Martial Arts v Reality

I’m Paul Willson I am a brown belt in Ju Jutsu, a centuries old Japanese martial art.

Photo by Craig Adderley on

Ok you have been doing martial arts for a while now and gone through the belt system a bit and you are now doing very some very technical techniques which have a some danger to them so you are definitely not a newbie anymore. This means you can handle yourself in a real fight, right?

Erm no. Even for an experienced black belt that is a very dangerous way of thinking. It is a weird thing to say when you are essentially learning a fighting style but ask yourself have you ever been in a real fight? Not a schoolboy fight which is essential a pushing contest because no one wants to get hurt and one of you walks away saying “your not worth it”, no a real fight? Have you ever been punched or kicked hard, on purpose? Fights are scary and confusing things to be in. You are facing someone who really wants to hurt you and won’t stop until you can’t fight anymore or you have escaped.

The problem with martial arts is that it can give you a false sense of confidence. You learn a lot of techniques in a sanitised environment which were developed in a sanitised environment and these techniques also always work in a sanitised environment. Unfortunately in a real the other person isn’t as compliant. They might not grapple even if you want to, refuse to be taken down, you can be faced with punches raining down on you making grappling impossible or they will start grappling when you don’t really know how to grapple, are able to withstand your strikes and can strike harder and faster than you even without martial arts training.

Alternatively, have you ever hit or grappled with the purpose of hurting or damaging them? Could you really do this? Don’t answer this question straight away. Think about it. It is something that is not as easy as you may think. Of course we think we can but can we? If you do hurt or damage someone even in self defence you will have to live with what you have done.

It is normal to find it difficult to do. I would to prefer to hurt a good person who is worthy to be on my conscience than a bad person who I would rather forget

In a real fight you will be stressed. This is normal because someone is trying to hurt you. If you aren’t you are not normal. A normal person doesn’t want to hurt someone else. And because you are stressed martial arts techniques won’t work as well because they work best when you are relaxed.

Where martial arts will give you an edge is if someone attacks you who isn’t used to fighting. In this case I always think restraining techniques are the best because you can hold them down until they calm down or their friends pull them away and the only thing damaged is their pride. A real street fighter is bad news. The best to keep away from them at all possible because they will be tougher more experienced at fighting and have less morals than you.


Published by Paul Willson

I am Paul Willson. I have reached the rank of brown belt in Ju Jutsu. Thanks to Coronavirus I not been able to take my black belt grading stopping my martial art's journey in its tracks which the only polite word I can think of as frustrating. I have created this blog to try and help anyone who is thinking of starting a martial art or has just started a martial art.

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