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Self Defense/Are traditional martial arts knife disarms, trapping and stripping, clinching, grappling, and other knife defense techniques missing the engine and/or other car parts?


I already know you are so against knife disarms, trap and strip, grappling and clinching, and other techniques for defense against knives deemed as part of "traditional martial arts". So just to let yah know I read you knife fighting lies article to the point of memorization annd can recall many points you made such as biomechanical cutting etc.

However you also repeatedly state many traditional martial art techniques  as they're taught outside of Asia have removed so many components as to become useless such as the comments you made in the reverse punch article I asked weeks ago.

So I'm quite curious are many techniques-in particular as taught in Jujitsu- missing so any necessary car parts?

For example:

I really thought what he was advocating-grab the knife blade with your bare hands- was UTTER BULLSHIT! And initially I thought it was a sign that Jujitsu was a bunch of baloney.

However with some further research, I learned one thing that Matt Larsen completely left out in the video; originally the Samurai, Ashigaru, and other soldiers of Feudal Japan fought in armor. In fact the reason why Jujitsu has so much disarming and direct blocking techniques against sword and knives (as in why they're teaching you to literally parry a blade using your bare arms) is precisely because of ARMOR! The particular technique Larsen showed where you attempt to grab the knife's blade and steal it from your enemy: it was originally done with hard gauntlets so well-designed even a heavy 6 feet tall European Bastard sword would have difficulty crushing it with one blow.

A lot of the bare blocking techniques used to parry knife and sword attacks....... Except they aren't actually using your flesh and bones arm to do the blocking and parrying BUT are actually intended to be used while WEARING arm greaves.

Basically a lot of Jujitsu disarms and unarmed defenses were originally supposed to be used while wearing medieval armor is what I learned. If you try to use your flesh and bones to execute such techniques, you're going to be hacked apart. Its the armor that actually deflects the blade while you grab the knife with your hands or parry the knife blade so you can slam your enemy to the ground or pin him into submission.

So when I see many BS techniques, I now realize a lot of what Western (and even modern Japanese) instructors are teaching are missing the engine along with tires and other parts (in particular the necessary armor).

I am curious is it the same too with other traditional martial arts such as Wing Chun, Silat,Eskrima, and Shaolin? Are they missing key elements needed to successfully disable a person bare handed?

Let's start with the fact that 'martial arts' as a term didn't exist before 1927. It isn't even an Asian term. Ever wondered how Mars, the Roman god of war and the root of the word, martial got to Japan?  The answer is in a travel brochure talking about a festival where ancient (read now obsolete) historical 'arts' like swordsmanship and archery were being demonstrated.

Bruce Lee popularized the term in the '70s -- as was the tendency to group large numbers of diverse mini-groups into one supposedly large homogenized uber-groups for more voting power (i.e. 'christians,' 'black community,' 'women/feminists' etc.) This so a select few could claim to speak for all of them. This despite the actual variation and differences in thought, action and attitude.

So martial arts... yeah, what exactly does that mean anyway? I've heard arguments that something can't be a martial art unless it has a philosophical bent (which is why some people say boxing is not a martial art). I've heard it said that a fighting system can't be a martial art if it isn't a complete system.

Oddly enough, before Bruce Lee started using the term and it caught on, different systems were flat out acknowledged as martial sports or combative sports. In other words, a part of a larger training instead of complete, this is all you need to know. For example, Gichin Funakoshi who introduced karate to Japan taught officers for the Japanese Army. As this was part of a larger ROTC program how 'complete' was it?

So you run into all kinds of problems from the start. Yes fighting systems exist. Yes, in Japan they mix in Buddhism/shinto/zen to make it 'do' (a spiritual way/path) as opposed to jitsu (a job/discipline/practice/training).  Then you get tradition and culture mixed in and things get all kinds of complicated. And way, way overly grandiose.

As in "What is this stuff actually for?"  If you go too far past that idea, you land in either bullshit, fantasy land or spiritual/personal growth.

Here's a hint. Empty handed fighting is social violence. It's what you do when you don't want to hurt someone. If your goal is to fuck someone up or kill them quick, you use a weapon. Sure you can do it bare handed, but that requires some specific things and weapons are WAY easier.

But that isn't cool enough for most people. They aren't thinking about things in terms of ending someone's life and being done with it ... no they gotta tell themselves stories about heroic battles of self-defense using bare hands yada, yada, yada. You try that crap against a wolfpack or a criminal and you're going to get your brains blown into a fine pink mist.

On the other hand, I can pretty much guarantee you that Brazilian Jujitsu will work on Drunken Uncle Albert at a family reunion or controlling a drunk, out of control friend. It's also good for settling disputes between members of the same platoon so nobody gets so hurt he can't show up to PT the next morning. All of whom you DON'T want to hurt.  

But that ain't cool enough for those who think they're training for an epic battle against criminal hordes. No man, what they want to learn is something that works for everything -- including against weapons.

Before you start looking at what is missing from a system that would make it effective, start by looking at what are the limitations and circumstances it was designed to work in, under and for. As a tool, it's probably pretty good for that particular job. But that particular focus will rule out a lot of stuff.

For example. I got into a fight between two pool tables and discovered that the cramped space really limited my options. I heard about Wing Chun which was good for cramped spaces. (Supposedly developed in the tight alleys of Hong Kong). Guess what? It worked. I used it many times in hallways, doorways and between tables. Know where it didn't work so hot? Out in parking lots and against multiple opponents.  I learned Five Family for that.

So before you go too far down the rabbit hole of what is missing or has been lost from a system, start by looking at the bigger picture. Namely the circumstances the system was designed for.

THEN give it the LAC test (Lost Added Context)  

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Marc MacYoung


Street self-defense, crime avoidance and personal safety


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 My abridged CV (Curriculum Vitae) is at

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