T Nation

Help for Fighting

I only go to middle school right now. Lately, there have been many fights and
I was considering taking up some sort of martial arts to protect myself, I don’t want anything for show. All I want is something to learn so I won’t end up being sent to the hospital or anything.

I was consdiering Krav Maga or Muay Thai, but I don’t think they have that in my area. What do you think I should do?

Try NOT fighting… really. I heard it does wonders for your long-term health.

Your not gonna get into a fight. You just wanna know how for the sake of knowing.

What do you want us to tell you?

Look up whatever is close, take a look at each school. Decide where to go.

Martial arts is a great hobby, but for the most part you won’t be using the technbiques you learn in school. Highschool brawls are largely avoidable anyways, and usually don’t last long enough to really use specific technique.
Getting stronger/bigger overall is probably a better option for “self defense” than any MA.

Still, go for w/e is closest.

Ask Kliplemet. He’s an expert.

[quote]FightinIrish26 wrote:
Ask Kliplemet. He’s an expert.

[/quote]

Me thinks he got his arse kicked royally and is recuperating somewhere.

I got through high school avoiding fights for the most part… when it was unavoidable, I just went with instinct.

Honestly, and I’m sure I’ll catch shit for saying this, but if I could do it again, I’d have taken up boxing. There were a couple fights I walked away from that, to this day (15 years later), I still wish I hadn’t. Honestly, I wish I’d fucking levelled those guys and then walked away.

But, as they say, hindsight is 20/20.

Bob

[quote]fartmonkey64 wrote:
I only go to middle school right now. Lately, there have been many fights and
I was considering taking up some sort of martial arts to protect myself, I don’t want anything for show. All I want is something to learn so I won’t end up being sent to the hospital or anything.

I was consdiering Krav Maga or Muay Thai, but I don’t think they have that in my area. What do you think I should do?[/quote]

Middle school fights used to be socially acceptable. Now you can be arrested.

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
Middle school fights used to be socially acceptable. Now you can be arrested.[/quote]

And yet we all seem so suprised when we read all these articles about test decreasing over the last 20 yrs. Sad.

AVOID FIGHTING AT ALL COSTS
If you must stand your ground
I’d recommend BJJ or wrestling. Muay Thai or Krav are going to show good stuff but you may get in more trouble thai kicking people or biting them then taking them down and controlling them from top.

You need a good bjj coach to show you how to clinch, takedown and control from the top. And to avoid the most common offense from bullies. Common attacks will be a big looping right hand since most people are right handed. So protect your jaw with your left arm, bringing your left elbow up so your arm hides your jaw. You will get hit but protect your jaw and you will find the hits are not that bad.

If you stay mobile I doubt they will land many good clean shots.
Some people will tackle you. I think most fights will start with punches but since technique is usually real bad it leads to the clinch. You need to be able to handle the clinch and ground. It will really helpe confidence too.

Or you could just join the wrestling team or get help from the wrestling coach. At your age striking and dirty moves should be a last resort. If you mount a guy and gift wrap him you probably won’t even need to hit him. Good luck

Discretion is the better part of valor. It’s always best to seek a peaceful way out as a first resort. Especially as a young grasshopper.

I do remember school enough to realize that it can be difficult for young people to get others to respect them. That’s why we all need to watch the way we treat others and be careful of what we say.

Since you are in school the wrestling team is just about free and you can make some comrades and also gain some respect in a positive way. Wrestling does have some carryover for self defense as well.

At your age I would not recommend muay thai. You’re still developing and don’t need to get your bell rung repeatedly and bone conditioning at your age is out of the question.

Krav Maga looks like it uses some old school blocking techniques and long stances that have been superceeded by the modern art of Isshinryu Karate which is a lot more widely available.

Jiu Jitsu is really good for self defense also.

I would not recommend Tae Kwon do. All that head kicking can get you turned into a eunuch in the street. But you might find a good teacher so don’t totally rule it out either.

The thing to do is figure out how far you can travel for lessons then find out who is within the radius of how far you can travel. Make a list of what is available come back here and we will give you some input. That’s your homework assignment Grasshopper.

First of all, don’t listen to Beowolf. He has no idea what he is talking about. Fights are fast and your “technique” won’t look like something you saw in a movie. But not having much time is exactly why you study martial arts, so you don’t think…you react.

The others have given you some good advice. Avoid a fight at all costs. But if you are cornered, being big will not be enough. Martial arts is a great equilizer when a small, trained person faces a meathead with no training.

Boxing, Thai Boxing, Judo, and Tae Kwon Do are great arts, but are very sport oriented and not as practical for self defense. Most forms of jujitsu(inlcuding BJJ, which does have a sport side) are excellent for practical self defense. But Jujitsu schools are hard to find in some parts of the country.

American Kenpo is widely available and is an excellent system for self defense. It is preferrable to cross training in a “standing” art, such as karate, and another “grappling” art, such as BJJ, to get a well-rounded self defense arsenal.

If you can, don’t pick the closest school just because it is close. If you have to travel a little further to get a better instructor/style, that is best. Be careful not to select a school too focused on tournament “point sparring”. That is not practical self-defense. IT is fun, but only for sport.

Good luck.

[quote]fartmonkey64 wrote:
I only go to middle school right now. Lately, there have been many fights and
I was considering taking up some sort of martial arts to protect myself, I don’t want anything for show. All I want is something to learn so I won’t end up being sent to the hospital or anything.

I was consdiering Krav Maga or Muay Thai, but I don’t think they have that in my area. What do you think I should do?[/quote]

Look for a martial art that incorporates a few styles. Currently Ive been practicing freestyle fighting. It uses kung fu, kick-boxing and brazilian ju jitsu.

The BJJ is very important as nearly every fight ends up on the ground.

Kung Fu I found to be very useful for very close fighting. The different locks are also very useful to passively neutralise a situation.

And kick boxing well not much needs to be said. Its definitely a useful tool.
Especially when your fighting with some space between you and your opponent.

People knocking SPORT oriented martial arts in any way is just hilarious.

In SPORTS oriented martial arts you actually DO what you do in training. A lot. All the time. You can get much better at it by actually DOING it.

Wrestling was probably the best suggestion at this point in your life since it is free martial arts training for you.

boxing is good, lots of friends that will jump in is better, not being in fights is best.

Avoiding the fight is always the best way to go. Stay away from situations and places where fights are known to start. With that being said, when a fight is unavoidable you MUST stand up and protect yourself by neutralizing the threat.

Mixed martial arts is the way to go. You can be the best BJJ guy in the world and you don’t want to take one guy down in a crowd. High kicks are also out.

The air of confidence you will develop with proper training will keep you out of most fights. If that doesn’t work, word of you kicking some punks ass goes a long way too.

As someone said above, don’t fight.

At your age, wrestling (freestyle, Greco, whatever), Judo, BJJ or Sambo (if you can find it) are your best bets as others have mentioned. They’ll get you in great shape and teach you real, useful skills. Judo is cheap and wrestling is free.

MT is great for fighting but not really for self defense – it’s a little hard to explain how you were acting in self defense after clinching and kneeing him 5 times in the head . . . Krav is hit or miss – there are a lot of BS instructors out there.

Like everyone said, violence is not the answer. Although you seem to know that already since you said its ‘just in case.’

Anyway, I dont know which type of fighting will be best. But if you punch a guy in the nose, his eyes will start to tear, making it harder for him to see. Then you have a few more seconds to knock him to the ground, at which point a teacher or whatever will be there.

Also, never hesitate to fight dirty. A swift kick to the junkular area will do plenty of damage. In this case, he’ll be down so long the dalai lama himself will have enough time to get there and lecture you two about peace.

Oh, and one more thing… Another thing to add to the list of humanity going down the drain. Middle school fights? Come on.

[quote]supermonkey wrote:
People knocking SPORT oriented martial arts in any way is just hilarious.

In SPORTS oriented martial arts you actually DO what you do in training. A lot. All the time. You can get much better at it by actually DOING it.[/quote]

Be careful with that. MMA are good, and will work on the street. But most Sanda, Tae Kwon Do, or karate aimed at point sparring will not do anything for you. Personally, I do Wing Chun. We had a tournament a few weeks ago against a school that challenged us to a Sanda tournament because they thought we were bad, as we don’t compete because it is dangerous. They got their asses handed to them. Out of 10 fights (remember, by their rules), we won 9.

As for a martial art to take up, BJJ or wrestling is probably a good starting point. For pure standup with very good conditioning, boxing can’t be beat, because most people won’t go for the throat or eyes in middle school. If you can find a solid Kung Fu school (any style, but I’m biased towards Wing Chun and would recommend against most Shaolin), try that.

If you can avoid the fight, then just avoid it. The sort of people who go round looking for trouble really arent worth the effort and the trouble you could get into as a consequence of the encounter will probably make you wish you had just walked away.

Of course sometimes you just cant avoid conflict and to be honest theres no feeling like giving a bully a taste of his own medicine and seeing the look on his face when he realises someone has actually stood up to him (or the look of satisfaction on his victims faces after youve planted a good un on him!)

In this situation some form of training will definitely help. Most fights I saw at school involved a quick flurry of punches and some nasty stuff on the ground before it got broken up by teachers or other pupils.

Therefore learning both boxing and a ground/grapple based martial art will definitely prepare you as well as giving you a focus and direction for your fitness training in general. Personally I learnt how to handle myself on the rugby field (plenty of punch-ups in between the rucks and mauls) but I dont think that would be an option for you.

If push does come to shove, and you realise that you cant get out of a dodgy situation, then for your own safety get in there fast and hard and finish it before it really starts.

Forget the stances and guards, just floor em. A mate of mine is a pretty lethal street fighter, partly because he’s frickin huge and fast, but mainly because if trouble starts he’s already landed 3 or 4 punches before the other guy has finished shooting his mouth off and posturing.

However, I would realy urge you to always try and avoid trouble though if you can. I saw a great tragedy when I was your age.

A friend of mine got into a fight in the school yard with a slightly older kid for no big reason, just playground politics. My mate came off pretty bad and had his head smashed into the concrete a few times before it got broken up. The next day the whole school was called into an assembly to be told that he had been taken into intensive care with a blood clot on his brain amongst other injuries. He ended up with the left side of his body semi-paralysed and a significant reduction in his mental capacity. He was never the same again.

Hope that helps a bit, its just what Ive learnt from my experiences in a school where fights were commonplace. Stay safe man.

In response to supermonkeys comment, sport martial arts are beneficial. They help you develop reaction time and learn to read an opponent. However, unlike a “real” fight, they have rules and boundaries. If you have spent anytime point sparring or wrestling, and you think you can perform the same way if attacked on the street, you are in for a big and unpleasant surprise.

Wow, if that story from Ashes doesn’t wake you up, I don’t know what will. I think every person in this forum has said it seven ways to Sunday, but it needed to be said, learn at a young age how to calmly evaluate a situation and look for a way out of conflict. In fact, if you find a martial arts instructor that is worth a damn, he we drill that concept into your head.