It is said that black belt martial artists are always able to defend themselves, however, this is actually one of the biggest lies. We are often exposed to romantic notions in movies that professional martial arts athletes can walk without fear on the street, subduing armed bad guys at will. In reality, even black belts are not sure whether they can defend themselves when confronted with life and death situation while facing an armed attacker. In fact, martial arts could actually inhibit someone’s will to fight. Martial artists often deliberately avoid fights due to various reasons. The majority of martial arts techniques taught these days are reaction-based and defensive. They are designed to subdue attacking opponents. Also, martial arts are often sports-oriented and they may not be relevant to real-life situations. Street fighting could be more like mixed martial arts, which has been considered as a form of sport. It is unlikely for someone who is fighting on the street without judges will fight according to specific rules.

Street fighting uses any technique that could overwhelm or surprise any martial arts professionals, such as biting, any kind of eye gouging, head butting, fish hooking, hair pulling, putting finger into orifices, direct groin attacks, strike to the back of the head or spine, attacks on body joints, clavicle grabbing, strikes towards throats, head kicking, stomping grounded opponent, throwing nearby hard objects, ambush on unsuspected opponents using knives and other unsportsmanlike conducts. In many cases, people no longer fight, they could use guns to threaten, injure and kill opponents. This situation could cause many black belts unprepared with the sudden ferocity of unusual forms of attacks. Self defense technique on street is more than just about having good martial arts skill and it is actually one of the components. When planning to defend ourselves, we should also be able to check surrounding and evade possible dangers. Many self defense experts actually have limited skills in martial arts and they prefer on using realistic techniques that could keep us unharmed and alive.

Traditional styles of martial arts are obviously useful to provide us with an overview on how to defend ourselves, but they can be useless in the street. For people who live in dangerous areas, they should learn how to survive, instead of focusing too much on martial arts. They could use improvised weapons to confront potential attackers. Learning how to defend ourselves is multi-dimensional and it could involve social and technological aspects as well. The reality of doing this could help us to build a comprehensive system that makes it possible for use to defend ourselves from attacks. It could decades to become a true master of self defense. It’s about making corrections and self examination to find out whether we can really defend ourselves. There’s no easy and quick way to do this. There are many people with no martial arts ability whatsoever who can sustain and defend themselves for years in difficult situations.