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  1. #1

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Weapons and self defense, aren't all open handed MA Bullshido?

    When I was 14 I was mugged and beaten pretty badly, multiple attackers, ko'd. I went on a martial arts binge from age 15 until 21, trying to make myself feel more confident about defending myself. Wasted a lot of time with some silly stuff (this was pre MMA and UFC, etc.) I did end up taking BJJ and felt a little better. Anyways in my early 20's I just forgot all the MA stuff and went in a different direction, kind of peace and love and avoidance stuff.

    Now in my late 30's I got a dog and my work schedule is forcing me to walk him more and more at night. Actually have been doing if for a few years without any problems. Six months ago a drunk buffed out younger guy approached me aggressively in a park late one night. He was murmuring and appeared violent and possibly emotional disturbed, he walked right up to me then ducked to the side and brushed against my arm. Escaped towards my car and took off.

    Not really much of an incident but I experienced a total brain freeze as to what to do when it happened, and honestly I experienced lots of fear. Got me thinking as to maybe getting back into MA (I am also overweight and not in good shape).

    Went back to my BJJ dojo and rolled a few weeks ago, came to the conclusion it's going to a ton of work to even get back to the extreme low level I was when I was 21. My back is bad (injured it about 10 years ago) and I need to get in shape before I ever roll again.

    I came to the conclusion I needed to carry a weapon. Started carrying a Taser, a knife, and a self defense pen (all the law allows in my area, CCW is not possible). Had an "ah-ha" moment where I wondered why I wasn't doing this earlier in my life, and why I spent time learning open-handed anything back in the day.

    Shouldn't weapons training be the first priority for anyone concerned with self defense? Why spend 95% of your time training open handed and 5% weapons (which is what most MA's do, and the 5% weapons is usually some silly weapons defense)?

    Maybe I am just disillusional, old, and angry that my body sucks compared to when I was 21 but right now training with a knife, taser, and misc edged weapons seems to be the best way to go. I would love to train a pistol but it's just not possible to get CCW where I live.

    Am I on the right track?

  2. #2
    jspeedy's Avatar
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I think self defense needs change as we age. When you're in your twenties and younger years you're around other hormone driven twenty somethings and there's a certain amount of chest beating that goes on. If a guy tries to embarrass or intimidate you, or grabs your girls ass, you can't just pull out a weapon and beat the crap out of him, you'll go to jail. This is where empty hand skills come into play, with proper training you're prepared to handle the gray areas of an altercation. If a scary looking guy shoves you, or your friend is drunk and out of hand, you can't escalate the conflict to weapons use. This is why a solid foundation in empty hand is important. When you mature and you're not around these type of people you're less likely to need to defend your self with the possible exception of the occasional out of control friend or family member.

    Right now I'm 30, I don't really go to bars or hang out with sketchy people, or get into fights, so if I needed to defend myself most likely it would be an attack where I might be able to justify using a weapon. But what if I drop the weapon of it fails? Empty hand skill is a good backup. I train weapons a lot and carry a blade and sometimes a stick when walking my dogs. Weapons training is good but you can't solve every conflict with a weapon if you want to avoid jail. You get the same problem with martial artists who train "the deadly" the only answer they have to a conflict is to escalate the level of violence with a bite, eye gouge, ect. The problem is "deadly" techniques can fail too, and if you don't have the skill to handle an aggressive attacker you're out of luck. There are no shortcuts in self defense. A weapon sounds like a plausible shortcut but it can get you into trouble.

    In your scenario with the drunk, what would you have done if you had a weapon? The guy stumbled past you, and brushed you. That doesn't justify a tazing or worse. You could have reached into your pocket and had a weapon ready to draw, but again , even if he took a swing at you might not be justified using a weapon in the eyes of the law. Your best bet would to make sure a guy like that doesn't get so close to you. If he did suddenly attack you might not have been able to draw a weapon and you'd have needed the skill to fight until you could draw. If if you train quickdraws, you can't guarantee that you'll always be able to get to your weapon.

    Go check out an FMA class. Where are you located? We can help you find one.

  3. #3

    Join Date
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    Taser, Gun, Edged Weapons
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Good points, thank you. Honestly in the situation I described there was no use of a weapon even if I had one, including the taser. The distance issue was also a total brain freeze on my part, but it largely happened because of bad lighting (which was also a dumb move on my part to go into a dark area). Maybe not having a weapon was the best thing in that scenario, IDK.

    I also spend no time at bars and don't have have any links to violent people, so outside of a some late night walks in the park I have little to worry about.

    FMA was my next choice since they train weapons. I am in the San Francisco Bay Area so there are lots of FMA options due to the large Filipino population. I took an Eskrima seminar about 15 years ago and was impressed to see people training with a knife and learning about attacking with a weapon (not just practicing BS knife defense).

    Trying to work on physical fitness, lifting some weights again. I was so embarrassed a few weeks ago at my BJJ place I think I need 6 months of basic fitness just to get on the mat again.

  4. #4

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by jspeedy View Post
    Go check out an FMA class. Where are you located? We can help you find one.
    That sounds good, I am very interested in FMA since it seams like most systems originate in it (Libre, Shivworks, etc). I am in the San Francisco Bay Area so there are lots of options, I might try Sayoc Norcal. Lots of Filipinos in my area so I might ask a neighbor as well.

  5. #5

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Discogodfather View Post

    Am I on the right track?
    You're not on the wrong track.

    But don't put all your eggs in one basket. Weapons fail, have a plan B. You might have to fight your way to your weapon.

    I've devoted 35+ years to a variety of martial arts. I carry a SIG.

  6. #6

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I made the mistake of attending an advanced Judo class after 8 years away. I'd developed a 1300lb total and thought my physical strength would be enough to even the playing field. It wasn't, not even close. I was getting thrown by guys 50lbs my junior and the big guys just wiped the floor with me.

    Point is yes keep lifting and working on your fitness but you're still going to get your ass kicked at any martial art you're not practised in. Find a beginner BJJ group (or another sensible martial art) and do both. No harm learning to strike and use weapons either.

  7. #7
    jspeedy's Avatar
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Giant View Post
    I made the mistake of attending an advanced Judo class after 8 years away. I'd developed a 1300lb total and thought my physical strength would be enough to even the playing field. It wasn't, not even close. I was getting thrown by guys 50lbs my junior and the big guys just wiped the floor with me.

    Point is yes keep lifting and working on your fitness but you're still going to get your ass kicked at any martial art you're not practised in. Find a beginner BJJ group (or another sensible martial art) and do both. No harm learning to strike and use weapons either.
    Holy thread necro! I see you're a newb, if you're unfamiliar with forum culture what you did by commenting on a year old thread is known as "necro"-ing. Read the date of the last post in threads you reply to, it can be found in the black bar in the top left of each post. Generally it's only acceptable to necro an old thread of you have new information pertinent to the thread. A personal anecdote that doesn't have any people from the op involved is of questionable relevance to the thread. In your case you might get better feedback if you posted in the fitness forum or maybe the judo forum, of you're unsure go with "YMAS" the catch all forum. Hope this was helpful.

  8. #8

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    May 2016
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Discogodfather View Post
    When I was 14 I was mugged and beaten pretty badly, multiple attackers, ko'd. I went on a martial arts binge from age 15 until 21, trying to make myself feel more confident about defending myself. Wasted a lot of time with some silly stuff (this was pre MMA and UFC, etc.) I did end up taking BJJ and felt a little better. Anyways in my early 20's I just forgot all the MA stuff and went in a different direction, kind of peace and love and avoidance stuff.

    Now in my late 30's I got a dog and my work schedule is forcing me to walk him more and more at night. Actually have been doing if for a few years without any problems. Six months ago a drunk buffed out younger guy approached me aggressively in a park late one night. He was murmuring and appeared violent and possibly emotional disturbed, he walked right up to me then ducked to the side and brushed against my arm. Escaped towards my car and took off.

    Not really much of an incident but I experienced a total brain freeze as to what to do when it happened, and honestly I experienced lots of fear. Got me thinking as to maybe getting back into MA (I am also overweight and not in good shape).

    Went back to my BJJ dojo and rolled a few weeks ago, came to the conclusion it's going to a ton of work to even get back to the extreme low level I was when I was 21. My back is bad (injured it about 10 years ago) and I need to get in shape before I ever roll again.

    I came to the conclusion I needed to carry a weapon. Started carrying a Taser, a knife, and a self defense pen (all the law allows in my area, CCW is not possible). Had an "ah-ha" moment where I wondered why I wasn't doing this earlier in my life, and why I spent time learning open-handed anything back in the day.

    Shouldn't weapons training be the first priority for anyone concerned with self defense? Why spend 95% of your time training open handed and 5% weapons (which is what most MA's do, and the 5% weapons is usually some silly weapons defense)?

    Maybe I am just disillusional, old, and angry that my body sucks compared to when I was 21 but right now training with a knife, taser, and misc edged weapons seems to be the best way to go. I would love to train a pistol but it's just not possible to get CCW where I live.

    Am I on the right track?
    Seems logical to me.

  9. #9
    Wounded Ronin's Avatar
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    German longsword, .45 ACP
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Discogodfather View Post
    When I was 14 I was mugged and beaten pretty badly, multiple attackers, ko'd. I went on a martial arts binge from age 15 until 21, trying to make myself feel more confident about defending myself. Wasted a lot of time with some silly stuff (this was pre MMA and UFC, etc.) I did end up taking BJJ and felt a little better. Anyways in my early 20's I just forgot all the MA stuff and went in a different direction, kind of peace and love and avoidance stuff.

    Now in my late 30's I got a dog and my work schedule is forcing me to walk him more and more at night. Actually have been doing if for a few years without any problems. Six months ago a drunk buffed out younger guy approached me aggressively in a park late one night. He was murmuring and appeared violent and possibly emotional disturbed, he walked right up to me then ducked to the side and brushed against my arm. Escaped towards my car and took off.

    Not really much of an incident but I experienced a total brain freeze as to what to do when it happened, and honestly I experienced lots of fear. Got me thinking as to maybe getting back into MA (I am also overweight and not in good shape).

    Went back to my BJJ dojo and rolled a few weeks ago, came to the conclusion it's going to a ton of work to even get back to the extreme low level I was when I was 21. My back is bad (injured it about 10 years ago) and I need to get in shape before I ever roll again.

    I came to the conclusion I needed to carry a weapon. Started carrying a Taser, a knife, and a self defense pen (all the law allows in my area, CCW is not possible). Had an "ah-ha" moment where I wondered why I wasn't doing this earlier in my life, and why I spent time learning open-handed anything back in the day.

    Shouldn't weapons training be the first priority for anyone concerned with self defense? Why spend 95% of your time training open handed and 5% weapons (which is what most MA's do, and the 5% weapons is usually some silly weapons defense)?

    Maybe I am just disillusional, old, and angry that my body sucks compared to when I was 21 but right now training with a knife, taser, and misc edged weapons seems to be the best way to go. I would love to train a pistol but it's just not possible to get CCW where I live.

    Am I on the right track?
    In my opinion, part of the reason that a lot of traditional martial arts seem to suck in emptyhand combat compared to modern UFC-style sports combat is that back in the days when those traditional martial arts were relevant, the focus would have been on weapons, and emptyhanded combat would have been a Hail Mary.

    Think about the giant arm-sweeping blocks you see in traditional karate. Are you going to block a punch like that? How absurd. It took me about 5 minutes back in high school to figure out that my friend can jab me in the face faster than I can sweep his arms out of the way. A giant blocking motion like that would be more relevant if you are using weapons and need to deflect a heavy incoming weapon. Why else would you have such a forceful movement?

    All those low stances and straight torsos work better if you are swinging a weapon than if you are using emptyhand. You will never see anyone succeed in modern sports fighting if they waddle around in a horse stance.

    However, if you ever swing a longsword and spar in historical fencing, you do end up in something very similar to a horse stance. Basically, that posture facilitates effective use of a swung weapon and maximizes your reach and power when using a weapon. This is easy to test out. Take a golf club or something similar, hold it high, and swing it as though you're trying to crush someone's skull. Try it first from a boxing stance, and try it again from a horse stance. If you really commit to the swing you'll get more reach and power from the horse stance. The other thing to consider is that if you had an opponent who was also trying to crush your skull with a golf club, the low stance would protect your head. If you struck at each other at the same time and your golf clubs collided in the middle, you still might get hit by his club if your head is up high. If your head is low and his head is high and your clubs meet in the middle, you have a better chance of being safe while the other guy still gets hit in the head.

    So, yeah, the myopic focus on emptyhanded combat in the martial arts is basically bullshit. The real deal was weapons like swords, spears, and staves, and frankly that's when a lot of the weird stuff you see in traditional martial arts that fail against modern emptyhanded methods finally start to make sense and work.
    Last edited by Wounded Ronin; 6/03/2016 1:53pm at .
    Best Vietnam War music video I've ever seen put together by a vet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDY8raKsdfg

  10. #10

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    Texas
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Discogodfather View Post
    That sounds good, I am very interested in FMA since it seams like most systems originate in it (Libre, Shivworks, etc). I am in the San Francisco Bay Area so there are lots of options, I might try Sayoc Norcal. Lots of Filipinos in my area so I might ask a neighbor as well.
    Not sure if you are still around, but if so, I would strongly recommend taking a look at these guys for your FMA. They are doing some great stuff.

    http://www.ptk-peninsula.com/

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