Martial arts facts – The Self Defense Company

Martial arts facts

Martial arts facts

95% of all martial arts statistics and facts are made up. 

After thirty plus years in martial arts and self defense there are a still a few favorite “facts” that just won’t die. 

People love to spit these out and NONE of them are true.  Like most urban myths they seem plausible or it’s just something you WANT TO BELIEVE, especially when it falls in line with your agenda. 

The Three Biggest Martial Arts Myths

  1. 90% of all fights go to the ground.
    There isn’t any study that supports this claim. People have described a study that was supposed to have been conducted by the Los Angeles Police Department but an official report has never been published because it doesn’t exist.

    The Uniform Crime Report published annually by the FBI ( will only state the type of crime as it relates to the law – i.e. simple assault, aggravated assault, sexual assault, crimes involving a weapon, etc. But they do not look at technique or situation. Even the military doesn’t have this information. Recently an article published in Black Belt Magazine quoted a “report” that the military conducted describing the types of techniques used. But when I contacted the author and Black Belt magazine to produce the report, they could not. Which means the author fabricated (lied) about the study.When doing the WW2 research I heard of reports of this nature in the library of congress but NEVER found any and believe me I asked. 

    Do fights “go to the ground”? Sure. If you’re in law enforcement most of them will go to the ground since THAT’S HOW YOU ARREST A COMBATIVE SUBJECT.

    Do fights go to the ground in the civilian world? They sure do, but by the time you GO TO THE GROUND the fight is all but over because the guy on top, in a position of dominance, is already beating the crap out the guy going to the ground! (I realize that doesn’t sound to professional, but this is a blog post, I’m not presenting to the DOD)

    I will tell you this…nearly ALL fights start on your feet and you need to have the situation under control BEFORE you go to the ground. 

  2. You can break a man’s knee with 8-12 pounds of pressure.
    This is complete and utter BS. Do you realize it takes more force to break a number 2 pencil! 

    Knees don’t break. Like all joints they get dislocated and cause ligament and tendon damage. To do this the lower leg is immobilized and the rest of the body twists or vice versa. One half of the leg must be stationary while the other is rotated. Having blown my ACL out I can tell you first hand this is exactly how it happens. Do you realize how light 10 pounds of pressure is?According to Consumer Reports it takes 80 pounds of pressure to break 4 pencils (or an iPhone 6).

    [youtube id=”Y0-3fIs2jQs”]

    So even if your knee was completely extended and locked out, it would take a considerable amount of force to dislocate it (a lot more than what it would take to break an iPhone). 

    If this were the case, a pro-football player’s career would be about a week long. 

  3.  You can kill a man by driving his nose into his brain.
    The nose is designed to break, it’s a safety feature of your face. Since it’s made of cartilage it will literally collapse on impact. I have broken mine several times and it always goes left or right. Seriously, have you really looked inside a skull?
Notice how far the cartilage of the nose would have to travel in order to even reach the brain.
Notice how far the cartilage of the nose would have to travel in order to even reach the brain.

In the image on the left you’ll see that in order for the soft tissue of the nose to reach the brain it would have to travel through the sinus cavity, bust through the bone of the brain pan and penetrate deep enough into the brain itself to cause damage. 

This is literally impossible and has never happened. 

So why don’t more people challenge these false claims? 

Simple, they want to believe. You invest your time, your faith and your money into your training. Heck, who doesn’t want to think they have superhero powers? 

The irony is, the same people will question the government, their religion yet when it comes to the “expert” in pajamas or cammies…they bet their lives on it.

Train Honestly,

Instructor Damian Ross
The Self Defense Company

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Published by Damian (Instructor)

Founder, The Self Defense Company

Join the Conversation


  1. Thank you again!
    Years ago, I did an article for INSIDE KARATE (“Old Sensei’s Tales”) debunking the “nose into the brain” myth. I said it was like trying to shove a playing card through a sheet of plywood.
    I DID find that it was possible to strike so hard to the nose (center of mass on the skull) to cause a skull fracture resulting in leakage of cerebral fluid, which would mix with blood and leak out through the nose. Death could occur if enough fluid leaked out and the victim refused medical treatment, or was too incapacitated to seek.

  2. Thanks Again Damian For The Truth about the 3 Biggest Myths about Martial Arts. #1 90 % of All Fights going down to the Ground. Your right there is just no study that has proven that at all. #2 People always saying it only takes about 10 pounds of Pressure to Break a knee or a bone your right again the knee will only at best will be moved out of socket & it does take more than 10 pounds of pressure to break a #2 pencil & #3 Hitting someone in the nose & by hitting it so hard that you can shove it into the brain, again your right the nose is only made of soft tissue which is cartilage that myth too is just totally wrong. Thanks for putting the Truth out there about All 3 of these myths if people would do their own research they could find out all this information on their own. Some people just believe just about anything they hear or read. I’m like you I go searching for the facts because by searching for the facts is the only way to get to the truth about anything that’s just common sense.
    Thanks Again Sincerely,
    Alex Storm ( storm2452 ) or ( @alex5 )

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