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#435623 - 01/14/13 10:52 AM Price of staying safe
aplant Offline
Just interested.
Member

Registered: 01/08/13
Posts: 31
Loc: UK
On another thread while discussing the value of training the following comment was made:

Quote:
Martial arts is a hobby/activity that if seriously undertaken will take years to get good at


This got me thinking, how much does it cost to learn to defend oneself - and do martial arts represent value for money?

- How much does it cost to learn to defend yourself from say 3 years of martial arts training?

- Alternatively how about self defence courses?

From a quick google search:
6 hours self defence for 64.80 - Courses for the general public

3 Day self defense course for 540 H2H self defence


- Or the cost of books or DVDs ranging from 3-100's (amazon search)

- How much are legal self defence weapons?

Also is anyone aware of any good evidence (I don't know how this would be measured?) of how effective all of these interventions are?

I would consider the most important self defence intervention to be free and taking only education, not 'training'. i.e. avoiding being in places and situations where you are more likely to be attacked, being vigilant and taking preventative measures e.g. arrange transport home if you're going to get very drunk.

Even when we are fully trained 'self-defenders!' When someone tries to mug us, we rightly hand over the money and run!

I am aware that there are other benefits of training e.g fun! But I thought it might be interesting to look at this from a purely functional POV

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#435626 - 01/15/13 12:07 PM Re: Price of staying safe [Re: aplant]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5823
Loc: USA
aplant

Good questions! And IMO ones that need to be really considered.

Wish I had equally good answers.

I guess it depends on how people define things.

IMO you can get "better" on a fairly quickly. But is "better" going to be enough?

You can teach someone how to play basketball pretty quickly--but how good are they going to be with just a "bit" of practice? You might be able to sink baskets pretty well in practice---but can you do so in the chaos of the game with people trying to stop you?

After a year of practice would you be able to play well vs. folks that have spent MANY YEARS playing basketball?

If you spend 5 years in dedicated practice, chances are you would be pretty good--but would you be good enough to play college ball?

I guess it dependes on how good you "need" to be.

Interms of "self-defense"--kinda depends on how exactly you define it. If you don't hang out in doddgy places with sketchy people, if you are smart about where you go and what you do, if pay attention to what is going on around you, if you don't get drunk and stupid in public places, etc. then you will IMO/and experience drastically reduce your chances of needing to be able to fight.

Sure, trouble can always find you--but I can almost assure you that if you go looking for it--it WILL find you.

"When someone tries to mug us, we rightly hand over the money and run."

That is exactly what I would do. I'm not carrying ANYTHING worth bleeding or going to jail over.

I was always taught that martial arts were a sort of "last ditch" kinda-thing. You used it only when you couldn't run/couldn't get away or couldn't get to a weapaon or something you could use as a weapon.


Edited by cxt (01/15/13 12:08 PM)
_________________________
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

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#435629 - 01/16/13 09:57 PM Re: Price of staying safe [Re: aplant]
Matakiant Offline
Member

Registered: 02/08/11
Posts: 120
A big reason of why I train martial arts is so I don't have to give my money a would be mugger and run.

As always this age old ''awareness&avoidance'' is pretty and all but just like you said yourself cxt trouble can find you anywhere. And I would say the trouble that finds people that actually are aware and avoiding can be a lot more dangerous than the typical drunk fight.

This question of why/what is martial arts and to defend yourself or not to or only to as an absolute last ditch effort is a seperate argument.

But in terms of ''price to pay'' that is purely individual... Self defense is more intent than technique. That being said technique is still absolutely necessary but the rate at which someone learns technique differs not only based on the time they put in but their ''talent'' as well.

Not to mention the efficiency of the training.

Also I feel a lot of people gravely misunderstand something when they think that 3-5 hours of training a week in a class with 1 instructor is their path of learning martial arts. It takes a lot more hard work than that to really get effective, wether in sport or self defense.

I don't think you can measure the price.. People are different and there is more to self defense than your ''fighting skills'' also the mental side of it you can't really learn in a class room.

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#435639 - 01/20/13 11:00 AM Re: Price of staying safe [Re: aplant]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3116
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello aplant:

Fun questions!

The physical capascity to defend ourselves is a question of muscle memory, and partner training. Can it be done with a book, a DVD, etc. certainly. What such methods will lack entirely however are other people. We need big, small, fat, gigantic, old, young training partners to learn several things that videos, books cannot teach on the physical level.

The most critical component of self protection as you say is NOT putting ourselves in situations/places where trouble is likely to be found. Avoiding the avoidables.

A very large friend, was an auto mechanic. Insanely strong. Every week, every few weeks he would open up with a new story of his latest 'trouble' he had with a women, at a bar, in the city, or with friends. They were absolutely incredible stories...

"...Midgets, diners and cops..." we loved to call his stories. Most times he would put on his "white hat" and play the role of "sheriff" (ie protecting somebody he thought needed it). A crazy girlfriend, or some damsel in distress would start a literal fight with somone at a diner, bar etc. He would get involved. There was always something, typically in places there should not have been possible to have any trouble. Church crazy

Finally one day one of us asked him hey Al (made up name) you ever considered getting a new bunch of friends to go out with?
Once he figured it out, stop attending the bars where the blood always flew... stopped playing "sheriff"... he stopped having most problems.

Now the PROBLEM with "free seminars" becomes lack of an engrained response. I can learn all kinds of things at seminars, but unless I practice making that sushi an insane amount daily for months, it will never become the habit, we require at critical moments. Spend 3, 6 months doing something until it becomes habitual you have a technical base, a developed skill to work from.

Different bodies, different temperments are necessary as training partners. Self restraint is a critical skill of training. Starting out breaking our training partners is not a good idea.

What do we pay for that knowledge... time, often money. How much of either depends a lot on the person. How effective... in the papers all the time. 90 year old grandmother kills attacker, three teen thugs attack the wrong person... however such situation specticles are unfortunate. Standing over the bodies of an assailant is not required.

Protecting ourselves then running away (IMHV) a much smarter approach.

Merely my opinion, I could surely be mistaken,
Jeff


Edited by Ronin1966 (01/20/13 11:05 AM)
Edit Reason: clarifications

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#435646 - 01/23/13 04:16 AM Re: Price of staying safe [Re: aplant]
Leo_E_49 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/24/05
Posts: 4117
Loc: California
aplant,

The premise of your question is that you can buy physical safety like you can buy a t-shirt at the store. The problem is that self-defense doesn't work that way. Self-defense is a part of your lifestyle and whether you like it or not, your decisions on a daily basis affect your personal safety.

A good self-defense is a relatively complex set of techniques, habits and strategies which you carry with you everywhere. The best kinds of self defense are multi-faceted and include several stages, trained responses and a consideration of the legal issues which may arise as a result of your actions.

In the same way that you can exercise to keep fit, you can train martial arts to get better at physical self defense (if you train right). If you stop exercising entirely, your fitness decreases.

Martial arts aren't the kind of thing you can learn for a few years and then stop doing it and expect to keep the full skill-set you had during your training. I know this from experience, having stopped training Tae Kwon Do over 9 years ago now, I can't say that I have any ability remaining in that martial art. If I can largely forget 14 years of training, I suspect that most people will easily forget a few hours or days of training.

The problem with books is that they are at best theoretical additions to an existing skill-set. Would you trust someone who's only read a book about driving to drive a car? How successful do you think they would be on their first try? Why would this be any different for self-defense?

Some would argue that instinct could kick in and pure aggression is good enough. The problem with this argument is that instinct only just puts you on par with everyone else. Everyone has instinct but unless you're very lucky, your assailants will also have experience and maybe even training too. Training in MA is simply a way of stacking the odds in your favour (if you do it right, and there's a huge debate over what the "right" way to train for self defense is. I'll refrain from commenting on that, check the Self-Defense forum for opinions). In terms of actual statistics, I have none and I'm not sure that they even exist, any evidence I could give you would be anecdotal. Mechanically, many MA techniques are provably effective at causing injury and/or restraining people.

There are definitely benefits to self-defense classes and books/videos. In a class, you're likely to learn some basic skills for physical self defense but more importantly, you're likely to learn the stages of self defense and methods for awareness and avoidance. These are often overlooked and I think they are more important than physical self defense on the whole.

Martial arts are certainly not enough to guarantee your safety. Nothing really is. I think that you can get a lot of information relatively cheaply about the stages of criminal behaviour and principles of self defense (particularly awareness and avoidance) in books written by Geoff Thompson, Marc MacYoung (http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com/), Rory Miller, and others (I'm reading through Verbal Judo right now which is quite an interesting read). The problem is that when worst comes to worst, you may have to rely on your skills at physically defending yourself using force and these books can't give you that.

Since physical self defense is probably the last line of defense you have, any advantage you can get with it is valuable. This is why I think that training MA is value for money.


Edited by Leo_E_49 (01/23/13 04:27 AM)
_________________________
Self Defense
(Website by Marc MacYoung, not me)

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#435647 - 01/23/13 08:58 AM Re: Price of staying safe [Re: aplant]
Prizewriter Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 2573
Another thing to remember is martial arts are, usually, perishable skills. In other words, if you aren't training regularly the skills tend to fade over time. So if you want to optimise fighting skills, it is going to take a long-term investment and commitment.

Another factor to consider in physical "self defence" training is flight training. Sprint training, running endurance, climbing, parkour etc.... All skills that can be trained.

It amazes me still that people in the martial arts community have often rationalised that training flight skills is either not important or much less important than fight skills. I don't get that. If all you've trained to do is fight and you can't run the length of yourself, you're limiting your "self defence" options right from the get go. I sometimes wonder are such individuals really interested in self-defence or just reacting violently when there may be other avenues available. I'm not saying you can always run away, but if you get the chance and you can't take it because you have awful flight skills, well...
_________________________
"Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food" Hippocrates.

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#435649 - 01/23/13 11:18 AM Re: Price of staying safe [Re: aplant]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5823
Loc: USA
prize

"perishable skills"

Very well put.....sadly enough. You have to be willing to put in the time if you expect it to work. And you have to keep training it to be able to use it to best effect.

That may be exactly why many of the "old masters" only taught a few kata and, relatively speaking, a small list of techinques. They needed to keep the list kinda sparten in order to have the time to train it in a dedicated and diligent fashion.....maybe.
_________________________
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

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#435650 - 01/24/13 10:28 AM Re: Price of staying safe [Re: Leo_E_49]
aplant Offline
Just interested.
Member

Registered: 01/08/13
Posts: 31
Loc: UK
Leo,
Quote:
The premise of your question is that you can buy physical safety like you can buy a t-shirt at the store.


This was not what I was trying to put across. What I was thinking about was perhaps the exact opposite.

Many people train MA for the primary reason of self defence, many with the belief that they will then be 'competent' to defend themselves.

To become competent in any style (agreed competent not being a defined standard) will take years and will be a significant investment.

So I realise self defence training is far more of a...gamble than a purchase.

My thought was are we putting our money on the wrong horse in MA? And also self defence products.

I agreed with pretty much all your post but then you made the following statement which I think is a commonly held view (of flawed logic IMO).

Actually, my post premise was intended to raise debate against this statement.

Quote:
Since physical self defense is probably the last line of defense you have, any advantage you can get with it is valuable. This is why I think that training MA is value for money.


I think this is the human nature response to focus on the worst case, low probability outcome.

It is the like driving to the beach after a couple of drinks without your seat-belt on, then not going for a swim in case you get attacked by a shark.


Also consider:
-For many people the advantage they get from MA may make very little difference anyway e.g. 5'2 woman vs. 6'2 bloke
-There is debate on what is effective MA
-May some MA hinder Self defence?


Prizewriter says:
Quote:
Another factor to consider in physical "self defence" training is flight training. Sprint training, running endurance, climbing, parkour etc.... All skills that can be trained.


Ronin says:
Quote:
Avoiding the avoidables.


and Leo Again
Quote:
...you can get a lot of information relatively cheaply about the stages of criminal behaviour and principles of self defense (particularly awareness and avoidance).....


All this can be done for practically no investment.

So is martial arts training really value for money?
Or is someone whose priority is only self defence backing the wrong horse?

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#435652 - 01/25/13 10:53 AM Re: Price of staying safe [Re: aplant]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5823
Loc: USA
aplant

Yeah, it can be done for practically no investment--but "common sense" is almost never "common." IMO.

If your asking questions about "value" then eventually you get to value for "whom?" And how much "money" are we talking about?

Good questions--but they are pretty subjective ones.

"is someone whose priority is only self defense backing the wrong horse?"

Again, good question. The only thing I can think to answer it is a buddy of mine.

He is ex-military (not that really matters since he was a engineer and not a member of SEAL Team 6) he has a concealed carry permit and he spends about an hour in the gym every day--mainly weight and cardio and trains in martial arts 3xs a week.

I asked him why he does all that--and my paraphrase to his long amswer/s was:

"Good health is medicine--the better shape I'm in the less I spend on healthcare"

and

"I'd rather have it and NOT need it than NEED it and not HAVE it."

I'm guessing that if you polled people you'll get 2 basic groups:

1-Those whose training "worked" when they needed it.

2-And those whose training did not.

Problem is there are so many human factors that will effect the use/application of martial arts training that its almost useless to try and squeeze any concrete conclusions out of it.

Think of it like school, here in the US people of the same age often are in the same grade, same class-room, same teachers, same text-books, same homework, same assignements, often realitively the same socio-economic background. Not exact, but a pretty decent similar background.

And yet people get widely different grades/outcomes--some get "A's", some get "B's" some get "C'" some just barely pass and some fail.

Why should martial arts be any different?

Maybe "backing the wrong horse" has as much to do with the rider as it does the horse itself?


Edited by cxt (01/25/13 10:57 AM)
_________________________
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

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#435654 - 01/26/13 03:15 AM Re: Price of staying safe [Re: aplant]
Leo_E_49 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/24/05
Posts: 4117
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: aplant
Leo,
Quote:
The premise of your question is that you can buy physical safety like you can buy a t-shirt at the store.


This was not what I was trying to put across. What I was thinking about was perhaps the exact opposite.

Many people train MA for the primary reason of self defence, many with the belief that they will then be 'competent' to defend themselves.

To become competent in any style (agreed competent not being a defined standard) will take years and will be a significant investment.

So I realise self defence training is far more of a...gamble than a purchase.

My thought was are we putting our money on the wrong horse in MA? And also self defence products.


Sorry for the misunderstanding.

Originally Posted By: aplant

I agreed with pretty much all your post but then you made the following statement which I think is a commonly held view (of flawed logic IMO).

Actually, my post premise was intended to raise debate against this statement.

Quote:
Since physical self defense is probably the last line of defense you have, any advantage you can get with it is valuable. This is why I think that training MA is value for money.


I think this is the human nature response to focus on the worst case, low probability outcome.

It is the like driving to the beach after a couple of drinks without your seat-belt on, then not going for a swim in case you get attacked by a shark.


It comes down to utility. The probability of entering a violent situation can be reduced but never fully eliminated. Even with a small probability, the cost of being unable to physically defend yourself can be extremely high. Your life or the life of your loved ones could be in danger, and it's hard for most people to put a finite value to that.

Utility is very personal and subjective, it all depends on how low you think the probability of being attacked is and how much you care about mitigating the effects of an attack in the unlikely case that it does happen. Most people who come to this forum believe that it is worth a great deal of time and effort to prepare for this possibility.

Originally Posted By: aplant

Also consider:
-For many people the advantage they get from MA may make very little difference anyway e.g. 5'2 woman vs. 6'2 bloke
-There is debate on what is effective MA
-May some MA hinder Self defence?


I will address your points in order:
1. There is a difference between being at a disadvantage and being helpless. Martial arts are designed to apply force effectively, reducing the importance of physical size and strength. It takes very little force to render someone unconscious or to break a limb (I have done the latter by accident during training I regret to say, I only found out what had happened the next week). You will find that women can very effectively defend themselves, even with a size disadvantage, if they are properly trained. In Judo for example, women who I train with who are a foot shorter than me are capable of throwing me while I'm resisting (I weigh about 190 lbs).
2. The debate will rage on, it's hard to say exactly what's the most effective because you can't actually stab someone in the eyes with your fingers or palm strike their groin during training. I imagine that both of those will be effective in some circumstances, but would it be better to train boxing? I'm almost certain that it is, but I don't really know for sure.
3. Yes, XMA in particular is just a dance. Other MA may be trained poorly and create unrealistic expectations for students, which could cause over-confidence and lead them into trouble. It's usually possible to see this kind of Dojo for what it is before you start training there and avoid this problem.

Originally Posted By: aplant

Prizewriter says:
Quote:
Another factor to consider in physical "self defence" training is flight training. Sprint training, running endurance, climbing, parkour etc.... All skills that can be trained.


Ronin says:
Quote:
Avoiding the avoidables.


and Leo Again
Quote:
...you can get a lot of information relatively cheaply about the stages of criminal behaviour and principles of self defense (particularly awareness and avoidance).....


All this can be done for practically no investment.

So is martial arts training really value for money?
Or is someone whose priority is only self defence backing the wrong horse?


Good question. I have explored many of the other options, particularly reading about interpersonal communication, body language, tactics for evading conflict, etc.

Despite all that, I still think that training hundreds/thousands of hours of physical self defense worth it, because I don't trust the rest of my defenses to be perfect. I don't take huge risks but I personally feel that some of the "worst case scenarios" (or even just bad scenarios) are bad enough that it warrants the time and effort.

I don't even train primarily for self defense, but I think that some kind of long-term preparation is warranted.

My personal viewpoint about self defense is that it's much more complex than just fighting, just interpersonal skills or just avoidance. I think that you need all of this including MA to really have a good chance of staying safe in all circumstances.


Edited by Leo_E_49 (01/26/13 03:34 AM)
_________________________
Self Defense
(Website by Marc MacYoung, not me)

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#435663 - 01/29/13 06:05 AM Re: Price of staying safe [Re: cxt]
aplant Offline
Just interested.
Member

Registered: 01/08/13
Posts: 31
Loc: UK
CXT,
I realise a lot of this topic is relative, but having never previously considered the question in this context I thought it quite interesting. As someone who began Karate as a teenager to learn to defend myself I certainly didn't consider ANY of what we've discussed here.

I think that your friend makes a very good point about health benifits and this is a great by-product of training MA for self-defence. For this topic I am more interested in the idea that:

Quote:
I'd rather have it and NOT need it than NEED it and not HAVE it.


Which is a similar idea to Leo's:

Quote:
Since physical self defense is probably the last line of defense you have, any advantage you can get with it is valuable. This is why I think that training MA is value for money


And I'm beginning to think that we overstate the benefit of MA in this respect and also the probability of ever needing to use it.

Somewhat evident in what Leo says about probability:
Quote:
The probability of entering a violent situation can be reduced but never fully eliminated. Even with a small probability, the cost of being unable to physically defend yourself can be extremely high. Your life or the life of your loved ones could be in danger, and it's hard for most people to put a finite value to that.


Now I don't disagree with Leo, but I feel this is a hard sell for martial arts.

To my previous analogy, do you wear one of these $650 Shark Sheild devices anytime you get in the sea as you'd rather "have it and not need it" (video on that page is great scare mongering!)

And benifit:
Quote:
Martial arts are designed to apply force effectively, reducing the importance of physical size and strength.

Designed by who? reducing the importance by how much?

Quote:
It takes very little force to render someone unconscious or to break a limb

I really dislike this particular statement. I think it misleads many people who are uneducated in MA and many who ought to know better.
Quote:
...women can very effectively defend themselves, even with a size disadvantage, if they are properly trained. .....women who I train with who are a foot shorter than me are capable of throwing me while I'm resisting

But size and gender DO matter.

I know Leo doesn't think that MA will fix it for everyone and I certainly agree with him more than disagree.

But are vague and unhelpful statements like these used to justify the need and effectiveness of Martial arts?

Quote:
And yet people get widely different grades/outcomes--some get "A's", some get "B's" some get "C'" some just barely pass and some fail.

Why should martial arts be any different?


I think there is more honesty in education as it is easier to measure outcomes through exams/post education employment.

A school doesn't tell a 'F' grade student they can get an 'A'
A school doesn't tell a pupil who wants to be an accountant to study Art, PE and Philosophy!
A school has tried and tested methods which are revised and reviewed regularly.

So with regards to general Martial arts practice:

-How many clubs/styles/associations think they do not teach effective self defence? (Or how many think they teach effective SD when they clearly do not?)
-How many would turn away a pupil who stated that their only reason for training was self defense?
-How many would give a genuine advice about (or have knowledge of) free alternatives to MA training? (as has been discussed) here)
-How many give realistic expectations about self defence abilty? (Can this be done?)

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#435664 - 01/29/13 06:29 AM Re: Price of staying safe [Re: aplant]
Prizewriter Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 2573
Aplant

I discussed something similar a good while ago. After a bit of fishing, here is the thread. Some of if might interest you. Basically it was self-defence NOT involving MA:

http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=414362&page=1
_________________________
"Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food" Hippocrates.

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#435665 - 01/29/13 06:32 AM Re: Price of staying safe [Re: aplant]
aplant Offline
Just interested.
Member

Registered: 01/08/13
Posts: 31
Loc: UK
Some statistics to get people thinking! (All from the UK)

-Young men are at almost four times greater risk of being a victim of violence than the rest of the adult population.

-Violence impacts upon public feelings of safety: 17 per cent
of adults report that they have high levels of worry about
violent crime.

-More than 45 per cent of violent offenders are thought to be under the influence of alcohol.

-Violent crime has fallen by around nine per cent since 2002-03,
but more serious violence has not fallen by as much as less significant types of violence.

Source: http://www.nao.org.uk/publications/0708/reducing_the_risk_of_violent_c.aspx

-Throughout the last decade many more people thought that their local crime rate had been increasing than thought it had been decreasing (http://www.poverty.org.uk/87/f.png)

I found this very interesting:
http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/crime-stat...-violent-crime-
Some info:
Of all violent crime:
-14% domestic violence
-16& muggings
-34% committed by acquantence
-35% by stranger

This I thought was very interesting when considering how much force one might use:
Of all violent crime:
-22% Minor injury
-42% Assault without injury
-24% Wounding

definition of wounding: Injuries include broken bones, severe bruising and severe cuts

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#435666 - 01/29/13 05:45 PM Re: Price of staying safe [Re: aplant]
Prizewriter Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 2573
I'm guessing in some way you're looking for confirmation that MA are a worthwhile pursuit in terms of SD because that is something you keep asking about. So to summarise my opinion based on experience:


i) MA training can increase a person's ability to fight. This could be useful in a SD situation.

ii) MA can increase a person's overall spatial awareness, their ability to read body language (to an extent), and focus. All of this can be useful in identifying potentially dangerous situations.

iii) MA should be trained regularly to develop and maintain fighting skills.

iv) Training too intensely is a bad idea as it can fatigue a person or lead to injury (both of which are bad from a SD point of view). It can also be expensive. It can also lead to a person ignoring development of other SD skills (such as flight skills).

v) Many martial arts clubs are ran for profit. As such they can market to people that people "need" MA to stay safe. This is not necessarily true.

vi) If you are going to train MA for SD, train as many ranges as possible (striking, grappling, weapons etc...). It is best to become as proficent as possible in these areas. It may be best to focus at one range at a time. This depends on the person though.

v) Some form of resistance training is essential. Getting too focused on resistance training can be limiting though (e.g. people get use to fighting under certain rules or conditions that may not exist outside of class).


The human being has something called the social gene. Basically, we need each other to survive, so we don't hurt each other. That is hard-wired in to people. This hard-wiring can be short circuited in individuals, but most people are not going to attack you. It's just the way we are.

Training in MA will help you get better at fighting and/or reacting to a violent attack (assuming you are at a competent school).

My advise for you Aplant is to find a reasonably priced school or club and try it for a while. In your area boxing or judo will be cheap and easily available. These are good starting points. You will get more condfident as you train. You may find you are less concerned about being physically attacked as you train because you will feel more comfortable about how you respond to violence as you will be exposed to controlled violence in martial arts classes and you will learn how to react.

The only way to really know if it is good value for money is to go train. That is the bottom line.

Good luck!
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#435667 - 01/30/13 04:12 AM Re: Price of staying safe [Re: aplant]
Leo_E_49 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/24/05
Posts: 4117
Loc: California
Quote:
Now I don't disagree with Leo, but I feel this is a hard sell for martial arts.

To my previous analogy, do you wear one of these $650 Shark Sheild devices anytime you get in the sea as you'd rather "have it and not need it" (video on that page is great scare mongering!)


A good point, it definitely is a hard sell. I think that it's a very personal decision. As I said, I train MA for sport, not self defense, but I still think that there is value for the purposes of self defense.

Quote:
Designed by who? reducing the importance by how much?


This is too difficult to answer in a single post or article. In my case, Judo was designed by Jigoro Kano and others who have followed. The reduction depends on the individual, MA they train, time spent training, teachers, etc. Again, no studies that I'm aware of have focused on this. If I had statistics I would give them to you, but I don't.

Quote:
I really dislike this particular statement. I think it misleads many people who are uneducated in MA and many who ought to know better.


I'm not sure why this fact would make you uncomfortable. I do not think it's misleading, joint locks take very little effort to apply. They hurt a lot when partially applied and result in fracture and dislocation when hyper-extended. The same can be said for chokes and strangles. I was almost choked unconscious in about 2 seconds just yesterday in training when I got caught in one of these: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triangle_choke. I tapped immediately. Denying the risks involved with such techniques would be irresponsible and misleading, such techniques should be treated with care.

Quote:
But are vague and unhelpful statements like these used to justify the need and effectiveness of Martial arts?


They are vague because I don't want to name individuals who I train with. At least 10 women have successfully thrown me over the course of my 3 years training a grappling MA. I think that if they can throw someone of my weight and height who is resisting, they have better chances of being able to physically defend themselves if they need to.

Quote:
I think there is more honesty in education as it is easier to measure outcomes through exams/post education employment.

-How many clubs/styles/associations think they do not teach effective self defence? (Or how many think they teach effective SD when they clearly do not?)


Where are you asking this about? Surely you don't expect us to know this information worldwide.

My Dojo doesn't teach Judo as self defense, we only train sport Judo. There is a Jujitsu class which covers some of that sort of thing but I'm not involved with Jujitsu any more.

Quote:
-How many would turn away a pupil who stated that their only reason for training was self defense?


You mean, if they are not a self defense focused school? My Dojo would direct the student to training Jujitsu. I think it depends on how money-minded the instructors are.

Quote:
-How many would give a genuine advice about (or have knowledge of) free alternatives to MA training? (as has been discussed) here)


You'll typically find this in the RBSD schools. For example, I know of a one-off self defense class which was recently taught by a police officer which was hosted by a Krav Maga school nearby where I live. Some people I know who attended the class told me that they weren't taught any Krav Maga and only received a brochure about the school after their class finished. Definitely doesn't seem like too much marketing to me.

Quote:
-How many give realistic expectations about self defence abilty? (Can this be done?)


It can be done, but I think it rarely is. I think that a person's chances are slim if they are surprised. You should only have to engage in physical self defense if you're cornered or surprised (avoidance and awareness should take care of the other cases in theory). That said, people have survived confrontations where they had to fight their way to safety (there are some mentioned in the SD forums and you see them in the papers every so often).

Thanks for posting those statistics, you'll find similar stats for the USA in the sticky post at the top of the self defense forum.


Edited by Leo_E_49 (01/30/13 04:34 AM)
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#435669 - 01/30/13 09:51 AM Re: Price of staying safe [Re: Prizewriter]
aplant Offline
Just interested.
Member

Registered: 01/08/13
Posts: 31
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: Prizewriter
I'm guessing in some way you're looking for confirmation that MA are a worthwhile pursuit in terms of SD because that is something you keep asking about.


I'm simply interested in others' views on the matter and in challenging some widely held ideas which may have been accepted too easily.

I don't need any 'confirmation'.

The thread you linked to is an excellent read btw. Thank you for fishing it out!

I also share your opinions expressed.

Originally Posted By: prizewriter
we don't hurt each other. That is hard-wired in to people. This hard-wiring can be short circuited in individuals, but most people are not going to attack you. It's just the way we are.


Again completely agree. I feel this is the undersold information in martial arts and society.
MA in general tends to overstate the danger of violence. The press in particular can make us feel like we going to get knifed if we dare look at someone with their coat hood up! This is shown in the stats where people believe that their local areas are becoming more dangerous when in fact violent crime is decreasing.

So with regards to the topic. I wonder if people would invest so much (time and effort as well as money) if they had better understood the reality.

Originally Posted By: Prizewriter
Training in MA will help you get better at fighting and/or reacting to a violent attack (assuming you are at a competent school).


In my expereince EVERY school would consider themselves competent to deliver self defence training.

And so I'd like this thread I question the widely held notion:
Quote:
Since physical self defense is probably the last line of defense you have, any advantage you can get with it is valuable. This is why I think that training MA is value for money



Originally Posted By: prizewriter
My advise for you Aplant ....


Thank you but I am not after training advice, at least not on this thread! I have recently moved locations and was surprised by prices so thought to comment. FYI I found a Boxing club to train at.


Edited by aplant (01/30/13 11:02 AM)

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#435670 - 01/30/13 10:53 AM Re: Price of staying safe [Re: Leo_E_49]
aplant Offline
Just interested.
Member

Registered: 01/08/13
Posts: 31
Loc: UK
Thanks for taking time to reply Leo.

Quote:
A good point, it definitely is a hard sell. I think that it's a very personal decision. As I said, I train MA for sport, not self defense, but I still think that there is value for the purposes of self defense.


What is a very personal decision? To hard sell? Either you believe that the risk is there and fair enough. Or you overstate the risk which I believe is unethical and deceitful.
I don't generally consider 'why' someone trains to be that personal a decision. I wouldn't consider any reason for training better or worse.
But the decision how someone trains can clearly be a better or worse one.

Quote:
I'm not sure why this fact would make you uncomfortable. I do not think it's misleading, joint locks take very little effort to apply. They hurt a lot when partially applied and result in fracture and dislocation when hyper-extended....Denying the risks involved with such techniques would be irresponsible and misleading, such techniques should be treated with care


I dislike the "it takes very little force...." arguement because the following statement is equally true

"It is exceptionally difficult to render someone unconscious or break their limbs"

and I would add especially if you are at a size/gender/aggression/alcohol consumption disadvantage.

I would like to know what other feel about such statements and their use to 'sell' self defence.

In training their is a need to understand how fragile the body can be especially when drilling to perfect technique etc. In training the statement holds true.

For SD it is misleading.

Quote:
They are vague because I don't want to name individuals who I train with. At least 10 women have successfully thrown me over the course of my 3 years training a grappling MA. I think that if they can throw someone of my weight and height who is resisting, they have better chances of being able to physically defend themselves if they need to.


The vagueness I was referring to is in regard to 'facts' such as 'only a small amount of force is required', 'I've been thrown by a woman', 'Something is better than nothing' and 'apply force effectively, reducing the importance of physical size and strength' and so on.

These are the statements which are put out and lend to the MYTHS of self defence. Most are true and all are misleading.

I understand why these are used. I understand "Slightly increase your chances of overcoming a larger, aggressive attacker" will not be the title of a best selling SD DVD series. But we should be able to talk honestly on a MA forum.

Quote:
Where are you asking this about? Surely you don't expect us to know this information worldwide.

My Dojo doesn't teach Judo as self defense, we only train sport Judo. There is a Jujitsu class which covers some of that sort of thing but I'm not involved with Jujitsu any more.


Well I would like you to do your research before replying. (Joke)
The question was ment to be rhetorical (though I didn't make that clear). I suspect 99% of MA's think they do a good job with self defence. This is at least in part to the notion that 'something is better than nothing' (which is very possibly untrue)

Your Judo club could be an exception.
Is the Jujitsu class part of the Judo club? Same instructors etc?

The RBSD school free course sounds like a great thing from what you describe. I don't see too much of that. I think that would be a good thing if more common.

Quote:
It (give students realistic expectations of ability) can be done....


Interesting. How do you think realistic expectations can be given? Especially to say a small woman?

Cheers.

note. I feel like I am victimising small women, just an easy example.

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#435671 - 01/30/13 04:12 PM Re: Price of staying safe [Re: aplant]
Prizewriter Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 2573
Well, good to know you found somewhere to train. Apologies for any confusion, I was inferring you wanted confirmation based on this and the other thread you created. My misunderstanding.

Originally Posted By: aplant

I'm simply interested in others' views on the matter and in challenging some widely held ideas which may have been accepted too easily.

Again completely agree. I feel this is the undersold information in martial arts and society.
MA in general tends to overstate the danger of violence. The press in particular can make us feel like we going to get knifed if we dare look at someone with their coat hood up! This is shown in the stats where people believe that their local areas are becoming more dangerous when in fact violent crime is decreasing.


Quite right. If people stopped to think that they've been on planet earth for 10000 or 15000 days,yet not 1 of those days have they ever been in a life of death situation, they would probably be a less fearful of attack. Media do blow these things out of proportion, as to MA schools looking to make money.

Another point I would make is that this perceived sense of perpetual danger often evaporates after someone goes to MA classes for a few months. They fell more comfortable around violence and feel more confident in general.

Originally Posted By: aplant

So with regards to the topic. I wonder if people would invest so much (time and effort as well as money) if they had better understood the reality.



To be honest Aplant, the only people I know who have stuck with a certain MA more than 3 years are people who developed a genuine passion and love for what they were doing. If a person is simply afraid of being attacked, that motivation is unlikely to sustain a lifetime of study of a MA (unless that person has a high risk of being attacked because of their job, e.g. a prison guard).
_________________________
"Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food" Hippocrates.

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#435672 - 01/30/13 08:34 PM Re: Price of staying safe [Re: aplant]
Leo_E_49 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/24/05
Posts: 4117
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: aplant
Thanks for taking time to reply Leo.


You're welcome.

Quote:
What is a very personal decision?


The decision to spend time training for self defense.

Quote:
Either you believe that the risk is there and fair enough. Or you overstate the risk which I be is unethical and deceitful.


It's not that simple. Even if I consider the risk to be low, I may be justified in preparing for it. If you don't consider utility theory, then there would be little value in preparing for any disaster. Probability alone is not sufficient to estimate the value of disaster preparation.

Quote:
I dislike the "it takes very little force...." arguement because the following statement is equally true

"It is exceptionally difficult to render someone unconscious or break their limbs"


I was referring to force, as measured in Newtons, not ease of use.

Quote:
and I would add especially if you are at a size/gender/aggression/alcohol consumption disadvantage.

I would like to know what other feel about such statements and their use to 'sell' self defence.


I would like to point out that I am not trying to sell anything. I do not gain financially from this discussion. I am simply giving my opinion on an open forum.

Quote:
In training their is a need to understand how fragile the body can be especially when drilling to perfect technique etc. In training the statement holds true.

For SD it is misleading.


Why? Are you claiming that such techniques would be harmless or useless in SD? Perhaps your opinion is that these techniques pose no risk to an assailant (and thus pose no legal repercussions). Or that certain classes of individuals would be unable to perform them effectively? Please elaborate.

Quote:
The vagueness I was referring to is in regard to 'facts' such as 'only a small amount of force is required', 'I've been thrown by a woman', 'Something is better than nothing' and 'apply force effectively, reducing the importance of physical size and strength' and so on.

These are the statements which are put out and lend to the MYTHS of self defence. Most are true and all are misleading.


How are these myths when many people have experienced them in training, and are based on classical Newtonian mechanics? Why are these statements misleading? If you can provide me with a good explanation, I will gladly avoid mentioning these in conversation with untrained individuals.

Quote:
I understand why these are used. I understand "Slightly increase your chances of overcoming a larger, aggressive attacker" will not be the title of a best selling SD DVD series. But we should be able to talk honestly on a MA forum.


Again, I'm expressing my honest opinion and I acknowledge that I may be wrong about these issues. I am clearly not selling anything.

Quote:
Your Judo club could be an exception.
Is the Jujitsu class part of the Judo club? Same instructors etc?


They are directed to either our own Jujitsu instructor who teaches a small class or the BJJ school nearby.

Quote:
The RBSD school free course sounds like a great thing from what you describe. I don't see too much of that. I think that would be a good thing if more common.


Ask about classes at your local police department. Here in the California, it's not too difficult to find classes if you look.

Quote:
Interesting. How do you think realistic expectations can be given? Especially to say a small woman?


I'm not an expert on self defense, but I do like the idea of talking to police officers regarding local gang activity, hazardous neighbourhoods, focusing on awareness and avoidance, getting the experience of adrenaline dump using pressure drills like in an RBSD class and finally training defenses against a resisting opponents of all shapes and sizes.

I personally think that these experiences are valuable for anyone who cares about self defense.
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#435673 - 01/31/13 04:43 AM Re: Price of staying safe [Re: Leo_E_49]
Prizewriter Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 2573
Just to provide a visual example of what I've encountered in Judo and BJJ as well Leo (a smaller women taking down a much bigger man), this is a clip from the MA documentary series called Samurai Spirit. In this episode, the host (Nicholas Pettas, who is 6 ft tall and 220 lbs) spars with a top Japanese female Judo player. He gets taken down twice without too much effort. Although friendly in it's nature, clearly Nicholas is trying as he is sweating and is actively trying to trip his opponent. Match starts at around 6:40

_________________________
"Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food" Hippocrates.

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#435674 - 01/31/13 01:24 PM Re: Price of staying safe [Re: Prizewriter]
aplant Offline
Just interested.
Member

Registered: 01/08/13
Posts: 31
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: Prizewriter
Just to provide a visual example of what I've encountered in Judo and BJJ as well Leo (a smaller women taking down a much bigger man), this is a clip from the MA documentary series called Samurai Spirit. In this episode, the host (Nicholas Pettas, who is 6 ft tall and 220 lbs) spars with a top Japanese female Judo player. He gets taken down twice without too much effort. Although friendly in it's nature, clearly Nicholas is trying as he is sweating and is actively trying to trip his opponent.


I am in no way implying that a smaller woman can not throw a large male. That would clearly be untrue.
Different people have different strengths and weaknesses. Different groups of people tend to have have different strengths and weaknesses.
If this were not the case we would not have weight classes in combat sport. We would not need sport to be (on the whole) split by gender.
In any other context I think what I am saying would be uncontroversial.
I say Size and gender(amongst other things) matter - then people point out they have been thrown by a small person?!?!!?

This is propagated in some MA due to an ideal that technique overcomes all. And I believe is a common idea held in self defence schools.

Originally Posted By: Leo
It's not that simple. Even if I consider the risk to be low, I may be justified in preparing for it. If you don't consider utility theory, then there would be little value in preparing for any disaster. Probability alone is not sufficient to estimate the value of disaster preparation.


Very good point and I do agree. I should have said risk and hazard.
There are two questions I ask about this in relation to the topic.
1)Do you believe that most people who begin training specifically for self defence have an accurate perception of risk and hazard?
2)Do you believe they have a accurate perception of the effectiveness of their training?
Both difficult questions for anyone to answer.

With regard to Hazard I was rather surprised by the statistics I found which shown that of violent crimes committed 64% end up with at most 'minor injuries' and about half with no injuries at all.

Originally Posted By: Leo
...I am not trying to sell anything. I do not gain financially from this discussion........I was referring to force, as measured in Newtons, not ease of use.....Why? Are you claiming that such techniques would be harmless or useless in SD? Perhaps your opinion is that these techniques pose no risk to an assailant (and thus pose no legal repercussions). Or that certain classes of individuals would be unable to perform them effectively? Please elaborate


I did not think you were trying to sell anything, or accuse you of trying to do so.

I know what you were referring to. Do you not see how the statement, (perhaps used on a self defence poster as I've seen in the past), might be misleading? It implies that strength, weight, power and size are unimportant. Re-read the statement you initially use it in and I believe it has that air.

I'm clearly not claiming techniques are harmless or useless in SD. Do you REALLY think that is my opinion?

I don't know what you mean by classes of people. My point is, and I keep making it, that everyone is not equal. My question is do places that teach self defence properly address this FACT?

The reason many take self defence may be because they are the most vulnerable. Another issue that should be addressed.

Quote:
How are these myths when many people have experienced them in training


I didn't say they were myths. Reread what I said. They lend to the myths of MA and SD.

It takes a little force.......
Skip to about 2 minutes in
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gT6xOFXUE...e=results_video

It can also be very difficult to achieve.
All I'm saying is be realistic with statements like these. Especially as they encourage the little 90 year old undefeatable master type myth.


Quote:
They are directed to either our own Jujitsu instructor...


Is your jujitsu instructor also a judo instructor?

Quote:
I'm not an expert on self defense, but I do like the idea of talking to police officers regarding local gang activity, hazardous neighbourhoods, focusing on awareness and avoidance, getting the experience of adrenaline dump using pressure drills like in an RBSD class and finally training defenses against a resisting opponents of all shapes and sizes.

I personally think that these experiences are valuable for anyone who cares about self defense


Good points. So in part through experience of where one succeeds and fails in class.

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#435675 - 02/01/13 04:11 AM Re: Price of staying safe [Re: aplant]
Leo_E_49 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/24/05
Posts: 4117
Loc: California
Quote:
Very good point and I do agree. I should have said risk and hazard.
There are two questions I ask about this in relation to the topic.
1)Do you believe that most people who begin training specifically for self defence have an accurate perception of risk and hazard?


No, I think most people either overestimate or underestimate the risk posed to them due to lack of information. Most people probably don't pay attention to things like what the major gangs are in your city, what neighborhoods they frequent, characteristic behaviors of predators, what it's like to try and move during an adrenaline dump, your local self defense laws, etc.

Quote:
2)Do you believe they have a accurate perception of the effectiveness of their training?
Both difficult questions for anyone to answer.


I don't think that most people have an accurate perception of the effectiveness of their training until they try to use it against a genuinely resisting opponent. Suddenly all the theory gets thrown out the window and you struggle to keep a modicum of the skill you showed in drills. I suspect this gets worse with the effects of adrenaline but I haven't experienced the combination together before.

Quote:
With regard to Hazard I was rather surprised by the statistics I found which shown that of violent crimes committed 64% end up with at most 'minor injuries' and about half with no injuries at all.


A reassuring statistic.

Quote:
I know what you were referring to. Do you not see how the statement, (perhaps used on a self defence poster as I've seen in the past), might be misleading? It implies that strength, weight, power and size are unimportant. Re-read the statement you initially use it in and I believe it has that air.


Weight, power and size definitely make a difference (although speed and reaction times are even more important). However, technique can compensate for some of this and there's nothing we can do but compensate. Power and strength can be improved by lifting weights, etc. The goal is to improve on what's already there in the hopes that the improvement will be enough if the person has to defend themselves.

We can't very well expect small, weak individuals to throw up their hands and say "well, there's no hope for me if it comes down to physical violence". Especially when a defeatist attitude can be dangerous and forceful physical resistance is statistically effective self defense in many cases (http://web.cecs.pdx.edu/~tellner/sd/Review.html).

Quote:
I'm clearly not claiming techniques are harmless or useless in SD. Do you REALLY think that is my opinion?


I have heard this opinion expressed sincerely on this forum before.

Quote:
My point is, and I keep making it, that everyone is not equal. My question is do places that teach self defence properly address this FACT?


Most martial arts will tailor techniques to the individual. For example, forward throws are typically easier to use on taller people (e.g. Morote Seoinage).

Quote:
The reason many take self defence may be because they are the most vulnerable. Another issue that should be addressed.


The most vulnerable is a very broad term. If you mean physically small and weak, then they will learn much the same techniques and tactics as everyone else, they will just have to work harder on technique to make up for it. I don't really know of other things which can help the situation that wouldn't also help someone who's stronger or larger.

If you are talking about other situations, for example people who are involved in gang activity or people in abusive relationships, it's more complicated and probably shouldn't be dealt with in a MA school.

Quote:
I didn't say they were myths. Reread what I said. They lend to the myths of MA and SD.

It takes a little force.......
Skip to about 2 minutes in
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gT6xOFXUE...e=results_video

It can also be very difficult to achieve.
All I'm saying is be realistic with statements like these. Especially as they encourage the little 90 year old undefeatable master type myth.


Your example demonstrates the effectiveness of many, many years of technical training in the face of a very complex series of attacks. He is able to avert the pressure to his carotid artery by pressing his elbow into his opponent's pelvis by anticipating the technique. He twists his head right to ensure that the pressure is directed to his larynx, reducing the choke's effectiveness (artery chokes are much quicker than air chokes) and starts bridging to reduce the tightness of his opponent's legs.

He is very flexible and I've seen someone resist an arm-bar like that in class but in fairness, his opponent should have moved his arm to his hips and pointed his thumb upwards instead of just leaning back and pulling. It was also a mistake to go for a kimura afterwards without securing him properly.

All this said, I wouldn't have been able to win against either of those two fighters. I just don't have the experience to stand a chance against them.

My point is, there are other factors at play here. Pit one of these guys against someone much bigger and stronger who doesn't know how to escape from a triangle choke and I bet the outcome will be different.

Also, you won't find that 90 year old master myth gets any credit on these forums. There is definitely respect for people who've dedicated their lives to MA but a lot of the older folks here can attest to the negative consequences of aging for both training and self defense.

Quote:
Is your jujitsu instructor also a judo instructor?


No.

Quote:
Good points. So in part through experience of where one succeeds and fails in class.


Yes, understanding how to make a technique work against someone who wants it to fail is very important for any martial artist and can only be learned through training against resisting partners. I also think that training in a stressful situation e.g. blindfolded or starting with your back turned to your opponent or vs multiple opponents is important. Unfortunately it's pretty rare to find both kinds of training in a single school. I'm focusing on the former by training a sport MA and you'll find the latter in RBSD schools, such as Krav Maga. Of course there's a mixture of both in most schools but this tends to be how the training is split generally.


Edited by Leo_E_49 (02/01/13 04:24 AM)
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