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Martial Arts training.

From Ninja Turtles to The Karate Kid
You and your kids have all seen the flying kicks, battle cries and mighty chops of their favorite TV characters, as they beat the bad guys to submission – but, you may ask, how on earth can these acts of violence teach my child anything worthwhile?

First, know that what you see on television (save perhaps the Karate Kid) is a far cry from what real martial arts are all about. The fact is, martial arts training is based on non-violence.

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I agree with the advantages posted in that article thus far. However if someone is truly looking to be able to learn how to defend themselves or win a confrontation against an aggressor, then most martial arts will fail the individual.

Let's face it, when you walk into your typical McDojo you see a class that is primarily filled with people 18 and under. Sure, you may find some that aren't, but your typical McDojo is like that. Their clientelle is not really planning on defending themselves against an attacker with a knife or gun (in which case you'd be better off learning to negotiate rather than fighting off the attacker). In most of these cases kids just want to learn to defend themselves against bullies.

Karate, Tae Kwon Do, etc are practically worthless in this regard. If a guy was able to whoop your ass before your class, he's going to be able to whoop your ass after those classes. If you may be able to beat a guy before those classes, you probably will still be able to whoop him after the classes.

I think that if you are truly looking to increase you ability to fight off a bully, then there are better ways to go. Take High School or little league Wrestling, take boxing or kickboxing, etc. A sport where you are able to train going 100% against another person opposing you at 100%. Only in this way will you be able to increase your ability to win a fight.

Karate and the like, they typically have an occassional sparring class where for 30 minutes to an hour they "spar". This sparring is light and in NO WAY resembles a real confrontation. How many classes do you see at your typical McDojo where a 10 year old is throwing his hands and legs at his opponant going 100% and trying to beat him down into submission? None I have ever seen. If you want to learn how to defend yourself you have to train in a way that most resembles what you will really find yourself in.

Even boxing and kickboxing, which I find to be 1000X better than training at a McDojo, have flaws in this as while they do train and spar much harder, they still must split and restart when grappling begins. And per a Federal Study, 95% of all fights end up on the ground. You must learn to be able to know your way around a grappling situation, perhaps more than you need to know how to throw a proper jab or hook.

Personally, I think that if you are young and in school, and you want to be able to learn how to defend yourself at a low cost, take High School wrestling. It's free, and it puts you in tremendous physical shape. On top of that you train 100% going against another person coming at you 100% in a grappling situation-which as we know is the most common scenario of a 1-on-1 fight. (at least one that lasts over 5 seconds). Sure, you're not learning how to punch or kick appropriately, but you are learning to put yourself in a dominant position over someone else, thus taking away their ability to harm you and increasing your ability to be in a position to harm them. A guy on his back cannot punch very hard as he has zero leverage, while when you are on top you can still generate leverage.

So IMO if you are interested in Martial Arts to be able to defend yourself in a one on one fight with a bully, then your best bet is to ignore Tae Kwon Do, Karate, Ninjitsu, Aikido, etc and focus on taking classes where you are really putting what you learn into training session that is as close to "real" as you can get. Those traditional martial arts are more for show, for discipline, etc than reality.

I remember when I was taking Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu back in 1997 and there was a Ninjitsu school down the road with an advertisement bragging about how they can teach people how to win a confrontation with their special techniques. Knowing this was typical BS from your usual McDojo our instructor took us, a bunch of whitebelt grapplers, to the school and asked to see their techniques. After seeing them "perform" in front of us with this ridiculousness, we asked if they could perform this on one of our whitebelts if our guy was trying to take him down. They ended up agreeing to allow this to happen and every single one of our whitebelts took down and choked out everyone of their blackbelts outside their instructor who refused to engage himself because "he'd hurt us".

My brother and his friend sometimes go to these schools and roll with their blackbelts in front of their classes, exposing the reality of the school. Is that rude or ignorant? Yes, you could say that it is. What place does my brother or his friend have to go to these schools and do this? Well, I could care less. Why? These schools are passing themselves off as teaching people how to defend themselves and telling their students how great and skilled they are. Basically they are selling and profiting off of a lie, and they are teaching people a sense of false security. I've seen it. In high school a kid took karate because he was picked on too much, and one day he confronted one of his bullies and got his ass kicked bad. All because he was a brown belt in Karate and thought he could win against a typical non trained bully.

So no, I don't think it's a bad thing for my brother and his friend to go to these schools and expose these fake instructors in front of their class by easily dismantling them.

The funniest story like this was our friend Jon. Jon is a BJJ prodigy. While in college he overheard one of his classmates talking to other classmates about his skills in grappling. This guy was bragging about his skills and was telling the other students that he runs a class to teach people what he knows. My friend Jon, he is like 6'2 and 145 pounds with red curly hair. Probably the least intimidating guy you could meet.

Jon was listening to this guy go on and on about his skills and his class, so Jon asked if he could go and learn something. The guy asked Jon what prior experience he had and Jon said, "A little Judo", when in reality he was a purple belt in BJJ.

So Jon prepares for this guys class by going to the store and buying a green Lucky Charms T-Shirt and some bright blue short workout shorts. Basically he made himself look like the biggest tool he possibly could.

So Jon goes to this class and immediately as the instructor starts "teaching" Jon can tell this guy doesn't know much at all. After the "lessons" they start doing sparring and Jon begins tapping other students out with armbars, chokes, etc. At one point Jon taps this guy out with a triangle choke-Jons speciality-and this instructor comes over and says that was a nice move but that Jon did it wrong.

In the end of the class Jon finally got to roll with the "instructor" whom he thought was kind of avoiding him until the last minute, and then Jon slaps him into an armlock within the first 10 seconds. They guy was like, "Oh you got me there, let's go again." So they go again and this time Jon puts him in a triangle choke in 15 seconds and taps him out with the very move the guy told Jon he was doing wrong. Basically Jon put this guy through a clinic until the end of class.

The fact is, 99% of the schools out there and the instructors out there are FULL OF ****. I have so many more stories to tell but this has already become long enough.

Oh, if you want to see this Jon guy I was talking about, here he is when he was a Blue Belt competing in the finals of a BJJ Tournament.

YouTube - Arnolds 2007 Jiu Jitsu Match - Lightweight Blue Belt
 

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Sorry, back on point, if you want kids to learn Martial Arts, you must ask yourself "Why". Why are you putting them into a martial art? Something to do? Build Self Esteem? Keep active? Learn Discipline and Respect?

If those are your reasons, then yeah, I think it's okay. However you can learn all of that PLUS learn how to actually defend yourself by being more selective about your martial art. BJJ is exploding right now because of how effective it has proved to be in MMA, particularly the early ones where the skinny Gracie beat all of those other guys easily. Unfortunately these schools are still rare, especially good ones.

Wrestling is readily available, even Judo-which I consider the best of the traditional martial arts-can be found pretty easily. However if you look into Judo please find one with a lot of hard sparring. Boxing, Kickboxing, Muay Thai, etc are all excellent.

I've never seen a Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Aikido, Ninjitsu, etc school worth a damn at all. I've been to PLENTY as well. The only thing I've seen them really good at was brainwashing people into believing their BS. In one of those schools the brainwashed students refused to believe their instructor wasn't invincible even after he was tooled over and over by one of our guys. Amazing.

Here is a Martial Artist going to a Gracie School and challenging a BJJ guy to a no rules fight and getting his arm broke:

YouTube - Karate vs BJJ

Here is a funny school that claims to have a "Death Touch" and his students all succumb to it... until amazingly some real trained BJJ guys go and are seemingly "immune":

YouTube - Martial Arts Death Touch

BJJ vs Kickboxer in grudge match:

YouTube - Martial Arts Death Touch

Just for shits and grins, here is Steve-O of Jackass getting whipped by a girl:

YouTube - Steve-O vs. Leticia Ribeiro Santos
 

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