hand to hand fighting

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so I've given a few firearms training classes a whirl over the years and continue to study up online or watching the occasional video in that regard and when carrying, do my best to maintain a good level of situational awareness, street smarts and avoiding trouble at all costs.

That said, I wanted to reach out and ask about unarmed fighting skills and more specifically, what direction would be best to pursue. I'm not looking to be a competitive MMA fighter or boxer or anything like that, but would be very interested in knowing more about how to fight when there are no weapons options available.

My fighting skills are what they are - ie, I've been in a few (well not since I was a kid, but still) and most of it was limited to minor scuffles as a kid, subduing unruly idiots as a bouncer and of course, playing ice hockey in youth league back in the days when parents wouldn't sue and make a federal case out of such things.

I'd like to know what a reasonable option would be in terms of being able to counter a threat with my hands. I've looked into Krav Maga, Tae Kwon Do etc....but not knowing anyone who actually practices these arts, I'm not entirely sure what the best option might be.

With emphasis, not looking to be a competitor or the take on all challengers type in public, but would like to know what a good training philosophy would be ideal as a supplement to armed self defense.
 

Mountain

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As a general 'system' my vote would be for Krav Maga. Pretty much no nonsense self defense.

Quality and focus of the school makes a big difference. I spent many years in a traditional Japanese dojo where the focus was on self defense, not tournaments. This school was also a BJJ affiliate, so ground fighting was also taught. We had Marines, cops, ex bikers, etc. for sparring. Those were good days but in recent years the school $hifted to a kid$ / family focu$, if you catch my drift.

Though I think you can learn critical skills quickly, there's something to be said for many years of repetition and training / sparring. Muscle memory takes over & when something happens your reaction is pretty much reflex & what the other guy is doing seems almost like slow motion. Not exactly, but you don't get overwhelmed and can deal with it much easier. Great reflexes and sense of balance stays with you when you get old, too.
 

JCV

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Another +1 for Krav Maga
My Dad has been doing it for a few years and loves it.
I've sat in on a few classes and really feel like what they're teaching you is applicable to actual, real world scenarios.

Stu from Cloveleaf will probably chime in as he does Krav Maga as well.
 

Supermoto

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I did Krav for about 7 years, it is a easy system to learn, no nonsense, no bowing, no katas. The system pretty much revolves around punching or kicking people in the nuts, but after level 2, it gets fun when you get into knife and gun work. It is also a great workout
 
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Don't do Tae Kwon Do. Spinning kicks aren't practical.

Krav is a solid skill to have, makes a lot of sense on the street. It's legit.

I train in BJJ. Love it, have for the last 3.5 years. Amazes you how much you don't know about fighting on the ground when you start learning. When rolling against someone that DOESN'T know how to fight on the ground... It's like cheating.

Really depends on what you want.
 
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That's kind of where I look at it. I've been watching a lot of UFC lately, its a bit of a guilty pleasure and there's a certain aspect of artistic merit involved that I can't quantify. My biggest fear is being forced to fight my way back up - Im sure standing up, I at least have a chance, its the being knocked down that scares the shit out of me.

Don't do Tae Kwon Do. Spinning kicks aren't practical.

Krav is a solid skill to have, makes a lot of sense on the street. It's legit.

I train in BJJ. Love it, have for the last 3.5 years. Amazes you how much you don't know about fighting on the ground when you start learning. When rolling against someone that DOESN'T know how to fight on the ground... It's like cheating.

Really depends on what you want.
 

Supermoto

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That's kind of where I look at it. I've been watching a lot of UFC lately, its a bit of a guilty pleasure and there's a certain aspect of artistic merit involved that I can't quantify. My biggest fear is being forced to fight my way back up - Im sure standing up, I at least have a chance, its the being knocked down that scares the shit out of me.
Krav does ground work too, but teaches you how to avoid going to the ground also, then throws in multiple attackers etc. it also teaches you to fight when you are exhausted.
 
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That's kind of where I look at it. I've been watching a lot of UFC lately, its a bit of a guilty pleasure and there's a certain aspect of artistic merit involved that I can't quantify. My biggest fear is being forced to fight my way back up - Im sure standing up, I at least have a chance, its the being knocked down that scares the shit out of me.
I watch UFC all the time, I have since the beginning. Know how it became "MMA?"

Royce Gracie kept winning. People then had to develop their ground game, opposed to just striking. Wrestlers were taking people down, people with only a stand up game had no idea what to do. So they had to learn how to fight on the mat. Essentially mixing standup with ground fighting. Google "Gracie challenge." It was a $100k open invite when they were in SoCal.

This is why you see guys who compete train in Muay Tai, boxing, and BJJ.

Again, it's just really dependent on what you want to accomplish.

Street fight? I'm dragging you to the dirt.
 

Mountain

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That's kind of where I look at it. I've been watching a lot of UFC lately, its a bit of a guilty pleasure and there's a certain aspect of artistic merit involved that I can't quantify. My biggest fear is being forced to fight my way back up - Im sure standing up, I at least have a chance, its the being knocked down that scares the shit out of me.
In that case you may like some BJJ training. As Pvt Cowboy states, it's almost like cheating if someone takes it to the ground but doesn't know what they are doing. They go very quickly from the I'm gonna kick your ass evil grin to a complete look of terror as they realize they are only moments from getting choked out if that's what your move is. There are other techniques such as various arm & leg bars that just hurt like hell and immobilize an attacker. On the flip side, you have to be comfortable with classmates trying to do this to you. Tapping out = 'I give', then they should stop. I was not that great at it, but good enough in my early 40's to toy with anyone of any age or size if they were not experienced in BJJ. I'm sure you could do better with some training & time. Keep in mind that in many if not most BJJ schools the belts are few and far between; and hard to earn.

Damn, now I want to get back into it. I left my ACL on a mountain somewhere so being on the receiving end of a leg bar might get interesting.
 
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My background is Parker Kenpo... and I still have a lot of love for it. I think it has an amazing understanding of the science and concepts of pure motion, even though it does have forms and techniques and whatnot. I'm still a huge fan, but it does have it's blind spots like anything else. I also did some Kali and Escrima for a time, and I'm handy enough with a stick/knife to feel comfortable. The biggest benefit of stick and knife training is realizing how much you don't want to **** with someone who can run a stick or a knife.

Now I study Krav... because it's just the least watered down route to being able to fight. The bag work that Krav centers around is CRITICAL to developing real striking strength. You can't do air punches in a pure Karate environment, and think your fighting chassis is going to sustain punching people all over the place. I would study Muy Thai if there were quality trainers nearby, but there aren't any I've found.

My only difference in opinion with Cowboy is that I'm never choosing to take a fight to the ground on purpose.... pretty much ever... but the BJJ guys are at the top of the food chain for ground work, and if you aren't exposing yourself to it, you aren't a complete fighter.

If I had my perfect life, I would do a mix of Jeet Kun Do, BJJ, and probably some Muy Thai.
 
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What would you guys recommend for an overweight 50 year old with a bad knee? Yeah, I know to lose the weight and I am working on it.
This might sound like I'm being snarky... but I'm not. Start with some Yoga. Its been a huge help for me with shoulder and elbow problems. Build up supporting structures of joints and tendons while getting some flexibility. Then assess fitness and start checking out some schools.
 

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Brazilian jiu jitsu in my opinion is one of the best defensive styles to train in, 99% of the time unless you get suckered or cant take a punch a street fight is going to the ground and thats where you better know your shit. It will teach you how to avoid getting banged up as well as ways for you to rest while your opponent is wasting energy, and how to put imobilizing moves on your opponent. I have had a plenty of street fights in my younger years and won and loss enough to know that you better be prepared if your going to be throwing fists, I did some classes and got my ass handed to me by people you wouldnt even give a second thought about squaring up with, trust me it gets you in shape quickly too, your entire body gets a work out.
 
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It still amazes me that anything but the big 3 are suggested for real self defense. Krav Maga? Kenpo?

Guys.. its 2015. They have had sportive fighting on TV for everyone to watch since 1989. We all know what works in a hand to hand situation. There is no excuse for suggesting scam martial systems. And I can already here all the Krav Maga guys now, talking about all the training they do. I've been to several Krav gyms all around the country it is a joke. They can't wrestle, they can't strike, and they can't grapple. There only hope is to land some kind of groin shot and hope it works.. its the same strategy your teenage daughter probably has.

Go to a legit fight gym and learn how to wrestle, box/thai box, and grapple. In that order.
 
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muay thai for stand up
bjj for on the ground
judo is goat

and krav is really useful not just for it's techniques but for it's mindset

none of these are useful if you're not in good shape though

99% of fights may go to the ground, but there are plenty of highschool wrestlers/kickboxers out there. Never assume you can just shoot and single leg, if your opponent knows how to sprawl and box, you'll get rekt. That's why you should avoid going to the ground, but train to fight there anyways. That's why I say muay. Learn to end fights with your hands fast, and stay on your feet so you can run away, the most important fighting skill there is.
 
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It still amazes me that anything but the big 3 are suggested for real self defense. Krav Maga? Kenpo?

Guys.. its 2015. They have had sportive fighting on TV for everyone to watch since 1989. We all know what works in a hand to hand situation. There is no excuse for suggesting scam martial systems. And I can already here all the Krav Maga guys now, talking about all the training they do. I've been to several Krav gyms all around the country it is a joke. They can't wrestle, they can't strike, and they can't grapple. There only hope is to land some kind of groin shot and hope it works.. its the same strategy your teenage daughter probably has.

Go to a legit fight gym and learn how to wrestle, box/thai box, and grapple. In that order.
So.....1911 or Glock?
 
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This might sound like I'm being snarky... but I'm not. Start with some Yoga. Its been a huge help for me with shoulder and elbow problems. Build up supporting structures of joints and tendons while getting some flexibility. Then assess fitness and start checking out some schools.
No snark taken. But I should clarify that I am not totally sedentary. I am a soccer referee and I officiate on average about 10 or more games a week. I do up to the high school level and make it a point to keep up with the run of play.
 

Mountain

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What would you guys recommend for an overweight 50 year old with a bad knee? Yeah, I know to lose the weight and I am working on it.
I'm gonna go with Krav Maga again. If you have limitations, a good instructor will work with you to learn some nasty moves that you are capable of doing reasonably well. There may be other good ones- case in point:

One of the senior instructors at my old school was a big student of pressure point strikes and a defense system that taught a lot of knockout techniques and/or very painful strikes. He was in his late 60's with prior injuries, but despite the somewhat limited mobility had lightning reflexes and was impossible to F with. Can't remember the name of the system, will post if I think of it. I worked out with him frequently and gawd that hurt.
 
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It still amazes me that anything but the big 3 are suggested for real self defense. Krav Maga? Kenpo?

Guys.. its 2015. They have had sportive fighting on TV for everyone to watch since 1989. We all know what works in a hand to hand situation. There is no excuse for suggesting scam martial systems. And I can already here all the Krav Maga guys now, talking about all the training they do. I've been to several Krav gyms all around the country it is a joke. They can't wrestle, they can't strike, and they can't grapple. There only hope is to land some kind of groin shot and hope it works.. its the same strategy your teenage daughter probably has.

Go to a legit fight gym and learn how to wrestle, box/thai box, and grapple. In that order.
LOL. I didn't recommend Kenpo... I guess they don't teach comprehension in fight gyms? I said thats where I started, and I liked it for what it was. Not everyone is going to walk into a fight gym, and has to start somewhere. I think AngelKing is the type of dude that would though, and I think I said pretty much the same thing you did at the end of my post. I train in Krav because its just a decent philosophy to keep things sharp with an extremely busy schedule. Its a decent stepping stone into other avenues of training.
 
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thanks guys, as usual, you give me a lot to think about. Im going to do some research into what's local to me and keep you posted. and no, I won't be challenging anyone to fight.....well maybe.
 
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thanks guys, as usual, you give me a lot to think about. Im going to do some research into what's local to me and keep you posted. and no, I won't be challenging anyone to fight.....well maybe.

Let us know what you decide on and how it works out, I'm a bit interested myself and I'm not that far out from you. Part of what's holding me back is cost, I spend zillions on ammo as it is and trying to save for a house, so depending on cost, joining something could get me shot.
 
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thanks guys, as usual, you give me a lot to think about. Im going to do some research into what's local to me and keep you posted. and no, I won't be challenging anyone to fight.....well maybe.
That's actually not a horrible idea.

Bro, if you ever wanna challenge me to a *friendly* fight (no touching of the hair, and/or face), I accept. You'll then see some BJJ. Might sway your decision.

;)
 
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