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Which martial arts are effective in self defense
Few people understand what self-defense really is
Since there is a lot of confusion on this subject, it's important to stress some facts:
Martial arts - The primary goal of the study of a martial art is not self-defense, in 90% of cases the reason is to discover ourselves (read Martial art and self-defense: what are the differences?)
Combat sports - The practice of combat sports does not teach anything about self-defense, it teaches how to fight in a competitive but controlled situation (read The 6 types of martial clash)
Warfare combat systems - What a warfare combat system teaches as nothing to do with civilian safety, it teaches to kill or be killed (read Best martial arts for self-defense)
Self-defense is the study of the best way to solve a dangerous situation, with the less possible use of violence (read Personal defense: the S.A.F.E. method).
Which martial arts are actually effective in the street and which ones are not?
In terms of self-defense, probably all those who include:
A multidisciplinary approach
The use of (proper / improper) weapons
And (necessarily) those who exclude:
Only fake collaborative simulations
Too complex / aesthetic techniques
Too easy solutions
Violence as the first choice
Disarming techniques for novices
Only training sessions inside a protected gym-like context
Illusions of invulnerability / invincibility
Everything is related to the instructor
Even within these parameters, it is not possible to compile a list of names (like Krav Maga, Jeet Kune Do, etc.) because everything depends on the instructor's mindset.
Here there are a few questions in relation to our instructor:
Does he know what is he talking about? Has he ever been involved in a fight (even sportive, even sparring)?
Does he know the law and the collateral risks? Does he speaks by hearsay or has he experienced firsthand what he says?
Has he ever been involved in a self-defense situation? How has he reacted?
Has he spent on preparing / studying self-defense more than a few hours in a stage or not?
Has he the intelligence to distinguish between practicing violence and avoiding it?
And above all, has he the intellectual honesty to admit what are his limits and the ones of what he teaches?
If we must forcibly reply with a long list of "no", we are in front of a person, not necessarily incompetent in his field but that (probably) cannot teach us self-defense.
Why martial arts do not work: 5 reasons - The most relevant problems that make martial arts useless
Recognize a good / bad master: 5 characteristics - 5 attitudes that can identify a bad teacher
Thanks to jasmine for this question and her donation to 6 Dragons Kung Fu
Reply in the comments and share your experience:
What is your opinion about what self-defense should be?