6 Martial Arts Skill Sets you must have

There is 6 different martial arts skill sets that you have to have if you want to have real life self-defense abilities.

Kicking. You have to be able to kick effectively and you have to be able to defend against kicks being launched against you.

Effective kicking is not kicking like you see in the movies with a lot of spinning and acrobatics and complexity. Real kicking is very straightforward very functional and will stop in opponent quickly. You have to have a real world understanding about how kicking is actually done.

The kicking skills from the original martial arts and their direct descendants like the new Krav Maga, are very functional and proven effective. You have to have those skills yourself and you also have to be able to defend against an opponent launching a kick at you. These days the chances of somebody having some basic understanding of how to throw a kick is greater than it’s ever been because more people have seen kicking on TV, MMA fights, UFC’s etc.

Punching. You have to have a functional understanding and salad ability to use and striking skills. This means punches but also they related skills, finger jabs, Nice hands, palm strikes, back fist,

And you also have to have the ability to defend against punch range striking that’s coming at you. Usually that will mean circular techniques like a hook punch. Or straight line techniques like your basic right cross or reverse punch. Everyone can throw a punch even if they don’t throw it particularly well technically, so you have to be able to defend yourself against this very basic type of attack.

Infighting. Infighting range is very close range fighting. Generally the distance you can reach with your elbow. So 12 to 18 inches or so. It’s a little bit too close to launch effective punches. Way too close for kicks. But not yet body to body like grappling range.

Most attackers and most common fighting systems are not that familiar with infighting range, Some close range martial arts styles like Wing Chun kung fu, Muy Thai kickboxing, certain Filipino systems like Kali or Arnis, and of course Krav Maga and Jeet Kune Do etc have significant skills at infighting range.

Generally though it is unfamiliar territory to most trained fighters. Boxers and kick boxers and street fighters will either back off slightly so they can use their kicks and punches or they will move in and try and grapple or wrestle and take you to the ground at which point they will usually revert to striking and punching. You have to be skillful at this fighting range and usually if you are well-trained you have a huge advantage at this range because the real fighting skills are very effective, very nasty, and will end the fight extremely quickly if you know what you’re doing with them.

Grappling range. Grappling range obviously is usually on the ground, most people have some familiarity with wrestling and if they get a hold of you many times Will go to the ground with you either because they’re trying take you down or you end up going to the ground because you get tangled up with the opponent and fall or are dragged down.

This is a very common range and you have to be able to deal with it. We are very skillful at grappling and very effectively defend ourselves at that range but it is not a tactically sound place to be in a street fight. The ground is hard, it’s very easy to get hurt as you go in the ground if you don’t know how to do it skillfully and you always have the threat that a secondary attacker will get into the fight once you are down and strike you from above or behind.

Multiple opponent fighting is vastly more difficult once you were on the ground. So it’s always a good idea to get off the ground as soon as you can, your tactical options will increase exponentially once you’re back on your feet.

Locking, chokes & throws

The fifth area of martial arts skills you have to have in your arsenal are joint locks, chokes (air chokes, and blood chokes) and throwing techniques and take downs. Generally untrained attackers don’t use joint locks against you but they will throw, take you down, and possibly choke. And with MMA training being much more common these days there is a larger possibility that an attacker might know the sort of basic martial arts skills. Once again to be able to defend a certain set of martial arts skills you need to have those skills.

Beyond that locking holding and throwing skills let you cancel out the attackers strength and leverage advantages.

Weapons. You need to be able to effectively defend against weapons. In particular you have to be able to defend against knives, bats and clubs, and close range firearms – pistols & rifles.

These are the weapons you are most likely to face in real life self-defense scenario. Generally an attacker will come from a position of advantage when they engage the person they have chosen. Either they have perceived physical advantages, height, strength etc. or they have strength in numbers and are attacking with allies creating multiple attackers scenario or they are using a weapon to give them a significant advantage.

Most people, even people that are trained in standard martial arts, do not have the ability to effectively defend against weapons. Either you have proper training and effective techniques or you don’t, during an attack is a very bad time to reinvent the wheel regarding effective martial arts weapons defenses. This knowledge has been perfected and proven effective over thousands of years. To be an effective fighter against weapons you need to have an understanding of weapons defense skills and techniques.

To be an effective martial artist you also need to be able to use weapons offensively in real life self defense scenarios. That means you have to be able to use edged weapons, knives, percussive striking weapons like sticks, clubs and staffs, As well as makeshift weapons, flexible weapons like belts and whatever piece of flexible weapon you might find during the self defence situation. You’re not going to be carrying a Manriki Gusari (fighting chain) but a piece of rope, your dogs leash, a cable bike lock etc works in similar fashion.

We cover all this extensively at our dojo. But this is an overview of the types of skills that you need to have. If you have a gap in your training then you leave yourself vulnerable to that sort of attack. When you lock your house up at night you don’t lock the front and side doors and leave the back door wide open. When you’re learning martial arts if you have an entire fighting range or category of martial arts techniques that you don’t understand and you can’t defend or make use of for your defense then you have a huge gap in your overall defense that an opponent can easily take advantage of.

Once again there’s a lot more to this discussion and understanding. We cover this extensively in our classes. These are the sorts of things that expert black belts know that makes them so formidable in real life self-defense.

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