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Kali-effective for self defense?

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  • Kali-effective for self defense?

    Hello all,

    I wanted to get your opinion of Kali, both empty hand and weapons as a self defense art...

  • #2
    Which Kali? All of the Phillipino martial arts/Kali guys I have trained with know how to use knife and stick. They practically specialize in these weapons. I got certified to teach weapons in one of these systems.

    I teach Krav Maga, and prefer the Krav Maga empty hand techniques, the way the techniques are taught and practiced, and the weapons defenses.

    For the self-defense student who wants/needs to learn the basics of self-defense, I think Krav Maga is the way to do this. If you really want to get good at knife and stick and a quality instructor is available, I think the PMA/Kali/Silat approach has a lot to offer. There is quite a bit of variance in quality of instructor/system from my experience.

    Anyone who likes any kind of fighting or martial arts has to appreciate the way people knock each other around with sticks at Dog Brothers gatherings...

    : )

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    • #3
      The fact that the Dog Brothers practice kali should already tell you it's effective. The same goes for krabi krabong and whatever sort of BJJ they use (Machado I think). On Friday I ordered their Kali Tudo DVD set for this reason- lots of people say that their \"exotic\" unorthodox style will work in MMA, but I really believe these guys- they understand full contact fighting.
      All those weapon oriented arts will give you an appreciation for footwork and recognizing all the lines, arcs, and angles that attacks can take, which translates to unarmed stuff somewhat. For a somewhat kali oriented use of the knife program, Cold Steel's Warrior's Edge series is good stuff- its rooted in aliveness and sound principles and could work itself into krav pretty easilly, except for the preference for a strong side forward stance.
      Martial arts don't build character; they build characters.

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      • #4
        \"The fact that the Dog Brothers practice kali should already tell you it's effective.\"

        Why, because they get together in a park, with sticks, in a duel-type set-up, and beat the snot out of each other? How does that, in and of itself, make for a successful self-defense system?
        www.rhek.com
        www.charlottekravmaga.com
        www.fittofightprograms.com

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        • #5
          Another instructor of mine, not a Krav instructor but a person who is well acquainted with Krav and appreciates it deeply, has referred to a lot of the Kali as \"PhD level stuff\". What he means by it is that Krav Maga prides itself on being able to be learned relatively quickly and become effective almost immediately.

          While Filipino stuff is highly effective and very well-thought out, it's also very intricate and complex. One would have to train for years and years before the training would significantly help with self-defense. Those years are what most people aren't willing to commit to.

          My feeling is that it's great to train it, but not exclusively. I've taken lots of seminars and trained in small groups with friends who have done years of training. So, it's not a waste of time by any stretch of the imagination, but standing alone I doubt it'll meet most people's self-defense needs.
          Director of Operations
          Krav Maga Maryland
          www.kravmd.com

          Praise be to the LORD my rock, who trains my fingers for battle, my hands for war.
          Psalm 144:1

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          • #6
            \"Why, because they get together in a park, with sticks, in a duel-type set-up, and beat the snot out of each other? How does that, in and of itself, make for a successful self-defense system?\"

            That doesn't mean its an effective self defense system in and of itself (not exactly what I suggested), but it does tell you its an effective system for duel-type set up with weapons (mostly sticks, also knives, staves, garden hoses etc) possibly in a part or garage. You could argue that that also does not prove anything, but it does suggest it- why would you train in something that didn't help you when the pressure was on and someone was trying to beat you with a weapon? If you read up on some of their history, it was started, at least in part, to pressure test martial arts techniques and training methods, basically MMA with weapons. They would have matches with kobudo guys with tonfas and other weapon arts- sword people with wooden swords, etc. They eventually arrived at a point where kali and krabi krabong were successful (effective) as far as technique and training method (and at some point jujutsu was added because sometimes it goes to the ground). You can always argue that any sort of fighting can't be proven as an effective form of self defense without actual proof of its use in real self defense, but I believe that full contact matches, armed or unarmed, are fairly effective means of testing them. The blocking methods work against an unrehearsed full power committed swing from an opponent- its been shown in these matches. That's just one example, but you can see what I mean.
            Martial arts don't build character; they build characters.

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            • #7
              Now that I've trained both Krav and Kali, I have to agree with KravMDjeff. Krav is extremely practical and easy to learn. Kali is complex but highly effective. IMO, learning Kali is a natural step after krav, but not instead of Krav. It was in krav that I developed a \"fighting spirit\", that is apparent to all my kali peers.

              That said, I think it is essential that everyone learn weapons. I came to this conclusion after sparring with some of the women in krav fight class. They were allowed full contact and I was told to hold back. No matter how hard they hit, it didn't phase me and when I landed \"mild\" punches or front kicks, their eyes would well up etc. I had planned on teaching Krav to my daughters, but realized in a real confrontation, against a determined attacker, they were gonna need a weapon. Eventually I found a Kali instructor who was only one person removed from the founder of Leskas. I have been training for a year now and plan to teach both krav and kali to my kids before they head off to college.

              I think like esiley, if I was empty hand I would use krav, but if I can grab a key, pen, cell phone, pager, or any other handheld device, I would use Kali.

              Besides kali, yawara might be a good addition, but not replacement, for krav. It could also be adapted to a cell phone, pager, or any other hand held device.
              Don't attack me and I won't defend myself.

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              • #8
                There's also the issue of teaching defenses against weapons you don't know how to use- this is a problem with some martial arts. If you know how to shoot a gun, you have a better understanding of how to structure gun defenses. The same with knife defenses or stick defenses.
                Martial arts don't build character; they build characters.

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                • #9
                  \"There's also the issue of teaching defenses against weapons you don't know how to use- this is a problem with some martial arts. If you know how to shoot a gun, you have a better understanding of how to structure gun defenses. The same with knife defenses or stick defenses.\"

                  I'd agree with this statement, except how many attackers using a knife or stick are actually trained to use them?

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                  • #10
                    I agree with Kurt, and I think the \"duel\" setting is a farce. That's a manufactured range--that's people choosing to fight, not self defense.
                    www.rhek.com
                    www.charlottekravmaga.com
                    www.fittofightprograms.com

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                    • #11
                      Regarding the duel setting. Maybe this is what Ryan meant by \"manufactured range\", but when you duel, or spar, in a prearranged way you are to some degree \"prepared\", mentally if nothing else. It's different when someone attacks you without warning. That being said, I do think there's some benefit to full contact training....

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                      • #12
                        Sparring certainly has merits, and is a vital component to any real self defense system, but the way most sparring is conducted does little to replicate self defense scenarios, and can engender habits which are counterproductive. My main \"complaint\" is, how many times have you EVER heard of a fight where two guys were using sticks or knives against each other?
                        www.rhek.com
                        www.charlottekravmaga.com
                        www.fittofightprograms.com

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                        • #13
                          ìIMO, learning Kali is a natural step after krav, but not instead of Krav. It was in krav that I developed a \"fighting spirit\", that is apparent to all my kali peers.î

                          Nothing against kali, arnis, et al., but the natural step for me after Krav was to study real fights. After watching recorded real fight footage (some weapons-related, some not) MY natural progression was to A)train more aggressively/proactively when working weapons defenses and B)cross-train in grappling systems in order to control distances and to refine tactile sensitivity.

                          Iím not trying to begin a Grappling vs. _______ thread, but Ryan had us do a drill last year (or the year before?) that indicated the difficulty of taking out a folder, revealing/locking the blade, and actually cutting an attacker when the partner was highly resistant. Perhaps he can explain it better than I, but the drill (for me) provided insight about the difficulty of pulling out a weapon in the middle of an altercation.

                          We can argue the merits of both sides, but why spend (lose) time brandishing the weapon (which will likely be concealed) instead of punching, kneeing, or making a getaway? Just something to think about (maybe weíll start another thread on this topic 8) ).

                          ìThat said, I think it is essential that everyone learn weapons. I came to this conclusion after sparring with some of the women in krav fight class. They were allowed full contact and I was told to hold back. No matter how hard they hit, it didn't phase me and when I landed \"mild\" punches or front kicks, their eyes would well up etc.î

                          :?

                          I feel Ryan and Kurtís last few posts address this post well. However, I feel the way you quickly discount a womanís sparring ability indicates a lack of understanding of real fighting. For the women (and men) that come to KM for self-defense, their goal is ultimately to get home safely, period. Itís about going apesh!t when attacked long enough to escape, not to trade liver shots or spinning heel kick the attackerís head. In essence, most donít come to KM with the objective of methodically taking apart a bigger adversary under a certain number of timed, controlled-rounds. As Ryan mentioned, sparring is an artificial range and mentality, that is, you are ready and prepared for the other person to attack you. Iíd wager to say that these characteristics are often absent in real-life assaults.
                          "Growth is in the discomfort."-Ryan Hoover

                          "May God have mercy on my enemies, because I won't."
                          -George S. Patton Jr., General Third Army.

                          "When I step into a moonbounce, people die."-Jeremy Stafford

                          ¡Sí, se puede!

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                          • #14
                            Ryan - I think that the dueling range does the same thing for weapons training that stand-up sparring and rolling do for unarmed practice.

                            There is no replacement in weapons training for working against a motivated, resisting opponent. All of the same points regarding movement, distance, and lines of attack apply.

                            If I square off with someone in knife sparring and can get a kill shot really frequently against someone who has a knife or stick, it applies directly to self-defense. Getting the jump on someone only makes it that much better...

                            I don't see this as any different than boxing, kickboxing, or MMA sparring. The only real danger I see with any kind of sparring is that it introduces a \"tennis match\" mentality in which people dial back and allow it to go back-and-forth rather than overwhelming/hurting their sparring partner.

                            With the right drills on top of this though, a well-trained and conditioned fighter can always turn up the heat.

                            The reason I don't emphasize weapons so much anymore in my own training or make it a bigger deal for my students is that my unarmed fighting is so much better now than before with Krav Maga - and the truth of the matter is, if you can stop someone with your bare hands, you can stop them with just about anything...provided you TRAIN the other things some.

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                            • #15
                              Speaking of college and self defense, I just went to the first day of a college self defense class. The instructor was watching some recorded judo matches, which made me happy. He began by saying that karate, tae kwon do, kung fu, aikido and others are outdated because striking is not an effective way to defend yourself (aikido is not a striking art). He mentioned the UFC and how 90-95 percent of fights go to the ground. He said that we would never learn outdated techniques like this: (he stood in a horse stance and threw bad reverse punches with kiais), then that we would never learn this move, and if we see it at a self defense class then walk away, then showed a slow eye poke. He then did some weird tiger claws and stuff and made Bruce Lee sounds, and everyone laughed. He said that when you watch a real fight, most punches miss, so obviously if my big fist can't hit his big head, then my small finger definitely can't hit his small eye. I wanted to raise my hand and ask why W.E. Fairbairn, who trained police and military in hand to hand combat, had a black belt in judo, and had seen and participated in real violence as a Shanghai municipal policeman would create a curriculum that deliberately de-emphasized grappling and favored stand up striking and things like eye gouging. I'm not bashing judo at all, but to say that striking is outdated is just a bizarre thing for a self defense instructor to say. The guy who used to teach self defense there was a tang soo do guy who had been training for 30+ years- I wonder what he would think of that.
                              Martial arts don't build character; they build characters.

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