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Short Cuts, Ultimate Fighting Systems and Cheats

On This Page
I Believe in the Chocolate Cake Diet | What It All Boils Down To ... | Short Cuts | Ultimate Fighting Systems | Cheats

It isn't enough that you should know that statement was made at a marketing meeting in the publisher's office. What you really need to stop and consider is that man has grown rich selling supposed NON-Fiction about MA/SD/ WSD/ RBSD/Combatives/knife fighting/defensive tactics/ street-fighting. That man has not only made his money off people's fantasies about violence, but he has also strongly influence what YOU think works in a 'real' fight.

In fact, he -- and many like him -- have replaced legitimate, demonstrable knowledge and understanding with marketing. And that has influenced what and how you think about the subject. Let me be blunt:

Odds are, what you think you know about this subject, is advertising.

If it isn't actually advertising claims, then it is guaranteed that what you 'know' has been strongly influenced, if not outright created, by marketing(1). That is the reality of the business of MA/SD. In fact, the cover of a recent magazine for school owners proclaimed that issue to be the "Developing the Millionaire Mindset." The issue was chocked full on how to become a millionaire through running McDojo chains. We tell you this because the only tangible results of these so-called ultimate fighting systems, deadly combatives, warriors arts and vicious street fighting systems is getting you separated from your money.

But before they can do that, they have to con you into believing what they say about the subject is the TRUTH™.And that is where marketing comes in.

The bottom-line is there is a good chance you have been brainwashed into thinking that some utterly stupid and suicidally dangerous misconceptions about crime, violence and martial arts are valid. We use the word brainwashed because there is no word in the English language for when people believe they are making informed and intelligent decisions based on marketing propaganda.

Here's the rub though, there is competitive marketing in action. A lot of different groups are in competition for your money -- each of them claiming that they are the best. So when we say brainwashed, we aren't talking about you buying into one particular system over the other. We're talking about after hearing enough advertising, you unconsciously begin to accept the premises behind the marketing. And that not only affects what you know, but also it affects your thinking.

You know the marketing has worked when people are arguing which is better, the Chocolate Cake Diet, the Cheese Cake Diet or the M&M Diet. Any reality healthy diet, proper eating and weight loss has been steamrollered over by incessant marketing that promises you great returns without sacrifice, discomfort or hard work.

That's the appeal of the chocolate cake diet. And quite frankly, there are a lot of MA/SD instructors who are willing to make their millions by selling you their particular chocolate cake diet of 'guaranteed results when it comes to MA/SD.

But before they can make their millions off of you, you have to say...

I Believe in the Chocolate Cake Diet
We get asked a lot of questions about self-defense and the martial arts. If we were to take all the questions we are asked and lump them into general categories, the biggest pile would be the questions that  -- no matter how they are phrased -- boil down to one idea:

Which is the best chocolate cake diet?

When someone asks us this question, we know that the marketing weenies have gotten a hold of him. We're not cruel or mean to people who ask us these questions. And we're especially not going to tell these people "Why OUR chocolate cake diet is the best, and for only $9,999 dollars we'll teach it to you!"  What we try to do is explain that while chocolate cake diets do exist, they aren't effective.

The reason we aren't mean or interested in taking advantage of these people is that they honestly think they are asking a legitimate and well-thought-out question. After all with all the marketing that they've heard being passed as legitimate knowledge, why shouldn't they believe that there is such a thing as an effective chocolate cake diet?

So how can you tell if
   A) what you think you know about is advertising for...    B) you're talking to someone who believes they've found...    C) you're talking to someone who is selling their version of...
the MA/SD equivalent of the chocolate cake diet.

What It All Boils Down To... After more fights, conflicts and professional use of force incidents than I can remember, we've come to one incontrovertible conclusion about what works when a situation becomes physical. That is the person who is going to walk away the most intact (some would call him the 'winner') is the guy who was most effective in delivering power into his opponent.

This is a very specific statement. It doesn't necessarily mean who 'got there the furstest with the mostest'(2). Although that often is how it works. Nor does it necessarily mean who is the better technician. Again, that is often the case. It doesn't mean who's the biggest and strongest. Granted that among unskilled fighters this is often the determining factor. It definitely doesn't mean who has the biggest attitude and is most aggressive. Even though these two often accompany victory. But most of all it doesn't mean standing there and beating the hell out of someone until he falls down. That idea is why people are looking for the chocolate cake diet!

Effective movement doesn't take a long time to manifest. In fact, our attitude is that ANY violent encounter should be over in three moves -- max. It doesn't matter what level it is, the threat, the opponent's ability to continue to fight effectively or to move freely (in any direction except retreat) is gone by YOUR third move. Anything that happens after that is clean up (e.g. without hurting him, sitting on a drunk who's still on the fight until he submits). Any violence that continues after three moves drastically (and perhaps lethally) increases your chances to be hurt by your opponent.

Now this idea sounds ... well, rather idealistic. Except it is not. It is simply a matter of being able to manifest and deliver good physics. And that takes things like practice, understanding and being able to keep a cool head and perform under fire. All those things that training is supposed to instill in you, but so often doesn't.

Unfortunately for both insurance and safety reasons most of what is being promoted as 'self-defense' is actually sports based. Two key components form martial sports movement. These moves are
     A) Modified for the safety and protection of the participants
     B) Designed to extend the match for the entertainment of the audience.

Think long and hard about those two points. Because most of what you are learning -- even in the mixed martial arts -- is modified to meet those standards. There is a BIG difference between hitting hard and delivering power effectively into your opponent. That's because sports techniques have been modified to allow your opponent to be able to withstand the power you are delivering. Things that can and will end conflict immediately have been stripped away or disallowed. And that guarantees that the 'fight' will go on for a long period of time.

That is why the 'over in three' standard sounds both so appealing and so unrealistic given modern training practices. With a sports based system, you can hit him as hard as you want, but unless you've set it up just right, he can 'roll away' from it. Whether this is him shedding it or you knocking him backwards, he still remains functional -- and therefore capable of resisting.

Developing the ability effectively deliver force that will render your opponent incapable of further aggressive action take a LOT of hard work. It requires practice in proper physics and body mechanics, ingraining a nearly 'instinctive' awareness of range, timing and targeting, a grasp of angles and application against human physiology. And to be able to do all of this under adrenal stress.

Those who can do this are known as 'meat eaters.' They are the guys who -- without the safety net of sports rules -- still go forward in the face of violence and danger.

And THIS is where the chocolate cake diet breaks from reality. The chocolate cake diet is the appealing offer that you too can have these attributes without the hard work it takes to get them. That by using this quick, easy and simple system, you too can become a meat eater -- by eating chocolate cake.

Short Cuts
One of the biggest appeals of MA/SD chocolate cake diets is they offer you the results you want (over immediately) without you having to invest the time and work it takes learn how to effectively generate and deliver force. In other words they offer you short cuts.

It doesn't matter how this is phrased. The sales hook to this approach is that you will be able to deliver more force with the least amount of prep time. Two examples are:

1) Krav Maga marketing claims to be able to get you ready to 'defend yourself' in the shortest amount of time possible. The perception is that in the shortest amount of time possible they will  ingrain in you the capacity to function under ANY dangerous situation. Unfortunately,
      A) unless you know the difference between fighting and self-defense, the
          strategies they teach you will get you arrested if you use them in a  
      B) There is no way to short cut ingraining effective movement. It's going
          to take an individual a set amount of time to ingrain it in their "muscle
          memory(3)." This time varies from person to person and is largely
          dependant on repetition and focus. You cannot physically short cut
          this process. Although some programs by intensely focusing on a
          limited number of techniques makes it look like you can.       C) While sheer raw, headlong aggression will carry the day in a majority of
          fights between untrained people, not all violence is going to be a bar
          fights. There are times when it doesn't work. In fact, despite how well
          lauded the strategy of an aggressive kamakazi charge is, don't think an
          experienced bouncer or barroom brawler hasn't faced a hard-driving,
          headlong attack before. The fact that he's standing there means he's
          got something up HIS sleeve.

2) Strike enhancers. People who believe in carrying these toys will often tell you that they 'increase your striking power.' That is wrong. What they will do is focus whatever force is present. If there isn't a lot to begin with, it's not going to increase it. The only thing that will increase your power is more effective movement. Movement that not only generates, but delivers, more force. Unfortunately strike enhancers
        A) Are only effective when they are in your hand
        B) Limit your other offensive hand options because your hand is engaged 
           in holding the item
        C) Don't teach you how to strike effectively
        D) Can increase your chances of being arrested (You not only were
          fighting, but you brought a tool along ... that implies preplanning). Yet the appeal of strike enhancers is they are short cuts. You don't have to worry about ingraining correct body movement or waste all that time training, they'll do it all for you.

Ultimate Fighting System
A very big indication that someone has bought into the marketing of MA/SD is when they ask the question of "What is the best style?" That question is just so fundamentally off base, while at the same time, built on marketing hype, misconceptions and fantasy that it's sometimes hard to know where to start.

But we'll begin with this. It's a question we often ask uber-studs who are bagging on 'traditional martial arts' as ineffective. We ask them: When you say 'karate' are you talking about the 97% of commercialized, watered-down, hopping around in pajamas while waving your arms? Or are you talking about the 3% that hasn't been bastardized and will break you in half in under five seconds?

Even though they are both being called karate -- and they have the same generalized motions -- they are light years apart. One has lost the subtle component parts and elements that must be present for effective movement. (So they are indeed jumping around in their PJs while waving their arms). The other still retains aspects that can both effectively generate and deliver, not only force, but a wide variety of different kinds of force. And that's why they can break you in half.

However, both groups are utterly and totally convinced what they are doing is REAL karate. And they'll tell you that too. Realizing that there is no clear distinction within the style itself between these two extremes, how can an outsider be expected to understand the difference?

And realistically, how likely is it that someone -- who is marketing his own super-duper, killer commando, esoteric deadly fighting style  -- is going to admit that there are some versions of his competitions' styles that could mop the floor with him? Nope, far, far better to dismiss the competition entirely. Which is what happens with the people who are dismissing traditional martial arts over their ultimate fighting system.

Putting it bluntly, from the exact same style we have seen people who couldn't fight their way out of a used kleenex and people who can fold, spindle and mutilate 95% of the people on this planet. This is NOT a statement on the style ... it is a statement on what they are doing and calling the style.

If what they are doing is effective movement, then it doesn't matter what style they are doing. What matters is the movement they are doing makes for good physics. And now to really cook your noodle, there are many different ways you can move that create good physics. Different styles create good physics differently. This means there is NO ONE right way to move. Although the dogmatic of different systems will swear you can't generate force the way the 'other' system does it, skilled practitioners from either way of moving can hit you so hard you'll get a speeding ticket in El Paso.

Around this time the people who have drank the marketing kool-aid of reality based self-defense groups will start saying things like "But in a real fight..." HELLLLLOOOOO! Physics are physics. The laws of gravity, momentum, force, impact and deceleration do NOT suddenly cease to exist because you're in a fight. What's more is that is when you need them the most!

Does manifesting effective physics become harder under the adrenal stress and facing a resisting opponent? You betcha! That's why you need to practice in order to ingrain effective movement ... so you can be effective under adverse conditions. Not that you necessarily will be, just acquiring the skillsets so you can be  effective is a big enough of a first step. One that if you haven't nailed down before jumping into a live-fire situation, you're gonna be in some deep kim chee.

We've taken this long about way to explain to you one simple fact: It isn't the style, it's how you do it that counts.

There ain't no such critter as 'the best MA' or fighting system. In fact, it isn't the style at all ... it's a combination of things. The more effective the version of the style is at generating and delivering power, the better your chances are of making it work. The more ingrained into your nervous system moving effectively is (no matter what style) the better your chances are of it working. Now add to this whole cocktail it also has a whole lot to do with how well you can apply it to the situation at hand (e.g. under stress and with someone who isn't cooperating). And then there is all those other factors that come into play like legal, moral and ethical issues about WHEN to use force and WHY (4).

But this is where the sales hook of the "Ultimate Fighting System" comes in -- and why it is another form of the chocolate cake diet. In fact, 'ultimate fighting systems' aren't even a diet, they are the equivalent of the chocolate cake diet pill. That one simple thing that you take and it does everything for you.

There are systems out there that are being promoted as the Wal-Mart Supercenter of self-defense. These are 'one-stop shopping' for 'all your self-defense needs.' According to their marketing, you don't need anything else because they will train you to handle every kind of situation. They'll teach you striking, kicking AND grappling. Heck, they might even teach you how to disarm an armed opponent.

What a great way to get your head blown off...

If all crime and violence were as simple as a one on one, empty handed 'fight' then these guys would be the ultimate fighting machines that they claim. Unfortunately, as much as you may want a 'you just do this' answer, there aren't any when it comes to self-defense. It's just too big, too mutable and too complex of a subject. And there especially aren't any simplistic answer when it comes to the larger umbrella issue of personal safety -- of which, self-defense is only one small subsection.

Collectively, we've been involved in, dealing with, preventing, studying, researching and teaching about crime, violence (as well as doing the martial arts) for over 65 years. Every day we get up and learn about a new permutation and development in the field. And if we haven't figured it all out after all that time, how realistic is it that someone is going to teach you how to be an ultimate street fighter in just a few months?

That's why ultimate fighting systems are the chocolate cake diet pill.

Cheats are not exactly short cuts, that's why they are in their own category. What they are is the perception that there exist 'dirty fighting tricks' that will more easily bring you victory.

First off, recognize that fighting dirty is a sports based concept. While we could be glib and say, "To a streetfighter the idea is: If you ain't cheating, then you ain't trying hard enough." That isn't exactly true. Because quite frankly, if everyone is 'cheating,' is it still cheating?

Or is that just how things work?

More realistically though, what some people would call 'fighting dirty' is just another way to effectively deliver force into your opponent. Straight up, anyone who goes into non-sport violence and doesn't expect his opponent to try to take every possible advantage has no business being there. If you go into a situation believing that your training has prepared you for all the different ways that people can deliver trauma to your tender flesh, then you don't belong there either.

Still, many people believe that there exist a secrete group of nasty and dirty trick that will end the 'fight' faster than conventional means. Well, not to be the bearer of bad tidings, but pretty much anything outside of sports based movement qualifies. Headbutts, shooting someone, biting someone's ear off, gouging his eye out and busting a bottle over the back of your head all work very well for effectively delivering force into your opponent. And they ain't all that secret ... in fact, they're really common.

 Once we redefine 'cheats' from 'quick and easy ways to bring victory' to 'just another way to effectively deliver force into one's opponent' they begin to lose their chocolate cake diet appeal. They instead become something that you must be aware of in order to avoid and to practice to apply. Which brings us back to the dull repetitive grind of practicing effective movement patterns

Return to top

1) For example. How many people have heard that Tae Kwon Do is a 1000 year old fighting style of Korea? The 'evidence' of this claim is a painting on a Silla Dynasty tomb of two men fighting with feet and fists. This has been used as 'proof' that TKD dates to the Silla Dynasty. First, Tae Kwon Do was 'created' by General Choi in the 1950's when he 'organized' a large number of schools/systems under his 'directorship" and named this collection "tae kwon do." Second, there is evidence that this organization of schools wasn't exactly voluntary (ergo the use of single quotes around certain words). Third, amazingly enough the TKD 'pyong' katas were almost exact duplicates of the shotokan katas taught in Japan. You may not know it, but during WWII the Japanese military took officers from countries they invaded and sent them back to Japan for officer training -- including karate instruction. What was originally taught as Tae Kwon Do here in the US was Korean modified Shotokan. Fifth, since it has been taught in the West, this "unchanging 1,000 year old Korean style" has changed drastically. New katas have cropped up under the explanation that it actually is a 1,000 year old kata that while it has always been there is just now being revealed. Over the last 30 years the Pyong katas have been systematically replaced with other katas that supposedly have 'ancient' and specifically Korean origins. Sixth, As TKD has changed so too has the 'history' of TKD. The claim that it is based in the Silla Warrior tradition didn't start to appear until around the year 2000. General Choi had broken with South Korea and the WTF. He moved to Canada where he founded the ITF (International TKD Federation). Choi died in 2002 and it wasn't until after his death that the claims of TKD being tracable to the Silla became a popular fiction. Now in light of these six documental points, can you realistically deny that marketing has not strongly influenced this particular martial art? And if it has happened there, what has been done to what you know?  Return to Text

2) The quote "ah git thar the furtest with tha mostest" is often wrongfully attributed to Civil War General Nathan Bedford Forrest. Although it is arguable that he that was in essence one of his key strategies. Supposedly that quote appeared in the NY Times 1917 and was attributed to him by the author. Return to Text

3) Although this term is commonly used and 'understood' it is technically incorrect. In fact, it is just down right wrong. Your muscles do not have brain cells, therefore they cannot 'remember' anything. What there is, however, is emphasizing specific neural pathways, nerve firing sequences, muscle tension/relaxation patterns and  poses/positions that create skeletal alignment. When these attributes are developed you are able to function along these lines with minimal conscious thought This is what people mistakenly call 'muscle memory.' Return to Text

4) At best, physical technique is only one slice of that pie. Other slices of personal safety include legal issues, social skills, deterrents, psychology, knowledge of how crimes occur, mental preparation and awareness of what you are facing. In short, self-defense is only one small part of the much bigger issue (The analogy we use is a pyramid of personal safety). And even though it is a subset of personal safety, each of these components must be included in effective self-defense training. This is why we say:The hard part isn't snapping someone's neck. That's actually rather simple. The hard part is knowing when and why it is time to do it OR -- more importantly-- when it isn't. Return to Text

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