47
votes
13answers
2k views

How do you prepare for the stress of a real self-defense situation?

How do you prepare for a real stress situation, in which you are forced to defend yourself or others? I'm not talking about avoiding conflict; assume that you have already tried all that is possible ...
33
votes
12answers
43k views

How dangerous is it to choke someone unconscious or to be choked unconscious?

A little background: I was practicing with my instructor one morning. It was just him and me and we were doing free training of submission grappling. At one point I managed to get him in a choke ...
28
votes
17answers
1k views

Is practising techniques on both the left and right sides beneficial or detrimental to martial development?

Is there any evidence to suggest that practising techniques on the left and right side of the body produces more adept martial artists? By "adept", I mean the learned ability to proficiently and ...
27
votes
20answers
5k views

Which martial arts focus on self defense?

I'm trying to make sure I ask this question in a manner that doesn't make it subjective or argumentative. While all martial arts have merit, I believe those merits lie in various areas. Which ...
25
votes
10answers
8k views

Is weight training useful in martial arts?

This may sound like a bit of a daft question, but I have heard and read different sides. On the one side, people say weight training will increase your strength and power and therefore will be ...
22
votes
11answers
6k views

Are there legal ramifications to being a trained martial artist?

One common urban legend that tends to be passed around from time to time is something along the lines of the following: Black belts are considered lethal weapons by the law! Which might also be ...
22
votes
6answers
588 views

What martial notation systems exist for describing techniques in writing?

What are some examples of clear ways to describe martial techniques in writing? I often take notes during and after classes, and occasionally find that I haven't described a particular technique ...
21
votes
22answers
4k views

What are the purposes of martial arts forms?

A lot of martial arts use forms as a part of the training. They are taught and drilled. One benefit, of course, are the applications that you get from them. Small books of self-defense and movements ...
21
votes
11answers
2k views

Drills for reducing your natural “flinch” reaction

When going into a longsword bind, or getting hit as part of a Kata, I tend to flinch visibly and shut my eyes. What are some exercises I can do, solo or with a partner, to help me keep my eyes open?
20
votes
11answers
3k views

Why do martial artists “shout” in the execution of a technique?

When I see people doing forms, participate in competitions, or break blocks of concrete or wood with their hands, they are always vocally expressive in what they are about to do. What names do this ...
20
votes
5answers
391 views

How can I respectful​ly raise concerns about class difficulty level/teac​hing style at my club?

I practice Taekwondo regularly with the club at my university. There are three main instructors, one 3rd dan and two 1st dan (my belt level). The club has a lot of black belts of varying degrees who ...
18
votes
13answers
2k views

What martial art should I start with?

Young male, not looking for anything specific, but I am a huge fan of MMA in general. (not just the UFC/SF) What would be a good beginner martial art for both fitness and relevancy to watching ...
18
votes
19answers
6k views

What are good martial arts for aging bodies?

I'm not getting younger, and my weight will always be at least 200lbs. The martial art I'm studying is not kind to my joints. A particular problem is the flying kicks, one of which is featured in my ...
18
votes
5answers
3k views

How do I practice judo throws on my own without a partner?

How do you practice your judo throws at home or any time that you're by yourself? The leg movement is easy to do as long as you have the space, but proper arm movement and strength is hard to ...
17
votes
8answers
8k views

What does the closed fist covered by open hand signify?

This motion shows up in some styles of Karate (opening movement of several Shotokan kata - Bassai Dai, Jiin, Jion, Jitte) and some Kung-Fu styles. What does it represent?
16
votes
6answers
855 views

Does ninjutsu qualify as a martial art?

I have often heard that yes it does, and no it does not. The fact is that densho (transmission scrolls) do exist detailing the skills used in war and defense, including hand to hand combat. Does this ...
15
votes
8answers
1k views

Are martial arts suitable for a busy, IT professional?

I am a 22-year-old IT professional with 5 days work a week (8 hours daily). My office being far from my place I remain out for nearly 12 hours. I get stressed sometimes because of this schedule, and ...
15
votes
7answers
1k views

Why are firearms not part of the martial arts world?

Systems of martial arts utilize of variety of weapons that include polearms, blades, and blunt objects among others. While Systema and some branches of ninpo budo taijutsu include firearms as part of ...
15
votes
2answers
327 views

How can one maintain or rekindle discipline and passion in martial arts?

As I understand you have to have passion for path you choose when learning martial art. And it is life long process. BUT I have met people who's passion dwindled and they no longer had heart in ...
14
votes
4answers
601 views

What are the signs *not* to train at a specific school?

What are things to look for in a school to indicate that one should absolutely NOT study there? You know, things like having the name Cobra Kai or making you do donut runs because you're the new ...
14
votes
9answers
2k views

What is a good push-up routine to build punch strength?

I've been told that I don't have much power behind my punches and that push-ups are a good way to improve this. Is there a good push-up route that could be done at the beginning or the end of the day ...
14
votes
5answers
628 views

What's the most effective way to discipline students (particularly juniors)?

When teaching martial arts, particularly to juniors we sometimes run into problems with discipline. Most people assume that you can hand out physical exercise as a good disincentive to poor ...
14
votes
4answers
2k views

How did the colour belt ranking system originate?

Many martial arts (karate, judo, jiujutsu, taekwondo, kung-fu, etc.) use some form of coloured belts to denote rank and level. How did this come about? Did the concept have common origin or did ...
14
votes
7answers
1k views

Is it true that most fights end on the ground? What is the evidence?

I have often heard people make the claim that most of the time, two people who are fighting each other will naturally clinch and wrestle, and then shortly fall over. That is to say that there is a ...
13
votes
6answers
850 views

What do I need to keep in mind when picking a martial art as a bouncer?

For a bouncer, who is already larger, fitter and stronger than average, which martial arts training would you recommend? Which skills training, or other properties of the martial art, dojo and ...
13
votes
7answers
1k views

What is the oldest documented Eastern Martial Art that is still practiced?

Probably the oldest overall is something like wrestling, but of the eastern arts, what would be the oldest that people still practice?
13
votes
3answers
8k views

Good exercises for higher side kicks?

I've been training martial arts for several years but still aren't impressed by the height of my side kicks. I think its a combination of strength and stretching since I can use my hands to lift my ...
13
votes
3answers
246 views

Have any Kung Fu styles established a formal connection to the Shaolin Temple?

I often see martial arts schools claiming to be "Shaolin" in some way or another. As far as I know, though, that claim doesn't necessarily mean they are connected to the temple. Where can I find a ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

What kind of damage can your hand get from holding the barrel of a fired gun when disarming it?

I have a background mostly in Krav Maga and ICS (Israeli Combat System), and one of the techniques taught for disarming a gun, involves grabbing the barrel of the gun and pushing it to the side before ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

Do shock knives make a good 'training' alternative to real knives for knife fighting sparring?

Often when doing in knife fighting sparring, people tend to ignore that they've got cut. I've seen shock knives on the net, and they seem kind of interesting as they at least give feedback that ...
12
votes
13answers
762 views

When should I run away?

What are the criteria I need to evaluate in order to conclude that I should run away? Sometimes the right answer is to walk away, sometimes it is to give them your wallet... When is it time to leg ...
12
votes
6answers
470 views

What is a good age to introduce children to a martial art?

I have seen different recommendations for different styles as to what age to introduce a martial art to a child, sometimes as young as 4 years old. Factors such as attention span and interest of the ...
12
votes
8answers
546 views

What characteristics should I look for in a sensei?

Finding the right teacher is important. While personal achievement has it merits just because someone is good at something doesn't make them good at teaching that same thing. Are there core ...
12
votes
9answers
2k views

What's the difference between Internal and External martial arts?

What is the difference between External martial arts and Internal martial arts?
12
votes
6answers
879 views

Is Static Stretching Before Practice Beneficial, Harmful, or Something In-between?

Among runners there are a fair number of studies out there right now that static stretching before exercising, at least if you aren't doing it now, doesn't reduce your risk of injury and in other ...
11
votes
6answers
773 views

Bad boxing club or wrong idea of the sport?

I have done a boxing-for-starters class in a nearby club and after that joined the club for the regular training. As I really enjoyed the sport and got into sparring the fun faded because my sparring ...
11
votes
11answers
5k views

What are good exercises for building grip strength for judo and BJJ?

I'm looking for exercises to help maintain a grip on an opponent's gi while pulling them around. There are two elements to this: strength and endurance. Meaning, I want my grip to be hard to break but ...
11
votes
8answers
2k views

Why doesn't aikido have kicking techniques?

Aikido training does not have kicks. They have of course one-two techniques to avoid and lock kicks, but do not have any. They have strike techniques called "atemi", but did not use kicks in general, ...
11
votes
3answers
201 views

When moving to a new city, what considerations need to be taken into account finding a new teacher?

I took Shidokan for several years, and was very happy with my dojo and my sensei. I recently had to move for work, and I know from experience that these are two of the most important parts of your ...
11
votes
8answers
3k views

Exercises to improve balance when kicking

When performing kicks, I quite often lose my balance, which results in me being positioned in a stance where I'm more exposed to attacks. This is normally due to me trying to raise my leg for the ...
11
votes
3answers
312 views

When doing Aikido practice why should the attacker adapt to the defender?

I'm an Aikido beginner and haven't had many classes yet, so I hope this is not a stupid question. My teacher recently said that when we practice with someone then the attacker should adapt to the ...
11
votes
6answers
613 views

What exercises are safe (or not) for total beginners?

I am kind of a total beginner. I did some Tae Kwon Do when I was little, but I don't take that much into account, considering everything; I always liked Martial Arts and everything that revolves ...
11
votes
10answers
943 views

Start attacking instead of blocking while sparring

I have been practicing kung fu for the past one and a half years. I can do head level basic kicks like roundhouse, side and front kicks but when I spar I don't feel like attacking the opponent. I seem ...
11
votes
3answers
597 views

Training Body Reading Without Sparring

When I did rapier, with some emphasis on sparring as well as structured drills, one of the things you got very good at was reading the other person's tells. Some of which were things that could be ...
11
votes
7answers
14k views

How do I increase hip flexibility for round kicks?

In the process of doing a round kick, or roundhouse kick, you need to turn your kicking leg over, to be perpendicular with your body. When I do this I loose significant height on my kick and can ...
11
votes
4answers
348 views

What are the possible signs some has lost consciousness when being choked?

I thought this would be obvious, someone would just pass out and go floppy. However last week during rolling I got someone in a sleeve / Ezekiel choke while in my guard and he didn't tap out. He ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

What can I do to improve my squat for judo throws during randori?

I am 6 foot 2 inches and weigh about 90Kg - I find it very difficult during randori to get a full turn in for (for example) O Goshi. My instructors are always telling me that I need to get lower and ...
11
votes
5answers
3k views

How can one practice well alone?

I started learning a martial art about 5 years ago, and I did it for 2 years. I very liked it, however I had to stop. I didn't want to lose what I've already learned, so I kept practicing. Alone. ...
11
votes
6answers
542 views

How can I try to engage students who don't really want to be there?

I teach Aikido at a local community college. Roughly half of the kids are there just to fulfill a P.E. requirement. These students can be frustrating because they aren't really interested in martials ...
11
votes
3answers
180 views

Are students with disabilities tested differently?

I don't use testing when I teach; I observe and promote when students are ready (hopefully avoiding various observer effects). That said, I judge individuals based on their individual capabilities and ...

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