If you’re looking to train martial arts in Orange County, there are several considerations you must take before stepping on the mat. Knowing about the strengths of different martial arts and what will best suit your needs is the first step towards beginning this journey. Taekwondo is sport or tournament focused with its lightning fast kicks. Muay Thai is a brutal full-contact ring sport utilizing bony body parts to strike such as the elbows, shins and knees, giving it the nickname “the science of eight limbs”. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a popular option for wrestlers and those who are looking for a grappling art which utilizes leverage, gravity and superior technique to submit an athletically superior opponent as a less violent but equally effective alternative to striking.
Krav Maga is a martial arts system created by the IDF (Israeli Defense Force) after Israel was granted statehood in 1948. Similar to Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP) Krav Maga only uses the most practical techniques for high pressure close quarter combat situations. Moves from the most proven and effective martial arts from all over the world like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, and Boxing are used in Krav Maga to create a mixed combat style used for real world situations. Military combatives programs have their limitations however, as they are designed to be a basic survival course learned over a short period of time for soldiers in a worst-case scenario. While these programs won’t make you the next Bruce Lee, they certainly serve their purpose very well when soldiers can fall back on a handful of reliable techniques in a pinch. In contrast, MMA-style martial arts are designed to teach precise moves that are constantly improved upon at the highest levels of competition.
As a former United States Marine Corps Sergeant, combat veteran, and instructor with competitive experience in BJJ, boxing and MMA, I have first-hand professional experience training in military martial arts programs and have experienced several different individual styles. For real-world self-defense situations, I recommend spending at least a few months learning Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to form a solid grappling base, followed by learning a striking art such as boxing or Muay Thai to complement your personal style and Jiu-Jitsu background. This is a formula that many UFC champions and legends follow and has been proven to work in an setting under any rule set. Since most people who consider martial arts are interested in training at least two classes a week to learn technique and get fit at the same time, eventually learning multiple styles is a very realistic goal to set for yourself. The beauty of learning the core styles of MMA (boxing, wrestling, jiu-jitsu) is that you do not need master one to comfortably handle an attacker. After training 2-3 times a week, you will likely surpass the level of grappling possessed by the highest rank in any military martial arts within one year. After adding a second martial art to your background training, you become a much more refined combatant and can very effectively defend yourself in real world situations. Many of my own students will attest that it absolutely does not take black belt level mastery of a martial art to be able to effectively defend yourself on the street, even against someone with limited training. Because of this, investing in other martial arts is likely a more efficient use of your time and energy if you aren’t looking for very specific techniques like weapon disarming or hastily training to handle yourself in a warzone.
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