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13_CBS
2007-09-03, 10:45 PM
Well, I've been looking at youtube vids exhibiting Martial Art A vs Martial Art B. Many of them seem to show that arts such as Muay Thai and Karate ("no frills" martial arts, maybe?) tend to be superior than, oh, Kung fu, which in turn is better than Tae Kwon Do. The youtube commentators almost exclusively agree that TKD, especially, is less than effective at best and very ineffective at worst. Ex: http://youtube.com/watch?v=VbrYiy3Xe_A and http://youtube.com/watch?v=xEGE7tvgd3o&mode=related&search=

And of course, there's always the argument that such videos are almost all thrown fights, that someone paid the fighters money for one to get completely dominated.

So a list of questions:

1) Are certain martial arts simply better than one another? Yes, I suppose some have advantages in areas that other arts do not, but in real fights these advantages cannot always be exploited...

2) If so, what makes certain arts weaker?

3) And a more "your opinion" one: what's your fav martial art? Why?

PhoeKun
2007-09-03, 11:05 PM
1) This isn't really a clear-cut issue. In general, though, it is safe to say that there are certain martial arts that are more effective than others. Karate is extremely powerful, and useful through most skill levels. Muay Thai, by comparison, can be absolutely devastating... if you're good at it. If not, you're more likely to break your joints than your opponent. Which is why I would recommend Karate over Muay Thai to those interested in studying the martial arts, ****o Ryu background and bias notwithstanding.

On the other side of the fence, Tae Kwon Do is a style that focuses heavily on flashy kicks and complicated strikes. These look impressive, but anybody with half a brain will knock you out in the middle of your spinning round house kick. As taught to the majority of American students, Tae Kwon Do is not so great.

2) An art is "weaker" if it is less useful, or if there are flaws in the style. There isn't any one thing you can point to for each style to describe it as weaker, but in general, the more complicated the style, the more "tells" it will have in a fight, and the easier it is to predict. But this can go flying straight the other way with things like Capoeria, which is just... yeah. Try and keep up with those guys. Other factors to consider are the levels of skill required before somebody can be legitimately expected to hold their own in a fight.

Honestly, though, a sufficiently talented fighter can make any style work. I prefer to use the quality of the dojo and the instructors as a measuring stick for how much a person has to gain from studying a martial art, as opposed to comparing styles.

3) Again, I'm biased, but I've found nothing I like more than ****o Ryu karate. It's simple, it's elegant, and it works.

Brickwall
2007-09-03, 11:26 PM
I practice Tae Kwon Do. 80-some percent of it is useless. All my instructors tell me that. I only learn the flashy stuff because it's mandatory, same reason they teach it.

The basics are just as effective as your whatever. It doesn't matter if you study karate, kung fu, or whatever, a straight punch from the hip in a stance that focuses equal weight on both feet will be exactly the same. Maybe a little different, depending if you put your fist vertical or horizontal.

Most of my instructors say "you only use three or four kicks," and that's the truth. Show me a martial art that doesn't have techniques that you'll never use. I mean it. I challenge you. They all teach a lot of techniques so that you keep whichever ones stay best in your mind. PhoeKun, how many techniques does ****o Ryu teach? A hundred before you can get your black belt (a fair benchmark for the purpose of the discussion)? Even fifty? Tell me honestly that you think you'd use all fifty. Even if they are "simple" (I laugh at the notion that any art is simple), they're not all useful. Flashy or not.

I would like to further my point with the other art I practice, Hap Ki Do, a Korean art that focuses on manipulation of opposing force (throws and such, if you must know). I love it. We learn over ten techniques for each kind of attack we might be facing. But if someone punches me, I'm not going to be choosing from a little attack menu with all of them, which lists their properties if you press "select". I'll have a couple "go-to" techniques that will just show up and work.

My conclusion? Styles aren't really "better" than any others. Sure, Tae Kwon Do focuses on lower body striking upper body, but it can be effective if used correctly. One of those "flashy kicks" I happen to like incorporates a feint and then a totally weird strike right to the ribs. Quickly. It's designed that way. So if you're looking for "tells", you get kicked in the ribs. It works. Likewise, I'm sure that a ****o Ryu student of an equal skill level in that art to mine in Tae Kwon Do would be exactly as effective as me. However, Tae Kwon Do is a nice art for me because my lower body strength is better than my upper body strength, and most power in that art comes from the lower body (kicks, as you said).

PhoeKun did make one point I agree with: the quality of the training matters, not so much the material. My instructors spent more time teaching situations that the style didn't cover (at my level), but that came up in real fights relatively often. Sure, I learned that 3-kick spinny crap (and hated it), but I also learned useful stuff. Choke holds, bear hugs, stuff that's dangerous if you aren't ready. And now I am. I miss those guys.

The Great Skenardo
2007-09-03, 11:40 PM
I think martial arts for me has value mostly as a way of training myself and yes, looking good. I don't mind that forms will not see me through a desperate struggle for my life. I know some self-defense stuff, but it's of limited use.

to be honest, my favorite martial arts tend to be the unusual ones. Drunken boxing, for example, attracts me not only because it's exotic, but because it takes tremendous strength, coordination and joint control.

Midnight Son
2007-09-03, 11:41 PM
The original UFC was created just for the purpose of this discussion. They wanted to know which art was best. Turns out, none are by themselves. (though they did conclude that any black belt in Tae Kwon Do will be owned by the first decent grappler he meets). What was concluded was that a mixed style that involves the ability to strike, kick and grapple was the best, and that you had better have an answer for any of them. If all you focus on is one style, you will be meat on the pavement for someone versed in more.

PhoeKun
2007-09-03, 11:41 PM
Well, actually, there are only 20 or so techniques in ****o Ryu. 5 closed hand strikes, 5 open hand strikes, 5 blocks, and 5 kicks. Oh, and 5 or 6 take downs. Closer to 30, then. Advancement comes from learning kata and combinations. Admittedly, however, there are a lot of combos that are never likely to see combat, but it wasn't my intention to place it on a pedestal as the end-all be all of martial arts. It's simply my style, and my favorite.

But let's face it. As taught to most people, Tae Kwon Do is functionally useless. You lucked out, Brick, in finding instructors willing to admit that most of the style isn't meant for combat.

The truest conclusion one can make when comparing styles of martial arts is that they tend to have a Paper Tiger scenario going on amongst them. Some styles have never heard of kicks, and don't know what to do with them once confronted by them, whereas other styles shut down strikers with strong throws and grappling. Reactionary styles each have techniques they work best with, and so on and so forth. But again, it all comes down in the end to the individual skill-level of the fighters, and the quality of their training.

edit: and MS speaks true. Fighters proficient in more forms of combat will avoid the Paper Tiger, and generally be more effective than their specialist counterparts.

Brickwall
2007-09-03, 11:58 PM
Which is why I plan on learning more styles. Though I like Hap Ki Do. I have yet to learn kick-defense takedowns, knife defense...yeah, lotsa stuff.

Although, PhoeKun, what makes you so certain that other instructors don't say that? Except in competitive-instruction schools...I think that many Tae Kwon Do instructors would say the same thing. Of course, this is the only one I've been to, so I'll defer to you at this point.

Nibleswick
2007-09-04, 12:01 AM
Well, I'm rather fond of Tae Kwon Do, and what I learned in it is probably a bit more balanced then what you get with other TKD Dojongs, as what I learned was mixed in with Hop Ki Do, Kick Boxing, Muay Thai, and self defense (i.e. how to beat up muggers.), oh, and wrestling. The way I learned TKD is mostly getting out of the way so that you can knock your opponent down quickly and from a distance. It also deals a lot with feints (I <3 moon kick) so that you get a good shot at the torso or head, on top of this it has a lot of power and it's quite adaptable. But maybe this is all because my instructors train people for UFC as well.

Well that's my two cents.

PhoeKun
2007-09-04, 12:05 AM
Although, PhoeKun, what makes you so certain that other instructors don't say that? Except in competitive-instruction schools...I think that many Tae Kwon Do instructors would say the same thing. Of course, this is the only one I've been to, so I'll defer to you at this point.

Personal experience. I've spoken to a very large number of Tae Kwon Do students who fail to demonstrate that they understand the difference between the triple spinning stupid crap and something that would actually... you know... work. And then, of course, I've been to at least 20 different places that teach Tae Kwon Do. Not a one of them encouraged mastery of the basics.

The sad truth is that Tae Kwon Do is popular in America because of the 80% of the stuff you shouldn't use in a fight. Plus, a lot of schools seem to offer lightning-fast advancement to black belt (to the point where people look at me funny when I tell them it took me 10 years), which doesn't speak to a high overall quality of instruction. But this isn't a critique so much against the style as it is the people teaching it. The basics tend to work, although differently, no matter what you've learned.

Rockphed
2007-09-04, 12:16 AM
I don't actually practice any martial arts, but I know plenty of people who do. From my experiences, I have made the following observations.

1. Size is very important. My friend had a triple black belt in Kung Fu, and on many occasions said that she would not like to fight me in any circumstance. I weighed about twice as much as she did, and that was the reason she gave for fearing me.

2. A weapon is nice, but know how to use it. Someone might be able to dodge a gun aimed at their head from two feet, but not from fifty.

Now those might not be true for all styles, but if you are going to put a 50 kilo girl against a 120 kilo man, the man has a big advantage, even if he has slightly less skill.

Midnight Son
2007-09-04, 12:17 AM
I tend to agree with Phoekun here, as noted above. Tae Kwon Do is flashy and fun to look at and is quite effective against anyone who does not know what they are doing, but if you can get past their guard(an easy thing for anyone who does know what they're doing), you'll have them helpless in seconds. This is the reason Hap Ki Do is taught with Tae Kwon Do so often. The problem with that is that Hap Ki Do is almost completely a defensive technique that is only used once your opponent closes. But, if your opponent is closing, you can bet he knows an offensive technique that will completely outclass Hap Ki Do.

Renegade Paladin
2007-09-04, 12:23 AM
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v350/RenegadePaladin/457776748431f7fbd01fb0.gif

^ There you go. Alternatively, see Indiana Jones shooting the Bedouin swordsman. :smallamused:

More seriously, I've never met a sensei in any martial art that didn't say some variation on "learn to use a gun" when asked how to defend oneself in a real self-defense situation. Armed combat is almost always the superior choice to unarmed combat in terms of practical self-defense, and the longer the distance your choice of arms allows between you and the threat, the better.

Rachel Lorelei
2007-09-04, 12:25 AM
There's no such thing as a martial art which is "the best". Combat experience and how much you've trained matters a lot more.
"Best" is even a pretty useless term--I mean, better at what? At a one-on-one match using the Ultimate Fighting Championship rules? At a one-on-one fight with knives? Letting you put five guys in a tight alley down for long enough to get the hell out of there? These aren't going to be the same.

If you want a martial art for the purpose of efficient self-defense, I'd suggest a modern style designed for real-world efficiency and free of the kind of spiritual/philosophical aspect a lot of martial arts have. Krav Maga's a good one.
If you just want to be able to defend yourself, I recommend a gun. If I were to move somewhere I felt like I might really need to defend myself--say, inner-city Detroit--then I would get a permit, buy a gun, and learn to shoot. Even if I am theoretically capable of defending myself against a knife or a (not pointed-right-at-me) gun, there is no way I'd risk it if I can avoid it. Being stabbed or shot? It really, really sucks, even if you don't die.

I'd also recommend a lot of practice, including sparring without too much in the way of pads or rules, because without this--and likely even with it--you are going to freeze and then get overwhelmed by adrenaline in any life-or-death situation. Experience is far more important than style, and real-world experience more important still; I'd bet on someone who's been in any well-trained military force for years (especially if they've actually seen combat), any street thug who's survived a few knife-fights, over nearly any sifu or sensei who's.


I spar, myself--often against people who are heavier or stronger than I am; sometimes against people that are about double my mass. (Ever been hit by someone a lot heavier than you? It's... an experience.) I've been slapped around the ring by a Savate ("France has a martial art?") stylist despite the fact that I actually had reach on him and most of my training is in Muay Thai, which I'd consider superior as an art in a lot of ways (not that it's some kind of ULTIMATE COMBAT ART, the way its recent popularity seems to have gotten a lot of people thinking), and I've done some JKD and studied "soft art" throwing and grappling techniques too, because takedowns are the definitive way to deal with strikers, and you will not be able to always keep everyone outside of your range. I've also fought people who were better and more experienced than me and won anyway.
And that's just talking about fighting one person, with lots of room, and pads and rules: in a real fight, you're not a ring, you should use exactly the kinds of things--from eye-flicks to groin and throat hits--that you shouldn't when sparring. What's more, if you're going to fight in a real world situation, odds are it's if you start rolling around on the floor with someone trying to use ground-fighting techniques, their buddies can and will stab you in the back or kick your ribs in. The fights I've been in weren't fun, and the one time I was mugged, I just handed over my purse.


To conclude and/or sum up: there's no such thing as The Best Martial Art. There isn't even such a thing as The Best Martial Art for any given situation. If you insist on learning a martial art for self-defense, learn a style designed for self-defense in real-world situations (Krav Maga, again, teaches self-defense from positions other than standing, against multiple opponents, etc, and focuses on hitting them hard and getting away), but you're better off getting a firearm. Experience and size are worth a lot more than formal training. If you're in a real fight, try to stop being in the real fight as soon as possible--often, the best thing to do is running away, even if it's after a knee stomp. Finally, the best method of self-defense is to just not get into situations where you'll need it.
If you want to learn something for fitness or fun, then one of any number of martial arts might fit you.


ETA: while the above picture is funny, it's also surprisingly unrealistic. Yes, guns are dangerous--but police have the "21-foot rule" for a reason: someone unarmed or with a knife within 21 feet, if they take the inititative, are very likely to get to you before you can draw, point it at them--even at center mass--and fire. You can rush twenty feet and dive at someone, or lunge to smack their arm aside, much faster than one might think.
And even being a good shot and having a gun pointed right at someone still isn't guaranteeed safety, unless you're ready and willing to shoot them if they move towards you. The fear of being shot will usually do the job, but won't always work against someone who's drugged, confident, or desperate.
However, fortunately, you're almost certain to be able to go your whole life without ever having to get into a serious fight or pull a gun.

averagejoe
2007-09-04, 12:34 AM
I don't know what you guys are talking about, "No best martial art." Judo is the best martial art. Other martial arts are so unfriendly. In Tae Kwon Do, you punch a guy, he either wants to punch you back or run away. In Judo you hug each other. *nod nod*

Midnight Son
2007-09-04, 12:37 AM
What she^^ said.

Though I must point out the UFC only has a few rules in place to avoid permanent damage. The tap out is there to avoid broken limbs and such, but I've seen a fight end with a broken arm when one opponent got the other in an armbar and the poor guy refused tap.

Semidi
2007-09-04, 12:38 AM
This so does apply
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_vvI26NnwE&mode=related&search=

I don't practice any martial arts myself; I prefer to hope that my opponent, if I ever get into a fight, is slower than I am.

Though I've always found Capoeria to be a beautiful art form; I have no idea how effective it is in real life, but those dudes can move.

Jade_Tarem
2007-09-04, 12:41 AM
The most important things I learned from TKD (I too have a black belt) were the basic things. How to block effectively (most of the blocks are surprisingly minimal in terms of movement), as well as how to punch and kick for real damage. I would never roundhouse kick anyone in a fight, Chuck Norris notwithstanding - but there is some good stuff there. I also learned how to get out of choke holds and other such things, and that's a good thing too. To be fair, the center was marketed as TaeKwonDo Plus. As in, TaeKwonDo plus stuff you'll actually see in a fight.

Essentially I'm agreeing with Brickwall - and Rachel Lorelei. If I really, really wanted to defend myself I'd get the equipment to do it right, and avoid confrontations that involved me using it.

The thing I've seen about other martial arts, though, is that if you do them wrong, you're likely to kill yourself. Seriously. Is it worth it? Am I just way off?

Rachel Lorelei
2007-09-04, 12:41 AM
What she^^ said.

Though I must point out the UFC only has a few rules in place to avoid permanent damage. The tap out is there to avoid broken limbs and such, but I've seen a fight end with a broken arm when one opponent got the other in an armbar and the poor guy refused tap.

True--but not only is it a competition by nature (the mood's very different from a real fight), but those rules do prevent some very effective things. I know Jeet Kune Do inherited the eye flick from Wing Chun; it's remarkably effective/dangerous, but it's also likely to, well, hurt someone's eye if it works, so that's out. Plus groin shots and throat shots, which are generally the first targets in a real fight.
To say nothing of weapons.


ETA: For all that TKD is mostly a sport, yes, even sport TKD can teach you how to punch and kick and block efficiently. (Although I must say, blocks that are counterstrikes in and of themselves do beat out regular blocks.)
I'm not sure where you're coming from on the "likely to kill yourself" thing, though.

Lemur
2007-09-04, 12:42 AM
A question I might ask is "better for what?" You could learn how to be completely devastating with a staff, for example, but how would you expect to use it for self defense unless you carry a staff with you at all times (which would be rather impractical for most). Or perhaps you could learn some deadly strikes, but when a drunken brawler takes a swing at you and you respond by crushing his throat, you'll likely find yourself in some legal entanglements. Maybe you know some effective, non-violent moves, but all your friends stop talking to you after they see you grab that one guy's balls with your hand and crush them.
Granted, those would be some pretty stupid friends, but I could see it happening.
The point I'm trying to make here is that you could take up martial arts for a variety of reasons. If you want self defense, ideally you won't just learn how to deal with physical encounters, but how to avoid such fights entirely. If you want deadly force, learn how to use a gun. If you want to impress people with fancy moves, there's nothing wrong with that.

Flashy moves may not win battles, but they're pretty marketable, which frankly may be more useful for day to day life. Maybe you don't care about any of that, you just want a fun way to get in shape. Among other things, in my case, I could even say there's a spiritual element involved. And then there's a whole mess of things involving body types suiting certain things over others.

So before you can even find the best martial art, you have to be pretty specific about what you want it to be the best at.

Also, style isn't as important as experience. Whoever is the overall better fighter will usually win, regardless of styles used.

So I guess my answer to question number one is "No".

Edit: Hmm, I kinda feel like I've been ninja'd. Rachel.

averagejoe
2007-09-04, 12:46 AM
What she^^ said.

I resent that. :smalltongue:

Another martial art I rather like is Being-Six-And-A-Half-Feet-Tall-Do. It's great because it helps one avoid fights. 'Course, not everyone can master it.

Rachel Lorelei
2007-09-04, 12:47 AM
Oh, yeah--I'll note that while there's no "best", some kinds of martial arts do have advantages against some other kinds.

Rockphed
2007-09-04, 12:49 AM
I resent that. :smalltongue:

Another martial art I rather like is Being-Six-And-A-Half-Feet-Tall-Do. It's great because it helps one avoid fights. 'Course, not everyone can master it.

If we count that one, then I almost practice a martial art:smallbiggrin:

Jade_Tarem
2007-09-04, 12:49 AM
Okay, I just watched the videos you posted in the OP and... what the h...?

In both cases:

A) Hands are down, in some kind of low non-guard. No wonder they get hit so much.

B) They keep making big sweeping kicks from the sides. While there are a LOT of TKD moves like that, they could have done something else. Like punch. You can punch in TKD, did you know that?

I'm not a great fighter (despite the black belt, i'm in terrible shape) but I've seen much better TKD fighters. I don't know enough about other martial arts to make a good argument, but I'd hate to think of people judging all of TKD from those two videos.

Brickwall
2007-09-04, 12:50 AM
Plus, a lot of schools seem to offer lightning-fast advancement to black belt (to the point where people look at me funny when I tell them it took me 10 years), which doesn't speak to a high overall quality of instruction. But this isn't a critique so much against the style as it is the people teaching it. The basics tend to work, although differently, no matter what you've learned.

...I've talked to people who practice lots of styles, and most of them say that a few years to your first black belt is about right. I hope you don't consider that "lightning fast".

And, yeah, the gun thing. I do agree with that. It's effective enough. Few people will continue to mess around if you've got a gun on them. I wouldn't.

aj: I did some Judo. I gotta say, there's no experience like having a large man hold your head between his thighs. :smallyuk:
Okay, that never happened, but pretty close. Although the moderately attractive woman in the class made up for it. :smallwink: But, seriously, Judo is not a good art for me, because I'm tiny. Even with technique, I don't have the ability to lift a large person off me. It just can't happen.

You know, I realized: even if there were a "best" style, it wouldn't be the best, because different people would be more effective with different styles. The discussion has gone from moot to extra-moot. Hooray! :smallbiggrin:

Rachel Lorelei
2007-09-04, 12:56 AM
aj: I did some Judo. I gotta say, there's no experience like having a large man hold your head between his thighs. :smallyuk:
Okay, that never happened, but pretty close. Although the moderately attractive woman in the class made up for it. :smallwink:

The thought of someone getting turned on by me wrestling them in a training/sparring context is frankly a little creepy. I've done ground fighting against women I generally found very attractive, and thighs around your head are not at all the same when it's a hold and you're trying to get away and pin them too.

Although one of my friends is quite the masochist, and he apparently does get a little kick out of Judo sometimes, so maybe that's just me. And I will admit that looking at it, brazilian jiu-jitsu is probably the most homoerotic thing in the world short of 1) traditional greek wrestling (you know, with the oiled-up naked men) and 2) Ancient Greek sailors.
(Yes, all of those do rank above actual gay sex.)

averagejoe
2007-09-04, 12:58 AM
aj: I did some Judo. I gotta say, there's no experience like having a large man hold your head between his thighs. :smallyuk:
Okay, that never happened, but pretty close. Although the moderately attractive woman in the class made up for it. :smallwink: But, seriously, Judo is not a good art for me, because I'm tiny. Even with technique, I don't have the ability to lift a large person off me. It just can't happen.

There's also the other side of that. I was large enough so I could never really get decent practice. The best I could do was, as a beginner, spar the most experienced non-instructors in the class, who also happened to be tiny. One of the black belts in the class was this Japanese exchange student, who totally could have kicked my ass if it wasn't for the fact that I could escape a pin by doing a situp.

Rachel Lorelei
2007-09-04, 01:00 AM
Some holds apply two or three different large muscle groups in such a way that the other person can only resist with their neck muscles.

Sometimes, their neck muscles are stronger.

Brickwall
2007-09-04, 01:01 AM
There's also the other side of that. I was large enough so I could never really get decent practice. The best I could do was, as a beginner, spar the most experienced non-instructors in the class, who also happened to be tiny. One of the black belts in the class was this Japanese exchange student, who totally could have kicked my ass if it wasn't for the fact that I could escape a pin by doing a situp.

Exactly my point. Now, if I used a wrist-hold on you, you'd have your face in the ground as I held you by your pinky. If I did it properly, anyway, which happens 1/5 times if I don't take my time and it's on an unfamiliar large person. But it would look hilarious. And you would not be able to get up, because those rely on twisting, not holding. And, as a flexible person, I have a slightly easier time not getting trapped in those myself.

Like I said, different strikes for different folks.

Midnight Son
2007-09-04, 01:02 AM
Yes, I have won most fights by being an intimidating 6'5" and 270 lbs. Not that I've even been close to being in many. Also note that Shaved-head/modified-goatee-do helps too. Black-leather-duster-do is prime.

Seriously, the best fight is the one you never got into, but the discussion isn't about who can fight gooder, but which form of martial arts is best. For that, you must choose a form. I choose the UFC form because of it's versatility. I daresay that they can hold their own against any other form out there and are much, much better than most.

Rachel Lorelei
2007-09-04, 01:06 AM
Seriously, the best fight is the one you never got into, but the discussion isn't about who can fight gooder, but which form of martial arts is best.
Best at what?


For that, you must choose a form. I choose the UFC form because of it's versatility. I daresay that they can hold their own against any other form out there and are much, much better than most.
What do you mean by "form"? UFC is a championship, not a martial arts style.

Swedish chef
2007-09-04, 01:07 AM
Hmmmm this one is a noodlescratcher. Since I have just started my 6th year of the same martial art (wich shall remain secret *mohahahaha*) I have some experience. I have also tried out other arts before this one and they did'nt suit me. I would say that a good martial art is a martial art that suits you and that you as a practitioner can adapt after your own strengths and weaknessess. A good martial art also depends heavily on good instruction. If you enter the local "Cobra Kai" (from Karate kid... You know?) and get to do drills while yelling "the enemy diserves no mercy" then you would probably have less use of that style than if you have a comitted instructor with great knowledge who can actually say that "these applications is very formal and orthodox, they will probably NOT look like this in a real situation. We practice them to learn principles". I would also like to claim that all martial arts can be useful as long as before mentioned adaption can be done or if the art suits the practitioner directly from the start. If yu are very adapt for any martial art what so ever (karate, aikido, shaolin kung fu, whatnot) then you will probably have a good and effective martial art.

However I would also like to put in a little disclaimer. Some martial arts are VERY technical. These might take a year or two before you feel "good at it". But hey. MA is a great way of training. Even if you're not after a self defencesystem you get good all round training, and there is most definetly a martial art to suit everyone.

But enough with my ramblings. Anyone share my opinions?

Brickwall
2007-09-04, 01:19 AM
and get to do drills while yelling "the enemy diserves no mercy"

I do this in my head when I practice, but I suppose that doesn't trigger your conditions, does it?

Yes, I saw that movie. And while CK might have been evil, I would rather take their class than have an instructor who told me that the "crane stance" was effective. Do that and you'll be on the ground faster than you can say "bad movie".

Seriously, once you lose the momentum from your leg lifting, it doesn't help your jump any more. Bad movie. BAD MOVIE.

Midnight Son
2007-09-04, 01:21 AM
Best at what?I imagine what the OP means is best in a competition, since that is where these things are usually tested. Granted, in a real fight, the trained fighter will include the non-competition pieces to great effect.


What do you mean by "form"? UFC is a championship, not a martial arts style.UFC does have some basic forms that one can recognize, though they take their art from many other forms. The idea behind UFC is to take the art of fighting and distill it to as pure a form as possible. That is to say, you can do just about anything to win. A common mantra a few years ago was "ground and pound." The idea being that once you have them down, they are an easier target. There are defenses for that, though, and the pounder may just find themselves wrapped up by a superior wrestler. More recently, Chuck Liddell won the championship with a great defense against the takedown and a devastating strike. So, what I mean by their form is, learn to fight in a way that defends against all forms, and can attack all forms. Mixed Martial Arts, in my opinion, is the best at this.

Rachel Lorelei
2007-09-04, 01:21 AM
Anyone getting their martial arts from The Karate Kid deserves to get beaten up.

skywalker
2007-09-04, 01:23 AM
Being over 6ft and large is a big deal in the world of fighting.

Personally, if you were going to ask me for one martial art that was the most effective, overall, on average, and we were defining martial art as: "A hand-to-hand combat technique," meaning that guns would not play into the equation(at least not on the part of the "martial artist"), I would have to say Kali(Arnis, Eskrima, etc.), which is Filipino. Mainly because most people who practice it, practice with enough padding that you can go full power. As well, the art itself is vicious, it was known for striking fear into the hearts of U.S. Marines trying to put down the Philippine Insurrection. So, for it's viciousness as fostered by the style and its method of training, the most effective "pure" martial art is Filipino Kali.

Now, my personal favorite isn't something most people would call a martial art, it's a combination of street fighting, boxing, Kali, Brazilian Ju-Jutsu(this one, I practice, and it is NOT homoerotic, I don't think.), Judo, Karate, nearly everything. I'm personally slightly biased against the Chinese arts, they seem a little too kick-y for my tastes. But that particular blend, while a bastard, is incredibly effective. Street fighting for the experience, boxing for the technique, Brazilian Ju-Jutsu for the spirit, Kali for the blood-lust, Judo for the technique, Karate for the technique.

One last thing on the subject of street fighters versus Sifus, etc. My first master in an obscure korean stand-up style WAS from inner-city detroit, and he could prove it. His master looked like santa claus, but he was so fast it was scary.

My current Brazilian Ju-Jutsu instructor(who also teaches a bastard child similar to the one I described) was in the Navy for 20 years, stationed everywhere, and claims that the national fighting style of both Scotland and Ireland is head-butt-do.

EDIT: MS, Chuck Liddell is fat puncher, and he deserved what he got from Randy Couture, who is the true superior wrestler.

I agree with you about UFC, however. In competition, I would say that the best style is BJJ, as evidenced by UFCs 1 and 2. The original purpose of UFC was not to discover the single best fighting style, but to be a commerical for BJJ by showing it to be the single best fighting style, something the Gracies practically already knew when they decided to hold the tournament.

Rachel Lorelei
2007-09-04, 01:30 AM
Now, my personal favorite isn't something most people would call a martial art, it's a combination of street fighting, boxing, Kali, Brazilian Ju-Jutsu(this one, I practice, and it is NOT homoerotic, I don't think.), Judo, Karate, nearly everything. I'm personally slightly biased against the Chinese arts, they seem a little too kick-y for my tastes.
Muay Thai (also Filipino) is kicky, too. There's a reason kicks get used--they have range, they're better to attack the legs with, and they can even blow through hasty blocks.

As for homoerotic... come on (http://bakersfieldjiujitsu.com/image/PICT0160-800x600.jpg), it so (http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f376/Brian1969/GayJiuJitsu.jpg) totally (http://homepage.eircom.net/~matbattlebjjimages1/photos/renzo_gracie/bjj_renzo_gracie_09.jpg) IS (http://www.imafit.com/images/InstructorBackgroundFiles/dontriangle.jpg).


One last thing on the subject of street fighters versus Sifus, etc. My first master in an obscure korean stand-up style WAS from inner-city detroit, and he could prove it. His master looked like santa claus, but he was so fast it was scary.
Experience and formal training beats out just experience, of course.

As for BJJ being the best in competition--not necessarily. Attempts to close for a takedown are something any striker will know are coming, and they can be stopped and even punished. Not every takedown leads into a ground-fighting victory, either. Grappling arts are good in competition, but nothing is definitively "the best".

averagejoe
2007-09-04, 01:33 AM
Whatever you guys, crane technique wins EVERY time. Y'all are just jealous because the Karate Kid was good at it. :smalltongue:

skywalker
2007-09-04, 01:47 AM
Muay Thai (also Filipino) is kicky, too. There's a reason kicks get used--they have range, they're better to attack the legs with, and they can even blow through hasty blocks.

I didn't say anything about Muay Thai. There is a big difference, however, between Muay Thai kicks and most others.



As for homoerotic... come on (http://bakersfieldjiujitsu.com/image/PICT0160-800x600.jpg), it so (http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f376/Brian1969/GayJiuJitsu.jpg) totally (http://homepage.eircom.net/~matbattlebjjimages1/photos/renzo_gracie/bjj_renzo_gracie_09.jpg) IS (http://www.imafit.com/images/InstructorBackgroundFiles/dontriangle.jpg).


Okay, I will admit, I sparred my GF the other night, and yes, it could be considered homoerotic, however, I have never once felt even remotely gay or homosexual while practicing it. Guess I just never thought about that at the time.



Experience and formal training beats out just experience, of course.

As for BJJ being the best in competition--not necessarily. Attempts to close for a takedown are something any striker will know are coming, and they can be stopped and even punished. Not every takedown leads into a ground-fighting victory, either. Grappling arts are good in competition, but nothing is definitively "the best".


Have you ever seen either of the first two UFCs? Royce Gracie defeated Ken Shamrock, an accomplished shootfighter(grappling, if you didn't know) in 10 seconds. The man was supposedly unbeatable. He also defeated a savate fighter(and one of the hardest punchers I have ever seen) in under 2 minutes. Yes, any striker who's been trained to fight other styles will know a takedown is coming, but I was speaking not only from the fact that those who are trained in one straight style are frequently oblivious to takedowns, but also that being aware of a takedown and being able to stop it are two different things.

Holy_Knight
2007-09-04, 02:15 AM
"Best" is even a pretty useless term--I mean, better at what? At a one-on-one match using the Ultimate Fighting Championship rules? At a one-on-one fight with knives? Letting you put five guys in a tight alley down for long enough to get the hell out of there? These aren't going to be the same.
A friend and I were discussing this the other day, and we speculated that in general, grappling-based styles were better one on one, while striking was better at fighting multiple opponents--because grappling by nature won't be able to accommodate more than one adversary at a time.

For the general question though, applied to self-defense, I agree with those who have said that a well-rounded mixture is optimal.



If you just want to be able to defend yourself, I recommend a gun. If I were to move somewhere I felt like I might really need to defend myself--say, inner-city Detroit--then I would get a permit, buy a gun, and learn to shoot. Even if I am theoretically capable of defending myself against a knife or a (not pointed-right-at-me) gun, there is no way I'd risk it if I can avoid it. Being stabbed or shot? It really, really sucks, even if you don't die.



ETA: while the above picture is funny, it's also surprisingly unrealistic. Yes, guns are dangerous--but police have the "21-foot rule" for a reason: someone unarmed or with a knife within 21 feet, if they take the inititative, are very likely to get to you before you can draw, point it at them--even at center mass--and fire. You can rush twenty feet and dive at someone, or lunge to smack their arm aside, much faster than one might think.
And even being a good shot and having a gun pointed right at someone still isn't guaranteeed safety, unless you're ready and willing to shoot them if they move towards you. The fear of being shot will usually do the job, but won't always work against someone who's drugged, confident, or desperate.
However, fortunately, you're almost certain to be able to go your whole life without ever having to get into a serious fight or pull a gun.
See, the second part here is why I disagree with you on the first. Yes, a gun can be used in self-defense--if you have it drawn and aimed in sufficient time and at sufficient distance once you're aware that there's a need for it. The thing is, it seems much more likely that, in general, if you were in a situation where drawing a gun was justified, the danger would be upon you before you had that time to react.



I have yet to learn kick-defense takedowns, knife defense...yeah, lotsa stuff.

See, this seems like a problem to me. These kinds of things ought to be the foundation of martial arts training; what I mean is, if you're learning self-defense, then the instruction ought to focus on the most common threats against which you'll have to defend yourself. In a lot of the places I've observed, I've felt that there was far too little emphasis on such things. (And WAY too much on kata, but that's a rant for another time.) In my mind, a martial arts class would have its time divided between practical self-defense techniques against unarmed, armed, and multiple opponents, and sparring at as high a speed as the student of that skill level can handle.



The point I'm trying to make here is that you could take up martial arts for a variety of reasons. If you want self defense, ideally you won't just learn how to deal with physical encounters, but how to avoid such fights entirely.
Yes. It's unfortunate that such avoidance is sometimes impossible.


The thought of someone getting turned on by me wrestling them in a training/sparring context is frankly a little creepy. I've done ground fighting against women I generally found very attractive, and thighs around your head are not at all the same when it's a hold and you're trying to get away and pin them too.
Even though I find fighting ability attractive, you're right--while sparring the thought process is more like "arrrgh" "grrrrrr" (or even "help!"). On the other hand, it does seem like sparring with someone you loved could be akin to a violent sort of dance...



And I will admit that looking at it, brazilian jiu-jitsu is probably the most homoerotic thing in the world short of 1) traditional greek wrestling (you know, with the oiled-up naked men) and 2) Ancient Greek sailors.
(Yes, all of those do rank above actual gay sex.)
Oh come now, surely you aren't suggesting that men can't grapple with women? That's very sexist of you. :smallwink:


Anyone getting their martial arts from The Karate Kid deserves to get beaten up.
Except they wouldn't, because they'd be The Best Around. :smalltongue:

Rachel Lorelei
2007-09-04, 02:22 AM
Oh, I'm not saying that practicing jiu-jitsu means you are, or makes you, homosexual.

I'm just talking about how it looks.

As for Royce Gracie, sure, he did. Does that mean that his fighting style is better? No, it means he's better. Actually, it doesn't even mean that, although I'm sure he was--it just means he won that one match.
If we determine what's the best based on who beat or could beat whom, Wing Chun (which Bruce Lee originally trained in) or Jeet Kune Do (which he put together) would take the cake.

I've sparred against jiu-jitsu folks of various quality. Some beat me just because they were better and more experienced, but in no greater numbers than any other grouping. Obviously, trying to stop a takedown doesn't mean succeeding, but going for a takedown doesn't, either, and even taking them down doesn't mean that you'll maintain control.

In fact, I'd say Muay Thai is pretty strong against grapple-focused arts, despite the focus on striking, because of the knee- and elbow-strikes and clinching. I've caught elbows and knees to the head while going in low before; personally, since I spar a lot of larger/heavier people who would have an obvious advantage grappling plus I focused on generating power at short range for a bit, I like to lure them into a clinch in a semi-controlled fashion, before hitting them with a knee or going for their legs. Even if they do get me into a takedown, I can generally hit them hard enough in the process (especially if I surprise them by going with it) that they stop controlling it and I can get out.
Double-leg takedown rushes are the hardest to deal with, but landing a hard elbow or two to the back of the neck or the side of the head while they do it tends to work for me; some people can take it, so incorporating it into the sprawl helps (but makes it more awkward).
Obviously, Royce Gracie--and anyone else with so vast an experience and training, not to mention mass, advantage--could easily take me out. But that doesn't prove that "their kung fu is superior", just that they're better.
A lot of soft arts that aren't primarily grappling-focused have effective anti-takedown techniques, too, generally based on pivots or controlling the head. If you're quick enough, grabbing a wrist/arm and yanking them past you while sidestepping can work.

Is BJJ very useful in competition? Yes. Is it definitively superior? No. I'm not really sure how you'd prove something like that.

Rachel Lorelei
2007-09-04, 02:34 AM
See, the second part here is why I disagree with you on the first. Yes, a gun can be used in self-defense--if you have it drawn and aimed in sufficient time and at sufficient distance once you're aware that there's a need for it. The thing is, it seems much more likely that, in general, if you were in a situation where drawing a gun was justified, the danger would be upon you before you had that time to react.
I can imagine plenty of situations in which one might pull a gun and have time to do so. Very few real violent conflicts start suddenly. A mugger menaces you before trying to stab you, for example; you can even reach in for the gun as though you're getting a wallet. Even if one couldn't get it right away, once you do have it out, you're in control. It's not foolproof, but I'd say it's a lot likely to make you safer, in no small part because of the effect having a gun pointed at you has on people. Adding close-combat defense to Having A Gun-Fu isn't a bad idea, though, of course.


Oh come now, surely you aren't suggesting that men can't grapple with women? That's very sexist of you. :smallwink:
I'm not, but we *are* a minority in the martial arts. Generally, it's big hairy men grappling big hairy men. And the way that looks? Yes.
For some reason, it doesn't look quite as sexual when a man and a woman or two women do it, either. It might be cultural assumptions, or it might be that the male pelvis is more... outthrust. And guy bits are external.

Sly
2007-09-04, 05:44 AM
1) Are certain martial arts simply better than one another? In different situations. Talkign entirely in-ring, Brazilian Ju Jitsu, Muay Thai and Vale Tudo work very well, and so does Lau Gar Kung Fu (as opposed to the more popular Wing Chun), Karate and Kickboxing

2) If so, what makes certain arts weaker? Relianace on set moves to train rather than sparring experience, or trying to compenstae for a combatants lack of strength. If you're fighting someone who can bench press you, you're pretty screwed.

3) And a more "your opinion" one: what's your fav martial art? Why? Lau Gar Kung Fu.

13_CBS
2007-09-04, 06:43 AM
Interesting...

People have mentioned that Crane is pretty useless. Does that also extend to the other "animal" martial arts? (Panther, Dragon, Snake, etc.)

Also, what's the general thought on ninjutsu? This fellow here ("http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hatsumi) and what he does seem to imply that, in practical cases, it's quite handy.

Castaras
2007-09-04, 07:08 AM
Having done Karate for four years, I have to agree with the sentiments that it is good at any skill level.

I found it useful just to be able to say "I have a [blah] belt in karate", which helped stop quite a few annoyances...<.<

While I haven't actually used my karate on anyone but other karate people, it is pretty damn powerful at orange belt as well as black.

Brickwall
2007-09-04, 08:51 AM
Interesting...

People have mentioned that Crane is pretty useless. Does that also extend to the other "animal" martial arts? (Panther, Dragon, Snake, etc.)

Also, what's the general thought on ninjutsu? This fellow here ("http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hatsumi) and what he does seem to imply that, in practical cases, it's quite handy.

Okay, in order:

Crane Kung Fu does exist, and as it is a subset of a larger Kung Fu school, it's not terribly useless. Crane Stance is a thing they made up for Karate Kid and it will get your jewels burst by someone who knows what they're doing.

"Ninjutsu" is not the ancient art of the ninjas. That's lost, if it did even exist. It's a combination of a few other forms of karate that is no less effective than any of them. Still, if you think it makes you a ninja because you practice it, well...no. It doesn't. You can't sneak up on people any better than other martial artists can. You can practice it if it's a nearby school and you like both the prices and the environment, but don't go around telling people you're a ninja. Other karate practicioners who see your style will think you're a lunatic. A gullible lunatic.

dehro
2007-09-04, 08:57 AM
Ancient Greek sailors.


http://www.featurepics.com/FI/Thumb300/20060805/78afGreekSailor59758.jpg
de gustibus...


I don't know what you guys are talking about, "No best martial art." Judo is the best martial art. Other martial arts are so unfriendly. In Tae Kwon Do, you punch a guy, he either wants to hug you back or run away. In Judo you hug each other. *nod nod*

:elan: lmao... averagejoe FTW



See, the second part here is why I disagree with you on the first. Yes, a gun can be used in self-defense--if you have it drawn and aimed in sufficient time and at sufficient distance once you're aware that there's a need for it. The thing is, it seems much more likely that, in general, if you were in a situation where drawing a gun was justified, the danger would be upon you before you had that time to react.

See, this seems like a problem to me. These kinds of things ought to be the foundation of martial arts training; what I mean is, if you're learning self-defense, then the instruction ought to focus on the most common threats against which you'll have to defend yourself.

1) a gun is mostly for having, not for using...you have it and people tend not to mess with you because of the risks connected to escalating violence getting out of control. (though I realize that you can't go around "flashing your tool" every so often)

2) IMHO martial arts have not solely and not necessarily to do with self defence, specially not from an "active" point of view... I rather appreciate those sifus/masters/teachers that say first of "if someone comes at you for your wallet, keep a cool head and give it to him (:smallconfused:... that is, the wallet:smalltongue: ...) or run away if you think you're faster"
eventually you might learn something usefull so that you don't have to do either of the two, but this will take time.
as for fighting against a man wielding a gun...before I ever try such a thing, I must be sure that he's about to kill me anyway... there are simply too many things that could go wrong (not last, me ending in jail because in the subsequent grappling a shot goes off and kills the perp and I can't afford Ben Matlock, making a murderer of me)
..but then, I know for a fact that:
1) cops are trained to keep their gun out of reach of the eventual "fighter"
2) I'm not going to brawl with a cop aiming a gun at me, and definitelly not with anybody else

to get back on topic, I agree with the main shared opinion...there is no such thing as a "best martial art", mainly because what works for one could not be equally workable for another. also, it is utterly pointless to put up fighters from different martial arts and declare the winning "art" better... it could just be that the loosing fighter has not trained well or is distracted by flashing boobies (has happened before, though that was baseball) or next months rent bill that creeps upon him..

also, most martial arts, when put on display in a mixed styles combat are somehow limited by rules that bring them slightly "off focus"
as for the "real thing"...that is also a moot point... No martial art, as it is trained and practiced in the last two centuries, allows you to actually try out the really effective techniques, headbuts, kicks in the groin or knees, hits with a pint of lager or a cue stick, slaps on the ear (it might look like a stupid idea, but the ear controls the balance..and with a team of drummers playing The Valkyrie in your head, standing straight is a difficult feat all by itself)
so you are in fact not prepared to put these "moves" really into practice when push comes to shove.
unless you are in the army or police corps, these moves are simply blotted out of the training except for display purposes as in "never do this, this and this, because you might hurt someone, and our insurance policy only covers our backs up to a point"

the more or less quality in the art of choice (any martial art, really) depends largely on the quality of the master, on one's commitment, on the phisical prowess, the chance to gather experience.
Also this is seriously influenced by the presence (or absence) of federations and other organizations that control the quality of the teaching and the seriousness of the "grade passing" process. In Italy I have spoken to people who, after less than 2 years of practice, can call themselves masters/teachers in JKD... I suspect this is mainly due to the scarce control in this particular martial art, by some international "higher authority".
I suspect that someone with such a feeble background can hardly set a good example to anyone except from an amateurish point of view. I know that in the U.S, this is not so and things are a bit more controlled. on the other side there are martial arts where in Italy is a very strong "tradition" of good masters and excellent fighters...where in other states the same art has taken a "spectacular" twist due to it being in fashion, or due to the succes of one movie or the other..
it all comes down to the far west-like situation where the quality of the average teacher/dojo depends highly on the presence of a good link with the original country where the martial art comes from, a good federation, a few very strongminded teachers that set a standard...in some countries this happens with one martial art..in other countries this happens with other. and the technical results, the "ringside" results and the quality of the art practiced and tought, varies accordingly. any martial artist with a two bits of experience can open a dojo..sometimes things turn out well, sometimes they don't.

as an old (like in "ex") dabbler in both kung-fu and taekwondo I will not choose any particular style, but stress the point that the best martial art exist only so far as it's good for us, and gives us what we look for in martial arts. I suspect that in those martial art that are "full of fancy moves" these moves are there mainly as a phisical training... wherefore you are trained in delivering high kicks or spinning and flying kicks simply because learning them and practicing and training, is also a good training for dexterity, balance and focus. you get rewarded when you use the "basic" and more steady moves.
The origin is of course different and depending on the traditional martial arts, chinese, indian and japanese alike, but if these moves and techniques have survived into an age where most of them are less than practical, it is for the sake of tradition and, as I said, phisical and "mental" training.
Edit: I realize that I've sort of flooded the topic with an endless rant...I'll spoilerize it so as not to invade too much of the screen all at once :smalltongue:

dehro
2007-09-04, 09:13 AM
Okay, in order:

Crane Kung Fu does exist, and as it is a subset of a larger Kung Fu school, it's not terribly useless. Crane Stance is a thing they made up for Karate Kid and it will get your jewels burst by someone who knows what they're doing.

"Ninjutsu" is not the ancient art of the ninjas. That's lost, if it did even exist. It's a combination of a few other forms of karate that is no less effective than any of them. Still, if you think it makes you a ninja because you practice it, well...no. It doesn't. You can't sneak up on people any better than other martial artists can. You can practice it if it's a nearby school and you like both the prices and the environment, but don't go around telling people you're a ninja. Other karate practicioners who see your style will think you're a lunatic. A gullible lunatic.


true..ninjutsu was a complete set of things, where fighting was only a part of it, practiced by people who did a lot of things in their lives besides "being" a ninja. a samurai could be a ninja, a fisherman, a baker, dancer or servant could be a ninja, for the simple reason that ninja was the name used by/given to whoever was involved into spying, killing, stealing and sabotaging for one or the other daimyo, and did so in the most secret possible manner.
sometimes people with no martial training at all acted like ninjas, sometimes real fighters did. it has more to do with a particular historic moment than with a specific set of martial skills and techniques.
some of these skills however have been taught within the families of the "ninjas"...and handed down the generations.

today ninjutsu is sort of a collection of several of those techniques, that relied heavily on ju-jitsu, kempo, kendo and karate to begin with..as for how accurate the tracing of the horigins of these techniques are...as much as I like the notion of ninjutsu, it is debatable at best. still, if they work well, I'd say anybody who wants to try them, should definitelly do so.

Brickwall
2007-09-04, 09:29 AM
For some reason, it doesn't look quite as sexual when a man and a woman or two women do it, either.

Okay, I'm going to ask every guy in existence who likes girls whether two girls grappling looks sexual or not.

Guys?
"YES!"

Oh, look at that. Seriously, what do you think we MEAN by "catfight"? It's teh smex! :smallbiggrin:
A wonderful example/parody (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wibYsUv2yGg). Beware, adult languagish stuff. No nudity, but some themes, definitely (it is a catfight).

Although when it's a guy and a girl, I do agree with you. Usually. A still frame might look suggestive, but active...nah.

PhoeKun
2007-09-04, 09:53 AM
...I've talked to people who practice lots of styles, and most of them say that a few years to your first black belt is about right. I hope you don't consider that "lightning fast".

No, the "lightning fast" advancement comes from the people who brag about how they achieved black belt after one year (perhaps two), and then quit because "they knew everything".

...I marvel at the notion you haven't met any of these people. Am I just really unlucky?

CrazedGoblin
2007-09-04, 10:14 AM
I think martial arts for me has value mostly as a way of training myself and yes, looking good. I don't mind that forms will not see me through a desperate struggle for my life. I know some self-defense stuff, but it's of limited use.

i agree, i see my one, Wing Chun as a way of training not a "oh i can fight, lets go and beat the living potatoes out of that hobo over there".

My fitness level has increased since i started it and randomly i can now do the swimming stroke butterfly properly after starting it hehe :smallbiggrin:

Brickwall
2007-09-04, 10:18 AM
No, the "lightning fast" advancement comes from the people who brag about how they achieved black belt after one year (perhaps two), and then quit because "they knew everything".

...I marvel at the notion you haven't met any of these people. Am I just really unlucky?

No, I'm just pretty lucky, I think. Every martial artist with whom I've actually talked about martial arts has continued to persue the arts fervently. I'm actually the worst culprit, if you look at it: I left my studio after I got my black belt. It's because I was shipped off to another state forever just the next day, but I'm still just a first degree black belt who doesn't know much. :smallfrown:

Although it could be that I've only talked to three martial artists outside my class. That might have been a factor. :smallamused:

elliott20
2007-09-04, 10:21 AM
I feel that trying to rank a martial art style purely on the basis of it's prowess is... well.... kind of missing the point to a lot of martial arts.

but then again, I don't do martial arts to kick ass. I just like the practice.

Adlan
2007-09-04, 10:23 AM
Every Martial Art has it's preferrd situation. And in that Situation, it will do much better than another.

Martial Arts when actually used, will not be on a mat, in bright light, in your fighting pijamas. A style which focuses on kicks and keeping your opponent at a distant is all very well, but not nearly as useful as a grappling martial art if you are jumped in an alley way.

So, there can never be an Ultimate Martial Art. A gun is useless if you are to close to use it.


My Own Martial Art (Archery, an Armed Martial Art), is unbeatable in it's chosen situations (you 300 yards away, at the bottom of a hill, clear terrain), but if I had to fight someone up close, it's be useless, and I'd be better off using the bow as a Single Stick.

So, no ultimate martial arts, though there are martial arts that have more utility than others.

PhoeKun
2007-09-04, 10:27 AM
So, no ultimate martial arts, though there are martial arts that have more utility than others.

That would be what I've been trying to say, although I've gone about it in a profoundly clumsy manner.

Brickwall
2007-09-04, 10:55 AM
Every Martial Art has it's preferrd situation. And in that Situation, it will do much better than another.

Martial Arts when actually used, will not be on a mat, in bright light, in your fighting pijamas. A style which focuses on kicks and keeping your opponent at a distant is all very well, but not nearly as useful as a grappling martial art if you are jumped in an alley way.

So, there can never be an Ultimate Martial Art. A gun is useless if you are to close to use it.


My Own Martial Art (Archery, an Armed Martial Art), is unbeatable in it's chosen situations (you 300 yards away, at the bottom of a hill, clear terrain), but if I had to fight someone up close, it's be useless, and I'd be better off using the bow as a Single Stick.

So, no ultimate martial arts, though there are martial arts that have more utility than others.

Archery is not one of the ones with utility, I'm guessing. :smallamused:

Really, most Armed martial arts aren't useful. Who carries a kendo sword around with them on a daily basis? Nobody, in part because it's illegal in many places. Martial arts as they're known today arose because people who couldn't carry weapons needed a way to defend themselves effectively.

Uh, right, also...many alleys are big enough to allow kicking. Especially groin kicks, shin kicks, and knee kicks. If you can take out a guy's kneecap, he's down. Period. I suppose he could try and stand on one leg while dealing with the immense pain, but that wouldn't last long. Tae Kwon Do is not useless. It kinda bothers me that everyone gets their impression of it from the guys who perform on TV. They're trained to look flashy. It's a subset of the art. They're performers. But it's not a performance art. I can't imagine anyone effectively defending against the low kicks if you're in close. And all the other techniques it shares with other arts. At the level of a quick, close-in no-rules fight, most striking arts are the same. There's no fancy stuff, no advanced technique, just basic strike-block-counter-block until somebody messes up enough. And my block looks similar to yours. It's not flashy.

Yes, I am taking a lot of this "some are more utilitarian than others" a bit personally because nobody has bothered to mention anything other than Tae Kwon Do. How about one of the many forms of Kung Fu designed for showcasing? Like the crap they did in Matrix? And the forms of karate like that? Nobody mentioned those, so it does quite seem like an attack against the art that I practice. It bothers me more than a little. People who are all snotty about only their art teaching real scenarios. Idiot in front of you with his face wide open is a real scenario, and any art teaches you how to effectively punch it in. Dismount thy high horse, lest you practice a mounted art. :smallannoyed:

P.S. Mounted fighting is cool.

Rachel Lorelei
2007-09-04, 11:07 AM
Really, most Armed martial arts aren't useful. Who carries a kendo sword around with them on a daily basis? Nobody, in part because it's illegal in many places. Martial arts as they're known today arose because people who couldn't carry weapons needed a way to defend themselves effectively.
A number of styles teach knives. Setting aside modern practical-focus stuff like the Krav Maga I mentioned before, Kali/Arnis/Escrima is probably the deadliest that comes to mind. And in addition to knife, it includes stick, and practical things like knife/stick, baton, knife or stick/pistol butt, etc.


Uh, right, also...many alleys are big enough to allow kicking. Especially groin kicks, shin kicks, and knee kicks. If you can take out a guy's kneecap, he's down. Period. I suppose he could try and stand on one leg while dealing with the immense pain, but that wouldn't last long. Tae Kwon Do is not useless. It kinda bothers me that everyone gets their impression of it from the guys who perform on TV. They're trained to look flashy. It's a subset of the art. They're performers. But it's not a performance art.
Tae Kwon Do does suffer, at least in the US, from how heavily it's become a sport.


I can't imagine anyone effectively defending against the low kicks if you're in close.
You take them on the shin/leg. Or, better yet, use destruction, which from what I've seen TKD is quite vulnerable to--if you try to kick my leg, I'll hit yours, or your body, while you're kicking. Blocks that double as counterattacks are great. Destruction techniques, incidentally, are one of the things that separates some "striking arts" from others. There certainly are differences between striking arts, even against untrained opponents.
Besides, if you're in close, TKD's chambered kicks don't really generate that much force; either you just snap it off, or you pull back and give the person time. In close, you'd be better off with knees and elbows, or stomping the knee if you can pull it off. Plus, I've seen a big Judo guy half-step in, ignore the kick, and pretty much just fall on the kicker.


ETA: and, yeah, stick fighting--you can do a lot of damage with a stick, and just as much with a collapsible metal baton as with a knife.

PhoeKun
2007-09-04, 11:12 AM
Really, most Armed martial arts aren't useful. Who carries a kendo sword around with them on a daily basis? Nobody, in part because it's illegal in many places. Martial arts as they're known today arose because people who couldn't carry weapons needed a way to defend themselves effectively.


This isn't actually true. Yes, many people don't tend to walk around carrying swords or sai... except maybe the really weird ones (stop looking at me!). But, it's more common than you might realize to be able to find a stick or broken piece of something lying on the ground. In a real fight, close enough is good enough, and now you have a weapon you can use to rather great effect. And actually, a great deal of weapon arts were developed by farmers who needed ways to defend themselves against sword and spear carrying soldiers with their farming implements.

But anyway, I should apologize for scapegoating Tae Kwon Do. It wasn't my intention, and I should have used more than one example, or even more than one type of example like those surrounding the grappling arts.

....
2007-09-04, 11:18 AM
Best martial art?

Long-range rifles. With scopes.

elliott20
2007-09-04, 11:33 AM
Best martial art?

Long-range rifles. With scopes.

damn AWPers...

Jarrad
2007-09-04, 11:44 AM
I resent that. :smalltongue:

Another martial art I rather like is Being-Six-And-A-Half-Feet-Tall-Do. It's great because it helps one avoid fights. 'Course, not everyone can master it.

LMAO! Brilliant! :smallbiggrin: This is one of the arts that I practise and it's astonishingly effective. People tend - to paraphrase Terry Pratchett - to jump out at you from dark alleyways and say "Sorry, I thought you were someone else." I've had relatively little hassle over the years, although I will say that there's a certain type of guy who looks at anyone more than a couple of inches taller than him as fair game to show off how tough he is.

Thankfully, I also practise the ancient art of "Talking-People-Around-Without-My-Ego-Screwing-It-Up-Fu" and have been quite prepared to come off looking like a total ***** in front of a pub full of people if the alternative is having to break someone's arm to avoid getting hurt.

I'd like to wholeheartedly agree with Rachel Lorelei and expand on one or two points. For the sake of disclosure, I'll start by saying that my background (although I've been a bit of an "art tart" in my time) is mostly in ju-jitsu (jiu-jutsu if you prefer) and that I have found it immensely effective, largely because I have had good teachers who were always prepared to demonstrate quick, dirty and painfully effective techniques alongside the "art" elements. Nor have the styles I've practised focussed particularly on grappling and floor work. Takedowns have been a big part, but many of them involve you staying on your feet whilst the other guy goes down. Oh, and the instructor I spent the longest time with (about four years in that particular dojo) was an ex British Champion in kick-boxing and an experienced street fighter and door minder throughout the rougher areas of Manchester, which doubtless coloured my training toward the more practical aspects. :smallwink:

First off, comparing martial arts is like comparing apples with clementines, satsumas, oranges, tangerines and mandarins. I've practised at least three "styles" of ju-jitsu and although they were superficially similar they each had very different emphases and many different techniques. Many people seem to think of ju-jitsu as "Judo without the pyjamas" and indeed it may be taught that way in some places but I have never found it so.

As such, even two schools that claim to teach, say, Lau Gar kung-fu might end up teaching you very different things: the instructor is everything in such a situation and although no one approach may be "better" in a qualitative sense with a sufficiently skilled practitioner, it may well be that one approach is much more effective in real combat - and this is important - *before you are an expert*.

This, for me, is where some martial arts fall down. I've seen incredibly advanced Ki Aikido practitioners do some mind-boggling things and I wouldn't want to face them on or off the mat, but I've also sparred with 1st-dan practitioners using only the most basic of ju-jitsu techniques and I'm here to tell you that the floor was much cleaner and they much dirtier by the time I'd finished. They still weren't good enough for anything approaching a real fight. That's not to say that they weren't genuinely skilled and didn't know plenty of very cool stuff - and, by damn, they were as fit and flexible as you'll find - but fighting is almost as much in the head as it is in the body, and they weren't prepared in their minds for fighting someone skilled in a different way to them. Now *that* is a weakness, not in the art but in the teaching of it.

What I'm saying is that some arts - like ju-jitsu, or at least the styles I have encountered - grant an immediate incremental improvement in your ability to win a fight right from the off, whereas others are of little practical use until you've been doing them for years. If there's not at least semi-contact sparring and an appreciation of the ugly realities of combat, you are no more prepared for a fight after a decade of training than you were when you started: although you will doubtless be fit enough to run away effectively and that's a huge plus all by itself.

Secondly, more on the excellent point introduced by Rachel Lorelei earlier in the thread. I've been involved in instructing self-defense classes, which are a very different kettle of fish from martial arts and have a different focus. They are about avoiding situations where conflict is likely, first and foremost, about escaping if you can in the second instance, and about causing as much pain and damage in the shortest time possible if the first two options fail. However, what a good self-defense class should teach you is to *react*.

Most people who "prey" on others, as opposed to some drunken bloke taking a swing in a pub, are expecting a victim to respond like a victim. There's a precious moment in that first second where the person they're leaping out on doesn't react, but freezes up. That's all the time needed to take control.

If the intended victim *immediately* throws a punch, or a kick, or just screams "Teapot!" into their attacker's face the instant they're assaulted, the attacker is forced into the reactive mode which gives the assaulted individual time to flee or open up a big can o' whup-ass as appropriate. :smallcool: This isn't just theory stuff either; I have had direct, first-hand experience of the phenomenon, more than once. I grew up in a bad neighbourhood, shall we say.

"Martial arts" != "self-defence". The former may lead to the latter, depending upon the nature of the style and the instructor, but it is not necessarily so. However, if you learn to react in anything like a useful way when surprised by an attacker, it could well save your life simply due to you having turned the tables for a moment and all arts have that in common.

Sorry, that was a bit of a tangent, and not at all relevant to the circumstance of two people facing off with different martial skills, knowing they're about to fight! :smallredface:

Finally, yes, in a "real" fight situation then some arts have advantages over others but it's really circumstantial. Once circumstance, for instance, is "do you or your opponent have a bunch of friends with you?" There is no martial art in existence where it is preferable to be the guy or girl who is outnumbered. :smalleek:

Another is terrain; fighting in a crowded pub is incredibly different from fighting in a nice open space, not least because in a pub someone is going to pick up a pool cue, glass, bottle, chair, table (or in extreme cases a passer-by) and hit you with it from behind, which would put a crimp in anyone's style. :smallbiggrin:

Competition is completely different to street-fighting; the art that's "better" in a competition with rules, in a specific type of environment, might lose out completely if you were forced to fight in a phone box (which is not a pleasant experience, I might add). So, none of them are intrinsically "better", even against opponents of equal skill, unless you can specify the circumstances under which the fight takes place. If you can do that, then maybe it is possible to evaluate the question objectively.

And yeah, a big AOL from me on the "being big" front. In my personal experience, nothing says "no thank you" to a knife in the head like a swift foot to the groin or kneecap delivered from outside arm's length. Being bigger and stronger and having faster reflexes than your opponent makes up for a massive difference in skill, particularly if you can fight in your head as well as with your body. I've no doubt that Mr. Miyagi could hand me my ass through sheer skill, but no amount of waxing on and off - with or without waterfowl impersonations - would stop Daniel-san carrying his head home in a bucket if push came to shove :smallwink:

Wraithy
2007-09-04, 11:54 AM
I like Karate, but I think that its also important what style you do. I do Go-Kan-Ryu Karate, which according to my senseis does well in the world tournaments. but I've never looked into it, they might be lieing!
(Go-Kan-Ryu is run from Australia...Crikey!)

Were-Sandwich
2007-09-04, 12:16 PM
Can't speak for other schools, but the first thing my Tae Kwon Doe instructor told me was that most of the stuff that I would be taught would be completely useless in an actual fight. This was reinforced by several other members. To quote "You only actually use Side kick, Front Snap kick, sometimes jumping front kick, front punch, knife-hand and backfist. Adn the blocks."

CrazedGoblin
2007-09-04, 12:43 PM
Can't speak for other schools, but the first thing my Tae Kwon Doe instructor told me was that most of the stuff that I would be taught would be completely useless in an actual fight. This was reinforced by several other members. To quote "You only actually use Side kick, Front Snap kick, sometimes jumping front kick, front punch, knife-hand and backfist. Adn the blocks."


we are taught to deal with a few random attacks on the street and stuff. But we arnt trained in a way of ok joe blogs picks up a table and lobs it a you what do you do we condition ourselves on reactions, stamina and positions, but after doing it for a year it is starting to show practicality :smallbiggrin:

Were-Sandwich
2007-09-04, 12:54 PM
If you're dealing with people who can acurately throw tables across a room, no martial art will save, save perhaps Matrix-fu.

Aizle
2007-09-04, 12:57 PM
First post here, been lurking for a little while, but this topic is one near and dear to my heart so had to chime in.

First a little background on my Martial Arts experience.

I started getting involved in Martial Arts when I was 14. I'm now 37. While I'm not currently active in anything due to still looking for a teacher that's up to my standards, I've had a significant amount of exposure to the following arts over the last 23 years.

Tae Kwon Do
Judo
Hakuryu Karate Jutsu
Aikido
Iaido
Shotokan Karate
Arnis

What I have found to be universal truths are the following things:

1. There is no "Ultimate Martial Art". Each have areas they emphasis more or less, and have more or less relevance depending on the specific situation. ie. don't bring a knife to a gun fight.

2. All martial arts have a HUGE amount of similarities once you get past the superficial BS that they use to try and differentiate themselves with. There is a very good reason for this. Each of them started out with the exact same equipment. ie. the human body is constructed exactly the same way in Korea as it is in Japan as it is in the USA, etc.

3. Very few instructors know the full body of knowledge that a Martial Art has. This is a sad reality of the McDojo phenomenon within the US, as well as an overall decline in the ability for professional martial artists to really make a living and continue to study.

4. All Martial Arts are fun in some way shape or form, and each have their own unique flavor. There is no right or wrong choice if you're looking to practice something, just the "right or wrong" choice for you and what you like.

5. More than anything, the individual practitioner makes the Martial Art. I've seen Gracie Jujitsu practitioners who were idiots and be lost in a real fight, and I've seen (and trained) with Tae Kwon Do practitioners that are some of the deadliest people I know.

Hannes
2007-09-04, 01:08 PM
The best martial art is good perception(not eyesight, perception), good reflexes and the concentration to counter-act on the very moment the other person takes a move at you.

Atomicfrog
2007-09-04, 01:12 PM
Wow, I have to admit, I didnít realize there were so many martial artists out there that still didnít recognize that most fights end up on the ground. I keep hearing talk about blocking this and countering that. Iím telling you, real street fights donít go down that way except in the movies. A single punch can shatter your hand, and kicks can be just as damaging to yourself as your opponent, assuming you donít fall down in the process. Real street fights last only a few seconds and usually occur at close quarters unless you have some moron dancing around talking smack (and those types donít really want to fight anyway).

Let me apologize in advance because this is going to sound like I am tooting my own horn but as a student of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ), I am pretty confident that I can hold my own against most other styles. The first time you try to throw a kick or punch, I will take you down. Rachel sounds like she might know some take down defense but the vast majority do not. A decent BJJ practitioner will close the distance, clinch, and take an opponent down to the ground and from there itís all over. If youíre lucky you might get one punch or kick off before going to the ground where you will be quickly be mounted and eating elbows. Donít take my word for it, go look up BJJ vs anything on youtube and watch the videos. Or better yet, go to your local BJJ school and challenge them. We are ALWAYS happy to accommodate non believers, thatís been a tradition since the Gracies began teaching. The beauty of BJJ is that it is practiced at 100%. Very few martial arts can boast this because you just canít strike at 100%, not without a lot of injuries.

As far as what is the most effective? I would have to agree that a mixture of different styles would be the most effective. A good Muaytai style striker with superb take down defense could hold their own but the chance of being knocked out or seriously injuring themselves exists. (Just ask Chuck Lidell) My personal opinion on the absolute best fighting style would be a mix of Muaytai, Judo, and BJJ. Good striking with the knees and elbows, close the distance and take them to the ground and elbow them into oblivion.

Atomicfrog
2007-09-04, 01:15 PM
First post here, been lurking for a little while, but this topic is one near and dear to my heart so had to chime in.

First a little background on my Martial Arts experience.

I started getting involved in Martial Arts when I was 14. I'm now 37. While I'm not currently active in anything due to still looking for a teacher that's up to my standards, I've had a significant amount of exposure to the following arts over the last 23 years.

Tae Kwon Do
Judo
Hakuryu Karate Jutsu
Aikido
Iaido
Shotokan Karate
Arnis

What I have found to be universal truths are the following things:

1. There is no "Ultimate Martial Art". Each have areas they emphasis more or less, and have more or less relevance depending on the specific situation. ie. don't bring a knife to a gun fight.

2. All martial arts have a HUGE amount of similarities once you get past the superficial BS that they use to try and differentiate themselves with. There is a very good reason for this. Each of them started out with the exact same equipment. ie. the human body is constructed exactly the same way in Korea as it is in Japan as it is in the USA, etc.

3. Very few instructors know the full body of knowledge that a Martial Art has. This is a sad reality of the McDojo phenomenon within the US, as well as an overall decline in the ability for professional martial artists to really make a living and continue to study.

4. All Martial Arts are fun in some way shape or form, and each have their own unique flavor. There is no right or wrong choice if you're looking to practice something, just the "right or wrong" choice for you and what you like.

5. More than anything, the individual practitioner makes the Martial Art. I've seen Gracie Jujitsu practitioners who were idiots and be lost in a real fight, and I've seen (and trained) with Tae Kwon Do practitioners that are some of the deadliest people I know.


Amen to this, this is the most sensible post in this thread.

StickMan
2007-09-04, 01:20 PM
I've just saw a special on Krav Maga and It has to be the most useful real world fighting style I've ever seen. Its focus on not dieing and having no rules helps. I've always had that issues with martial arts that they have rules a real world fight has no rules. Also the amount of training that goes in to disarming I see as extreamly use full cause you can punch all you want but if that dude stabs you your dead.

Swedish chef
2007-09-04, 01:26 PM
First post here, been lurking for a little while, but this topic is one near and dear to my heart so had to chime in.

First a little background on my Martial Arts experience.

I started getting involved in Martial Arts when I was 14. I'm now 37. While I'm not currently active in anything due to still looking for a teacher that's up to my standards, I've had a significant amount of exposure to the following arts over the last 23 years.

Tae Kwon Do
Judo
Hakuryu Karate Jutsu
Aikido
Iaido
Shotokan Karate
Arnis

What I have found to be universal truths are the following things:

1. There is no "Ultimate Martial Art". Each have areas they emphasis more or less, and have more or less relevance depending on the specific situation. ie. don't bring a knife to a gun fight.

2. All martial arts have a HUGE amount of similarities once you get past the superficial BS that they use to try and differentiate themselves with. There is a very good reason for this. Each of them started out with the exact same equipment. ie. the human body is constructed exactly the same way in Korea as it is in Japan as it is in the USA, etc.

3. Very few instructors know the full body of knowledge that a Martial Art has. This is a sad reality of the McDojo phenomenon within the US, as well as an overall decline in the ability for professional martial artists to really make a living and continue to study.

4. All Martial Arts are fun in some way shape or form, and each have their own unique flavor. There is no right or wrong choice if you're looking to practice something, just the "right or wrong" choice for you and what you like.

5. More than anything, the individual practitioner makes the Martial Art. I've seen Gracie Jujitsu practitioners who were idiots and be lost in a real fight, and I've seen (and trained) with Tae Kwon Do practitioners that are some of the deadliest people I know.


Aizle: That is so very true all you said. As I stated earlier: All MAs are great for someone. I have seen many people (male and female) try out one MA (often a very well known one like Karate och Ju-Jutsu) and not like it and after that quit. I have tried Karate (shotokan), a wierd branch of Shorinji kempo, Wing chun and Kendo. None of these suited me at all. Some because of the other people practicing (most classes have a jerk but if the jerk gets to jerk around and techer not telling him to cram it and play nice, run!) When I found my current MA I found it very hard and technical but there was something about it that said "you have found home" And I just started my 6th year :D I might as well tell that I practice Tai Chi Chuan. It's fun, it suits me. But as everything else. Some people preffer other arts. But me? I'm all set ;)

Were-Sandwich
2007-09-04, 01:34 PM
Whilst we're on the subject of martial arts, the chavs in my area have a very strange thing they do. They actively mock, agravate and totoally take the piss out of people for doing marital arts. They'll sit outside the window of my Tae Kwon Doe class and bang on the windows and genreallly make nuisance of themselves trying to annoy us. Why? Seriously, what kind of mentally delinquent (sp?) moron finds a group of people who are actively learning how to kill people with their bare hands, and then proceed to aggravate, torment and generally frustrate them? Do they want to get the crap kicked out of them?

Brickwall
2007-09-04, 01:39 PM
Atomicfrog: I want to see you take down Big Nick. If you're average size, you'd need both hands to control his wrist. I have done grappling with him and I need to get the perfect spot for a takedown. This is with a technique that I can use on average-sized people and drag them around the room with them at my mercy. You can't take him down. The only guy I've seen him wrestling with is Jerry, who focuses on grapple techniques which maximize pain, not control joints. Wrestling isn't the be-all-end-all of fighting. I've taken enough Judo to know that it's not easy to take someone down if they know how to keep their distance.

Aizle said it best: learn everything. Many martial arts are the same. The rest of what he said.

Stickman: no style teaches that. Teachers teach that. Mine did. Also, here's a tip: you get cut an average of five times trying to disarm someone of a knife. And that's if they don't have knife training. Your best bet is to RUN. The best art for a knife opponent is Le Parkour :smallwink:

Aizle
2007-09-04, 01:43 PM
The best martial art is good perception(not eyesight, perception), good reflexes and the concentration to counter-act on the very moment the other person takes a move at you.

There is a huge amount of truth in your statement.

What a good martial art does, is provide a framework around what to do when you have the above.

Aizle
2007-09-04, 01:49 PM
The best art for a knife opponent is Le Parkour :smallwink:

I prefer Smith & Wesson-Do... :smallwink:

Tho really, your comments bring up something I missed commenting on in my first post.

When it really comes down to who is going to win a fight, skill is definately a part of it. However, the biggest part of it is determination. Are YOU willing to sacrifice more than your opponent. I've seen some "outmatched" people pull off some crazy stuff by just being hardcore.

I want to be clear here, this is NOT a long term strategy. As Indiana Jones said, "It's not the age, it's the mileage". Hardcore stuff DAMAGES you, and over time, your body will fall apart earlier. However, if you're talking about a short term I MUST WIN type situation, the more determined combatant will win over the less determined one if their skill levels are even remotely similar.

StickMan
2007-09-04, 01:51 PM
Stickman: no style teaches that. Teachers teach that. Mine did. Also, here's a tip: you get cut an average of five times trying to disarm someone of a knife. And that's if they don't have knife training. Your best bet is to RUN. The best art for a knife opponent is Le Parkour :smallwink:

Hey I never said it was a good idea to try to disarm a knife but the point is that you can't always run.

Haruki-kun
2007-09-04, 01:51 PM
I practice Ninjutsu. Some of it is useless, but most of the stuff on learning how to disarm or knock down someone is pretty useful. And the stuff about learning to use weapons is pretty cool, too, especially if you have a stick you can use as a Bo if you're attacked.

Brickwall
2007-09-04, 01:53 PM
I prefer Smith & Wesson-Do... :smallwink:

Tho really, your comments bring up something I missed commenting on in my first post.

When it really comes down to who is going to win a fight, skill is definately a part of it. However, the biggest part of it is determination. Are YOU willing to sacrifice more than your opponent. I've seen some "outmatched" people pull off some crazy stuff by just being hardcore.

I want to be clear here, this is NOT a long term strategy. As Indiana Jones said, "It's not the age, it's the mileage". Hardcore stuff DAMAGES you, and over time, your body will fall apart earlier. However, if you're talking about a short term I MUST WIN type situation, the more determined combatant will win over the less determined one if their skill levels are even remotely similar.

About right. You do have a hard burn mode, but it'll take everything out of you and even more. Your body's "limits" are higher than you think, but past what you think are limits, you hurt yourself. Excercise goes just a bit beyond your limit. Hard burn mode will injure you even if you opponent doesn't land a shot.

Think of a cornered badger facing a bear.

Gygaxphobia
2007-09-04, 01:58 PM
A couple of random comments because I've seen these threads a thousand times...


Muay Thai (also Filipino) is kicky, too.

Not Fillipino AT ALL in fact, but Thai (surprisingly) from Thailand.


Okay, in order:

Crane Kung Fu does exist, and as it is a subset of a larger Kung Fu school, it's not terribly useless. Crane Stance is a thing they made up for Karate Kid and it will get your jewels burst by someone who knows what they're doing.

There are several Crane stances that are part of Crane kung fu and are very effective. Actually all kung fu stances protect the groin, even in the high kick.


Let me apologize in advance because this is going to sound like I am tooting my own horn but as a student of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ), I am pretty confident that I can hold my own against most other styles. The first time you try to throw a kick or punch, I will take you down. Rachel sounds like she might know some take down defense but the vast majority do not. A decent BJJ practitioner will close the distance, clinch, and take an opponent down to the ground and from there itís all over.

Yeh one on one BJJ is great. In street fighting of course, going to the floor with your opponent is the one things you MUST avoid. I seriously hope that most BJJ classes teach this because it's the easiest way to get disabled or kiled.

Atomicfrog
2007-09-04, 02:11 PM
Atomicfrog: I want to see you take down Big Nick. If you're average size, you'd need both hands to control his wrist. I have done grappling with him and I need to get the perfect spot for a takedown. This is with a technique that I can use on average-sized people and drag them around the room with them at my mercy. You can't take him down. The only guy I've seen him wrestling with is Jerry, who focuses on grapple techniques which maximize pain, not control joints. Wrestling isn't the be-all-end-all of fighting. I've taken enough Judo to know that it's not easy to take someone down if they know how to keep their distance.


Good take down defense is one of the challenges for a BJJ practitioner, which is why we drill takedowns over and over and over. And I'm not going for wrist control, I'm going for double underhooks or a single leg or double leg. By the way BJJ jointlocks are very painful when applied. I would never claim to be able to take everyone down, but I am confident that I could take the average person who doesn't know much about avoiding a takedown.

Brickwall
2007-09-04, 02:21 PM
And to parrot the guy above you: you go against two guys, and you're taking one down, and you have a double underhook...you're dead. You're down your fastest limbs for blocking, and you're on the ground, wrestling someone. In D&D terms, you're.

Prone.
Grappling.
Flanked.
Voluntarily.

Not a good idea.

Also, a good martial artist in any style should know how to avoid takedowns. So that's not a style superiority point, there. Sure, you could take down the average guy who knows how to avoid takedowns. And I could punch out the average guy who doesn't know how to block. Simple.

Miklus
2007-09-04, 03:04 PM
I don't have much to add at this point, exept that some people belive Muy Thai to be the best (at least in the ring) because:

1) It has been a real full contact sport for many years and they know what works and what don't.

2) The professional preformers of Muy Thai do hardening of the body. They kick a tree (or similar) until their shin is hardened, that is, the bone gets thougher. The ribs are hardened too, as is other parts of the body.

You will very rarely see a Muy Thai fighter with his hands dangeling down around is pants. Those guys know how to protect themselfes and how to take a punch.


I did a little TKD some years back and I liked it. I know that most of the fancy kicks don't work in real life. You should NEVER turn your back on an opponent, so spinning back kicks are out. You have to be really good to hit precisely anyway. I fact, I would never dare to kick above the knee in a real fight. If your opponent catches your leg, you are done for.

I liked TKD because it was a lot of fitness too. Jump-jump-jump all the time :smallbiggrin: There was both men and women, it gave a nice atmos. Better than all teenage boys who has seen too many karate movies. There was also some self defence, like disarming a knife (we had these little rubber knifes). Disarming is the option right after running and calling the police, of couse :smallsmile: Another good self defence tecnique is avoid-the-bottle-to-the-head. A more likely scenario, maybe. And there was a little strengh training. Push-ups on the knuckles with some other guys feet on your shoulders. Ahhh, good times :smallbiggrin:

Atomicfrog
2007-09-04, 03:25 PM
And to parrot the guy above you: you go against two guys, and you're taking one down, and you have a double underhook...you're dead. You're down your fastest limbs for blocking, and you're on the ground, wrestling someone. In D&D terms, you're.

Prone.
Grappling.
Flanked.
Voluntarily.

Not a good idea.

Also, a good martial artist in any style should know how to avoid takedowns. So that's not a style superiority point, there. Sure, you could take down the average guy who knows how to avoid takedowns. And I could punch out the average guy who doesn't know how to block. Simple.


Ugh, I can see this going back and forth all day. Of course I wouldn't take a guy down and lay on him if there were multiple attackers. As I said at the end of my post, a good blend of striking (Muay Thai would be my personal choice) take down and take down defense, and grappling ability would be most effective. There are tons of factors that could effect a street fight and only a well rounded fighter will have a decent chance of handling all of them.

Nibleswick
2007-09-04, 03:32 PM
I also have to stand up in defense of TKD. I see people talking about how it doesn't cover grappling, well it does, at least it did while I was taking it. People are talking about how it doesn't cover in-fighting and ground fighting, well it does, or at least it did when i was taking it. I think that a lot of you have just met bad teachers and students of TKD. Also people have been talking about how people from (insert martial art) could take down someone from TKD in any one-on-one fight, well fine how well would they do in a thousand-on-thousand fight, which is what TKD is for?

Well there thats my two cents.

CrazedGoblin
2007-09-04, 04:05 PM
Indiana-Kung-Jones-Fu


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MyBu4OFPmug
:smallbiggrin:

Albub
2007-09-04, 07:53 PM
From a purely defensive standpoint, Parkour and Freerunning would be the best possible art (if they're even considered martial arts) because you can simply go wherever you want to. I've seen good traceurs climb up nearly 20 feet of brick wall in 3 or 4 seconds. Plus, you're conditioned to run for far longer than your average violent assailant can hope to, and you're trained to react to any situation as fast as you can, and do things that usually make the human brain go "that's impossible." And Parkour is most at home in areas with plenty of obstacles, coincidentally also ideal terrain for hiding and jumping people. Even groups of people are no problem so long as you have something to grab hold of and start going.
Also, tenacity and the element of surprise far surpass any sort of martial art ability. My dad's fighting experience is limited to hockey and growing up on the rough side of town and he beat the hell out of a karate blackbelt that was ran his mouth and threatened my dad simply by getting the jump on him and then being angrier and meaner than him.

Brickwall
2007-09-04, 08:35 PM
Parkour. I recommend it, but I personally can't do it. It requires a dedication to fitness that I don't have, sadly. Also, being non-martial in concept, it is not a martial art. It's an art form, though.

I would like to quote someone: "You must have fear, intimidation, and the element of surprise. Lose any one of those, and you must flee."
-Count Dooku.

ForzaFiori
2007-09-04, 09:22 PM
I'm sure it has been said before, but it always bears repeating.

Different styles of Martial arts are designed with different things in mind.

Some are designed for ground work, some for joint locks/breaks, some for standing and trading punches, some for getting that one "devastating hit". Each is usually good at their one specilization, and ok or poor at others. My style (Okinawan Gojoryu and Kobudo) is mainly a standing and trade punches style. it works on kicks and punchs, and how to avoid them. However, its is also an OK ground style, where it works on throws and take downs. We also learn some, but not many, joint locks/breaks.

No style is really "better" than another. in a specific situation, yes, one will be more useful than another. But no style (save original Ninjitsu maybe) will always win.

My favorite style, btw, is Gojoryu and Kobudo, Okinawan discipline if possible. I took lessons in it for 11 years, earning a 3rd Dan 4th Degree Junior (age 13-18) belt. I had also, at one point or another, beat every student in my dojo in sparring.
I'm just a beast, lol. had to quit to play sports though.

Brickwall
2007-09-04, 09:35 PM
had to quit to play sports though.

You are a horrible, horrible person. You don't deserve a corporeal body. :smallfurious:

Seriously you'd rather chase balls for the entertainment of others than hit people? What's wrong with you?

And there is no "original ninjutsu". There was a thread a bit ago that brought up ninjas. It's pretty conclusive that "ninjutsu" consisted of slipping a poisoned dagger between a sleeping man's ribs after infiltrating his courtyard by disguising as personell. Then you fled and changed clothes, and became "invisible". They ran if they were discovered.

Honestly, ninjas weren't really that awesome. No better than a regular martial artist, just less restrained by "honor". And that's how they won.

Similar, in fact, to pirates. :smallbiggrin:

Albub
2007-09-05, 08:26 PM
Teh sports are teh ownzorz!1 I think martial arts have their place, but contact sports are so much better. I think it has to do with belonging to a team filling holes in our soul in a way that solo sports never will. We're unstable you see. or are we just human? Maybe wanting a sense of belonging that we can't attain in normal social situations isn't so bad...

Who am I kidding, I'm a cool kid at school, I'd never tell anyone on the football or rugby team I play PbP DnD. Heck, that's why I play PbP DnD, I'm insecure about it.

ForzaFiori
2007-09-05, 08:51 PM
You are a horrible, horrible person. You don't deserve a corporeal body. :smallfurious:

Seriously you'd rather chase balls for the entertainment of others than hit people? What's wrong with you?

And there is no "original ninjutsu". There was a thread a bit ago that brought up ninjas. It's pretty conclusive that "ninjutsu" consisted of slipping a poisoned dagger between a sleeping man's ribs after infiltrating his courtyard by disguising as personell. Then you fled and changed clothes, and became "invisible". They ran if they were discovered.

Honestly, ninjas weren't really that awesome. No better than a regular martial artist, just less restrained by "honor". And that's how they won.

Similar, in fact, to pirates. :smallbiggrin:

that was the point about ninjitsu, or ninjas.
the only way to always win is to just say "screw the rules" sneak up behind them, and poison them.

also, Pirates PWN Ninjas.

and: I'm playing sports in HS b/c last I checked, Clemson doesn't give a Gojoryu scholorship. Once I either graduate college (if I got a scholorship), or dont get a scholorship, I plan on start back practicing.

ForzaFiori
2007-09-05, 08:52 PM
Who am I kidding, I'm a cool kid at school, I'd never tell anyone on the football or rugby team I play PbP DnD. Heck, that's why I play PbP DnD, I'm insecure about it.

QFT

Exactly.
except switch football and rugby for Cross Country and Soccer.

edit: my bad about the double post.

Albub
2007-09-05, 08:55 PM
QFT? translate SVP. And while cross country isn't huge around home, a lot of my friends are monster soccer players... good stuff. Too bad I suck at finesse-y stuff (kick ball with foot too hard coach... I go hit fings)

ForzaFiori
2007-09-05, 08:57 PM
QFT? translate SVP. And while cross country isn't huge around home, a lot of my friends are monster soccer players... good stuff. Too bad I suck at finesse-y stuff (kick ball with foot too hard coach... I go hit fings)

QFT: quoted for truth.

you toe kick? thats like...a damnable offense around my coach.

Albub
2007-09-05, 09:03 PM
my three year old cousin is better at soccer than I am, and he just turned three in July. Helps that his dad is a soccer coach and he actually has more experience than I do (he's got three years of it to be precise)... But still. I'm really more of a hit someone, or pick up a ball and run until I get hit/torpedo their feet kind of guy. Much easier you see.

Brickwall
2007-09-05, 10:32 PM
Sports are evil. I'd start a thread on it, but I just KNOW that I'd get in trouble for it. If the mods didn't think the topic was directly harmful, the fact that it'd eventually get flame-y would get me axed. So I'll just say it here: sports are evil.

Jack Squat
2007-09-05, 11:13 PM
I'm not going to claim TKD to be the best one out there, as there's a fairly good agreement that it isn't...but I thought it might be interesting to bring up a video showing that spin attacks aren't as useless as they're made out to be. (http://youtube.com/watch?v=jvjvugJ2rFM)

Orzel
2007-09-05, 11:28 PM
I know a bit of Muay Thai and Kung Fu from classes. I want to learn more Eskrima from my friend but he moved.

One thing that many forget is freaks of nature.

I'm double jointed in my shoulders and legs. A lots of arm and leg submission holds don't work on me. After I miss a strike and you twist me into a hold, I'll laugh and elbow you in the face. The gross out factor only created free hits.

Brickwall
2007-09-05, 11:36 PM
I know a bit of Muay Thai and Kung Fu from classes. I want to learn more Eskrima from my friend but he moved.

One thing that many forget is freaks of nature.

I'm double jointed in my shoulders and legs. A lots of arm and leg submission holds don't work on me. After I miss a strike and you twist me into a hold, I'll laugh and elbow you in the face. The gross out factor only created free hits.

Double jointed just means it doesn't hurt until we break it.

Seriously. I had a friend who couldn't practice grappling because she was double-jointed. Risked breaking something.

PhoeKun
2007-09-05, 11:45 PM
I think that's something not many people understand about joint locks; they aren't meant to make you tap out, or be in pain. They are meant to tear the ligaments apart and break the limb your twisting. It's a quick, brutal motion that you can't really practice on people because... well... you'll hurt them. A lot.

Brickwall
2007-09-06, 12:00 AM
I think that's something not many people understand about joint locks; they aren't meant to make you tap out, or be in pain. They are meant to tear the ligaments apart and break the limb your twisting. It's a quick, brutal motion that you can't really practice on people because... well... you'll hurt them. A lot.

...I'm sorry, did you just say that you can't practice joint locks? That just seems to invalidate the entire concept of learnign them. :smallamused:

Yeah, I know they're not like practice, but I think you could have phrased that last sentence better. :smallbiggrin: :smalltongue:

SurlySeraph
2007-09-06, 12:07 AM
Me, I did TKD for a couple years. I stopped one rank before my black belt because a) I didn't feel like I was learning much useful stuff anymore, and b) the teachers who focused on useful moves all had left by that point. Though I'm not sure whether it is technically a martial art, I'm now on my school's varsity wrestling team. The advantages: if I can get right up in someone's face in a fight, I can bring him down, and I'm really good at ground fighting, meaning I can immobilize most people I can take down without having to actually injure them. The disadvantages: if someone can constantly keep me at a distance I'm screwed (trying a takedown in a street situation would be a really good way to get kneed in the face), if someone has a weapon I'm really screwed, and ground fighting is a bad idea in many real world situations (if there's broken glass on the ground, or if there's more than one person, or if there's a street nearby, or if the ground's slippery, or if there's snow on the ground, or...)

As said before, having a gun really is the most practical self-defense method. What with how that's illegal for someone my age, I sometimes carry a knife, and I'm looking into taking Eskrima lessons so I can learn to use it well.

Orzel
2007-09-06, 12:08 AM
They can still break something. that for sure.

It just that twice as long, giving me time to counter or escape. Most people freak out halfway and lose their grip, since you can't really practice them.

The best is faking the injury, the fixing yourself, that'll freak them out enough for an easy strike to the face..

PhoeKun
2007-09-06, 12:10 AM
...I'm sorry, did you just say that you can't practice joint locks? That just seems to invalidate the entire concept of learnign them. :smallamused:

Yeah, I know they're not like practice, but I think you could have phrased that last sentence better. :smallbiggrin: :smalltongue:

Your pedantry has failed you sir. I said you can't practice the quick snapping motion. You know, the arm breaking, shoulder dislocating lock of horror you're supposed to use in a real fight. The very reason so many people don't realize they're meant to be like that is because they're only ever practiced at a fraction of their speed and power.

Honestly, read first, then nitpick. :smallamused:

edit: no, the best is not getting in the damn lock in the first place. You don't want to fool people in a fight; you want to finish them before they even touch you.

Orzel
2007-09-06, 12:31 AM
I'm not trying to get grappled but noodle arms help if I am ever held. Which is not rare since twisty arms punch poorly so I have to move closer when fighting. Good thing people from Brooklyn can't grapple well and spook easy (but they can punch).

SurlySeraph
2007-09-06, 12:37 AM
I'm not trying to get grappled but noodle arms help if I am ever held.

Very much true. I wrestled a guy who did a lot of Tai Chi Chuan once. He wasn't doing much, but it was damn near impossible to actually get a move in one him because he'd just move along with whatever I was doing. I eventually got him down by managing to get both his arms behind his back, where he couldn't move them anywhere. I'd never thought a soft martial art like that could be useful in wrestling, but it was.

averagejoe
2007-09-06, 12:51 AM
Though I'm not sure whether it is technically a martial art, I'm now on my school's varsity wrestling team.

A quick aside; "martial art" just means that it's a set of formalized combat techniques. What many people mean when they say, "martial art," is to refer to more exotic practices, such as anything ending in fu, do, or jutsu. The ones which are technically martial arts, however, is anything that teaches you combat. Thus, shooting a gun or flying an F-16 could be considered martial arts.

Midnight Son
2007-09-06, 01:11 AM
I'm not going to claim TKD to be the best one out there, as there's a fairly good agreement that it isn't...but I thought it might be interesting to bring up a video showing that spin attacks aren't as useless as they're made out to be. (http://youtube.com/watch?v=jvjvugJ2rFM)And after watching that video, I have figured out why they train you to keep your hands at your side in TKD. Its so that you can never block any spinning kick. Thusly, in exhibitions, you can show your prowess of being able to kick someone in the head. Yes, the fight is sometimes won that way in MMA, but most times the opponent either blocks and counters or simply ducks out of the way.

A spinning kick is only devastating if it lands. Anyone who knows what they are doing, will see it coming and it'll never land.

averagejoe
2007-09-06, 01:17 AM
Maybe, but spin kicks are also arguably cooler than other types of strikes, and remember, there was no actual criteria set up for "best." That's why I claimed that judo is the best because it involves hugging, and who doesn't like getting hugged?

Tom_Violence
2007-09-06, 11:22 AM
Maybe, but spin kicks are also arguably cooler than other types of strikes, and remember, there was no actual criteria set up for "best." That's why I claimed that judo is the best because it involves hugging, and who doesn't like getting hugged?

I think this is the best point in this (already somewhat amusing) thread, though I disagree with it. The best martial art is clearly me driving my car into people, because I have an awesome CD collection in there. Hugging is all well and good, but its success depends far too much on the quality of the other person, and no offense but I dare say I'd rather not be hugged by most of you. However, my music is still amazing regardless of what the rest of you look like.

Gygaxphobia
2007-09-06, 02:36 PM
And after watching that video, I have figured out why they train you to keep your hands at your side in TKD. Its so that you can never block any spinning kick. Thusly, in exhibitions, you can show your prowess of being able to kick someone in the head. Yes, the fight is sometimes won that way in MMA, but most times the opponent either blocks and counters or simply ducks out of the way.

A spinning kick is only devastating if it lands. Anyone who knows what they are doing, will see it coming and it'll never land.

Damn you siad it first and better :(
Anyone of those KD's could have been stopped by simply keeping your guard up.
But spinning kicks DO have applications, they just aren't very flashy and unlikely to be caught on video.


Very much true. I wrestled a guy who did a lot of Tai Chi Chuan once. He wasn't doing much, but it was damn near impossible to actually get a move in one him because he'd just move along with whatever I was doing. I eventually got him down by managing to get both his arms behind his back, where he couldn't move them anywhere. I'd never thought a soft martial art like that could be useful in wrestling, but it was.

Not double-jointed but similar in effect I guess. Wing Chun is also useful in grappling simply because of the sensitivity training.

averagejoe
2007-09-06, 02:52 PM
I think this is the best point in this (already somewhat amusing) thread, though I disagree with it. The best martial art is clearly me driving my car into people, because I have an awesome CD collection in there. Hugging is all well and good, but its success depends far too much on the quality of the other person, and no offense but I dare say I'd rather not be hugged by most of you. However, my music is still amazing regardless of what the rest of you look like.

Driving your car makes enemies. Hugging makes friends. Enemies are so much more inconvenient than friends.

Tom_Violence
2007-09-06, 03:01 PM
Driving your car makes enemies. Hugging makes friends. Enemies are so much more inconvenient than friends.

Driving my car properly only makes enemies very briefly. And it makes so many more friends when everyone sees how goddamn awesome it is. It has flames on the side for goodness sake! Who can't love that?! Oh, and hugging can make enemies too! You have to be careful with that - tis not foolproof!

Aizle
2007-09-06, 04:09 PM
I think that's something not many people understand about joint locks; they aren't meant to make you tap out, or be in pain. They are meant to tear the ligaments apart and break the limb your twisting. It's a quick, brutal motion that you can't really practice on people because... well... you'll hurt them. A lot.

It depends on the joint lock.

For instance, the only joint locks allowed in Judo tournaments are armbars. That's be cause they HURT long before you do permanent damage.

Other joint locks, don't hurt until you are very close to doing physical damage, so they are practiced under much more controlled situations.

Aizle
2007-09-06, 04:18 PM
Ok, there appears to be a lot of confusion around the many high kicks of TKD.

So, it's time for a little history lesson.

Korea had a significant amount of light cavalry in their armies around the time of the creation of TKD. (ie. guys on horses with spears, etc.) So, those who were on the ground needed a way to be able to unhorse someone who was coming near them if they were without a pointy stick or other weapon. Similarly if you were mounted and lost your weapon, you used a flying kick to leap from your horse into a close order combat.

This is the reason why TKD has as many very high/flying kicks as it does. Within the context of a cavalry battle, it makes sense. It does not, however, mean they make sense in a street fight that starts on the ground.

They are taught by the various TKD schools as they are traditional and similarly fun to do/watch. Sadly, as I commented in my earlier post, there are relatively few instructors out there today who understand the full body of knowledge of a system, and so they don't qualify properly when certain techniques make sense to do.

Hell, if you're up against a good grappler, the minute you lift your leg (even for a low kick) you're pretty much in a hurt bag if the grappler is paying attention. If he's already a little stunned from a quick jab to the nose, frankly a turning axe kick will probably break his collarbone, and knock him out.

BlackStaticWolf
2007-09-06, 05:10 PM
Why is there even debate?

The best martial art is clearly tae kwon leap.



...


Boot to the head.

Brickwall
2007-09-06, 07:02 PM
Ok, there appears to be a lot of confusion around the many high kicks of TKD.

So, it's time for a little history lesson.

Korea had a significant amount of light cavalry in their armies around the time of the creation of TKD. (ie. guys on horses with spears, etc.) So, those who were on the ground needed a way to be able to unhorse someone who was coming near them if they were without a pointy stick or other weapon. Similarly if you were mounted and lost your weapon, you used a flying kick to leap from your horse into a close order combat.

This is the reason why TKD has as many very high/flying kicks as it does. Within the context of a cavalry battle, it makes sense. It does not, however, mean they make sense in a street fight that starts on the ground.

Almost right.

Tae Kwon Do itself wasn't created that early. It evolved from very very similar arts that taught the same/similar hand-to-hand stuff, but were more involved.

I had to do an essay on this to get my first (and only) black belt. Tae Kwon Do, specifically, was practiced in the early 1900s and on.

And to further go into the unhorsing deal, staff techniques of TKD often have staff-assisted vaulting kicks. Even the shortest guy in the studio could get high with one of those. Definitely helpful if you've got a strudy stick and the horseman expects to just cut you down like the harvest.

And, yes, wrestling, boxing, and kickboxing are all martial arts. Western martial arts. I actually learned some boxing. It requires more body strength to reach its full potential than many Eastern arts, though, so I didn't stick with it. However, people with at least average strength can be quite effective with boxing. Especially if they know a few extra defense techniques. Standard wrestling, though, is what is meant to be countered by such things as Judo. So, basically, it may be effective, but a Judo student/master has been trained to go against guys like you, so probably not against them.

Gygaxphobia
2007-09-06, 08:04 PM
To add to that, why a "turning axe kick"? There a lot of more effective techniques that don't involve the hgih degree of risk associated with a move like that.

Albub
2007-09-06, 09:38 PM
A quick aside; "martial art" just means that it's a set of formalized combat techniques. What many people mean when they say, "martial art," is to refer to more exotic practices, such as anything ending in fu, do, or jutsu. The ones which are technically martial arts, however, is anything that teaches you combat. Thus, shooting a gun or flying an F-16 could be considered martial arts.

Then Parkour is a martial art. Much of the technique was developed by soldiers in French Vietnam for pursuit/escape situations, very much military stuff, just a tad unconventional. Actual fighting isn't involved, but there are other martial arts that focus on evasion rather than combat. HA Brickwall, what say you to that.

Brickwall
2007-09-06, 11:30 PM
Then Parkour is a martial art. Much of the technique was developed by soldiers in French Vietnam for pursuit/escape situations, very much military stuff, just a tad unconventional. Actual fighting isn't involved, but there are other martial arts that focus on evasion rather than combat. HA Brickwall, what say you to that.

mar∑tial /ˈmɑrʃəl/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[mahr-shuhl] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
Ėadjective 1. inclined or disposed to war; warlike

The reason for its development does not make it a martial art. The usage defines it. Ever heard of nunchucks? They're grain threshers, but we call them weapons. Staffs? Tools to aid walking, but we call them weapons. Parkour is the reverse. It was developed for war, but it is used for peace and friendly, unharmful competition. It is not inclined to war or fighting, it is inclined to fun, excercise, utility, and freedom. Some use it in martial settings, but what the public regards it as defines what it is, in this case.

Here's a good example: the internet. A military weapon? Nope. Not anymore. Radio? Morse code? Even semaphore is seeing civilian usage, though that specifically is still military-oriented.

That's what I say to that.

@gygax: Turning axe kick is about as useful in fighting as a crotch thrust. It's a very, very powerful tool for destroying something already low to the ground. For instance, should you need to finish a downed opponent relatively quickly, you could break his neck, spine, or skull quite efficiently. Should you need to demonstrate your prowess, set up the [whatever the limits of your breaking are, hopefully cinderblocks. Boards don't cut it these days, sadly for me]. 'bout it, though.

Tom_Violence
2007-09-06, 11:45 PM
mar∑tial /ˈmɑrʃəl/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[mahr-shuhl] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
Ėadjective 1. inclined or disposed to war; warlike

The reason for its development does not make it a martial art. The usage defines it. Ever heard of nunchucks? They're grain threshers, but we call them weapons. Staffs? Tools to aid walking, but we call them weapons. Parkour is the reverse. It was developed for war, but it is used for peace and friendly, unharmful competition. It is not inclined to war or fighting, it is inclined to fun, excercise, utility, and freedom. Some use it in martial settings, but what the public regards it as defines what it is, in this case.

Here's a good example: the internet. A military weapon? Nope. Not anymore. Radio? Morse code? Even semaphore is seeing civilian usage, though that specifically is still military-oriented.

That's what I say to that.


Doesn't this then limit most 'martial arts' to the status of merely 'things that are done, mostly by the young, in sports centres and gyms across the globe', as opposed to anything with any real combat conotations? It seems amusing at least to describe one discipline as merely 'friendly, unharmful competition', whilst things like Judo and whatnot remain secure in their place. I feel safe in betting that most 'martial arts students' don't use them in real fights, and even more secure in saying that they have little to no military application these days.

Brickwall
2007-09-06, 11:55 PM
Doesn't this then limit most 'martial arts' to the status of merely 'things that are done, mostly by the young, in sports centres and gyms across the globe', as opposed to anything with any real combat conotations? It seems amusing at least to describe one discipline as merely 'friendly, unharmful competition', whilst things like Judo and whatnot remain secure in their place. I feel safe in betting that most 'martial arts students' don't use them in real fights, and even more secure in saying that they have little to no military application these days.

Uhh...wrong-o. All of my teachers have been in multiple fights that they didn't want to be in. One was even a bouncer, it was his JOB. Plus, many military branches learn at least one form of unarmed combat, plus melee weapons combat. Many countries even have their own forms, similar to both Eastern and Western arts. Many are even derived from them. And I'm sure they see use, otherwise they wouldn't be taught.

averagejoe
2007-09-06, 11:57 PM
Doesn't this then limit most 'martial arts' to the status of merely 'things that are done, mostly by the young, in sports centres and gyms across the globe', as opposed to anything with any real combat conotations? It seems amusing at least to describe one discipline as merely 'friendly, unharmful competition', whilst things like Judo and whatnot remain secure in their place. I feel safe in betting that most 'martial arts students' don't use them in real fights, and even more secure in saying that they have little to no military application these days.

The term, "martial art," doesn't look at whether or not the military uses it, it looks at whether or not it involves actual combat. After all, the military hires medics and mechanics, but one could hardly call administering a sedative or fixing a transmission martial arts techniques. Parkour teaches techniques for climbing, jumping, falling, and other such things. It doesn't teach combat, so it isn't a martial art, simple as that.

Holy_Knight
2007-09-07, 01:11 AM
I can imagine plenty of situations in which one might pull a gun and have time to do so. Very few real violent conflicts start suddenly. A mugger menaces you before trying to stab you, for example; you can even reach in for the gun as though you're getting a wallet. Even if one couldn't get it right away, once you do have it out, you're in control. It's not foolproof, but I'd say it's a lot likely to make you safer, in no small part because of the effect having a gun pointed at you has on people. Adding close-combat defense to Having A Gun-Fu isn't a bad idea, though, of course.
Oh, I'm not saying that guns are useless, or that they can't help protect you, because they can. My point is just that there are more problems with their use than people tend to think. The "21 foot rule" sort of thing that you mentioned, and logistical and psychological issues of being able to draw, judging when a situation warrants drawing combined with ability to draw, their necessary escalation of a conflict and so forth. I agree that guns can sometimes help ensure your safety, but they're a far cry from the panacea that some people perceive them as.



1) a gun is mostly for having, not for using...you have it and people tend not to mess with you because of the risks connected to escalating violence getting out of control. (though I realize that you can't go around "flashing your tool" every so often)
This is part of what I'm getting at. You're not going to be flashing it, so in a general sense simply having it probably isn't much of a deterrent. Where you want it to deter is generally a situation in which you're threatened enough that you feel you need to draw it, which leads into some of the other issues I was mentioning.



2) IMHO martial arts have not solely and not necessarily to do with self defence, specially not from an "active" point of view...
True, but what I was criticizing was instruction where the ostensible focus is self-defense, but the actual use of time in the dojo doesn't bear this out. Saying up front that you're teaching mainly for fitness is one thing. Claiming to teach self-defense, but not spending the majority of classes on self-defense techniques and sparring, is quite another.


The beauty of BJJ is that it is practiced at 100%. Very few martial arts can boast this because you just canít strike at 100%, not without a lot of injuries.
A small quibble here--you don't really practice BJJ at 100%, because if you did you would probably damage people's joints before they had enough time to tap out.


And to parrot the guy above you: you go against two guys, and you're taking one down, and you have a double underhook...you're dead. You're down your fastest limbs for blocking, and you're on the ground, wrestling someone. In D&D terms, you're.

Prone.
Grappling.
Flanked.
Voluntarily.

Not a good idea.
This is just what I was talking about before, with striking arts being better equipped to handle multiple opponents.


Parkour. I recommend it, but I personally can't do it. It requires a dedication to fitness that I don't have, sadly. Also, being non-martial in concept, it is not a martial art. It's an art form, though.
I agree, parkour is awesome. I would love to practice it if I had the time.

Tom_Violence
2007-09-07, 07:07 AM
Uhh...wrong-o. All of my teachers have been in multiple fights that they didn't want to be in. One was even a bouncer, it was his JOB. Plus, many military branches learn at least one form of unarmed combat, plus melee weapons combat. Many countries even have their own forms, similar to both Eastern and Western arts. Many are even derived from them. And I'm sure they see use, otherwise they wouldn't be taught.

Uhh...fair enough-o. Still though, you said "Some use it in martial settings, but what the public regards it as defines what it is, in this case." So it doesn't much matter if your teachers have gotten into fights - all that matters is whether or not the public thinks that most people who know the art use it in fights. Take Judo for example - does the average bloke on the street think its mainly used in real fights, or mainly used for rolling around cuddling on olympic gym mats? The same issue arises with the military thing. Does the public think that something like Karate is used in actual warzones, or would they more readily associate it with teenagers getting some much needed exercise a few times a week?

Personally, I lean more towards averagejoe's definition - that it is the presence of actual combat techniques that makes the difference, not public opinion.

Aizle
2007-09-07, 09:22 AM
Tom, you are right for many "martial arts".

USA Karate for instance, has about as much to do with a real martial art as Jazzersize. Hell, so do a lot of Judo schools, as they focus ONLY on competition. This is sadly the state of probably the vast majority of martial art schools in the world, but at least within the USA.

You CAN find schools who teach the full doctrine of a martial art, but they are relatively few and far between.

Aizle
2007-09-07, 09:28 AM
Almost right.

Tae Kwon Do itself wasn't created that early. It evolved from very very similar arts that taught the same/similar hand-to-hand stuff, but were more involved.

I had to do an essay on this to get my first (and only) black belt. Tae Kwon Do, specifically, was practiced in the early 1900s and on.

And to further go into the unhorsing deal, staff techniques of TKD often have staff-assisted vaulting kicks. Even the shortest guy in the studio could get high with one of those. Definitely helpful if you've got a strudy stick and the horseman expects to just cut you down like the harvest.

I was paraphrasing for ease of conveying the concept.

TKD is an evolution of the combat arts of the Hwarang, an elite youth order of the Silla kingdom during the Three-Kingdoms period, in what is now Korea. The Hwarang were an order of youths, mostly from aristocratic families, who were educated in artistic, academic, and martial fields of study.

You are correct on the timing from a stand point of what it was called, however the roots of the techniques are much older than the 1900s.

Brickwall
2007-09-07, 10:25 AM
Uhh...fair enough-o. Still though, you said "Some use it in martial settings, but what the public regards it as defines what it is, in this case." So it doesn't much matter if your teachers have gotten into fights - all that matters is whether or not the public thinks that most people who know the art use it in fights. Take Judo for example - does the average bloke on the street think its mainly used in real fights, or mainly used for rolling around cuddling on olympic gym mats? The same issue arises with the military thing. Does the public think that something like Karate is used in actual warzones, or would they more readily associate it with teenagers getting some much needed exercise a few times a week?

Personally, I lean more towards averagejoe's definition - that it is the presence of actual combat techniques that makes the difference, not public opinion.

Actually, the average bloke who knows nothing about martial arts seems to think that we go down dark alleys with money hanging out of our pockets so that muggers will attack us and we can rearrange their body parts. Those who know just a teeny bit about the martial arts think that they're solely for sport, never anything else. Those who practice the martial arts know that they're practiced in case on needs to fight, OR they are practiced as a sport, depending on the studio. But most people know nothing, so we remain like mystics to the uninitiated. Warrior mystics. :smallbiggrin:

aj seems to have provided a good enough explanation, though.

EDIT: There, now Aizle has given you the clarification I wanted (with names and everything). We're good.

Aizle
2007-09-07, 10:48 AM
The way I've always described the "effectiveness" factor of a martial art is the following.

There is a linear scale with "granola eaters" at one end, and "meat eaters" at the other. Loosely speaking granola eaters focus on the spiritual side of a martial art, often times to the exclusion of real world effectiveness. Meat eaters on the other hand focus on real world effectiveness, often to the exclusion of the philosophy/spiritual aspects.

Extremes on either side are IMHO not good. Both aspects are important in understanding the whole martial art. That said, I do tend to lean on the side of the "meat eaters" as all the philosophy in the world doesn't do you much good if you aren't alive to expouse it.

Brickwall
2007-09-07, 10:56 AM
The way I've always described the "effectiveness" factor of a martial art is the following.

There is a linear scale with "granola eaters" at one end, and "meat eaters" at the other. Loosely speaking granola eaters focus on the spiritual side of a martial art, often times to the exclusion of real world effectiveness. Meat eaters on the other hand focus on real world effectiveness, often to the exclusion of the philosophy/spiritual aspects.

Extremes on either side are IMHO not good. Both aspects are important in understanding the whole martial art. That said, I do tend to lean on the side of the "meat eaters" as all the philosophy in the world doesn't do you much good if you aren't alive to expouse it.

How many philosophers get into fights often? Not many. Coindidence? I think not. :smallbiggrin:

Tom_Violence
2007-09-07, 11:13 AM
How many philosophers get into fights often? Not many. Coindidence? I think not. :smallbiggrin:

Indeed. We're far too smart for such silliness. Who needs to fight when you can demolish someone at a hundred paces with Classical Logic?

Wraithy
2007-09-07, 11:13 AM
There is a linear scale with "granola eaters" at one end, and "meat eaters" at the other. Loosely speaking granola eaters focus on the spiritual side of a martial art, often times to the exclusion of real world effectiveness. Meat eaters on the other hand focus on real world effectiveness, often to the exclusion of the philosophy/spiritual aspects.


My karate style doesn't teach the philosophical side (incidentally I am a fussy eater who has waay too much meat in his diet), but before the lesson starts and after it finishes we focus in complete silence for a few minutes. I just use this time to get all of the stupid music out of my head. if I can't focus before the session, I won't be able to focus throughout the session. upon being reminded of the philosophical side of it I feel sort of like I'm missing out.

Edit:
How many philosophers get into fights often? Not many. Coindidence? I think not. :smallbiggrin:

Karl Marx did like his bar brawls.

Indon
2007-09-07, 11:37 AM
Take Judo for example - does the average bloke on the street think its mainly used in real fights, or mainly used for rolling around cuddling on olympic gym mats?

Relevant trivia: I'm pretty sure the martial art learned and practiced by US Marines is based on, if not is, Judo.

magicwalker
2007-09-07, 01:39 PM
Yeah.. the "deadliest kick" in the Marine's martial arsenal: the shin kick -_-;;

Or maybe that's just what they teach the MP's, either way.. ridiculousity ensues.

Kami2awa
2007-09-07, 06:25 PM
In my experience every martial artist thinks that their chosen art is the best/oldest/most powerful/etc. When I pointed this out to an Aikido practitioner, he immediately retorted "Yes, but Aikido IS the best!" :smallconfused:

BTW to those who think a gun is a useful item for self defence; it may well be, but when it gets stolen and put on the black market for the use of murderers and robbers its not really doing its job...

Rachel Lorelei
2007-09-07, 07:07 PM
Extremes on either side are IMHO not good. Both aspects are important in understanding the whole martial art. That said, I do tend to lean on the side of the "meat eaters" as all the philosophy in the world doesn't do you much good if you aren't alive to expouse it.

Speaking as someone who gets frustrated with excess spiritualism in martial arts--they're really, really not. Martial arts is a physical thing, and martial arts can be at least as successful (and often, even more so) without the philosophy. Brazilian jiu jitsu and Krav Maga are great examples. Generally, the philosophy is just inherited baggage from a time when philosophy-free martial arts weren't really around much.

Brickwall
2007-09-07, 08:01 PM
It's still necessary to temper the mind of the martial artist so that they use the art effectively. Often, teachers should be telling their students how to act so as to avoid fighting, and how to be mentally adjusted for a fight. Neither are physical, but both important.

So...philosophy? They have other schools for that. Mental-level instruction? Important.

averagejoe
2007-09-07, 08:31 PM
It's still necessary to temper the mind of the martial artist so that they use the art effectively. Often, teachers should be telling their students how to act so as to avoid fighting, and how to be mentally adjusted for a fight. Neither are physical, but both important.

So...philosophy? They have other schools for that. Mental-level instruction? Important.

True, but I feel that too often in these instances that I have thought more on the subject at hand than the instructor. Perhaps the instructor simply underestimates me, or perhaps I'm just being young and arrogant, but it seems like whenever a martial arts instructor talks about philosophy he/she talks about things which I have already realized and gone beyond. The inherant spiritualism doesn't bug me so much as the seeming low level of instruction/discussion.

Even so, I think it is necessary to some degree. It can get overly "psycho babble," but it is at least as important to be in the right state of mind as it is to be well conditioned. I say this, by the way, not as someone who heard some guy say some cool-sounding things and thought, "Wow," (which can happen a lot,) I say this as a rationalist and a scientist who has experimented with my own performance levels, keeping all other variables as equal as I can but changing my own state of mind, and the evidence is undeniable. Granted, I can only actually prove it to myself, but I'm not trying to prove it to anyone so much as I'm trying to tell where I am coming from when I say that the spiritual/philisophical side of martial arts can have real benifits.

Swedish chef
2007-09-08, 12:30 PM
I am of the opinion that philosophy has very little to do with a martial art beeing effective or not. It is cool and many people have a lot of interest in different pilosophies and philosophical systems but the yummie goodness ends ther I would say (NOTE: This is my personal opinion. You have the right not to share it). However , what DOES make a vital part of many martial arts is the "softer" parts of the art. The forms, patterns breathing exercises and such things (wich in many MAs comes from the MAs "home" philosophy). Even if you choose not to explain the importance of breathingexercises with Ki, Chi, Yin/Yang or "It's good for you" It help your martial art. Endless drills, correct stance and so forth. All the things that the eager impatient practitioner classify as boring ;) Wich is one more reason why many classes have a lot of these drills and exercises in the beginning. To weed out people who just wants to fight.

Like Bruce Lee said: I am not afraid of a man who knows 1000 techniques. I am afraid of a man who has done one technique 1000 times :)