Martial Arts are useless for Self Protection

 Martial Arts Won’t Work

Traditional martial arts  and even  MMA will not work in extreme modern violence.


April 26, 2009 A brawl outside Lot 332 spills onto Richmond Street as the effects of the recession haven’t hit the entertainment district’s nightclubs as hard as other sectors in Toronto. Toronto Star/Steve Russell

They were never designed for true self protection as they do not provide isomorphic training or the necessary education to effectively handle modern attacks. Additionally, there is no training to cover the cultural differences in violent mindsets (what culture are you in? gun/fist, blade/stick?) of different attackers (their psychology and how committed they are–the difference between a robber  and a serial killer, for example).  Furthermore, they absolutely do not include any training in strategy and tactics (which supersedes all techniques). Part of the reason for this is gross ignorance in the  methodology of strategy and tactics, you know part of the military aspect that “martial” is supposed to cover. In reality, it is pretty non existent in those who have not worked with the military. Compounding this is another huge factor for failure and that’s using the wrong training methods. Due to unrealistic training methods,  traditional martial arts use techniques that will not work against a fully resisting, uncooperative opponent. How many schools train against  actual violent committed attacks done at combat speed? If you haven’t done it–you are NOT ready for the real thing.  You do not learn how to run by walking a lot.  On top of this the schools lack realistic training with and against armed attackers who are also committed using combat speed. How are you going to stop a stick at full speed when you have never had an attacker try to knock you out in training? Again, you do not learn how to run by walking–no matter how much walking you do.

MMA is not the answer–it’s part of the problem

As for MMA it operates under a rule set.  This rule set limits the person’s training as  you will respond under pressure in the manner you have been trained.  And under extreme stress found in any Life and Death encounter the Yerkes Dodson Paradigm take over.  In a nutshell this means your ability to think and solve problems is gone.  If your house is on fire you cannot solve calculus problems you respond at the base reptilian brain level of trying to flee (mob behavior also operates at this base level).  You must be trained in Isomorphic situations to be ready for real stress.  This is why NASA employs isomorphic training as does any military.  It works and it is the only way to prepare soldiers for the realities of combat.  You do not practice becoming an astronaut in a clean dojo where everything is nice and comfortable.

MMA  does not train on concrete, metal, glass strewn surfaces nor does it have rough or sharp edges and corners in the training area–guess what? That’s what the real world has. And how about specific techniques?  Yeah, those take downs you do on the clean mats where you can slide in for a low single leg and pivot will rip your legs off  if you try them on the broken tarmac found in most cities. Let’s take a closer look at the realities of MMA training:  it is conducted in a flat, smooth unobstructed area–this is just not the case in violent attacks.  The real world is full of inclines, stairs, garbage, cans, etc.  How many of you have trained in a dojo that had those?  MMA is also done under perfect lighting conditions–have you trained without the lights on  in MMA class? Have you trained with lights in your face (like the headlights of a car who has cut you off and the occupants are now headed to thump you on the head with a crowbar?)

MMA training is also conducted wearing comfortable and nonrestrictive clothing–how many of you have done MMA wearing parkas? How about carrying books, groceries, wearing a rucksack? How about with your kids in the cage or ring with you?  These are all parts of the variables in a real fight. You have never done it–only Counter Violence experts  factor these into training. And the very fact that your training does not include these factors means you are NOT ready for violent street attacks. Free info, at the very least, you absolutely must train in the same clothes that you wear most of the time.

Imitating Billy Jack can get you killed

Which takes me to the most stupid limiting factor of both Traditional Martial Arts and MMA–do you have a clue?  And if you didn’t know this (which unless  you have trained only with a few Counter Violence experts you would) you are screwed.  Here it is–they take off their shoes (throwing away huge weapons) and then they put wraps and gloves on.  Taking off your shoes means you never learn how to use your feet in combat situations (for a clue–how many militaries train without boots on?).  Okay how about this? Tell me how many videos of people being robbed, attacked or even just harassed have you seen where no one is wearing shoes or boots?  Or, how many of the people being attacked were wearing fighting gloves?  You are training with the wrong equipment. You won’t be wearing gloves and you will be wearing shoes. Skipping this fact is less than specious logic.In fact, the lack of logic behind this  can only be demonstrated fully with the following: Why not train wearing a scuba suit? The chances of that happening are as high as you wearing gloves  and not shoes.

Training in comfort is the last thing you need

Have you trained in extreme weather conditions?  Being attacked in the snow and cold weather runs the risk of hypothermia–do you know what to do in those cases?  Or the opposite, being attacked in hot weather runs the very real risk (especially for non athletes–which would be the majority of World and who needs self protection?  the majority of the World) will cave in through Heat Stroke.  This is another serious condition that can kill you if the attackers do not.  Do you know what to do?  Have you trained in immense heat?  I am certain your school doesn’t allow it. In contrast this is exactly what astronaut training does cover–extremes of environments.  If  you can handle the worst environments then the normal environment is easy–the opposite is not true. And, guess what?  I am going to say it again, no amount fo walking gets you ready to run fast. 

They were NOT developed for true self protection

There are many martial arts which  were never designed for self protection. Here are some of the biggest fake self protection arts:

Tai Chi–made as a slow exercise for those too old to move explosively is by design not for fighting–you do not learn how to run fast by walking (that was an analogy if you missed it).

Kendo–using a bamboo fake sword hardly prepares you for being attacked in an elevator or at a restaurant.

Aikido–barring Steven Seagal trying  to say differently, Aikido assumes that people will attack you  with huge motions from a large distance–it doesn’t deal with attacks as they are statically shown to occur. Again, it is not meant to work at the hockey game against attackers who both try to hit you at the same time while the third friend tackles you–among other flaws.

The reality is there are so many non functional traditional martial arts that I would be here all day covering them.  


The idea that teaching high kicking as a solution for all situations is as bad as Wing Chun

trying to teach trapping (which takes most people  months if not years to learn how to do) as an answer. Both are the wrong answer. And the fanboy traditional martial artists will retort that the person needs more time with it–therein is a GIANT flaw self protection cannot take years to master.  See the following snowmobile/go kart analogy  for further illustration. 


They do NOT train with and against Weapons

A truth around the World is that an attacker WILL have a weapon.  Around the World  being killed by a blade is a fact and in the USA blunt force death is caused by those using baseball bats–if you are not training against knives and sticks you are setting yourself up to die.  How many schools have you seen that train realistically (I am not talking about pattern slow motion stuff with compliant partners). against attackers who  use blades and sticks with real intent?  Lots of people think that Filipino Martial Arts’ training handles this area–nothing could be further from the truth.  The vast majority of FMA schools do not use real attacks at COMBAT SPEED–they use slow motion easy to defend and see strikes.  In reality  people do not lead with a knife fully extended and they do not leave the knife hanging out–they also do not attack with a stick one strike at a time–they machine gun the strikes with huge force as long as they can. (See the empirical evidence gathered by the Dog Brothers, for example.)If you have not dealt with this in training how in the hell will you deal with it in a real life and death struggle—you know,  where  the stakes are high and your emotional state will have been changed.? The empirical evidence  for this is to be found in a field called State Dependent learning–do yourself a favor and research it. 


They are called Martial Arts but they have no Strategy & Tactics Training

Martial means military–and yet none of these schools  or styles deliver strategy and tactics training.  They do not teach a person how to assess a situation or to have a ready made set of standard operating procedures for already predictable situations.  What are those predictable situations (well to really do this service  you can apply to train with us in Counter Violence and Zero Distance Warfare): Common themes include  being smaller, being weaker, being outnumbered, in open spaces like a parking lot, being in tight spaces like at an ATM, etc.  If you don’t already have in place operating methods (like  an airplane has procederes in place  for bad weather, engine problems, etc) then you  are setting yourself up for failure.  How many schools actively train the students in the not only the overall goal in these specific situations  but the actual tactics to escape those situation?  Do you know what to do and what to use if two guys try to corner you against the ATM?  That’s right you never thought about it let alone practiced it–you’re now a victim.


Martial Arts Loves Cults

In addition to poor techniques, training methods, and strategies, many martial arts go far beyond in regards to GURU cults and pure madness. This is very salient in BJJ schools as it helps to retain students.  Now having a good time and forming lasting (for a few years, at least) bonds with other people training  will increase the fun you have for training it does not increase your effectiveness.  Nothing will change the fact that the training is not isomorphic to Extreme Violence–nothing will change the fact that training with a rule set will train you to be bound by that rule set.  .

Here is the Answer

It is imperative to use the proper design for the specific environment. In the real world of senseless lethal violent attacks and unpredictable street fights using either traditional martial arts or a sport fighting method is as useful as trying to drive a go-kart in the Arctic snow. That is to say, no matter who the driver is, the go-kart is just the wrong vehicle for the environment. To continue the example, what is needed in the Arctic is a snowmobile. And it follows that what is needed when confronted with life and death violent attacks is a properly designed technology.

In other words, sports and traditional martial arts don’t have a clue about MODERN real world  Extreme Violence..

The Training must work when there is lighting, footing, space, time to think
If you even have to think about it–you’re already dead.

And, remember, Hope is NOT a strategy.

Here’s more of the Answer

The design must be structured for the worst case environments and not the best case environments. Clugston Combat Systems has a notable inventory of methods that allows us to match the correct technology to the “worst case environments” you might find yourself in. In comparison, this is not what sport fighting is designed to do at all. It is important that you realize that sport fighting takes place in a well lit, clean, even footing, well known space that is free of dangerous environmental objects (the surface is padded, posts are padded, ropes or cage  added to contain the fighting area and keep the contest one on one). These aspects cannot be assumed in life and death fights that take place in  environments of concrete and steel.

Our skill technology is structured for the realities of life and death combat.


Note: To learn more about the most realistic, functional Counter Violence training available fill out the form at the top left.

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