View Full Version : Self Defense Seminars

Richard Scardina
15th June 2010, 05:31
I was discussing with a friend-martial artist about the requirements of self defense instruction.

Does anyone thin a black belt or years if martial art study is a must?

15th June 2010, 17:28
Nope. Not going so far as to say that they are apples and oranges, but self defense/personal protection and martial arts are different things; I think this is particularly true of budo/bujutsu study - or any traditional martial art/sport.

Perusing even quality budo websites/forums shows that overall they present "expert" opinions based on theoretical ideas and dojo training versus actual experience or even practical sense.

I tend to think of it this way - a university degree will make someone that has the wherewithal to be a good LEO a better LEO; but having the same degree won't make one that does not have that wherewithal a good LEO. I view budo experience/a black belt in the same way vis-a-vis self protection.

Martial arts teachers should "stay in their lane." The authority afforded them due to achievement in the martial arts does not really transfer to self protection studies in the larger sense, and yet martial arts students seeking advice on self defence will naturally listen to these teachers.

I think it boils down to the fact that teachers want to be, or feel they should be considered authorities in the field due to their martial arts background, and think they should provide answers to students with legitimate questions. The true answer would be "I don't know," or "here is how I think our art may apply," but that might undermine a student's view of the teacher's credibility.

I strongly suggest that martial arts teachers embark on a separate study of self defense related training with reputable groups that specialize in self defense, thereby gaining solid footing in both realms. I think they would find that the martial arts will make their self protection (or Defensive Tactics, or Combatives) better, and vice versa.

Richard Scardina
16th June 2010, 03:58
Thank you so much for your reply. Decades ago, almost the same discussion came up between one of my teachers and myself.

From youthful exuberance I had asked my teacher; " At what level Black Belt do I have to be to teach self defense/”

His reply; “If you want to teach self defense far better than martial art, start attending rape and abuse groups and seminars. Go study some criminal courses and seek out professionals within that field. Learn about social and criminal subjects.”

16th June 2010, 12:24
Martial arts gives you an edge on the physical skills; the thing is, the application will be so contextually based depending on the self defense situation that this is but a small slice of the pie - drawing another analogy, it is as different as police defensive tactics are from martial arts.

Its like this: many people will ask whether Brazilian jiujitsu is suited to "the street." The answer from many BJJ people is that "90% of fights go to the ground" and therefore BJJ is THE BEST martial art for self defense. The pat response from many others in the MA community is that it really only applies in one-on-one fights on a nice smooth surface.

Take a look at Aikido. Without even a pause, some people readily state that aikido is good "for self defense against multiple attackers." Yet holding it to the same standard that critiques BJJ: it is done in cooperative exercises, on nice smooth surfaces, and with people attacking one at a time.

Thing is, these statements can be both right AND wrong - it all depends on context, on that particular situation, on whether the practitioner can make it work skill wise, and whether the practitioner can make it work in terms of how and when decisions and actions were made and what the reaction was.

Learning about social and criminal subjects is a good start. But that knowledge has to be integrated into a total package with the decision making and physical skills, and trained realistically, for optimal performance when you really need it.

Richard Scardina
16th June 2010, 20:47
Thank you for another nice response.

But, are we to be complacent and believe, as a martial artist, learning the physical application (and in the minds of some-having a Black Belt).., to be the main criteria to teaching self defense?

Per our posts on a rhetorical adjustment;

It could be that such a criteria is not the sole need.

It could be said, that any study or practice of physical fighting methods is a martial art study.

And thus within the realm of martial art study, per the different "arts", it would be prime to learn different arts for their specific applications and combine these. (I.E. "Cross Training" - which can be truly a Mixed Martial Art)

However, less not forget to learn other aspects of defense along the "mental" application. (Per learning social, criminal, awareness, etc.)

I guess it comes down to; one does not need to have a black belt to learn, teach, and ultimately defend themself.