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Why Most Martial Arts Training FAILS! (Here’s What To Do.) – Derek Smith

I hate to tell you this, but most of the self-defense programs out there are crap. Yep, I said it… they are crap. They will steer you in the wrong direction if you’re a person who is serious about learning how to really protect yourself, or your loved ones, against bigger, badder, stronger attackers who wants to beat, or worse, kill you!

Yeah, I know there are a lot of so-called experts, masters, and black belts out there saying different…so why should you listen to me and why would I make such bold statement as this? After all, aren’t I one of those “experts”?

Yes, I am, but, it’s who I am and what I teach that makes my statement true!

And, if you’re going to find someone like me, with the real answers to this very serious, life-threatening problem called self-defense — you should know who I am and why I can make such a bold remark about most of what’s being taught in the world of martial arts and self-defense training.

But first, you probably are wondering what could be so bad about most of the martial arts and self-defense programs available both on and off the internet. The thing is that if you choose the wrong one, you could be putting your life at risk.

Remember when I said that the answer had to do with more than who I am and my experience, well that’s the truth because… it does.

It has to do with my experience – with where and what I’ve seen and done in the world. And, with the fact that I, and others like me with the same kind of background and experience have what most people teaching the martial arts and self-defense classes don’t have, and that is real-world experience, using what I teach…against real bad guys…and against brutal attackers who don’t play fair or follow the rules you find in boxing matches, the UFC, or martial art tournaments!

I make my statement about self-defense training because I know from experience that most of what’s being taught…has no real world application.

Now, I know I am probably pissing a lot of people off, but what I say is true. There are many martial artists out there who would not survive a street fight, even black belts, and you want me to tell you why? It’s because they are not willing, or not able to do what it takes to survive a real life confrontation.

Some of them are so used to sparring or kata training in the dojo that they can’t tell the difference between what they do, and think they are capable of, and what happens in a real fight. Yeah, it looks good at a demo when you want to get some signups for your program… but does it work?

If you want to survive a real fight, you DO have to know the difference between what’s real and what’s not and understand the “bad-habits” you are building.

Let me help you out with this.

Here are a few of the differences you should understand:

  1. When you spar there are rules to be followed. For instance, you can’t kick your opponent in the groin or pull his hair or bite him. Well I recommend all these in a fight.
  2. In your sport system, there are “no-strike” zones, which are areas of your opponent’s body you can’t strike or kick. And don’t even consider using a knife, gun, chair or pen that you might be able to reach for. I talk all about improvised weapons in my course.
  3. In your sport system, you are almost always matched against someone your size, age, experience level, and probably gender. In a real self-defense situation this will likely not be the case, especially for a woman. And if you are a man, a larger guy, or group of guys, will probably attack you. There is no such thing as a “fair fight” in the real world.

My advice to you if you want to know whether or not your chosen system is ready for a real world attack is to…

Ask Yourself These Questions:

  1. Are you learning how to survive, on the street, with no rules, no referee, and no limitations?
  2. In class when doing a punch or kick, does the instructor tell you to “do it the right way” meaning to throw the punch or kick right where your classmate can execute the techniques “correctly?”
  3. Are you learning to defend yourself with and against common street weapons (knives, guns, clubs, etc.), and I mean in a realistic fashion where the attacker does not try to overhead strike you with the knife, or leave the knife extended so you can do your perfect disarm technique?
  4. Are you training realistically against multiple attackers, who attack you at the same time and not one on one like in a Bruce Lee movie?
  5. Are you fighting against someone 2 1/2 times your size? As an agent I have had to deal with people hyped up on drugs or so pissed that they could not feel pain, or that broken bone I had just given them.

Look, a real fight has two rules: you fight smarter, and you fight to win — or you end up beaten, broken, or in the morgue and on a police report under the heading of “victim”!

In battle, the person that wins is the one who has the best training and the most aggression… no exceptions!

Effective self-defense requires more than just a few “karate moves.” It involves strategic thinking and an understanding of how to effectively defend yourself with as little damage to you as possible.

If you really want to know what most people don’t know about how to master self-defense and how to survive a real street attack check out here. We won’t steer you wrong.

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19 thoughts on “Why Most Martial Arts Training FAILS! (Here’s What To Do.) – Derek Smith”

  1. Thanks!!! I’ve been in many street fights, when I went to my younger brother’s dojo to watch, I held back the laughs. When we got home I asked him “What if someone does this?” “You’re not allowed to.” Luckily I was always there to protect him. What you say rings deadly true.

    You’re never too old Anthony. Got a pen? Jam it into the guy’s neck. Odds are when he sees his blood and it’s difficult to breath, you’ll have won.

  2. No such thimg as a fair fight on the street at all. If you think your attacker is going to fight fair your sadly mistaken. Ive learned and taught my kids how to snap joints, choke someone out, and even how to take somebodys eye out with just the thumb.

  3. No martial arts class I took taught me to think and fight like a desperate animal, an animal that will do ANYTHING to survive. I never took more than a few months of lessons anyway. I thought there was way too much emphasis on technique in the early stages; almost no mention of the necessity for survival. That survival instinct is the only thing that saved my ass more than once. Street fighters will kill you. If you aren’t ready to kill him, or them, immediately, you better run damned fast.

  4. Your absolutely right. When i got out of the Marine Corp and joined a Karate club to further my training I was amazed at what I was being taught. Karate and self Defense are two very different things.

  5. Hi there,

    My questions are:
    1 Do you really think that a karate man, say, of 6 or 7 dan who trained for decades and regularly attends competitions with success is just a buffoon when it comes to his encounter with a seasoned and vicious street fighter

    2 What do you think of these martial artist movie stars such as Steven Seagal, Jet li, Michael White etc . Much the same, they would went down fast in real confrontations?

  6. I’m 65 5/7 250 pounds so I need a way to get the job done fast or its over for me not out to kill someone but it seems like a man needs to no something I never was really that good wish I was a guy started hitting me in my side the other day for no reason well I got up and it was stopped since then he has threatened me when he sees me he has a reputation they say he gets his man I’m not a fighter took karate off and on when I was younger didn’t stay with it I’m to old anyway

  7. Great article. To the point, well stated no B.S filler crap I agree 100%. You have 3 opponents in Every real life confrontation: yourself, the threat and the law. The hardest one to defeat often times is you more specifically , your mind. Unless you are willing to do whatever it takes to survive the threat and the law doesn’t matter because your either dead or beat to a pulp. The best fight is the one you don’t get in. The phrase situational awareness is rather cliche now. Critically awareness. Is absolutely necessary. Are you prepared to win the fight of your life?

  8. I have to agree. Karate Kata seem to contain effective Self-Defence moves, but I reckon many Karate schools forgot their real use. Some say the problem began when Karate left Okinawa. Judo is alot more interesting, but Judo alone could easily leave you on the ground with the Bad Guy on top of you and his mates kicking your head in. I put my faith in Boxing Fitness classes because you need to get on with simple practical skills. Ordinary strength and fitness don’t go out of your head when an unexpected situation arises.

  9. From the research I have done over the past 25-30 years I have learned that the basic styles of karate came from or are linked to Shotokan. Shotokan is a great style in many respects but it was developed as a schoolchildren’s art and designed to fail. It took me from 1967 to 1985 to really discover this. I was sitting on a hillside in Guam doing jungle training. I reflected that right here American Marines and Soldiers and Japanese troops were fighting for yards of terrain. Much of it was hand to hand or very close quarters combat. Could my martial art training to that point withstand a hand to hand/life or death encounter? I had to be brutally honest and say no. I had to change things. Now with almost 50 years in the martial arts I readily concur with the blog. The practice of kata in many schools is a real joke. Unless you can crack the code of the techniques you might as well be doing ballet. It is a better workout and safer. Free sparring is the worst training you can do for self defense. You can punch at someone and pull the punch six inches from the target and still get points. You never know if your technique will work like it is claimed to work. By the way, it doesn’t unless all of the conditions are right and everything is “dojo perfect.” It never is. To win you must be willing to do what ever it takes to put the attacker down and stop the attack.

  10. Hi, I am 76 years old. I seriously doubt you can show me how to defend myself against
    Several thugs much younger then I. I’ve been in the military and I used to be very strong
    but that is all gone now. I try to,stay in very safe areas as much as possible and pry I never
    run into one of those jerks.

  11. you are correct, in our dojo we train as real as possible without getting hurt we have to go to work the next day. we train from a standing position then attack with punches always two at a time. we train with a knife first two up then attack with the knife and with your hand and both feet all at the same time to set you up for the kill. once you hurt your appoent the next two are up and we start over.