THAT WON'T WORK ON THE STREET!
Black Belt|February/March 2020
IT’S SAFE TO INFER THAT EVEN BACK IN THE DAYS OF THE GREAT ASIAN DYNASTIES, THERE WAS SOMEONE POINTING AT THE TEACHER OF A KINGDOM’S ARMY AND SAYING‚ “THAT WON’T WORK IN BATTLE.” MARTIAL ARTISTS ARE KNOWN FOR BEING CRITICAL OF TECHNIQUES THAT ARE NOT INTRODUCED BY THEIR INSTRUCTOR, THAT WERE NOT CREATED BY THEM PERSONALLY OR THAT COME FROM OUTSIDE THEIR SPECIFIC SYSTEM
ISAAC COSTLEY

And so the debate continues in regard to what will work. Many techniques are taught, and for each technique learned, you’re sure to find practitioners, instructors, masters and grandmasters who say‚ “That won’t work on the street.” This begs the question‚ What makes one technique more or less valid than another for street application?

The answer can lead to endless debate, but instead of arguing, let’s talk about the things most martial artists will agree on.

• Simplicity. Can a given technique be learned easily? If it takes months or years for students to become proficient, is that technique street-applicable? What would students do if they were attacked tonight? It’s been said that a technique that’s 20 steps long allows for 19 mistakes and 19 opportunities for the opponent to counter.

• Effectiveness. People disagree about what makes a technique effective. We’ve all heard that a spinning kick cannot work on the street, yet we can find video of someone being hit with a spinning kick. And we can find video of someone delivering such a kick and having his leg caught before being slammed to the ground. So is kicking ineffective for the street, or is the person delivering the kick doing so ineffectively?

• Direct approach. This often can be combined with simplicity. The more direct the defensive or offensive technique used, the higher the probability of success.

Three areas should be added to this list to increase the likelihood of success on the street: eyesight, breathing and balance. In simple terms, if a person cannot see or breathe, it’s difficult for him to fight you. In addition, if he’s been stripped of his balance, it’s tough for him to continue to attack.

Clearly, techniques that are simple and direct — and that adhere to these three areas — will be more effective if you have to confront a threat on the street. Nevertheless, the discussion of street-applicable techniques leads some martial artists back to a question that’s been asked for centuries: Which martial art is best?

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM BLACK BELTView All

STAMP

Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad — For Most People. For STAMP FAIRTEX, However, It’s Not Enough!

9 mins read
Black Belt
April/May 2021

WATCH YOUR WORDS

THINK ABOUT HOW WORDS SPOKEN OR HEARD CAN INFLUENCE THE WAY WE TRAIN IN THE DOJO. THOSE SAME WORDS CAN INFLUENCE THE WAY WE MOVE OUR BODIES.

5 mins read
Black Belt
April/May 2021

RANDOM THOUGHTS WITH RICKSON GRACIE

RICKSON GRACIE IS WIDELY REGARDED AS THE BEST OF THE BEST IN BRAZILIAN JIU-JITSU, BUT HE’S SO MUCH MORE THAN THAT. HE’S A WARRIOR, A PHILOSOPHER, A THINKER, AN INSPIRATION AND A ROLE MODEL. WHICH IS WHY WE’RE PRESENTING THESE GLIMPSES OF THE MAN THAT NOT MANY BLACK BELT READERS HAVE SEEN.

4 mins read
Black Belt
April/May 2021

COMBATIVES COROLLARIES

IN LIFE, DRAWING COROLLARIES BETWEEN RELATED SUBJECTS IS INTERESTING AND OFTEN ENLIGHTENING. IN PARTICULAR, COROLLARIES BETWEEN WARFIGHTING AND PERSONAL COMBAT CAN TEACH US MUCH.

5 mins read
Black Belt
April/May 2021

JEET KUNE DO COMMUNITY BIDS FAREWELL TO TAKY KIMURA

MEMBERS OF THE MARTIAL ARTS COMMUNITY — AND FOLLOWERS OF THE ARTS OF BRUCE LEE, IN PARTICULAR — SUFFERED A LOSS ON JANUARY 7, 2021, WHEN SEATTLEBASED INSTRUCTOR TAKY KIMURA PASSED AWAY AT AGE 96. HE HAD BEEN THE MOST SENIOR LIVING STUDENT OF LEE AND ONE OF ONLY THREE PEOPLE (ALONG WITH DAN INOSANTO AND THE LATE JAMES YIMM LEE) CERTIFIED BY LEE TO TEACH. “SPEAKING FOR MYSELF — AND I KNOW BRUCE WOULD HAVE FELT THIS WAY, AS WELL — IT WAS A PRIVILEGE TO HAVE HAD TAKY AS A PART OF MY LIFE,” SAID LINDA LEE CADWELL, LEE’S WIDOW.

4 mins read
Black Belt
April/May 2021

THE DANGAL IN THE JUNGLE, PART 1

YOU KNOW YOU’RE SOMEBODY WHEN YOU’VE APPEARED ON AN INDIAN DANGAL POSTER — IN OTHER WORDS, IN A WRESTLING ADVERTISEMENT.

6 mins read
Black Belt
April/May 2021

EVICTION NOTICE! WHEN YOU'RE FORCED TO TEACH OUTSIDE, PART 1

FROM THE DAY BLACK BELT WAS FOUNDED, MARTIAL ARTISTS HAVE LOOKED TO THE MAGAZINE FOR GUIDANCE ON CURRENT TRENDS IN THE ARTS, FROM KICKBOXING IN THE 1970s TO GROUND FIGHTING AND REALITY-BASED SELF-DEFENSE IN THE 2000s. NOWADAYS, THE HOT TOPIC IS, UNFORTUNATELY, SCHOOL SURVIVAL IN THE ERA OF COVID.

6 mins read
Black Belt
April/May 2021

WING CHUN'S LINK TO TRIADS It's Not What You Think!

One of the most popular systems of kung fu in the world today is wing chun. It was cast into the international spotlight by Bruce Lee, whose formal training started in the art, but its popularity has exploded since Donnie Yen brought founder Ip Man to life in four blockbuster movies.

8 mins read
Black Belt
April/May 2021

LETHAL HANDS

11 TIME-TESTED TOOLS You Need for Close-Quarters Combat Courtesy of the Ancient Greek Art OF PANKRATION!

10 mins read
Black Belt
April/May 2021

A LOVE LETTER TO BRAZILIAN JIU-JITSU

When actor Sean Patrick Flanery (The Boondock Saints, The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles) was a kid, a prophetic event occurred, one that contradicts the oft-heard phrase that says what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Why do I say “prophetic”? Because if what happened had stayed in Vegas, Flanery still might be digging ditches instead of using that moment in time to forge a future that led to Born a Champion.

5 mins read
Black Belt
April/May 2021
RELATED STORIES

QUARANTINE LIFE

What we've been up to a while sheltering at home

5 mins read
The BOSS Magazine
June 2020

UFC's $5 billion fight

UFC has become the first major sport back during the pandemic, while defending itself against a groundbreaking antitrust suit that alleges it abused its market power to hold down fighters’ share of its revenue

10+ mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
May 18, 2020

THE WILL OF A CHAMPION

UFC FIGHTER MEGAN ANDERSON PULLS BACK THE CURTAIN TO REVEAL HOW MUCH INTENSE MENTAL AND PHYSICAL PREPARATION IS NEEDED TO SUCCEED IN THE OCTAGON.

6 mins read
Inked
The Moto Issue

NATION'S FIRE - CHUCK LIDDELL 'ITS GONNA KNOCK YOU OUT!'

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH RON GALLETTI

5 mins read
Born To Ride Southeast Magazine
February 2020

THE LAST STYLEBENDER

UFC middleweight champion ISRAEL ADESANYA on how he spends his money and his plans to fight MMA legend Jon Jones.

3 mins read
Muscle & Fitness
March 2020

Tyron Woodley

Down but not out, the UFC welterweight eyes a return to the Octagon—stronger than ever.

3 mins read
Muscle & Fitness
November 2019

Ronda Is As Tough As Her Nails!

SHE FINISHES SCENE – DESPITE CRUSHED FINGERS!

1 min read
National Enquirer
September 9, 2019

Bad To The Bone

After four years of controversy and questionable decisions, in and out of the Octagon, Jon Jones isn’t looking to apologize. He’s looking to fight.

4 mins read
Muscle & Fitness
July 2019

It's Showtime with UFC Superstar Anthony Pettis

UFC superstar Anthony Pettis inspires fans in and out of the Octagon.

4 mins read
Muscle & Fitness
January 2016

WOMEN OF ACTION

These five women are breaking new ground in typically male-dominated fields and inspiring a new, diverse generation to follow their passions.

9 mins read
Muscle and Fitness Hers South Africa
March - April 2021