Which martial art is most effective for self defense?

Discussion in 'Health & Body' started by yachtie, Jul 29, 2008.

  1. Matt

    Matt [email protected]

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    Um. What? I'm guessing you've seen a few demonstrations of kembangan, in which an individual performs his silat artistically and set to music for the purpose of aesthetic appreciation. While practicing kembangan regularly does train your sense of timing, among other skills, it is very different from actual combative silat, which is not only pared down and "unpretty" but in which every attack is meant to be followed by another until the opponent is incapacitated. Or maybe you're thinking of the pulut demonstrations of Malaysian silat as opposed to buah. I don't know. As for the supposed absence of head strikes, this is just wrong. Silat is a complete system. But the different styles, of which there are hundreds, do have different emphases: nerve strikes, throws, etc. Silat is not above dirty tricks to distract the opponent, and it has a penchant for found weapons. And practicioners are often most comfortable fighting in extremely close quarters in order to utilize their elbows, knees, and head. Rather ideal for the bar environment in a fight against the hypothetical drunken jackass and his friends.
    Persilat is the official governing body of Pencak Silat. Here are its rules.... Note...
    No head strikes...and please...no bad words. Now you may then want to argue that it is a style of an archipelago of a zillion different islands and ten zillion different villages, and every village is different and some are more deadly than others etc etc etc. You would be right...however, stylistically speaking, having to go school to school to work out which particular East Javanese village the teacher studied in, and why he chooses to ignore the unified rules of conduct in order to make a No Can Defend style, is hardly an efficient means to finding a 'most effective for self defense' style. You may also argue that codifying = diluting....and again, you would be basically right, but that is hardly unique to silat. Hell if we wanted to undilute styles, take away the on-your-back time limit, the point-when-takedown-complete and add back in leg submissions, and judo would be an incredible self defense style... Oh and if you just want to see the little dancy things, well that's easy...go watch the Fight Quest from Indonesia. It'd be on youtube somewhere.
     
  2. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    No Can Defend?

    Actually, the No Can Defend Crane kick is only effective against white guys. Against Asians, you gotta break out the pivoting torso punch attack.
     
  3. King Francis

    King Francis Senior member

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    Persilat is the official governing body of Pencak Silat. Here are its rules....

    Note...


    No head strikes...and please...no bad words.

    Now you may then want to argue that it is a style of an archipelago of a zillion different islands and ten zillion different villages, and every village is different and some are more deadly than others etc etc etc. You would be right...however, stylistically speaking, having to go school to school to work out which particular East Javanese village the teacher studied in, and why he chooses to ignore the unified rules of conduct in order to make a No Can Defend style, is hardly an efficient means to finding a 'most effective for self defense' style.

    You may also argue that codifying = diluting....and again, you would be basically right, but that is hardly unique to silat. Hell if we wanted to undilute styles, take away the on-your-back time limit, the point-when-takedown-complete and add back in leg submissions, and judo would be an incredible self defense style...

    Oh and if you just want to see the little dancy things, well that's easy...go watch the Fight Quest from Indonesia. It'd be on youtube somewhere.


    You're mistaken if you think this organization is accepted as the governing body for all, or even most, silat schools and practitioners. Furthermore, even a cursory glance would tell you that those are rules solely for competition. If you looked further you'd see that the goal of Persilat is to tame the martial art in order to make it eligible to become a sport in the Olympics and other games. This goal is definitely not shared by most gurus. The rules of Persilat may limit sport competition for those who abide by them, but they do not at all limit what a guru can teach his students, nor do they otherwise limit the actual martial art in its non-sport contexts.

    Not really sure why you made the sweeping statements you made based on those rules. This is a little like saying a military-trained target shooter wouldn't be able to put a bullet in your gut simply because they aren't allowed to fire into the audience during competitions.

    And while there are many different silat styles that vary in their level of brutality, almost all styles of silat have a heavy emphasis on practical combat.
     
  4. Matt

    Matt [email protected]

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    so, to summarise, you have two arguments...1. there are lots of kinds of silat, kinda like my first "you may want to argue" point....and 2. codifying = diluting. Kinda like my second "You may also want to argue"...so...uh...ok...
     
  5. King Francis

    King Francis Senior member

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    so, to summarise, you have two arguments...1. there are lots of kinds of silat, kinda like my first "you may want to argue" point....and 2. codifying = diluting. Kinda like my second "You may also want to argue"...so...uh...ok...

    Not really. I argued that no guru, to my knowledge, would eliminate things like head strikes from normal teaching and practice. It isn't a matter of "lots of kinds of silat" or of wasting many hours hunting for the right school. It's a matter of the broad range of techniques which you would receive from any good silat guru vs. the narrow limits of sport competition.

    It isn't a matter of dilution either, and certainly not over many years as has happened to various martial arts. While certain silat competitions will restrict participants from employing certain techniques, instruction at the guru-student level remains unaffected. As far as I know, there are no silat schools that teach it primarily as a tame sport.

    To truly summarize, I think your general statements about silat were idiotic and unfounded.

    You should also note for the future that attempting to anticipate another person's rebuttal of your points is only effective when you can actually demonstrate in advance why their rebuttal isn't valid.

    Everyone else should note, however, that I'm not trying to big up silat; I merely evinced surprise that no one had mentioned it in this thread up to that point.
     
  6. emptym

    emptym Moderator Moderator

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    Codifying is necessary to a degree, but it can be overdone. This is true not only for martial arts, but for any art: painting, religion, etc.

    Some person or group discovers or creates a technique. It gets tested and spread. It gets grouped w/ other techniques. The codifying is helpful for teaching individual beginners and for passing on techniques over time and space. (It's also helpful for the creator, if s/he is forgetful!)

    But the canons and techniques can become be taught in a hollow, legalistic way and they can stifle creativity.

    Always, imo, it is better to start by submitting oneself to the practice of classical techniques until one can gradually relax on these techniques. It isn't like turning a switch from classical to creative. One increases as the other decreases, but both are in play at all stages of the game.

    The clearest illustration of this progression, ime, is the Miro museum in Barcellona. It's arranged chronologically and traces the dev't of Miro's technique from his efforts to master classical techniques to his increasingly creative, and minimalist, works.
     
  7. beirut

    beirut Member

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    45 hours a week?? are you training to become an mma fighter or something?

    Yes, actually. Right now I train at a gym near my college with a few friends of mine who are also long time martial artists. We fight amateur for now, once every three weeks or so, and make $500 a fight. It's nice to have, considering I can't get a job (odd class/research schedules prohibit it), and it keeps me in shape.
     
  8. West24

    West24 Senior member

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    isnt making money prohibited while amateur? i know in boxing it is.
     
  9. Pasha

    Pasha Well-Known Member

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    BJJ, the greatest MA form when it comes to one-on-one combat, has the fatal flaw of having to take any fight down to the ground to finish off the opponent. Now, imagine you have to deal with 2 more-or-less athletically developed guys. You take one to the ground while the other will be kicking you in the head while you're on your back? No, you would have to knock down / incapacitate at least one of them before you voluntarily go to the ground with the other. So, the most effective way on the street is the ability to evade a fight completely, if possible, and then the ability to punch, kick, and only then grapple. In this particular order. Also, use any weapon you can get (your belt, you keys, any brick or stick, a bottle -- whatever you can find around) - since after the very first good punch, chances are you'll bust your knuckles or break your wrist. I worked as a bouncer for several years many years ago when crime was much higher, so that much I know for sure.
     
  10. emptym

    emptym Moderator Moderator

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    ... Also, use any weapon you can get (your belt, you keys, any brick or stick, a bottle -- whatever you can find around) - since after the very first good punch, chances are you'll bust your knuckles or break your wrist...
    That reminds me of something an old jujitsu instructor of mine used to say a he would throw me: "When you get in a fight, just hit the other guy on the head w/ the biggest thing you can find -- and what's bigger than the earth?"
     
  11. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    that's very similar to what my father used to say - the first thing to do in a fight is try to hit the other guy with something - either a mobile object that you hit him with, or you hit him against something - a wall, a tree, the ground.
     
  12. scarphe

    scarphe Senior member

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    talking to an aquantance limalama can farily effective as for self defense mainly because the training, for the most part is full contact with decent amount of weapon as well. it fairly easy to find where i live but im am not sure about other areas
     
  13. Shraka

    Shraka Senior member

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    Not really sure why you made the sweeping statements you made based on those rules. This is a little like saying a military-trained target shooter wouldn't be able to put a bullet in your gut simply because they aren't allowed to fire into the audience during competitions.
    It's nothing like that at all. The problem is you do what you train. If you train for scoring points, you'll automatically do that in a fight, which is far less effective than going for critical points and attacking aggressively to disable your opponent quickly.

    Also it's actually true that someone who's trained at shooting circular targets is less effective in combat than someone who trains shooting dummies or actual people. During WW2 they had problems with soldiers not actually firing, or closing their eyes before pulling the trigger because they didn't want to kill a human. Most armed forces now train with human looking targets, and drill firing on command so that soldiers will not think about taking a persons life, but just pull the trigger when told to.

    I don't really know anything about Persilat, I'm just commenting on your incorrect conclusion.
     
  14. TyCooN

    TyCooN Senior member

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    Um. What?

    I'm guessing you've seen a few demonstrations of kembangan, in which an individual performs his silat artistically and set to music for the purpose of aesthetic appreciation. While practicing kembangan regularly does train your sense of timing, among other skills, it is very different from actual combative silat, which is not only pared down and "unpretty" but in which every attack is meant to be followed by another until the opponent is incapacitated.

    Or maybe you're thinking of the pulut demonstrations of Malaysian silat as opposed to buah. I don't know.

    As for the supposed absence of head strikes, this is just wrong. Silat is a complete system. But the different styles, of which there are hundreds, do have different emphases: nerve strikes, throws, etc.

    Silat is not above dirty tricks to distract the opponent, and it has a penchant for found weapons. And practicioners are often most comfortable fighting in extremely close quarters in order to utilize their elbows, knees, and head. Rather ideal for the bar environment in a fight against the hypothetical drunken jackass and his friends.

    so what happens when two of these practitioners go up against each other?
     
  15. JeffsWood

    JeffsWood Senior member

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    Did you "avoid the altercation" guys see the Karate Kid? Danielson tried like MFing Gandhi to avoid conflict, but in the end he HAD to through down. Sometimes you just have to fight!
     

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