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‘Everybody and Their Sister’
A Man Question from Rick Wayne on Selecting a Combat Art
“Okay, Brother, I’m back in Vegas again, and you, know, I’ve been into the bodybuilding, fitness, rock-climbing scene all along. Now I think it’s time for me to get serious with some form of self-defense. I’ve actually leaned on Joe Rogan for information—even though I don’t respect him as a person—because he does know combat. He has talked about how Wig Chun and karate just don’t hold up. Since I’m not smoking pot anymore I need to know how to fight, because the temper will return. You can’t be an asshole and not be able to fight. Now, all of these people, all of my Facebook friends, everybody at the gym, everybody and their sister is a BJJ expert. The problem is, working the casinos, I’ve dealt for these Brazilian Jiujitsu guys—and let me tell you, they are not good people. I just don’t want to be involved with something that has so many evil pricks at the top and so many douchebags in the ranks. But, everybody tells me that BJJ is all there is to combat—the holy grail, the be all end all. But if I’m sucking their BJJ dick, I’m sucking the same dick as a million douchebags and I don’t want that. I also have expenses to consider and the BJJ people are charging top dollar. So, for someone in my position, what is a good course?”
-Rick Wayne
Karate and the Korean versions of karate, such as Rogan practiced in his youth, are physical fitness systems developed along western military lines that have as their combative objectives competition with fighters from identical or like arts and self-defense against unskilled, non-athletic aggressors.
Wing Chun is a method of combating such linear striking arts as karate.
Your immense polish strength and T-34 sloped Navaho head will make you very difficult to KO, unless you are dealing with a boxer and they aren’t looking for trouble as a general rule.
You are too old and tight to take up boxing. And since you are only interested in self-defense, which means responding to a sucker-punch attack, not throwing down in an ego encounter, you should take up grappling. As a guy that has never been out of shape and has “wrestling-strong” tendons from rock climbing, you would be best served by joining a wrestling club. Such a wrestling club will be frequented by BJJ and Judo people. As strong as you are, people will want to roll with you if you relax and get on the learning curve instead of resorting to strength. Trying to wrestle strong will get you hurt by grapplers in your weight range and will fail to develop interest in rolling with you among the really good grapplers, who are small guys. Such grapplers would not be able “to work on things” with a mean strongman and would decline to waste their time with you unless you bag the ego and the temper.
A judo club would also be an option. Judo is underrated as a self-defense art. Where BJJ guys are happy to go to the ground and not dedicated to staying on their feet, judo people have a more balanced perspective. Keep in mind that there is no longer such a thing as a fight-like attack. If you avoid mutual stupidity and ego-based fights—which is easy for a man your age—then your only real danger is an attack by two or more, must likely significantly weaker, individuals. A BJJ-like dedication to going to the ground will get you stomped out or stabbed. Against an attack by two or more Dindu hordesmen, throwing them one-by-one into hard surfaces is ideal for the strongman defender.
Here are some things you have not considered.
One in ten of your attackers will be armed with a gun. No martial art is any good against that, so you must practice avoidance, with the best existing text being my book:
Thriving in Bad Places
One in three of your attackers will have a knife or other striking weapon. Knives favor twerps. Blunt weapons favor strongmen. Check out the agonistics videos on this site, particularly the bag-striking video, find a short stick, hang a bag or make a tire man, and begin learning how to strike hard without swinging the stick.
Rick, in this day and age, lifting weights, joining a judo or wrestling club and even going to a boxing gym, will put you in contact with BJJ men of the better sort, men who cross-train to address the limitations of their art, either for self-defense or MMA purposes. Train with those BJJ guys.
The Punishing Art
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ShepSeptember 15, 2016 9:33 PM UTC

Rick, I second what James said about Judo. My Dad got me into Judo at a young age, and it is an investment that has paid off on several occasions. Judo has never let me down.

A couple additional points: Judo stresses learning how to fall safely and efficiently. This is an overlooked fighting skill. No matter how big and strong you are, there's a chance that you will get tripped or tackled in a clinch, get bull-rushed by multiple attackers, or simply slip on some kind of obstacle. Rather than falling and hitting your head, or breaking your arm by bracing against the fall, a well-trained judoka will fall with minimum impact, keep his hands/arms intact, and be in position to efficiently get up ASAP. The flip side is that a judoka will be much harder to knock down in most circumstances, because the sport is all about unbalancing your opponent by various pushes and pulls in the clinch.

Also, Judo is typically MUCH less expensive than BJJ, because local dojos are usually run as non-profits by men with other sources of income, who do it out of love for the sport. Some YMCA's offer judo at minimal extra cost, as well. This low-key approach is the reason for judo's obscurity, compared to the glitzy marketing and world fame of BJJ.

If you have an evil mind, you can modify some of the basic techniques to better serve the purposes of self-defense. (You would never practice "dirty judo" in the dojo, of course, but as you learn the various throws, you can make mental notes of how to amplify their effectiveness when you're up against a street predator.) For instance, the fundamental o-soto-gari throw can be amplified by changing the strong-hand lapel grip to the "Alien face-hugger grip" or a palm-under-the-chin grip, while the rest of the throw continues as normal. Other modifications will occur to you!

If you're interested, here is a brief instructional vid about a basic throw, conducted by America's two greatest Olympic judokas:
Jeremy BenthamSeptember 15, 2016 4:50 PM UTC

“The guy who wins the hand to hand fight is the one who’s buddy shows up with a gun first”- Matt Larson, Founder and Director of the Modern Army Combatives program.

“Troopers were all over the German held area. A German and a trooper were locked arm-in-arm in a life-and-death struggle. They tumbled to the ground and, thrashing wildly in the snow, rolled into a large hole. The trooper was on top, gouging at the German’s eyes. The enemy soldier was trying to choke the American. I ran toward them, crouched by the edge of the hole, and tried to get a clear shot at the German. The trooper gouged his left thumb into the German’s right eye. The man screamed and convulsed backward, away from the trooper. I squeezed my trigger and the fight was over.”- Donald R. Burgett, “Seven Roads to Hell - A Screaming Eagle at Bastogne”

Yeah James is correct, you always have to take into account your attacker’s friends and what they can bring to the fight. With that in mind being able to end the fight with the initial attacker quickly, before his friends can intervene on his behalf, is always desirable. As Sam J. mentions that usually means being able to deliver knockout punches and/or kicks. Judo throws and body slams can certainly deliver a knockout blow as well. Nothing takes the fight out of someone like landing on his head with all his body weight behind the fall. Even just putting an opponent flat on his back with a throw or a trip will seriously impair his ability to inflict injury on you or to restrain you. Not to mention potentially lower his morale and motivation to come at you again. Once you have taken out the initial attacker you will be able to deal with his friends on more equal terms. And who knows, but that taking out the initial aggressor in a spectacular fashion might even deter his friends from wanting to lay hands on you. Some BJJ practitioners have pointed out that one of the advantages of being skilled in ground fighting is that it gives you the ability to decide whether you WANT to take the fight to the ground or not. They have a good point. After all, if you learn to execute throws and takedowns you will also learn how to block or avoid throws and takedown attempts. A big impediment in selecting a fighting art to train in is that the martial arts, especially the traditional arts, tend to offer “Procrustean” solutions to tactical problems. In other words they frame the problem to fit the solution they offer, rather than the other way around. So the techniques they teach may not be an effective match for the situations you are likely to encounter in our modern world. Or a legally appropriate one. For that matter most traditional oriental arts are mainly intended to teach mental discipline, to help you achieve a calm and peaceful mind so that you will be able to attain the state of Nirvana after you die. The instruction in full contact combat sports like boxing, wrestling and judo is designed to teach you how to win matches in that sport. In both the traditional arts and the combat sports you will learn skills and attributes that may or may not help you win a fight. But you WILL learn something that could definitely be useful. My advice is to take up the fighting art you like the most. If you like something you’ll be more likely to keep working at it and develop some real skill. Certainly weight training helps you develop useful attributes, like strength and endurance. Just recognize the limitations of the art you are training in and develop tactics, techniques and procedures for defending against the kind of aggression you are likely to encounter in the real world. What we have learned is that being alert and aware of your surroundings and what could happen are much more important in defeating an attack than even technical fighting ability. For example an Olympic bronze medalist in Judo was sucker-punched and mugged on the beach in Rio during the recent summer games.
Rick WayneSeptember 15, 2016 1:21 AM UTC

Fuck! Really!......... ok..maybe.

Thats not my email.
responds:September 15, 2016 11:29 AM UTC

Sam J.September 14, 2016 9:55 PM UTC

"...A BJJ-like dedication to going to the ground will get you stomped out or stabbed.."

Bingo. I've often wondered about that. The people I've seen that can fight multiple opponents were boxers. They hit one and then jump to the next real fast. You can't let them get a hold on you.

"... Check out the agonistics videos on this site, particularly the bag-striking video, find a short stick, hang a bag or make a tire man, and begin learning how to strike hard without swinging the stick..."

The mighty umbrella! Since you told us about that I always keep it in mind and have put an umbrella in my car. I'm guessing the hard strike is all through the wrist and using velocity instead of push. As I wrote this I thought about another case like this using velocity. Modern guns use velocity for power instead of large bullets. The equation for this is Kinetic Energy = 1/2 Mass x Velocity(squared) or 1/2 x M x V x V. So you can see every time you up the velocity(speed) it's not linear it's times itself.

What this means is a lighter longer umbrella is better than a short heavier one. The end of the long umbrella with the same movement of the wrist has a lot faster (velocity) which rapidly raises the kinetic energy.

Thinking of this gave me an idea. I got to thinking about slings like David and the Romans used. Now carrying around one of these might get you in trouble but carrying a Tie wouldn't. You could use a tie as a sling. Here's a link showing some Roman lead sling bullets.

Now look at this video. It's great. This guy tests old war tech. He's using a sling and lead shot he made. DAMN! Very powerful. His test is on cardboard and ballistics gel.

You might could put a lead weight in the tie on one end permanently attached. It could be used close in. Whack the shit out of them close then back up, fold the tie and use it as a sling to drive them off.
responds:September 15, 2016 11:39 AM UTC

Never underestimate the utility of your attacker's, friends' boots.