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Combat Sports/Training Discussion

Those who practice/have practiced any form of martial art/fighting discipline… Talk to me

What techniques are the most effective for self defence or winning a competition? What injuries have you racked up? How long have you been training?

@twojarslave @zecarlo @idaho @Californiagrown @hankthetank89 @anyonelsewhoivemissed

I’m certainly no expert on this, but my understanding is that a consensus has emerged that the best approach is one striking sport, such as Western-style boxing or muay thai (but NOT karate or TKD - that’s a whole different thread probably), combined with a takedown/grappling discipline such as judo or BJJ or even wrestling if you have the opportunity to do it (probably not if you are already out of high school and college). If you achieve some proficiency at each, you will have a decent toolkit.
PS: When I say “some proficiency at each,” I mean at one of each from the two categories, not proficiency at every discipline I’ve listed.

Its like asking which car is best for winning. Or which steroid is best for muscle.
Too many possibilities and too many differences depending on a situation.

depends on a competition, haha… best would be to practice the thing you will compete in…
Even MMA nowdays has become mostly its own style, thats why its so boring to watch.

I would say - good basics of some striking - boxing, muay thai, kickboxing, kyokushin or something related, paired with legit Krav Maga, not the american McDojo bullshit for fat moms.
The legit classes usually look like this -

i also had a chance to train with Jacek and i also visited poland to complete the exam which he was leading.

You can fuck up everything and you can also do good with lots of stuff. Most people say TKD sucks but i have a dude in one of my classes that is a TKD instructor, and sparring with him is the most challenging thing for me nowdays. He does NOT suck at sparring at all and those kicks are a huge mindfuck. I get a few in the face almost every time. Why? Because he is just GOOD at what he does.

Also depends alot on where you live and how is the crime there.
For example, in Latvia, we dont have guns. So its mostly hands and maybe knives on a rare occassion and the most popular problem is that attackers are always in a pack. At least 3… In Hungary, for example, there are lots of gypsies who are fans of knives so knives are their most common problem. As far as i know, american krav maga focuses on guns a lot because if i understand correctly there are places in america where you can buy a gun just as easy as socks. Sadly, gun techniques are risky even at the highest level. Id say that the biggest expert in Krav Maga gun techniques has like 50-50 chance to do it. Less than an expert of 10+ years has less chance.

Picking what to train is simmilar like always looking for the best strenght program. In the end, it all comes down to the individual as there are people who get good results with every possible program and some dont even use any program.
Pick something you like, be super good at it and it will pay off. If you will do only what “might work better” you will end up chasing different styles, instructors and you will be a wreck at the end.

Broken most things you can break, and a shitty nose injury that makes my brain get an infection every time i get a runny nose.

On and off since kindergarten but taking it very seriusly and doing it as a job also, for like 6 years maybe. But the first 3 of those years i had 3 different trainings a day, so its like i always say - its not the matter of years but the matter of training sessions as there is still one class that i started in, only now i teach that class and i teach those people who actually signed up at the same time as i did for the first time.

Ive heard this. The best way to beat someone with a gun is to have a gun yourself… And even then it’s say… 50/50 if you don’t have firearm combative experience.

Probably less if the attacker has used a firearm on someone before. But your chances are still going to be better relative to using your hands.

What if you want to be well rounded (grappling + striking), so you take up striking as a predominant base and mix up some grappling. Say Muay Thai 3x/wk, wrestling 2x/wk and BJJ 2x/wk as opposed to Muay Thai 6-7x/wk. I don’t think it’s a bad idea, knowing a little bit of stand up grappling has actually helped me for Muay Thai, as it’s much harder to throw, sweep or dump me if you get me in a clinch.

I am not a fan of doing stuff all at once. Its like training for powerlifting and a marathon at the same time.
Even tho physically all the combat stuff is a bit simmilar, it is not simmilar in your head.
Unless a person has a good base knowledge of stuff, in my experience, it is very rare that a beginner can put his footwork together in a month or even more in just punching. Doing some grappling basics combined with exercises for that, would just fuck up his head.
There is a huge popularity of McDojo type MMA classes that are liked because they teach all at once, but in reality - what is good for everything is worthless at being good at something.
In my experience of planning Krav Maga classes(also has like 5-7 different topics) the best we can do is take like 1-2 months of each topic, so we would do 1 month of punching, 1 month of punching and kicking. Then we move to weapons, or grappling, etc.
All the McDojo MMA classes havent produced a single good fighter up from the 0 level. Best fighters were very good at something first and then they added stuff.

Of course, if you have the time and resources, and you can train every day different things, and you are the rare person that doesnt get mixed up in all that, MAYBE its doable.
But in reality people have like 1-2 days a week when they can train, so…its better to be good at something.
Also, keep in mind - why do you want/need it. You probably are not getting ready for zombie apocalypse now, and you dont have an upcomming fight. 90% of people who are doing any type of combat sport, will never in their life use it in any way.

I have had an experience with people who actually have a deadline. There was a woman who was traveling for work to a war zone. There was a guy whos wifes ex-husband was a stalker and he was trying to break in often, or a girl whos psycho father had murdered someone with an ax and was soon to be released from prison and had already made threats.
But in these cases we dont waste our time on bullshit punches and grappling. We train agression and explosiveness, and ability to use items that we can find, and ability to see oportunities where to use them. And most important training for this is just practical - just grab the person, and attack with everything you have, so the person gets used to it, and starts to feel comfortable in that scenario.

I did karate for 4-5 years when I was younger, alongside a brief stint of boxing. I was a brown belt before I quit

whilst I was rusty to start with when I got back into it; it’s not as if I didn’t know how to throw a punch or a kick.

Ground grappling however was totally new to me, stand up grappling is also foreign aside from the odd trip/sweep.

I wanted to feel more confident in my ability to be able to defend myself if I ever absolutely had to as I had a few close calls that freaked me out. But after starting up again I found I enjoyed it thoroughly and wanted to take up styles of combat sports I’d never tried before.

I’d be down to compete in BJJ or grappling one day. To my knowledge you can’t compete in boxing or Muay Thai in Aus if on TRT, I don’t think you can get a TUE… Perhaps due to my exceptional circumstances it’d be okay

[quote=“unreal24278, post:1, topic:276077”]
What techniques are the most effective for self defence or winning a competition?

Entirely two separate animals. Training to survive an attack requires fast, hard, simple techniques. Fancy shit will get you killed. You have received some good advise from the others here.

Mental ability is a vital component to surviving any attack. As you train your physical side, don’t neglect the mental side. All the skill in the world will do you no good, if you go catatonic during a violent assault.

Toney Blauer has done years of research on managing fear during a confrontation. Look him up, he knows what he is doing.

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I have about 1 year dutch kickboxing and 3 years boxing. I was blessed to have for about 3 months perhaps one of the best coaches and boxers in Bulgaria. He is gold medalist in Olympics and he coached while he was 79. He passed away not long ago. But his coaching was like a lecture in university. It was really well detailed, drilling technique and tactics. I ve learned so much with him about fighting.

Here are two hard concepts to explain in fighting and boxing.

First hand positioning. Boxing comes from fencing and the old fencers. They usually had two blades in their hands. A rapier and a shorter blade. The blades were pointing towards the oponents. This is why when you hear hands up, you know you are up to a shitty boxing coach. Hands should be pointed towards the oponent in a threatening position. Your oponent should be afraid to attack, because your hands are ready for a counter. If you put your hands up to defend you are inviting attacks. Defending is done mainly with feet and moving.

Second concept is elevation. If you are taller you should try to stay at the level of your oponent, because otherwise you are punching down and most likely grazing the top of the head of your opponent. This is directly connected with accuracy and KO power which leads to the third concept.

Body positioning. You have heard about chin down concept. While this is true, most coaches wont teach you that while chin is down chest must be up and not down. First you are not leaning forward which makes the distance to your head longer. Second with chest up and chin down you absorb head hits with the muscles of your back and not the neck, which results in less brain snapping and less concussions.

Deceptions with distance and side stepping. This is the hardest part in all stand up combat. This is when you get the basics and start getting creative.

Lastly the most effective hits are jabs and low kicks. Jabs are the most used punches in boxing. Low kicks you have low kick and no low kick kick boxing for a reason.

Fight sports are all about drilling and creating good habits and motor paterns and some combinations. You basically want to train your body to react in certain ways automatically even if you receive heavy hits.

If you want to get confident, make 2-3 fights. However dont rush the fights. Take at least 1 or 2 years in training and be picky about who you are fighting with. You want a complete novice. Not someone wirh 10 boxing fights transitioning to kick boxing and making his 1st kickboxing match against you. That person will kill you on the ring.

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The ones you can make work consistently across different training partners under simulated conditions suitable for training, regardless of your priority.

This also goes along with making your game more complete. If you have a giant hole in your game, someone will walk through it and beat you. Be more complete.

For things like bar scuffles and street fights, you may catch a sucker with one move one time, but you need a toolbox if you’re going to catch all of the suckers all of the time. Start with having technical responses to common situations/positions, then build out from there.

For non-competition environments, there is also merit to being able to measure your force. While striking is great and very important to know, so is controlling while not striking. It is a good way to stay out of courtrooms and jail cells, but if the whistle blows everything should be on the table.

Multiple black eyes, lots of bruises, etc but only one knee injury that took me a few months to bounce back from, now completely healed. Bruising at work from being punched, I suppose. Nothing too bad.

I started about 4.5 years ago.

This is a good point.

My BJJ instructor more or less runs his instructor’s very specific, very structured core curriculum. This is not for the person who needs to be as ready as they can be for violence next week. It is basically a 2-4 year path (depending on training frequency, ability, effort, etc) to attain a level of core proficiency in bare-handed combat that will far exceed the average person’s to a significant degree.

There’s no guarantees in a fight, but there is a guarantee that anyone from that guy’s school with a blue belt or higher will be an absolute handful on their feet and on the ground. Definitely not a number anyone on the street would expect to draw.

Back to the original point, technical proficiency takes time to develop but good ideas can be introduced in one session.

This is what along the lines of my thought process. You can put someone in a rear naked choke or execute say… A triangle choke on the ground without leaving serious bruising or breaking a bone. Granted there are some BJJ/wrestling tactics that would be absolutely vicious if applied in the real world. I imagine slamming someone on concrete could stop a fight, but the force might be deemed excessive.

I’d imagine you can’t exactly hit someone with a precise, well timed upward elbow strike without leaving quite a mark.

Are you a blue belt? If not, how many stripes do you have on your white belt.

Even 2-3 stripes on a white belt (provided it’s a decent place to train) entails someone has a base knowledge over grappling. It’s going to be hard to take someone down with this level of expertise, and if you manage to get lucky and you do take them down it’s still problematic because like 80-90% of BJJ takes place on the ground.

My upper arms look like a roadmap of bruises at the moment :joy:. Also have a cut on my face because I took a kick to the face last week.

Aside from that, aggravation shoulder injury (still bothersome), bruised ribs and ONCE the inside of my mouth started to bleed a little bit after I was hit in the head without a mouthguard in… Tendonitis in forearms and elbows and strained hip.

Interesting thread. Going to avoid the competition one since its idiosyncratic.

Background: I did Tang Soo Do and American Kenpo as a kid (~ 2 years each) with some kickboxing mixed in. Then joined a sparring club in undergrad. Did MCMAP in the Marines. Then went hard at BJJ for about 3 years and got my blue belt - lot of focus on wrestling. For the last 8 years I’ve trained BJJ and have tried to learn judo whenever I can (which is infrequently) and Muay Thai on occasion. Long story long, there’s few dojos in which I feel out of place but I’m a low-level player in all of them.

My thoughts on self-defense (as it applies to me) has evolved quite a bit. I’m not a hothead and don’t frequent bars much, so there’s no reality in which I’m going to end up fighting frivolously. I’m 6’ / 200lbs and maintain situational awareness, so I’m never going to be an easy target for a low-level mugging. I’m confident employing my guns in my home but have made the decision not to carry (at least not under any normal circumstances). All of this has been true for quite some time, and yet for the longest time I found myself preparing for this wild scenario in which I’m fighting a well-trained but unarmed martial artist on the street. Ridiculous. If something bad’s going to happen to me, it’s probably going to involve a weapon and I’ve spent enough time preparing mentally that I feel comfortable making the call on the spot as to whether 1) I have options to not fight and 2) whether the consequences merit fighting at all. I’ve made the conscious decision to not do self defense focused training as I think it only works with tons of practice and I’m not willing to devote that kind of time or take away from the things that I actually enjoy (like the arts I mentioned above). That said, I still think it’s important to train with intention and I have a few things that govern which things I include in my arsenal:

  1. Low risk: things that don’t leave you in a bad position if you miss. So no head kicks (as long as he’s standing up), fireman carry takedowns, jumping guard, etc. For takedowns, I generally like things that don’t require me to put a knee on the ground. Sweeps / trips, single legs, and throws that I can hit with only upper body control are my go-tos
  2. Train all the weapons: expand the striking arsenal with all 8 limbs, especially because the elbows and knees do so much damage. I’ve never felt the need to throw in the 9th one and don’t know of any Lethwei schools anyway. . .
  3. Stay on your feet / get back to your feet: for BJJ, I’m always trying to play on top or use escapes, sweeps, submissions to get back on top if I’m down. Keeps me from going to far down the nerdy BJJ path of playing endless bottom / guard and shit that’s going to get me fucked up if I actually do find myself on the pavement. I think my training partners hate it for the most part but I never do that shit where we walk towards each other on our knees or butts. I always try to make entry on my feet and if they get me down for some reason, I get back to my feet at the earliest opportunity

Again, this is just my own concoction. I think if I could only ever train one art for the rest of my life, I’d do sambo. I’ve never done it (or even seen a place that teaches it) but it seems to me that it’s the closest thing to a complete system when it incorporates the striking.

Edit: no injuries from any of this have ever compared to those from 2 years of rugby, so not worth mentioning

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I suppose this dynamic differs from culture to culture

Outside of a few select neighbourhoods rifle with gang related activity, the chance of being held at gunpoint is nil to none in Australia. It’ll typically be small group of young (15-20) year old delinquents or at worst you’ll have a knife pulled on you.

Freestyle wrestling is very good for the standup aspect of grappling. Teach you to sprawl, avoid getting taken down and it’ll teach you how to take down/throw people while standing up. There are a subset of specific movement patterns that require quite a bit of practice to employ fluidly.

I work from early morning til mid afternoon most days, evenings I have free. This allows me to train 6x/wk if I want, sometimes I can do classes back to back (say 60-75 min Muay Thai then 60-75 min BJJ immediately after).

This was my jam in my mid-20s, and was often preceded by weightlifting. Wives and children just don’t seem to be supportive of this type of lifestyle . . .

That’s what I do!!!

Only lift weights like 3-4x/wk now though

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Shocker… Can’t imagine why …

It’s not conducive to socialisation/spending time with others. It certainly annoys my family when they suddenly spring up on me and say “by the way, family dinner tomorrow at 7:30pm” and I respond “I have wrestling from 7-9” or “I have Muay Thai from 7-8, I can only make it at 8:20”… I’ve told people to book in advance with me, otherwise my schedule may interfere with events.

If the function is important however I’ll put training on the backburner. I had to switch out my 6:30-9 training plans today to 6-7 so I can make a dinner with extended family at 7:30… It’s frustrating however, as this was sprung up on me last night so I had very little time to adapt.

I have a feeling most don’t quite understand what it’s like to envelop yourself within a training routine like this. I say that as if/ when I’m injured/have a bruise or a busted face/whatever I’ll always get the response “just stop training”… Or for various events “you can train on a different day”

I had the same issues with people when I was into weightlifting. I may not be a professional athlete, but exercise is more than a hobby to me, it has been a pivotal part of my life. It’s a lifestyle many won’t ever quite understand in a society wherein sedentary lifestyles are accepted and promoted.

There’s also the social dynamic wherein I’m surrounded by many who I share at least one huge common interest with, and unlike gym where you keep to yourself you tend to talk to people after training at various clubs/dojos.

this also applies when striking on the street… if you are wrapping your wrists and using gloves and training on a bag, you have to understand that you probably cant punch too good with a bare fist.
there is a reason why Kyokushin fighters fuck up their hands before they fight. If gloves would work, they would just train in gloves also.
Thats why Krav Maga teaches punching with a base of the palm, and how to kick with your shoes on.

I did 1.5 years of Kyokushin karate, the rest was a different style that wasn’t nearly as strenuous though both forms of karate had sparring. Kyokushin was the shit

Alongside that time I had a boxing bag at home that from a young age I learnt to hit without gloves. Now at home I have a hanging heavy bag, but it’s a REEEAALLLLY heavy/hard bag that I also go rounds on without gloves, sometimes I’ll also punch tyres that are hung up without gloves though this isn’t at my house.

I’ve never found a heavy bag equitable to mine in other mainstream dojos/clubs… Seriously, the bag feels like it’s filled with concrete or something (though it’s slightly more malleable at the middle/top), everyone who comes over to my place and gives it a crack seems to complain about it.

I remember buying it and my father was saying “no… You don’t want this bag, look at how hard and heavy it is”… It’s an absolutely fantastic bag, it’s great for shin and hand conditioning.

With that being said, my hands (mostly the right hand)… Particularly two of the knuckles on my right hand don’t look so great. I can post a pic if you’d like, it seriously doesn’t look so good, I’m assuming it’s a long term adaptive response to repeated trauma.

Even when I stopped martial arts and got into weightlifting I’d still hit the heavy bag regularly. As a result I pride myself with the idiotic ability of being able to bit hard surfaces (barring concrete… I’ve tried and it hurts) without gloves, however it has come at a cost. Also have horrendous callouses on the other side of my hands from deadlifting/pull-ups that have at times burst open before, at which point I’d resort to literally using very strong tape on my hands so I could keep going

Also used to have callouses on my FINGERS from guitar. Girls aren’t fond of it.