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One of the most heard claims of the various martial arts systems and styles is the devotees claiming that their system provides realistic self defense techniques and, in many cases, even claiming that there system is the best for self defense. A very bold claim considering the often unpredictable nature of the street thugs attack methods.
The emergence of mixed martial arts as a fighting system (working on the assumption that we accept this mixed martial arts as a distinct fighting system like Karate or Jiu Jitsu) has led to debate about whether it is the best system for self defense.
Certainly, in respect of the techniques that we train in mixed martial arts, and the attributes that we develop in our drilling and sparring, it is the closest that we will get to train and spar at a safe contact level with methods that will be effective in a real street fight.
However, as with all systems of martial arts it is still training for a controlled fight scenario that the combatants have both agreed to and prepared for. There are also rules that forbid us using the most effective weapons against the most debilitating targets, and a referee to enforce them. In addition, it is a guaranteed one on one fight, usually between opponents closely matched in weight and experience, with no weapons involved.
Learning mixed martial arts will certainly provide us with techniques that will increase our chances of prevailing in a street self defense situation, as we are exposed to a wide range of potential attacks in both standup and ground situations.
We must, however, compliment this with components that address those areas that occur in the self defense situation but are not adequately prepared for when learning mixed martial arts. I would also add that these areas should be addressed in all martial art systems that want to responsibly provide their followers with an effective self defense methodology.
1)???????? Develop street awareness skills that teach you and your students how to recognize potential danger so that you can either avoid them or be prepared to deal with them.
2)???????? Develop a “non-victim” mind-set and body posture so that a potential attacker identifies you as a dangerous target and that they would be better seeking out another victim.
3)???????? Include adrenal stress training so that you do not “freeze” when a potential assailant “interviews” you. This is an aspect of self defense that the majority of martial arts schools do not address. The “butterflys in the stomach” effect before a mixed martial arts or Muay Thai match is similar but not the same as here the fight conditions are not controlled and the effect of adrenal stress can be much greater.
4)???????? In addition to the fighting skills trained be sure and train eye gouges, palm heels, throat grabs, groin and knee strikes son that the confrontation can be dealt with as quickly and efficiently as possible.
5)???????? Develop effective strategies for standing back up if the fight goes to the ground and for dealing with multiple assailants ? don’t kid yourself this is tough even if you are a seasoned fighter.
6)???????? Street effective pre-emptive offensive “gap bridging” and broad-spectrum defensive cover techniques that enable you to engage the opponent with a high probability of establishing control.
In summary, mixed martial arts will provide you with a very effective technique and fight attribute base for self defense, however, you must compliment your training with self defense specific striking tools and a fear management psychological mind-set.
Most systems of martial arts will provide some degree of ability in self defense but only if they address the real conditions of a street situation and this pertains to whatever system you undertake when learning martial arts.
For a greater in-depth look at these gap bridging strategies check out my very comprehensive resource “Mastering the Danger Zone” DVD series which is packed full of concepts and techniques for set ups and “Bridging the Gap” in Muay Thai, Mixed Martial Arts fighting and the street self defense situation that will put you way ahead of the game when learning mixed martial arts and Muay Thai.
Grab your free video and audio clips here at .
In addition I often discuss these strategies together with other fight game and self defense tactics in my blog at that will help you develop your knowledge and experience when learning martial arts and Muay Thai or self defense.
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