the "streetfighter" mindset

The problems with a "streetfighter" mindset.

I'd like to talk about the distinctions between an athletic training model and mindset, and a "streetfighting" model and mindset. And I do believe it's important for a number of reasons to make a certain distinction between the two. That distinction, and the reasons why it's a healthy one to make, are what this thread is about.

We need to be very, very clear as to the content of what's being discussed. When we began talking about differences in approaches to anything there is potential for people to take such discussions on a personal level, due to lack of understanding regarding the conversation, or a previous personal agenda, etc. Nothing in the below written posts is personal, period.

If you DON'T find the distinctions to be true in your own case then there is obviously no reason to view them as personal. And if you DO find that some of the ideas may hit close to home, then it's also a very positive thing, and a chance for learning. So in either case the ideas presented below should be seen as the laying out of a roadmap that is intended to bring positive results into peoples lives. But in either case nothing being written or spoken is about a specific persona, on any level.

Secondly, discussing different mentalities in training and life is never an either or proposition. Although that may seem obvious, many people have trouble with that concept so it's always best to lay it out front of the discussion.

When it comes to "street" training, combatives, or RBSD, there seems to exist a fallacious argument. The old street" versus "sport" training argument. The false premise being it must be one or the other, that the training methods are mutually exclusive.

This is not only an incorrect assumption; it also goes against the long and colorful history of American "combatives" or "self defense" Instructors, of previous eras. A brief look into their backgrounds, and minimum amount of research will tell the tale.

In addition, anyone with even a minor bit of information about SBGi knows we offer many RBSD programs. Including programs for Law Enforcement, and including all possible "foul" tactics, and their functional counters. So again, to suggest anything written below paints ALL Instructors who teach RBSD in a particular light is simply not logical, nor factual.

Finally, the politics and gossip of Martial Arts holds zero interest for me, or I think anyone in our Organization. But if you do have any personal issues, feel free to contact me direct, or in person. It's the approach I take, and the one that is always the most appropriate. As for discussions online, they should always be kept to training methods and ideas.


Now there are two separate issues with reality based self defense.

The first is functionality. And as people will be theoretically relying on the information and training offered to save their life, or the lives of others, this point is critical. There are a ton myths offered when it comes to self defense and 'streetfighting'. Some of these seem harmless, and may be when it's simply two adolescents or grown men getting together to click sticks, or memorize patterns.

But when it comes to people who may actually need to use such information, police officers, etc, in order to be able to go home to their family safely at night, such misinformation, and perpetuation of myths can be deadly. So functionality in what is being taught is critical in RBSD.

When it comes to weapons this was addressed to a degree in the previous posts here:

Regards the stick fighting, to actually be able to fight with a stick one would have to start by throwing out the majority of the "Kali" that is typically taught, and almost all the 'drills', which are little more then two man Kata which teach one what not to do. And even then, left with functional, powerful strikes, and realistic methods of defense, the ground will still often occur, and ko's will not always be easy.

As far as defending against a knife, again it can be, and is done. But one would have to throw out the majority of the "Kali" empty hand tapi-tapi type drills taught, and go to a control position such as offered by Karl in the STAB program, Jerry with the RedZone, and Burton's two on 1 baseball grip variations.

Coincidentally I had a conversation yesterday regarding a police officer who had been stabbed multiple times by large mental patient on a call a few days ago. Apparently the officer is ok, but he was surprised to relate that he didn't realize his opponent even had a knife until he had been stuck several times, because to him at that time it felt like 'a minor strike'. That seems to be fairly typical. It also has to be why they attack the way they do with a shank in prison. . .having realized this reality a LONG time ago.

On a positive note that department will now be working STAB with Paul Sharp.

In Jerry Wetzel's Red Zone video there is a great section where Jerry's wife, who is a practicing MD, goes into detail regarding the bodies actual process for going into shock. And much of the mythology of knife fighting is cleared up there as well. I'd highly recommend that video for anyone serious on this subject.

Another good example that clearly demonstrates these ideas are written in our street vs sports section at the website: www.straightblastgym.com


"One happened about a year ago, I'm walking up to a father/son domestic when the son steps out onto the porch where dad is sitting on the stoop and hits dad full tilt with a golf club dead on in the throat. Dad does a weird squeal and jumps up, pulls knife and goes after the kid.
What was that acronym about throat-eyes-solar plexus-nads-knees?

Somebody should have told those guy's when you get hit in a pressure point you go down no questions asked...."


There are many first hand experienced related such as this at our website located here:

http://www.straightblastgym.com/page.asp?section=paul&parent=Press

So it's obvious that there is a lot of mythology when it comes to RBSD, particularly (but not exclusive to) the JKD family. And although it may seem harmless enough, when it comes to serious issues, such as Law Enforcement or personal self defense, it's anything but harmless.

However, there is another, deeper, issue I would like to talk about that I feel is even more important when it comes to this subject.

The most important point in my opinion is the mind set that exists behind the eyes of someone who finds themselves attracted to the entire "streetfighting", biting, killer instinct, paradigm that exists, and is marketed to with some instructors. If one looks honestly at it then it becomes pretty obvious that it is really about fear, paranoia, insecurity, and personal guilt.

What does that statement mean?

It's very simple. If you market yourself, your school, or your products as a "streetfighting" system, then a certain group of individuals will find themselves drawn to that product for a variety of reasons. Many of which are unhealthy.

Does that sentence mean all Instructors who teach such things are filled with fear, paranoia, insecurity, and personal guilt!?

Of course not.

Does that mean that ALL RBSD schools cater to such cliental?

Of course not.

Does that mean everyone drawn to such marketing is similar to the people described above?

Of course not.

Let me insert a section of an article by me that was written for realfighting.com on this very subject that I believe explains what the above sentence means very clearly.


(Psychological fear is a completely different animal, and sadly it is incredibly common within the "combatives", or modern self-defense crowds. Psychological fear is actually a form of paranoia, and it's created by one's internal fears of inadequacy on either a physical, emotional, or mental level.
When a male (in particular) thinks himself to be inadequate there is a strong feeling of sadness and anger. And just as aggression is the other side of the same coin as fear, sadness is the other side of the same coin as anger. If one doesn't address this internal sadness in a very real way then it will often manifest itself in the form of anger. I think as males we are more prone to adopt and embrace the anger, at least within our public persona, as opposed to the sadness, because for some misguided reason we have been taught that anger is more "masculine" then it's equal, sadness.

One would think that by training in "street" orientated martial arts, or combatives that emphasize the self defense aspects of martial arts, to the exclusion of what they deem to be "sports" training, that these types of individuals would gain more confidence, more peace, more happiness, and become more comfortable within them as their skills at 'self-defense' grew. Unfortunately, it has been my experience that the opposite seems to be true.

Individuals that come to strictly "street" orientated martial arts, that were already prone to feelings of inadequacy, shame, physiological fear, and paranoia tend to have those qualities magnified by such training, rather then eased.

I wouldn't ask anyone to take my word for it with that assessment. Instead I would suggest one visit the nearest "mercenary" convention, combatives or "street" martial arts forums, or speak with these individuals in person. This sadness, anger, and immense fear is palpable when you are forced to spend anytime around these types of individuals. Try reading the posts at the "street" forums. Many tend to read like angry notes from disgruntled 13-year-old boys. There is talk of "tearing out the mo-fo's eyes", biting, and various vicious things that can be done to the attackers. The posts speak to an intense anger and fear in the writers, and sadly, the Instructors of such curriculums cater to this need by exploiting their target audiences obvious weakness, and emotional frailty.

These same people could begin to realize a much deeper sense of peace, well being, and level of personal safety if they were instead steered away from the geeky-ness of the combatives crowd and into a more contact orientated, healthy, and sane sports environment, with "alive-arts" such as boxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, wrestling, Muay thai, judo, and other "sports" systems. In that type of "alive-training" they will not only gain real skill within a particular delivery system of fighting, they will also achieve a higher level of personal conditioning, become used to a higher level of contact, understand exactly what an aggressive, resisting attacker feels like, and learn to perform under a certain amount of stress. They will also gain a real sense of peace that comes with understanding how to actually move the human body in effective ways against aggressive and dangerous attackers.)


Now, does that above set of paragraphs mean that Matt Thornton is saying ALL RBSD Instructors are doing a disservice?

No, of course not.

Does that above set of paragraphs mean that Matt Thornton doesn't believe that "When your life is in jeopardy most tend to resort to the foul tactics if it determines life or death or just plain survival." .

Of course not!

As stated above we have a heavy curriculum of RBSD, and LE training within our own organization. Which covers the gamut of all 'foul' tactics, as well as their counters. And as stated at the top of this thread, when it comes to real life self defense, FUNCTIONALITY is more important to us then anything else. Anyone who has attended any of the self defense training courses, or Law Enforcement program can testify to the functional nature, and mandatory testing of all our tactics, techniques, and delivery systems. It's not open to speculation.

So what's the point of bringing this subject up?

Simple, because I have found that the same types of people who (may often) be drawn to more violent, "streetfighting" type images, will actually make great leaps in personal development and well being when they switch to a healthier athletic format, and simply let go of the whole 'killer' instinct, bite, kill 'image/mentality'.


I remember a seminar Years ago where Rickson Gracie was asked this exact same thing about eye gouging and the "street". He related that although he had to fight in the street and defend himself many times as he was growing up in Brazil, that even thinking about gouging peoples eyeballs, or biting them, is not something he would ever want to start doing. The thought itself is unhealthy to a human, and Jiu-Jitsu is supposed to be about health and well being.


I couldn't agree more.


I am also sometimes asked by RBSD Instructors why we don't place a heavy emphasis on advertising the "streetfighting", or RBSD aspects of what we do, if in deed we do train this way at our Gyms. (The fact that we do train for self defense becomes self evident to anyone who ever trains at any of our Gyms) . The answer is we do market that way when it's appropriate, but we choose not to emphasize that aspect to the public at large for the reasons listed in this article.

The athletic mentality, method, and mindset, is HEALTHIER for all human beings. And it's also more functional on a very practical level. It's healthier for adults, it's better for children, and it's just better for human beings in general.

Especially in terms of mental well being.

And this is why we steer people into that area whenever possible.

cheers -Matt Thornton www.straightblastgym.com

For those interested here is the complete article on Awareness and self defense that was written for www.realfighting.com


Awareness Versus Paranoia, the Realities of Self Defense Training

By Matt Thornton

There seems to be an ongoing debate in Martial Arts circles these that can be summed up in the sentence, "street" versus "sport" training. The false premise being it must be one or the other, that the training methods are mutually exclusive. This is not only an incorrect assumption; it also goes against the long and colorful history of American "combatives" or "self defense" Instructors, of previous eras. A brief look into their backgrounds, and minimum amount of research will tell the tale.

So setting aside that false argument for a moment, I would like to address the most important topic related to real world self-defense, the topic of awareness.

When I teach people specific topics related to civilian "self-defense" I generally base my teaching on a simple progression I call the ABC's of self-defense. The A stands for awareness, and is by far the most important aspect of the teaching. Awareness as I am defining it is the broad based clear realization of your environment, and surroundings, as it is brought to your body by all five senses. Knowing where you are, and what's around you at all times. At first glance this seems like a very simple idea, but it is in reality the most difficult aspect of self-defense training, with the 'pre' physical confrontation (what many are now calling the "psychological" aspects of self defense), and the actual physical skills of fighting, being a very distant second in importance.

"What makes this needed awareness difficult is first and foremost our own minds."

We are often proud, so we don't bother checking with local authorities regarding our geography. Or worse yet, we feel aggressive, which is a form of fear, and purposely place ourselves in situations we shouldn't be. We place ourselves in situations where we know we may receive an invitation to hurt another human being. This subconscious motive is common with those that like to "bar" fight. Or the half-wit that upon first receiving his concealed weapons permits begins driving through tough neighborhoods within his city. And it's worth noting that those, which find themselves attracted to such situations, or people, are usually the weakest members of human society. Both intellectually, emotionally, and to a degree, physically.

"We often feel paranoid, so we create an atmosphere around us that attracts predators, and fellow victims of paranoia seeking to measure their fear, and misery against ours. "

We are most often distracted with random and uncontrollable thoughts of our relationships, jobs, finances, and our own personal judgments regarding how we feel things should be, or not be, and this makes us oblivious to so much of what is going on around us within our field of awareness.

All of these states, pride, aggression, paranoia, and confusion, create a mind that is unable to read its surroundings well, and invites dangerous situations that could otherwise be avoided. They narrow the field of awareness to a great extent. So our first goal in cultivating this real world awareness should be to broaden that field, to expand it, and allow us to fully process all that occurs within our vicinity. To do this we need to attack each of these states step by step.

Let's start with pride. My job is self-defense, martial arts, and combat athletics; it's all I do for a living. This affords me more time then the average person has when it comes to daily training. It keeps my body in reasonable athletic shape, beyond what most 'normal' people have within our society. And it has given me a certain amount of skill when it comes to fighting within all ranges. In the course of working towards my black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu I have wrestled thousands of opponents to submission. Some bigger and stronger, some faster, some younger, over and over. This is nothing special, it's simply the process required to gain real world skill in any delivery system of combat.

Having said all that there are still many places I will not wander, unless I had to, within this world. One clear example is South Africa. I have visited South Africa on many occasions. And depending on the statistics you read, Johannesburg may be the homicide capitol of the world. For those that think they come from a tough neighborhood in the USA, an evening stroll through a South African township may quickly bring that measurement into perspective. Before my last trip I was approached by a modern "combatives", or self-defense Instructor within the USA who is quite well known. He was offering what he felt was helpful advice by telling me what firearms I should carry while there, what clipit knife I should have on my person, and relating to me all the latest violent crime, and car jacking stats from the local.

Then he asked "what do you carry while you are there?" When I informed him I usually don't carry any form of weapons, be they blades or guns, he looked quite shocked. "How can you be in a place like that and not be armed man?" My answer was, I am with people who know where to go. It's as simple as that. I have a 140lb Portuguese driver named Nuno, who is quite good at keeping us out of places we shouldn't be, when we shouldn't be there. He grew up in Joberg, and knows the area very well.

The worst thing I could possibly do is believe that because of my job, and the amount of weapons I am carrying on my person, I could wander the city as I see fit. That would be pride, and or stupidity, of the worse kind. And even if I were to survive such an encounter, and in the process wind up hurting people, what have I really gained?

"Know where you are at, and when you should be there, and if you are not from there, find someone who is, and listen to them!"

Aggression is another state all together. The first thing I try to explain is that aggression when it is unwarranted is simply another manifestation of fear. We need to understand that aggression and fear are one and the same quality. Two ends of the same stick, or two halves of the same coin, if you will. They are not only the same, they are inseparable. When it's aggression that is manifesting itself in non-appropriate ways, such as the examples above of the "bar" fighter, or the concealed weapons holder who puts himself in dangerous situations, then it's actually the fear that is being manifest. So we need to address that issue, the big issue of martial arts as I see it, the issue of fear.

I am asked a lot about fear when I teach seminars. And the subject of fear is an important one for anyone interested in pursuing martial arts, or self-defense. The first thing we need to do when we talk about fear is separate what I call "psychological" fear, which is self created, and what I call "body" fear, which is dependent on external circumstances.



Body fear is the body's own natural response to danger. It's normal, healthy, and needed. The simple example is the two men in the military told to charge a machine gun nest. One charges the nest, and is branded a hero. One refuses to move, and is branded a coward. However, the important point is that physically both men felt the exact same thing. This feeling the body gets is the natural response to a very real physical threat, and it should be viewed as an aid, and not a foe.

Another clear example of body fear comes in the form of what people often call 'intuition'. A term I prefer is "gut" instinct. This is a great term because it aptly describes the body's actual feeling when danger comes close...a stirring in the gut, (stomach area). The work of Gavin De Becker brings this information to light in a very accessible way. The nanny that gives the mother an "uneasy" feeling. The date that wont take "no" for an answer. The stranger offering unsolicited help. When we meet these people our bodies tell us something is wrong, and then, too often, we allow the mind to come in and rationalize the feeling as "paranoia."

In reality, the opposite is true. Paranoia begins and ends in the mind, as thought. Gut instinct begins and ends in the body, as feeling. By learning to trust these gut instincts we can stay away from danger by recognizing it much sooner then we otherwise would. Gavin De Becker's work has shown beyond a shadow of a doubt that the common idea that most violent acts are unpredictable is a complete and utter myth. For those raising children I would also highly suggest his book "protecting the gift," we are implementing some of the educational aspects of this book within our own children's program at the SBG.

Psychological fear is a completely different animal, and sadly it is incredibly common within the "combatives", or modern self-defense crowds. Psychological fear is actually a form of paranoia, and it's created by one's internal fears of inadequacy on either a physical, emotional, or mental level.

When a male (in particular) thinks himself to be inadequate there is a strong feeling of sadness and anger. And just as aggression is the other side of the same coin as fear, sadness is the other side of the same coin as anger. If one doesn't address this internal sadness in a very real way then it will often manifest itself in the form of anger. I think as males we are more prone to adopt and embrace the anger, at least within our public persona, as opposed to the sadness, because for some misguided reason we have been taught that anger is more "masculine" then it's equal, sadness.

One would think that by training in "street" orientated martial arts, or combatives that emphasize the self defense aspects of martial arts, to the exclusion of what they deem to be "sports" training, that these types of individuals would gain more confidence, more peace, more happiness, and become more comfortable within them as their skills at 'self-defense' grew. Unfortunately, it has been my experience that the opposite seems to be true. Individuals that come to strictly "street" orientated martial arts, that were already prone to feelings of inadequacy, shame, physiological fear, and paranoia tend to have those qualities magnified by such training, rather then eased.

I wouldn't ask anyone to take my word for it with that assessment. Instead I would suggest one visit the nearest "mercenary" convention, combatives or "street" martial arts forums, or speak with these individuals in person. This sadness, anger, and immense fear is palpable when you are forced to spend anytime around these types of individuals. Try reading the posts at the "street" forums. Many tend to read like angry notes from disgruntled 13-year-old boys. There is talk of "tearing out the mo-fo's eyes", biting, and various vicious things that can be done to the attackers. The posts speak to an intense anger and fear in the writers, and sadly, the Instructors of such curriculums cater to this need by exploiting their target audiences obvious weakness, and emotional frailty.

These same people could begin to realize a much deeper sense of peace, well being, and level of personal safety if they were instead steered away from the geeky-ness of the combatives crowd and into a more contact orientated, healthy, and sane sports environment, with "alive-arts" such as boxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, wrestling, muay thai, judo, and other "sports" systems. In that type of "alive-training" they will not only gain real skill within a particular delivery system of fighting, they will also achieve a higher level of personal conditioning, become used to a higher level of contact, understand exactly what an aggressive, resisting attacker feels like, and learn to perform under a certain amount of stress. They will also gain a real sense of peace that comes with understanding how to actually move the human body in effective ways against aggressive and dangerous attackers.

By avoiding the contact, resistance, and most important required willingness to tap, be thrown, hit, and be beaten over and over, that is required with Alive arts, the "self defense" student instead draws deeper and deeper into their own world of self defense fantasy. And in the process their fear, paranoia, and sense of overall unease only increases over time. The anger and sadness actually grow, and if not checked they can turn into the most destructive emotion a person can experience, hate.

The real irony is that by not addressing the psychological fear that these individuals feel they actually decrease there own field of awareness, narrow it, and increase their risk of personal attack.

The reason they increase that risk of attack by another is because when we are dealing from a point of psychological fear and anger we project that onto those around us, and in turn that anger, fear and aggression often gets projected back at us. Our world becomes a more hostile place to be.

As the scholar Robert Thurman so aptly put it:

"Once we are prone to hate and rage, we project around us a field of paranoia and all people become our potential enemies. We feel destructive towards them, and we assume they feel destructive towards us. When we become cool, we don't project enmity on others; we can observe them more objectively, and if they are in fact out to cause trouble, we can quickly act to avoid it."

Finally there is the issue of a chattering mind. We have all experienced being so lost in thought that we walk into a sign, or run a red light, or bump into someone on the street. In fact being lost in thought, and trapped within an imaginary world of a chattering mind, constantly talking to ourselves within our own heads, is for many people the normal state of being rather then the exception. The danger of this when it comes to your field of awareness is quite obvious. By turning our attention to our random thoughts, as opposed to the field of awareness around us now, we seal ourselves off from experiencing a great deal of reality. And in terms of self-defense, this presents a very real threat to our person.

A simple example of this is a friend of mine who was recently visiting a beautiful tropical island on vacation. She is an attorney by day, and maintains a fairly busy work schedule, along with being a mother. One day after having been on the island for three days, she was walking down the path and noticed the birds chirping. She realized she had not noticed that before, and wondered if the birds had just arrived? Then she realized the birds lived there. They had always been there. It was she that had just arrived.

We become so pre-occupied by our daily stress these days that we can easily get into the habit of allowing the mind to chatter endlessly. Being able to relax into a state of present awareness, (that is an awareness that is not burdened with thoughts of the past, or an imaginary future, and allowed to be fully present in the moment) will increase our level of performance in all areas of life, athletics, relationships, listening, hearing, seeing, and decision making. Our ability to sense danger also becomes heightened, as we are now free to notice what's going on around us in the moment, and our own bodies gut instinct to it, rather then attempting to rationalize it away with thought, or ignoring it all together.

This is the idea of awareness. The most useful tool for self-defense, and "self preservation".

By not allowing ourselves to become so prideful we neglect to ask those that know, the locals, local police, etc, where and when places are safe to visit. We will become more fully aware of where we should and should not be at any given time.

By acknowledging our own fear, which masks itself in aggression, we can avoid that weakest part of us which seeks to pick fights in bars, or place itself in dangerous situations as a means of creating more fear and misery. We can avoid the endless cycle of stupidity and suffering.

By acknowledging gut instinct, and not attempting to rationalize it with thoughts of how we "should" be acting, or what we "should" be feeling, we can avoid much danger we might otherwise ignore.

By acknowledging that aspect of ourselves that creates psychological fear we can avoid projecting our own anger and paranoia onto others around us, and as a consequence cease attracting certain troublemakers that might otherwise find themselves attracted to us.

By learning to calm the mind, and rest in a heightened, and relaxed state of present awareness, we can see danger coming much sooner then if we are in an agitated state of paranoia, or lost in the thoughts of a chattering mind.

This is true awareness.

I have not touched on the B and C aspects of the ABC teaching method. As I felt the subject of awareness fully warranted its own article, and was indeed the most important issue related to modern martial arts training. I will address each of those in future articles. But very quickly I will mention that B stands simply for diving Board. The diving board consists of all the 'pre'-fight psychology, postures, tactics, and things that one should be aware off. And it's named after the feeling one gets just before they take the leap off a high dive at a swimming pool for the first time. C stands simply for the actual physical confrontation that may or may not follow, and it refers to the actual physical skills in the delivery systems of stand up, the clinch, the ground, and with weapons, that we offer our clients.

It's worth noting the obvious in that I am painting with a broad brush when it comes to combatives or self-defense Instructors. I started the article by stating specifically that I was referring to those Instructors that seek to minimize the "alive" aspects of what they do, and refer to all "alive" arts as "sports" training. By mitigating the real value, skill, and attributes that are developed through Alive, athletic arts they dissuade those weaker minded individuals that where already prone to paranoia, and fear, from one of the few things that can really make a positive impact on their life, athletic training.

But as stated before, there is absolutely no reason that fully Alive training, and fully self defense orientated curriculums are mutually exclusive. In fact the opposite holds true. One can have an athletic curriculum that will teach a certain level of self-defense by emphasizing strictly sporting aspects of Arts such as boxing, wrestling, BJJ, and Muay Thai. But one cannot teach real world self defense without offering it in an Alive environment. When people attempt to do so they instead create a fantasy world, which only serves to increase their own paranoia, fear, anger, and sadness.

There are many great Instructors outside our own SBGI group that are offering top of the line modern combatives, and self defense training, while also understanding and using the athletic principles of Aliveness. That list includes Michael Brown of The Praesidium Group, Gabe Suarez a former police officer that is now training civilians, Kelly McCann from The Crucible Group, and many others. Their level of maturity and real world experience is visible, and your gut instinct will let you know that's true if you allow it to.

For firearms I would suggest D.R. Middlebrooks, the firearms training he uses is designed from a private citizen/solo act point of view rather than the normal team tactics type scenarios. After all, how often will the private citizen have a "team member" to help them?

In closing I'd like to offer an experiment. Spend one week without watching the news, or reading any major media publications. Avoid stressed out, or manic friends that are obvious victims of the chattering monkey mind. Devote at least 30 minutes each morning to doing absolutely nothing except sitting quietly. And try and look at every human you come in contact with as a member of your own family. Don't engage in any gossip, or negative conversations about anyone, even if you do believe it to be justified. Don't give any credence or time to selfish thoughts that pop into your head about what you "need", or "want."

Instead, place your attention upon what others around you may want, or need. The assumption being, (and although you may feel this idealistic upon reading it, for the sake of the experiment give it a shot) that they too are actually looking out for your best interest. Try this simple test for one week. After one week ask yourself this question:

Do I feel safer?

-Matt Thornton www.straightblastgym.com

I totally agree about the paranoia and unhealthiness of the "streetfighter" style and mindset.

I've seen forums where these guys post every violent news report around, and then constantly debate about all the throat stomping , eyball removing , and ball tearing they would have done in the situation.

Its a constant stream of paranoia and violent imagery, and it cant be good for anyones outlook or sanity.

Yes, violence happens, and its good to be aware of the realities , but put it into perspective....

For the majority of martial artists, their untimley end is more likely to come in the form of cancer, heart disease or a car accident. Yet these are ignored, and statistics about murder and robberies take centre stage.

I remember years ago reading a review of a street fighting book about surviving in bars where bashings , stabbings and general mayhem are the norm.

The reviewer suggested it might be easier to simply drink at a better establishment. :)

Rich

Matt:

Don't waste your intelligence. It probably took some serious time and effort (Ha! I caught you using Kung-Fu/TMA!) to put that post together.

Unfortunately, it will most likely fall upon deaf "ears"/blind eyes.

It does a service however, in the sense of being a confirmation for those moving in certain directions.

Thanks,
Aus

Awesome. 2 Thumbs up. I love the sport arts, and they really work. That's plenty for me (although I do like to know the in's & out's of biting.....)

:-)

~TT

Matt are you a coffee drinker? how do you get that much mental energy to post that much? can you teach me?

Anythinggoes,

With respect to "vital areas" all of the SBG's (and any functional martial art) are going to naturally advise hitting in specific places vs. blindly throwing. Thats' simple effectiveness. The key here is your definition of "vital area". Is it some two inch spot on the left side that activates some invisible here-to unidentified by science secret energy force? Is it one of the bodies natural physically-weak areas that is so small and in such an obscure location that one would have to have the speed and accuracy of a Tomahawk cruise missile to hit on a moving pissed-off target?

Ask any boxer and I bet he'ld tell you the point of the chin is a vital area. As I said it's all about definition. And the answer is easy to find. Take one opponent add: energy, timing and motion. Hit all over, mix thoroughly.

Clint.

I have been working a program at my gym called C.I.A ®(Combat Intelligent Athlete®) for some time. This is the continuation of having a good delivery system in Stand-up, Clinch, Ground into the further realms of SD. The basic premise of the program is that you cannot for a second begin to think about how you would handle yourself on the street unless you have a strong base in all three delivery systems. Therefore we don't even attempt to coach anyone in the program unless they have reasonable game in all three areas.

A few years ago we had this guy come into our gym who was already instructing martial arts, with 20 years experience behind him and wanted too affiliate with us. Long story short he left citing his reason for leaving as all we do is concentrate on the sport fighting aspect of the martial arts to the detriment of the rest and he was tired of being a punching bag. Today he is a prominent instructor who advertises what he does as 'street fighting' but could not even go a few rounds boxing with a guy, with boxing gloves on, who had been training for less than six months, was 40 years old and had never trained before coming to use. My only recollection of this 'street fighting' instructor was him getting knocked out in the first round and everyone complaining when he left because it was the only rest break they got?

Today incorporated in our C.I.A ®program is the culmination of all my street experience. I know we often see adverts of so called "Street Fighting" instructors who have had hundreds of fights on the street. Most of this is just lies and most probably where with drunken frat boys.

I can honestly say in my several years of bouncing in some of South Africa's roughest nightclubs and running bouncing contracts, I have easily had that many fights or even exceeded it. In these fights I have been attacked by a knife several times, stabbed once, shot and been jumped by several guys on more than one occasion. I had even been in a fight where there where 4 of us against an entire night club after someone threw a tear gas canister into the club and the whole place erupted. Currently several of my athletes are still bouncing.

I attained nothing spiritual out of this experience other than realizing how utterly senseless fighting was and how many of these people who felt it necessary to fight just exposed who they truly where as human beings. Scared, paranoid and utterly afraid! By placing their dominance on others they some how felt that these psychological issues would magically disappear, unfortunately these psychological 'disabilities' just perpetuated themselves and like a virus continued to grow.

Anyone who feels it necessary to teach people to street fight, using foul tactics etc, is in a sense displaying their own ignorance of the subject. If anyone truly experienced real fighting they would not want to approach the subject in a manner that it is initiated, which is unhealthy and not at all normal social behavior. I never talk about street fighting in my gym. No one in my gym ever comes to learn how to street fight either and we live in one of the most violent countries in the world, where fighting is a way of life. On my first night back from my United States tour this year, I got into a fight in a nightclub, my point in case.

What are you actually saying by associating terms to your gym like 'street fighting' anyway? Short of going out and actually purposely looking for a fight, I see no other way to define the term teaching 'street fighting'.

Likewise terms like 'Combatives'? Oxford dictionary defines the word combative(s) as "ready or eager to fight or argue". I think by now you see my point. In my C.I.A program our first lessons are about not getting into a fight in the first place and that awareness is more than half the battle won, fighting is always a last resort.

Culminated with my experience in the Counter Insurgents Operations Unit in the South African Defense Force and the action we saw, I think the C.I.A program is one of the best SD programs around. I also have one of the leading bodygaurding groups in South Africa talking to me now to take over all their Hand-to-Hand instruction specifically with the C.I.A program.

The C.I.A program will also incorporate knife, firearms and other weapons defense as well. I will be working closely with Gavriel Schneider, who has worked with the Israeli Special Forces and runs his own body gaurding group to incorporate the firearms aspect of the course. We will be also doing anti-hijacking drills etc.

I am also planning to coach some of the C.I.A program at the Fall camp in 2004 and we will also be producing a tape/DVD on the program as well.

So the notion that SBG is sport only is a ridiculous statement to make and it just shows the insecurity of those who feel it necessary to make it. If I was one of these guys who coached all this paranoia and fear in there schools I would also fear the 'sport' fighters as they like to put it, who actually do fight, every day, are conditioned, confident and actually go home after training without consistently looking behind there backs and checking if they have there clipped knife with them.

Cheers,

Rodney "Chico" King (SBG Coach and loving every minute of it)


Finally this is a e-mail I recently received:

Rodney has definitely hit a home run with these videos. I've been studying the sweet science of boxing for three years and muay thai for six. The techniques here are quite innovative(i.e. boomerang, caveman, sneakaroo) and they actually work in sparring. I have improved more with 2 weeks watching these videos and doing the 'alive' drills than this past year of boxing training .He has a deep understanding of every aspect of the fight game; he conveys the techniques in a way that everyone can understand. It's the best stand up stuff I've seen in a while. His stuff is so impressive that our Marine Corps close combat instructor, with Rodney's permission, would like to incorporate these techniques in our curriculum and possibly have him come to our base to instruct us. Awesome stuff!
-Mike (US, Marines, Hawaii)

Forrest got punched in the forearm, had it snapped in 2 ( I have seen the x-rays) and still knocked out his much larger opponent. So much for assuming that a broken bone (jabbed eye, groin slap, etc etc) will end a fight.
Adam