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For the rest of this article we’ll be now referring to the following martial arts as combative fighting systems (not that the ones on the previous page couldn’t be, when taught for that purpose). A combative fighting system, ideally should show you how to defend yourself in most situations and ideally with as few simple moves as possible. There will always be a compromise in learning enough moves to get you out of trouble, especially against a trained individual, but not so many that you can’t think what to do automatically in an instance.
It’s also important here to also say that with so many schools and teachers, that not all of them can teach these martial arts effectively or that everything taught will be useful.
OK so lets look at some of the most popular combative fighting systems that are essentially designed for real self defence. Some of these systems can be considered quite vicious and have one aim and that aim is to defend yourself and even attack (especially the military systems) with 100% commitment no matter what and therefore I have to say that their use must be justified for any given situation and that it isn’t unheard of for the defender being prosecuted for unreasonable force. There are many hybrid combative fighting systems around, but I will mention here some of the most popular ones about.
So here are the most lethal, dirty, deadly and brutal fighting systems (not all available for public use and some are more aimed towards both attacks/defence in a warring situation):
Keysi Fighting Method – fast paced hybrid system that uses fists, elbows, the head and knees. It also adds grappling and ground defence. The system uses techniques from Jiu-Jitsu, Aikido, Wing Chun and Jeet-Kune-Do.
Krav Maga – used by the Israeli military and by a number of law enforcement agencies throughout the world. Uses strikes to the throat, groin, eyes and brutal grappling/lock moves. Read the main article here.
Kajukenbo – is a hybrid martial art with hard, fast strikes to vital points throughout the body. It also has take downs that involve high impact throws and the joint locks are usually designed to destroy the limb. Defences taught are against both armed and unarmed attackers. The system uses techniques from Western Boxing, Judo, Jiu-Jutsu, Kenpo, Karate, Eskrima, Tang Soo Do and Kung Fu.
Kali and Eskrima – for those looking for weapons based training. Read the main article here.
Bojuka – is a self defence system based on behaviourally realistic and natural body movements. Uses simple techniques with common gross motor skills assigned to muscle memory. Also teaches awareness, situation avoidance and the reasonable use of force. The system includes blocks, grappling, joint manipulation and strikes to vital points of the body and central nervous system in various assault scenarios.
Nindokai – is a modern system of self defence based on many different martial arts throughout the world and is constantly developed and evolved based on the modern world. Designed to allow the defender to end a fight or prevent an attack very simply, quickly and efficiently with the least possible risk to himself.
Systema – is a Russian martial art, said to be used in part by Russian Spetsnaz special forces. Designed for hand to hand combat, it has also been developed for security/body guard personnel and includes grappling, knife fighting and firearms training as well. It focuses mainly on controlling the six body levers (elbows, neck, knees, waist, ankles, and shoulders) through pressure point application, striking and weapon applications.
MCMAP (The Marine Corps Martial Arts Program) is a combat system developed by the United States Marine Corps to combine existing and new hand-to-hand and close quarters combat (CQC) techniques. Essentially designed and developed for the US armed forces, it teaches both armed and unarmed combat, with mental stress and character development, including the responsible use of force, leadership, and teamwork.
SPEAR (Spontaneous Protection Enabling Accelerated Response) is a close quarter protection system which uses something called the ‘startle-flinch response’, where a persons reflex action in a threatening situations is used to make an efficient tactical choice.
Others – there are many others that have been developed solely for the general public and security staff to use for self defence and personal protection, too many to mention here, but I will mention some other good ones here, such as, Geoff Thompson’s Ultimate Self Defence, Kelly MacCann’s systems and Bas Rutten’s Lethal Street Fighting.
I would also like to make a special mention for my friend Sifu George Fitzgerald. George has been studying martial arts for over 50 years, has multiple martial arts accolades and holds black belts (or their equivalent) in many martial arts, with training from some of the worlds best and well known martial artists. He himself teaches classes and holds seminars on his vast knowledge on the subject and on his fighting skills. Sifu George Fitzgerald is located in London, so why not check him out at www.sifugeorgefitzgerald.com.
Note: Be wary though, as there are a lot of so called experts out there, with many demonstrating unworkable techniques on youtube using compliant and almost brainwashed students (read that as mind control/controlled students). When in reality these techniques don’t and can’t possibly work and the so called experts have as much knowledge about real self defence as my local vicar, OK slight exaggeration, but you get the picture.
Final note – yes I’m saying it again, a technique is only as good as its application. If it is too difficult to learn it’s too difficult to apply. It’s also only effective if it can be done automatically and quickly. However not all situations come from random direct attacks and some techniques can still be effective when needed. And if after all this, you feel you now don’t want to do a martial art for self defence, then train to improve your strength, power, speed, agility, balance and co-ordination, as these can help improve your chances to survive many unforeseen and unwanted situations.
Final advice – in case you haven’t already realised, the best self defence system is in fact the avoidance system. Be safe and take care.