I peruse the internet a lot, like so many other people, but what I look at is the resumes of other Self Defense instructors. What I see is a lot of traditional martial arts such as Tae Kwon Do, Karate, and Jiu-Jitsu, and a bunch of other martial arts, which were initially developed as fighting systems thousands of years ago. During the late 19th century, martial arts started turning into a modern sports activity due in part to the increase in trade between the United States with China and Japan. Look at “The Karate Kid” movies and the tournament they were all training to win. There is Olympic Tae Kwon Do, and now Karate coming in 2020. But the tournaments and competitions have rules about where participants can and cannot strike, wearing protective gear, referees to enforce those rules, and bouts are won by an accumulation of points. Points are awarded for punches and kicks to the body, kicks to the head, added points for fancy spinning techniques during the kick, and more. But nowhere does it say a winning shot is a solid hit to the groin. In fact, hits or kicks to the groin are a penalty and are grounds for potential disqualification. There are also katas (AKA forms) in practically every martial art style. Katas are individual exercises consisting of a sequence of numerous specific movements performed in the air with stepping and turning, while attempting to maintain perfect form. Blah Blah Blah…you get the point.
I find it very interesting when Self Defense instructors use the term “Reality Based Self Defense”, when their training is anything but. In a modern, traditional martial art competition, there is really only one setting, with a referee, and one objective. The rules are known, and the objective is to accumulate the most points in a completely controlled environment. The street, on the other hand, is the complete opposite. Everything is unpredictable, uncontrolled, unregulated and there are no points given to the victor.
There is a saying that comes up from time to time… “In a street fight, there is no tapping out”
Krav Maga is a true reality-based system, not a “martial art”, and I do get a little chuckle when people ask me if there are teams and tournaments because it shows they don’t know what Krav Maga truly is. In Krav Maga, anything goes, and the groin, eyes, and neck are no exception. Using dirt to throw in someone’s face, finding a stick or pipe to strike someone with, and sticking fingers into eyes as hard as you can are fair game in a world of no rules and fluid situations. Bone breaking, finger snapping, making the knee bend the wrong way, and bashing someone with a fire extinguisher are all fair game in the REAL WORLD OF REALITY BASED SELF DEFENSE… KRAV MAGA!
With all of the above statements made, let me say this. Modern martial arts has not forgotten its roots in history. Most all of the current schools of martial arts still teach the lessons of respect, self-esteem, confidence and character building to all of its students regardless of age. This I feel is a valuable tool in the raising of our children (of any age) and creating a better world for us all to live in.