Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Do military combatives mean effective self defense?

There are some people who seem to believe that military hand-to-hand combat systems make the best self defense. The reasoning lies in the assumption that people in the military are highly trained in warfare and that it's at a higher level than civilian self defense. Do military combatives make better self defense than civilian self defense?

The answer is generally no and here's why. The Marine Corps Martial Arts Program was eventually designed for self defense during peacekeeping operations (see link below.) The curriculum takes influence from martial arts such as boxing, wrestling, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Savate, Krav Maga, Sambo, kickboxing, Muay Thai, kickboxing, Karate, Muay Thai, kung fu, the list goes on as shown in the videos posted. The mindset is to abide by simplicity and efficiency in order to end the threats quickly in combat. There's varying degrees of lethal force being used, some of which is intended to kill. Training exercises include stress inoculation and realistic scenarios. Training tools include shock knives and other methods. During wartime, hand-to-hand combat is essentially useless. Why? Because the main focus is on killing the enemy via. guns and long range weapons which are your primary line of attack. If you have to resort to hand-to-hand combat, you've done something terribly wrong. Either you've been captured, ran out of ammo which should never happen, and have no weapons to defend yourself with. On top of that, a marine's greatest strength is in numbers. A lone marine is very vulnerable to getting killed in the battlefield as opposed to a platoon.

That being said, how effective is military combatives compared to civilian self defense? Military members and civilians both train in martial arts. While military members do use simple and efficient techniques from martial arts, it is not exclusive to the military. You can find this in martial arts such as Krav Maga and Bruce Lee's philosophy Jeet Kune Do. Civilian hand-to-hand combat systems in self defense abides by civilian law while military hand-to-hand combat relies on military standards. If you tried to use unjustified lethal force on an attacker in the street, you'd probably go to jail. If you are in the military then your aim should be to kill the enemy by any means necessary. Therefore, civilian self defense is in no way inferior to military combatives. Civilian hand-to-hand combat and military hand-to-hand combat are simply used for different purposes.

In conclusion, learning military combatives for self defense makes you no more equipped in defending yourself than a civilian who undergoes similar training in hand-to-hand combat. What's the key? The mindset. By applying the principles of neutralizing the threat, keeping techniques simple and efficient, realistic stressful training, etc. - essentially the same results are achieved between civilian and military self defense. This notion that members of the military are somehow superhuman is false. They are no different than a civilian. What distinguishes them from civilians is the ability to work as a team. Training in military combatives will not make you better at self defense and anyone who tries to convince you otherwise to sell you a product is probably ripping you off.

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