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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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Your High-School Teacher Was Wrong: Thoughts on Multiple Attackers

In this article (and this video) I discussed some of the things that are important to include and consider when training for self defence. These are principles that are generally agreed upon by most self defence experts. In the previous blog I discussed the concept of no rules (and also my obsession with 80s action movies). In this blog we’ll look at one of the most significant factors that differentiate martial arts and combat sports from self defence – multiple attackers.
I vaguely remember my first time doing two-on-one sparring. The reason I remember it vaguely is not because I don’t remember what happened, but because it happened so quickly. I was trying to think about what to do, threw a few punches and next thing you know I’m on the ground with one guy hugging my legs and the other one wailing on me.


I also remember the first time it happened in real life. It ended much better (for me, at least…).
What is it about multiple attackers that makes things so hard? Why is it so often left out when people teach and train for self defence? What thing should you consider? What are common mistakes when training for multiple attackers?

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An Elevator Ride That Changed My Life: A Tale About Heart

Fighters and martial artists always talk about ‘heart’, or warrior spirit.

It is an unquantifiable quality. Natural for some people, and not natural for others.

It is the ability to keep fighting - to even fight more fiercely - even though you know the battle may have been lost. The ability to stare pain, or defeat, or fear right in the eye – which really means staring into the proverbial mirror – and say, sometimes quietly and sometimes in a loud voice, that you will not stop fighting.

Simply put, it is the strength of character to not give up even though you may want to.

This is a short, true story about heart. I hope it brings you some hope.

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Eurydice Dixon's Tragic Death: Thoughts on Victim Blaming, Personal Responsibility and Safety

 

A couple of weeks ago a young comedian by the name of Eurydice Dixon was raped and murdered walking home from a gig. The man who raped and murdered her followed her for nearly 7 kms from the gig until he found an opportunity to strike in a soccer field only several hundred meters from her home.
Police later issued a statement saying people should be aware of their surroundings.


This statement sparked a massive outcry from people labelling this statement as victim blaming.


Let’s talk about this a little bit. If you are on the overly sensitive side, you may not like what I have to say, so I advise you to close this web page and go look at pictures of fluffy bunnies or read some fairy tales about a perfect world. If, on the other hand, you are an open-minded adult and posses some common sense, read on.

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The Difference Between Life and Death: 2 Stories of Situational Awareness

There has been a lot of discussion recently on the effectiveness of and need for situational awareness. I believe that simply put, environmental and situational awareness are probably the most effective tools that we, as individuals, have for predicting violent attacks and keeping ourselves safe.

Yet this is not always a popular view. Here is an interesting article on this topic.

In this piece we’ll explore some of the common mistakes people make with regards to situational awareness, as well as why they make them. Before I go on, I’d like to ask you sit down and take 10 minutes and read this all the way through. If nothing else, there’s a cool story at the end.

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The Situational Awareness Trap: Do You Know What to Look For?

In the previous two posts I discussed some important issues concerning situational awareness and its importance.

The first article discussed the importance of developing situational awareness as a key to the prevention of violence.
The second article discussed why some people don’t listen to their gut instinct, with some entertaining and amazing stories to show both terrible awareness and excellent, literally life-saving awareness.

Before we get into how to develop better situational awareness, I think it’s important to stop and identify the situational awarness trap; we are often told we need to develop it, that it's important, that it can save your life... And that's all true. We may evn be given some tips on how to develop this (I'll discuss this int he next article). But even with all of this in mind, do you know what to look for?

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