Re: Is Studying Martial Arts A Waste Of Time? – The Self Defense Company

Re: Is Studying Martial Arts A Waste Of Time?

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sragone wrote:

“Hello Damian,

I currently going through module 1 and practicing the drills, but after spending some time reading the forums, I get the feeling that the consensus for studying traditional martial arts for self defense are a complete waste of time. I’ve been taking Kung Fu San Soo for about the last 6 months (yes, I’m a white belt and practically know nothing) and I was hoping to supplement that training with your self defense modules. My question essentially is this; Does training in traditional martial arts actually hinder your progress in learning self defense?

One thing I have discovered about studying San Soo is that in addition to the typical strikes, there is quite a bit of grappling involved and when I finally get to module 10 with the throws and take downs, I will have some live partners to drill with.”

I kickboxed my first 11 years in the arts. In 1983 I took up Oikiru Ryu Aiki-Jujutsu and never looked back. Oikiru Ryu as my sensei called it was the Beikoku Ryu of Juko-Kai but due to some falling out between that organization and his sensei they had to change the name. I hold a sandan in that system and a shodan in what they called a closed combat system called OIkiru Ryu Tai Jutsu. It was more of a combat sport of the MMA variety before that became the “in” art.

With that all being said, I was a legion member of the IXXCP. I joined to get Carls DVD’s. When I started training with them I found that much of the Aiki system was very good if “tweeked”. All of the blows and kicks were there. Even the stomp step!! We didn’t slide our feet as much as Aikido folks do and we hit people alot before doing any kind of throw or takedown.

My advice to you is to continue if you want to. Just remember that you will fight like you train. If you do alot of sparring then you will fight that way when it’s for all the marbles. It’s better to put on Bogu and go all out for 15 seconds than to fight 2-5 minute matches. You can’t kill your training partners!! I’m sure San Soo does alot of sparring. In the Marine Corps we used rubber hoses for knives and went all out against pugil sticks or we fought over the knife. I have always kept my training close to what I learned in the Corps. As you progress in San Soo you will find things you like but keep this in mind: Can you do it when your pulse is 150 and your vision or hearing isn’t working right? Is it a movement that uses large muscle groups?

I believe that much of the physiological effects of deadly stress can be eased by serious training such as Zen.(You don’t have to become Buddist.) And combat breathing. In for 4, hold for 4, out for 4, hold for 4.
I still train with Aiki-Jujutsu, just not all of it. Don’t be afraid to go for it.
Carl was a big one in his videos to encourage people to study other ways.