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#274888 - 07/26/06 11:03 AM Need help with Self-Defense
zoth13 Offline

Registered: 07/26/06
Posts: 7
Hi all,

Wondering if I could get some advice on my training. First let me say that my goal in taking a martial art is self-defense, not competition or taking an art for art's sake. My sport experience is that I wrestled for five years in middle/ high school. My martial arts experience is: I have two years of Judo training followed by one year of eagle claw kung fu, and currently two years of no-gi submission grappling.

After the first two years of Judo I started to see that it was not a complete art for self-defense. There were no strikes, certain holds were not allowed, no weapon defense, some throws required a gi, no defense against strikes etc. I did however enjoy the randori and found that to be valuable.

So I moved on and tried (under the advice of a friend) eagle claw kung fu. After a year I found this to be too static, no live sparring or randori, strange weapons etc. I began to look for another solution.

Coming from a wrestling background I found a school that teaches no-gi grappling, and I have been training there for two years now. Recently I have found myself coming back to the same problems I had with Judo: no defense against strikes, no weapon defense etc. I like the fact that we randori live every class, and there are no illegal holds. But I don’t feel it is a complete art for self defense.

So I have started checking out new schools and have come the following ideas. I took a few karate classes, which I didn’t really think fit the bill for me. I took an Aikido class which was seemed to lack the randori aspect and was really expensive. I then checked out an Aiki Ju Jutsu School. I enjoyed Aiki Ju Jutsu, and the school I checked out has one hour class of Atemi Jutsu followed by a one hour Aiki Ju Jutsu class. The Ju Jutsu class I took had solid throws, weapon defense and striking defense. The striking class had decent striking to close the gap to clinch which then ended in takedowns. The only thing I didn’t like was the fact that the Aiki Ju Jutsu school didn’t go live at all.

So I went back to my old Judo school and took a few classes. I enjoyed it as before but still the instructors were focused on sport rather than self-defense. So I think a cross training of Judo and Aiki Ju Jutsu may be the way to go. Any advice, ideas, comments would be appreciated.


Edited by zoth13 (07/26/06 03:30 PM)

#274889 - 07/26/06 01:17 PM Re: Need help with Self-Defense [Re: zoth13]
szorn Offline

Registered: 08/18/03
Posts: 88
Loc: USA
To be honest, IF self-defense is your primary goal you may be forced to look elsewhere outside traditional and semi-traditional martial arts schools. As you have already discovered it can be difficult to find a martial arts that emphasizes self-defense over art, tradition, sport, etc. You might check out local fitness facilities, community centers, etc to see if they might offer self-defense programs. You may want to consider studying books and videos and then finding a willing training partner to train with. You might consider traveling to attend self-defense courses and seminars outside your area. While it can be a pain, I have found this to be the best option for being able to study the programs I want while still being able to get hands-on training. In some cases seminars and workshops may be offered in nearby towns within driving distance from you.

I had the same problem when I started training over 17 years ago. I have spent years traveling to train in various systems and with various self-defense, law enforcement, and military instructors. It's been a tough journey but has been worth for me.

Hope this helps. Good luck in whatever you decide to do.

Steve Zorn, ICPS

#274890 - 07/26/06 01:51 PM Re: Need help with Self-Defense [Re: zoth13]
Neko456 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 01/18/05
Posts: 3260
Loc: Midwest City, Ok, USA
With your background I think a JKD class would fit your need
they cover the complete spectrum of ranges and you can pick the range you specialize in. When you sparr you be able to explorer the different ranges with specailist within each range, maybe. Almost everybody will be different.

Another choice would be a Kickboxing class or Thai-boxing to enhance your strike offense and defense. Now admittedly these are full contact sports, but if you want to practice and get good against strikes these forums could do it.

On a more controlled but barefisted note the full contact Karates Kyokushin/Ehshin/Sabaki challenge systems could help now they don't strike the head with the hands, but you will learn how to strike and defend. And You will still need to stay sharp on Judo,BJJ, Wrestling and Aiki-jujits but they wold help your striking.

Sometimes you have to blend the self defense with the sport to get concept and action. Its hard to practice full contact self defense more then once on a partner. Unless you do it like the Karate or Aiki-Jujits guys. Who wants to train with you if you are breaking their wrist and knee caps.

My jouney is more like 28+ years in the MA doing just as you have started.

Edited by Neko456 (07/26/06 01:53 PM)

#274891 - 07/26/06 02:18 PM Re: Need help with Self-Defense [Re: Neko456]
Prizewriter Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 2577
If you can balance Aikijutsu with Judo, then that is a decent combo, it covers most elements of basic melee.

As has been said though, for pure self-defense, you might have to look outside TMA. Krav Maga (generally) has a good rep for this.

I posted on the Krav/Systema forum here, re only doing Krav once in a while (the school near me only offers intensive, quarterly classes). A lot of people there said it would be possible to study Krav once in a while, without having to devote yourself to it full time.

So in theory you could keep Judo/Aikijutsu up, and maybe do the odd class of Krav once every month or two. Obviously though any martial art will work best for you if you study it full time, but needs must.

If you are ever looking for an Aikido class that does randori, look for a Tomiki Ryu school. Randori is part of it. That said, I wouldn't say it is realistic for SD purposes, but I wouldn't describe it as uselss by any means.

One final thing to remember about SD is that good SD skills aren't knowing how to punch and kick and grapple etc... It's know how to behave, knowing how to stay alert, plan ahead, and stay out of trouble. Physically defending yourself should be a last resort. Though with your experience you already know this I'm sure.

Read the stuff on this website, it is excellent:
"Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food" Hippocrates.

#274892 - 07/26/06 03:20 PM Re: Need help with Self-Defense [Re: Prizewriter]
zoth13 Offline

Registered: 07/26/06
Posts: 7
Thanks guys,

I think you all make valid points. I guess my main concern is that even if I do all the “right” things to avoid trouble, I could still face a street fight/ mugging situation.

I do not want to end up in that type of situation and find that I have spent years training in an ineffective art. I think training against fully resisting opponents in Judo and grappling is very beneficial. I think that you almost have to go “live”, whether it is full randori or full contact sparring, in order to be used to an opponent fighting back.

But in going live you limit the amount of techniques you can do, so as not to maim your training partners. I guess that brings back the old debate of: If you can’t do it in randori it won’t work in real life vs. only knowing and drilling traditional “crippling” techniques against a willing partner.

I guess for me I’m looking for something in the middle. I don’t/won’t give up the randori or live aspect of my training, as I feel it is too valuable for me to be used to real physical contact (even if it is major limited from a self defense point of view) but I would still like to have the traditional “street worthy” techniques in my arsenal. I will try and find JKD, Krav Maga and Kyokushin schools in my area and check them out. Thanks for the input. Any other suggestions?

Edited by zoth13 (07/26/06 03:27 PM)

#274893 - 07/26/06 03:50 PM Re: Need help with Self-Defense [Re: zoth13]
Prizewriter Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 2577
Yeah. Ask your judo sensei about any Goshin Jutsu semniars that your judo federation are running. Goshin jutsu no kata were designed by Kodokan as means as means of self defense. Basically it is using your judo and the fundemental principles of judo to defend againist common attacks, like punches, kicks, knife attacks etc.... Although not "live", they are most def worth looking into. If you know your Judo, the techniques are easy to do.

Some more about Goshin Jutsu:
"Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food" Hippocrates.

#274894 - 07/26/06 05:08 PM Re: Need help with Self-Defense [Re: Prizewriter]
Neko456 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 01/18/05
Posts: 3260
Loc: Midwest City, Ok, USA
Prizefighter he seems to have a solid grappling background from wrestling, Judo to Aiki-jujitsu they lack actual full or semi contact strikes. My suggest was to stay with the grappling but add striking arts weather Trad or no.t JKD is far from a traditional art, why its not even an art its a concept.

But be that as it may, like I said if you want to learn to really defend against striking practice arts that strike for real at real speed with little what ifs. The systems I mentioned have little what ifs, they have plenty of I wish I had have. But that gives you something to work on.

No one has all the answers the journey is yours to explorer as you will. My suggestion again are based on 28+ years of testing and looking for the same thing.

Kraz maga and Systema are realitively new ideas to old problems they are valid arts. Systema takes some elements from JKD or Wing Chun & Russina grappling and Kraz maga has some elements of Karate and Jujitsu plus Isreal MA. The orginators did what Zoth13 is trying to do but they are just 1 way to get it done.

Edited by Neko456 (07/26/06 05:11 PM)

#274895 - 07/27/06 03:34 AM Re: Need help with Self-Defense [Re: zoth13]
nekogami13 V2.0 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/10/04
Posts: 2643
Loc: Texas, USA
The reality is this-No art is ideally suited for realistic self defense.
Simulating something only gets you so close. That's all any art is-a simulation of a self defense situation. Safety, sanity, legality and practicality dictates that it stays this way.

You as a student have to stop being lazy, waiting for somebody to hand everything to you. You have already been given all the tools(techniques) you need, figure out how to make them work.

If you are that worried about strikers, take boxing.
I'm sorry, I was just imaging what you would look like with duct tape over your mouth

#274896 - 07/27/06 03:47 AM Re: Need help with Self-Defense [Re: zoth13]
Legend of the Hungry Wolf Offline

Registered: 07/22/04
Posts: 221
"After the first two years of Judo I started to see that it was not a complete art for self-defense. There were no strikes, certain holds were not allowed, no weapon defense, some throws required a gi, no defense against strikes etc. I did however enjoy the randori and found that to be valuable. "

im not dismissing the fact that you are right about judo, and that its not All that Self-Defense oriented. but just a little bit of common sense and u can make it work. strikes aren't used, well you should be able to judge when striking should and should not be used. as for some throws, the uke must have a gi on to perform the throw. a coat would work just fine, and everything is very situational not all things are guaranteed to work. The only throws really worth doing, are osoto gari, ouchi gari, and maybe a shoulder tackle (forget its name). Those are probably the easiest and most effective that i've seen. but as one of my sensei's had told me, is that one of the greatest things about judo, is that you can practice the techniques in ways such as randori, every day reasonably without fear of injury. you can square off against somebody and really go at it, whereas jujitsu, as he told me, was a lot of forms, and you really couldn't do a lot of sparring because of fear of injuries, with joint locks and such.
Hakkyokuseiken Senpuken-terry bogard

#274897 - 07/27/06 11:37 AM Re: Need help with Self-Defense [Re: Legend of the Hungry Wolf]
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina

After the first two years of Judo I started to see that it was not a complete art for self-defense.

You can't have possibly learned even a scratch of judo in two years, much less enough to declassify it as "incomplete"... what's incomplete is your training in it. The only thing limited in Judo is kicking skills, and those simply because they don't allow kicks in competition. A little supplemental study in some form of karate, and you'd be more complete than any other martial art around...

Is Judo the most widely practiced martial art in the world because it's incomplete... I don't think so...

What man is a man that does not make the world a better place?... from "Kingdom of Heaven"

#274898 - 07/28/06 01:29 AM Re: Need help with Self-Defense [Re: wristtwister]
paradoxbox Offline

Registered: 09/15/04
Posts: 590
try adding atemi into judo.. a judo teacher worth his weight will be able to show you strikes in judo.

I want to echo the thoughts about 'goshinjutsu'. It's basically no-nonsense Japanese martial arts. Any martial art like aikido, judo or jujutsu may have goshinjutsu in it.

It's usually very good stuff.

The best way to deal with weapons is to have one yourself at all times.

#274899 - 07/28/06 02:34 PM Re: Need help with Self-Defense [Re: zoth13]
rpoc3 Offline

Registered: 07/28/06
Posts: 3
What I would recommend is a combination of military combatives (the old version, along with atleast some basic ground fighting) and aiki-jujitsu. aiki-jujitsu seems to be pretty solid on a combination of things and military combatives is simple, effective and brutal (however, it's not good for every situation, that's why I recommend aiki-jujitsu) You can research military combatives by reading FM 21-150 (the 1971 version) just remember that some of it you probably won't use in real life (ex. sentry removal) and keep in mind the brutality of it, thus it probably should only be used in lifethreatening situations. Also, I would recommend knowing atleast the basic positions of ground fighting (can be found in FM 3-25-150). However, I consider the more advanced stuff not as neccessary in a street situation for these reasons. You should try to avoid the ground (the bad guy will probably fight dirty or he might have friends to stomp on you)(there could be dangerous objects on the ground ex. broken glass)(and if you do get taken to the ground, instead of "skirting the shrimp", you could do a simpler thing and fight dirty (ex. bite em), besides, if you're in a street situation, it's probably worth it to fight dirty, since the other guy will)
Subjects to study. -Wilderness survival, medicine, tracking -Tactics and Self-Defense

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