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Thursday, May 11, 2017

MMA vs Tai Chi

This is hilarious. As a former mixed martial arts man myself, I've always been mystified by the idea that tai chi can even be described as a martial art. It's about as "martial" as yoga or haiku.
For weeks, the mixed martial arts fighter Xu Xiaodong had been taunting masters of the traditional Chinese martial arts, dismissing them as overly commercialized frauds, and challenging them to put up or shut up. After one of them — Wei Lei, a practitioner of the “thunder style” of tai chi — accepted the challenge, Mr. Xu flattened him in about 10 seconds. Mr. Xu may have proved his point, but he was unprepared for the ensuing outrage.

When video of the drubbing went viral, many Chinese were deeply offended by what they saw as an insult to a cornerstone of traditional Chinese culture. The state-run Chinese Wushu Association posted a statement on its website saying the fight “violates the morals of martial arts.” The Chinese Boxing Association issued similar criticism.
The video is both short and informative. Tai chi simply doesn't have anything to do with fighting. The tai chi master had quite clearly never sparred at speed before. And that guard... ye cats! I'm only surprised the MMA guy didn't open with a sidekick given such an invitation.

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126 Comments:

Blogger Student in Blue May 11, 2017 9:50 AM  

Talk about a loss of face. Yeesh.

Blogger JWM May 11, 2017 9:53 AM  

He should have tried the Kamehameha wave. It always works for Goku.

JWM

Blogger Salt May 11, 2017 9:54 AM  

What? No Jazz hands?

Blogger Mr.MantraMan May 11, 2017 9:56 AM  

Obviously a girrrrrrrl warrior could have beaten this MMA patriarch oppressor.

Blogger Chris Lutz May 11, 2017 9:58 AM  

I love the quote at the end:

“The key difference between what Mr. Xu does and martial arts is that martial arts isn’t a competitive sport,’’ he said. “It’s not about really hurting. It’s about giving your opponent ‘face.’ And Mr. Xu’s style is about beating your opponent to near death.”

In other words, it's all show and no go.

Anonymous aegis-1080 May 11, 2017 10:00 AM  

A non-conformist on the ant hive. Poor bastard. The fact that innovators just get crushed by peer pressure there explains a lot.

Anonymous Rather, Not May 11, 2017 10:01 AM  

Is 'thunder style' of Tai Chi named after the headache pounding like thunder after getting your head used like a speed bag by someone who knows how to fight?

Anonymous Roundtine May 11, 2017 10:12 AM  

This is like Australian Rules Football players saying American football players are weak, and the NFL sends Sparklepunter to represent.

Blogger Ingot9455 May 11, 2017 10:13 AM  

There is real combat Tai Chi. I've seen it! Guys who do the real combat Tai Chi usually also do about seven other real combat chinese martial arts like Ba Gua and Hsing-i, and cross-train into grappling nowadays, so it's tough to find someone who can claim to be 'just' a Tai Chi fighter.

But this guy ain't it.

Anonymous aegis-1080 May 11, 2017 10:14 AM  

Knew it. From the comments section:
"Wushu or Chinese martial arts hasn't been "traditional" or "authentic" since 1915 during the New Culture Movement. Ma Lian decided to combine and standardize traditional styles and make it into a competitive sport. Then in 1928 the Republic Government decided to create "guoshu" to unify the nation and create a national pride. They basically nurtured all the traditional styles to make it pretty looking and impressive on stage.

The Mao Ze Dong came in and wiped out all the remaining traditional masters, razed the Shaolin temple arrested the monks and sent all other martial artists fleeing.

There are NO more authentic styles left in China. Maybe some in Hong Kong, but that's it. Everything after Mao Ze Dong is 100% fake. Even the current Shaolin Temple is fake. All those monks are fake. Their style is reconstructed from writings that weren't burnt and whatever prisoners didn't die during the cultural revolution.

Of course the China doesn't want you to know that. They have state sponsored wushu schools in every province. They make a killing off of dumb tourists training with "Shaolin monks". They have an entire tv and movie industry built around selling the the idea of amazing ancient martial arts. It's a matter of national pride to trick everyone into thinking they still practice original traditional styles when they destroyed everything only a few years back.

Mr. Xu tickled a sleeping dragon, and they aren't happy he's exposed them for the frauds they are."

Is not about the fighting, is about poking a hole on the commie's version of history. Commie ants didn't liked that, so he had to go.

Blogger Melampus the Seer May 11, 2017 10:15 AM  

We need a lot more of this. I'm prepared to believe that Tai Chi China was once a thing. But today it's like fitness center boxing.

I gotta' say though the other two internal martial arts Xing Yi and Bagua are a bit different. I know guys who can hurt you with it. And they spent a lot of time fighting Mongolian wrestlers. Even so, most of it is still also like fitness center boxing.

And truth be told, a real martial art, one that's not about dueling or sport, starts out with weapons. Back in the day that was spear for Xing Yi. It was the fighting system of the Mongols. And sword for Bagua.

I do kali. I could argue it's the last Christian martial art. The Conquistadors taught it to the conquered Filipinos. Only in the last few years have they even taught non-christians, at least in the method I know from Negros Occidental. It starts with an arming sword, about machete length.

Weapons change pretty much everything. Most boxing and grappling methods will get you stabbed. The old grappling methods like Take No Uchi Ryu Jiu Jitsu began with weapons and are weapon centric. Looks a lot different than a system optimized for single opponents unarmed.

My two cents.

Blogger J A Baker May 11, 2017 10:16 AM  

I've always thought of Tai Chi as akin to yoga or poetry. I'm certain that there are benefits from practicing Tai Chi such as meditation to help focus on problems and to think more clearly, there are breathing techniques for calming and relaxation purposes and learning the movements can improve one's ability to concentrate and gain better body perception and awareness. I'm sure there are other benefits and when applied properly the principles of Tai Chi could help to improve a MMA fighters performance.

But for practical purposes as in a real fight, yeah I'm mean unless you really have some incredible mythic chi power well the techniques will not help you, I studied martial arts at a traditional school and we learned many katas, but the teacher also made s spar and learn to use the techniques in a real life situation, but I was under the impression that Bruce Lee cleared all of this up 50 or so years ago, it surprises me that people are still today having these "conversations".

Anonymous Rfvujm May 11, 2017 10:17 AM  

If this in any way reflects the Chinese military then America has nothing to fear about going to war with China.

Anonymous VFM #6306 May 11, 2017 10:21 AM  

That defensive stance looks like it was written by Scalzi and posed by Jim C. Hines.

Blogger Ingot9455 May 11, 2017 10:23 AM  

And in a followup: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-39853374

People are now offering a bounty to traditional martial arts masters to take on this guy.

Also, it should be noted that this is the plotline to the beginning of the recentish 'Ip Man' movie with Donnie Yen (which everyone should see), and this whole thing might just be a Reality TV stunt from stem to stern - though I don't know why mister 'Thunder Tai Chi' would willingly take a dive.

OpenID everybodyhatesscott May 11, 2017 10:24 AM  

The Chinese martial arts movies don't help the situation. I was watching IP man 3 with a friend and made a comment 'In a real fight, mike tyson would kill him' and I heard back some bullshit about 'speed equaling them out' (like Tyson isn't fast) He also believes the girls can beat up marines with enough training so I shouldn't have been surprised.

Blogger Richard Stone May 11, 2017 10:25 AM  

"When video of the drubbing went viral, many Chinese were deeply offended by what they saw as an insult to a cornerstone of traditional Chinese culture."

I read something similar about Chinese culture in a book "Made Poorly in China"

He talked about how a world class darts player went against one of China's best, and was eviscerating him. The guy finally took pity and allowed his opponent to get a few points, and the crowd roared like their local hero won the match. Keeping face can be more important than stark reality in that culture.

Anonymous BBGKB May 11, 2017 10:25 AM  

I've always thought of Tai Chi as akin to yoga or poetry.

I used to think it was a practice every move perfectly in slow mo then speed things up in a fight style. Someone needed to tell that guy to hurry up.

Blogger Richard Stone May 11, 2017 10:26 AM  

"The Chinese martial arts movies don't help the situation. I was watching IP man 3 with a friend and made a comment 'In a real fight, mike tyson would kill him' and I heard back some bullshit about 'speed equaling them out' (like Tyson isn't fast) He also believes the girls can beat up marines with enough training so I shouldn't have been surprised."

It's like people who think "The Princess Bride" represents real swordplay, when it's actually more like "Rob Roy"

Anonymous Jim Scrummy May 11, 2017 10:27 AM  

Tai Chi guy kind of looked like Ronda Rousey trying to defend punches in her last two fights....same result getting one's butt curb stomped.

OpenID ar10308 May 11, 2017 10:27 AM  

@11 Melampos, "I do kali. I could argue it's the last Christian martial art."

My friend, you need to check in to Historical European Martial Arts aka HEMA. The primary weapon is the European Longsword. It has been resurrected via manuals and treatises written by German and Italian weapons masters of the 1400 and 1500s.

If you're not familiar, then I highly suggest you check it out. Its nothing like LARPing. It's full contact with steel weapons.
https://youtu.be/5zueF4Mu2uM

Anonymous Jack May 11, 2017 10:27 AM  

A friend of mine who's seriously into MMA training told me that one of the best things to happen in recent decades was the open competition between different styles, proving definitely that all styles are not equal. He said that four styles emerged as more or less supreme, two striking arts and two grappling arts: Muay Thai, Western boxing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and Greco-Roman wrestling.

Since I'm not an MMA guy myself, I'd be curious to hear others' opinions on this.

Regarding Tai Chi, it can confer some really nice health benefits if practiced correctly, but I've never understood the pretense to being a fighting art. It's just not. If it is, someone needs to step up and prove it, which to my knowledge no one has done. The Chinese, though, will have recourse to their wu xia legends, which state that a true kung fu master always stays hidden, and won't show himself just to prove his ability to the public. Very convenient.

There's a decent book called Wing Chun Warrior by Duncan Leung, a student of Yip Man along with Bruce Lee. Mr. Leung was enlisted by the Chinese government to train fighters for international competition, precisely because so many of the Chinese styles were faring poorly in matches like the above. Last I heard, the results were not very good. Bruce Lee himself had largely moved away from formal Chinese styles, and was actually quite influenced by Western boxing.

Anonymous kfg May 11, 2017 10:29 AM  

"They basically nurtured all the traditional styles to make it pretty looking and impressive on stage."

And entirely ineffectual. The last thing in the world the commies wanted was monks and peasants who could actually fight. A cartoon of martial culture was substituted.

Anonymous Magus May 11, 2017 10:37 AM  

@KFG Ha ha, I've actually heard very similar stories. When learning Wing Tsun they'd tell us how it grew popular coz the peasants had their weapons taken away, and needed to find something just as powerful and deadly to fight back with.

Right. All this shit was meant to be powerful than a guardsman with a rifle, or clubbing you round the head with a baton.

I'll just take being allowed to own a weapon myself kplzthnx.

Anonymous kfg May 11, 2017 10:39 AM  

". . . it can confer some really nice health benefits if practiced correctly . . ."

So can modern, Western, strength and flexibility training, only better and more efficiently.

"I've never understood the pretense to being a fighting art."

See @10. The Chinese fighting arts were deliberately destroyed, an ineffective substitute deliberately put in their place, yet promoted, deliberately, as supremely effective.

Imagine the gun grabbers grabbing all the guns, but promoting Airsoft games as more effective than real combat with firearms, with teams of totalitarian psychologists to make it stick.

Anonymous aegis-1080 May 11, 2017 10:42 AM  

@15

From that link, a couple of things:
"But his money-making didn't last long, as his Weibo account, with more than 350,000 fans, was suddenly mysteriously blocked.

Mr Xu told BBC Chinese he doesn't know why."

"It might be a tempting offer though, because Xu Sheng, the multi-millionaire founder of drinks empire Tiandi No 1, has said on his Weibo account that is looking for martial arts heroes to volunteer to defeat Xu Xiaodong."

Man, the CCP isn't exactly subtle. Weibo got a letter saying to get rid of Xiaodong ASAP or else, and there's no millionaires on commie land without commie backing, so Sheng is just there to give commies a paper-thin veil of plausible deniability.

We'll know that the guys in suits came to visit Xiaodong and just point-blank threathened to kill him when he makes his very public apology for "defiling tradition" or some nonsense.

Anonymous fop May 11, 2017 10:43 AM  

Dude is lucky the guy ended it fast. This could have been 15 minutes of death by a thousand cuts if he really wanted to make a point.

Anonymous VFM #6306 May 11, 2017 10:45 AM  

Nice analogy, kfg.

"My Red Ryder shall defeat your Nerf 2000, for it contains more traditional firepower. Wax on!"

Anonymous kfg May 11, 2017 10:52 AM  

"My Red Ryder shall defeat your Nerf 2000 . . ."

Ha! I fooled you. My Dollar Store windbreaker and safety glasses make me impervious to even your most powerful weapon.

Blogger Elizabeth May 11, 2017 10:56 AM  

Tai Chi is particularly promoted for its alleged health benefits to the elderly.

Anonymous Raptor disrespect from behind May 11, 2017 10:57 AM  

Tai chi teaches a non-intuitive way of using the body to carry, generate and distribute loads. This results on the focus of developing two distinct things:

“Jin”, which is a trained force skill in which the mind (the “intent” or “yi”) manipulates the innate force-directing (micro-movements) abilities of the body so that forces from the ground (or the downward gravity force) are aimed as needed, preferably into or with the forces generated by an opponent (think of it as a balance skill). Most of the almost magical-appearing displays of force mechanics in Asian martial-arts are demonstrations of the force-direction manipulation that is Jin.

Qi is more of a development of the support structures of the body, tendons, ligaments and fascia to convey power from the core on out. This aspect is also developed in yoga.

This type of training is not fighting by any means. It is conditioning and takes years to train. You can use this stuff while fighting and can prolong a career (look into discussions of olympic level judoka when training with Sagawa Yukiyoshi or what Rorion Grace has been working on), but the skillset to fight is not the same.

Blogger JP May 11, 2017 11:00 AM  

If you ask a Chinese man what Tai Chi is, he'll say it exercise for old people. In fact, you can hear Bruce Lee saying it in an interview.

Anonymous Raptor disrespect from behind May 11, 2017 11:02 AM  

I will follow up that the stuff I talked about in post 31 is the same stuff you are supposed to be working on in kata/forms, but the "how" to do it has largely been lost in most modern forms of martial arts, hence why people say hit a heavy bag or spar instead. I tend to agree with the idea of hitting a heavy bag/sparring instead, unless you have been shown what you are really supposed to be training.

Anonymous Laz May 11, 2017 11:02 AM  

"If this in any way reflects the Chinese military then America has nothing to fear about going to war with China." Except they could raise an army 1000 times larger than the US.

Anonymous kfg May 11, 2017 11:03 AM  

"It is conditioning and takes years to train."

Whereas with Western calisthenics it can take as long as a week to see real, measurable results.

Blogger Antony May 11, 2017 11:04 AM  

N0 10 is correct - WuShu is just a castrated demonstration form of kung fu, devoid of fighting application, the Communists killed it off and perverted into little more than a form of rhythmic dancing. There is however, real kung fu still around in Hong Kong,Taiwan and the Chinese ex-pat community, and, dare I say it, still taught and used by Triads.
Proper Kung Fu will be taught in a "combative" sense, with moves based on natural instinctive actions.

Anonymous Raptor disrespect from behind May 11, 2017 11:12 AM  

kfg wrote:"It is conditioning and takes years to train."

Whereas with Western calisthenics it can take as long as a week to see real, measurable results.


Absoultely. Western style draining builds "li" or muscular strength. This type of power generation relies on chaining the muscle groups together. Unfortunately, this type of strength reduces with age.

The conditioning methods in tai chi don't reduce with age, hence why they advocate for the elderly to practice it. You're training you mind to move the body in a different manner, instead of working against your opponent, you are trying to redirect your opponents energy/mass to convey it through your body so that they are pushing against the ground which requires very little strength to do (a very smart application of newton's third law). The same goes with training the tendons, ligaments and fascia to convey forces (not star wars, think 3d vectors in a free body diagram).

Blogger The Rev May 11, 2017 11:15 AM  

Ah, the transmission of 4th generation warfare in a single post.

Anonymous Napoleon 12pdr May 11, 2017 11:19 AM  

I'm an advocate of the traditional martial arts...but yeah, Tai Chi always seemed to me to be martial-themed calisthenics for older people.

Not that this is bad, anything that gets people off the couch and working is a good thing. But as a fighting art, it's grossly inferior to shotgun-do.

Anonymous Harambe May 11, 2017 11:25 AM  

Jack wrote:A friend of mine who's seriously into MMA training told me that one of the best things to happen in recent decades was the open competition between different styles, proving definitely that all styles are not equal. He said that four styles emerged as more or less supreme, two striking arts and two grappling arts: Muay Thai, Western boxing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and Greco-Roman wrestling.

Since I'm not an MMA guy myself, I'd be curious to hear others' opinions on this.


You know what those 4 supreme styles have in common? Full-contact fighting. I am, or rather used to be, a Taekwondo instructor and I went to great pains to find a way to apply my own style in the "real world". What I can tell you from a TKD perspective (and this should apply to all the styles one associates with the far-east) is that it can be used effectively, but only if you get regular and good real-world experience.

Every time you see a traditional martial artist getting his butt handed to him, he starts out a fight with the "deer in the headlights" look on his face. You can immediately tell he's never been punched in the face before. He will also almost never commit to a strike/kick and will half-assedly throw a punch or kick at his opponent and promptly get taken out.

So working from that I found that even Taekwondo, which gets a bad rep, can be effective if one refrains from "dancing" and rather sticks to employing the powerful kicks the art is known for. I wouldn't go so far as to say TKD is a contender, but it certainly can be effective if one trains in it with the same intensity, and gets the same amount of full-contact experience, as e.g. boxing.

Blogger wreckage May 11, 2017 11:27 AM  

Consider history.

If kung-fu (or any given form) is descended from a thousand years of formal monastic teaching, and Western boxing is only a few decades from its roots as bare-knuckle brawling won by whoever isn't unconscious at the end...

... which is more likely to be a good way to hurt people lots, fast?

Anonymous Athor Pel May 11, 2017 11:27 AM  

" 37. Anonymous Raptor disrespect from behind May 11, 2017 11:12 AM
...
The conditioning methods in tai chi don't reduce with age, hence why they advocate for the elderly to practice it. You're training you mind to move the body in a different manner, instead of working against your opponent, you are trying to redirect your opponents energy/mass to convey it through your body so that they are pushing against the ground which requires very little strength to do (a very smart application of newton's third law).
..."



As long as the application is as fast and instinctual as an opponent trying very hard to hurt or kill you then fine. But if not then that 'force redirection' might as well not be there at all.

Force redirection is all defense. You're not stopping the guy trying to kill you. You're giving as many chances as he needs to connect. If he connects once then your next defensive move will be slower and/or less effective thereby increasing his chances of connecting again. All defense all the time will get you killed.

Anonymous Sensei May 11, 2017 11:28 AM  

Chinese culture runs on a curious mixture of realist pragmatism and mutually perpetuated denial of obvious reality, this is like the perfect object lesson in their perpetual conflict.

In Taiwan anyone with whom the topic came up has explained that Taichi is what old people do in parks for their health. When I asked if it wasn't the underlying basis for a lot of Chinese martial arts (which I had read), I was told no, I must be thinking of something different.

Blogger Dirtnapninja May 11, 2017 11:32 AM  

There ARE some defense oriented CMA that work very well. Sanshou is quite efficient

Blogger Deplorable Omega Supreme Cuck May 11, 2017 11:37 AM  

No wonder in Star Trek NG Worf keeps getting his butt kicked.

Blogger lowercaseb May 11, 2017 11:43 AM  

Unfortunately Xu Xiaodong is about to find out that MMA is no match for Centralized Bureaucracy and State Fu. I am surprised that he hasn't been disappeared already.

Blogger Goldeneye May 11, 2017 11:43 AM  

Since the topic is appropriate to ask here: as someone about to exit college, what martial art(s) would the people here recommend I take? As the violence in the US progressively escalates, the ability to defend myself has become much more urgent than it was. I also need to start going to shooting range again...

Anonymous The Smoking Man May 11, 2017 11:45 AM  

BJJ
MMA
Krav Maga
Boxing

Anonymous kfg May 11, 2017 11:49 AM  

@37:

Speaking as someone who has trained the 80+ crowd in Chinese Line Dancing, I grieve for your elders, for you know not what you do and simply follow the mythology against empirical evidence.

@43: "Chinese culture runs on a curious mixture of realist pragmatism and mutually perpetuated denial of obvious reality . . ."

And it actually works to some degree . . . in a closed system.

Anonymous Raptor disrespect from behind May 11, 2017 11:52 AM  

@42:
As long as the application is as fast and instinctual as an opponent trying very hard to hurt or kill you then fine. But if not then that 'force redirection' might as well not be there at all.

Force redirection is all defense. You're not stopping the guy trying to kill you. You're giving as many chances as he needs to connect. If he connects once then your next defensive move will be slower and/or less effective thereby increasing his chances of connecting again. All defense all the time will get you killed.
-------------------

Actually its not all defensive. You have a couple of interesting aspects going on here. When you work on the balance aspect, you effectively are able to source your power below that of your opponent which makes it feel like you are underneath your opponent as though you had a lower center of gravity. You also don't unbalance yourself very easily when you move when striking/throwing. This means that in grappling not only are you hard to unbalance (the defensive aspect), you can use kuzushi/shenfa more easily to toss them and recruit more weight when you throw them.

In striking it means that you can effect kuzushi on them when you strike them (its kind of like Jack Dempsey's falling steps), and you don't loose your own balance when you strike. This results in not having to "reset" yourself after throwing a combination because you broke your balance and posture. Likewise it increases the power of your strikes because not only do you get more body weight, you aren't just kicking/punching with your body weight. That "pushback" (newtons third law) doesn't effect you and reduce the amount you strike with, instead you are able to route that pushback through your body without compromising your own posture, so that it reflects off the ground and back into your opponent.

My old BJJ/MMA coach swore I weighed 50lbs more than I did because of this sort of training.

Anonymous Raptor disrespect from behind May 11, 2017 11:57 AM  

49. kfg May 11, 2017 11:49 AM
@37:

Speaking as someone who has trained the 80+ crowd in Chinese Line Dancing, I grieve for your elders, for you know not what you do and simply follow the mythology against empirical evidence.
---------------

I largely fought under k2 rules or Sabaki Challenge tournaments using this sort of movement. There's a group in Tokyo called the Aunkai that does the same (you can read up on it on bullshido 10 years back). You'll actually find the dojo-cho of the Tokyo kyokushin training there. If people want to see more practical applications of tai chi in mma, you have to look around in chinese media for some sanshou/sanda stuff, but there's not a ton out there.

There is a difference between hippie/old people tai chi and some of the more interesting stuff. I just have exposure to some of the old school conditioning. This is the sort of thing that made asian martial arts famous to begin with, but almost no one works on it anymore, even in asia.

Anonymous polyhedron May 11, 2017 11:58 AM  

This fight is remakrably similar to an amusing Jet Li clip I encountered last night.

OpenID anonymos-coward May 11, 2017 11:58 AM  

Antony wrote:N0 10 is correct - WuShu is just a castrated demonstration form of kung fu, devoid of fighting application, the Communists killed it off and perverted into little more than a form of rhythmic dancing.

No, he isn't. The 'Chinese martial arts' meme was almost entirely invented by the Hong Kong movie industry, the Communists have nothing to do with it.

(Well, except for cashing in a few decades later once gullible Westerners raised by television started taking it seriously.)

Blogger Phat Repat May 11, 2017 11:59 AM  

2 bots enter, 1 bot gets beat the hell down. This wasn't even close to a fair contest, and there appears to be a 20 lbs weight differential too. But I do like the white outfit.

Anonymous Napoleon 12pdr May 11, 2017 12:00 PM  

@47: Quality of instruction is much more important than style. The Dirty Little Secret of the martial arts is that there are only so many ways to fight. As my sensei was fond of saying, "Many paths, but it's the same mountain." Look for quality. Avoid dojos that want you to sign a long-term contract, and those which promise a certain grade after a certain time. Do consider clubs, even small ones. Some of the best teachers aren't in it for the money.

And definitely put in range time. Unarmed methods should be considered a last line of defense.

Anonymous kfg May 11, 2017 12:00 PM  

@47:

Riot control baton.
Cane/walking stick self-dense.
The sort of knife fighting you can do with a Mora Companion.
Boxing.
Wrestling.
Single stick.
Shooting.

And Krav Maga, if you can wrangle doing it as an actual Israeli operative.

Blogger Phat Repat May 11, 2017 12:04 PM  

Laz wrote:"If this in any way reflects the Chinese military then America has nothing to fear about going to war with China." Except they could raise an army 1000 times larger than the US.

All you have to do is tell the 75,000,000 military age men with no chance of brides that they can keep the spoils of war, well, game on.

Anonymous Raptor disrespect from behind May 11, 2017 12:05 PM  

@47

The reality is that marketing aside, most martial arts don't do a good job with teaching actual self defense. They train primarily for sport/dueling type scenarios which are 1 on 1, where you are already aware that your opponent is coming for you. If you have experience in other arts, you realize pretty quickly how fast things go badly against multiple opponents, or live training against one person with a weapon if you are unarmed. For example, grab a magic marker and attack a partner and see how many marks they get on their body. Even if you know how to grapple, most people never train their bodies to receive throws/takedowns on hard surfaces due to the dangers involved.

I'm not implying that other arts are useless, nor that their training isn't helpful in a self defense scenario. Rather most of the time spent training is on other things that work best within the rulesets they practice that might have some overlap with self-defense.

A key point in self defense is situational awareness, identifying who might attack you, and conflict de-escalation and avoidance. I don't know of many schools that actively practice those more useful tasks, as those can prevent a scenario where you actually have to physically defend yourself. Most people are probably more interested in the "sexy" parts of marital arts than developing those skills.

Anonymous kfg May 11, 2017 12:12 PM  

@47:

Oh, and I'll note that the most overlooked, basic self-defense skills are:

1. Calming things the fuck down.
2. Running like hell.

Be good at both. Expunge any Superhero from your brain. The point of self-defense is to stay alive and get away. Nobly dead is dead. If you can run instead of fight, do it.

Stay alive.

Blogger Goldeneye May 11, 2017 12:17 PM  

The Smoking Man wrote:BJJ

MMA

Krav Maga

Boxing


I'm personally leaning towards BJJ and Krav Maga. BJJ might be easier to find where I live.

kfg wrote:Riot control baton.

Cane/walking stick self-dense.

The sort of knife fighting you can do with a Mora Companion.

Boxing.

Wrestling.

Single stick.

Shooting.

And Krav Maga, if you can wrangle doing it as an actual Israeli operative.


That's good, but how do you know if the Krav Maga teacher is an actual Israeli operative? Also, the knife fighting intrigues me.

Napoleon 12pdr wrote:Quality of instruction is much more important than style. The Dirty Little Secret of the martial arts is that there are only so many ways to fight. As my sensei was fond of saying, "Many paths, but it's the same mountain." Look for quality. Avoid dojos that want you to sign a long-term contract, and those which promise a certain grade after a certain time. Do consider clubs, even small ones. Some of the best teachers aren't in it for the money.

And definitely put in range time. Unarmed methods should be considered a last line of defense.


How do you tell if the teacher is any good? What should I look for?

We have a few pistols that haven't gotten any use. Although, one is a Glock (cue Nate's entrance).

Blogger APL May 11, 2017 12:22 PM  

Once you find yourself on your back with your opponent sitting on your chest, your ability to use his momentum to your advantage has been somewhat attenuated.

Blogger VD May 11, 2017 12:24 PM  

So working from that I found that even Taekwondo, which gets a bad rep, can be effective if one refrains from "dancing" and rather sticks to employing the powerful kicks the art is known for. I wouldn't go so far as to say TKD is a contender, but it certainly can be effective if one trains in it with the same intensity, and gets the same amount of full-contact experience, as e.g. boxing.

TKD fighters tend to be beautiful, powerful kickers with no hands. I never had any trouble with any of their black belts who were not cross-disciplined trained. I would simply slam my body into them as soon as a leg went up, then start punching as they stumbled back, then throw a sidekick as they fell further back out of hand range.

On the other hand, one TKD fighter who had trained about a year in our style was pretty good. I could match him inside, but he used to get me with this damned hook kick that I thought was a high side kick. I'd slip it, then get caught by his heel in the back of my head.

Blogger Basil Makedon May 11, 2017 12:24 PM  

I'm no martial arts master, I took some karate in college from a "if he can't breath, he can't fight" kind of guy and learned a few things.

First, there is no substitute for being punched in the face. That guy probably had never been punched in the face before.

Second, there is no substitute for mindset. Choreographed line dancing practice is not face punching practice.

Blogger dc.sunsets May 11, 2017 12:25 PM  

@58 As I understand it, even MMA still has rules, or else crippling joint locks would be common.

It's a paradox. Train without full contact (no crippling/maiming moves) habituates to do no harm, or train with full contact and all life/death moves allowed which risks a high level of serious injury that renders you incapable of self-defense when needed.

Anonymous Napoleon 12pdr May 11, 2017 12:33 PM  

@60: WRT an instructor, things I'd look for would be rank commensurate with age. Typically, it takes 4-6 years to make 1st degree black belt, and about the same for each higher grade. Someone claiming to be 5th Dan or higher had better have gray hair or a bald spot.

Another thing I'd look for is teaching style. Good instructors don't have an attitude. They aren't abusive of new students. That doesn't mean they won't work the students hard, but they don't go out of their way to show how tough they are by beating up on hapless white belts.

As a student of the traditional arts, I also look for lineage. An instructor should be willing to tell you who he trained under...and know who trained HIS teachers.

This will be controversial...but I'd also take a look at how much they spar. Some sparring is good. Nothing but sparring is bad. You need disciplined practice to build good technique.

Blogger Theproductofafineeduction May 11, 2017 12:47 PM  

@62

Our university Kyokushin group would have full contact sparing days on Saturday (the only rule being no strikes to the head as we had no head gear which I thought was strange for a supposedly no hold bars type martial art) and we would often extend the invite to the university Tae Kwan do group and it would happen exactly as you described.

Anonymous kfg May 11, 2017 12:52 PM  

@60: " . . . how do you know if the Krav Maga teacher is an actual Israeli operative?"

The same way you know your Israeli drill sergeant is actually an Israeli drill sergeant. The point I'm making is that Krav Maga is a set of advance military fighting skills and that aren't actually going to learn them as intended outside of that context.

As an American civilian looking to defend himself, you're going to be better off with a gun (it's your first, second and third choice against lethal force) and knowing pain submission techniques.

Knives are for when you are faced with lethal force, but for one reason or another you can't use a gun. My point about the Mora companion is that you aren't in a military situation. You aren't going to be walking around with a K-bar. Techniques that require having a large combat knife aren't likely to be terribly useful to you. You're going to have something relatively small, cheap and disposable.

Note that knife fighting is a nasty business and requires the highest degree of training to be effective (and as often as not the "winner" is the one who bleeds out last). It's very much a last ditch sort of thing.

Blogger Rob May 11, 2017 1:00 PM  

The keyword in "Martial Art" is MARTIAL!!

That comes the word, "Mars" the Roman God of War.

If you're Not fighting, you are not doing Martial Arts.

If you're Not fighting, then what is the point?

Tai Chi is pointless. If it wasn't, that MMA fellow would be on the ground, bleeding with the idea, "I'm gonna sign up for this old guy's teachings!"

If Tai Chi guys were in the UFC knocking out heavyweights I'D SIGN UP FOR TAI CHI! Navy Seals and Marines would sign up. The fact that they're not tells you something.

Things like "The Touch of Death" DO NOT EXIST! Think about it: 2000 years, if there was a move that killed someone instantly, wouldn't someone have figured it out by now, and wouldn't police officers and soldiers and Marines have training in it? Who WOULDN'T want such a technique? Some guy touches Conor McGregor, and now MgGregor's newborn doesn't have a father anymore... I would lick that guy's toilet seat for him to teach me that move!!!

All Martial Arts Masters aren't "Masters" they're just really really good at the basics. What's required to get good are things that most people don't want to do.

You see someone knock out a guy in a professional fight? You're seeing the 1,000,001st punch he's thrown. You aren't seeing the million other punches, along with blue, black, and bloody knuckles, he's thrown to get that point.

ALL Martial Arts have their roots in group of guys getting together and saying, "We need to figure out how to fight and kill, or those other guys down the river, or a few caves over, are going to come here, kill us, and take our women."

And then those guys start hitting one another, and figuring out ways to block those hits, and they start grabbing each other and seeing how far they can bend an arm or a leg before their friend gives up, they start punching bags of dirt until their knuckles are callused over, and they can hit really hard and really fast, and they keep on doing all those activities over and over again until they get really good at them.

Forget that ultimate origin of the Martial Arts at your own peril.

Anonymous kfg May 11, 2017 1:02 PM  

"Tai Chi is pointless."

Oh come on. Line dancing is fun.

Anonymous Random #57 May 11, 2017 1:12 PM  

"Knives are for when you are faced with lethal force, but for one reason or another you can't use a gun. My point about the Mora companion is that you aren't in a military situation."

Or for helping you retain your gun when things get up close and personal. There are some models specifically designed for this, including one with the edge on the other side than normal.

Check your local laws, a lot in the US outlaw the carrying of knifes that are greater than 4, for many of us the Mora Companion one tenth of an inch too long.

Anonymous Bruce May 11, 2017 1:18 PM  

Impossible. I saw Patrick Swayze kill about 30 guys in Road House using Tai Chi – hell he beat wrestling legend Terry Funk AND he ripped a guy’s throat out.
Someone told me about a similar incident when the Brazilian Jui-Jit-su guys were steamrolling the American dojo’s in the 1980s. They beat the poop out of some ninja-master at a ninja dojo in about 10 seconds. Probably shoved a throwing star up his butt too.
Is Bruce Lee ever given credit as one of the first MMA guys? Seems like that was kind of what he was advocating.

Anonymous BluePony May 11, 2017 1:20 PM  

"He should have tried the Kamehameha wave. It always works for Goku."

No way. Crane defense every time.

Mr. Miyagi > Goku

Anonymous kfg May 11, 2017 1:23 PM  

" . . . for many of us the Mora Companion one tenth of an inch too long."

That's why God invented the Mora Craftline Pro.

Blogger frigger611 May 11, 2017 1:24 PM  

When I was young, I took Tang Soo Do (precursor to Tae Kwan Do) lessons for about a year.

My instructor used to say "Kung fu fingers are broken fingers."

Yeah, Tai Chi guys get style points in commercials aimed at women who take yoga and who are, of course, very deep thinkers. But it seems an awful lot like ballet to me.

Blogger Achilles May 11, 2017 1:26 PM  

I took one class in Tai Chi. I thought of it as moving meditation. Not a combat art. The guy in the video thought different. I've put some time into karate, taekwondo, wrestling, boxing, and the bujinkan. They have their merits but the martial art of [current year] is firearms. Just is. When people ask what martial art they should take I tell them to learn enough for weapon retention. And Monkey Steals the Peach.

Blogger JP May 11, 2017 1:29 PM  

@Harambe Bingo! Almost nobody in the old martial arts train full-contact anymore. In combatives training, we watched the entire set of fights from UFC 1. In it, a 12 year Karate black belt gets the exact same look, and after taking the first hit *tried to run away*!!!

Of course, there's a tension between competition and real-world applicability. Over focus on competition, and you neglect how things like knives and guns change the game. (I knew a college level Greco Roman wrestler who lost a Jiu-Jitsu fight because he gave up his back. It's a valid strategy in GR, but only because chokes aren't allowed.)

But with no competition, you end up like the guy who spent his whole life learning a useless style because he freezes up under pressure.

Anonymous Raptor disrespect from behind May 11, 2017 1:32 PM  

APL wrote:Once you find yourself on your back with your opponent sitting on your chest, your ability to use his momentum to your advantage has been somewhat attenuated.

If someone is sitting on your chest they're pretty easy to toss. You never ever want to rest your weight on someone else. You can relax on them to make it hard for them to breathe or deal with your weight, but you want an active connection through your own hips/legs to the ground, or you want to squeeze your legs around their torso if you are in a mount so that you can stay attached to your opponent when they try and toss you. It becomes a question of leverage and angles, if they are really high up on your sternum if they have mounted you so it is more difficult at that point, but if they are just resting on you at that point they've given away their balance which is a big no no. Thats why if you are in that position you use it to go for a submission or you ground and pound. You never stay there.

Anonymous Full-Fledged Fiasco May 11, 2017 1:33 PM  

I'm just going to leave this here.

Anonymous kfg May 11, 2017 1:33 PM  

"Almost nobody in the old martial arts train full-contact anymore."

Learning to fight requires fighting. Fighting requires getting hurt (perhaps seriously). Getting hurt (even not very seriously) requires soccer moms to file lawsuits.

Blogger Paul Sacramento May 11, 2017 1:43 PM  

He obviously didn't cultivate his chi enough, LOL !
Taiji USED to be a combat oriented MA and still is in some places like the Chen Village where the "push hands" drill of Taiji is more like greco-roman wrestling or Muay Thai clinch work.
What most people do as taiji today is nothing more than meditative movement.

Blogger Mocheirge May 11, 2017 1:47 PM  

Rob wrote:All Martial Arts Masters aren't "Masters" they're just really really good at the basics. What's required to get good are things that most people don't want to do.

I think it was Ji Bi Shawong who said, "Those who can, kill. Those who cannot, tai chi."

Blogger Sheila4g May 11, 2017 2:03 PM  

My younger son has been taking MMA class for about 2.5 years. It's a mixture of shotokan karate, taekwondo, jujitsu, judo, boxing, and kickboxing. He's a brown belt with another year or 15 months presumed before he's expected to be able to test for a black belt. They do a fair amount of sparring, but wearing padded gear and with certain rules {not hitting the face, etc.}. I really don't know how good or effective it is, but in my kid's case it doesn't really matter. He has no genuine interest in perfecting his technique or making this his life's study. We have him class to ensure he gets a certain amount of exercise and learns at least some fundamentals of fighting and defense. Half the battle is attitude - how one carries oneself and looks at others. Our younger kid is just not the assertive type, and I don't kid myself he's really learning genuine aggressive fighting technique. Even in sparring {I don't generally watch his classes, but my husband sometimes does} it takes a lot to get him angry and directly engaged. I don't really think there's any way to address that - he's just not a fighter by nature. Obviously, given the way I expect the future to be, that's not optimum for him, but he is what he is.

Blogger Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus May 11, 2017 2:41 PM  

My mother always said that violence doesn't solve anything.

Blogger Noah B The Savage Gardener May 11, 2017 2:44 PM  

He takes the beating so gracefully though.

Blogger VD May 11, 2017 2:44 PM  

He's a brown belt with another year or 15 months presumed before he's expected to be able to test for a black belt.

(laughs) Oh dear.

Anonymous Joe Blowe May 11, 2017 2:47 PM  

If a martial art is not teaching STRATEGY on how to deal with multiple opponents or armed opponents then its not a marital art, its not self-defense, its a sport. If the martial art school hands out black belts after one year or has monthly birthday parties on the mat then its not a martial art school its a daycare.

Tai-chi man executed a nice deflection and evasion at 33:00 in the video but he didn't exploit his position and ,worse, he was over extended and his center of gravity was too high. He created an opening and he was dead. Tai-chi man's Tai-chi was weak.

"Don't you teach 'em knife fighting. Teach 'em to kill. That way, they meet some sonofabitch who studied knife fighting, they send his soul to hell." - Val Kilmer, Spartan, 2004

Anonymous A.B. Prosper May 11, 2017 3:01 PM  

Jack wrote:A friend of mine who's seriously into MMA training told me that one of the best things to happen in recent decades was the open competition between different styles, proving definitely that all styles are not equal. He said that four styles emerged as more or less supreme, two striking arts and two grappling arts: Muay Thai, Western boxing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and Greco-Roman wrestling.



This is about right. If things continue at the current rate I expect to see some catch wrestling and English pugilism moves at least attempted. I've heard and its just a rumor that Connor McGregor has experimented with pugilism but I'm not much of a fan so I can't verify it.

I could also see Sambo used

As for Tai Chi, internal marital arts are worthless in a fight and even the external styles are so stylized that they provide little benefit

This includes Japanese styles as well, Burmese you name it .

I've used Sumo and Chuan Fa moves in a fight and they weren't that useful

Great exercise, good for mind and body , better than nothing in a fight but not ring worthy

As for the streets, Krav Maga or some combative would be my choice. MMA is hella effective too


Blogger Koanic May 11, 2017 3:40 PM  

Break face vs Give face. Win-win.

Blogger Guitar Man May 11, 2017 3:47 PM  

After the Kurgan's MOTW article on self-defense, I decided to take up a martial art. Joined a MMA gym and decided to pursue BJJ a couple weeks ago. I'm loving it, but I'm realizing how very little I understand about defense.

Blogger Sheila4g May 11, 2017 4:42 PM  

@85 Vox Day: "He's a brown belt with another year or 15 months presumed before he's expected to be able to test for a black belt.

(laughs) Oh dear."

That's about what I figured. As I noted, in his case it doesn't really matter, but he seemed to be "progressing" rather more rapidly than I would have assumed.

Anonymous Raptor disrespect from behind May 11, 2017 4:47 PM  

@90 I wouldn't worry too much about it, a black belt is a beginner rank, not an expert. Kyu ranks (coloured belts) are for kids.

Blogger tublecane May 11, 2017 5:18 PM  

I was watching an episode of the tv show Deadwood recently, which featured a deadly street brawl between two "heavies" from rival factions. One was implicitly instructed by his boss--who presumed his man to be the superior killer--beforehand to stretch things out and make it an interesting contest. The idea being it could serve as an object lesson to the rest of the camp in what happens when you cross him. (If the fight was over too fast it wouldn't be as memorable, I guess.)

We're kept in suspense as to whether his guy is truly as superior as his boss makes him out to be, with the luxury of letting his opponent stay in the fight instead of finishing him off as soon as possible. As it turns out, he gets the upper hand and toys with the other guy. Just when you think the other guy finished, he reaches up and plucks the presumably superior fighter's eyeball out if its socket. That effectively ends the fight. A coup de grace with a log seals the deal.

Each knew this match was mortal combat. Which makes me wonder: why not go for the vulnerable spots at the outset? Eyes, throat, testicles, you know. Despite the fact that it ended in death, this was essentially a sporting event. Their comrades weren't allowed to intervene (the victorious fighter threatened his buddy's life when the latter suggested he blow the other guy's head off should the fight take a turn for the worse), and both fighters ceremoniously threw away their knives and guns at the outset. But more than that, though it was brutal, they weren't entirely fighting to kill. They had other things on their minds.

I called them both heavies, and they were fearsome. But the most feared fighter on the show was probably the sheriff, who was a quickdraw and shot straight (and a borderline psychopath to boot). Firearms are the premier martial art.

Anonymous Joe Blowe May 11, 2017 5:31 PM  

tublecane wrote:Just when you think the other guy finished, he reaches up and plucks the presumably superior fighter's eyeball out if its socket.


Gouging was an American martial art back in the day.

http://fightland.vice.com/blog/rough-and-tumble-the-deeply-southern-tradition-of-nose-biting-testicle-ripping-and-eye-gouging

Blogger Chris McCullough May 11, 2017 6:10 PM  

Where did the magic karate lasers cliche come from? Ancient mythology?

Blogger Gospace May 11, 2017 6:21 PM  

Not for helping out in a fight, but I will recommend judo for everyone, at least a few months of beginning judo. Where you're taught how to fall. I only took lessons weekly for about 8 months as a kid. The lessons on how to fall have stuck with me. And have several times (probably) saved me from broken bones because I reacted the way I was taught, not out of instinct. And I know at age 61 that about 2 weeks ago falling properly kept me from a broken arm. The day after my wife fell and broke her wrist because she threw her palm down to catch her weight as she fell.

Sort of how like in the first week of jump school you're taught how to jump off platforms at increasing heights and land without breaking your legs. There's a techniques to all kinds of falling.

Falls are a leading cause of injury for old people. If everyone knew how to fall properly, it would lessen the severity of the injuries.

Anonymous Napoleon 12pdr May 11, 2017 6:23 PM  

@91: I liken a shodan (1st degree black belt) to a high school diploma. In principle, it shows that the holder is trainable and has a certain degree of competence. Mastery...that's 4th through 6th Dan material.

Blogger JaimeInTexas May 11, 2017 6:39 PM  

Tai Chi guy just planted himself, flat footed,and let MMA gut inside the "circle." Had he done some Tai Chi movements of hands and footwork he might have lasted 10 more seconds.
Tai Chi guy had never had a fight.
I bet he will incorporate ballroom dancing as sparing.

Blogger Duke Norfolk May 11, 2017 6:41 PM  

Gospace wrote:Falls are a leading cause of injury for old people. If everyone knew how to fall properly, it would lessen the severity of the injuries.

That's a damned good point.

Anonymous Mycroft Jones May 11, 2017 6:42 PM  

Read last week that Tai Chi was designed as a conditioning exercise meant to go alongside conventional boxing and wrestling. From that point of view, Tai Chi might make sense to go along with MMA. But... is even that much true? I remember hearing from a Tai Chi person who went to the Chen village in China, and he talked about how rough and physically violent the training was; very different from America. I note, the Tai Chi "master" in the video wasn't doing Chen style.

Anonymous Jack May 11, 2017 6:50 PM  

@59

I used to live in a not-so-good neighborhood and one time while waiting for a bus I noticed two guys notice me and then change their direction to walk toward me. Everything in my instincts told me these guys were about to rob me. When they approached, before either one could say anything, I said "Hey, either of you guys have a cigarette?" They said no and I kept spouting off about how you can always count on the bus to come right after you light a cigarette and I made a point of mentioning that I was broke and had all of two dollars on me which I needed for the bus which is why I didn't have any smokes. Thankfully, the bus came after a little while, and those two guys, who were supposedly waiting for the same bus, went off to look for other prey. Once on the bus I thought to myself, "Holy shit, I actually talked my way out of that." Something about engaging them first and without fear - even though I was afraid - seemed to disorient them and put them off their course. Then when I convinced them that I had no money anyway - which happened to be the truth - they concluded I was a poor target.

Blogger Were-Puppy May 11, 2017 7:02 PM  

Ip Man = Hong Kong - not part of the purges

Anonymous kfg May 11, 2017 7:02 PM  

"Something about engaging them first and without fear -"

Because that's not how prey act.

Anonymous Jack May 11, 2017 7:20 PM  

@101

I find it amusing that Ip Man has been reinvented as a Chinese national hero. He's portrayed in the Donnie Yen films as an uber-patriot who: 1) fought those damned Japs in Foshan during the war, then 2) fought those damned foreign devils in Hong Kong during the colonial days, then 3) fought Mike Tyson to a draw.

The Chinese do not lack for nationalism in their cinema.

Blogger Were-Puppy May 11, 2017 7:28 PM  

@83 Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus
My mother always said that violence doesn't solve anything.
---

It solved the Moldylocks problem didn't it ?

Blogger Were-Puppy May 11, 2017 7:32 PM  

@93 Joe Blowe


http://fightland.vice.com/blog/rough-and-tumble-the-deeply-southern-tradition-of-nose-biting-testicle-ripping-and-eye-gouging
---

Yep, yep. It used to be every Southern boy learned plenty of dirty tricks as a kid.

Blogger Were-Puppy May 11, 2017 7:34 PM  

@95 Gospace
Falls are a leading cause of injury for old people. If everyone knew how to fall properly, it would lessen the severity of the injuries.
---

True knowing how to fall is a huge bonus

Blogger Scott Birch May 11, 2017 8:15 PM  

@95, I did a couple of years of Hap Ki Do and the falling experience has saved me from injury many a time.

As for the face-losing Tai Chi master, this is not a new trope in Chinese martial history. Remember the Boxer Rebellion, when they believed their trainkng made them impervious to bullets?

Anonymous kfg May 11, 2017 8:33 PM  

@95: "I will recommend judo for everyone, at least a few months of beginning judo. Where you're taught how to fall."

I concur completely. Add in some basic gymnastics tumbling training.

"Falls are a leading cause of injury for old people."

However, this is not correct. It was assumed that old people fall, then break as a consequence of the fall, but further investigation has shown that they break, and the fall is the consequence of breaking.

If you fall because your hip broke, knowing how to fall won't prevent your hip from breaking.

The preventative intervention is progressive overload strength training. I builds bone density just as it builds muscle density (they're both made of protein). Strength also improves "balance." Old people don't lose their sense of balance. They lose the strength required to hold themselves upright.

A planche push up is not a balance trick. It's a pure strength trick. If you have the strength to hold a planche, you have the "balance."

Blogger Sheila4g May 11, 2017 8:43 PM  

@96 Napoleon 12pdr: "@91: I liken a shodan (1st degree black belt) to a high school diploma. In principle, it shows that the holder is trainable and has a certain degree of competence. Mastery...that's 4th through 6th Dan material."

I do take some comfort from this. The place does seem to be a belt factory in the beginning - but as my husband noted, if they don't move people up they tend to drop out {particularly Americans and parents who want their kids to be a star}. Although 3.5 years seems a remarkably short time to qualify as a black belt, the process apparently slows way down thereafter. My kid got his 4th degree brown Sep 2016, and just got his 2nd degree brown last month. Once they reach the brown and black level it seems to get a lot more serious. The guy who runs the place is due to test for his 9th degree black belt, and another instructor is 5th degree. Based on the 2 years we've been there, it seems those who go there very consistently {4-5 times a week} move up from sold black to 1st dan in about a year. I don't really know whether or how much it slows down thereafter.

Blogger James May 11, 2017 10:37 PM  

Tai Chi is good for developing balance. If you are older and you haven't learned to fight in younger years, don't try now. Get your concealed carry license in your State. Another good tool is a cane, even if you don't need one. If you live in a questionable area, a cane can be a valuable weapon before you go for your firearm. There are teachers that a skilled with sticks or staffs that can devise a training regimen for you. Plus, you can buy canes with built in blades. Check the laws in your State concerning them.

Anonymous Stryker4570 May 11, 2017 11:15 PM  

Hands down the best place to start is a real boxing gym. Nothing makes you tougher than getting punched in the face every day. You will learn how to hit back while you are hurt. Branch out from there to BJJ or Muay Thai.

Blogger Eric Steiger May 12, 2017 3:53 AM  

@111 Iwould say amateur wrestling is the place to start, simply because you can begin at such a young age (5-6 years old), it takes such a long time for most kids to really master the fundamentals, and I've yet to see a public school that didn't have a wrestling team.

OpenID anonymos-coward May 12, 2017 4:03 AM  

Chris McCullough wrote:Where did the magic karate lasers cliche come from? Ancient mythology?

From wuxia, a genre of Chinese pulp fiction that involves epic heroes and wise wizards fighting for justice (or something like it) in an alternative history setting of China.

Blogger Doom May 12, 2017 4:32 AM  

Whought? The two aren't equal? And?

THAT is entertainment. With sports, including martial sorts, all being so rigged, I'd rather they just do this sort of thing. How about a match between you and, say, two or three SJW's. Cage. No rules. I'd pay good money I don't have to see that. Thankfully, it's a borrowers' market... sort of. They'd lend me the money if I asked.

I'd be willing to mask up and challenge a squad of third graders, or a feminist club. Whole. I'd just want legal immunity and a fat purse... money, gold, liquid assets... And my anonymity.

Yeah. And? That's beautiful.

Blogger JP May 12, 2017 10:48 AM  

I heard the name Martial Arts And Crafts somewhere and found it hilarious

Anonymous patrick kelly May 12, 2017 2:19 PM  

"I've yet to see a public school that didn't have a wrestling team."

Depends on where you live. In this part of Texas schools with wrestling are much rarer than even in liberal areas of California. It's more popular up in the pan-handle.

Wherever they do have public school wrestling teams here they also have segregated girls wrestling.

Anonymous patrick kelly May 12, 2017 2:27 PM  

Stryker4570 wrote:Hands down the best place to start is a real boxing gym. Nothing makes you tougher than getting punched in the face every day. You will learn how to hit back while you are hurt. Branch out from there to BJJ or Muay Thai.

I tend to agree with this even though most of my background is wrestling, although for younger kids with squeamish parents starting with wrestling would be easier. I have no first hand experience with MMA or BJJ schools, so I don't know how effective their kids programs are. Probably at least as good as wrestling or boxing.

For real self defense and fighting skillz either would be better than the martial-arts-and-craft-blackbelt-in-3-years-or-less-belt-factories.

There are "harder", fight oriented schools for many different styles but they are harder to find. I don't think they cater to soccer moms or young children.

Anonymous patrick kelly May 12, 2017 2:33 PM  

" If you are older and you haven't learned to fight in younger years, don't try now. Get your concealed carry license in your State."

That's me, although I got the CHL first and then discovered I wasn't likely to become an ubber-ninja-badass-fighter anytime soon. Likely never.

Training at any level is good for physical condition, mental awareness and focus. Those can't hurt as long as you don't swallow hype gives you false confidence and expectations. That can be worse than no training at all.

Blogger James May 12, 2017 3:41 PM  

"Depends on where you live. In this part of Texas schools with wrestling are much rarer than even in liberal areas of California. It's more popular up in the pan-handle.
Wherever they do have public school wrestling teams here they also have segregated girls wrestling."

Texas has now been infected with SJW self-righteousness.

"A transgender boy won the girls’ state wrestling championship in Texas on Saturday after the league forbade him from competing against other boys. The spectacle of an undefeated teenage boy demolishing his female opponents—or advancing after they forfeited—because officials won’t validate his trans identity has caused a confused uproar in the Texas high-school wrestling community."

Anonymous patrick kelly May 12, 2017 4:44 PM  

Crap, I didn't know about that.

I have little doubt I would have decisively beat, if not pinned, any female wrestler in my weight class when I was in high school, and I was mediocre at best.

Somethings gonna' give with this transcrap.


Blogger Annie DiPiombo May 13, 2017 1:52 AM  

I took tai chi classes 20 years ago to meet hippie chicks. The instructors were constantly informing us that, at the highest levels of practice, our school of tai chi was actually a devastating martial art.

We used to do this "chi gung" exercise called "push hands". Two partners take a stance and sort of rhythmically tug each other back and forth, in accordance with the flow of raw chi and life force and so on. Supposedly, there was some "little old chinese lady" who could practice this form with big men and hurl them across the room. I used to nod and smile at this. Tai chi was a nice yoga-type relaxing movement exercise.

Anonymous Avalanche May 13, 2017 9:34 AM  

@11 "internal martial arts .... I know guys who can hurt you with it."

Two points (well, one point and an anecdote...):

Deciding on the basis of ONE (apparently not very great) tai chi "master' that tai chi is fake/useless isn't exactly statistics, eh?

Two: back when I taught tai chi (NOT to martial artists, albeit AS a martial art, which I did mainly to make sure the folks I was teaching would understand the structure and use of the moves); I had a contractor come over to do work at the house and we got talking about MAs.

He was studying wing chun under a local (apparently quite good) teacher. This contractor was some kind of weird fundie Christian (or maybe just dumb?) because he was worried and questioning me about "evil" and "devil-influence" in tai chi -- his wing chun teacher was beginning to include some tai chi, and tai chi concepts in the wing chun teaching; and this guy was thinking he'd have to quit. ("Uh, no NOT devil-related; a normal ability of the human body, so God must've put it there, yes?")

This guy was very relieved, because, he said, since his teacher had started studying tai chi; he was hitting MASSIVELY harder than before.

Anonymous Avalanche May 13, 2017 10:07 AM  

@12 "I'm certain that there are benefits from practicing Tai Chi such as meditation to help focus on problems and to think more clearly, there are breathing techniques for calming and relaxation purposes and learning the movements can improve one's ability to concentrate and gain better body perception and awareness."

Since most teachers (in America, certainly) DO teach "new-agey tai chi" -- it's a not uncommon perception. There are solid reasons for the *practice* (not the actual use) being slow and smooth and relaxed. (Good, old, article here: http://www.snowtao.com/article.htm -- "A Fresh Look at the Value of Relaxation")

The 'goal' of practicing the slow smooth etc. movement is that the fastest a human can move is by reflex -- and you cannot act or react out of reflex when you've already got tension in your muscles. That article describes the teacher having a student rest his arms on the teacher's, really stressing for the student to relaxrelaxrelax his arm muscles. The teacher drops his arms -- the student's arms HANG THERE -- because there was no relaxation.

Tai chi (well-taught tai chi) also stresses learning to move muscles "in isolation" -- granted, that's not actually "scientifically" true but instead of having to use your entire body to take a step, or move a shoulder; you are practicing (mostly unconsciously) to use only the muscles needed. (Three days after abdominal-incision surgery, I was able to sit down on the floor (to play with my cats: yes, I was a cat lady 20 years ago!) and then get back up again, without ripping staples or causing pain: tai chi practice had taught me how to "only" (of course, actually "mainly") use leg muscles, rather than abdominal muscles.

(Also, I was amazed and delighted after several years' study, when a sudden extremely loud noise, instead of making me jump and my shoulders go up around my ears, and my head go back -- all the usual unconscious responses to a "startle," my body automatically 'dropped' into a ready position, all muscles relaxed and ready to move me in whatever direction I needed to respond in. I had never practiced or even thought about that -- but it was inculcated at a reflexive level.

Am I being solipsistic? Or merely "loyal" to an oft-maligned MA that I could not use effectively to defend myself (that takes years!) -- but I do not believe deserves the off-handed dismissal.

Anonymous kfg May 13, 2017 1:34 PM  

"There are solid reasons for the *practice* (not the actual use) being slow and smooth and relaxed."

The same as for initial practice of a musical piece being slow and relaxed. It's the proper way to pattern.

Practice makes permanent. Improper practice makes permanently improper.

Anonymous Avalanche May 13, 2017 5:57 PM  

@115 "I heard the name Martial Arts And Crafts somewhere and found it hilarious"

Oh come now -- the dojo / gym / training center is paneled in beautiful fumed quarter-sawn oak! The fireplace opposite the door has gorgeous tiling around it and a plain but solid oak beam mantel. There is a wall-paper border around the wall-tops, with muted colors of pine trees. The mats rest on thick hand-scraped oaken planks, and the mats themselves are patterned with F.L Wright's designs.

Where BETTER to learn 'the craft' of the martial arts and skip the gewgaws, furbelows, and ornateness that might otherwise detract from a solid punch to the face?!

Blogger Firoj khan May 19, 2017 8:20 AM  



High-intensity interval training, also called HIIT workouts, we came in as a team, and the experience Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai Vs Bjj, Grappling Hook

Muay Thai Vs Bjj

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