Asking for advice

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    Chad Moechnig
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    Jashan
    Post subject: Asking for advicePostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2004 8:25 pm

    Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2004 5:09 am
    Posts: 3
    Location: Oklahoma City, OK, USA
    Yeah, I’m new. I’m not a fighter. I’m not even a regular lurker, but I do stop in now and again…. and this is one of the “again” times 🙂 I’m looking for advice. This is long….

    I’ve been training in a self-defense oriented art for about a year and a half now (kali, panantukan, boxing mix…mostly Filipino arts). I’m thinking of cross training in either capoeira or kickboxing, because I want something less dangerous (see the “Secondly” paragraph) and more sport-oriented that I can use to challenge myself more physically. And due to the relative lack of capoeira in this area, I’m betting if I do, it’ll be kickboxing.

    So… firstly, I’ve only been able to find one instructor in this area, and I don’t know his reputation or if there might be someone closer/better. I’m in Oklahoma City, OK, and the only kickboxing (non-cardio-) instrcutor I know of is a guy named “Conan” down in Norman. The school is something like “Conan’s Academy of Kickboxing” or similar. Anyone know anything about him? Or know of anyone else in this area? (Or capoeira instructors? hehe)

    Secondly, I’m worried about mixing a sport with a non-sport art. Right now the majority of our training is destruction oriented. If you take a hit, it should only be one or two before you get in and choke / eye gouge / groin strike / break a joint or bone / whatever. You get in, do as much damage as possible in the shortest amount of time, and get out. We don’t do much in the way of subduing the opponent so much as attempting to cripple them. For instance, the first main target area we’re taught is “Destroy the eyes — if they can’t see, they can’t fight.” Fingers in the eyes — highly encouraged. Next target area is the throat — if they can’t breathe, they can’t fight. Break the elbow, shatter the hand, crush the ankle — cripple the opponent however you can.

    If I start mixing this with something sport oriented, I’m worried they’ll “cross-contaminate” — that I’ll end up trading punches in a real-life attack situation instead of breaking the person’s elbow and kneeing them in the face, or that I’ll slip into “defense” mode in a sport competition and end up gouging someone in the eyes when I’m not supposed to. I’m more worried about this because in our style fighting dirty is encouraged, and since I’m the smallest in the class (only female), I fight dirty a lot!

    So….any advice on this, oh ye more-experienced-than-I-am people? Do you think I’d be okay cross-training (if there’s somewhere to do it), or will I end up lessening my effectiveness in both areas if I learn two things at once?
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    Executioner
    Post subject: PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2004 1:51 am

    Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 1:48 pm
    Posts: 445
    Location: Netherlands
    Hello!

    Panantukan is a sort of philippine kickboxing? (bare fisted) and also using fingers allowed.
    You know, I think the “regular” martial arts like kickboxing and MMA, will teach you more “clean” ways to beat a opponent.

    In a streetfight as you mentioned you will use anything that comes up in you, whether that is panantukan or jiu jitsu or whatever, I think that is completly different game.

    You should try than kickboxing and MMA (Freefight), find out what style you like most!
    Don’t think about learning “wrong” techniques.

    I hope this relpy is bit satisfying…(I’m also not a big expert in all styles). 😉
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    ladygrappler
    Post subject: PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2004 8:54 am

    Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2004 11:08 am
    Posts: 27
    Location: new market, Onatrio Canada
    Hi there!

    I do know where you are coming from, i began my martial arts expreience by taking self defense classes! A friend of mine then offerd I try something a little more…structerd (for lack of a better term) At first there were impulses to try and eye gouge, and open plam to the nose and stuff, but after about 2 weeks things seemed to sperate themseleves naturally. Like Exicutioner said, try afree style like MMA, i think as well you’ll agree alot that if women are being attacked outside the ring 75% of the time its to be taken to the ground…I think you will find the grappling side of MMA very benifical but still sport like as well.

    And combined..with yourself defense classes on the street you will be unstopable…. 😈

    …im not very familar with with the other style you mentioned but i hope i was of some help.
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    KnockOut2
    Post subject: PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2004 1:15 pm

    Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2004 6:19 pm
    Posts: 439
    Location: Louisville, KY
    I think the “dirty fighting” tactics taught by self defense schools cause people to rely on those “techniques” too much and it can prevent them from building the skills that they really need to fight.

    All of that sportfighting stuff applies more to street fighting than eye gouging does, in my opinion. You’re not gonna eye gouge a MMA fighter. They will mount you before that happens. The fundamentals of position and movement needs to be taught before the dramatic “eye gouge” techniques are tought.

    Consider how the instructors describe these moves…
    <i>”Break the elbow, shatter the hand, crush the ankle”</i>
    That all sounds very empowering…yet dramatic…and I imagine the majority of that training really trains the mind to think in a more aggressive manner. I’ll bet that is the real benefit that the students gain from that type of class.

    I have a lot of thoughts about these “crush your opponent” type of tactics being taught by martial arts instructors. I think there is a lot of psychology involved in fighting, especially a street fight. I think when most (99.999999%) people are engauging in a street fight, they don’t have the intention of killing the other person. However, if you try to eye gouge them…that will change their demeanor quickly. Most people just want to punk you out, land a few punches…and the fight is over. If there is eye gouging involved, or groin strikes, or biting….then the intentions of the fighters will escalate until it really is a life-or-death situation.

    If it’s a rape situation, or you know the person is trying to kill you…well that is not a “street fight”. That is a different scenario altogether. In that case, solid Brazillian Jiu Jitsu skills will help you more than any other techniques.

    Kickboxing skills can help diffuse the fight…if you are able to throw a couple of solid leg kicks, or punches to the face, knee to the stomach…they may back off and not want to mess with you. But I wouldn’t rely solely on Kickboxing skills for true self-defense (life or death situation). If you DO want to use Kickboxing moves for self defense, then you’d better learn some really damn good wrestling skills, or you’ll be kickboxing off your back.

    BTW, if you’re going to train in any type of “kickboxing”…I recommend Muay Thai style. Don’t waste time with any of the above-waist styles of Kickboxing….or Karate schools that claim to be teaching Kickboxing. There are a lot of martial arts academies that use the title “Kickboxing” because it is popular…but they are not really teaching Kickboxing. They teach forms/katas. It sickens me to think about it.

    The benefit of sport training is that you are able to truly develop what works for you. You train your reflexes in a more realistic way. You improve timing. You improve power. You improve your athleticism. Sometimes athleticism alone will save you in a fight.

    And last but not least…I think that people do not need to train eye gouging, biting, or groin-grabbing. Those moves do not require any skill to pull off. Anyone can dart their fingers at someone’s eyes. Anyone can bite. Anyone can claw/scratch. Anyone can grab some guys groin and squeeze really hard. Those classes teach you to THINK about doing those moves, but it won’t take long before you are good at them…because they are so basic. Probably 20-30 minutes, I would imagine.

    However, NOT everyone can reverse someone into being mounted…or take someone’s back and choke them out.

    If you’re really stuck on the idea of eye-gouging someone…then learn Ju Jitsu…that will put you in a more advantageous position to be able to eye gouge them. But I don’t recommend eye gouging someone unless they have a knife or your life is truly in danger. You’re talking about blinding someone for life! I can’t understand why Martial Arts instructors are ok with teaching that kind of thing to beginner students.

    If someone eye-gouged me in a fight..and successfully blinded me, I imagine it would put me in a rage and I would bite everything that my mouth got near…and claw everything that I touched. That is no longer a “street fight”. That is homicide. I’m sure there are plenty of stories of traditional martial artists getting killed because of their willingness to eye gouge, bite, etc…in a simple street fight where someone just wants to punk someone else out….not kill them.
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    Jashan
    Post subject: PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2004 6:54 am

    Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2004 5:09 am
    Posts: 3
    Location: Oklahoma City, OK, USA
    KnockOut2 wrote:
    All of that sportfighting stuff applies more to street fighting than eye gouging does, in my opinion. You’re not gonna eye gouge a MMA fighter. They will mount you before that happens. The fundamentals of position and movement needs to be taught before the dramatic “eye gouge” techniques are tought.
    They are. I’m not sure how I gave the impression that my classes focus entirely on “poke the eyes! poke them again! Now the other hand — poke the eyes!”, but it doesn’t. We put a lot more time in with footwork, body mechanics, flow drills, reaction drills, off-balancing, block & counter, and other “traditional” skills than we do with the cheap shots (eyes/groin). We’re simply taught to take advantage of them if they’re there.

    I’m also assuming (for better or for worse) than Ye Olde Standard Aggressor is likely not trained in MMA. Around here most people aren’t (and perhaps a flaw in character — I’d hope that most martial artists with any degree of training wouldn’t go around ‘punking’ people, as you put it.)

    KnockOut2 wrote:
    The benefit of sport training is that you are able to truly develop what works for you. You train your reflexes in a more realistic way. You improve timing. You improve power. You improve your athleticism. Sometimes athleticism alone will save you in a fight.
    That’s exactly why I’m interested in it.

    KnockOut2 wrote:
    But I don’t recommend eye gouging someone unless they have a knife or your life is truly in danger.
    Well, again, for better or worse, we usually train with the default assumption that the person does have a knife (or other small weapon). Or a buddy ready to help them out.

    By my thoughts, I have always felt that if someone attacks me (or breaks into my house), they have proven intent to harm, and that at that point I am justified in defending myself to the point at which they are no longer a threat. In some case, that might be two punches and a wrist lock and the person goes down. In other cases, maybe more. But I would much rather assume the person has a knife/stick/rock/glass bottle/firearm and defend against that possibility, than assume they don’t and end up receiving it in my side. I imagine part of the reason we train like this is that the instructor’s a former bodyguard and corrections officer 😉

    But yes, I agree that it’s good to have less aggressive (or less harmful, perhaps) techniques at one’s disposal, and I definitely want to increase my exposure to non-critical training scenarios.
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    KnockOut2
    Post subject: PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2004 11:18 am

    Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2004 6:19 pm
    Posts: 439
    Location: Louisville, KY
    I wasn’t necessarily talking about you or your class. I don’t even know about your training aside from your brief description. But you must admit that you painted a pretty simple picture with what you described.

    What I’m talking about are martial arts teachers in general that teach eye gouging to beginners and describe their moves as <i>”Break the elbow, shatter the hand, crush the ankle” </i> things like that.

    Whenever a martial arts teacher uses lingo like that to describe their moves, I want to ask them what they mean exactly. I think they often try to be sensational to impress the students and give them a feeling of empowerment. Sometimes they describe things in a way that is not physiologically possible.

    For example, how do you break an elbow? An elbow is a pretty damn hard part of the body to be breaking. Maybe they are talking about hyper-extending the ligaments of the elbow joint? It takes a lot of focused pressure to pulverize bone, especially one that is as thick as the olecranon tuber of the ulna…that big meaty part of your elbow that creates the point when you bend your arm. Maybe they are talking about breaking the forearm, somewhat close to the elbow?

    But with your training specifically, you mentioned <i>” the first main target area we’re taught is “Destroy the eyes — if they can’t see, they can’t fight.””</i>

    …which is not true. If you poke someone’s eye, they can still fight…and they’ll probably fight harder.

    I’m not trying to insult you. I’m trying to make a point here. I’ve met so many traditional martial artists…and they all seem very impressionable…very easy to impress just with descriptive words alone. They often brag about how their instructor killed a boar with one punch when he was 15…or something. It’s WAY too sensational. I also think that it’s really irresponsible for them to teach students to cripple people BEFORE subduing them.

    I also don’t understand why anyone would assume that if someone breaks into your house that they have proven intent to harm? Why would you assume that? I think fear is probably the answer. Many bad decisions are rooted in fear. I broke into someone’s house once when I was 13….13 years old. If I broke into your house, you may have killed me, or crippled me for life…all because I was a stupid, bored little kid.

    I mean…do you think a burglar wants to kill you? Or do you think that they want to steal some of your things…without you knowing about it? I would bet the latter. The most important thing in self-defense is psychology. You have to be able to read people…figure out what their intentions are.

    Rather than calling Ju Jitsu techniques “less harmful”…I would call them “more realistic”. I’ll be more likely to clinch and take someone down before landing any punches or a wrist lock.

    This is obviously a sensitive topic for me. The reason is that I’ve had many traditional martial art friends who were being taught “devastating techniques”….yet they couldn’t wrist lock their way out of a paper bag. They are so blindly “won-over” by their instructors that they didn’t even want to hear anyone question what they were learning and how it was applicable. It is almost like a religion, where questioning it is blasphemy. I have concern for their health if someone actually did break into their house or mug them on the street.

    Ok, I’ll stop ranting now so someone else can answer your question in a way that suits what you are looking for. Again…this post isn’t made with the intent to insult you. I’m just trying to make a few points here.

    If I were to answer one of your questions directly…about you accidently mixing the two styles (sport and self defense)….I’d say once you learn how to land a guillotine choke, or how to apply a triangle choke, or how to reverse someone in your guard so you are mounting them, and how to maintain mount position, your days of eye-gouging will fade away. I’ll bet you won’t even think about them. I hope you can find a good Brazillian Jiu Jitsu school that isn’t too filled with machoism so you are actually treated seriously and can learn something.

    Here are some links for martial arts schools in oklahoma…

    Doesn’t look like there is any Muay Thai in Oklahoma City…although Anthony Macias (UFC fighter) is from Oklahoma City…and he trained in Muay Thai originally…so maybe there is and it’s just not listed? That was over 10 years ago though.
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    Kit
    Post subject: PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2004 11:40 am

    Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2004 9:41 pm
    Posts: 16
    Location: Fort Worth, TX
    I thought Anthony Macias trained in Arlington TX? At least he used to, not sure if he’s here currently.

    Jashan, if you’re ever interested in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, try Titan Martial Arts in Norman. I drive up there for seminars; the instructor there (Scott) is a really great guy.

    Personally, I find it confusing to learn two different arts if I’m in the beginner phase of both at the same time. However, once you’re intermediate/advanced level in one, I think it’s easier mentally to separate the two. Just my experience.
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    Jashan
    Post subject: PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2004 4:48 pm

    Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2004 5:09 am
    Posts: 3
    Location: Oklahoma City, OK, USA
    I’m cutting through most of what you said, as I see your point although I think you’re being a bit over semantic about it. (Which is fair; my college major was linguistics and I should be more careful with my choice of words.)

    I did want to expound on my reasons for my opinions regarding attack/defense, since I doubt they are what would be expected. This is completely, totally off topic 🙂 But since you asked…!

    KnockOut2 wrote:
    I also don’t understand why anyone would assume that if someone breaks into your house that they have proven intent to harm? Why would you assume that?
    I prefer not to state exactly what my path is until you get to know me better as a person, but …. I assume that because my religious path treats one’s personal space as sacred. It’s extremely disapproved of (even an act of aggression, depending on the situation) to enter another person’s territory without an invitation, and considered an offense to act disrespectfully once you are in (invitation or not). While there is a certain amount of leeway given to those unfamiliar with our particular standards of respect, breaking into someone’s house is far beyond that tolerance.

    One of our mottos is “Be as a lion in the path–be dangerous even in defeat.” I agree very much with the spirit of this. It is better to live with courage and devotion to one’s ideals, than to bend one’s morals to the prevailing winds and lick the hand which strikes you in an effort to keep the peace. Forgiveness rarely stops ill-intent from repeating itself. Those unwilling to defend themselves all too often find themselves an easy target.

    Within the confines of one’s societal’s rules (by which I mean a chosen society, not the accident of one’s place of birth), you are an autonomous individual, and anyone attempting to take your autonomy from you — whether by physical force, mental coercion, threat of duress, or modifications to law — has rightfully earned you as an adversary. And should worse come to worst and an actual conflict cannot be avoided — even if you lose, many in my path would expect you to go down still snarling, submit only to avoid death, and then capitulate until such time as you had the strength to rebel.

    Uh…so…yeah. I guess that concludes my sermon for today. 😀 I recognize many will not agree, but I offer it as an explanation (not as a matter of debate — at least not on this thread).
    KnockOut2 wrote:
    Rather than calling Ju Jitsu techniques “less harmful”…I would call them “more realistic”. I’ll be more likely to clinch and take someone down before landing any punches or a wrist lock.
    That’s fair enough.

    I’ve trained very briefly in BJJ, and we did regular cross-training in ground-fighting (Vee [Visitacion] Jitsu) before my current school moved (no mats at the new location yet). I have to admit I’m not fond of it but I recognize it as a necessary skill to learn, and that proponents of it are very outspoken 😉

    I hadn’t considered that as a possibility for cross-training, but until we get our mats back down, it may be a good investment. If kickboxing turns out to be unfeasible, I may do that.

    Thanks.
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    KnockOut2
    Post subject: PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 10:33 am

    Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2004 6:19 pm
    Posts: 439
    Location: Louisville, KY
    “I recognize it as a necessary skill to learn, and that proponents of it are very outspoken ”

    lol…ok, ok… I get the point. I’ll shut up about it. 😛

    btw, I’m a big fan of “Neurologically Yours” also. 😉

    – Your lord and master, Foam-y
    Oh…re: Anthony Macias…he was originally from Oklahoma City, OK when he first made his UFC debut. That’s what I understood anyway. I think that was the reason why he got on the UFC card, because he was a local fighter and the UFC held that event in Oklahoma.
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