Private Investigations and Personal Security/Unarmed combat
I'm a big guy (6'4, 290). Most of the systems I've investigated are geared to shorter, smaller, faster people. Is there a discipline that is appropriate for me?
You know, I've never heard it put this way. Most systems "claim" that they are designed to fight people like you.
The reality however, is that what is taught at most schools, really doesn't work against someone your size. In artificial sports styles (where speed and light contact are what "wins") you're going to feel like a hippo trying to dance ballet. They're going dance in zap you and then scoot out of range and be saved by the ref calling "point."
But the truth of the matter is that if you were to ever unload on someone or not cooperate with a technique you'd flatten the smaller faster opponent because they subsitute speed and time limits for fighting skills. A truly skilled smaller fighter isn't going to go head to head with you in a slug fest, he's going to come in and put you at what is called a mechanically disadvantaged position. That is to say that he is going to position you or himself, where you can't attack effectively. He's going to move your body in such a way that you can't do anything.
The fact of the matter is, that is you need to learn how to move despite your larger size. And unfortunately, many styles can't teach you how to do this effectively.This isn't someone being able to swarm all over you and hit you sixteen different times before you can blink. Nor is it being in such good shape that you can stand there and soak up punishment until you clobber your opponent.
I'm talking about someone who can step up and suddenly you feel like you were put into a clothes dryer. There is a certain feeling of "floating in space" when someone knows how to do this and all your size and strength, just aren't on the table anymore. Worse, is they never give you a chance to hit them. It's not that they are particularly fast, it is that they know WHERE they want to be. And that is never in a place where you can hit them. That is effective bodymovement. That is how to control someone else's body as well.
Unfortunately, most styles are just going to teach you how to dart in, punch and then dart out. Or they are going to teach you to charge in and soak up punishment while dishing it out until one of you falls over.
On the other hand, if you learn how to move effectively, then with your size, you'll be able to put someone into orbit.
Honestly, I would suggest that you look into styles that are far more focused on effective movement than hitting someone. Look into Tai Chi, Baugua, Xing yi, Danzan Ryu, judo, Lua (Hawaiian), Hapkido and certain brands of silat. A good instructor will focus far more on effective bodymovement and positioning than they will speed and flashy techniques.
Avoid most commercialized martial arts schools because you won't find what you need. They rely too much on speed and head to head fighting styles.
I'll tell you straight up the guys that I HATED to go up against weren't just big guys. Big guys who didn't know how to move were easy to defeat. But big guys who knew how to move their bodies effectively and weren't trying to stand there and soak up punishment in order to get their own licks in were a frickin' nightmare to face.
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