Self defence vs sport fighting

Self defence is the original intention of all traditional martial arts.

Whether it was in battle or protecting your village or home. The concept of self defence is fluid and changes depending on the situation and also the individual.

What works for a 80kg man against another man, may not be appropriate for a 7 year old child to use if they are defending themselves against an adult.

Teaching a 7 year old child a good jab, hook and leg kick  is not going to work for them against an adult, plus you probably do not want them busting that out at school… unless it was a serious self defence situation.

Sport fighting whether it is boxing, MMA, Muay Thai or kickboxing all have rules. And it doesn’t matter how many times you repeat the mantra as real as it gets…It just isn’t. Lets take a look at all of the things that you cannot do in MMA. Groin shots ,can’t do them…Fingers in holes… Cant do that either Strikes to the neck…big no no… Strikes to the back of the head…Nope.  Vertical elbows striking downwards in all honesty i am not sure if that includes vertical elbows in an upward direction i assume not. Pulling hair is also not allowed. Also kicks, or knees to the head when a person is on the ground are out. But wait there his more…. Strikes to the throat, spine, kidneys, joints, knees and below are out. Intentional breaking of bones or joints, Biting Pulling of hair, nose or ears, Combination of joint locks and throws, grabbing the trachea,  and Clawing, pinching, twisting the flesh unsportsmanlike conduct that causes an injury to opponent.

So we have just ruled out about 80% of what we teach as self defence in our schools and system. For the internet armchair warrior who has completed the equivalent of 3rd grade in their martial arts training, once things move out side of the realm of their training and experience their ego kicks into protection mode and they dismiss what they do not understand.

In Kung Fu we very rarely straight punch to the face, why? It is not the fastest and most effective way to disable an opponent who is trying to cause you harm. Instead we use tiger claws designed to attack the eyes and soft tissue of the face or finger strikes, which relate to the snake style, for attacking the eyes again or the throat. This kind of retaliation is not always appropriate. For a child who is facing an abduction attempt, striking the eyes of their attacker may be their best hope. but it is not appropriate against a bully at school. So you need to have techniques that are appropriate for each individual man, woman or child and also appropriate for the situation.

The skill employed by professionals in sport fighting is of the highest caliber, and is effective within the rules and guidelines of the sport.

When a self defence teacher uses a system to teach people of all ages, sizes and abilities, the system needs to be effective for all of the individuals, in any situation.