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Sunday, April 23, 2017


When I was a kid and wanting to take martial arts training my harshest critic was my dad. My dad thought the martial arts was stupid. That I was wasting my time and most of all, it was a waste of money. And of course dad would always say a good street fighter would take a good martial arts guy out any day of the week. Bottom line dad had zero good to say about the martial arts it was total bullshit in his mind…….Good ole dad wasn’t entirely wrong. 

It’s no secret that I love martial arts.  I hold Black belts in Judo (2nd degree), American Kenpo (7th degree) and Shotokan (3rd degree). Believe it or not, my love for the martial arts actually makes me a harsher critic than my dad ever was. I know black belts and MA instructors who gotten their asses kicked in a real fight. I’ve trained with black belts and MA instructors who don’t understand the moves they practice at all. I’ve watched black belts and MA instructors pass down unrealistic nonsense.

The martial arts world is full of impressive looking demos and practices. We see martial arts guys breaking boards, bricks, and blocks of ice. We see them stand there and take full force strikes to the throat and kicks to the nuts and it doesn’t seem to phase them.  The problem is in every case these people trained for a long time, rehearsed it and they had to take a few seconds“to get ready”. They take a deep breath exhale and then they go “okay I am ready” then they are able to take a full on kick to the nuts….Impressive right?  Well yeah  honestly it is impressive, but, what if I told you that if you have to take a second or two” to get ready” then that has no real combat application in a sudden violent encounter or an ambush type attack. 

What if I told you that the self-defense moves you learned and rehearsed in a martial arts class will more than likely fail in real street fight or violent encounter. This is a hard pill for some to swallow. Being active in law enforcement gave me perspective on actual self defense and how violent encounters actually go down. The truth is most of the stuff I learned in MA never really applied tactically, a little judo here and there but very little and only at certain moments within the conflict.

Recently I came across a "knife defense" video (below) from self proclaimed Ninja master Christa Jacobson doing self defense techniques in their system (BUDO RYU NINJUTSU). JACOBSON'S video serves as a classic example of what NOT to do or even attempt. The simulated knife attacks were unrealistic. Trying to pull this off in a real encounter will quite simply get you killed. It's unfortunate that there are a plethora of these same kind of formulaic videos on the net and youtube.

What seems to pass as self defense nowadays appears to be a very choreographed, watered down rated G or Disney version of what actually happens in a confrontation. Boy, I could write volumes here.  Truth of the matter is most martial arts self defense demos FAIL to recreate what actually happens when someone is attacked.
This kind of shit, like I see in this video, is so egregious it infuriates me. If Christa Jacobson had ANY real knowledge she would KNOW this wouldnt work, that this IS NOT how any type of knife attack goes down when the shit hits the fan. This isn't how someone attacks you. A knife wielding attacker doesn't come at you like that...it's totally unrealistic. Anyone can pull off whatever they want to on a OVERLY compliant partner like presented in Jacobson's Video.....since when are attackers compliant? 

Teaching self-defense is serious business. Most martial arts instructors don't know what they don't know. I think a big part of the problem, certainly in the civilian sector, is a lot of these instructors who are teaching have very limited experience of, or have never actually experienced a violent assault.

There is the fantasy of violence. There is the reality of violence. They could not be more different in outcome. Most people, including Martial artists do not want to think about the reality of human violence. Most provide no education in or understanding of real violence or how to prevent it. It is obvious in her many videos Jacobson has never been in a real violent encounter nor has she a real understanding of violent encounters much less qualified to teach weapons disarms. 

To me this vid, as bad as it is, serves as a classic example of where most martial arts are really at. Is it denial, ego, or ignorance or is it all three?  It is obvious Jacobson is firmly convinced that these self defense techniques will work and against a knife wielding assailant. Truth is this will only work on a overly compliant training partner. Nothing could be more dangerous or irresponsible to show or demonstrate ANYWHERE. Which begs to ask, should those who have real world knowledge about real violence pull punches when it comes to critiquing others doing what we see as dangerous?

Part of the problem is, this is what is being packaged to the public as real self defense and this is what people believe is credible and is what they are looking for. Its what they see in the movies, it looks good, it's not scary and it isn't "too violent".  "Scary" and "violent" however, is what a victim of an attack experiences in the street. These are equations in a real life violent attack that just cant be ignored. 

In real life, you don’t know when or where or how someone’s going to hit you.

It's easy to be calm cool and collected during a "demo". Hence we have the first problem; there are so many emotional and psychological factors that erupt during real fights.  The demonstrations  in videos are really just that.... "demos" they are designed and choreographed to make everything look good, crisp and smooth, to be pleasing to the eye. But real fights dont look good they are not technical they are not smooth. 

None of the factors that would exist in an actual violent encounter even come into play in these vids. Everything in the vid, the why, the when, the how and even the level of violence from the attacker is unrealistic, it is choreographed. Unfortunately for a lot of martial art schools it is a reflection of how they actual perceive attacks to be and how they practice them.

Due to unrealistic training methods, these martial arts use techniques simply will not work against a fully resisting, uncooperative opponent. In addition to poor techniques, training methods, and strategies, many martial arts go far beyond this in regards to what I call “guru madness”.

Christa Jacobson's video really takes the cake.  Teaching this kind of crap is grossly irresponsible, immensely negligent and very, very dangerous. Someone attempting to try this will more than likely get killed. Weapons disarms is quite obviously an area that Jacobson has no business in, much less teaching. There is clearly a gross lack of knowledge. 

“Most Black Belts and MA instructors tend to fixate on what THEY will do to the opponent, not what their opponent will try to do to them,” 

The self-defense moves for the demo were practiced so everyone involved knows what is happening and what’s going to happen. You don’t know how you will be attacked in real life, you don’t know when you don’t know where etc...  but I have to ask, is this properly preparing anyone for that crucial moment when a attacker decides to make you his next victim? Truth is you really don’t see technical martial arts moves in a real street fight or violent encounters..Why? Predators look for victims they can surprise, ambush. 

The bad guy picks the time, the place and how he is going to attack you as well as the level of violence and there are emotional and psychological factors that erupt during such an attack. Surprise Attacks can instantly nullify rehearsed Self-Defense moves like we see in a lot of martial arts, in their schools and videos like the one above. 

A real violent encounter causes an adrenaline dump that affects your breathing, your focus and your motor skills. There are so many who over look and fail to address the problem of how real attacks occur and what is behaviorally realistic about them. If Martial Arts instructors routinely experienced real violent encounters things would change….drastically. You wouldnt see shit videos like the ones being peddled by Christa Jacobson.

Weapons disarms is a very specialized field. Where is Jacobson's real world experience in violent attacks? Where is Jacobson's law enforcement experience or military experience any special weapons and tactics training or fire arms training, or close quarter combatives training? Jacobson has absolutely zero knowledge in these fields. 

If you are ever targeted by a violent predator, whether you and your family are injured or killed will depend on what you do in the first moments of a sudden violent encounter. This is a subject that isn’t even touched upon in most training. Our physiology, the neuro science here is that the limbic system, the amygdala gets bypassed by stimulus being introduced too quickly. The cognitive brain is by passed so our complex motor skill movements (martial arts techniques) will not work  which is why in real violent encounters you dont see technical martial arts moves like in Jacobsons video being pulled off.

If you really want to protect yourself, if you really want to be a human weapon, If you really want a true self defense system, you need a system that will be congruent with what the behavioral, emotional and psychological state will be at the time of the ambush/attack. 

Christa Jacobson for the safety of her own students needs to leave the weapons disarms to the professionals. The people who understand all the ins and outs of weapons disarms from every angle physically, emotionally and psychologically.