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Short Timer?
4/01/2017 1:46pm,
On hindsight, I've miscalculated by first asking about this on YMAS—that topic has become a strange beast.

Here's the thing, I live in a rough area and I want to learn martial arts with the primary goal of being able to defend myself if I can't avoid getting involved in a fight.

I've practised Shotokan Karate as a kid, but even if that meant anything, there is nothing left of it, so I'm starting with a clean slate, as a complete beginner.

I'm tall and lean rather than stocky, and not heavily built. I have sharp reflexes when **** hits the fan.

As a starting point for a continuous effort to improve, I'm deciding what kind of training I'll do for the next five years, and I want to ask you about that.

What do you think would work better:

To focus on a single fighting style and dedicate the entire period (or most of it) to it? I'd been considering Muay Thai or Judo for that.


To divide the period between different styles and move from each to the next one? I'd been thinking Judo -> Muay Thai -> BJJ.


Or to pick a "central" style and use others to complement it as I go? My original plan was Muay Thai + Judo and BJJ.

What would you recommend, and why?

Not limited to the ones I've mentioned, what fighting style[s] would you recommend—and why? (Assume I could find a good dojo and a good teacher for anything you suggest.)


Can you give me some advice?
I want to add that, however I choose to proceed, I intend complement the martial arts training with weight lifting and a good diet.

The only specific advice I've got so far came from DCS—to start with boxing, and add a grappling art, preferably Judo, after a couple of years. This is what I'm working with, but I'd like to hear different takes.

Ask in case you need more information on something, or refer to the aforementioned topic (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?t=126569) for details on my background and current circumstances.

Thank you very much.

goodlun
4/01/2017 2:19pm,
Honestly you would be better investing your time and energy into gaining a skill that will allow you to get a work visa someplace safer.

Short Timer?
4/01/2017 2:40pm,
Honestly you would be better investing your time and energy into gaining a skill that will allow you to get a work visa someplace safer.
I am already working on it—using five years as a reference point relates to that. Not only accommodating martial arts training won't in any way jeopardize my plans, I believe it will help me grow in ways that will actually support them.

ermghoti
4/02/2017 5:25am,
So, similarly to goodlun's post and the consensus in the other thread, I'll point out that you're missing an over-arching point, specifically, that a realistic goal for unarmed fighting is to be able to prevail over an unarmed opponent roughly your size. Huge dude? You lose. Weapon? You lose, probably die, if the attacker chooses. Group? You lose. If you've lived in the environment you say, I'm sure you're an least subconsciously aware of this.

Irrespective of environment, true self defense begins with avoidance, de-escalation and escape. In the event that those fail, and you're not legally permitted to bear arms, I could argue that judo mixed with enough striking training to know not to get one-shotted gives you the best chance to put an attacker on the ground so you can flee, but again, big guy, group, weapon, and you're in trouble regardless.

ghost55
4/02/2017 11:14am,
Are any guns legal where you live? If it's somewhere in Latin America where "military calibers" are restricted I would recommend getting a 1911 chambered in .38 mexican.

itwasntme
4/02/2017 11:21am,
Are any guns legal where you live? If it's somewhere in Latin America where "military calibers" are restricted I would recommend getting a 1911 chambered in .38 mexican.

this is really shitty advice by itself. just owning a firearm is pointless. if firearms are an option and that is the route you choose to take, you need to become an expert on that weapon; how to use it, drawing from concealment, etc.

you're not advising on home protection, ghost. whoever is assailing our man here has probably already got the drop on him and drawing/attempting to draw a firearm is probably the last thing he needs to be thinking about.

WFMurphyPhD
4/02/2017 11:25am,
So, similarly to goodlun's post and the consensus in the other thread, I'll point out that you're missing an over-arching point, specifically, that a realistic goal for unarmed fighting is to be able to prevail over an unarmed opponent roughly your size. Huge dude? You lose. Weapon? You lose, probably die, if the attacker chooses. Group? You lose. If you've lived in the environment you say, I'm sure you're an least subconsciously aware of this.

Irrespective of environment, true self defense begins with avoidance, de-escalation and escape. In the event that those fail, and you're not legally permitted to bear arms, I could argue that judo mixed with enough striking training to know not to get one-shotted gives you the best chance to put an attacker on the ground so you can flee, but again, big guy, group, weapon, and you're in trouble regardless.

BJJ is particularly good at giving less than athletic people, and/or people of smaller size have a shot of surviving a potential beat down by a single larger opponent.

All real combat sports offer some value in this regard, especially if the bigger or more athletic opponent is not similiarly well trained.

That said, size and athletic ability definitely matter, and even someone with excellent technique is in trouble if a larger opponent hits them on the button, or slams them, or manages to get to a compromising smash position.

ghost55
4/02/2017 11:32am,
this is really shitty advice by itself. just owning a firearm is pointless. if firearms are an option and that is the route you choose to take, you need to become an expert on that weapon; how to use it, drawing from concealment, etc.

you're not advising on home protection, ghost. whoever is assailing our man here has probably already got the drop on him and drawing/attempting to draw a firearm is probably the last thing he needs to be thinking about.

It's a better option than trying to box with someone that has a knife. I thought that it would seem obvious that part of getting a gun for self defense would include a shitload of practice. Guns are tools, and tools are useless if you don't know how to use them. I agree with the people saying OP needs to stop living in a shithole, but barring that as well as continuing to be fairly passive, I suspect a gun is the least stupid option.

WFMurphyPhD
4/02/2017 11:37am,
It's a better option than trying to box with someone that has a knife. I thought that it would seem obvious that part of getting a gun for self defense would include a shitload of practice. Guns are tools, and tools are useless if you don't know how to use them. I agree with the people saying OP needs to stop living in a shithole, but barring that as well as continuing to be fairly passive, I suspect a gun is the least stupid option.

If you watch the Dog Brothers pack gatherings, the knife as the off hand weapon to a short stick or long stick in the dominant hand really makes grappling seem like a perilous option in such a situation.
The grapplers tend to clinch to avoid the stick strike in the dominant hand and end up getting shanked numerous times by the off hand knife as grappling is initiated.
That said, I am not a Dog Brother, just a Dog Brother fan, double check what I just with Crafty Dog or Permalost.
So, I in general agree, ranged weapon like a gun is very good, presuming you are well trained and legally allowed to carry, and empty hand against a knife sucks, even for highly trained people.

itwasntme
4/02/2017 11:46am,
I suspect a gun is the least stupid option.

i hear you. it's all about mindset.

Short Timer?
4/02/2017 1:08pm,
So, similarly to goodlun's post and the consensus in the other thread, I'll point out that you're missing an over-arching point, specifically, that a realistic goal for unarmed fighting is to be able to prevail over an unarmed opponent roughly your size. Huge dude? You lose. Weapon? You lose, probably die, if the attacker chooses. Group? You lose. If you've lived in the environment you say, I'm sure you're an least subconsciously aware of this.

Irrespective of environment, true self defense begins with avoidance, de-escalation and escape. In the event that those fail, and you're not legally permitted to bear arms, I could argue that judo mixed with enough striking training to know not to get one-shotted gives you the best chance to put an attacker on the ground so you can flee, but again, big guy, group, weapon, and you're in trouble regardless.
A guy spends years learning his Aikido, he's gotten his black belt, and it's so easy for him to send his peers flying during practice that he just may start believing he's an invincible Gung Fu master—a belief that may lead to a tragedy. Sending someone thus deluded into the real world is criminal—so I know why the members of this forum must be harsh about certain fighting styles.

And I also understand the concerns that you and the others will have about newcomers like me, coming here to inquire about practical applications of martial arts. You don't know me, so it's sensible of you to fear that I may be fooling myself in some dangerous way—like thinking that learning to fight will turn me into the Immortal Iron Fist. I really get it, and I'm with you on this—when dealing with matters of life and death, I find it safer to assume immaturity and recklessness from unknown parties.

However, I've grown up in the hostile environment I've alluded to in my posts, I'm not the new kid in the block, having unreasonable expectations about survival. No, I've been here long enough to have seen again and again what happens to those who overestimate themselves and underestimate our environment—I've seen people beaten, sliced, shot over nothing. I know the rules—and I surely know that no martial art will ever enable me to dodge or stop bullets fired at me.

I'm only alive because I've learned to tread lightly. I can't remember how many times I was able to neutralize serious **** coming in my direction by using my brain; only once I was caught unaware and had to resort to fighting instead of cunning—and the entire "fight" consisted of my distracting him, punching him in the throat, and running the **** away.

As I wrote in my first post, I want to learn martial arts with the primary goal of being able to defend myself if I can't avoid getting involved in a fight. Herodotus's words have been fresh in my mind lately: "No one is so foolish as to choose war over peace. In peace sons bury their fathers, in war fathers bury their sons. But I suppose it was dear to the divinity that this be so.”

Not being one for conflicts, I'm happy when they can be at all avoided—the goal, after all, is winning the fight without fighting. I assure you I've had enough practice on that, on avoiding the **** in the first place—I'm rather proficient. But there are times when being able to defend oneself in a physical combat is necessary, either to subdue or be able to evade a threat—and I'm unprepared for those situations.

I'm a quiet bookworm. I'm not the violent kind of person—it takes a long time to get me going. As a shortcoming, I'm more inclined to overthinking than to following the first dumb idea that I get. I'm not stupid and I'm not delusional. I don't plan to become Batman or Neo. Even if I dedicate the next ten years to a serious training in martial arts, I don't think it will be a good idea to get into a fight with Anderson Silva—nor anyone else without very good reason.

Indeed, I've already used my one-time-only Be Naive About Martial Arts card. When I was small I watched Karate Kid and it enticed me, so I started taking Shotokan Karate classes. Of course, it wasn't remotely as exciting as I'd imagined, but I'd already started, so I wouldn't quit—I trained for years, fought in tournaments, etc. In fact, I only left when I'd become the oldest boy in the dojo, the classes had softened a lot, and I had to work.

As a child, I already was disciplined enough to stick for years to something that wasn't at all like what I'd expected. I'm still able to persist in something I care about, and martial arts in general have never ceased to interest me—unfortunately, every time I found myself living in a city where I could find a dojo, I'd be struggling to have enough money to eat, so I couldn't afford the. Now I am able to eat and train, which is fantastic and is the reason I am here.

I'd heard some good comments about Aikido, and I've watched those funny videos, so I figured it was at least worth checking out, so I did the research, compared it with other styles, etc., and it didn't take long for me to dissuade myself of the idea—it's also revealed a number of other styles that I also don't want to practice.

I'm taking the next step here. I'm reading the forum whenever I have some free time, and I've been learning a lot, so I already have a gist of what I will need—as DCS and you have recommended, I must account for striking and grappling. But there are some details I still have to consider—and here we are.

Learning martial arts is not a flick for me—I intend it to be a lifelong striving—so I plan to be here long-term, and I hope I will get to now most of you better—and vice-versa. I know there's much for me to learn, and I'm sure you guys have a lot to teach.

Rest assured that by helping me learn something you're not helping increase the levels of unnecessary **** happening in the world—I'll strive for it to have the opposite effect.

Short Timer?
4/02/2017 1:14pm,
Are any guns legal where you live? If it's somewhere in Latin America where "military calibers" are restricted I would recommend getting a 1911 chambered in .38 mexican.
They are not. It's possible to apply for a permit, though, but the process is slow, costly and arbitrary—we must demonstrate an exceptional need to have a firearm ("this country is a fucking killing ground" isn't exceptional enough, however), then it's up to the officials to decide whether or not they fancy the reasoning. Military calibres are restricted for civilians—exception be made to the gangs, whose members can be often seen carrying them. Heh.


BJJ is particularly good at giving less than athletic people, and/or people of smaller size have a shot of surviving a potential beat down by a single larger opponent.

All real combat sports offer some value in this regard, especially if the bigger or more athletic opponent is not similiarly well trained.

That said, size and athletic ability definitely matter, and even someone with excellent technique is in trouble if a larger opponent hits them on the button, or slams them, or manages to get to a compromising smash position.
Oh, yes, I've seen some examples of what you're saying about BJJ, WFMurphyPhD, and also some related to Judo. But I've also seen enough of poor Gung Fu guys taking some gruelling beatings from MMA fighters, so I surely won't underestimate size and build!


It's a better option than trying to box with someone that has a knife. I thought that it would seem obvious that part of getting a gun for self defense would include a shitload of practice. Guns are tools, and tools are useless if you don't know how to use them. I agree with the people saying OP needs to stop living in a shithole, but barring that as well as continuing to be fairly passive, I suspect a gun is the least stupid option.
Professional training is one of the requirements to get the permit.


So, I in general agree, ranged weapon like a gun is very good, presuming you are well trained and legally allowed to carry, and empty hand against a knife sucks, even for highly trained people.
"They pull a knife, you pull a gun. Chicago way, all the way." Hard to apply here, though. Isn't it ironic? In a country whose homicide rates in times of peace literally top those of warring countries, a place where we have underage crackheads with shotguns, carrying melee weapons, even the simple penknife, is also enough to get one arrested. Because **** us, I suppose.

ghost55
4/03/2017 12:18am,
I would start working on getting the permit then. "This country sucks" might not be enough, but "I seem to get held up and mugged constantly" might work.

ghost55
4/03/2017 12:24am,
Also you may want to consider the possibility that you may be able to expedite the process by paying some additional "unlisted" fees....

ermghoti
4/03/2017 10:13am,
However, I've grown up in the hostile environment I've alluded to in my posts, I'm not the new kid in the block, having unreasonable expectations about survival. No, I've been here long enough to have seen again and again what happens to those who overestimate themselves and underestimate our environment—I've seen people beaten, sliced, shot over nothing. I know the rules—and I surely know that no martial art will ever enable me to dodge or stop bullets fired at me.

I'm only alive because I've learned to tread lightly. I can't remember how many times I was able to neutralize serious **** coming in my direction by using my brain; only once I was caught unaware and had to resort to fighting instead of cunning—and the entire "fight" consisted of my distracting him, punching him in the throat, and running the **** away.

[clip]
Learning martial arts is not a flick for me—I intend it to be a lifelong striving—so I plan to be here long-term, and I hope I will get to now most of you better—and vice-versa. I know there's much for me to learn, and I'm sure you guys have a lot to teach.

So, really, do what you will enjoy. I know people that do aikido because they like doing aikido. Nobody really has a problem with that. If you want to do a combat sport, I'm all for it, any of them will have "real life" applications, but it's still more about personal taste at that point. The BJJ that you train four days a week will do a lot better than the MT you quit after six classes, for example. You're looking for the highest quality instruction (eg, produces successful competitors) in an art that will hold your interest. We don't really do style vs style around here, so much as live training>cooperative training>made up silliness.

Short Timer?
4/03/2017 11:04am,
I would start working on getting the permit then. "This country sucks" might not be enough, but "I seem to get held up and mugged constantly" might work.
Yes, I surely intend to apply—take the battle to both fronts and all that—but the argument must be specific. They already know that everyone here is liable to get mugged (or worse), because that's their fault.

(Our government surely had its reasons to forbid firearms when they know that, given where we're located, criminals have a number of routes of access to them.)

So, it must be specific. The usual format is like "woman divorces her abusive husband, who, despite a restraining order, keeps stalking her."

I'll have to be conscientious in planning.


Also you may want to consider the possibility that you may be able to expedite the process by paying some additional "unlisted" fees....
Even if I was to do that, it'd cost a lot at that level.


So, really, do what you will enjoy. I know people that do aikido because they like doing aikido. Nobody really has a problem with that. If you want to do a combat sport, I'm all for it, any of them will have "real life" applications, but it's still more about personal taste at that point. The BJJ that you train four days a week will do a lot better than the MT you quit after six classes, for example. You're looking for the highest quality instruction (eg, produces successful competitors) in an art that will hold your interest. We don't really do style vs style around here, so much as live training>cooperative training>made up silliness.
Yes, I understand. Aikido, Wing Chun, T'ai Chi Chuan, I can think of many reasons why they would be useful to someone else—they just won't be the most efficient in helping me accomplish my particular goals.

As for the arts I'm considering, I'm not trying to make comparisons of value—I realize that each focus on solving a specific problem, as it were, or approaches the same objects from different perspectives.

And if the instruction has the quality you mentioned (it produces successful competitors), then I'll be as interested in learning MT as BJJ, Judo as Kickboxing, and so on. All of them can hold my interest.

I want to be well-rounded, so I want to learn more then one thing, and I have some ideas. My doubts are more about the best ways (for me) to do that—which brings me to those questions:

Would it be better to choose one martial art and dedicate the next 5 years to it before considering anything else? Train for 2 or 3 years on something and move to other? Pick a "central" style and focus on it, but adding others as complements? Etc.

I know that many efficient MMA fighters have backgrounds on different arts—some have built upon Judo, some came from BJJ, boxing, etc.—and I know that their choice for such trajectories was based on their specific traits, inclinations, etc.

I'm trying to at least get an idea of what my own trajectory might look like.