The Best Martial Art for Self Defense is.... – The Self Defense Company

The Best Martial Art for Self Defense is….

The Best Martial Art for Self Defense is….

People often ask me what martial art to practice to supplement their SDTS Combatives Training.

I will say you don’t need this for self defense, but having 3 black belts and ranks in several other arts I understand the need to study, grow, learn, and be a part of a great social structure that is the dojo.

If you didn’t know, I have ranks in BJJ, TKD, Karate, Kick Boxing and have Wrestled and competed in Judo on the collegiate and international levels. 

Hands down the BEST martial art to supplement your SDTS Training is…JUDO.

Yes the grandfather of BJJ and MMA – Judo.

The reasons are simple.

  1. Judo teaches you to keep your balance and stay on your feet.
    Training in a sport that teaches you to be comfortable going to the ground and trains you to choose the ground is not a good tactical move in the street . Weapons, multiple attackers and of course the hard earth itself, with rocks, broken bottles, tree stumps and concrete can rip you to shreds.

    Judo forces you to maintain your balance. Even after a only few weeks, beginners are a lot harder to take down and when you combine that with the SDTS, it’s a brutal combination.
  2. Judo trains you to have a sense of urgency.
    On false move in Judo, you get thrown and the match is over. There is a certain intensity and finality in Judo that is not matched in other sports. Wrestling, Boxing and especially BJJ train you to be patient and create openings. In Judo there is that element of knowing that if you misstep by an inch can end the match. This forces you to operate with cautious haste.Cautious haste is how you need to defend yourself.The term we use in the SDTS is take your time…but hurry up.


  3. Judo trains you to gain a position of dominance.
    There is no doubt you can wind up on the ground in a real fight. When this happens you want to get off the ground as soon as possible, if not, you need to get to a position of dominance. Proper Judo stresses pinning as well as submissions. Wrestling will train you to gain control but it will also allow you to give up your back and BJJ, with excellent submissions and ground work that is second to none, will train you to wait – both giving up your back and waiting are not advisable in a fight.
    As I mentioned before – multiple attackers, weapons and just being injured will decline your ability to fight rapidly.
  4. Judo trains you in that “gray” area of grappling – the same is true for BJJ and wrestling. This will enable you to keep your balance to deliver and SDTS strike or use a weapon. 
  5. Judo as well as wrestling and BJJ will show you exactly how good (or bad) you are.
    Can you execute a double leg takedown or triangle choke? Well, you’ll be able to find out every night in class. Point fighting that’s done in typical martial arts classes “assume” success. You pull your punches and stop after a score. Make no mistake, you will do this when you are under the stress of a real fight. This is why in the SDTS we train to hit with 100% power all of the time. Training is about developing habits. The right habits will save your life and the wrong habits will get you in trouble. 

    Double Leg Take Down - Great on the mat, not the best choice in the street.
    Double Leg Take Down – Great on the mat, not the best choice in the street.

The one thing I loved about Judo, Wrestling and BJJ, is that your skill had to work against anyone who came in off the street. There was no hiding behind a point or a rank like I could in TKD. I’ve rolled with pro-football players who were just big, strong, athletic guys and if I didn’t know what I was doing…they would have eaten my lunch. After they learned, well that’s a different story :). 

WARNING:  Before you embark on your Judo journey there are certain techniques to avoid (for those of you with SDTS Programs look at Module 3 Ground Fighting For Keeps and Module 10 Combat Throws and Take Downs.)

For example: any throw or takedown that causes you to go to the ground or entangles you with your attacker must be avoided. The double leg take down, Kouchigari or even Uchimata are such take downs.

I know a guy who used Uchimata in the street and it actually worked TOO WELL. Because of adrenalin, the guy hit the throw so hard he actually over rotated. His attacker (not trained in anything) clung on him for dear life. They both slammed to the ground in the parking lot and got the wind knocked out of them.

The popular Triangle Choke exposes your genitals and femoral artery to your attacker’s bite as well as leaving you defenseless against another attacker.

Submissions like the triangle choke are extremely dangerous in the street – I’m not putting my genitals (or my femoral artery) near anyone’s mouth who means to do me harm. Even a basic arm bar (ude hisghigi juji gatame) can put you in harms way because you actually take your weight off of your attacker, it exposes your genitals and put your leg right over his mouth. 

I know people have used these techniques and lived in the street, but if you’re training for self defense you need to focus on what’s going to give you your biggest bang for your buck and not put you at an unnecessary risk.

The added benefit of the Judo culture is that the people doing it tend to be a little older and are not trying to get into the MMA thing. Plus if you do decide to compete, after the age of 35 there are masters division every 5 years. I’ve even seen guys in their 70’s compete…it may not have been the most exciting match, but they were doing it!

How many times per week is up to you, but for SDTS supplementation, go once or twice for as long as you can.

Train Honestly,


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Published by Damian (Instructor)

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  1. Nope – you don’t need too, this is just something to supplement your training that WON’T INTERFERE with the SDTS Programming.

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