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Self Defense/If punching and kicking is so ineffective, how come professionals can break your bones (esp. champs like Mike Tyson)?


I just saw your article on TMA VS keping it real in the west.

This quote specifically caught my interest.

"A punch by itself ainít shit. The real injuries from a punch are usually because the guy loses his balance and hits his head. That applies to pretty much any kind of hit too.(If you watch the Ray Rice video, he didnít knock her out, she hit her head on the elevator hand rail). The traditional martial arts pulled out the other stuff that makes kicks and punches effective and just left those. That reduced them to either sports or fighting. (Fighting equals two guys punching each other out to prove whose dick is bigger ó NOT trying to kill each other.)"

Now this other part of the article GETS fans of "REALISTIC" Fighting sports ANGRY all the time. Especially boxing.

"Then you get Ďtraditional.í Thatís where a lot of that bone snapping, skull shattering stuff was intentionally pulled out and replaced with the least effective way of attacking another human was emphasized ó punching. Yeah, stop and think about it, if punching is all that effective then why do boxing and MMA matches last so long?"

ALthough not exactly that specific quote, I seen so many people in MMA forums and ESPECIALLY boxing forums call out on your claims as BS.

The BOXING crowd ALWAYS LOVE to point out properly trained, a professional level boxer WILL SMASH someone's face so hard they will need surgery afterwards to even keep it intact. Same with the MMA crowd and fans of "hard" stirking styles like Muay Thai who argue a proper MT fighter would easily damage a random street mugger's internal organs with one knee or a  proper  Kyokushin fighter would break your legs with several powerful kicks.

I'd normally call BS but I have done my research......

For example I would of a biography discussing during his time when he was banned from pro-boxing,  Mike Tyson FUCKING CRUSH people's faces into a trainwreck out in random brawls at bars or restaurants etc. WITHOUT glvoes or fistcuffs or other equipment that protect the hand and enable full power. FUCK he was drunk in many of these encounters so his techniques probably werne't even executed correctly.

I would about Yakuza thugs using karate style kicks that easily break ribs, etc and there wwas at least one incident I read where a Muay Thai fighter broke the legs of some guy in New York during a bar brawl in on single roundhouse.

So I have to ask ask why there are so many ases of kicks and punches being able to DESTROY people's bodies if they were so ineffective?

You stated out that if punches and kicks were so deadly, how come professional matches last so long...... EXCEPT these are fights between PROFESSIONALS who are at the peak of human conditioning. Naturally its going to take a hell lot more than a well placed punch at the temple to wipe these guys unconscious on the floor.

So I am confused.

Are you saying if athletes at the peak of human conditioning used those "old school" techniques, that even between guys of equal skill the loser would be killed in an instant?

Because I have to say the MMA crowd, the sportified "traditional martial arts" folks, and especially the boxing fandom has a point. I can understand its better for someone who doesn't have the time to spar 8 hours a day to aim at the neck with a a welll place finger thrusting technique esp. against a stronger opponent.

But with pros like Jack Dempsey KOing punks who tried to mug oor vandalize their property or other crimes with a single straight punch or a hard kneeing technique, I can't help but wonder if you're merely exagerrated punching and kicking's uselessness to show how deadly other alternative strikes are?

I mean Jack Dempsey was already out of shape and hadn't boxed for decades when he had to kick a swaggering young man away from his restaurant. He wasn't even hitting with full power but just a single punch alone literally KOed the tough guy with just a single punch.

So if an overweight retired champ who was now running a restaurant for a living could KO a reasonably strong young man with one hit, I don't think pro fighters awould have a difficult time killing criminals with kicks and punches.  

The boxing crowd is especially pissed at your comments because they believe all the weightlifting and other training bxoers does is far harder than those "old school" martial arts you do.

To the point there are reports of BOXERS literally BREAKING wooden tables with one blow and with a gloves on boxers are known to break breaks, dent crack on cement building infrastructure, and even break giant stones apart with a simple  jab. I'm not talking about heresay but REAL STUFF reported by credible boxing organizations and historians. Rocky Marciano broke wooden bathroom stalls one time when he was pissed at the payroll he was getting during training as one boxing historian recorded.

call out, claim, cases, would easily, heard, story, story, story, story...

Those are just three links to "Boxing fracture." When it comes to the downside you might want to look at medical numbers instead of just getting sources from those who have bought into it.

And yes. I know all about the stories and examples of a trained fighter taking people out with one punch, crushing someone's face with one punch and breaking shit with impact.

I also know the term 'man bites dog.' (When a dog bites a man, it's not news. When a man bites a dog, it's news.)The exception does not make the rule however. While we're at it, neither does the fact that a super-trained expert can do something make it all that effective for everyone else. Which brings up an interesting point...

Ever notice how many of all these people squawking about how devastating these things are are ALL telling stories about someone else doing it? Tell me, when it comes to sex. Do you do it or do you tell stories about other people getting laid? See when you're doing something regularly, you don't have to talk about the exploits of others to prove it works.

I've seen people dropped by one punch. But I've seen way, way more people take a punch and keep on coming. The very fact that boxers and MMAers are arguing this point totally over looks the number of punches, kicks and hits they've taken and kept on going. Ive also see people break their hands and keep on fighting. MOST of the times I saw someone dropped by one blow there were some very specific conditions that had been developed (usually intentionally, although I've also seen them develop by sheer dumb luck).

But overwhelmingly, you see people keep on going when struck -- mostly because while the 'perfect hit' might drop the dude, the perfect hit is damned hard to throw in a melee. Most of the drop the dude with one hit stories you hear, boil down to the puncher basically sucker punching the dude unexpectedly.(Which incidentally should make you stop and wonder about people who boast about having done it. Odds are good those were sucker punches.)

Then there's all those variables between someone getting knocked out, wobbled and falling, knocked over or their commitment just fading because it hurts too much. Someone totally caught flat footed can be dropped by the same powered blow that he'll eat and keep coming either in a fight or the ring. See it's not that simple.

As to what the boxers and MMAer say, while I respect them as athletes and enjoy the sport they participate in, that doesn't qualify them to talk about how things work in the streets. I always tell people that MMA won't be 'real' until the participants don't have to come through metal detectors and can step into the ring with five friends backing them up -- until that time, it remains a sport.

I've seen people seriously physically injured. There's not just 'usually' but overwhelmingly other factors involved than just the punch or the kick.  

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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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