Martial Arts In A Real Street Fight

TailgaterTailgater Tailgating on the Back 9Posts: 432
My son (8 years old) started karate lessons two months ago. He’s loving it and takes it quite seriously. Whenever I am at his karate lesson, the same two questions keep popping up in my head:



1) If someone was in a real street fight would they actually use their karate skills or would they result to result to well...fighting like the rest of us?



2) If someone did use their karate self defense skills, would they get their a** kicked by the regular guy?



I think the answers are no and yes. But I’m not sure.



I have seen several fights (college, bars, fraternity brawls, softball field, soccer field) and I have never seen anyone actually use karate during a real fight.
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  • MtlJeffMtlJeff MontrealMembers Posts: 28,156 ✭✭
    In a fight between two guys of relatively equal ability I'd probably take the guy who knows karate.



    But I'm not an expert. I haven't been in many fights
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  • stryperstryper Members Posts: 3,113 ✭✭
    Maybe some other martial arts, but karate, probably not so much. Street fighting is more of a take down and control game. Spin kicks are a good way to find yourself bum rushed and flat on your back being pummeled...unless you’re Billy Jack.
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  • One_Putt_BlunderOne_Putt_Blunder Members Posts: 10,795 ✭✭
    One thing karate will teach him is avoidance and leverage. Knowing how to use leverage in a street fight is good. Understanding how to avoid an oncoming attacker and turn it around to use their own momentum against them. I'd take the karate guy all the way up to the point they lose the leverage advantage and get themselves trapped by the attacker on the ground or otherwise.
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  • GHIN n JuiceGHIN n Juice Wingpointe GC...Never Forgotten Members Posts: 1,667 ✭✭
    As Mike Tyson said, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.” The only advantage someone who knows karate might have is getting their opponent laughing when they took their fighting stance.
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  • jholzjholz Members Posts: 1,296 ✭✭
    If we are talking about a one-on-one fight - unless someone gets in a really good punch within the first few seconds, most street fights end up in wrestling.



    That's why karate - even boxing - tend to be pretty useless. Krav Maga, Sambo, perhaps even Judo or some MMA techniques would work better IMHO.



    So yeah, I don't think anyone is using their karate too much in street fights, and if they did, they are probably going to lose.
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  • highergr0undhighergr0und Members Posts: 10,135 ✭✭
    edited Aug 24, 2018 #7
    I've read before that martial arts is something you do with someone and street fighting is something you do to someone, and it makes sense as to why that martial artist won't fare that well.



    I got into a fair amount of fights when I was young and dumb, and I think every one was in pretty close quarters, most had more grappling/pushing and maybe even going to the ground than punching, and the average length is probably less than a minute before folks are breaking it up. The street fight is not designed to be a movie fight, generally one person is aggressively attacking and the other is deflecting, neither of which are big parts of traditional martial arts a kid may do. I got taught a good lesson once when a wrestler totally embarrassed me by getting that leverage and me into some sort of crazy hold. I'd imagine that these days someone well versed in UFC type martial arts with an emphasis on the ground game could hold their own, then there are things like Krav Maga.
  • tocinotocino Members Posts: 2,252 ✭✭
    I've only ever witnessed one street fight where someone attempted a non-punch/take-down martial arts move. One guy attempted an impressive looking spinning jump kick... which the other guy ducked under and tackled him to the ground.
  • lungbusterlungbuster Members Posts: 24 ✭✭
    I've studied a few arts, the best real-life defense, in my opinion, is jiu-jitsu. Jiu-Jitsu is a ground game and as many others have noted, most fights on the street go to the ground. Knowing how to defend yourself on the ground, as well as either gaining or maintaining position is critical. The difference here is that in jiu-jitsu, whoever is on top isn't trying to break your face in.



    Krav Maga is not a bad art to study either, as it does teach many weapon defenses as well as striking. But again, jiu-jitsu would be my recommended discipline to train in, if street fighting defense is what you're concerned with. The school my daughter goes to teaches a variety of disciplines; karate, kickboxing, krav, and BJJ. A well-versed student is much more able to protect themselves than a single art perfectionist. If you look for a BJJ instructor, try to find one who teaches no-gi grappling as well. We don't walk around the streets wearing a BJJ gi.
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  • My unprofessional opinion is that your son will learn coordination, body awareness and confidence, skills that could transfer to golf or any other sport. In a fight though, kata is pretty useless but the awareness should take over. You could end it very quickly with a simultaneous strike to the throat and knee to the groin. Or it could go to the ground, and then it becomes a positional battle. The latter happened to a security guard at work after some thug charged at him and I was surprised to learn he wasn't excited or nervous, he was intently focused and it was quite apparent.
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  • golfandfishinggolfandfishing Members Posts: 3,387 ✭✭
    Depends on the size and strength of the two. If the karate punches amount to a popcorn **** then a bigger guy is just going to grab hold at some point and pummel a smaller guy. Once on the ground or locked up in a close fight the bigger/stronger person is going to “win” every time on the street.
  • bscinstnctbscinstnct Members Posts: 26,087 ✭✭
    In a parking lot, karate is good



    In a bar, close up,



    Head butt rules ; )
  • MtlJeffMtlJeff MontrealMembers Posts: 28,156 ✭✭
    Vin Diesel once said



    "The thing about street fights is......the street always wins"



    So I think there's a lot we can learn from that
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  • CHuntsmanCHuntsman Posts: 743 ✭✭
    lungbuster wrote:


    I've studied a few arts, the best real-life defense, in my opinion, is jiu-jitsu. Jiu-Jitsu is a ground game and as many others have noted, most fights on the street go to the ground. Knowing how to defend yourself on the ground, as well as either gaining or maintaining position is critical. The difference here is that in jiu-jitsu, whoever is on top isn't trying to break your face in.



    Krav Maga is not a bad art to study either, as it does teach many weapon defenses as well as striking. But again, jiu-jitsu would be my recommended discipline to train in, if street fighting defense is what you're concerned with. The school my daughter goes to teaches a variety of disciplines; karate, kickboxing, krav, and BJJ. A well-versed student is much more able to protect themselves than a single art perfectionist. If you look for a BJJ instructor, try to find one who teaches no-gi grappling as well. We don't walk around the streets wearing a BJJ gi.




    Krav Maga FTW!!!
  • bscinstnctbscinstnct Members Posts: 26,087 ✭✭
    MtlJeff wrote:


    Vin Diesel once said



    "The thing about street fights is......the street always wins"



    So I think there's a lot we can learn from that




    Yup, and remember, you dont know this person, if you have to do this, end it fast, they could have a weapon. I seem guys argue and one is holding a knife behind his back.



    If you cant, back down.
  • dan360dan360 Paisano Members Posts: 5,275 ✭✭
    Krav Maga is excellent but difficult to get a kid into those type of training sessions exclusively.



    Muay Thai is excellent for learning what to do in a stand up clench which happens a lot in street fighting. Elbows, knee lifts, etc. Hard to start a kid out in North America with that though.



    Going to the ground and ending a fight with BJJ looks and sounds cool and will work, but doesn't account for the other guy's buddies stomping on your head while you're trying to hook into a triangle.



    Good street defense training is a mix. Hence "mixed martial arts" in a lot of ways. Ideally a combination of many including the aforementioned with FM 3.25-150 "Army Combatives", and some of good Filipino stuff like Kali or Arnis, and maybe some Jeet Kune Do. (Bruce Lee)



    For a child learning defense techniques, mental focus, conditioning, endurance, how to give and take a punch, and how to tie a bad guy up in knots, all without pissing off THE MOTHER to no end, wrestling and boxing are two simple, useful, and easy bets.



    Affordable and readily available, too for the most part.



    Another one is Kajukenbo if you can find a good instructor. I really enjoy it.







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  • zigfreadzigfread Members Posts: 158 ✭✭
    One of the biggest things he will learn is what it feels like to get hit by another person. So when it really happens he will be calm and know how to react, no fear of the unknown. And obviously the confidence level that brings.
  • cardia10cardia10 Members Posts: 2,396 ✭✭
    Sadly, I have watched a lot of you tube videos of this in real life and the karate guys usually get destroyed. I’m sure like others have said, some of the other disciplines work out better for street fighting, but I’d say it would be tough to beat a pure boxer in a street fight.
  • cdnglfcdnglf Members Posts: 3,086 ✭✭
  • damnorcrossdamnorcross Members Posts: 709 ✭✭
    My 5 year old just started karate. All I want him to get out of it is some discipline, the ability to block a punch, and practice in throwing a punch. I don't expect him to be kicking @ss on the playground with his karate skills. Most dads I have talked with about self defense say that wrestling is the way to go - all fighting usually comes down to wrestling skills.
  • KAndyManKAndyMan JUST GOTTA SEND IT!!! Members Posts: 319 ✭✭
    I have a buddy thats been to the national championships in LV competing in martial arts. Ive seen him drop 3 "tough" guys by himself all by himself 3v1.... I would NOT mess with that dude for 1 sec. You have to think most of those UFC guys are trained in mixed martial arts and aint no normal dude got a chance against one of them. Then i also have a buddy who is a straight up badass "ground and pound" kinda dude and ive seen him kick the $#!* out of 4 guys at one time. Not much to do around this farm town growing up but get drunk, fight and chase fat chicks (like a blue moon every once in a while a decent chick would show up)
  • ode1ode1 Members Posts: 2,825 ✭✭
    BJJ......but if you get a Chuck Liddell type who has supreme take down defense, and you can't get him to the geound, then pick a style that will do the most damage on the feet. I'm sure Chuck knew enough BJJ to get by on the ground.
  • Animal ChinAnimal Chin Members Posts: 415 ✭✭
    ode1 wrote:


    BJJ......but if you get a Chuck Liddell type who has supreme take down defense, and you can't get him to the geound, then pick a style that will do the most damage on the feet. I'm sure Chuck knew enough BJJ to get by on the ground.




    He was also a college wrestler do that helped.



    Bjj is fine on mats. When you're rolling around on concrete it's different. Especially if the other guys have buddies that have no problem booting someone in the head.
  • BeerPerHoleBeerPerHole Members Posts: 1,079 ✭✭
    My son got his black belt at 11. He used karate twice (already) defending himself. The first time he was just reacting without thought (which is interesting). The second time he was being bullied and decided to neutralize the bully because that was the only way out. I was actually there for the second one but like to let kids work out their own issues. He's disabled and actually cried after that second incident because he didn't want to hurt the bully. That's where he's much different than I was as a kid...



    For street defense...wresting really comes in handy.
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  • ode1ode1 Members Posts: 2,825 ✭✭

    ode1 wrote:


    BJJ......but if you get a Chuck Liddell type who has supreme take down defense, and you can't get him to the geound, then pick a style that will do the most damage on the feet. I'm sure Chuck knew enough BJJ to get by on the ground.




    He was also a college wrestler do that helped.



    Bjj is fine on mats. When you're rolling around on concrete it's different. Especially if the other guys have buddies that have no problem booting someone in the head.




    Yep, haven't seen too many street fights with mats, lol. And the buddies boots would still do damage if there were.
  • SpicoliSpicoli Posts: 327 ✭✭
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  • radimanradiman Members Posts: 4,630 ✭✭
    It's not worthless by any means. It will teach him coordination and reaction skills. Will the Karate practitioner do a jumping kick to the guys face? No. But, he will be well prepared to dodge a punch or two while having good reaction skills to counter. Throwing kicks to the lower extremeties can be pretty effective. But, in the end, after a few punches thrown either way, chances are the fight is going to the ground. At that point, if he had any jujitsu training, it would come in handy.
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  • HehatemeHehateme Posts: 546 ✭✭
    edited Sep 6, 2018 #28
    3rd degree black belt in Shotokan karate- at 45 years old, 10 years ago, I got into a fight in a Larry's giant subs. Just standing in line minding my own business and dude accuses me of jumping in line (I didn't). Grabbed me by the shirt in an attempt to pull me out of the line, he received a vertical punch right to the middle of the chest. Sent him over a table, subs and drinks went everywhere. He eventually gained his composure after some wheezing and whining and called the police. Employee's backed me and him and the cops left. Not every street fight turns into drunken fools rolling around on the ground. Also got into a 2 on 1 in a Wendy's drive thru, but that's another story



    Anyway, I can PROMISE you his training will help if it is real training. I have watched some of those Karate for kids classes and just shake my head at what they do. No help at all in this case
  • MtlJeffMtlJeff MontrealMembers Posts: 28,156 ✭✭
    Who hasn't been involved in a 2 on 1 in a Wendy's drive thru?



    In college I called that a Friday night.



    There was a lot less karate involved though. I mean some karate, but not a ton. It depends on what holds are considered "martial arts "



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  • golfandfishinggolfandfishing Members Posts: 3,387 ✭✭
    ^^^^



    My only 2 on 1 wasn’t in a Wendy’s drive thru but I’m betting his lasted longer and had a better ending.
  • HehatemeHehateme Posts: 546 ✭✭


    ^^^^



    My only 2 on 1 wasn't in a Wendy's drive thru but I'm betting his lasted longer and had a better ending.




    aww-- well played sir
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