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Rory Miller


People come to the martial arts
for self-defense. But they stay 
for other reasons.

Martial Arts:
A Consumer's Guide

On this page:
Summation Of The Difference | Martial Arts Training | Martial Arts Culture | Why We Do This

Welcome to the Martial Arts hub of the No Nonsense Self-Defense site. For reasons you'll soon see, this hub is divided into two parts:

Martial Arts Training
Martial Arts Culture

Each addresses a different aspect of the martial arts.

Summation Of The Difference
The training section is more nuts and bolts approach to help you take your martial art -- whatever style it may be -- and adapt it to work for self-defense. Oh and along the way, become a better, more competent martial artist.

The culture section is about the many pitfalls, problems and scams you will encounter in the martial arts subculture.

Although they are often presented as such, the two subjects are not the same. Here's an expanded explanation of the differences.

Martial Arts Training
The Martial Arts Training section addresses training issues, tips, advice and concepts to help you learn whatever system you are involved in more quickly, effectively and fully. For example, the Stance page is a good example of what is commonly NOT taught about such a fundamental concept of the arts.

Despite what many accuse us of we really are here to help you become a better martial artist. We're not going to do that by teaching you 'our' style or selling you something. Our goal is to help you become better at what you do.

The concepts provided in the training hub will help you with common problems encountered in your training (like your blocks not working). It will expand your understanding of what it takes for any martial system to work.

Martial Arts Culture
Here's the hot button subject. The Martial Arts Culture hub addresses personal, social, financial and other issues that you'll encounter in the 'world' of  -- hang on, this is going to be long -- Martial Arts/ Self-Defense/Reality Based Self-Defense/ Women's Self-Defense/ Defensive Tactics. (MA/SD/ RBSD/WSD/ DT for short.) 

Oh yeah, and the skanky practices practiced by the businesses and individuals who claim to teach MA/SD/RBSD/WSD/DT. This includes information that will get you killed or put in prison.

Unfortunately, we're neither joking or overstating that.

After a collective time of nearly 65 years in the arts and self-defense training world, we can state with utter assurance that you willrun into these issues. It's the nature of the beast.

While there is a lot of good out in the martial arts world, there's a lot of bad as well. And you need to know about both before you plunk your money down.

Let me frame that last in another way. While there IS good training out there, there's a lot more bad training. Unfortunately, there's a strong correlation between bad training and the issues we talk about in the MA Culture hub.

Simply stated most of what you think you know about the martial arts is... well, marketing. Many people think that being in the martial arts automatically means you're being taught certain things. This isn't true. In fact, it is far from true. You can start by considering the number one reason people come to the martial arts. We dare to ask: ARE the Martial Arts good for self-defense? (Spoiler alert. You're going to be unpleasantly surprised when you find out how much you aren't being taught about self-defense.)

Add to this there is a lot of dysfunction, profiteering, bad behavior and dishonesty in the MA/SD/RBSD/WSD/DT worlds that is hidden under the guise of training, tradition, focus and self-defense. This up to and including full blown martial art cults. They're looking for recruits.

We're pulling the curtain back on these issues to show you if you are being 'taken for a ride' or not. To do this, we have drawn from fields outside the martial arts to show that:
a) We are not making this stuff up and
b) So you can check the resources out yourself.

For example: When we are talking about the business practices of martial arts, we are talking business and not martial arts. 

These are practices that come from outside of the MA and have been adapted to run a financially successful martial art school. Often from fields like health clubs and health and fitness marketing, products and magazines. Others, like having senior students teach for free as 'part of belt advancement' isn't ancient martial tradition. It's free labor for the school owner. Or testing fees...

We should warn you: There are some uncomfortable truths here. In fact, we routinely receive hate mail saying we are condemning and disrespecting 'the martial arts.'

That isn't our intent. The attitude underlying the MA Culture hub is "The critique of organized religion is not a condemnation of God"

However, many people don't realize this (or they don't want to). Restressing: We are not here to 'bash the martial arts,' but rather to critically examine what goes on under the guise of martial art training.

In this we lay bare many of the problems inherent in commercialized, modern martial art systems and organizations. There is a lot of seriously non-kosher behavior going on in the fields of MA/SD/RBSD/WSD/DT. And if you have bought into this dysfunction, then the section is going to be very uncomfortable for you to read.

If you haven't bought in, this information can help you find a good school and keep you from burning out.

Why We Do This
We BBQ a lot of sacred cows about the martial arts. That doesn't make us very popular with a lot of people... especially folks who have invested heavily in the systems that pull the sheenagins we discuss on the martial arts culture hub.

You'll hear a lot of people on the Internet talking about our motivations for doing what we do. And boy oh boy, do they manage to get it wrong ...

Why do we do it? Well here's the answer.


Return to top

What You Don't Know Can Kill You
(How your SD training will put you into prison or the ground)

Effective Chinese MA

Effective Karate

Randy King

Hapkido/ Active Shooter

Academy of Self-Defence
Sheffield UK

Violence Dynamics


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