Have you used your martial arts training in a real fight?

What was the experience like for you? Do you think your training helped you?

I’m just curious… I wonder if anyone has used their training to survive an attack.



I have seen very few fights that can’t be ended with the classic Greco-Roman kick to the nuts.

Clearly, you aren’t fighting enough girls, eunuchs, and quadripelgics :wink:

I have never had to use my martial arts training in a real fight. I have found myself in a situation or two where I thought I might need it and found myself happy that I had the training, just in case. I think fighting should be avoided as much as possible, but you might as well know how to defend yourself if the need should ever arise.

My husband has used it once, in all his years of training- he gently redirected a skateboarder who was deliberately bearing down on him at speed. No actual fight, but a slightly threatening situation.

My hubby has used it a few times in fights where he works. He gets retrained every year in Akida (Akido? I’m not sure how to spell it.) It’s a method of using painful pressure points to restrain an opponent.

When we were moving, I put a full-length mirror in the livingroom to be transported on the next trip. We walked into the darkened apartment, and he saw his reflection. He instantly fell into the stance, ready to beat down my mirror. I was pretty impressed, because I didn’t think a once-a-year training would imbed that well, to where falling into the stance and correct “combat mode” would be instinctual. It gave me a lot more confidence about his safety.

The only contest of fisticuffs in which I’ve been involved happened within the last year. A big fellow attacked a little fellow, who worked at the establishment I was visiting. The big fellow was with his girlfriend, and so I thought, no one else, so I took him by the collar, placed him on his back, and pinned him down in a judo hold. I held him until his other companion, his mother, requested that I release him. Upon her assurance that the big fellow had exhausted his need for violence, I released him and attempted to shake his hand in a gesture of goodwill. I was rebuffed.

Because, at the time, the business was staffed only by women, who weren’t interested in either breaking up a physical altercation or seeing their fellow, off-duty employee beaten, my intervention earned me a pint of Guinness.

The most surprising part of the whole incident was just how easy it was.

Just a side note, the movements you learn teaches you new ways to use your body. Usually one finds themselves using that training in non-combat situations as well - and usually quite naturally (not even thinking about their training, just react differently).

As pointed out above, avoiding objects and people, even playing with pets, some people have noticed that they are doing things differently.

Yes, in that I took basic self-defense courses, which has been useful in a) learning to fall better, which has been handy a few times in non-fight situations, and b) in responding automatically to an assault in a way that scared off the assailant. If I’d had to actually fight him, it wouldn’t have been that useful, but I my training really focused on making a window in which you could run away.

Oh, and I did flip a guy at a dance once. He was shouting “Dip!!!” and charging up to women he didn’t know, cutting in by grabbing and dipping them in a particularly aggressive, drunk way. So when he charged me, I flipped him ("‘Dip’? I thought you said ‘flip’").

I remember a JJ instructor saying as we trained various falls for hours on end, “You may never get in a fight, but you will all fall down at some time.”
One time I tripped while running backwards during a volleyball game, and without thinking did a sweet back roll and ended up back on my feet.
I didn’t really think anything about it, until I realized everyone was pretty much staring at me gape-mouthed.
I guess folks were impressed that I was not only able to avoid hurting myself, but actually managed to fall gracefully!

As far as fighting goes, nope. I’m firmly convinced that the overwhelming majority of fights can be avoided through awareness, carrying yourself confidently, avoiding places and situations where altercations are more likely to happen, not getting hung up in any macho posturing BS, and being willing to swallow your ego and walk/run away from any imminent confrontation. (Also doesn’t hurt to be 6’3", 200#, and live and work in relatively low crime areas.)

Not sure if this is exactly what you’re talking about as far as “martial arts” go, but my grandfather had been an amateur boxer of some repute back in the 1930s, and taught me the basics from a very young age.

Fast forward to elementary school, and while all the other kids flailed around in fights, I was the only one who could punch correctly, and consequently won a lot of fights I shouldn’t have. I also got in trouble for it sometimes, because when the other kids would hit me, they didn’t hit well (i.e. no marks/shiners, etc…) but I tended to score much more telling blows (lots of black eyes, bloody lips, bloody noses, etc…) and the teachers thought I was beating up on the other kids.

I was lunged at by a drunk when walking home in England several years ago. I quite easily gained control of his arm and was in position to throw him if I needed to I said “Go Away” firmly and calmly to him and he left without me having to cause him harm. Other than that my martial arts has saved me from possible injuries in a few accidental falls.

Yeah, but like most already noted, not in a Bruce Lee kick ass sort of way. I worked as a doorman when I was in University at the school pub, the martial arts I learned prior came in handy on a number of occassions in breaking up fights and discouraging drunk idiots from starting one.

Never actually kicked anyone in the throat or broken any spines.

But the ability to side step, redirect, outmaneuver and simply predict an aggressor’s attack was more valuable than any ability I had to cause him severe damage. I was always able to cause just enough hurt to serve as warning but never enough to cause great injury. Even a very drunk and angry guy figures out fairly quickly when he’s about to get thrashed if he continues being an asshole.

Outside of this kind of environment, the ability to conduct myself with confidence (but not cockiness) in a tense moment served me well in a small handfull of unpleasant situations.

I have successfully used my martial arts training to start lawnmowers, pull tarps off of trampolines, open frozen garbage cans and avoid falling on the ice.

Much, much handier for me than surviving fights, seeing as how I’ve never been in one.

Not really. I, too, have used it to avoid breaking my wrist a few times, to keep my balance on trains and buses (seriously; the germophobe in me squicks at the idea of touching those poles sometimes), and once to spectacularly fall off the top of a ladder and actually land on my feet.

I’ve also used it to know how to make myself a lot less appealing of a target for muggers and worse, and on a few occassions (in bars/clubs), to very firmly tell someone no, do not touch me, and if needed provide a bit of guidance as to what “if you touch me again I will break your hand” really means.

I’ve used my fall-proofing from judo many times to avoid hurting myself. The general athletic background from martial arts comes in handy when I try out a new sport or activity (I’ve found my familiarity with kata training of benefit when learning how to swim, oddly enough).

Fights? Don’t really get in them. I avoid those sorts of situations and the other types they’re likely to happen…people usually back down. I guess I don’t really look like the sort of person you mess with. Either that or I look really harmless. Either way works for me. :slight_smile:

Like others, I’ve never gotten into a fight but my MA training has done WONDERS for my personal confidence.

My home was robbed when I was 18 and after that, I was literally scared to stay home alone. Like, at 21 I still had to have friends come out and stay when my folks went on vacation. I was like this for about six years, well into early adulthood.

Two years into my martial arts training I pretty much forgot to be scared and moved out on my own. I am never afraid in my new house, and am very very comfortable with being alone. It dawned on me that my little bit of training was the key to gaining the right kind of confidence.

Also, I find myself walking down the street going over moves in my head, thinking how I could mangle that guy going past me if he even thinks about coming at me…but uh, that’s a different topic :slight_smile:

Not in an actual, threatening situation, but I used it to break free of being grappled during schoolyard fights and such.

Oh, yes… falling.

Every martial arts class I’ve taken, they showed me how to fall on a nice, flat, even (usually padded) surface. I rock at that.

So where do I always fall? Stairs.

You know the usual technique of slapping out when you fall? Really sucks on stairs. I’m just sayin’…

Once to defend a person who was getting beat up pretty bad.

I was 14 at the time and had been taking Martial Arts since age 7. I was at scout summer camp and was walking back to our camp site only to find that one of the older kids (He was 16) who was quite tall muscular (on par with many of the adult leaders out there) had a 2 foot stick and was litterally using it to beat one of our adult leaders. He was yelling and swinging it down on his head and the adult was litterally covering his head with both hands to keep from getting seriously hurt. Without even thinking I dropped everything I was carrying, ran in and threw a roundhouse kick to the kid’s mid section. He stopped and looked at me. I was there in fighting position ready to do battle. He just looked me up and down for a moment, then turned around and walked away while still yelling and cursing.

The adult ended up being ok and not seriously hurt, the kid got kicked out of the troop and I was declared a hero for defending the guy, though I never have really thought there was anything heroic about it. It was just something I knew I had to do.