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Alan Armstrong
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 28 Feb 2016
Posts: 2468

PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2019 8:31 pm    Post subject: Teaching Street Fighting Skills? Reply with quote

As we are fully aware that martial arts is used for self defence, then posing the question, is there such a thing as teachable street fighting skills?

I belive there are street fighting skills that are different than mainstream self defence martial arts, that are teachable.

Do you or would you teach street fighting skills openly?

A few lessons on the subject of bare knuckle street fighting skills, as when in competion bouts, grabbing and kicking are not allowed; otherwise it would seem like brawling!

Here are some observations and tips from the bare knuckle days
of settling disputes the old school way.

How to make a fist

Maize (corn) punching bag practice for street fighting

Street fighting rythem

Bare knuckle guard

Footwork for street fighting

There is some confidence to be found in learning the way of the bare knuckle street fighter, as it doesn't hurt to know a thing or two about this realistic street game of sorts, for instance enhancing self defence martial arts with the way of streets and allies.
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Fat Cobra
Green Belt
Green Belt

Joined: 14 Jul 2018
Posts: 375
Location: Watertown, NY
Styles: Ryukyu Kempo

PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2019 7:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have addressed this a few times in these forums. I make a clear delineation between fighting and self defense. Fighting, in my definition, is where 2 or more opponents square off with each other. They both approach each other at a set distance with their guard up, ready for battle. Fighting can range from friendly competition to the intent to do mortal harm to someone. In anycase, though, all opponents start with a constraint--they "put their dukes up" to some degree ready to brawl. They subconsciously agree to somewhat of a fair fight where they both start from an equal position.

Self-defense, in my definition, is where you find yourself in a dangerous situation where your safety, up to and including your life, is in peril. In this case, you do everything possible, from a close distance, to incapacitate your opponent. Dirty moves and tricks (i.e., biting, eye gauging, fish-hooking, etc.) are encouraged. Anything goes to get the opponent incapacitated so you can vacate the area. As opposed to fighting, the defender (uke) in this situation does not agree to start from an equal position nor to make this a fair encounter. The uke will use any and all means necessary to get out of the situation.

Sometimes self-defense situations evolve into a fight, but the uke should try not to let that happen. Just like in the military, you want to gain and maintain contact. Stay close to the aggressor and control the situation. Do your damage to him before he can do this to you.

That being said, and I know this is a long answer to a short question, I teach self defense primarily and fighting secondarily. This includes street fighting.
Godan in Ryukyu Kempo
Head of the Shubu Kan Dojo in Watertown, NY
(United Ryukyu Kempo Alliance)
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Alan Armstrong
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 28 Feb 2016
Posts: 2468

PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2019 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@Fat Cobra, the short answer; one is a consensual fight where the other is not.

Martial arts has in many ways has drifted away from reality, by practicing virtual self defence scenarios and making a show out of it, with acrobatics, that looks impressive to on lookers.

Having some down to earth bare knuckle fighting skillset to draw from, is giving someone a realistic fighting chance in the advent of a real life and death situation.

The beauty of street fighting or bare knuckle techniques are that they are simple to learn and have been utilised (tried and tested) for centuries.

Where martial arts (in the past) has tried to codify these skills; which have been ironically been discarded by the many, in which gave been made to sit in the backyard to rust away.

As the student asks the Kung Fu master.

"I am puzzled master, why do we need to train diligently, daily, to strengthen our mind, body and spirit, to fight with empty hands and with weapons, whereas others fight so brutally well, naturally, without suchlike practice or preparation, is not each way still fighting?"

Master's reply "Yes both are fighting but we do it in style!"
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KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 16479
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2019 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

is there such a thing as teachable street fighting skills?

Sure...why not?? After all, the street is the proving ground for what we've learned from over the many years of training, perhaps from a dojo, for example.

Albeit, the responsibility belongs to the individual. If what's been taught/learned in the dojo, and the like, aren't effective anywhere else, then they'll not be effective in the street whatsoever.


**Proof is on the floor!!!
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Alan Armstrong
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 28 Feb 2016
Posts: 2468

PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2019 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personal bare knuckle striking preference, as this is not a style or system more like a very simplified guide line where this works for me.

"Be the predator and let the opponent be the prey" should be instinctively instilled in all your actions including thoughts.

"See the opponent as a target as you are the weapon"
Being a weapon and not a target

A) First roll the fingers in to a fist and from there, they are tight locked and ready for striking with, where any number of strikes can be used in a firmly clenched fist position

B) Set fists in the diagonal position, which is inbetween a Wing Chun vertical fist and a horizontal karate fist, all punches come from this, as it is body mechanics bending from the waist, that change the angles, nothing else.

C) Arms are held comfortably between oneself and the opponent, not far out and not far in, with fist always in view, pointing at the opponent's check bones, fists always return to middle guard after striking or blocking.

D) Diagonal (blade) stance, shifting bodyweight movements left to right, only using power blows with the use of the entire body, attacking the opponent's balance and structure.

E) Never over reaching, constantly staying grounded and balanced, with feet firmly planted and striking square on with all knuckles, driving deep inwards, avoiding clipping the opponent if possible, as this causes knuckle injuries.

F) Maintaining proper distance, keeping just enough out of range to entice the opponent to over reach or to be too close by crowding the opponent's offence and defence.

G) Staying focused and not expending unnecessary energy, by utilising structure and power from the hips and ground.

H) Sticking to one's own game plan in creating openings, by flanking and using strategic stepping, also not making costly mistakes and taking full advantage of theirs wherever possible.

I) Every movement is either a strike or a set up for a strike, that could double up as a block or a deflection but in actuality it is a wind up for a strike.

J) Striking with the weapon closest to the target (this avoids having a mental block) without hesitation, not allowing the opponent to formulate a plan, by keeping the opponent constantly on the defensive, whilst you can open up on newly created targets.

K) Generating all power and balance from the hips, being careful not to lose sight of creating momentum from the shoulders, which causes lose of balance and power.

Some practice drills:

Donut shifting drill

The leverage block

Shifting footwork
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Blue Belt
Blue Belt

Joined: 14 Oct 2002
Posts: 279
Location: Hayward, Ca
Styles: Kenpo

PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2019 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I personally believe that if your Martial Arts training does NOT prepare you for a real street fight, then your sensei, sifu, guro etc has failed you. The Martial Arts were created for us to be able to protect ourselves. If your training does not do that, then you may need to find a different instructor.
If my survival means your total destruction, then so be it.
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