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Epicurus
10/25/2008 3:05pm,
When someone asks me to recommend a good unarmed martial art for winning fights, it's easy enough to rattle off the big five (Judo, BJJ, Boxing, Muay Thai, Wrestling) and add the criteria to evaluate others (aliveness, real sparring, competition, pressure testing, success in open competition, etc.)

But when it comes to weapons such as knives, sticks or what have you, my concept of what constitutes a good style is much fuzzier. Can we discuss the Bullshido consensus on effective knife and stick styles, either purely defensive or armed combat?

My perception is that unlike unarmed styles, there is less consistency among schools of the same style. So whereas I could point someone to pretty much any Judo club and expect them to receive good instruction, there seem to be lots of examples of crappy schools even from "good" armed styles, like silat or FMA or Krav Maga. So what's the deal?

MrBadGuy
10/25/2008 3:08pm,
aliveness, real sparring, competition, pressure testing, success in open competition

Dog Brothers?

NJM
10/25/2008 3:13pm,
I think many JKD schools would be worth checking out for stick fighting, and you might find that elusive sparring Kali/Escrima school. Of course if the Dog Brothers are an option, go for that.

datdamnmachine
10/25/2008 3:15pm,
I would guess you could just add the same criteria that you listed to a weapons based martial art. If they do those things, then you can recommend them. If not, don't.

MrBadGuy
10/25/2008 3:32pm,
The sticky thing about weapon fighting is what weapons you plan to use. Are you going to be carrying sticks around with you everywhere? Or a knife? Or a sabre? Or a 60" long sword? What about guns?


Just try out a class to meet the needs you're looking for. I did fencing for a good while (foil ftw), and loved it. It was too expensive so I stopped, but would foil fencing help me on teh streetz? Probably not. Was it good exercise? Yes. Could I most likely skewer someone given the chance? Probably.


TRY B4 U BUY LOLOLOLOLOLOL

IMightBeWrong
10/25/2008 3:37pm,
My personal opinion is that for learning to fight using a knife or stick, FMA are the best things out there. For those who want to defend against a weapon without having to use one themselves, Krav Maga is a good place to start and offers a better base of hand to hand techniques as well. Of course, a good ol' .38 Special or .45 could very well be the best investment in the long run, but sometimes local laws don't allow for that. (Arizona doesn't count there, though! Woo!)

Demon Eyes
10/25/2008 3:55pm,
Well, that's a good question. We should start researching different clubs and instructors for all weapon based styles.
You'll more than likely find some fencing clubs and schools, the FMA's, and some of the Japanese swordsmanship schools. I would look out for the Japanese style school's though. They seem to have a higher rate of bullshit schools as compared to western styles (The whole Ninja bullshit really destroyed legitamacy of Japanese style schools.).
I haven't heard anything bad about any fencing classes besides "That clubs leader is an asshole."
FMA, will have to be a pure FMA school. I think some styles try to act like they have incorporated FMA into their training, when really it's overweight men playing with sticks or rubber knives.
Dog Brothers is a good bet. Expect ALOT of injuries though.
There should be some good medieval clubs. Your best bet is to scour different Ren. Fairs and doing some research on the slubs you do find.
Then, of course, there's always a gun range.

Mackan
10/25/2008 4:13pm,
The sticky thing about weapon fighting is what weapons you plan to use. Are you going to be carrying sticks around with you everywhere? Or a knife? Or a sabre? Or a 60" long sword? What about guns?

Just a thought about stickfighting... You realise that it's applicable to, say, umbrellas and walking canes and whatnot, right?

Oh, and a lot of times when knives are taught in FMA, it's not only taught as a weapons technique, but also as a way to position yourself, guard and hitting empty handed as well. So even if you do all exercises and sparring with a training knife, pretty much everything is applicable empty handed aswell.

Just my 0.02 in your local currency

Epicurus
10/25/2008 4:17pm,
All right, let me be specific; any weapon class I'd be interested in would be for weapons or weapon analogues which I am likely to encounter. It's plausible enough to get a stick-like object or a knife-like object in a self-defense context, either used against you or available. Let's assume the goal is to use or defend against those.

I used to do fencing for quite a while (go epee), and while it is an awesome sport, modern fencing won't enable you to use a real rapier very well at all, given that all the swords in use in modern fencing weigh so little and have such grips and rulesets as to make fighting with a rapier (if you happened to somehow have one in a fight...) a tricky proposition at best.

Now I know I can apply my own criteria about sparring and aliveness, and of course I would. But the question is; which sorts of styles tend to provide this? What is a good benchmark for "alive" sparring or fighting in weapon styles? fighting with safety weapons? what are some common sparring restrictions? Which ones make sense ("no knife attacks to the head in sparring") and which ones are critical impediments? ("You may only attack with a thrusting movement. you must take one full step forward. Your opponent must be allowed to harmonize with your Dan Tien.")

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't dog brothers sort of a tournament format for people who have already somehow learned to fight with weapons and want to try some of their **** out? Doesn't seem like the format for a novice like me.

How about Krav maga - what are some of the downsides or things to look out for besides obvious ****?


EDIT: Oh, and P.S: I live in canada, so using a firearm is right out. I don't think I'd ever want to carry a gun anyway, the thought frightens me a little. I suppose gun defenses would be good to know, but honestly in 99% of the scenarios used in gun defenses that I've seen, I would just comply with my attacker. I don't intend on carrying another kind weapon either, but in an extreme situation it is good to know how to use one.

Hesperus
10/25/2008 4:34pm,
Dog Brothers.

Fix'd.

Demon Eyes
10/25/2008 4:59pm,
Dog Brothers follows the rule: Everyone must fight. Although, after some stance in FMA training, it's a great test for aliveness.

MrBadGuy
10/25/2008 7:24pm,
Just a thought about stickfighting... You realise that it's applicable to, say, umbrellas and walking canes and whatnot, right?




Who, besides Toby, uses a walking cane? I mean, unless you're a pimp. In which case you shouldn't even have to use your pimp cane in such an undignified manner.

And if we're going to allow canes, then I'm going to use a damn sword cane, and suddenly foil fencing wasn't so dumb after all!


As for the umbrella fighting, I did that as a little kid and broke every damn umbrella I had (Though, I was trying to emulate Wong Fei Hong from some Jet Li movie). Unless you're willing to shell out some cash for a sturdy one, AND carry it around with you all the time (even when it isn't going to rain, which means you'll look like a total tool), I don't see either of those as plausible. Carrying a pocket knife, one that doesn't violate any state laws, is viable.


(go epee)

Well there's your problem right there!


Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't dog brothers sort of a tournament format for people who have already somehow learned to fight with weapons and want to try some of their **** out? Doesn't seem like the format for a novice like me.

The Dog Brother's have classes. The gatherings, if I recall correctly, are just like a giant...well, gathering where people can throwdown with their weapons of choice. If you're really interested in the dog brother's and what not, pm Poidog, seeing as he knows firsthand, while I'm telling you what I've seen from instructional vids and youtube videos.

selfcritical
10/25/2008 7:34pm,
Dog Brothers?

Keep in mind that the Dog Brothers are a VERY loose association of individuals, whom have tailored their individual styles to the rigors of the gathering, rather one unified style. When most people think of DMBA, they're probably thinking mostly of crafty's material, and of the way lonely executes it. They hailed for a whole lot of FMA styles, so there will be credible fighting from those sources as well (inosanto, pekiti, lameco, krabi krabong even though it's really thai). Unfortunately, you just have to see if the individual club does force on force drills and spars. Sayoc and Atienza also spar heavily(Atienza guys do very well in competition)

What complicates things is that there is no one set ratio for drilling to sparring that is preferable for weapons fighting. Some very different attributes may need to be cultivated, and a lot of time may be spent on cut-countercut drills and still produce excellent fighters, even though there is some space between sparring.

The most aggressive sparring-to-drill ratio of any weapons curricula is definately ARMA, absolutely no question. The Austin group is not very hardcore, and of the 3-hour sessions we do every week, the last hour is always dedicated to gearing up and sparring(or high-contact countercut drills in gear, for the newbs). I was full contact sparring by my second session.

Mackan
10/26/2008 2:41am,
Who, besides Toby, uses a walking cane? I mean, unless you're a pimp. In which case you shouldn't even have to use your pimp cane in such an undignified manner.

And if we're going to allow canes, then I'm going to use a damn sword cane, and suddenly foil fencing wasn't so dumb after all!


As for the umbrella fighting, I did that as a little kid and broke every damn umbrella I had (Though, I was trying to emulate Wong Fei Hong from some Jet Li movie). Unless you're willing to shell out some cash for a sturdy one, AND carry it around with you all the time (even when it isn't going to rain, which means you'll look like a total tool), I don't see either of those as plausible. Carrying a pocket knife, one that doesn't violate any state laws, is viable.



I must admit, if someone had a knife and I had an umbrella, my least concern would be if I broke it... And at least here in Sweden, canes are pretty common for elderly people.

Pocket knives (any knives, really) are illegal in public places. As would a sword-cane be.

I'm just saying FMA teaches you some skills with improvised weapons. Sparring usually starts full speed and right away.

Rene "Zendokan" Gysenbergs
10/26/2008 6:57am,
Who, besides Toby, uses a walking cane? I mean, unless you're a pimp. In which case you shouldn't even have to use your pimp cane in such an undignified manner.


As for the umbrella fighting, I did that as a little kid and broke every damn umbrella I had (Though, I was trying to emulate Wong Fei Hong from some Jet Li movie). Unless you're willing to shell out some cash for a sturdy one, AND carry it around with you all the time (even when it isn't going to rain, which means you'll look like a total tool), I don't see either of those as plausible. Carrying a pocket knife, one that doesn't violate any state laws, is viable.


While technically illegal to carry, rectractable batons are easy to conceal.
And you don't have to change your FMA training to apply them in a fight.
If you are concearned about their illegality, remember that it's better to be judged by 12 than to be carried by 6.

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/152/419928819_8453dc8f05.jpg

Epicurus
10/26/2008 3:33pm,
While technically illegal to carry, rectractable batons are easy to conceal.
And you don't have to change your FMA training to apply them in a fight.
If you are concearned about their illegality, remember that it's better to be judged by 12 than to be carried by 6.

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/152/419928819_8453dc8f05.jpg


I've always thought that a collapsible baton would be basically the perfect weapon to deal with a low-level self-defense scenario except for its illegality. Still, might be cool to look into it; where do you recommend ordering one?