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itsjustme 03-10-2009 10:01 AM

Beginner's Dumb Questions. Be a pal and help?
Hi, thanks for reading my thread, I appreciate your help. I'm sorry if this isn't really the place for a question like this; I appreciate that I haven't a chance of competing in the sport, so my post isn't at all about that.

I'm a shrimpy little guy (5'6") and have had too many close calls now with thugs, drunks, etc., a lot bigger than myself.

I've been trying to find a martial arts technique particularly useful for disabling an attacker (much larger and heavier than myself) ending the fight fast and getting away, since there doesn't seem to be any other method for me to reliably protect myself apart from a gun, which is an option that I don't want to have to rely upon completely to deal with every potential physical confrontation.

Muay Thai seems like the right fit for that, since it will teach me how to get in and strike very close, where men larger than me will have a hard time getting any energy into a hit. Am I correct in thinking that, or would you disagree with that conclusion? If you think I'm wrong, then what other martial arts method would you suggest me to pursue? The only problem I can foresee (but of course I'm pretty clueless about fights, I'll admit) is that, being close in, they could grapple with me and I wouldn't have a hope against it since they'd have so much more weight to leverage against me.

If I am on the right track though, then could you please tell me some exercises or other physical conditioning practices to strengthen my knees and elbows, so as to be more effective? My knees in particular need a lot of work; weak/bad knees run in my family. It would be very inconvient, to say the least, to slip a kneecap in the middle of a fight.

All right, thanks again for reading, best of luck to you.

pauly_j 03-10-2009 11:09 AM

I'd say boxing would be better for fighting dudes in the street. Chances are there will be more than one of them, so you're not going to take him down or anything, cos then someone boots you in the head. And MT wouldn't be as useful, except maybe in the clinch(but you're a little guy, so you'd probably get overpowered there anyway). It's not like you're going to be throwing head kicks and stuff.

Tyson2011 03-10-2009 02:21 PM

clinch the dude and throw some knees, or just get in and throw a couple body shots and an elbow to the face, small guys like us are genius's on the inside :)

or just leg kick him good and run for it...usually works :)

or punch him in the can tought out a groin shot...good luck trying to pursue after you've just been punched in the throat.

check out tyson griffin or sean sherk for shorter guys

edit: didnt see you said you had bad knees... my bad.

Dempsey Roll 03-10-2009 02:54 PM

If you want a really good martial art that's widely available and good for self-defense, take Judo. Getting thrown on your head hurts, and it hurts even more if it's onto concrete. Kyokushin's good too. It's got knees and leg kicks like Muay Thai, but it's much more hardcore and realistic.

However, if neither of those are available, Muay Thai isn't bad. You might have trouble kneeing someone taller than you in the head, especially if you have bad knees, but if you can knees from the clinch are great. My advice would be to take a trial class in a few different arts - Judo, Kyokushin, Muay Thai, boxing - and see how they fit.

FrankTheTank 03-10-2009 05:52 PM

true selfdefence form of martial arts in my opinion. easy to learn and doesnt require you to be big.#

try find some videos on youtube of it and let me know what you think

itsjustme 03-11-2009 01:24 AM

Thanks for the replies.

Is there no means of strengthening my knees so that Muay Thai would be a feasible option for me?

I watched some videos of Aikido and Judo (on YouTube) and they all showed roughly equally-sized men throwing eachother around like ragdolls. I don't think that's the sort of thing I could implement when everyone else (that I anticipate I'd have a physical confrontation with) outweighs me significantly.

The last close-call that I had was with some huge wannabe thug who followed me to a grocery store parking lot because I'd dared to honk once at him in traffic (it had to be done, he was on his cell phone doing crazy stuff.) Must've been 6'5" at least and 350lbs. I just had to say what he wanted me to; I've no idea how I could've done anything to defend myself if he'd decided to attack me. I certainly couldn't've slung him over my shoulder like in these Aikido/Judo videos.

If there's really "no one school/style" of martial arts that would be particularly useful, and me bad knees forever proscribe me from exploring Muay Thai, then I guess Jeet Kune Do is the route to go, being the most flexible?

pauly_j 03-11-2009 10:17 AM

I don't think there's any martial art that will make a 5'6 guy beat a guy literally twice his size, unless you've been doing bjj for like 10 years. You need to practise Kikindabalz jun doo.

AkiraInThailand 03-11-2009 11:14 AM

Important to remember muay thai is a sport, not a martial art and was derived from muay boran, which is a martial art. While muay thai is very effective against random dickheads, and certainly gives you confidence in a fight, if you want to control and finish a fight very quickly, kung fu may be better for you.

The conditioning in muay thai comes from years of training on thai pads, heavy bags and sparring. There is nothing else you can do that is effective in conditioning your body. People always say otherwise (coke bottle on the shins, use bamboo), but it's complete bullshit.

Whatever style you choose, train hard, and use the confidence to handle a situation without having to resort to violence. You have to be very careful about who you fight on the street because you don't know what they know, how many mates they have, and how close the nearest cop is. The last thing you want is to knock someone out, have them crack their head on the pavement and die and then you spend years in prison for 'defending yourself'. Even though I train and work in Thailand as a professional thai boxer, I always avoid fighting outside the ring for these reasons. Defending yourself is one thing, but you can't control every variable in a random violent confrontation. This is why I suggested kung fu, because of the various locks and holds you learn to get people on the ground instead of just knocking them out with your fists or elbows.

Another problem of muay thai is a lot of street fights end up on the ground. Muay thai is completely useless against this.

Good luck

Zemelya 03-11-2009 11:36 AM

it's best to find a school with at least 2 different styles, MT and BJJ go together nicely.

BUT the main thing and a must to make your fighting better - is power and strength. No technique will be much effective without good power behind it. Look for school that gives extra attention to this.

Also; styles usually talk for themselves but instructor/school is the most decisive factor when choosing the art.

I wouldn't worry about knees that much, go check it out - see how it is. It's not like people will go after you knees right away or at all - Take it easy on them, try to build strength in them. Having bad knees for the rest of your life is not a good option anyway.

Good luck

Robopencil 03-11-2009 08:05 PM

I would research boxing, muay thai, brazilian jiu jitsu, and judo, and then go with the one you're most interested in. They're all very effective martial arts.

As for strengthening your shins if you get into muay thai, just use a kicking bag.

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