Author Topic: Mustachian Martial Artists?  (Read 5232 times)

sw1tch

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Mustachian Martial Artists?
« on: June 23, 2016, 10:54:37 AM »
To start with, I'm 31 years old and pretty much know nothing about martial arts.  But, as it is I've always been interested and would like to get started with something.  Mind you, I know I won't be competing, but a little bit of confidence and self-defense sound like good outcomes that I would like to pursue.

Are there any mustachians that have trained/are training in any form of martial arts? What stories do you have to share?  Any tips for a beginner?   What are the differences between the different disciplines and what should I look into as a total noob?  Also, the big one, is there any way to get started without a lot of cost?

Psychstache

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Re: Mustachian Martial Artists?
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2016, 11:18:22 AM »
To start with, I'm 31 years old and pretty much know nothing about martial arts.  But, as it is I've always been interested and would like to get started with something.  Mind you, I know I won't be competing, but a little bit of confidence and self-defense sound like good outcomes that I would like to pursue.

Are there any mustachians that have trained/are training in any form of martial arts? What stories do you have to share?  Any tips for a beginner?   What are the differences between the different disciplines and what should I look into as a total noob?  Also, the big one, is there any way to get started without a lot of cost?
I did boxing and muy Thai for about 2 years. Best workout routine ever.

Most MA gyms will let you try a class for free to see if it is a fit for you, that's what I did. I tried a Krav Maga gym and a BJJ studio with a free class and wasn't feeling it, tried the boxing place and loved it.

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retiringearly

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Re: Mustachian Martial Artists?
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2016, 11:30:31 AM »
I agree you should try different schools to see if you like them, but I would heavily lean towards a realistic martial art.  Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) is the way to go in my opinion.  Mix in some Muay Thai for striking.

If I had to choose only one martial art I would go with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  Watch a few of the very first UFC's and you will see why.  That was true martial art style vs martial art style.

icteridae

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Re: Mustachian Martial Artists?
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2016, 11:32:01 AM »
Martial arts can be costly, but most of us find the discipline and physical benefits bleed to other areas of life and make it worthwhile.  I practice aikido, and aikido is one martial art that you can do in modified forms whether you're injured, 90 years old, or 30 years old and still be challenged. Does it have cool kicks and punches? No. It's pretty low on the cool factor in martial arts, but the community of people and the practice itself is immensely rewarding. It still requires flexibility and strength, uses pain compliance, but generally offers modifies joint locks found in other Japanese martial arts so that they don't maim (i.e. break/dislocate joint). A couple things to consider generally:

-Find a university group or or city rec center club to practice with. They tend to be cheaper than independent studios in town because they don't have to pay for their own space.
-Try a couple places and instructors before you find a good fit. You can shop around.
-Be prepared for an initial investment in a uniform around $50 usd, depending on the gym/dojo. But most places won't require you to buy one until you're ready to commit. From there it's a monthly fee. If you already pay for a gym membership, you may consider switching to just the martial arts, depending on your physical needs.
-As with running, rock climbing, or any other physical activity, you will get injured. It's not a matter of if but when. Being safe, knowing your limits, being in a community that values safety (there are some gyms, dojos, and instructors who are plain toxic and cultivate a dangerous attitude in their students) and being communicative to your instructor and partners will likely keep injuries to a low level of seriousness. Basically, don't be a hero. No one suffers but you.
-Whichever martial art you enter, remember it's a community, with it's own dynamics and stresses. It's not like a drop-in yoga or kickboxing class where your surrounded by strangers and then leave. Teacher-student relationships are important and can last decades, and you begin to build obligations to others. Senior students will teach you, and then one day, you'll be expected to teach junior students.

GuitarStv

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Re: Mustachian Martial Artists?
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2016, 11:37:45 AM »
The martial arts are a lot of fun.  They can be a great way to get a good workout, and under proper instruction you will be able to see skill improvements regularly.  Unfortunately, classes under a good instructor do tend to be pretty pricey.

If you're really interested in martial arts as self defense, I'd suggest that you look for something where you are exposed to regular and hard sparring.  You will never learn to defend yourself if you haven't learned to deal with all the emotions that flood out when you get punched hard in the face, or slammed to the ground hard enough to knock the air out of you.  That said, any good gym will have you working to your comfort level . . . you shouldn't feel unsafe.  Boxing, Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and to some extent wrestling and Judo are all great places to start.  To find the best one you really just have to get out there and try stuff to see what you like.

I've spent many years training (and occasionally instructing) in various martial arts (1 year Aikido, 5 years WTF Taekwondo, 3 years Muay Thai, 3 years Judo, 5 years Brazilian Jiu Jitsu).

MgoSam

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Re: Mustachian Martial Artists?
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2016, 11:41:04 AM »
I practice boxing and Muay Thai, and absolutely love it. I started back in mid-December and the changes in me are worth it.

Chosing between discipline depends entirely on what you are going for. Karate and Taekwondo are not good for self-defense IMO, but that's because I used to practice the latter while in middle and high school and even though I reached a moderately advanced level, I knew there was no way I would be able to win most fights. This was do to the techniques we used, and the way sparring was scored, but of course it may be just because of how my dojo trained us. MT is very good for self-defense, I know that if I"m in a street fight, I would likely clinch the person and knee them until they collapse as if you don't know how to defend it, it's very hard to.

My gym offers Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and I am planning to start taking classes for it come winter.

Part of my motivation for joining was that when I went home after work I generally just watched TV, and this gym is on my way home. I'm there nearly every workday and try to take in at least 6 classes a week, as a result of this and eating much better I have dropped quite a lot of weight. I'm the lightest I've been since high school (I'm 28). Weight loss hasn't been a huge goal of mine, general fitness has been,  but I am loving feeling this light.

For advice, the biggest thing I recommend is to have a positive attitude. You likely are going to suck in the beginning, most of the things they tell you to do will seem bizarre, but if you keep going you will see improvements. My gym doesn't really hold your hands, instead on my first day we went through warm up (generally jump roping mixed with pushups and crunches) and then the instructor told us to find a partner. It seemed like everyone had a friend and I was looking around confused until someone came up and became my training partner. I looked silly trying to throw punches and my partner and the instructor showed me how to do them. It took me a while to get them down, but now it feels second nature to me.

I recommend going in regardless of your current fitness state, there are a ton of people that say that they will join once they are in better shape. Screw that. Just come and you will get in better shape as you do the workouts and training. Sure, it will not be easy, I remember workouts that I felt were very difficult and that I felt like passing out afterwards, but now only after a few months of doing it, I find myself pushing the pace. Last week I had one of the instructors (who's classes are always the toughest) come up to me afterwards to congratulate me on my effort, and I was proud of myself because he doesn't give praise lightly. Had I waited to get in shape before joining I know that I wouldn't have. Instead I'm around 25 pounds lighter and feeling loads better, and I have a slight swagger to my step.

Vanguards and Lentils

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Re: Mustachian Martial Artists?
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2016, 12:22:43 PM »
(why is it that whenever people post topics as "Mustachian ______" they inevitably just mean "Cheap ______"??)

I've done judo and BJJ. I would probably recommend BJJ more, and also above striking arts because who knows what the long-term consequences of being repeatedly hit in the head are? I realize that boxing is great for real-life self defense but the risk of (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chronic_traumatic_encephalopathy) is not worth it in my opinion. Also BJJ is one of the rare martial arts where you can go all out during sparring with a low chance of getting injured. To me, that is "mustachian" because I want to enjoy the rest of my (hopefully long) days in good health.

As for the cost, it is simply not cheap compared to a typical gym membership, yoga, or other fitness classes. But it also becomes a bigger part of one's life than those activities. One of the changes I've noticed is that it begins to replace other less healthy hobbies. That might offset the cost. Also I pay better attention to what I eat, which causes me to cook more and eat out less. Again that would offset some of the cost. You also can get in extremely good shape and have a buttload of fun - it is hard to put a price on that.

retiringearly

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Re: Mustachian Martial Artists?
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2016, 12:37:52 PM »
I am somewhat surprised to see so many BJJ practioners/enthusiasts on MMM.  I thought this thread would turn out to be a TKD promotion.

RyanAtTanagra

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Re: Mustachian Martial Artists?
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2016, 01:00:39 PM »
Good advice so far, which I agree with, so I won't reiterate it.  But I did want to touch on the cost aspect, which can be a lot depending on the style/gym.  One way I accidentally found to take martial arts for cheap/free was I ended up studying under a guy that also taught basic self defense at the local university.  He liked to have a second person there to help out, so I would get free lessons if I helped him with his classes, which in itself was good learning experience, as they say the best way to learn is to teach.  If I were going to get back into it, I would consider seeing if any of the local university instructors also run a dojo, and try that out first to see if I liked it, and if so, see if I could work out a similar discounting deal once they got to know me.

sw1tch

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Re: Mustachian Martial Artists?
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2016, 02:30:03 PM »
Thanks everyone for all the great advice and tips!

I realize cost wouldn't be "cheap" but was just interested in hearing what everyone's experience has been.  I currently am not part of a gym and the only exercise I get is daily walks and bike rides.

I was considering Muay Thai, but the suggestions for BJJ also sound good and will be something that I look into.

RyanAtTanagra

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Re: Mustachian Martial Artists?
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2016, 02:59:59 PM »
I was considering Muay Thai, but the suggestions for BJJ also sound good and will be something that I look into.

Most places (here, anyway) do both, and you generally get access to all types of classes with membership.

JimLahey

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Re: Mustachian Martial Artists?
« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2016, 01:01:32 PM »
BJJ is great because you can roll (spar) at basically 100%. The worst injury I have had is a rib injury. My gym has multiple arts. A lot of people do a combo of Muay Thai and BJJ because they are on opposite days. I'm a second stripe white belt. Inconsistency is my issue. My gym's fee is on the cheaper side at around $85/month. Some places are twice that or more. Just do research into the instructor. If they aren't at least a brown belt I would be leery of training under them. I think a good martial arts school is going to be more expensive than a gym membership but you get more out of it IMO. Just doing BJJ a few times a week will keep you in great shape. That being said I have been lazy and haven't been to class in months. I need to quit making excuses.

jjcamembert

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Re: Mustachian Martial Artists?
« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2016, 02:03:33 PM »
Just curious, how much do you all pay for BJJ? I've been doing BJJ for a couple of years now, but always in the back of my head is the price: $180/mo (HCOL area). There are classes (both Mauy Thai and BJJ) offered every day of the week, morning, afternoon, evening, but I only make it about 2-3x week. In comparison I could do Judo for maybe $100/mo, but I do enjoy the academy I'm at. However, I recognize at this point that I'm a hobbyist and am not going to make BJJ my life, so maybe it's not worth training at the fancy gym? How do you quantify/justify the expense?

I do enjoy TKD/karate but unless you know what you're looking for I find it incredibly hard to find a legit "old-school" training environment for adults. As others have mentioned, BJJ, Judo, and Muay Thai tend to have quality schools. If it's in your area, Filipino martial arts can be a lot of fun too (escrima, kali) if you want to play with sticks and knives.

No one's mentioned equipment yet: buy a gi online to save some money. Fuji has a quality, low-cost gis (I like mine). Also bjjhq.com has rolling deals if you have the patience. For Muay Thai you don't really need anything but gloves to start.

Gin1984

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Re: Mustachian Martial Artists?
« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2016, 02:06:49 PM »
I agree you should try different schools to see if you like them, but I would heavily lean towards a realistic martial art.  Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) is the way to go in my opinion.  Mix in some Muay Thai for striking.

If I had to choose only one martial art I would go with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  Watch a few of the very first UFC's and you will see why.  That was true martial art style vs martial art style.
That really depends on your size.  I could not effectively use BJJ and I tried over and over.

SimplyMarvie

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Re: Mustachian Martial Artists?
« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2016, 02:30:46 PM »
Also, one thing we've learned from having kids in Martial Arts is to be willing to switch Gyms/Dojos/Companies if you're not getting what you need. We started Eldest at a very family friendly, very open and welcoming Dojo and it was great... for a couple of months. He actually took to Karate like a fish to water (which is awesome) and ended up wanting to move somewhere that was less 'fun' and 'exercise' focused and more focused on serious training. Other people just wanted to move because as they settled into themselves as learners they needed a different style. So don't sign any long-term contracts out the gate.

GuitarStv

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Re: Mustachian Martial Artists?
« Reply #15 on: June 24, 2016, 03:17:24 PM »
I agree you should try different schools to see if you like them, but I would heavily lean towards a realistic martial art.  Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) is the way to go in my opinion.  Mix in some Muay Thai for striking.

If I had to choose only one martial art I would go with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  Watch a few of the very first UFC's and you will see why.  That was true martial art style vs martial art style.
That really depends on your size.  I could not effectively use BJJ and I tried over and over.

In any fight, size matters.  A big guy will always beat a smaller guy if they're trained at the same level.  When you're boxing it's always possible that a better smaller guy will get hit by a lucky punch and be knocked out.

BJJ is not a perfect solution to this problem, but it is the best solution I've found in the martial arts.  It focuses on learning to defend yourself in the situation that most people who are smaller will find themselves in a fight (on your back, with a big guy on top of you).  Ground fighting is different than fighting done while standing . . . everyone intuitively knows that it's a good idea to avoid a punch, but not many people keep proper posture or instinctively know where to put your hands on the ground.

Especially in the white belt levels, a really big strong guy will still dominate sparring against some of the more advanced white belts.  By the time someone gets their blue belt though it becomes extremely rare to see a white belt (even one with a 50 - 60 lbs advantage) tapping their senior.  I'm a big guy at 200 lbs and pretty fit.  My whole time as a white belt I had to really keep technique in mind because I could often force a win just with strength.  In order to learn proper technique while rolling my instructor used to pair me up with guys who were in the 250 - 300lbs range, work me much harder during warm ups, and do drills that forced me to spar when completely weak with exhaustion.  I am completely confident of my ability to handle a bigger person in a fight in a way that no other martial art ever made me.

retiringearly

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Re: Mustachian Martial Artists?
« Reply #16 on: June 24, 2016, 04:21:35 PM »
I agree you should try different schools to see if you like them, but I would heavily lean towards a realistic martial art.  Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) is the way to go in my opinion.  Mix in some Muay Thai for striking.

If I had to choose only one martial art I would go with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  Watch a few of the very first UFC's and you will see why.  That was true martial art style vs martial art style.
That really depends on your size.  I could not effectively use BJJ and I tried over and over.

I am not sure I understand.  Are you saying you are too big or too small to use BJJ effectively?  If you are saying you are too small, Helio Gracie was a small man. 

MidWestLove

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Re: Mustachian Martial Artists?
« Reply #17 on: June 27, 2016, 06:03:50 PM »
OP,

You have heard a lot of good information on this already, here are few more thoughts for your consideration
1. start with why you want it  - is this exercise that you are looking for, spiritual journey, sport aspect (complete/win/belt thropie), effective self defense, etc? what is/are your priorities as this would drive the rest of the conversation.
2. where are you located and what is your weather? colder weather means people wear more clothes and punching/kicking becomes less effective
3. what is your tolerance to a lot of inner discipline BS  - aka guru workship?  this is how it is done because sensei did it this way stuff..

if you are looking for sport, I would not be able to advice you much - any run of the mill commercial facility will give you rank advancement and exercise.
 if you are more interested in effective self defense, you approach has to include all of the basic tools
- striking, some ground work including knowing how to fall (useful in a lot of situations outside of martial arts), and some grappling/joint work (being on both ends of it) . each tool has its weaknesses  (high kicks are stupid and dangerous to you when attempted on black ice , punching someone's body who is wearing heavy coat will upset them and little more, striking the face with your first/hand is not the same as in boxing and would injure you if done improperly, wrestling  on the ground is suicidal when facing multiple opponents unless you like being kicked in the head and likely killed by bad guy's buddies while  you are having fun with awesome BJJ technique (how do you know that he/she is alone and there isn't a friend in the crowd who would jump in?), going to the ground is also incredibly dangerous when you can not see bad guy's hands at all times, how do you know that he does not have a weapon?)  . in short, there is no magic, and you should think of what tools you have, why, and where they work/don't work.  also, anyone who says training in wrestling is not dangerous , please reconsider - some of the worst injuries I have seen (spinal cord and neck injuries) are from wrestling when a hold was improper or proper hold was improperly released (person panicked). I have friend on permanent disability due to one of such events...

 for me personally, I did taekwondo, aikido, grappling, and what I found most effective is a Russian work called 'the system' (systema). if you live in or near bigger city that has some school, try to check in out.
few things that worked for me
- ability to vary the levels of force (as there is legal consequences of real life alterations)
- training your awareness, detection, avoidance, de-escalation.
- learning to understand your body, your responses, and stress management (i.e. having a person seat on it pinning you down and another person trying to slowly step on you or kick you, what works what does not? what do you when you have problems breathing in choke holds).
- learning to control human body without harming it , i.e. getting you loved one out of danger fast without injuring them should it become necessary (bodyguards train in that but it is useful in many other situations working with non-aware or non-cooperative partner)
- training against multiple opponents
- no belts, gurus, bs. you train in what you walk in during the routine practice. life will not wait for you to change into nice outfit
- you train on unfiltered real surfaces, no one will be spreading mats for you in real life. the floor is harder than matt, a lot of nice sport rolls will get you injured fast when attempted in real life, floor also has objects on it (chairs,
- you should train with and against weapons, in every combination, including improvised weapons (belt, pen, your bag, etc.). a simple knife legal in almost every jurisdiction can become major force multiplier, concealed carry firearm is an excellent tool if you have the range to use it . force multipliers would beat technique and/or strength (that is why they are force multipliers) , be realistic in what you are and are not facing and what tools you are opting to have or not have.
 

I can go on if you are interested (PM me if you wish), another very important thing is that if that you spend some time thinking about and reading about limits of using force. you should probably know the use of force laws of your state (whether or not you end up training in martial arts), what constitutes justifiable use of force (as courts would hold you to that), and have very good idea of

if you get a chance - lookup Rory Miller who has an excellent series of books on violence and its categorizations (social violence vs asocial violence) and read Scaling force - dynamic decision making under a threat of violence.

Gin1984

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Re: Mustachian Martial Artists?
« Reply #18 on: June 27, 2016, 06:10:35 PM »
I agree you should try different schools to see if you like them, but I would heavily lean towards a realistic martial art.  Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) is the way to go in my opinion.  Mix in some Muay Thai for striking.

If I had to choose only one martial art I would go with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  Watch a few of the very first UFC's and you will see why.  That was true martial art style vs martial art style.
That really depends on your size.  I could not effectively use BJJ and I tried over and over.

I am not sure I understand.  Are you saying you are too big or too small to use BJJ effectively?  If you are saying you are too small, Helio Gracie was a small man.
According to Google he was 5'9, I am 5'2.  I am saying though I found some moves useful, and practice them to this day, most did not work against an average sized man, given my size.

MidWestLove

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Re: Mustachian Martial Artists?
« Reply #19 on: June 27, 2016, 06:13:18 PM »
One more thing I forgot to add - any training you do must include
- getting hit
- hitting others, for real. not tapping them in the place of supposed hit. they need to learn that it takes to absorb the hits (fight is not over!) you need to know what it is like to hit human body with intent (as they do not fall on the floor or fly away across the room as in some bad movies). 

I have seen a lot of mental blocks people have that must go away if you want to have any degree of self defense/awareness. people go into true shock from most basic slap ("I cant believe this is happening to me!") , people unable to hit another person to save their own life 'because it may hurt them'. you need to learn to release those blocks because real threat you may face will not have them, will be accustomed to being hit, likely have an element of surprise, and will not hesitate to hit hard, fast, and with extreme fury. 

MoneyCat

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Re: Mustachian Martial Artists?
« Reply #20 on: June 27, 2016, 06:33:34 PM »
I am a black belt in WTF taekwondo. Taekwondo is a good choice if you are looking for a martial art with lots of practitioners, lots of tournaments, a worldwide scope of events, even an Olympic event. I joined my school because it is less than a mile from my house, so I can ride my bicycle to class. Over the past year, I have become an instructor at the school, which is great because I'm basically getting paid to exercise now. The grandmaster recently asked me to help me create YouTube videos for the school, so there's another money-making opportunity. I would suggest choosing a martial art that is convenient for you yet challenges you and think about building toward a future where you can monetize the skill.

MidWestLove

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Re: Mustachian Martial Artists?
« Reply #21 on: June 27, 2016, 06:37:21 PM »
"
According to Google he was 5'9, I am 5'2.  I am saying though I found some moves useful, and practice them to this day, most did not work against an average sized man, given my size."

... completely agree. It is/was very sad for me to see the 'training' where 14 year old girl who is less than 100 lbs is doing a wrist based throw in aikido against a man 2.5 times her weight who is very clearly just rolling himself  to 'be a good uke'. not only it would never work for her, it is very dangerous to attempt (as you are placing the back of your skull to the threat), and a bad practice/training. when I see such training I so much hope she would never try to attempt this in real life and think it would work..

Metric Mouse

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Re: Mustachian Martial Artists?
« Reply #22 on: June 27, 2016, 11:11:10 PM »
"
According to Google he was 5'9, I am 5'2.  I am saying though I found some moves useful, and practice them to this day, most did not work against an average sized man, given my size."

... completely agree. It is/was very sad for me to see the 'training' where 14 year old girl who is less than 100 lbs is doing a wrist based throw in aikido against a man 2.5 times her weight who is very clearly just rolling himself  to 'be a good uke'. not only it would never work for her, it is very dangerous to attempt (as you are placing the back of your skull to the threat), and a bad practice/training. when I see such training I so much hope she would never try to attempt this in real life and think it would work..

Right? I remember some of my first spars, where I went "Oh shit, I kicked his leg just like I was taught and he's still standing. What the fuck do I do now?"  For true self-defense skills, wonderful to have a wide basis with ground skills of BJJ/Judo etc and some close-quarters striking/joint locks of PPCT.  For a hobby/past time/fitness regimen, just about any would do - I'd suggest trying out different classes/instructors to find something that interests you.

Lagom

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Re: Mustachian Martial Artists?
« Reply #23 on: June 27, 2016, 11:24:50 PM »
If self defense is your primary interest, all I have to say is running away (if possible) > almost anything. If not possible, maximum force with maximum effort to appear insane with anger and with minimal regard to decorum is your best bet, regardless of what system you want to train in. Groin strikes, eye gouges, screaming like a maniac, etc. Literally, try to rip out their eyes or ground their testicles into dust. Make them understand that your own safety is less important than making sure they live to regret hurting (even murdering) you. If it's life or death, do the most horrible thing you can think of to the person instantly and without hesitation (be sure it's actually life or death first, obviously). There are many shades of gray here, of course, and if you're just trying to subdue a drunken idiot, don't do any of the above lest you enjoy life from inside a jail cell. In those instances, BJJ, Aikido (although research the school carefully), traditional Jiu Jitsu, etc., are all great. That said, drunken idiots generally do not need to be fought at all (re: swallow your pride and walk away).

While BJJ is pretty fun and "effective" in its own way, how many realistic street fights actually end with an even one on one wrestling match on the ground? Not many, is all I'm saying. You can't safely train to do most of the above, but then again, most of what I'm talking about doesn't really require training other than understanding the mindset and a few (easily learned) techniques. I suppose Krav Maga is closest, although I've never tried that one.

Now, all of that said, I am a pacifist who hasn't been in a fight since middle school and personally has enjoyed martial arts training for reasons other than self defense. I always chose more "effective" systems simply because I wanted to learn martial arts, and not dancing, but for me it was much more about the fitness and the sport and the camaraderie, and the feeling of having mastered something technically difficult, than about the need for self-defense. Besides knowing that my street smarts will help me avoid almost any realistic situation in which I would need to defend myself, I trust my physical fitness and willingness to go nuclear the instant I am physically assaulted far more than I trust any particular technique I've learned.

MidWestLove

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Re: Mustachian Martial Artists?
« Reply #24 on: June 28, 2016, 06:13:41 AM »
I strongly agree with Lagom below with few suggestions

1. YOU NEED TO TRAIN !! and by training I mean having basic physical conditioning, mental preparedness, having the knowledge, having the experience of being in situation of significant stress and dealing with chemical cocktail , etc.  just think that 'being insane with anger' will somehow save you is less than wise, there would be no beam of light transforming you into the 'mama bear' or anything silly like that. people will fall to the level of their training when your heartbeat hits 140 in fight/flight situation

2. a LOT of fights end up on the ground _but_ it is more likely in 1:1 type of scenario. in group settings, getting on the ground is a sure way to get injured/killed if you facing multiple opponents and/or force multipliers of any kind. a screwdriver, a pen, almost anything can kill you, and knife can do it very easily . don't go to the ground if you can avoid it!

"I always chose more "effective" systems simply because I wanted to learn martial arts, and not dancing, but for me it was much more about the fitness and the sport and the camaraderie, and the feeling of having mastered something technically difficult, than about the need for self-defense"

that is what systema is/was for me minus the 'technically difficult' part - the point is to figure out how your body works (as everyone is different, different physical conditions, injuries, abilities), "know yourself" (poznai sebya in Russian) is the slogan of such system.  the camaraderie is amazing, the challenge  of learning your boundaries and then working to exceed them is addictive.. I am sure this applies to other human endeavors , to me that is the best part of any physical activity

MidWestLove

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Re: Mustachian Martial Artists?
« Reply #25 on: June 28, 2016, 06:21:54 AM »
"
Right? I remember some of my first spars, where I went "Oh shit, I kicked his leg just like I was taught and he's still standing. What the fuck do I do now?"  For true self-defense skills, wonderful to have a wide basis with ground skills of BJJ/Judo etc and some close-quarters striking/joint locks of PPCT.  For a hobby/past time/fitness regimen, just about any would do - I'd suggest trying out different classes/instructors to find something that interests you.
"

some of the best training includes dealing with people who are especially told to go into the rage stage. they wear good amount of protection and than charge you - this is extremely different from any dojo/gym spars (this is not a sport!) , very scary to someone who never faced a person in altered state of mind , but also extremely useful to understand how you react, do you also automatically go into high heartbeat state with all of its consequences (loss of fine motor control, etc.). you will find that a lot of cutsy precise techniques do not work at all , your enemy simply does not care, may or may not be pain compliant . similarly in such situations, you unlearn bad sports habit, if you hit/hurt/cut you continue fighting, this is not the time to think the world would reset, the referee would call you to center, and you will acknowledge the point to the opponent...  I have seen so many bad 'sparrings' where person stops after each hit ("did I hit you?" "you did score this one of me" ,etc) which is horrible way to train.

if your training does not include 'stress inoculation', it is useless in situation where stress would absolutely be present 

Gin1984

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Re: Mustachian Martial Artists?
« Reply #26 on: June 28, 2016, 06:26:18 AM »
"
Right? I remember some of my first spars, where I went "Oh shit, I kicked his leg just like I was taught and he's still standing. What the fuck do I do now?"  For true self-defense skills, wonderful to have a wide basis with ground skills of BJJ/Judo etc and some close-quarters striking/joint locks of PPCT.  For a hobby/past time/fitness regimen, just about any would do - I'd suggest trying out different classes/instructors to find something that interests you.
"

some of the best training includes dealing with people who are especially told to go into the rage stage. they wear good amount of protection and than charge you - this is extremely different from any dojo/gym spars (this is not a sport!) , very scary to someone who never faced a person in altered state of mind , but also extremely useful to understand how you react, do you also automatically go into high heartbeat state with all of its consequences (loss of fine motor control, etc.). you will find that a lot of cutsy precise techniques do not work at all , your enemy simply does not care, may or may not be pain compliant . similarly in such situations, you unlearn bad sports habit, if you hit/hurt/cut you continue fighting, this is not the time to think the world would reset, the referee would call you to center, and you will acknowledge the point to the opponent...  I have seen so many bad 'sparrings' where person stops after each hit ("did I hit you?" "you did score this one of me" ,etc) which is horrible way to train.

if your training does not include 'stress inoculation', it is useless in situation where stress would absolutely be present
One of my teachers used to randomly "attack" students to test their response.  Best day for me was when I just reacted and dislocated his knee. I was more proud of myself than I should have been, lol, but then again, I was a teenager.

sw1tch

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Re: Mustachian Martial Artists?
« Reply #27 on: June 28, 2016, 06:41:38 AM »
I strongly agree with Lagom below with few suggestions

1. YOU NEED TO TRAIN !! and by training I mean having basic physical conditioning, mental preparedness, having the knowledge, having the experience of being in situation of significant stress and dealing with chemical cocktail , etc.  just think that 'being insane with anger' will somehow save you is less than wise, there would be no beam of light transforming you into the 'mama bear' or anything silly like that. people will fall to the level of their training when your heartbeat hits 140 in fight/flight situation

2. a LOT of fights end up on the ground _but_ it is more likely in 1:1 type of scenario. in group settings, getting on the ground is a sure way to get injured/killed if you facing multiple opponents and/or force multipliers of any kind. a screwdriver, a pen, almost anything can kill you, and knife can do it very easily . don't go to the ground if you can avoid it!

"I always chose more "effective" systems simply because I wanted to learn martial arts, and not dancing, but for me it was much more about the fitness and the sport and the camaraderie, and the feeling of having mastered something technically difficult, than about the need for self-defense"

that is what systema is/was for me minus the 'technically difficult' part - the point is to figure out how your body works (as everyone is different, different physical conditions, injuries, abilities), "know yourself" (poznai sebya in Russian) is the slogan of such system.  the camaraderie is amazing, the challenge  of learning your boundaries and then working to exceed them is addictive.. I am sure this applies to other human endeavors , to me that is the best part of any physical activity

OP here, thanks for all of the advice.  I especially find the bolded part particularly important/ of interest to me.  Self defense is important but ultimately I know I've got some limitations that I want to be more realistic about, journey towards being more aware and learn to overcome some of those mental blocks that I have.

Tons of great info everyone.

GuitarStv

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Re: Mustachian Martial Artists?
« Reply #28 on: June 28, 2016, 08:12:21 AM »
2. a LOT of fights end up on the ground _but_ it is more likely in 1:1 type of scenario. in group settings, getting on the ground is a sure way to get injured/killed if you facing multiple opponents and/or force multipliers of any kind. a screwdriver, a pen, almost anything can kill you, and knife can do it very easily . don't go to the ground if you can avoid it!

If there are several people attacking you, run the fuck away.

If there are several people attacking you and you get knocked to the ground, BJJ training will teach you how to get back to your feet safely while people are trying to stomp and kick you.  Then you can run the fuck away.

If you are knocked to the ground by an assailant and he's on top of you, you will know several sweeps to get out from under the guy . . . and then you can run the fuck away.

There is no martial art I've seen that's particularly effective against multiple attackers.  Your goal in self defense isn't to win.  It's not to stand your ground.  It's just to survive.  That's why every martial arts class has you jogging around at the start of class . . . so you'll always be able to run the fuck away!


There's also a distinction between BJJ as taught for sport and as taught for self-defense.  Sport BJJ lets you play with all sorts of different positions to learn.  Self defense BJJ is very straight forward.  Close distance to prevent yourself from being struck, throw your opponent, get away.  If you fall to the ground, get on top so you can get away.  If you end up at the bottom, sweep, get on top, then get away.

Lagom

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Re: Mustachian Martial Artists?
« Reply #29 on: June 28, 2016, 11:49:42 AM »
Great advice from everyone. Glad to see mustachians are more sensible than most martial arts forum goers I've encountered when it comes to the "run away" aspect of self defense. I do agree with GuitarStv about how BJJ can be used in those sorts of scenarios. My point was mostly that almost any martial art can be effective for self defense as long as you have the correct mentality and don't try to get cute in an actual fight.

Quote
that is what systema is/was for me minus the 'technically difficult' part - the point is to figure out how your body works (as everyone is different, different physical conditions, injuries, abilities), "know yourself" (poznai sebya in Russian) is the slogan of such system.  the camaraderie is amazing, the challenge  of learning your boundaries and then working to exceed them is addictive.. I am sure this applies to other human endeavors , to me that is the best part of any physical activity

I've always wanted to try Systema but could never find a convenient place to train. Know of any options in the Silicon Valley area by chance? The closest training group I can find is in SF and the distance + timing makes that infeasible.

MidWestLove

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Re: Mustachian Martial Artists?
« Reply #30 on: June 28, 2016, 01:39:03 PM »
"

If there are several people attacking you, run the fuck away.

If there are several people attacking you and you get knocked to the ground, BJJ training will teach you how to get back to your feet safely while people are trying to stomp and kick you.  Then you can run the fuck away.

If you are knocked to the ground by an assailant and he's on top of you, you will know several sweeps to get out from under the guy . . . and then you can run the fuck away.

There is no martial art I've seen that's particularly effective against multiple attackers.  Your goal in self defense isn't to win.  It's not to stand your ground.  It's just to survive.  That's why every martial arts class has you jogging around at the start of class . . . so you'll always be able to run the fuck away!

"

+100 to the above with one very strong comment. please, please, please do not ever think 'running the fuck away' is an end all solution to all such situations. sometimes you can , sometimes you can not. you may have someone with you (spouse, kid, kids, elderly parents, of someone who can not run), you may or may not be injured, there may or may not be a place to run to. so, no 'I will just run away' is not a plan and that is why if in your jurisdiction you have access to force multipliers, have them, train with them, know how to use then. have legal advice on retainer if you can afford it.  i.e. if gun is about to be pulled out on you with aggressive intent, creating distance is a great way to get shot/killed, close-in if you have a chance as it would significantly increase your survival chances...

second, in a lot of cases you may not know that you are dealing with multiple opponents or that situation becomes many on one (group monkey dance in terminology of Roy Miller) very fast. if may be starting as single confrontation (a drunkard is verbally assaulting and physically hitting your wife/gf  and you "must" stand up for her "as a man" - no , get her out of their as soon as possible is your primary duty), but you do not know what is around you, who are all of the people what they will and will not do. I read and heard of of multiple cases where fights start, buddies jump in to 'save the guy getting a beating' or 'pull them apart' and in the process end up killing the 'winner'. all it takes few kicks in the head, bad run-in with hard object (furniture, curb, etc) and you will be permanently injured or killed. these situations are dynamic and unpredictable and change as they go, there is no referee, no rest, no rounds, no medical help standing by, may or may not be disparity of weapons, weights, etc.

in all cases, never go to the ground voluntarily - you restrict your options by great degree and lessen your survival changes significantly.

what my systema teacher liked to say to us was very simple - EVERY confrontation (even an aggressive glance before words are exchanged) has potential to become physical, every physical confrontation can become deadly in split second. before you react or respond to perceived threat, do you really want to die today for being cut off in parking lot? or bad driver on the road? does it worth your life?  and as and when you thought over what _does_ worth your life (i.e. your family, kids), then do not hesitate to end the threat to them in whatever means necessary fastest way possible - when it happens that is not the time to have moral discussions in your head or wonder can I do it...

also, all of the people I trained and train with are the most level headed, polite , and calm among human beings I know...
« Last Edit: June 28, 2016, 01:45:37 PM by MidWestLove »

MidWestLove

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Re: Mustachian Martial Artists?
« Reply #31 on: June 28, 2016, 01:42:08 PM »
"

I've always wanted to try Systema but could never find a convenient place to train. Know of any options in the Silicon Valley area by chance? The closest training group I can find is in SF and the distance + timing makes that infeasible.
"

Have you looked at this?

http://russianmartialart.com/schoollocator.php?loc=us&sta=CA

I am not associated with them but Vlad in Toronto is very respected in the community, extremely humble, and has excellent reputation.  you could probably look up his vides on youtube as well to understand the basics of training.