Which of the martial arts styles is the most effective for a self-defense situation? This question has been asked over and over for many many years and there have been many different answers. Some of the answers have been very objective and intelligent, while others have been outright assanine. Personally, I do not feel that there is one superior style of martial arts for self-defense.
I have studied several different styles of martial arts over many years and found that each one of them has contributed greatly in its own fashion to my self-defense skills. I have trained in Kenpo, Boxing, Kickboxing, Small Circle Jiu Jitsu and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. My Kenpo training gave me strong stances, balance, fluid movement, and basic striking and kicking skills. My Boxing and Kickboxing training gave me good footwork, body and head movement and inside and outside fighting skills. My Small Circle Jiu Jitsu training gave me inside fighting skills with joint locks and manipulations. Finally, my Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training gave me grappling and ground fighting skills.
How could I say that just one of these styles is superior to any of the other when they all concentrate on different skills? Any of the skills that each of these styles teach can be applicable in a self-defense situation, depending on the circumstances. There is no way to tell what is going to happen in a street self-defense situation and it is best to be prepared for all of them as best you can.
Therefore, it is my opinion that there is not one style that is superior to all the others when it comes to self-defense. All of the different styles have something positive to offer. The individual practicing the martial arts techniques will be the determining factor in the situation – not the style of martial arts he practices. Gone are the days of narrow mindedness in the martial arts when instructors would tell their students, “our style is the best and you need not seek out any others”.
It is my belief that a martial artist should obtain as many skills as he can from several different martial arts styles. You will always take something away from any style in which you decide to train, and it will make you a more dynamic and well-rounded fighter. By the way, the more I write, the more this sounds very familiar to me; didn’t the greatest martial artist of all time, the one and only Bruce Lee have this philosophy back in the 60’s??? He was a man way ahead of his time!
This, my friends is the true essence of mixed martial arts.
Until next time, keep up the good fight!