstacle in defending yourself for most people is fear.
Even when they are in good fitness shape and mentally understand what should be done, they are not taking any actions because of fear.

The state of freezing fear is natural and understandable. When we are facing a whole new situation that is threatening us with injury or loss of life, the first reaction is often freezing.

But the main reason why people are stuck in freezing fear is because this situation is totally new to them.
They are not used to fight someone.
They are afraid of being punched because it is very unnatural to them.

The only way how to remove fear from something is by doing it.

Actually what you need only for simple fighting is one person as a sparring partner. Just some friend or family, even wife or gf. Someone ideally in similar weight and shape. And mouthguard because a dentist is expensive. Maybe also some gloves for better comfort. And that is all you need.
When gym is closed because corona scam, you can fight anywhere in your home or outside.
 

Slide-Rule

Sparrow
I was once told, Avoid the four stupids.

Don't got to stupid places, at stupid times, with stupid people, who do stupid things.

Some of my little bits of advice that I've picked up over the years:

If you want to get good at anything, you need to do a lot of it.

If you want to punch hard, you need to punch hard things. It is a long commitment, 2-5+ solid years, to get "good" at punching. Get ahold of a heavy sandbag, and put it on a stand at about lower-chest height, and start slamming your fist into it. Punch into it, slam the top of your fist into it, slam a hammer-strike into it. Look up "Wolff's law" and "Makiwara" online, you're basically doing that. I'm a firm believer in fist conditioning. It starts with basic "touching" and you increase in intensity slowly over time.

I've also been told, "Blue is good, black is better, blood is best..." Okay, that guy was a little crazy, and thought the best Martial Arts program for a young teenager like me was to throw me in with the general population at San Quentin Prison, and come back to pick me up in a week...

I've told beginners not to do a traditional punch. For some reason, ask a random person who've never fought to make a fist, and they'll show you something that'll break their hand. I've told people to first get good at a hammer-strike with their fist. I've held up a heavy textbook to people, and told them to punch it. It stings like crazy when they do that, and it gets the point acros. I've then held the book at an angle, and told them to hit it like a hammer, and they're able to deliver much more force. "Obviously you're better at that than punching. Do that instead, hit them in the collar bone like that, and we'll work on your punching in time."

I've also told people, "I can not, and never have been able, to kick someone in the head. I don't have to..." I then go on to tell them that the first time I threw a roundhouse kick at the bag it stung like crazy. But the million and first time I threw a roundhouse kick at the bag it stung a lot less.

Sign up at a local gym, and start sparring. You want to get good at fighting, then fight a lot of people.

The takeaways: "I don't fear the man who's practiced 100 kicks, I fear the man who's practiced 1 kick 100 times." - Attributed to Bruce Lee. You only need to get really good at 7-15 techniques for real ""self-defense, you're not going to do any sort of jumping-spinning kick to the head when grabbing a barstool and using it as a weapon will do just fine.
 

debeguiled

Peacock
Gold Member
Has it really been this long?

No need to link outside the forum.



Man I miss this dude's posts.

Hope he is going gangbusters wherever he is.
 
Concerning self-defense, as others have said, not going to stupid places, not doing stupid things, not being with stupid people, and learning what to avoid are key.

Besdies learning self-defense skills / tactics, one needs to develop a combat mindset. One could argue that almost any system learned, but put into explosive action the instant it is needed, would be preferable to the best system that is taken by surprise and/or suffers from hesitation until it is too late. It happens sometimes that highly trained individuals are taken out by drunk idiots throwing hay makers becuase they are in denial that something bad is going down. It is not easy to go from peaceful citizen mode to combat mode in the space of a second. If you can find a copy of it, I would recommend Col. Jeff Cooper's Principles of Self Defense. It is a short book that has no tactics, but is the book on combat mind set.

Regarding firearms in general, I would strongly recommend the work of Massad Ayoob. His first book, In the Gravest Extreme, was published many years ago but is still the best single volume out there. Has some tactics, but mainly covers the legal aspect of self defense. And that is important--in much of the country juries will acquit if the person engaged in self defense followed the law. He has numerous videos online as well. His later work, Stressfire, took the modern shooting methods that came out of the 1970's and 1980's and made them a bit more usable under high stress circumstances. It is not a book on shooting per se, and might give some people nightmares to know how bad things were even back when it was written, but the book The Tactical Edge by Remsburg is an older book, but still used at police academies. Some of it would only be useful to policemen, but has good sections on searching rooms, approaching uncertain situations, non-violent confrontations, how bad guys think, how they hide weapons, etc. It is for sale to law enforcement only, but lots of used copies are out there.

What kind of firearm depends on circumstances: home defense only, or carry? For home defense, pump shotguns are underrated in my opinion. If the barrel is overly long, then one can generally buy a shorter one via mail order. They have the potential advantages of being the easiest guns to learn how to shoot, can do double duty for hunting for food, tend to be reliable, and even during shortages ammo for them seems to be available. For handguns, would suggest taking at look at what CZ has to offer. The 75 series are utterly reliable, remarkably accurate, and much copied and used in competition. A lot of gun for the money. Ruger tends to be a good value for the money as well, albeit not always as refined as other options.
 

stugatz

Pelican
Has it really been this long?

No need to link outside the forum.



Man I miss this dude's posts.

Hope he is going gangbusters wherever he is.
What a wonderful thread, I'm shocked I haven't seen it before.

Great to get it all out on the table like that - every martial art has drawbacks, and it looks like he's anticipated all potential questions regarding danger, ease of finding a school, practicality.
 

Dr Mantis Toboggan

Kingfisher
Gold Member
Has it really been this long?

No need to link outside the forum.



Man I miss this dude's posts.

Hope he is going gangbusters wherever he is.

Beat me to it. One of the greatest threads in RVF history and equally applicable to both phases of the board.
 

Psalm27

Woodpecker
Gold Member
Has it really been this long?

No need to link outside the forum.



Man I miss this dude's posts.

Hope he is going gangbusters wherever he is.
Thanks for linking this post it's very useful. But while I am no expert in martial arts like that guy allegedly is, I would not say that BJJ is bad for self-defense despite it not being a complete martial art with kicks and punches in addition to grappling.

The one fight I remember winning as a kid against a bully, was one where I was able to get him on the ground and mount him, then another bully came by and shoved his face full of snow. I didn't know anything about martial arts but by some stroke of luck I was able to defeat the bully through what was essentially BJJ techniques. Also from what I have seen on videos, those who are strikers but have no ground game always lose to even a moderately skilled grappler who can take them down to the ground where their kicks and punches are less effective.

That said I agree that BJJ is bad for when there are multiple opponents or an opponent with a weapon like a knife or a club, but then your best mode of self-defense is sprinting to create distance, and then running until your opponent(s) give up the chase. That's unless you can de-escalate the conflict through your verbal social skills or one-up them by drawing your gun, if you have one (not possible for me).

I'd say practicing a martial art that teaches you to disarm opponents of weapons or teaches you to fight multiple opponents at once may actually put you at higher risk of injury or death by creating a false sense of security or self-confidence where you will choose to fight rather than flee, when fleeing would be the best choice for survival.

It's a very unlikely scenario to find yourself in, where you are facing multiple opponents with no chance to de-escalate or flee. That said in such a scenario it might be useful to learn some throws or sweeps like from sambo, judo or hapkido. So if you are facing multiple opponents, one grabs you, then you can do some takedown move to get him on the ground without going there yourself, and then run away.

Just my 2 cents for what it's worth.

Also here's an interesting video on the subject of multiple opponents:

 
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