Let's Settle it! The Best Self Defence System is...

The internet has been abuzz the last week or so over a supposed feud between Krav Maga expert Ryan Hoover and the famous BJJ Gracie family. The keyboard warriors are out in force over who’s technique is better, who said what and who would beat whom in a fight.


As my friend, Guru Heikki Martikainen says - “want to talk politics? First we train. Then we talk”. In other words, let’s remember what’s important, and that’s training. Let’s do that first. So I listened to Guru Heikki. I just finished an hour of BJJ, then some boxing, and about to go do some Krav Maga. I’m now feeling like I can talk about this. 

I’m not going to get involved in the politics of who’s right or wrong with this stuff. What I am going to talk about is why they can both be right, and why they can both be wrong.


If I’m lucky, I might even answer one of the most hated questions on the Internet… What’s the best self defence system in the world?

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Van Damme and Krav Maga: What the 80's Got Right!

So I’m watching Bloodsport 4 the other day (don’t judge me) and a fantastic quote pops up. The prison warden is organising underground fights. To the death, of course, or what would be the point. Right before each fight starts he proclaims:

“We have only one rule… there are no rules!”

The crowd goes bonkers, and a barrage of flying kicks that would never work on anything other than a pad commences. Ironically, there are very strict rules in those fight scenes.

My unfortunate taste in movies aside, it got me thinking (well, and this blog here too).

This is a line I’ve heard in every single self-defence and Krav Maga seminar I’ve ever attended – and rightly so.

Just thinking about it the cheesiness of it makes me want to put my aviators and ninja headband on, rip the sleeves off my gi and start playing 80s synth rock while hitting the air with hilarious facial expressions.

But what does it actually mean? Why is it so popular?

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