In 2023, the average response time to a 911 call has increased dramatically. According to the Los Angeles Fire Department,
"Our average response time should be anywhere for three to four minutes; ten minutes, you're lucky. Fifteen is common, and twenty is going to be the norm."
Just imagine what could happen to you in fifteen minutes, when some crazy lunatic is trying to kill you and you're fighting for your life. That fifteen minutes is going to feel like fifteen hours. By comparison, one round of boxing is only three minutes. We've seen the damage that happens in three minutes of boxing. Unfortunately, too many of us depend on our phones for our survival. Depending on your phone for survival is like depending on your primary care doctor for oxygen when you're drowning in a swimming pool. Sure, your doctor might arrive and rescue you, but chances are you'd be dead by then. So what's my point? Stop depending on your phone, and other people, to protect you. Stop depending on the police to defend you. Stop depending on your neighbors to defend you. You need to take full responsibility for your own safety and survival. You must become your own Avenger. No one else will take a bullet for you. Own your own self-defense. The sooner you stop depending on others to save you, the sooner you take your own power back into your hands. It doesn't matter who you are - you have the God-given right to protect yourself.
The next question then becomes, "What martial arts should I learn to protect myself?" Simple. You need to train in a fighting system that is modern, realistic and practical. You want to learn how to fight dirty. You want to learn how to fight for situations that have no rules or referees to save you. In other words, we're talking about fighting in the real world.
If you're checking out a martial arts school, ask the instructor questions on rules for his/her martial art. If the martial art has the following limitations, stay away from it:
No punches to the face
No hitting below the belt
No striking allowed
No eye attacks allowed
No groin attacks allowed
Only fights one-on-one (no multiple opponents)
Does not advocate finishing the fight quickly
Does not train with weapons
There are no limitations in the street, so why should you handicap yourself by training in a martial art that has limitations? It doesn't make sense. Here are a few examples of popular martial arts to avoid if learning realistic self-defense is your goal:
Karate - too traditional, too many rules
Tae Kwon Do - it's a sport
Judo - it's a sport
Jiu Jitsu - it's a sport
Aikido - no striking and does not finish the attacker quickly
Another easy way to distinguish what martial art to avoid is whether or not it focuses too much on outward appearances and displays of flashiness, gymnastics, or dance. If the art is all about demonstrations, spins, and floweriness, then run away. If an art focuses on doing board-breaking, then run away. Real combat is ugly, brutal, bloody, and chaotic. Ask any soldier who's been to the battlefield and encountered real violence - fighting is NOT what you see in the movies. You want a fighting system that keeps it real.
So what are the best fighting systems for self-protection? Here's a list of my recommendations:
Kali Escrima, or the Filipino Martial Arts
Krav Maga (IDF)
Bruce Lee's Jeet Kune Do
Pencak Silat (from Indonesia)
All these fighting systems were designed for military warfare. In other words, they were made for combat against enemies who are going to kill you. On the battlefield, there are no rules. In the streets of Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York, there are no rules. In San Francisco and Oakland, there are no rules. When you're dealing with an armed assailant or home invader, there are no rules. What do all these fighting systems (note that I say fighting systems, not martial arts) have in common?
They train eye attacks
They train in groin attacks
They train in dirty tactics
They train in techniques that will severely damage the enemy
They end the fight in seconds
They train with, and for, a variety of weapons
They train for multiple assailants
They train for a well-rounded fighter, including striking, grappling, and ground fighting
They train for street fighting
They train for the use of lethal force
This is not a sales pitch. This is the truth. If you want to learn how to protect yourself in the real world, you want to train in any of these fighting systems.
Don't rely on your smartphone to protect you. Don't rely on the police to save you. After all, they're only human like you are. And once you've trained in these arts, then you can turn anything around you into a weapon. And believe it or not, a cup of hot Starbucks coffee (with no cover), IS A WEAPON! If you throw your piping hot cup of coffee into an attackers face, then kick them in the groin, and finish him a powerful right palm strike to the ear, then you understand that real fighting isn't "honorable," traditional, and it doesn't care about perfection. Real fighting is dirty and ugly. As Bruce Lee once said, "It doesn't matter where the technique came from. What matters is, will it work in a real fight?"