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Self Defense/starting on the martial arts and self defense path

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Question
Soon I will have the resources (money, time, etc) to start learning the martial arts. I have always done things on my own and now that I am formally engaging in these things I have a few questions.
What should I look into to gain a solid foundation? Any specific disciplines you recommend?
What should I go into after having that foundation? Any important guide lines for crosstraining?
 Finally, what should be my next step to learn how to wrap up all those skills into an effective self defense "system"? (The physical, mental, and social aspects of self defense)

I know you don't support just one system or art as the cure all for encountering violence, but I need some where to start and some sound advice so I don't get lost on this path and end up knowing a few different disciplines ineffectively blended together. Your help and expertise would be greatly appreciated.

Answer
You ask seemingly simple questions that don't have simple answers.

Get a pot of coffee brewing, you're going to be reading

http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com/self-defensetraining.htm

http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com/self-defenseexplained.htm
http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com/FEARvsDANGER.html
http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com/crimegoals.htm
http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com/mental_preparation.htm
http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com/five_stages.html
http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com/pyramid.html
http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com/MASDDTtraining.htm

http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com/Krav.html
http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com/repercussions.htm
http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com/fantasy.html
http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com/preattack.html
http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com/get_attacked.htm
http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com/bullies.htm
http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com/grappling.html

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Marc MacYoung

Expertise

Street self-defense, crime avoidance and personal safety

Experience

I grew up in the streets of Los Angeles in 'situational poverty.' I have dealt with criminals and violent people all my life -- both personally and professionally. I have written 15 books and 6 videos on surviving street violence. I was originally published under the name Marc Animal MacYoung. (Animal was my street name). I've taught police and military both internationally and within the US. I've lectured at universities, academies and done countless TV, radio, newspaper and magazine interviews. I'm a professional speaker on crime avoidance and personal safety. And I am an expert witness recognized by the US court system. My bio is at www.nononsenseselfdefense.com/marcmacyoung.html My abridged CV (Curriculum Vitae) is at http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com/seminarEW.htm

Organizations
See CV

Publications
Too numerous to list here. My CV (for my expert witness work in court) is at http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com/seminarEW.htm

Education/Credentials
Read "In the Name of Self-Defense" the streets don't give a Ph.D in scuffle.

Awards and Honors
See CV

Past/Present Clients
See CV

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