There are many martial arts out there, and whilst some are very effective in the LFS ring, they don’t always translate to the ‘deadly streets’.
Let’s take western boxing as an example – its punch is very efficient, but it’s worth noting that the gloves are there to protect the hands, not the face. Without the gloves, you could do more damage to your fist than your opponent’s jaw. And multiple opponents? Despite what you see in the movies, there are no martial arts that deal effectively with multiple opponents… While your attention is focused on one attacker, another could be behind you.
But what about kicks? Kicks can be effective in a controlled environment, but trying to kick to the head leaves you open to being tripped or slipping and may simply not be possible in a confined environment like a bar.
So what about take-downs and going to the ground? Whilst this may be useful in a match fight against a single opponent, consider that it’s seldom ‘fair’ on the street and you could be dealing with assailants’ friends that are still standing, or someone with edged weapons. The elbows and knees from Muay Thai can be very effective, as can martial arts that focus on self defense more than competition such as Krav Maga and some styles of Jiu Jitsu. But at the end of the day your best skill set on the streets is avoidance and awareness – if you can avoid the fight, you never have to lift a finger!
Of course there are always exceptions to the rule, and martial artists like our LFS finalists are generally less likely to become a victim as they may have practiced their responses to an attack hundreds or even thousands of times. The best philosophy is to use your head before you use your fists and keep yourself and loved ones safe and happy. Sometimes ego should be put aside in favour of the ‘Nike technique’ – Run like crazy!
Does your art work on the streets?