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Why Martial Arts Aren't Good Self Defense

By Edited Apr 23, 2016 0 5

Many students of traditional martial arts are surprised to learn why martial arts aren't good self defense. Though there are many benefits to martial arts training and self defense training can be augmented into a martial arts training regimen the two are exclusively different. Below are some of the reasons why martial arts aren't good self defense.

Reason one, limited space. Close quarters fighting often negates the advantages of martial arts that can be utilized when fighting on an open mat. In cramped spaces the fighting style has to change by necessity. In a brawl virtually any aspect of the environment can be used to cause injury be it table tops, chairs, bottles, doors, or pavement.

Reason two, no referee. In a melee, there is no referee to penalize cheap shots or two enforce the respect between two equal opponents. Granted many brawls will be broken up in a relatively short period of time if bouncers or the police are called in there is no win by points and definitely no tap outs.

Reason three, like any style of fighting martial arts has inherent weaknesses. Bruce Lee developed a new fighting style designed to reduce what he perceived to be the main weakness of martial arts, which was that form was the enemy of flow. The highly artistic and athletic postures and stances of martial arts can be exploited in a close combat brawl with no rules and make shift weapons involved.

Martial arts classes can increase your physical fitness, make you more comfortable in kicking or punching your fellow man, and conditioning your body to absorb a blow with less injury. Though there are several reasons why martial arts aren't good self defense there is no reason not to pursue martial arts training if you want to because of ways in which martial arts training can add to the benefits of self defense classes. However, keep in mind that for real self defense, you need to learn skills that can be used in a real world situation.



Jul 6, 2010 8:56pm
And in those real world situations your opponent could easily have a weapon, which means you will have to be many times better at fighting to beat him.
Jul 7, 2010 2:41am
Even though you do make valid points, I actually think that martial arts is good for self defense. Since you didn't specify which form of martial arts, it makes the article a bit too broad. Muay Thai, Krav Maga, and Judo are 3 forms of martial arts that are great for self defense. Although if a weapon is involved it's always best to run like hell. Nowadays, it's not about just one single form of martial arts. Now it's all about mixed martial arts. Learning as many forms as possible. I don't know about you, but I think those kind of skills are pretty beneficial in self-defense situations. Nice article by the way!
Jul 29, 2010 7:22pm
I too think that MMA is good for self defense...it may not be the best self defense method out there, but i do think it is good!
Nov 2, 2011 12:05am
I think the problem with some martial arts it that they are too focused on unarmed combat versus unarmed combat but in real fights this is not the case as the attacker may have a weapon.

Long distance is also a problem with martial arts. If someone have a rifle then that person can shoot afar before the martial artist have time to close the distance. This isn't a typical scenario for civilians but it could happen.

Self-defense is a more a generic term than martial arts. Self-defense is protecting oneself from harm. Even verbal oommuncation are a form of self-defense. Martial arts is melee-oriented so of course it is not ideal for covering all aspects of self-defense.
Aug 4, 2016 6:44pm
The article you wrote is very weak in content. It is blatantly obvious that you have no background in martial arts, let alone any actual experience in fighting or what ACTUALLY occurs in a fight. Without understanding awareness, circumstances, environmental aspects, number of attackers, day or night, weapon or weaponless attack, your own psychological and physical limitations in a fight, et cetera, et cetera, you cannot even begin to comprehend how to convey true aspects of martial arts or real self-defense. WOW
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