Natural / Survival Martial Arts- Part I

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Welcome to the Survival Martial Arts page! In this post I will be explaining what sets Natural/ Scientific martial arts apart from other martial arts styles. First off we should break down the types of martial arts in the world.

Demontrational Martial Arts- showy martial arts, wushu, movie martial arts and martial arts seen at festivals.

Combat- This is used by special forces, police, SWAT and other military units. Usually very simple and made to be taught to basic recruits. Usually by no means a comprehensive system. All reality style martial arts fall under this category.

Sport- Usually has rules, referees, protective equipment and is a form of entertainment. This style of Martial art is actually very ancient -wrestling was very common as a sport in most of the world since ancient times. ie. Icelandic Glima, Cornish Omdowl Kernewek, Turkish oil wrestling, Mongolian Bökh, Indian Kushti, Japanese Sumo, etc.

Survival- This is a skill taught from generation to generation, on survival skills and combat that is necessary for thriving in a harsh environment and used to avoid detection, find food (hunting) and avoid capture.

Survival Martial Arts

We’ve defined what natural survival martial art is, now lets give a few examples that can be found on youtube:

Maori Martial Arts

Maori Taiaha

Native American Plain’s Indians Scout Training

Russian Survival System Kadochnikov
Ninjutsu Sensei Masaaki Hatsumi

Satria style Silat

Satria Ancient Art in Modern Day

This is by no means a comprehensive list of survival/ natural martial arts. There are many styles out there and many have teachers and proud long traditions of teaching their art, (you are welcome to mention any in the comments) I’ve taken a liberty of only mentioning a few.

For the next blog posts I will be going over each of the natural survival styles mentioned here, talk about their training techniques and techniques that make them good examples of Survival Martial Arts. Check back next time for a rundown of the Polynesian Martial Arts.

For Part II – Women in Survival Martial Arts click here.

3 Comments

  1. John Connor says

    I practiced karate for some time and my two cents on the topic of martial arts are:

    1. first problem is today you don’t usually want to hurt or kill anyone so it is extremely difficult to practice in a “realistic” context. It is the same as fencing, for example, where people are used to blunt weapons and protective gear so time and distance is totally wrong (because they aren’t worried of hitting and being hit), plus they don’t even try to stick the blade in the opponent’s eyes or groin, there isn’t any difference between a light cut on a foot and piercing the heart or the brain or there are rules that specify the “valid target”.

    2. to be effective you must train your whole life. In my own experience I made quick progress in the first stages of the training, then it became increasingly difficult and when I got good enough, it became obvious to get better I should have made it my profession because I needed to train for hours every day. This is the reason “self defence class” is a lie. “Self defence” means combat and nobody can be trained for combat in days, weeks, months or even few years, it is a lifelong and full time effort.

    3. mostly it is for the young. As you practice you get injured, even worse if you fight. As years pass, you become slower, same as any sport. Yes, you can adapt by changing your tactics but, again, the idea of the weak defeating the strong is a lie, the strongest, heaviest, fastest wins most of the times, your only hope is surprise and that is the “last ditch”. So in short there isn’t anything like “the old fighter” in a realistic context.

    • bastiat says

      First off, thank you for bringing up very good points and concerns. These are largely true and modern sport would seem to dictate this – my purpose in this blog is to show how one can train scientifically and simply in a short amount of time to have some real survival system experience. Minimal, effective practice that is scientific is key. Most of my efforts have also been spent on how to train effectively at home, alone if needed. This is even more needed in this time of coronovirus and stay at home orders.

      1. We live in a different times than the Shogun Samurai but those are largely true only for most modern styles, usually termed “hard” styles by most practitioners. Those styles are focused on injuring the enemy at all costs – some examples of these hard styles are karate, krav maga, TFT, hard kung fu, Southern Praying Mantis etc.

      1. “first problem is today you don’t usually want to hurt or kill anyone-”
      Yes this is true. There are a number of ways to protect yourself without seriously hurting or killing someone.- Pepperball guns, systema nagaika whips, short defensive knives for self protection etc. The main goal of a survival art is survival, not to necessarily kill or maim the opponent – unlike in military combat arts. This will be addressed in a future post.

      2. “to be effective you must train your whole life.” – how very correct. This is why training should be minimal, effective and very efficient. Systema Kadochnikov had a 3-6 month training for their surival system. For self defense- I read from one of the old time boxers that a person for self defense should practice a strong front punch strictly and a low kick to the knee. This was it. Very strong punch and low kick. – As for the training regimen- Natural and Scientific arts are meant to be able to be practiced in whatever you are doing, whether it is walking the dog, pushing a shopping cart or playing basketball. Natural martial arts is in every movement.

      3. “mostly it is for the young.” – This is correct for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Karate, Krav Maga, MMA – However if you look at the survival styles I have listed, Masaaki Hatsumi is in his 80s and still teaching Ninjutsu. A.A. Kadochnikov was still besting younger men in his 80s and still teaching until his recent passing. Steve Maxwell, one of the top 100 personal trainers in the USA is in his 60s and he transitioned to Kadochnikov Systema because of this very reason. https://youtu.be/zu_RtwfTOcc

      “As you practice you get injured, even worse if you fight. As years pass, you become slower, same as any sport. Yes, you can adapt by changing your tactics but, again, the idea of the weak defeating the strong is a lie, the strongest, heaviest, fastest wins most of the times, your only hope is surprise and that is the “last ditch”. So in short there isn’t anything like “the old fighter” in a realistic context.” – This is exactly why people train in Survival Martial Art. Massaki Hastumi when seeing the stronger, bigger US soldiers after WW2 realized most of his martial arts training was a waste of time up until that point. He searched until he found Ninjutsu and is still teaching in his 80s.

      Systema Kadochnikov was designed for weakened soldiers, possibly injured and having to only use 25% of their strength to survive. Using a system of leverages, rotation and balance breaking they have created one of the best scientific survival systems in our modern day. Check it out. https://youtu.be/bMl32JjIaes

  2. krujuice says

    Being a lifelong martial artist I must disagree slightly with “John Connor”.
    There are many martial arts systems designed to work in short amounts of time.
    Lets take my main art, Muay Thai:
    Muay Thai was made to create fighters in a minimal amount of allotted time, especially since many were farmers that couldn’t leave their crops for very long.
    They had Burma, China and the Mongolian empire ready to take them out. They didn’t have time for too much.

    They came up with several different methods for creating fighters in a very short time period. And they were not at all the only ones.
    Godspeed!

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