Guru Franklin Joseph: What makes a Martial Arts good for Self Defense?

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Krav Maga is all about fighting for survival, it’s not sport or a martial art.

[] [Post] You will find many technical answers, here is my version

Martial Arts is all about skills, fitness, agility, flexibility and years and years of hard core practice. Karate, Kung Fu, Judo, Muay Thai etc., you see idols like Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee, Tony Ja fighting,  we all aspire to move like that but nobody actually thinks about the years of hard work, sweat, pain and blood, they have invested in their training.

What about people like us, who do not have no time to invest or are now too old or are has the possibility to be exposed to crime. We can deny all we want that bad things won’t happen to us but the reality is in India, Bangalore is second highest mega city next to Delhi in crime rate. Why? We have thours sand of floating population with no one to keep track, with lot of easy cash (mobile, credit cards etc.) and being carried by venerable not-fit easily scared men and women.

Self Defense is not about your skill set. You are not here to prove your martial art is good or better than the rest.

You are not here to prove if you are a better fighter by being the stronger, fitter or agile of the two.

Can you jump in the air, given high kicks with restrictive clothes like business suits & sarees or sitting inside a car strapped in with seat belts? It looks good in the movies, and even they have to choreograph it many times to get it perfect. Now imagine, doing it when you least expect it like waiting for the red light to turn green with family in the car or coming back from a nice evening out with girlfriend etc. In sudden attacks, your mind shuts down, thus you forget what to do in such a situation.

Women Self Defense is not about punches and kicks. Before she defense herself, has to deal with psychological trauma of the threat and even if somehow she deals with the threat, she would deal with the fear of victim blaming if she share the incident with someone.

In a street fight, You have to deal with

  • Sudden Attacks: Robbery while coming home from dinner or road rage while driving with family etc.,
  • Age: Criminals or bad elements do not care if you are 6 years of age or 90 years of age. If you are weak, your are a ideal victim etc.,
  • Fitness: They do not worry about how much muscles you have or do not have, on street size does not matter much like A small mugger will carry knife etc.,
  • Strength: You might life dead weights in gym but one hit on the head with a hockey stick or a bullet / stab wound neutralize your strength etc.,
  • Gorilla warfare: Anybody from the mob would attack you even if you can overpower the main bad guy, like religious or protest mob attack etc.,
  • Shock Factor: Gang fight so being stabbed by ice pick or hit first by a hockey stick on the head from behind etc.,
  • Fear: Old man facing multiple bigger opponents, loved one taken as hostage or weapons used against you or your loved one etc.,
  • No rules: Whether the attackers hits the eyes, groin or from behind, or use your loved one as hostage or use weapons like car, gun etc.,
  • Psychologically Disability: Attacker can be a drunk friend / co-worker or the husband attacking in domestic violence etc.,
  • Physically Disadvantage: Attackemight be stronger / fitter / younger or faster than you or they have friends, injured arm, eyes or legs during or before fight etc.,
  • Limitations of space: Robbery inside a car with/without seats buckled, road rage outside on a busy road where car going by, ditch, drop or staircase nearby etc.,
  • Clothes: Wearing high heels, no shoes or restricting clothes, having spectacles etc.,
  • Accessories: Carrying laptop,  heavy bag on the back, baby in the hand of the m other or father etc.,
  • VIP involved: Wife holding hands, family members stopping the fight or loved one cannot be left alone while you engage with attackers in a distant etc.,
  • Psychologically Trauma: a person can go through same repetition of trauma like molestation or robbery and that would freeze him with fear etc.,
  • Pain: Being hurt in vital organs like groin, knees, eye etc. and non-vital organs like chest, arms, legs etc., stabbed or broken bones during the fight etc.,
  • Consequences after the Fight: Relationship changes in domestic violence, friendship broken in bar fights, court cases, police inquires, FIetc.,
  • Being stupid: Ignoring threatening gestures from attackers or showing signs of aggression or under-estimating the opponent like smaller, thinner man hiding a gun etc.,
  • Location and Ambiance:  Robbery in a bad neighborhood where you will be caught again or next to staircase where you can fall down or busy road with car rushing by etc.
  • Insecure or volatile behavior: Criminals love to use emotions like anger to keep the victim of guard and not in control so they usually provoke the sucker to react first etc.,
  • Sexual Violence: Whether you are man or women, gay or straight person, child or old person, the predator has no issues using violence and sexual abuse together.,

I could go on and on. Now, to face all of this in the street, prevent or defend and still survive or walk away, does not require much skills set of a fighter but more preparation and exposure to real life scenario based training so that we will understand all these and much much more.

So which martial arts is better for street combat?

Frankly, speaking I have no yet come across any martial arts that deal with the fact on how to deal with fear of knife being held on my girlfriend throat or how to protect my grand-m other  stepping in a multiple fight scenario holding me back from fighting. So, whatever martial arts you practice,  understand what you want from it.

I have had fighter leave my class, as they understood they need to learn ring fighting with rules and skills involved rather than street fighting. And I had many students who came from other martial arts as they were looking for no-rules / no-limitation survival fighting.

Choose wisely, your life and your loved one life is dependent on it.

Written by Guru Franklin Joseph, Krav Maga Bangalore

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