Who is more apt to use martial arts in real world situations? I would say those who are in active combat situations more often than other people. When a situation arises where hand-to-hand combat is used to survive, a Navy SEAL is probably the person you want advice from. When it comes to self-defense, what do SEALs recommend? Jocko Willink, a former Navy SEAL who served alongside Chris Kyle and Michael Monsoor in Task Unit Bruiser, earning the Silver Star and Bronze Star for heroism. He has some good avice on the subject.
When it comes to self-defense, Willink’s top recommendation isn’t a martial art in the strictest sense. It’s a gun and concealed carry.
“If you are in a situation where you need to protect yourself, that is how you protect yourself,” he said, noting that potential adversaries will have weapons, they will be on drugs or suffer from some psychotic condition. “If you want to protect yourself, that is how you do it.” I suppose he would know best and he was asked what the best form of self-defense was so his answer is perfect.
It isn’t legal everywhere, but that works in the states that have “constitutional carry” or “shall issue” carry laws. But suppose you are in California, New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Maryland, Rhode Island, or Delaware which the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action notes are “Rights Restricted – Very Limited Issue” states where obtaining a concealed carry permit is very difficult? Willink then recommends Brazilian jujitsu, followed by Western boxing, Muay Thai, and wrestling. These are similar to the list that I myself put together a few months ago in a blog about which martial arts I found to be most effective in real world situations. Makes me feel pretty good about myself.
Willinck is a proponent of jujitsu in particular, recounting how he used it to beat a fellow SEAL in a sparring match who had 20 years of experience in a different martial art. He noted that people should not buy into the notion of a “magical instructor” who can help them defeat multiple attackers. He said martial arts like Krav Maga can augment jujitsu and other arts.He also noted that you have more time than you think. The attack isn’t likely to happen next week, it could be a lot longer, and one can learn a lot by training in a martial art two or three times a week for six months. Willick notes, though, that martial arts have a purpose beyond self-defense. They can teach discipline and humility. He notes that few who start jujitsu get a black belt – because it takes discipline to go out there on the mat constantly, especially when you are a beginner.