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Paul Anderson
Paul Anderson's picture
So ... someone asks you to show them a MA technique ..
So you're at a party with relatives or friends, or sat on your lunch hour with colleagues who know you do some form of Martial Arts ... and they ask you politely to show them a technique. What do you do? What do you show them? Why that technique?
Lee Richardson
Lee Richardson's picture

In my experience don't show them anything - they only want to show you how it wouldn't work on them.

Gary Chamberlain
Gary Chamberlain's picture

I just offer them a free introductory class.


Dave Moore
Dave Moore's picture

That happened and, I don't know if he was taking the pee or really did want to have go  so as he reached out to grab me  I pulled his arm down and forwards and then smacked him in the side of the ribs with not a lot of force just below his arm pit. When I looked around the other guys had a shocked looked that said ' he's just it him' when in reality I hadn't, really and he wasn't hurt.  Strangely enough he hasn't asked for any more tips since.

Why did I use that one, I don't know it popped into my head as he reached out but it worked though.

Jon Sloan
Jon Sloan's picture

I like your answer Gary smiley

Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture

Nice question! I guess I’d opt for punching them in the throat and screaming, “How do you like me now!?!” Or maybe not :-)

I recall being nineteen when a friend asked me to kick an empty beer can off his head. I’d done this before and it had always been well received … however on this occasion I did not quite get the height I was hoping for and kicked my friend in the side of the head which resulted in him dropping to the floor. The audience was very impressed! With the kick, if not my accuracy. I should point out here that I was 100% T-total at the time, although my friend was most defiantly not! :-)

These days I decline and suggest that if they want to come to the dojo I’d be happy to teach them something meaningful. It’s safer and easier that way.

All the best,


PS My friend was OK by the way.

Gavin Mulholland
Gavin Mulholland's picture

Thigh kick every time...

Jon Sloan
Jon Sloan's picture

Full power of course.

Gavin Mulholland
Gavin Mulholland's picture

Well, you know the old saying:

Ask a stupid question, get a violent response ...or something...

danpt's picture

Nice idea for a topic!

In my case since I mainly practice Aikido, I usually ask them to grab my wrist, then do Nikyo -In English: an adductive wristlock (according to Wikipedia).

Why that one? Well, it has an immediate and recognisable effect - i.e. it hurts like hell. Also it's worked well for me even on much bigger/stronger people and when you do it with control the risk of injury is pretty low - plus it's one of the techniques I can still do when I'm a little drunk cheeky

Andrew Carr-Locke
Andrew Carr-Locke's picture

Front Kick them in the face for the KO...... and then thank Steven Segal. 

In the past when this has come up, I reverse it on them right away, and show them how to do a technique on their friend. That way it's less about me and more about the technique. Like a basic cover-up/shield. Then get their friend to swing at them to see if it works. I stay on the sidelines, or even by the beer fridge in the other room. 

Then deny everything.

lcpljones_dontpanic's picture

Hi all

come on guys i think your responses so far have been a little lame, wheres the stamping on their heads and eye gouging, or is that going a tad too far. no wonder i got no friendssmiley

i personally dont demo anything and just invite them along to a training session.

this thread reminds of an incident years back though.

not long after i had joined the army i was met up for a drink with some of my civvy mates, one of whom was saying that he didnt think i could do what was necessary when the time came and asked that i prove i could. to which i replied who would you like me to shoot. he asked me to punch him in the face. daft eh!

i of course being a disciplined and well trained fighting machine and killer soldier declined and told him not to be so daft BUT having already decided to oblige him. he insisted a couple more times that i hit him with me declining each time until he started to say "See i told you, you did'nt have it in you".

however on the word Told his nose exploded in a mist of claret as a result of my right landing on it at a rapid rate od knots. the other lads laughed their socks off. the landlord came over asking what was going on and when told the details also laughed his head off. meanwhile my mate went off to sort his nose out and came back later saying "fair one i was a dickhead".

the moral of the story dont ask for a demowink

Neil Cook
Neil Cook's picture

Hi All,

In previous, and less humble, years i have abliged in hurting some who has asked for a demo but sometimes found myself feeling guilty or lucky that it had actually worked. Now i don't feel the need to prove anything so when someone says "show me some karate" i say " i'm doing it right now". Once the confused look has amused me enough i say that it's not all about fighting and that karate has given much more than just hard punch.

I do remember some people at work asking about how hard i could hit so i brought in some body armour. Suffice to say, i enjoyed myself.

Gavin Mulholland
Gavin Mulholland's picture

Seriously, I haven't been asked in years.

Do people still ask this for real?

Dave Moore
Dave Moore's picture

Yep I have had it a few times, I always wonder if they are taking the pee as they always ask,  then start doing funny hand gestures while making squeeling  noises like Bruce Lee in his films

Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture

Gavin Mulholland wrote:
Seriously, I haven't been asked in years.

Do people still ask this for real?

They’ve probably seen you and your guys in action Gavin and daren’t ask in case you oblige! wink

Gavin Mulholland
Gavin Mulholland's picture

LOL. Well if they'd seen me anytime in the last three months I would have been hobbling around on a walking stick so I'm guessing pity is more likely...

Gary Chamberlain
Gary Chamberlain's picture

The last time I was pushed to 'demo' a skill was at a local colleges activity week.  I'd been booked to teach self-protection seminars and wasn't going to do any physical stuff, just talk about awareness etc.

One of the staff members decided to leap up and be a prat, questioning if this and that would work, so I asked him to come into my personal space.  I just used the fence and gave him a bit of a dig with my front palm to restore distance.

He went down - much to everyone's surprise - and I thought he was being a bit of a drama queen.  The kids loved it though and as he sat groaning through the last ten minutes they were paying real attention to everything I said.

Turns out I broke his sternum.  Oops!


Moral:  If you want kids to pay attention, drop their teacher.

BRITON55's picture

Like the thread, I suppose at some point when what you do takes on some kind of social life of its own as a form of entertainment at parties and when people are bored and wish to liven things up, or the person asking the question has other ulterior motives for asking you to demonstrate your skills, I reverse the question and say "show me something you do first"....The worst moment which makes me cringe is when a so called friend introduces you to a rugby prop forward at a beerfest not by your name but by your martial arts grade and style....you offer your hand out for a handshake knowing full well its hand crush time......I always prepare for hand crush time by placing an extended fore finger on the wrist of the would be hand crusher....its interesting to watch the expression change on the would be crushers face as it dawns on them the futility of the effort is dragging on and on until I say "can I have my hand back now please people are starting to talk :] ".

Peace and Harmony...Pyung Ahn

Yours in Budo


Finlay's picture

thid happened a ittle while ago to one of my teachers, he was working out in a gym he frequented, everybody there knew he was a self defense teacher and occasionally would go and ask him some morer sincere questions about training. one day a cocky TKD black belt came along and found out who he was working out next to. they got to talking, next thing Mr. TKD was bobbing and weaving, moving in jabbing moving out, dancing around saying something along the lines of "what would you  do? "how can you deal with this?"  the next time he came floeating like a butterfly to my teacher, he got a fairly sold foot in his groin and went down like a stone

Josh Nixon
Josh Nixon's picture

People used to ask me while I was at school, and I usually did random stupid things like Tornado Kicks, or aerial 540s for them, which was generally well-received; you know - Capoiera-type stuff. These days though I don't go in for the flashy, artsy type stuff, and either answer all philosophically, saying (same as you, Neil) that I'm doing it right now. I also used to let people try to slap me on the head or give them the goal of touching my nose, etc if they started asking about defending punches.

These days though I just can't be bothered with all that. As a couple of you have said, I just offer them a session sometime. It's a shame that quite a few lose interest when they're given the opportunity to have a go though! Oh well.

Dave - oh, don't get me started. I've been doing some taster sessions in a local high school, and they actually expect me to be teaching with the noises and stuff; they look positively disappointed when I don't start squawking. (O_o)

Tau's picture

Point them to your YouTube channel!