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    Taking up a new martial art for self defense / personal security

    Hello,

    I am late 30s, going through divorce, out of shape. I did a bit of karate in my mid-twenties and I've done a bit of boxing sparring.

    An extremely wealthy and powerful person, who I suspect has dodgy connections, close to my ex has made some serious threats to me over the phone. Already reported to police who have issued caution but obv. can't take further action as my word against theirs.

    So in addition to just sorting myself out in general, I want to take up a martial art for - essentially - street and home defense. I'm also not opposed to weapons-based stuff, but it has to be legal. I don't want to end up on the wrong side of the law.

    I am large build, 6 foot, and when I'm in shape I can get fairly well built (5+ years ago that was the case, anyway...). My aerobic capacity is pretty crumby even when I'm in shape - I get out of breath quickly (asthma, ex-smoker).

    Any recommendations?

    Cheers.

    Edit: Note, I'm in the UK; so no guns.
    Last edited by TheUnderdog; 1/26/2020 3:54am, .

    #2
    Originally posted by TheUnderdog View Post
    Hello,

    I am late 30s, going through divorce, out of shape. I did a bit of karate in my mid-twenties and I've done a bit of boxing sparring.

    An extremely wealthy and powerful person, who I suspect has dodgy connections, close to my ex has made some serious threats to me over the phone. Already reported to police who have issued caution but obv. can't take further action as my word against theirs.

    So in addition to just sorting myself out in general, I want to take up a martial art for - essentially - street and home defense. I'm also not opposed to weapons-based stuff, but it has to be legal. I don't want to end up on the wrong side of the law.

    I am large build, 6 foot, and when I'm in shape I can get fairly well built (5+ years ago that was the case, anyway...). My aerobic capacity is pretty crumby even when I'm in shape - I get out of breath quickly (asthma, ex-smoker).

    Any recommendations?

    Cheers.

    Edit: Note, I'm in the UK; so no guns.
    If you’ve got a good MMA gym near you I’d probably go for that, it’ll give you an all round decent knowledge of fighting plus ninja cardio. Failing that pick up boxing, it’s still cheap and widely available in the UK and is almost always good quality. The cardio is also ninja. As an addition get lifting, a big guy like you with properly trained strength would be tricky to deal with and size alone would ward off a lot of people.

    If you have any time left after this and feel the need to train weapons (sticks and knives) then go for it but personally I don’t hold much stock in it. There’s very little decent training available for it and even then most stabbings are ambushes which makes a lot of it irrelevant but it’s your time and money. Just avoid Krav Maga and anything ‘reality’ based, ironically they’re rarely based in reality.

    As for home defence, just make sure your home is secure with decent locks and if you have the money have some of those camera doorbells systems installed, things like that.
    Obviously this all depends on how seriously you take the threat from this character and how much time and money you’re willing to commit to negating this threat. Always stay on the side of the law though.
    Ne Obliviscaris

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by TheUnderdog View Post
      Hello,

      I am late 30s, going through divorce, out of shape. I did a bit of karate in my mid-twenties and I've done a bit of boxing sparring.

      An extremely wealthy and powerful person, who I suspect has dodgy connections, close to my ex has made some serious threats to me over the phone. Already reported to police who have issued caution but obv. can't take further action as my word against theirs.

      So in addition to just sorting myself out in general, I want to take up a martial art for - essentially - street and home defense. I'm also not opposed to weapons-based stuff, but it has to be legal. I don't want to end up on the wrong side of the law.

      I am large build, 6 foot, and when I'm in shape I can get fairly well built (5+ years ago that was the case, anyway...). My aerobic capacity is pretty crumby even when I'm in shape - I get out of breath quickly (asthma, ex-smoker).

      Any recommendations?

      Cheers.

      Edit: Note, I'm in the UK; so no guns.
      You're going through some shit and my advice is you're on the right track. Put yourself back together as a lean, mean fighting machine. Lose all that disgusting flab and get hungry again.

      I thoroughly approve of this. As for some guy making threats, he's probably completely full of shit. If she fell in with some scumbag like that it's only a matter of time before she figures out she fucked up. Forget that stupid asshole exists and remove yourself from all the melodrama.

      I do not recommend a guy going through a divorce purchase a firearm. I'm a 2A guy but there's a headspace for firearms and I'm not sure you're in it. If you're actually worried about danger, it's probably too late to start training for it. Most places that advertise "self defense" rather than boxing, MMA, BJJ, muay thai are utterly worthless. The best way to defend yourself is to avoid stupid situations. Otherwise start recording phone calls now, maybe install a dash cam in your car and something in you house or apartment.

      Something like this is great. Cops see a guy kicking your door and it shakes like a mother fucker. Looks super dramatic and that's all it takes for a B&E charge. Attempting to illegally gain entry isn't much different than actually gaining entry in the eyes of the law.
      https://www.surveillance-video.com/c...BoCAkEQAvD_BwE


      If that guy shows up again at your car, home or calls back play your recording for the police and in court. You'll get a restraining order, that guy will get a severe documented knock against his credibility and you'll sympathy from the judge during the divorce. It's a win/win/win.

      Your aerobic capacity is probably limited more by extra weight. Lose pounds and you'll be shocked at how much you can move. I believe strongly in running but that's a controversial opinion around here.
      "Pave the way for the little guy, Caligula!" Harry Solomon, September 28, 1999

      Comment


        #4
        Cheers guys. This is exactly the advice I was looking for.

        I'm kind of into the idea of beefing up. I had success with that in my 20s... I suppose we'll see how much tougher it is over a decade later.

        I've found a BJJ school not too far away with some pretty impressive credentials (ex-pro fighters teaching and so on) and seems like fairly welcoming atmosphere. I don't know much about BJJ other than Joe Rogan's occasional mentions on podcast - would it be a good choice for pragmatic purposes?

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by TheUnderdog View Post
          Cheers guys. This is exactly the advice I was looking for.

          I'm kind of into the idea of beefing up. I had success with that in my 20s... I suppose we'll see how much tougher it is over a decade later.

          I've found a BJJ school not too far away with some pretty impressive credentials (ex-pro fighters teaching and so on) and seems like fairly welcoming atmosphere. I don't know much about BJJ other than Joe Rogan's occasional mentions on podcast - would it be a good choice for pragmatic purposes?
          Yes. BJJ is the gold standard for grappling. Most people have no good intuition on the ground or a clutch. Even today the ratio of people who seriously have trained for it is limited. Combine that with a working knowledge of striking on the inside and most guys won't be able to hold their own sans training unless they are just enormous. See if they have classes for striking as well and you might be able to double up.

          It'll be a great sweaty workout and you'll get a chance to spread your wings a little in a controlled environment.
          "Pave the way for the little guy, Caligula!" Harry Solomon, September 28, 1999

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Dung Beatles View Post
            Yes. BJJ is the gold standard for grappling.
            It does take some time for BJJ to start to pay off though, I mean that's true for all grappling.
            Now mind you their are probably better people to give an estimate but I would say roughly 100 hours or so before being even minimum competent against an untrained opponent of roughly same size and athletic capacity.
            Of the single rapier fight between valiant men, having both skill, he that is the best wrestler, or if neither of them can wrestle, the strongest man most commonly kills the other, or leaves him at his mercy.
            –George Silver, Paradoxes of Defence

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by TheUnderdog View Post
              Cheers guys. This is exactly the advice I was looking for.

              I'm kind of into the idea of beefing up. I had success with that in my 20s... I suppose we'll see how much tougher it is over a decade later.

              I've found a BJJ school not too far away with some pretty impressive credentials (ex-pro fighters teaching and so on) and seems like fairly welcoming atmosphere. I don't know much about BJJ other than Joe Rogan's occasional mentions on podcast - would it be a good choice for pragmatic purposes?
              BJJ is fine and you will at least be surrounded by people who think they can beat up anyone. :D I kid. But yes, BJJ is a good choice. But so is Boxing. You said you've done that before. Did you like it? Any reason why you can't keep that up? I like kickboxing, because it's fun to kick people in the leg. And most people don't expect it. So, if you are into striking, you could train in that and be pretty capable of handling yourself in a stand up fight, pretty quick. Then supplement with grappling.

              Most MMA gyms have an element of both of these, which would be a good place to go.
              Combatives training log.

              Gezere: paraphrase from Bas Rutten, Never escalate the level of violence in fight you are losing. :D

              Drum thread

              Pavel Tsatsouline: kettlebell workouts give you “cardio without the dishonour of aerobics”.

              "Disliking someone is not evidence of wrongdoing or malfeasance or even bias." --Dung Beatles

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by TheUnderdog View Post
                I don't know much about BJJ
                Most people don't, which is part of what makes it so effective.

                But as previously stated you need to invest a lot of time to make it work.

                If you're training 2-3 times a week think around 6 months before it starts to become useful, around 2 years before it its really effective.

                If you're training strinking alongside (that MMA gym sounds about right) that can cover your arse on your feet whilst you learn a ground game.
                2018 Male Purple Belt Adult No Gi
                #2 Ranked Competitor - QBJJC

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by TheUnderdog View Post
                  Cheers guys. This is exactly the advice I was looking for.

                  I'm kind of into the idea of beefing up. I had success with that in my 20s... I suppose we'll see how much tougher it is over a decade later.

                  I've found a BJJ school not too far away with some pretty impressive credentials (ex-pro fighters teaching and so on) and seems like fairly welcoming atmosphere. I don't know much about BJJ other than Joe Rogan's occasional mentions on podcast - would it be a good choice for pragmatic purposes?
                  One fun way to see if BJJ is the right choice for you is to roll with any experienced student in the gym during a trial class, and see how many times they can submit you while you are trying to not be submitted. Can you ever get into a dominant position? Why not? How is it exactly that you can never get them off of you?

                  Then imagine you have that same ability - that's you in just a few short years of hard work. It is my number one choice for self defense between Muay Thai, Boxing, and BJJ.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by TheUnderdog View Post
                    Cheers guys. This is exactly the advice I was looking for.

                    I'm kind of into the idea of beefing up. I had success with that in my 20s... I suppose we'll see how much tougher it is over a decade later.

                    I've found a BJJ school not too far away with some pretty impressive credentials (ex-pro fighters teaching and so on) and seems like fairly welcoming atmosphere. I don't know much about BJJ other than Joe Rogan's occasional mentions on podcast - would it be a good choice for pragmatic purposes?
                    Can you link the school?

                    We could do a little internet stalk and see if it is any good.
                    Whitsunday Martial Arts Airlie Beach North Queensland.
                    http://www.facebook.com/#!/WhitsundayMartialArts

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Good luck to you.

                      As an aside, wouldn’t this be hilarious if it was Devil posting under a dupe account? :P
                      "I'm reluctant to sound like a total fa66ot as well, but my background in sculpture gave me an edge in understanding how we're expected to move thru space." - The Other Other Serge

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Hi folks,

                        Email notifications have been pinging for this so I thought I'd jump back on. You might notice my OP was made at the end of Jan so obviously I've made a few decisions since then.

                        As it happens, I did try the local BJJ place (with regards linking it, since I'm in hiding from certain individuals I'm not going to do that - but they have trained a number of professional fighters who have had some success). It seems good and enjoyed it a lot. However, I also realised very quickly that my fitness was a hugely limiting factor, so I decided to work heavily on that and building muscle for the mean time.

                        Shortly afterwards I had a spirometer which put my lung age at 67 (30 years above my actual age). The respiratory nurse said it's likely to be long-term untreated asthma rather than a COPD. I've been on Symbicort inhaler four times a day since then and things have subjectively improved a lot - as well as keeping up cardio 5 times a week and lifting twice a week. Obviously with the COVID 19 situation it's going to be a while before I get another spirometer and find out if I'm close to normal lung functioning again, but other than that things are going well - weight is down 10 lbs, body is starting to show hints of athleticism, etc. Bit of luck that I got onto this when I did because in the place I was in would almost certainly have made me high-risk to the virus.

                        When I do jump into more combat training, once the lockdowns are over, I'm liking to go with a striking style because my personal safety concern is more about being overwhelmed by a group rather than 1-1. I'd like to do BJJ just for fun, but don't have the time for everything...

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by TheUnderdog View Post
                          When I do jump into more combat training, once the lockdowns are over, I'm liking to go with a striking style because my personal safety concern is more about being overwhelmed by a group rather than 1-1. I'd like to do BJJ just for fun, but don't have the time for everything...
                          Then incorporate running into your fitness routine because frankly most people can't out punch more than one person at a time even with training.
                          "Pave the way for the little guy, Caligula!" Harry Solomon, September 28, 1999

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by TheUnderdog View Post
                            When I do jump into more combat training, once the lockdowns are over, I'm liking to go with a striking style because my personal safety concern is more about being overwhelmed by a group rather than 1-1. I'd like to do BJJ just for fun, but don't have the time for everything...
                            Being attacked by a group will never go well for anyone, ever.
                            One thing to strongly consider, if you do get attacked by a group their is a strong chance that you will be grappled, and knowing how to deal with that is needed.
                            a complete self defense profile requires, Weapons work, Striking, and Grappling.
                            However if I had to pick one skill set for Self Defense it would be grappling, as it gives the best chance of getting out of a bad situation and getting away.
                            I would never assume to have enough knockout power to knock out someone bigger, stronger and worse yet more athletic than myself.
                            Where someone bigger, stronger, and more athletic can be stopped with a choke.
                            Of the single rapier fight between valiant men, having both skill, he that is the best wrestler, or if neither of them can wrestle, the strongest man most commonly kills the other, or leaves him at his mercy.
                            –George Silver, Paradoxes of Defence

                            Comment


                              #15
                              A year of properly taught boxing is probably the shortest path to some degree of martial efficacy for your average Westerner. You’ll need at least two years to scratch the surface if you learn grappling.

                              I’d focus on boxing for a year, and then start training a grappling system that included takedowns.

                              Or if MMA is available, train that.
                              Shut the hell up and train.

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