DougNZ wrote:In my experience, learning kata for self defence, whether by video or under an instructor, yields poor results. I studied kata-based ju-jitsu for about 15 years and became good at kata-based ju-jitsu but not very good at fighting. To become good at self defence, one must learn how to fight. I believe that takes a different approach and mind-set. Judo is useful to becoming good at fighting because, as well as having some great techniques, it develops reactions and 'flow' through randori.
Maybe it's just a matter of word choice. I don't like that word "fight" because it is so often misapplied. I tend to save that word for situations where someone is going to be severely injured or killed, and someone else might barely walk away. I avoid using it when referring to judo tournament matches, I probably should think the same way even about an MMA contest ... they are not really fights, they have rules, referees, a clock, etc.
Where we probably agree is that a long time in judo makes one a whole lot less jumpy about physical aggression. Further, one is less likely to break out in tears and call for Mama if one gets shoved around. Pain threshold ... way up there for most long time judoka. I'd also agree that the judo kata are incomplete, a point of departure for further study and practice ... if one can find it.
But I don't totally agree that the self defense kata, or genuine jujutsu study in general is less than useful in self defense. They were promoted and practiced by people who knew real fighting well. I don't always get involved in physical altercations, but when I do I have always reacted with things done in kata (or aiki practice). Most of these were years ago, when one works in bars as a college student these things happen. Probably what I did is partly training, partly because it makes sense to do certain things ... like get out of the way of someone punching or kicking, or jamming into them to grab them and get behind them, etc. ... armed and unarmed challenges the same ... enough time studying kumikata for competition tends to cover what is taught in the judo kata. Point is, if the randori and kata are well taught and the crossover understood by the student, most things never get a chance to escalate into a fight. Most fights are, excuse the language, bullshit by drunks.
There is a legal aspect that fits well with judo too I think.
In most places on the planet, if one puts up one's dukes and challenges someone, one committing a crime. Also in may places, if one responds to such a challenge with a similar pose one is also committing a crime. "Let's go outside and finish this" is frowned upon by law enforcement in most places where rule of law exists. So yeah, if this is one's thing take lots of boxing lessons ... and get a good lawyer.
But in judo the philosophy shown in the kata is twofold in this regard. First, we practice sometimes as if the attack is a surprise. In others, we practice as if we are waiting for the last moment not to resort to fisticuffs, we are trying to avoid them. So the hands are not in some kind of boxing or karate pose, but relaxed and at our sides in a confident but non-confrontational pose.