Is there a size ratio where martial arts wouldn't help

I guess this question is best asked by giving an example. This is kind of an extreme example

I thought about it 'cause at my gym they teach Tae Kwon Do to the little kids who are like 5 and 6. And sometimes when they’re board between class they’ll come over to me and say I can beat you up.

Now I’m 5’ 10 and 190 pounds and they’re little no amount of Karate or Judo or Tae Kwon Do will enable them to beat me up.

Now that’s an extreme example but let’s say you have a woman who is 5’2" and weighs 100 pounds and is a black belt in Karate could she seriously take on a 6’ 225 pound man?

If so at what point would she not be realistically be able to defend or “fight” someone with whatever martial art she knew.

Or if it’s a man etc.

I think you get the point.

I don’t think there is an exact answer to this, other than the old boxing/physics maxim: A good big man will usually beat a good little man. About the only thing “Karate” and similar striking martial arts are good for is exercise or sport. Martial arts springing from wrestling though may offset size/strength advantages in real life scenarios, a good sport example would be the old grapplig Gracie in UFC. Real fights aren’t anything like what happens in most dojos.

I have seen some videos of some very small, very old jujitsu masters take on some larger, younger guys and ground them very easily. Then again this was in a dojo and I’m sure the guys were coming at the old guy in the right way and he knew what to expect.

Could your hypothetical woman take on your hypothetical man and “win”? Yeah, probably if he was running by her trying to snatch her purse and he wasn’t expecting her to come at him. She could and would very easily have the power and werewithall to kick him in the nuts, shove her finger in his eye, bend his wrist the right way and get him to the ground. Being a black belt she would have both the confidence to do this, power in her kicks/punches, and knowledge of where is the most efficient place to hit a guy. At least, I’d hope that her art of choice would have taught her all of this by the time she got black.

Now, if there was a 6’2" 225-pound man who had her cornered and was fueled by adrenaline and/or chemicals and wanted nothing else than to kill her…yeah, she’d probably have little to no chance of getting out of that situation.

No, it is not “probable.” Fighting for adults these days, men or women, isn’t natural or “easy,” even with self-defense training. He/she would have to be extremely lucky to disable a larger, stronger opponent while upright. Knowledge of wrestling, judo, etc. is the only martial art that may even the scales, somewhat. Kicking someone in the balls is hard. He has spent his whole life avoiding same, after all. Bending his wrist? Are you kidding?

In your scenario, the woman’s at a disadvantage not because of her size, but because the man’s arms and legs are going to be significantly longer. He can do some serious damage to her without ever getting in her striking distance.

Anyone with any serious martial arts training would know how to offset this advantage.

I’ve seen plenty of bar fights, and a lot of “martial arts” style moves in them. Bar fights usually progress in stages, building up to the real battle. The guys hopping around waving and shouting out lines Bruce Lee movies, are not martial artists.

From what I see, the martial arts advantage consists of going to all out attack while the fight is still in the early stages. While their opponent is still in the “Oh yeah, take this!” part of the fight, suddenly the martial artist hands him his trachea.

You can usually tell when a martial artist is involved in the fight because it’s all of a sudden over. Take the 190 pound guy in the OP. If he were to try to grab one of those kids, and if the kid were to kick him in the groin without warning, and I mean as hard as he could, there’s a pretty good chance the guy would go down.

If it doesn’t work right away, it’s probably not going to work at all. Once the larger aggressor is aware of the potential for attack, he’s going to be ready.

For the OP’s consideration, Royce Gracie, a man of about 180 pounds, recently made Akebono, a 400-plus-pound man with some definite fighting skill, submit to an armbar in a shootfight.

So, clearly, the ratio is higher than 2:1.

Brazilian Dynamite: Gracie Submits Akebono

I saw a 9 year old boy that couldn’t have been more than 5’0, 100lbs (black belt, TKD), take down a 22 year old Red belt that was 6’3. Don’t know his weight, but he was pretty muscular, so I would guess at least 200, probably like 220.

The kid was good and fast, I will give you that. He had also been doing TKD since he was like 5.

I’d be careful assuming a little kid couldn’t kick your ass just because he is small. From personal experience, I have a friend who is 350lbs. He never worked out, smoked, and thought he was pretty tough because he was big (6’4). At the time, I wasn’t that strong, could probably curl 35lbs, and haven’t had martial arts practice in over 10 years. I got him in a hold, took him down, and was able to move his extremities in any way I wanted because I was much stronger and knew how to do it.

Now a 10 year old wouldn’t likely be much stronger, so perhaps a wrist lock or something would be out. But depending on what shape you are in, he could avoid you, wear you down, and when you are weak, take you out. Plus there is obviously a sense of overconfidence in your tone, which has led to the defeat of many before. My advice is to always assume the other guy knows what he is talking about and play it safe.

Mr. Colt solved the problem of pugnatious little red heads many years ago, so I never have to worry about it now.

*::: If it ain’t worth killin over, it ain’t worth fightin over. ::: *

Mr. Colt solved the problem of pugnatious little red heads many years ago, so I never have to worry about it now.

*::: If it ani’t worth killin over, it ain’t worth fightin over. ::: *

The questions are always impossible to answer because there are so many variables at play and myths at play (and counter-myths that are myths, like the one that dojo fights aren’t like real fights, or that all fights end on the ground, etc.).

I think the best way to think of training is this: does it increase the odds that you’ll prevail (which might be winning in sports, escaping in self defense, or incapacitating in law enforcement and some self defense, etc.)? Thus, the answer to can some martial arts training help a kid (or smaller person) defend themself against a much bigger adult is yes. Granted if the bigger was equally skilled or simply very determined, it may not help much, but given that such variables are … well varying … the fact that some kids have escaped from attactors based on their training is proof enough. (Again, somebody trying to grab a kid might let go and give up earlier than the phrase “beat up” implies…thus, improving the odds is just what I’d focus on.)

A friend of mine recently re-started martial arts lessons. To pick an instructor, he brought his 12 year old daughter (who has also had martial arts training) along with him, and told the instructor to fend off her attacks. Only one of the instructors was able to, so that’s the one my friend signed up with.

Admittedly, this was somewhat of a contrived scenario, since the instructors were only trying to fend her off, not counterattacking. But then also, they were not only bigger and stronger than she, they were also well-trained themselves. It’s certainly not outside the bounds of plausibility that she might be able to take a larger attacker by surprise and incapacitate him.

There’s also the point that the OP didn’t ask whether the martial artist would win, only whether the training would help. I would assert that it would always do that. Even if the size ratio is such that the smaller person has no chance of winning, the trained small guy will lose slower, or have a better chance of getting away, than the untrained small guy. So it does help.

What do you mean by “take down” ? Can you be more precise? Did he get him to the ground? knock him out?

A fun early sparring experience of mine…

Me: an over confident 2 year student squaring up against an instructor from another school…

She: black belt, 50 years old and barely five feet tall.

Even though I was over a foot taller, over 70 pounds heavier, with youth, reach, strength, (and gender, so I thought) on my side, she slipped right in before I could move, nailed me simultaneously with a kick to the groin, a ridge hand to the throat, and scampered up on me into a neck lock.

Down I went.

Now wiser, we squared off again. She did the same again, flavoring it with additional items like fingers clawing my face, and biting my lip and nose. Savage!

So in regards to the OP, the small cute little martial-artists are definitely capable of taking down larger opponents consistently, but they have to train exponentially harder and more seriously, and have zero room for error or mistakes in their technique.

In virtual fighting, you’re correct. But what happens in the real world? My guess is that her stylized technique and rehearsed responses all but evaporate against a much bigger, much stronger opponent–an opponent who is determined to beat the hell out of her and isn’t encumbered by dojo protocol or laws. No amount of dojo training is going to compensate for the heart-pounding fear triggered when a real fight breaks out. What happens when her groin and throat shots miss their mark, and a 210-lb. guy viciously punches her face with a fist or elbow? My guess is that the first shot stuns her, the second knocks her to the ground, and then 30 years of martial arts training is right out the window.

Two punches against 30 years of training? Blue smoke and mirrors.

I hereby nominate Carnac to mug little old ladies with black belts and tell us what happens to him. You can toss around hypotheticals all day long, but we need some real research here on the Dope!

There are a lot of sayings regarding this issue. “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog that matters” is one of them. It stands true from my experience. Obviously a child will have a hard time beating an adult up, but if the child strikes in the right spot, ya never know.

I would say there is no standard “law” on size and ratio. If one knows what they are doing they can bring down anyone. It’s really about not letting your emotions control you, keeping a clear head and being fast and accurate that matters most.

Took him to the ground, it was in a dojo during a spar. Not a real life fight, but still pretty impressive.