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  • Can people working in non-violent jobs have far superior techniques with weapons than martial artists,RBSD instructors, police, military, and other violence professions?Even being better scarier killers when the time calls for it with their tools?

Self Defense/Can people working in non-violent jobs have far superior techniques with weapons than martial artists,RBSD instructors, police, military, and other violence professions?Even being better scarier killers when the time calls for it with their tools?


QUESTION: Before you read the rest of my question WATCH this VIDEO. BE SURE TO WATCH IT.

AGAIN BE SURE to watch the above link because its a FUNDAMENTAL car part to my question.

Than read this link below (because its also another part of the car).

Now you said you worked all over multiple jobs over the year from bouncer to rancher to RBSD instruction.

You also said its poor lower-class people of farmer background and other manual labor jobs who are most pragmatic about violence.

SO I am curious if the header question of mine. To repeat.

"Can people working in non-violent jobs have far superior techniques with weapons than martial artists,RBSD instructors, police, military, and  other violence professions?Even being better scarier killers when the time calls for it with their tools?"

Because I cannot tell you how many times violence professionals (many who have actual limited experience in violence) always bash when cinema shows a 3rd world farmer able to overpower a special forces operative  and stab him much faster than than said SF soldier could react in time to attempt knife disarms. Or how martial artists always yell "thats unrealistic! In real life a farmer who only skins rabbit of his fur would not be able to hit slash and disable a thug!" and such comments whenever a working class man is portrayed in mass media as being just as effective with using tools as weapon as a bounty hunter or policeman.

My experiences as a butcher and the summer I spent in Algeria with relatives of mine who are farmers and ranchers makes me wonder how legit such criticisms are? I mean I was shocked as hell of how difficult it was to kill the giant bird the first time I went on a hunting trip after moving in with my uncle's family for that summer in Algeria!

I mean as a rancher you probably had to kill some animals and you said you worked in various violence profession style job. So I ask your input.

ANSWER: Yes anyone can be better with a tool than someone else.

There's more to it than that.

Flat out, a butcher is better handling a knife than than a special forces guy. The butcher spends more time with a knife in his hand. But a butcher isn't necessarily a killer of animals. I know lots of ranchers who can kill animals pretty quickly, but that's not the same skill as a city  butcher. While some of the knowledge to kill an animal translates to humans, skills are not a one-to-one conversion.

Here's a historical fact, peasant revolts may have initial success, but they ALL go down against professional armies. The ONLY way revolutions work is when the army joins the revolt. In the same way individual warriors go down against soldiers working together. That's why Rome conquered the Ancient World. They were often fighting peoples who had very brave and individually skilled warriors, but were not acting in coordinated action with each other. The Romans were. The Romans won. (What's not well known is the 'barbarians' who did defeat the Romans in later years overwhelmingly had been trained by the Romans themselves.)

You're asking a question that is basically apples and oranges because you're equating (individual) fighting prowess with professional soldiers (coordinated action and support)

I have a friend who was in Vietnam. He was a Ranger on a LRRP team. They went into a village where a guy was working out with Chinese Butterfly Swords. The guy saw them and charged the 8 man team. They all shot his ass. They finished their patrol in silence, got evac'ed out --in silence -- and they all sat down back in camp and the squad leader finally said "What the fuck was that?"  Everyone burst out laughing.

While someone might come out ahead in a one-on-one with an individual soldier, that's not how they're trained to fight -- because one-on-one doesn't win battles, much less wars.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I'd like to point out my question goes beyond military vs farmer-in fact that wasn't even the main point.

First reread my linked thread. A lot of comments were now added from site memebers and sadly it turned into a flame war. But read the comment and you'll understand why I wrote the thing and the rest of what I will soon write. Its now gone to three pages but PLEASE read whats been added to the thread in advance.

I am more concerned about how many people think just because they trained in martial arts or just because they are in "violent" professions (not just military but jobs on a smaller scale or focusing more on indivudal "man to man" level for lack of better word such as police, bounty hunters, RBSD instructors, spies, etc) they tend to act high and mighty about their proficiency with weapons and look down on manual laborers and athletes with contempt because they don't know how to "swing a baseball bat properly" to hurt someone.

Not lying about the last comment-I actually seen an RBSD instructor hold baseball players in contempt because they "swing the wrong way" and are "teaching kids to swing like athletes, instead of fighters).

In the same mold  about French soldiers being pissed at Algerian farmers for being able to utilize stealth and ambush French soldiers.

I was not even merely talking about individual one-on-one. There's far more details that I omitted because it wasn't relevant to the topic at hand (which is "specific skills such as stealth movement and knife techniques)" that the battle of Algiers showed.

But to put a more related example since you mistaken my article about being farmer VS soldier and another "improvised weapons and martial arts VS real military equipment and professionally trained forces".

The Battle of Algiers in addition to showing individual Algerian farmers being able to stalk French soldiers without being caught and staking them out hitting their weak points (neck, kidneys,  armpits) with a knife with such finesse and precision.......

The film shows multiple times these same Algerian farmers being so well coordinated as a TEAM. In one scene an Algerian policeman was investigating an area when French kids started approaching him. The Algerian investigator naturally was able to knock some of them to the ground as they begin to approach him with obvious signs of ill-intent (having weapons in hands, yelling anti-French remarks, etc). Suddenly the Algerian kids  all charged at him, used their masses to knock him to the ground, and began stomping him.

There are many cases in the film of Algerian lower classes defeating French soldiers in a melee by outflanking them.

One memorable scene: the French soldiers may have had machine guns but the Algerians maneuvered themselves behind. Just as a peasant hiding behind a car brought out the machine gun and a fire fight started between French and Algerians, the other Algerians who maneuvered  behind the French unit before the fire fight suddenly came out of nowhere with knives and attacked the French soldiers  from the blind angles, killing them.

NOT A CASE of INDIVIDUAL VS INDIVIDUAL but a classic example of teamwork. I mean it must have taken coordination along with some subconscious "teamwork"  and lots of GUTS to do something as risky as this. I mean these Algerians who went behind the French were hiding behind obstacles, going from different angles of the streets, etc. It takes SPECIAL FORCES level of training to do something like this just with knives.

Now the film also shows lots of these "untrained" farmers utilizing French military tactics, but that was later after the Algerians  modernized their forces. The incidents such as the kids overwhelming the police and the Algerians attacking French soldeirs armed with machine guns from blindspots (after some other Algerians distracted them by firing their own rifles) all TOOK PLACE BEFORE the Algerians modernized their forces and gave them proper training, equipment, etc. At this point it was literally just farmers who were just using skills they learned from their lifestyle.

SHIT I might have thrown this whole discussion into another "soldier vs farmer" discussion. PLEASE don't mistaken that but I had to bring that example because it makes me doubt the notion that "professional training"- especially in the martial arts, RBSD classes, and military bootcamp-  are NECESSARY for civilians (especially those who have hard lives) to be good at things that theoretically require years of specialized training (such as cooperating with your friends to distract thugs armed to the teeth while your buddies sneak behind them to shoot them while you're busy suppressing the with machine guns).

I mean that specific comment I heard from a RBSD instructor because he was angry baseball players were able to kill trained martial artists in a film and saying that pro-baseball players do not know how to swing their bats properly...... Not to mention a few other comments from individual soldiers (who claim to have "mastered combatives) criticizing a movie because it portrayed lumberjacks as quickly dispatching an SF commando with an Ax even though the SF commando charged first with a knife.....  MMA fans angry that a construction worker took out a pro fighter in a TV show with a hammer (well in fact I witnessed my uncle dispatch an MMA fanboy who was a blackbelt in TKD seconds before MMA fanboy realized a hammer was just swung).

Thats what my question is about. Not soldiers vs untrained civilian (though I had to bring up the Battle of Algiers example).

I already am getting way beyond just skill with using tools and weapons  in battle by bringing up the examples in Battle of Algiers but I felt they were good points of what I'm illustrating.

I mean when I was living with my Algerian relatives two years ago for a whole summer, the way they could cut birds with knives and their stealth movements when hunting for food just rocked my world. Prior to living with them, I remember thinking how I was big and bad with martial arts because I practised with knives and other tools. But my months with them really really made me skeptical of "masters of martial arts" that I'm been fed into all my years of taking traditional martial arts. Cutting a live bird far far more difficult than those huge slabs of meats in the dojo I attended.

Which is the main point. The contempt of "so-called violence professionals "(who never been into a life or death situation where they are legally permitted to kill someone with a knife) towards working class for not being able to "wield" a baseball bat properly and especially how fictional portrayals showing working class people taking out bounty hunters, police, soldiers,  and blackbelts out  witht heir tools faster than said violence professional can swing their bo staff or whatever weapon they're  trained to use as part of their jobs.

Is it really legit? Because as my months in Algeria showed me, I don't ever recall your run-of-the-mill bounty hunter having to kill animals with his knife let alone kill a hardcore criminal (making generalizations to prove a point). Nor do most soldiers I know have any clue how to coordinate well together to take on a group of thugs in street violence (as whatever teamwork and group coordination they have in executing firefight manuevers seem to magically disappear when they engage in a bar brawl). Not lying about the last sentence as I am personally shocked how they are so skilled at  military exercises but completely suck at backing cooperating with each other to take out a 6'6 muscular biker (I actually saw this happened at the bar- large biker took out 5 military guys by himself; the military guys were so terrible at trying to work together despite the fact they quite excelled  when I saw them in the fields).

To mention another example-witnessing an Algerian shepard take out thugs with his shepard rod far faster than any swinging techniques I seen by the blackbelts in my dojo was another eye-opener in addition to the first time I had to go out hunting in the desert.  To add on to the biker taking out 5 soldiers, one of my Algerian relatives (a female) was also being harassed when we were in town shopping. Fight broke out as the males demanded traditional cultures of apology. When the fight broke out, my relatives quickly overwhelmed the pervert. In an instant as soon as they blows were exchanged,  two of my relatives ran at the pervert and hold him on the ground while another was stomping the pervert.

If my post got too convulated sorry but I had to bring them up since you mistakenly misinterpreted my question as "improvised weaponry vs military weapons and farmer vs soldiers". You just inspired a few mroe question but they are not related to this thread so I'll save them for later.

But I hope this made my main question clearer. Which was "Could nonviolent jobs and lifestyle make untrained civilians far superior in using tools than a martial artist trained in such tool or violence professional utilizing such tools frequently"?

Because you misinterpreted my question and I ended up bringing examples not necessarily related to using equipment as a result, I'm making this quesiton even broader now.

"Can non-criminal civilians working in certain professions and living in certain lifestyles or economic/social classes be superior to violence professionals and martial artists/rbsd instructors at many things related to violence?"

Because part of why I'm so confused right now (because you mistaken my question about soldiers vs farmers) is this:

You said lower class people tend to be far more pragmatic about violence on a Facebook post.

And from my personal experience, in Algeria, I seen peasants COORDINATE at a far superior level than soldiers do. Like my relatives, many Algerians I met can utilize teamwork to blitz you in a second because before you realize it one of them will be behind you holding you in a rearchoke as the rest are hitting you. Not once in a bar have I seen soldiers (Despite being "trained to work as a group" prove to be so efficient in such team-based movements in violence. In fact many violence professionals (not just soldiers but martial artists, RBSD, street police, and even bounty hunters) I personally know may be effective in their jobs cooperating with others at the specific violence their job is involved in (such as martial artists using team work in katas, police calling for backup and placing snipers to protect cops raiding a building, etc). But outside of the violence their job deals in, they are TERRIBLE at teamwork and coordination. They actually are even MORE ONE-on-ONE outside of their profession's violence (as I seen in bars where soldiers including special forces get taken down so easily by civilians in unarmed combat).

ANSWER: No I did not misinterpret your question. I answered it in the first line.

>Yes anyone can be better with a tool than someone else.

Then I followed it up with

>There's more to it than that.

One of the many factors involved also include R.O.E.s (Rules of engagement). Despite the bullshit you hear about "there are no rules in a street fight" and "Alls fair in love and war" there are ALL kinds of rules about violence -- most of them related to what level of violence it is.

What are the limits people are operating under about violence? What is the goal of the violence (notice the very specific identifier 'the violence.) What is the age of the participants? Is it social or asocial violence? What is the financial/social cost of engaging/not engaging?

You keep on talking about Algerian peasants. (Not mentioning Algerian veterans from WWII or the '58 Crisis.) Yes, working together they could kill soldiers... and they did. With enough regularity that the French pulled out in 1962.  Asymmetrical warfare can be VERY expensive for the more powerful and organized side trying to fight a guerrilla force. The primary reason is this the ROE that the more powerful side has to operate under. Rules the weaker side doesn't

You keep on talking about Algeria and how the rebels successfully drove the French out. It only worked because the French weren't willing to do genocide. That ROE is pretty much the only thing that allows for asymmetrical warfare to be successful. I'm going to point to Nazi Germany's actions in the East. See everyone knows about the 4 million Jews who died in the Concentration Camps. Folks are less knowledgeable about the 12 million Slavs who died in camps. Of the 50 million people who died in WWII Slavic people suffered most. Because the Nazis were bent on genocide in the name of Lebensraum (living space) they slaughtered Slavs like dogs.  The Japanese Army at places like the Rapes of Nanking and  Manila, the Bataan Death March, etc. Oh yeah, until they quit using outright slaughter in the 3rd Century, the Romans were the only people who could keep peace in the Balkans.

There is also a very, very important aspect of asymmetrical warfare. Cost. Under Imperialism/colonial system the subject land/colonies could only trade with the master/mother country.  It was a type of monopoly that really screwed the subjected state/colony as there is no free market to adjust prices for goods. To maintain this monopoly required the master/mother country to have an extremely long supply chain to project force into these areas. France, England, Belgium and Spain couldn't do it anymore when the locals started rising up to throw off the yoke. Locals have the 'hometown advantage' and -- until they pick up a weapon -- they're a non-combatant.  That's what makes hit and run tactics so effective. Attack a patrol, run around the corner and put down the weapon and you're just another civilian -- which the military can't slaughter. Eventually, it becomes too expensive for the master/mother country to maintain a presence there.   In order for asymmetrical warfare to work, you bleed the other side's economy. Given they're not going to do genocide, they can't afford to stay. (Interesting thing when the guerrillas drop this strategy [like the Viet Cong did during the Tet Offensive] and try to fight head on with the military, they get slaughtered [like they did in the Tet Offensive in '68]).

People do not understand the importance of R.O.E. Either in warfare or in individual conflict. That and not understanding the economics why so many comparisons about military and civilian conflict are off in left field. As is the idea of bringing military combatives into a civilian context. (For example how bad ass you are if you Krav Maga 'cause it's a military fighting system). Nor does the fact that a guerrilla force supposedly 'stood up' to a superior force mean much as how bad ass they are (or even better). The Filipino rebels didn't drive the Japanese out, the Battle for the Philippines did. Come to think of it, the French Resistance didn't drive the Nazis out, the Allies did that too. But man oh man do they claim they did.
Would the Algerian rebels have been as successful if the French were following Nazi-Eastern-Front ROE's? Rules of engagement. Where the goal was not the enslavement of the locals, but the extermination? This so they could replace them with French?

Now you ask this question:
>"Can non-criminal civilians working in certain professions and living in certain lifestyles >or economic/social classes be superior to violence professionals and martial artists/rbsd >instructors at many things related to violence?"

Yes. No. Maybe. Sometimes. It depends.  

To understand why that IS the answer, you have to understand ROEs, levels/goals of force and how different people -- in the same conflict --have different ROEs and goals.

Your story about an old guy dropping a martial artist is a fine example. The martial artist was there to 'fight' (to prove something socially and using one level of force). He was not prepared for the level of force the older guy was willing to use. A level of force the older guy HAD to use or the younger guy would have likely hurt him.  Thing was, the younger guy wasn't ready for that level. That's why he lost. BUT flip it around, if the older gut tried to go head to head with the younger guy (using the younger guy's rules) he would have gotten his ass kicked.

Thing is many MMA/RBSD/martial artists BELIEVE -- not think, not know, but believe -- the very, very small skill sets that they develop for a particular type of violence is universal. Because they have this small corner of the subject they tell themselves they understand the whole, hugely complex subject of violence.  

Now what you're also asking about is why are people arrogant -- usually without good reason, but occasionally with reason.

Well part of it is the belief that 'because I know this small subject' I'm better than you. That is human nature, a lot of people are looking for ways to feel superior to others to keep from being overwhelmed by the infinity of the universe. If I grab onto this one little thing I can tell myself I'm better than everyone, that I have control in a universe that is so big that if you ever saw it with the shields of beliefs your head would explode.

A lot of people in the martial arts grab onto this false belief and that's what makes them special. (Or so they think.) It's no better or worse than a violence professional doing the same thing (looking down on others who claim expertise in their field). It doesn't really matter if they can't fight their way out of a wet Kleenex, it's mostly about how special I am because I know something you don't know.

That is a condition of the human ego. We do it over all kinds of things, not just over the subject of violence.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: OK next follow up.

Part 1

How far effective are "working tools" in a nonviolent job be as far as conditioning your neurological system and "muscles" for using a tool as a weapon when the time comes?

I may sound like I am repeating a statement I made earlier BUT I am NOT. I'm now asking a related but altogether different question.

As the linked post above states, someone who cuts plants down witha  machete daily has developed muscles to swing the blade.....

However you also mentioned:

"Flat out, a butcher is better handling a knife than than a special forces guy. The butcher spends more time with a knife in his hand. But a butcher isn't necessarily a killer of animals. I know lots of ranchers who can kill animals pretty quickly, but that's not the same skill as a city  butcher. While some of the knowledge to kill an animal translates to humans, skills are not a one-to-one conversion."

I ask because one of the things common in Hong Kung Cinema is showing a rich well-to-do noble practising MANUAL LABOR despite coming from the upperclasses (who in Chinese society traditionally despise the working class). IN most cases he should be outcasted from the rich class..... But because he is pracitising in one of the finest dojos, he is excused from mockery and ostracization because the school's curriculum requires doing manual labour.

A common storytelling theme shows that while the spoiled rich kid initially despise the "Tests" he is given and even considers leaving the dojo because he's getting fed up of doing manual labor beneath him, after several months in the dojo (but doing nothing but lower class work), he is finally given a weapon. The master gives the rich kid a weapon. The kid complains he hasn't received any training with weapons because all he's done so far is chop wood or some other activity (utilizing tools that use similar movements to using the weapon). After some clumsy attempts of trying to wield the weapon without instruction, the master finally tells the student to "act like you're chopping wood" (or whatever manual labor task rich spoiled Chinese noble has been doing). So when the noble finally imitates manual labour tasks with the actual weapon, he swings it-and depending on the movie- 1) DESTROYS a hard object like a long log of wood statue, etc 2) Successfully parries blows the master suddenly sends with another weapon 3) IS able to swing with such finesse that you can feel force and precision from the blow despite only practising in the air.

The noble is than amazed how he actually knows how to do basic techniques with the weapon despite RECEIVING no actual training using the weapon. And he finally understands why the old master ordered him to spend months doing hard labour using specific tools. And than the real training with the weapon begins (where the masters begin to teach real fundamentals lke footwork, counter attack, etc).

Basically the manual labor for the first month at the dojo is supposed help the rich aristocrat develop the necessary strength, endurance, and neuromuscular elements in order to even hope to swing the heavy long sword or spear properly.

And the master than explains that if the aristocrat hadn't been following his orders to cut stone masonry or chop wood,etc the aristocratic teen would not have able to even hold the training sword, spear, or whatever weapon properly (because of its design which is heavy and harder to grip than actual war weapons because they are training tools intended to help develop the fundamentals for wielding the real things used in war).

Of course you said that using a weapon a tool in hard labour does not necessarily translate to killing a human. But because the cliche of "manual labour develops the foundation for swinging a weapon" is so common in Kung Fu cinema, I am quite curious if there is some truth in this?

>How far effective are "working tools" in a nonviolent job be as far as conditioning your neurological system and "muscles" for using a tool as a weapon when the time comes?

How good is being able to drive a car when it comes to driving a truck?

Many of the fundamentals are the same, but they manifest differently depending on the size of the vehicle. Just because you can drive one doesn't mean you'll be able to drive the other. That's because while the similarities are important, equally important are the differences.

From an offensive standpoint, yes familiarity with a tool allows for more effective use. That goes without saying -- especially regarding speed and fluidity. Does it automatically teach targeting and tactics? No.

From a defensive standpoint, not at all. There are very specific moves that are necessary to stop and incoming attack by another weapon. A butcher may hold a knife all day, but that doesn't automatically instill in him the skills not to get stabbed by one.

Skipping all the movie noise
>Of course you said that using a weapon a tool in hard labour does not necessarily translate to killing a human. But because the cliche of "manual labour develops the foundation for swinging a weapon" is so common in Kung Fu cinema, I am quite curious if there is some truth in this?

Two things. One is some years ago I was watching a series "Making a Marine" They showed recruits coming through bootcamp. One aspect was teaching Gracie Jujitsu for 'hand to hand' (It's since changed to more injury oriented styles -- and consequently, injuries have skyrocketed.)  Now the DI they interviewed made what I considered a brilliant observation when he said, "We're not expecting them to fight at this range, but what we're doing here is instilling the willingness to fight at ANY range."

That's an important concept -- especially if you are trying to train people who have been conditioned out of fighting at all. I tell you that so you can understand what manual labor does teach.

Manual labor, requires a different mindset. It also requires you move a specific way to 'work' (both in the labor sense and results [physics]) As a foreman, I would often let new employees struggle for a while before showing them how to move correctly.  (Don't hold the shovel that way, hold it this way.) If you showed people how to do 'right' from up front, they never developed an appreciation of why 'this way is better.' You let someone struggle to split wood with just their arm muscles -- and after they're frustrated, aching and tired, you show them how to lift the ax and drop their weight with their knees. (You straighten your knees as you lift/upswing the ax -- so your legs are moving its weight. Then you bend you knees [dropping your weight) as the ax strikes [thereby putting your bodyweight behind the chop]).

The lesson of manual labor is not to teach you to move correctly with the weapon. That's a specific set of movements. The lesson is that it is important to move correctly -- no matter how you're moving. You can move wrong in MA training and fool yourself that you're hitting the bag real hard. But you can't fool a piece of wood into splitting if you aren't moving correctly.

The second reason is pain. I have a friend who is Special Forces. He's from a hardscrabble farm in Tennessee. He grew up with hard, painful manual labor. More importantly, that during certain times of the year, it sucked. Working oneself to the point of exhaustion and being so tired and aching that there is no position you can lay that doesn't hurt.  That's life on a farm during certain seasons. You just accept the pain and suffering and keep on going.

The reason I tell you about him is during SF training a lot of healthy and fit gym rats encountered this level of pain and exhaustion for the first time in their lives. And, as he said, "They didn't understand it." They'd never been in a situation where there's nothing they could do about hurting and being trashed.  These guys dropped out. Whereas farmboys and manual laborer types 'embraced the suck' and kept on going.

The result was tough assed motherfuckers to start with, but highly trained after that.

You're asking about untrained (but tough people) beating trained but not tough people. Yeah, that does happen -- especially with middle class martial artists tangling with what I call average assholes (construction workers)  But what you're not factoring in is the sheer nightmare of someone who is both tough AND trained. Neither one alone is guaranteed, but the combo is... as I said ... a nightmare.  

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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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