We still need to consider self defense. I live in a country which makes owning a gun rather unappealing, possible, but a PITA. If I started the application process now I might have one by Christmas... against the wifes wishes as well I might add. People here are paranoid about guns. So I'm looking at other options.
I have this some thought, and whilst reading FERFAL considered that it's about time I went back to martial arts. As a former Ninjitsu student I was not about to go back to that. So I did a little research on SHTF martial arts.
It appears we have a few decent options, and a lot of really bad ones:
- Krav Maga. Assuming you are not against it out o some kind of anti jew sentiment (that simply doesn't exist here) this is a good option. It's brutal and effective. You can spar and practice. Suboptimally, it's designed for millitary combat, and a lot of the techniques you learn are not applicable to the situations you might face on the street, or when trapped at home in the middle of the night during a break-in. Like ninjitsu, its designed with escape in mind. It is not an offensive martial art, it's defensive \ evasive.
- Muay thai. This is what I start next week. This is a brutal, offensive \ defensive style. You can stand your ground if necessary. Good for sparing. Not primarily designed around being a point sport. Lacks close combat, being grappled training. Luckily this place also offers Brazillian Jujitsu if I get time and the inclination.
- MMA. I have nowhere close to me, but looks like a good hybrid on paper. Something similar to no holds barred. Good for sparring.
What didn't make my list:
- The martial arts we usually hear about. Karate, Taekwondo, Jung Fu, Judo, boxing, etc. Most of these MA's have inherent limitations and rules on what is NOT allowed. In judo, can you just kick the opponent in the knee until he falls, then beat him in the head with your elbow until unconscious rather than throw and lock? You certainly won't learn that in class... but this is exactly what you'll want to be doing to someone who attacked your family when you were harvesting the vege's, or trading at the local market and have a knife pulled on you.
Ninjitsu. I practiced this for a few years, about 3 all up. No, no jumping backwards in to trees, etc Ninjitsu is similar to Jujitsu. The principal difference that I could see is that ninjitsu is -nasty-... if you do it right. I stopped practicing ninjitsu because of two things. It's primarily designed for escape. Not bad, unless you are with family, or in your home when attacked, but if you are not planning on escaping, your odds go down. Ninjitsu, is not designed for a 'stand and fight' scenario. Secondly, just about everything I learnt would either hospitalize or kill a person if done right. I'm not joking. Every night I learn something the popped arms out of sockets, smashed a sternum up in to the heart, broke a spine over my knee. Not only does this make it really hard to practice, but if you do it right, you better bet ready for a legal battle(not a big deal in SHTF). Besides, finding a good Ninjitsu sensei is really, really hard. Ninjitsu however, like jujitsu is really effect at very close combat ranges. I will not do this again, as I noticed that it takes many years to become proficient (6-9 years from what I have seen, and we simply don't have that time left). Very limited sparring opportunities, as you are always trying to no hurt your class mate. Despite this, after a year I stopped being able to be bruised. There is a lot good in this MA, but, it take so long to get good, that for the first five years, a 1-2 year boxer will likely own you.
That's about all I have to offer, so I'm happy to receive feedback. I'm certainly not in a position to not need it!
My only advice, is to consider the following question I had to pose to myself:
- How quickly can you become confident enough to handle an unskilled but aggressive streetpunk with your new martial art?
- Can your martial art defend against other martial arts without a giant critical weakness? Boxing vs Kickboxing is a good example.
- Do you spar? As someone who trained for 3 years all up in a non sparring martial art I cannot tell you how important this is. Not 'practice the technique just learnt' sparing. No holds barred sparring.
Remember, your SHTF opponent will not follow rules, hit for points or let you tap out.