Is there any difference between Martial Arts and self-defense?

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Discussion' started by ninjachamp12, Jan 2, 2010.

  1. ninjachamp12

    ninjachamp12 New Member

    It’s quite simple when you look at it. Self-defense is about getting home in one piece. Martial arts is about self-improvement, fitness, and looking good.

    Many people refer to martial arts with the purpose of obtaining fighting skills to protect themselves on the streets. At first, the difference is in the goal. The goal of martial arts competition is to win, to show your technical superiority over an opponent. But it’s not a good idea to compete with an assailant on the street – your aim is to protect yourself or even survive. Also the street is different from the ring or tatami because in the ring you’re prepared for the fight, but on the street people usually face with sudden violence. Thus, you have no time to develop a strategy - you have to get into action immediately.

    Generally, martial arts practitioners are used to fight in nearly constant and well-known conditions, wearing appropriate and comfortable clothes. On the street situation dramatically changes: attack might occur in any inappropriate place; surrounding conditions may be not on your side (slippery ground, poor illuminance, bad weather, etc); your clothes may be not good for fighting, confining moves. Martial arts have certain rules, ethics, and admit fair combat; some techniques are forbidden for the safety reasons. But street fights have no rules, and you should expect every dirty trick of an assailant - don’t reckon on a fair combat. Contrary to sparring, in a self defense situation you will quite probably deal with two or more attackers and they might be armed (with edged weapons, baseball bats, bottles, chains, etc). You should realize, that where’s no need for you to prove your fighting abilities to somebody on the street – your safety is crucial, and such solution as a quick escape might be optimal in a self defense situation.
  2. punisher73

    punisher73 Member

    I would say that you are making alot of broad sweeping statements that are not true. There are many martial artists who train only for the streets and understand what that means. There are also some who train MA because they like the competition or the hobby aspect.

    But, you can't say that just because someone is a MA-ist that they are ready for the street is not a true statement.
  3. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    I agree with the first statement, but not the second. My martial arts training saved in a case where my common sense had failed me (wandering a bad section of town late at night because I needed to "clear my head" after working all evening).

    But I usually tell people that having a cell phone and keeping it on and at hand is probably better than martial arts training for many self-defense purposes ("I've called 911 and told them where I am and that you're armed and trying to hurt me--good luck against 20 cops with firearms"). Sometimes you'll be attacked nonetheless but it's a good start. The gun club advisor at my school and I were speaking yesterday about whether, if you hear glass break in your house at 2AM, you should grab your gun or phone first, and I still say call 911 and yell out that you've done so and that the police are on their way (then grab your gun and hole up if possible). We own an empty house we're getting ready to rent out. Before I go in it I always make sure my sell phone is on and reachable. I'm ready if it comes to needing martial arts too, but getting the police there or at least letting people know they're coming is helpful in warding off many assailants who don't want to go to jail.

    It isn't all about a cell phone, obviously, but that's one thing I often tell people interested in self-defense. I also tell them, go to college--get a good job--live in a secure house in a good area--have good health insurance--that's self-defense too.

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