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nielmag
nielmag's picture
Example of (Mixed) Martial Arts Working in Self Protection

Thought this was quite interesting.  Although I know there is quite a difference between Sport vs Self protection, but in this instance a guy with an MMA background was able to take care of himself.  Granted, we have no idea of this guys background, details, etc.  Not just for this example, but I believe sparring, be it sport, can be better than merely doing kihon/kata on air.

 

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-12-05/news/chi-robber-tussles-with-martialarts-expert-gets-beaten-and-shot-20111205_1_arts-robber-burglary-cases

Tez
Tez's picture

I love the fact that the robber literally shot himself in the foot (ok ankle lol). It does prove the point I often have to make ie that MMA people can fight without a referee and rules, so many people think we can't!

Zach Zinn
Zach Zinn's picture

I don't see many people (at least not one's i'd bother listening to) saying that fighters can't fight, of course they can, same with Judo, boxing, whatever. Most of the intelligent stuff is talking about training for specific environment vs. doing one type of training and saying it applies equally to all walks of life.

There's lots of news stories you can find about Judoka thwarting armed attackers too, and Karateka, Wing Chun guys, whatever else for that matter. That's why you shouldn't try to evaluate arts on the basis of what their exponents might do in a certain situation to draw definite conclusions, but rather simply evaluate them on the training itself, and whether it works as advertised, and is training for what it says it's training for.

If he had gotten killed would that mean MMA "deosn't work", and we've now solved the stereotypical MMA vs. TMA debate? No, of course it wouldn't. That's the kind of thinking involved in believing that you can draw such sweeping conclusions one either side. There is ALOT more involved in evaluating something like this than reducing it to "well, he does X art/system/method", so it must be good/bad for the street. It's not a binary question like that.

Do you really think there are alot of serious martial artists out there that would find it amazing that an MMA guy can take care of himself, or is it possible you are maybe giving a little too much credence to an interenet meme?

Tez
Tez's picture

I go on another (American) martial arts forum and the common thing I'm told there is that 'you fight how you train', therefore because MMA fighters train to fight with rules and a ref they can't defend themsleves 'in the street'. I've been on there for over five years and it crops up regularly. It's not that MMA doesn't work it's that fighters can't use it because they are used to the rules. It's what I call the 'eye gouge' argument, it goes...there's rules in MMA which mean you can't use illegal moves such as eye gouges, groin strikes etc so when fighting in a self defence situation you don't use eye gouges etc.

The other thing a little unrelated is that whenever someone wants to demonstrate ignorance in martial arts they chose MMA as an example.

 

michael rosenbaum
michael rosenbaum's picture

Tez wrote:

I go on another (American) martial arts forum and the common thing I'm told there is that 'you fight how you train', therefore because MMA fighters train to fight with rules and a ref they can't defend themsleves 'in the street'. I've been on there for over five years and it crops up regularly. It's not that MMA doesn't work it's that fighters can't use it because they are used to the rules. It's what I call the 'eye gouge' argument, it goes...there's rules in MMA which mean you can't use illegal moves such as eye gouges, groin strikes etc so when fighting in a self defence situation you don't use eye gouges etc.

The other thing a little unrelated is that whenever someone wants to demonstrate ignorance in martial arts they chose MMA as an example.

Tez,

That's about the same as saying Sonny Liston couldn't street fight because he was a boxer. Personal insecurities are rife in the arts that don't use live and or contact training. Also internet theories and armchair warriors abound. It's not the style, but the fighter who makes the fight. Given the choice of putting my money on the karate-ka who hits air all day, or the MMA fighter who hits the bag, I'll put my money on the MMA fighter. But please, spare me the "all fights end up on the ground line". 

Tez
Tez's picture

Ah the 'all fights end up on the ground' argument, on par with the 'eye gouge' one I think! When you go into some of their arguments you find that it's the police arrests they've been watching where quite often officers will take someone down to the ground to handcuff and/or control the person, they aren't fights as such. 

Zach Zinn
Zach Zinn's picture

Tez, I think I understand where you are coming from but I think there's kind of an important distinction to make here about 'street v.s whatever' claims...

There's a big difference between someone who takes the 'eye gouge' defense (which annoys me too, I hate that kind of thing and i've never done any MMA), and someone who is simply pointing out that combat sport training is training for a specific set of circumstances (weight classes, rules, different function of groundfighting, I think the most important one is simply that it is a consensual fight you have forknowledge of), some of which might carry over, and some of which may not.

On the other hand, i've also seen the other side where forum MMA exponents say stuff like they would able to choke someone out in multiple opponent scenarios, or that eye attacks  are clearly ineffective because you don't see them in MMA...those are both real examples.

The point is, either one of those arguments is someone who likely isn't worth listening to, because they have avoided doing  ANY of the basic reasoning required to evaluate their own training, and whether or not it's oriented towards their goals. They are both assum,ing that there is some magic one size fits all approach to martial arts/self defense, and that is bad!

In short anyone from any camp claiming a panacea for effective martial arts, be it MMA, Karate, whatever is probably not thinking clearly. There is no ONE TRUE THING you can do to guarantee your stuff will work on the street, as the question is much more complex than that kind of reductionist thinking.

Also, I have never seen the intelligent folks out there writing about martial arts discourage live training, what I have seen is a critical analsys of what kind of live training is being done, and having live training that is fit to purpose if your concern is self defense. I realize there might be people out there making an argument as outlandish as "do kata and don't do any live or contact work"..but those people are as ridiculous as the guy who thinks he can choke out multiple opponents, and both those types of claims are clearly without any real merit.

Gary Chamberlain
Gary Chamberlain's picture

Michael

It's not the style, but the fighter who makes the fight. 

Agree 100%

Best example I can come up with is my old man.  A few hours of unarmed combat instruction in the Royal Marines, good retention of those practical skills and a hair trigger made him formidable indeed.  In his prime he'd fight anyone.

I've enjoyed and benefitted from the challenge of MA training and done quite well, but often wished I had half his ferocity. 

Who knows?  Maybe all that bowing trained it out of me ...

Gary

JWT
JWT's picture

It never ceases to amaze me how often I stumble across a thread that says "martial artist/fighter in style X fights off mugger/beats pubk/saves kitten from yobs, this proves that style X is good for the street."

Rubbish.  

as Michael says, It's not the style, but the fighter who makes the fight. 

This is the most important factor. I'll sub divide this further though.

The most important factor is the mindset of the fighter.  The person's ability to spot trouble, avoid trouble, quash trouble, and if need be their determination to survive and willingness to fight hard to do so.  This mindset can be instilled through hard training and information briefings, but for most people this comes from a combination of genetics and upbringing - the environment they've grown up in, the attitude and values of their family, peers and community that have been instilled in them.

The second factor (though not necessarily second in importance) is the physical ability of the fighter.  Size, strength, speed and stamina.  Key fighting attributes.  The more you have of each the better your odds.

The third factor is the training of the fighter and the knowlege and skills that this brings to the table.  Without wishing to put down any specific style, not all styles are equal here, and different styles will prepare you better for different types of fight.  Tez, the saying - you get good at what you train for -  it's right.  You do.  That doesn't mean that if you have to fight in a different arena you won't be able to, merely that you've not necessarily had the best training for that arena.  

This is why people with no training can win fights (and do on a regular basis) if they have the right mindset.  It's also why many very skilled martial artists lose fights, because often their upbringing and training hasn't necessarily developed that mental attitude.  Good MMA training works speed, stamina and the will to win with a number of skill sets appropriate for real fighting.  It might not help you avoid the fights so well as good self protection training, but then poor self protection training won't necessarily work the stamina to last or the mindset to fight...

 

diadicic
diadicic's picture

This Begs the question.  Why train TMA?  Why not just train MMA and Leave TMA in the past?

Dom

Gary Chamberlain
Gary Chamberlain's picture

I suppose the same reason some like fencing, etc.

Hobby, personal challenge, exercise, who knows?

I teach a combat sport and offer no guarantees that it will work in a brawl.  How can we?  As JWT points out so much is down to the character / mindset of the individual and their ability to hold their nerve in a crisis.

What I can say is that if you can hold your nerve, the fitness, impact and accuracy required to compete at the top level in any contact system isn't going to make things worse, unless you're daft enough to enter a situation willingly thinking you've got a few fancy tricks up your sleeve ...

Whenever possible, swallow your pride, control your temper (or fear), apologise and leave remains my self-protection advice.  I'd guess every MMA coach would say pretty much the same thing.

Gary 

nielmag
nielmag's picture

My whole intent of this thread was not to say style X is superior (or inferior for that matter) to anything on the planet.  Ian has a great martial map, which I agree on.  However, we usually focus on the different contexts and I agree.  However, there is some overlap, and I stress some, not end all be all.  I do agree 100% its the fighter, not the style per se.  I am a TMA, but I do admire the MMA guys I know for the intensity, or pressure testing their their training/techniques go under.  Their version of pressure testing is within context of their sport.  I love JWT's quote:

"That doesn't mean that if you have to fight in a different arena you won't be able to, merely that you've not necessarily had the best training for that arena. "

I believe more realistic training, even if it is for sport, will better prepare one for self protection than hitting the air and practicing outward forms kata/kihon.  Again, thats not to say MMA is the way, or its the best training for self protection, just mentioning there is some overlap on the martial map.

diadicic
diadicic's picture

nielmag wrote:

"That doesn't mean that if you have to fight in a different arena you won't be able to, merely that you've not necessarily had the best training for that arena. "

I believe more realistic training, even if it is for sport, will better prepare one for self protection than hitting the air and practicing outward forms kata/kihon.  Again, thats not to say MMA is the way, or its the best training for self protection, just mentioning there is some overlap on the martial map.

Agreed

Dom

Zach Zinn
Zach Zinn's picture

Quote:
I believe more realistic training, even if it is for sport, will better prepare one for self protection than hitting the air and practicing outward forms kata/kihon.  Again, thats not to say MMA is the way, or its the best training for self protection, just mentioning there is some overlap on the martial map.

This is completely true of course, however it seems like a false dichotomy to me. It's like saying "sparring will help you fight better than hitting a speedbag and jogging will". It's true in a broad sense, but only because it misses the point of hitting the speedbag, ..obviously there is far more to well rounded training than just sparring, or even partner training. Including MMA guys, there isn plenty that goes into an MMA fighters or boxers training that isn't sparring.

This argument only really applies if there is someone claiming that the only choices in training are between sparring, or doing kata and kihon, and that the latter is exclusively better, and serves as a replacement fopr sparring etc.I know these people may exist here and there, but I imagine you'd find almost none of them on this board.

Thankfully we don't live in a world where our only choices for functional training are either  constant sparring, or doing constant disconnected  solo exercises!

Tez
Tez's picture

Firstly MMA is TMA. MMA is exactly what it says on the tin, it's mixed martial arts. In the UK most MMA fighters have a background in a tradtional martial art and they will train in other TMAs to get the skills they need, just because they don't grade doesn't meant to say they aren't doing tradtional arts.

My point about the saying 'you train what you know' was that many people think that because there's rules in MMA as there in in any legitimate martial arts competitions, MMA fighters can't fight outside those rules, that they'll  sit there waiting for a ref to tell them to start or that they can't use so called 'dirty tricks', JWT's post is an example of what I mean, that it misses the point that MMA fighters, Olympic TKD fighter, judo players etc can't think out of the box they aren't rigidly stuck in that rules mode. The argument is never about the striking style, ground fighting, fitness etc it's always about fighting within rules...that if you fight with rules you can't defend yourself because there's no rules in self defence.

nielmag
nielmag's picture

Quote:

 

This is completely true of course, however it seems like a false dichotomy to me. It's like saying "sparring will help you fight better than hitting a speedbag and jogging will". It's true in a broad sense, but only because it misses the point of hitting the speedbag, ..obviously there is far more to well rounded training than just sparring, or even partner training. Including MMA guys, there isn plenty that goes into an MMA fighters or boxers training that isn't sparring.

This argument only really applies if there is someone claiming that the only choices in training are between sparring, or doing kata and kihon, and that the latter is exclusively better, and serves as a replacement fopr sparring etc.I know these people may exist here and there, but I imagine you'd find almost none of them on this board.

Thankfully we don't live in a world where our only choices for functional training are either  constant sparring, or doing constant disconnected  solo exercises!

Zach, I agree with you, and let me clarify:  more realistic training includes sparring, hitting speedbag/focus mitts.heavy bag, etc.  Just hitting something other than air!  And you are correct, most people on this site do more than just practicing on air, but again, I come from a TMA, where over 90% of what we do is making sure technique looks 100% outwardly correct, not much application or hitting anything other than air.  I believe solo practice has a place, hitting mitts, etc has a place, sparring, etc...

Overall, great thread everyone!

JWT
JWT's picture

Tez wrote:

My point about the saying 'you train what you know' was that many people think that because there's rules in MMA as there in in any legitimate martial arts competitions, MMA fighters can't fight outside those rules, that they'll  sit there waiting for a ref to tell them to start or that they can't use so called 'dirty tricks', JWT's post is an example of what I mean, that it misses the point that MMA fighters, Olympic TKD fighter, judo players etc can't think out of the box they aren't rigidly stuck in that rules mode. The argument is never about the striking style, ground fighting, fitness etc it's always about fighting within rules...that if you fight with rules you can't defend yourself because there's no rules in self defence.

Sorry, are you saying that this IS the case or it ISN'T the case?

The concept of 'no rules' in self defence is false.  The fact is, no matter how good or realistic your training is, there are always rules.  In real life there are also always rules - the rules you set yourself - and the rules the other people set themselves.  They may be much much  broader, but they are still there. 

PS - So far as I'm concered I covered 'rules' in my thrid factor - training and knowledge.

Zach Zinn
Zach Zinn's picture

Tez, I feel you are avoiding a very subtle but important disctinction in JWT's argument, and with this kind of question in general.

It is one thing to say that fighters in combat sport cannot fight outside a ring at all (ridiculous) it is quite another to say that combat sport training is not neccessarily geared optimally for self defense, which seems to be quite a reasonable statement for a variety of reasons. The two statements are NOT the same thing, and presenting them as the same is misleading.

AS I read it JWT Is not saying that the fighters will defend themselves unscuccessfully, in fact he points out that they can and often do, his point (as I read it) is that the thing to evaluate is the training and that basing what you think a whole art or method is capable of on the basis of the isolated performance of individuals is misleading.

 

Quote:
that if you fight with rules you can't defend yourself because there's no rules in self defence.

So you disagree that fighting within rules has eny effect whatsoever, or you simply disagree that is has the effect that some (might I add thus far unamed) people claim it has? All I am saying is, I do not know many serious martial artists who make claims like "MMA fighters can't fight on the street", whereas I know plenty who are keen on pointing out the difference between training within a self protection framework, or training forcompetition..be it Judo, MMA, whatever.

It is not a black and white question, adhering to rules does not neccessarily render someone ineffective outside a given environment, but I feel it's probably equally silly to claim it has no effect at all...especially when the "rules" include things that are HUGE like weight class, consensual nature of the fight, psychological factors etc.

 I spent some time in Judo recently. Not that long, about a year of very casual training but I got a general feel for what the training includes. There was plenty there that could be used in self defense, and certainly a good Judoka just by virtue of regular randori and conditioning has some formidable skills, however the training itself simply is not geared with self defense as  the goal...the whol concept does not exist in the framework of the training. Therefore, if my goal is to learn self defense, it is probably worth looking at something that moves towards that ends, rather than something where the sole ends is winning a competition. It's worth mentioning there ARE people out there who teach Judo technique in a self defense framework anyway..they  just seem more rare.  I would find it dishonest if a competitive Judo school claimed they are teaching 'self defense' (with all that term entails) simply due to the fact that they were training live for competitions.

I know MMA is more inclusive, but I feel the same concept applies.

My feeling is whether someone says their training will infallibly work because they do MMA in a ring, or they say it will infallibly work because of their ancient secrets, weapon disarms, and awesome calligraphy..it is worth always taking the words of people who claim to have a self defense panacea with a grain of salt! Both those extremes are such ridiculous reductionist arguments about such a complex subject..neither is worthy of serious consideration.

Tez
Tez's picture

In my post I was saying how on another site I use it's always posted up by many serious experienced martial artists ( granted MMA is much bigger and show bizzy in the States than here) that MMA can't be used for self defence because the fighters are hamstrung by only training with rules and train to fight with a referee present to protect the fighters, stopping the fight if neceassary. I'm merely saying that this doesn't mean MMA fighters can't protect themselves in self defence situations. they don't wait for the ref to signal the start of the fight and they don't fight within the rules if they are having to defend themselves. No one was disputing the techniques in MMA, or the fitness commitment etc just the fact that fighting within a ruleset trained you only to be able to fight that way.

I'm not avoiding any other argument because this was my sole point, the video in the OP proved that MMA fighters are as capable as defending themselves outside competition as anyone else.  I wouldn't read anymore into it than simply that. .

Zach Zinn
Zach Zinn's picture

Fair enough, i'm probably over thinking it. I'd agree that someone claiming MMA fighters can't do anything in self defense is being ridiculous, though I take issue with using a single video as definitive "proof" of anything.

Tez
Tez's picture

Zach Zinn wrote:

Fair enough, i'm probably over thinking it. I'd agree that someone claiming MMA fighters can't do anything in self defense is being ridiculous, though I take issue with using a single video as definitive "proof" of anything.

 

I wouold take issue with you because I said light heartedly that it shows that we can defend ourselves if needed. I think it's posted up here but there is another video showing MMA fighters defending themselves even wearing female clothes, if it's proof you need I will find as much as you wish.  

Zach Zinn
Zach Zinn's picture

Like I said, I don't need 'proof' of any kind that combat sport practitioners can defend themselves. It sort of goes without saying that some can, then again so can some football players, some untrained manual laborers, some soccer moms etc.So existence of video or accounts  of someone defending themselves is misleading as far as evidence for or against a certain type of training being good in self defense. Anyone with good training in martial arts probably stands a better chance in physical terms, but beyond these broad generalizaitons there is no point in posting videos of a style of fighting defending themselves and saying "see, it works" , because it's just a poor argument, and I think that goes for MMA, TMA, whatever.

I felt like JWT covered this stuff very well in his earlier post, especially when he said :

" That doesn't mean that if you have to fight in a different arena you won't be able to, merely that you've not necessarily had the best training for that arena.  "

I'm gonna go ahead and take my leave now as I feel like this thread runs the danger of us just repeating ourselves, but I thank you very much for the conversation, I have enjoyed it.