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Knives and self defense.

Discussion in 'Blades' started by fortunateson, Mar 3, 2010.

  1. fortunateson

    fortunateson I hate Illinois Nazis!

    Found this on survivalblog.com and thought it was brilliant.

    I spent 2 years in a "traditional" martial art and learned some good things but wasted a lot of time. Then went 6 mos. to an MMA school and learned a bit of kickboxing and a bit of pancrase until my knee gave out. The quality of this education beat my prior 2 years easily.

    My thoughts about weapon carry were limited to handgun which I refuse to pursue because my state requires fingerprints (big brotha' ain't gettin' mine)

    A few days ago I read this and it changed my world. It was like searching high and low for your wallet only to find it in your hand. I don't leave the house without a folder now.

    While I agree with Joe G. on the utility of learning to fight empty handed, his reasoning is wrong. Humans have never relied upon empty handed technique unless they were forced to do so by a government who outlawed weapons. Unless you are caught off guard in the shower, I can't foresee a set of circumstances that wouldn't allow you to have an effective weapon of some kind. A bow, spear, club or knife is always going to be available, because you can make them. In fact, I can't imagine most of your readers ever running completely out of ammunition for their main battery.

    I congratulate Joe on defeating 10 opponents with only his bare hands, but I question whether this would have worked against armed or resolved enemies. I too have studied several martial arts over the last 35 years and hold advanced belts in 3 of them, but I consider an unarmed fight against 10 resolved opponents pretty much hopeless. Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan together probably couldn't survive a street fight against 10 armed opponents. Don't get caught up in martial arts myths.

    Combat skills are magnified by the weapon you use. A highly skilled man with pistol can beat several unskilled opponents because he has a tool capable of killing at a distance very quickly. His ability to shoot fast and accurately can really make a difference. Skill with a knife magnifies the natural lethality of the knife and allows you to kill very quickly. Any decent weapon can kill or disable in less than a second. Skill at punching, kicking and grappling don't make nearly as big a difference because they are not lethal enough to put someone away before their buddy can kill you. Killing with bare hands is much slower and even a skilled opponent can be overwhelmed by multiple opponents. Unarmed combat should always be considered a last resort. Any weapon is better than none at all, so why would anyone choose to fight unarmed?

    Don't lose sight of the real threats. Real combat is not a schoolhouse brawl where you can yell "uncle" and they will let you up. Real combat lasts seconds, not minutes. It's fast and brutal and usually ends with somebody dying. Close combat is about killing your opponents as quickly as possible so you can escape. Always use the best weapon you can get.

    About choosing a martial art: The newest ones that have been proven in combat are the only ones worth learning, period. All martial arts start out as a simple set of combat skills and progress into a martial art and then to a "martial way" like Tai Chi which is nothing more than a dance. This is because most of the instructors in the chain of tradition have never been in combat and don't fully understand the moves they are teaching. All martial arts lose effectiveness as they age. Many martial arts still teach techniques for unhorsing an enemy or bypassing a specific type of armor. When is the last time you have seen a street thug riding a horse? The oldest martial arts have become insanely ineffective and contain moves that will get you killed in real combat. Don't waste your money and time. Learn a new, effective set of combat techniques like the "Marine Corps Martial Arts Program" or army "Combatives" instead. You can learn enough technique to be very effective in less than 40 hours instruction. Any martial art that requires "years of dedication" to learn is bull. Here is an excellent book to guide your training program.

    BTW, all the effective systems teach you how to use common weapons like clubs and knives (and bayonets sometimes). Learn those skills first!. Regards, - JIR

    Here's the link to the whole thread:

    Six Letters Re: Empty Hand Survival - SurvivalBlog.com
  2. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    ^ THIS.

    The only disagreement I have is the recommendation for a person to take Army Combatives, when a standard course in grappling/street fighting is far more useful. I know, because I recently underwent Lvl 1 and Lvl 2 Army Combatives, and it is just a highlight of basic martial arts principles pertaining to grappling, to include a few basic holds and chokes with very little practical thought for redundant training on foot. When I was instructing combatives in Systema, it was essential for the student to use repetitious practice to familiarize themselves with the true art of unarmed self defense; standing your ground and killing the opponent without going to the ground. The rule here is simple: if you go to the ground in combat, you are immediately weakened and susceptible to additional attack in an overwhelming situation. The individual must train to AVOID this as much as possible, and modern Army Combatives no longer focuses on combat in this manner, but reverts to grappling as its primary focus.

    Now, add to this the 100's of pounds of equipment, ammunition, and weapons that an ordinary Army soldier has and try to envision just how capable he/she will be able to maneuver with all this crap on in a wrestling match. It just isn't practical. Even with the new IOTV's (body armor) that has rip-cords to remove the armor, the soldier still has a layer of LBV on to remove, and this takes precious seconds. Also as a note, at least 2/3rds of our infantry after about two months were duct taping their IOTV's together because they would randomly separate...making the quick-detach impossible. For life saving capabilities, the quick removal is also made inop by duct taping the IOTV. Newer versions may solve this dilemma, but I remain skeptical.
  3. CrufflerJJ

    CrufflerJJ Monkey+

    "Brilliant", no. Closed-minded, yes. Any time I see a "closed-minded" statement along the lines of "the only martial art/shooting/knife-fighting-style worth learning is my one-true-way super-ultimate-Ninja-fighting-machine-style", my BS detector starts alarming.

    There IS no one true way. Closed minds are useless.

    To discount all "jutsu/butsu" or "do" martial arts/ways is foolish (in my not so humble opinion). The challenge to any student is to find a GOOD instructor. One who is not only skilled in the moves of his particular martial art, but also the inherent MEANING/APPLICATION of those moves.

    To say that "all martial arts lose effectiveness as they age" is an ignorant, overly broad, closed-minded statement.

    To say that Tai Chi (or any martial art, for that matter) is just a dance is just plain ignorant. At the basic levels, any martial art is "just a dance." What matters most is the mindset of the practitioner. Are you just moving your arms, or are you responding to an attack in a useful manner?

    As with many things in life, you get out of it what you put into it. Do a "dance", enjoy your dance. Do a way of life, learn & defeat (or at least accept) your own weaknesses.

    A closed mind leads to failure.
  4. UGRev

    UGRev Get on with it!

    I concur. I studied 3 different styles of Karate before I found Jujitsu. What I found, FOR ME, was that the combination was a winner. I used Karate to achieve a superior position to employ jujitsu techniques. I've also found that a person who's only studied one style has a very limited toolset and often doesn't do well against someone who has studied 3, 4,X number of styles. On top of that, having GREAT instructors sealed the deal. My wife & son go to a chain (rhymes with La and ends with Valleys) and while I have no doubt there are great Karateka's in that school, the instruction is abysmal and I end up correcting my son.. pretty much on everything they teach. Try telling my wife this, however, and it ends up in a yelling match as if my past 25 years of learning from people who learned in Japan, the Philippines and/or directly under the Shihan of any given style meant nothing.

    Side note: I prefer Escrima with the rattan sticks. There's almost always a long handed weapon someplace. :)
  5. fortunateson

    fortunateson I hate Illinois Nazis!

    The point is that arming yourself is far superior to being unarmed. I don't think you can dispute that.
    All the arguments about style aside, that is the main point of the writer's comment.
    If you're an American male, you've been indoctrinated into thinking primarily "empty hand". That's the way every manly brawl is portrayed in the movies and on TV.
    In my experience that was also the rule of the schoolyard.

    When a person thinks of self defense, what do they think of? Karate? Gung fu? Tai Kwan Do?
    How many people spend thousands of dollars and years in Karate class to learn "self defense" when that skill can be defeated (most of the time) by a can of pepper spray?
    Weapons are leverage and a force multiplier.
    I'm not saying that empty hand training is not valuable, but IMO, as a survivalist, efficiency comes first.
  6. CrufflerJJ

    CrufflerJJ Monkey+

    When I think of self defense, I first think of situational awareness. If you don't know what's going on around you, empty hand vs blade vs stick vs firearm doesn't matter.

    IF (big IF) you're aware of the situation, I firmly agree that a firearm is much nicer than open hand. Distance weapons are very nice - whether they be firearm or OC. Next best is a blade, then comes open hand. In all cases, however, a focused mind is the best starting point.....in my not so humble opinion. Then again, a "time on target" dump is pretty useful too.;)
  7. Hispeedal2

    Hispeedal2 Nay Sayer

    I can't help but post this:

    YouTube - Kiai Master vs MMA

    I tend to agree that a single "art form" will get your ass kicked. I believe that modern MMA/UFC has shown that mastering one technique is poor technique. Having an open mind and a more eclectic style will give you the tool set to prevail. There is no "one". Take from many.

    And..... brute force helps (size does matter).
  8. UGRev

    UGRev Get on with it!

    I can't believe what I just saw.. I don't know if I should laugh , cry or feel bad for the guy.
  9. SoCal09

    SoCal09 Monkey++

    Kali would be an excellent practical fighting style to learn
  10. fortunateson

    fortunateson I hate Illinois Nazis!

    Hoo MAN! That is SAD!
    What is going on at ~:25 ??? Looks like he's using the force on the guy.

    BTW, reminds me what an old Sensei of mine used to say: "Size and strength matter". He was a bit of an arrogant jerk but he got that right.
    Skills matter, but a large enough opponent can shrink that advantage.
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