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“First and foremost, if you’re talking about true self-defense to protect yourself from other evil human beings in the world, it’s a gun. Concealed carry. And that is what you should train to do. You should go to the range, you should get a gun, and if you’re in situations where you need to protect yourself that is how you protect yourself.” Navy SEAL and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu expert “Jocko” Willing [h/t CC]


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  1. There is only one martial art that allows you to physically surpass 90% of the human population for under $1000 and 10 hours of training.

    That is marksmanship, and it works regardless of physical fitness or (largely) disability.

    • Regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, etc. Odd that the equality loving left hates firearms, the greatest equalizer.

      Imagine going back in time a few hundred years and saying “in the future, a seven year old girl can take down a athletically inclined fully grown man, even a few of them”.

  2. A fire department today would never limit themselves to using one puny 1/2 inch garden hose for extinguishing house fires. Rather, they would use the largest hose — and multiple hoses — that they can handle to extinguish house fires as quickly as possible.

    Similarly, no one today should limit themselves to only using martial arts for self-defense. Rather, they should carry the largest concealed or openly visible firearms that they can handle to defend themselves as quickly and effectively as possible.

  3. I have a third brown in Kenpo, I have won Golden Glove boxing tournaments, I’ve sparred with National title holding Savot kickboxers, and I am a BIG dude (currently more round than big). Rule number 1 in life, it doesn’t matter who you are, There is always someone bigger, stronger, faster or has more friends than you.

    Case in point, the 2008 American savot title holder wanted out of the ring after round 1, but the Canadian 110 pound female title holder kicked me in the face 3 times before I connected once. I can honestly say if it wasn’t friendly sparring she could have potentially killed me.

    • Jeff the Griz,

      And you were talking about fighting which was artificially constrained to kicks and bare hand punches. Sparring with short sticks reveals how easily an attacker could overcome you in three or four seconds with a single strike. Sparring with sticks also reveals that an attacker is going to hit you with that stick no matter how good you are at sparring.

      Note: the sticks that we use to spar are about 18 inches long and made of plastic with a thin foam cover to minimize/prevent injuries from contact. The plastic tubes are about 5/8 inch diameter with fairly thin walls and are fairly light. And we use foam helmets with face shields. In spite of the fact that those sticks are wimpy and we have foam helmets, it still hurts a surprising amount when someone clocks a good wallop on your head. I can only imagine that a real stick hitting your unprotected head would be devastating, if not outright lethal.

      • I home carry, but still keep rattan escrima sticks hidden near my doorways. I know what it feels like to be hit with the foam padded sticks.

  4. I greatly respect martial arts and have over three years of practice. I can break boards with my fists, feet, and elbows. My kicks are powerful enough to knock over heavy targets and I even broke a target one time. I have lightning fast reflexes and am exceptional at sparring … having no trouble whatsoever sparring against advanced degree black belts even though I never attained black belt status myself.

    Having said all that, I will be the first to say that martial arts are not a magic talisman and do not come anywhere close to guaranteeing that you can prevail over an attacker. It is far better to have a firearm and maintain as much distance as possible between yourself and your attacker.

    And consider these scenarios where martial arts are pretty much totally ineffective:
    (1) A defender who does NOT have fast reflexes.
    (2) A defender who is ill and weakened.
    (3) A defender who is elderly.
    (4) A defender who is small in stature.
    (5) A defender in a cramped space.
    (6) An attacker who is high on PCP and feels no pain.
    (7) An attacker with “roid rage” (rage from taking illegal steroids).
    (8) An attacker armed with a knife, club, or firearm.
    (9) Multiple attackers with or without visible weapons.

    Martial arts are fine for the health/exercise benefits. They are fine for developing reflexes. They can provide a great first strike against an attacker in order to stun the attacker and gain time and distance. However, martial arts are NOT an effective substitute for a firearm and the skills to use it.

  5. He gets it.
    Why make anything harder than it needs to be?
    The only people who would preach martial arts as preferable to a firearm in a self defense situation are either anti-gun as a matter of course or they’re lead paint eating hoodlum types who like fighting.

    30,000 plus people die in car accidents a year so everybody walk. Real men walk. Cars are for weak ass pansies.

    • ‘The only people who would preach martial arts as preferable to a firearm in a self defense situation are either anti-gun as a matter of course or they’re lead paint eating hoodlum types who like fighting.’

      Or people trying to sell their program, which is most of the ones you see in the media.

  6. I’m a smaller guy with no martial arts training. I work full time with a stay at home wife and 4 young daughters. I don’t have a lot of time to train and definitely don’t want to take time away from my life to train in a martial art to the proficiency needed to protect my family and myself. I do take their security seriously, and I protect them with the most efficient and effective form of defense I can afford. Lord willing, I’ll never have to use that defense in that capacity.

  7. The very accomplished martial artists I have known have all said the same things. These are very thoughtful people who have studied and taught (some full time) for 3 – 5 decades at very reputable schools.

  8. It’s not just about people bigger and stronger than you. If someone tries to harm me I’m going to use my gun regardless of whether I could take them in a melee.

  9. Worth mentioning:

    Nowadays you don’t go around on the street kicking people, punching people — because if you do (makes gun shape with hand), well that’s it — I don’t care how good you are.

    Bruce Lee interview on the Pierre Berton Show (1971)

  10. Man your site is buggy. I used to be big,strong and fast. Now not so much. Always have a weapon. Or 2 or 3…

  11. I studied martial arts for 25 years under some top instructors. Something a lot of martial artists don’t see coming is getting older. My first Karate instructor beat Chuck Norris to win the first US Grand Championship. He was an ex-Marine Sgt. and a cop in the “hood” in St. Louis. He was a tough SOB. By the time he was 50, his knees were shot and he could not throw the simplest low kick and he walked with a limp. All those little injuries and strains you shrugged off in your years of training come back to haunt you. You start to lose muscle mass and reaction time, even if you keep training. You injure more easily and heal more slowly. But you may fantasize that you can still take on the young tough guys.

    Weapons, especially guns, are the great equalizers.

  12. I train Jiu Jitsu three times a week, and have the past 7 years. I still carry a gun everyday. Jocko is absolutely correct on all counts here.

  13. Neither martial arts or guns are the be all end all, the problem with the great equalizer train if thought is that if you are elderly or out of shape or disabled, by all means, train with a handgun, just remember, if you live a lifestyle in which you have little to zero experience doing things under a load of adrenaline, mindset is arguably the most important factor. Id rather be trained in martial arts and have experience fighting than be lazy with a gun and no experience under fire. A combo of both a gun and martial arts is the best compromise. Respect to Jocko, he’s a bad mofo and ive listened to him on Joe Rogan a few times, but i cant help but think a highly trained martial artist and navy seal might be forgetting that grandma in a wheel chair may have a hard time controlling her trigger finger while under the influence of adrenaline. Thats not to say she doesnt deserve to protect herself, but it needs to be taken into consideration when training her. For a you who say a few hours training with a gun and u r good to go, i respectfully disagree, unless you have your adrenaline under control.

    • I respectfully disagree with your disagreement. There are plenty of stories out there of very below average people defending themselves with a gun. These are people with little to no body strength, no training and little cognizance of their surroundings. While it is true that there can be tremendous stress in those situations, it is not always the case. It depends on the natural character of the person. Following your line of thinking to far has led to leftists who want to take away a God given right because someone doesn’t have training.

      • Stop, u r putting words in my mouth after i explicitly said grandma has every right to train and defend herself. I also would never refer to those people as “below average.” I am aware that many people successfully defend themselves with a firearm with little training and part of that is luck. Lucky the bad guy didnt also have a gun, lucky they didnt choke and shoot someone else, lucky the bad guy didnt know martial arts and take their gun from them, lucky they didnt wind up in a prolonged gunfight with other people in the house or neighbors nearby. Jocko has been through some of the most advanced mindset development training in the history of man and i agree a gun is the best way to defend yourself if you have the mindset to use it, if you can control you adrenaline dump, otherwise you just got lucky you had a gun and didnt wind up with a greater tragedy on your hands. Grandma needs proper gun handling and a panic button and a taser by her bed if she wakes up doped and groggy and half crippled in a house full of family members and some intruder climbed through the window to get her, i dont want her to have a gun, unless she has proven herself capable. Likewise if she is out in public in a wheelchair, she has a right to carry, i just hope she has the mindset not to light off a few rounds in the wrong direction because fear and adrenaline got the best of her. I should add, i loved my grandma and had much respect for her, but one day she drove her buick up into the neighbors lawn and was lucky not to have killed anyone. At thay point she had to give up driving. She still had a constitutional right to carry a gun, but if she cant even drive, can you really say its the best idea for her to have a gun in her purse or by her bedside. If you dont have the mindset and the physical capability, dont carry a gun.

  14. Your long winded refutal continues to mention training. What if Grandma can’t use your tacticcool course. Should she be denied her ability to defend herself? A piece of paper does not make you an expert, experience does. As far as Luck is concerned, call it what you want but hundreds of thousands of people according to you get lucky defending themselves with a gun with no seal training. You seem to have doubts about our God given rights. I am all for training but it should never be required.

    • I didnt say it should be required, nor did i suggest taking away god given rights, evidently it was too long winded for you to actually read it and you would rather put words in my mouth. Training is great, but it doesnt develop mindset. All those defenseive uses you cite can be countered by an example of someone having a gun and training and still fucking up. Check the article by Jon Farnham today for example. I agree with Jocko, a gun is the best defense, but it needs to be qualified if you dont have the proper mindest, you need to recognize it and adapt. A gun is the best way and also the most potentially hazardous to bystanders. A tazer is not so powerfull, but if you fuck up, no else gets shot by accident. My grandma couldnt drive competently, she still had a god given right to carry a gun. Does that mean its her best line of defense? Maybe, it also means other people around her who love and care for her are at greater risk, it also means if someone does her wrong they may very well wind up with a free gun. Its a blue force quote of the day and is meant to be brief and prompt discussion. Im simply pointing out that without the proper mindset to use a gun, maybe other options should be explored. Why dont you should send Jocko a note and ask him, or any other high speed dude, what good is equipement or training without the mindset to use it? I see a lot of gun owners talking about guns as the great equalizer, sure, i agree, but the great motherfucker is adrenaline, and if you cant control your shit im very uncomfortable with you packing a gun, yes you have a right, and i dont want to take thay away, just please recognize your limitations people, and when you take advice from a navy seal, remember, he might have no idea what its like to be stuck in a body that is out of shape or have a mind that cracks at the first dose of adrenaline.

    • And just to be clear, the guy who was quoted also used the word training. Part of his point was that if you are a ninja you are still going to get your ass shot if you mess with someone who is armed and either trained or lucky. I agree, im just saying without training and the mindset to use it, maybe, for the sake of everyone else in a (somewhat) civilized society you need to recognize your own limitations and go ahead and get some training and mindset development so you are not just relying on luck and a gun to get you through.

  15. You need years and years of training to be an expert on martial arts. For firearms you can do it in only a few weeks.

  16. I train both. I’m back to training Isshin-Ryu with a second generation instructor. It’s a small dojo in a very small Iowa town. There’s usually only 6 of us training. Nearly everyone carries a gun as well. My Sensei is a 1911 45ACP fan. He gives me crap about carrying a 9mm lol


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