Training for sport is to self defense as NASCAR is to parallel parking

Tweet In an effort to draw a distinction between training and competing in sports martial arts and the reality of self defense, I make the analogy: training for sport is to self defense as NASCAR is to parallel parking. I did sport karate when I was in college, and it was fun. But I stopped […]

Crap martial arts experts say

Tweet Today I was inspired by this story about a local grandmother who single-handedly fought off two armed home invaders. I was inspired because this story highlights how untrue many statements are that I’ve heard from martial arts and self defense ‘experts’. Let’s break down a few myths that I’ve been trying to debunk for […]

Gracie Self Defense

Tweet I have a lot of respect for the Gracie family – and Hélio Gracie in particular. Here I’ve found this Youtube video, purportedly of Hélio Gracie doing a self-defense demonstration.

Won’t Fighting Back Against An Attacker Just Make Him Angrier?

Tweet I just got an email from a martial arts “master” who repeated, almost verbatim, one of my least favorite self-defense myths. I am not going to reply to him publicly, but I need to call this out. The myth goes something like this, “if you do technique x, and the guy has a gun […]

Should you kick a man when he’s down?

Tweet In the movies and on TV, bad guy gets punched in the face, he falls down unconscious. Most of the time our movie hero doesn’t even take the bad guy’s weapon, he just saunters off. Let’s be very clear: movies and TV are NOTHING like real life. Real life fights are brutal, sloppy, and […]

What is Self-Defense Training?

Tweet There are many reasons one could study a martial art: for sport, for exercise, to relax, build self discipline, or because you think the costumes are cool. All reasons are valid. In my experience, most people start training in martial arts because at least one of their goals is to learn how to defend […]

What to Carry for Self Defense

Tweet Frequently, when I teach self defense classes, I get questions about weapons.  It’s usually something along the lines of, “what about guns?” or, “what do you think about pepper spray?” My stock answer is that all weapons are good and useful, when carried, when you have time to get to them, when you have […]

Who Needs to Learn Self Defense?

Tweet Everybody needs to train in self defense and the sooner the better. Living in a relatively low-crime area like Southern Maine, it may seem strange to recommend that every single person here get self defense training. However, it’s not really such a strange idea, and it’s an idea that may save lives. Damian Ross […]

How Important Are Size And Strength In Self Defense

Tweet It’s a question that comes up quite frequently: Can you defend yourself against someone who is bigger and stronger? And: How important is size and strength in martial arts? The answer requires a bit of a breakdown: 1. Don’t confuse sport with self defense. Combat sports like MMA, boxing, and wrestling have weight classes […]

Self Defense Against Zombies With a Slice of Bacon

Tweet Halloween is just around the corner and while, to my knowledge, Southern Maine has never been on the receiving end of a zombie attack, it may be helpful to review the basics. Incidentally, the points I am about to cover also work against hordes living and the undead. Stay Mobile Especially when multiple opponents […]

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