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      11-12-2010, 08:23 AM   #1
TonyMeister
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Kickboxing vs Krav Maga vs Muay Thai?

I did boxing all my life, but now I want to try a martial art. Although, I did one year of karate once, but only one year of karate doesn't really count does it?

Krav maga and muay thai are "hot" right now and kickboxing is very much like muay thai (is there any difference???).

But which one of these three, would you chaps would recommend?

I'm not interested into spending a whole decade pursuing a black belt, I just want to learn how to defend myself and stay fit.
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      11-12-2010, 09:13 AM   #2
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      11-12-2010, 10:13 AM   #3
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Kick-boxing is somewhat generic as there are several styles of kick boxing that get wrapped into that term. Typically though you will be learning Japanese or American style kick-boxing.

From my understanding Muay Thai differs in the scoring somewhat and traditionally the fighting stance is a little different. The Muay Thai guys at my gym tell me that true Muay Thai does not utilize boxing as much as the Japanese type. Apparently the Japanese stance is more conducive to using boxing techniques. I also remember a guy telling me some places are actually teaching you Japanese kickboxing even though they call it Muay Thai.

If you are wanting to pick kick-boxing vs Muay Thai though, I would make the decision based on what the best school in your area offers.


Now all that said, I'm going to say Krav Maga would be best for you given your stated goals: "defend myself and stay fit".

Kick-boxing is more sport oriented and is built around rules. Krav Maga is not. Krav Maga is straight up dirty fighting that pulls techniques from all kinds of stuff and only has one purpose, self defense. I've watched several sessions at my gym before my class (I do BJJ) and it seems half the techniques incorporate some type of groin kick or eye gauge.

Also, remember most situations in real life are not going to be fair. You may be outnumbered, the other guy may have a weapon, you may be in a tight space where you can't keep the guy in the ideal range for kickboxing, you may be attacked while sitting down. Krav Maga will prepare you for all these situations.

Krav Maga was developed by the Isreali Defense Forces and you will notice it is all about practicality. Your goal is to disable someone as quickly as possible, stay on your feet, and keep moving until you are out of danger.

So for self-defense, I don't think much compares to Krav Maga as far as real world practicality (although BJJ can be very practical too). If you are looking for something more sport oriented, then kick-boxing is a great choice.

And because I practice Brazilian Jiu-jitsu I, of course, will tell you to consider BJJ as well. I believe it is still outstanding for self-defense and is very sport oriented as well. In the real world, I'm just not going to want to be on the ground as much as I would when focusing on the sport element of it.
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      11-12-2010, 11:15 AM   #4
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I'm a 20+ year veteran of martial arts. Here's the deal if you are looking to stay fit and defend yourself. (and I'll try to answer before all the video-game grandmasters comment)

Kick boxing and Muay Thai are geared for the ring, not self defense. The last thing you want to do in a SD situation is square-off with your opponent. Also, in Thailand, the average Muay Thai fighter has a ring-life of 1.5 years. That should tell you something about the training and how good it is for your body. A previous poster mentioned TKD. Tae Kwon Do is an absolute joke in any arena you put it in.

Considering you dont want to spend a decade or so learning Karate (it actually takes longer to really undertand) Krav Maga could be a good option. The one downside of Krav Maga is, because it really doesnt have a formalized system, instruction varies tremendously from teacher to teacher. Find one with a decent reputation and give it a shot.

Personally, I'm not down with anything MMA related and quite frankly, MMA & BJJ are horrible in a self defense situation (unless of course there are rules the next time youre attacked). What are you going to do, go to the ground in a bar while the guy's friend wastes you with a bottle? Also, unless you like tattoos, shaved heads and your family bowls a lot, MMA is a little WT.
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      11-12-2010, 01:42 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyoshi71 View Post
I'm a 20+ year veteran of martial arts. Here's the deal if you are looking to stay fit and defend yourself. (and I'll try to answer before all the video-game grandmasters comment)

Kick boxing and Muay Thai are geared for the ring, not self defense. The last thing you want to do in a SD situation is square-off with your opponent. Also, in Thailand, the average Muay Thai fighter has a ring-life of 1.5 years. That should tell you something about the training and how good it is for your body. A previous poster mentioned TKD. Tae Kwon Do is an absolute joke in any arena you put it in.

Considering you dont want to spend a decade or so learning Karate (it actually takes longer to really undertand) Krav Maga could be a good option. The one downside of Krav Maga is, because it really doesnt have a formalized system, instruction varies tremendously from teacher to teacher. Find one with a decent reputation and give it a shot.

Personally, I'm not down with anything MMA related and quite frankly, MMA & BJJ are horrible in a self defense situation (unless of course there are rules the next time youre attacked). What are you going to do, go to the ground in a bar while the guy's friend wastes you with a bottle? Also, unless you like tattoos, shaved heads and your family bowls a lot, MMA is a little WT.
Sport BJJ and self-defense BJJ are two different things. Many of the principles (leverage) are the same but you are right, the last thing I want to do in a bar fight is be on the ground. If I am trying to control just one person that is fine, but not when I have more things to consider than just the one guy.

From a self-defense perspective BJJ is going to focus more on throws, joint locks from a standing position, methods to disarm people, standing choke techniques, etc.

It is just unfortunate so many schools only teach sport BJJ due to MMA's popularity and forget the real reason of it was for self-defense.

About the TKD comment, he said it, not me! I tend to agree but I don't want to start any drama.
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      11-12-2010, 07:22 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Nautik View Post
Sport BJJ and self-defense BJJ are two different things. Many of the principles (leverage) are the same but you are right, the last thing I want to do in a bar fight is be on the ground. If I am trying to control just one person that is fine, but not when I have more things to consider than just the one guy.

From a self-defense perspective BJJ is going to focus more on throws, joint locks from a standing position, methods to disarm people, standing choke techniques, etc.

It is just unfortunate so many schools only teach sport BJJ due to MMA's popularity and forget the real reason of it was for self-defense.

About the TKD comment, he said it, not me! I tend to agree but I don't want to start any drama.
I'm not sure what you're refering to. There is only one BJJ, and that's a poor derivative of Kodokan Judo, period. If some dude decides to create something to market that focuses on standing locks, well, then it's not BJJ and probably closer to traditional Japanese Ju Jutsu than anything else.
That's cool though, whatever works.

As for it being unfortunate that BJJ focuses heavily on MMA? That's their own fault. Years ago, outside of Japanese Shootfighters, BJJ created that environment with all their challenges to everyone. However, as the Brazilians started getting their asses kicked, the rules became more involved to the point where you have the bullshit that exists today...A cage/ring sport that doesnt work in self defense.

I admit it; I said TKD blows. But why??? If the Koreans masters would have done something back in the 60's when the government decided to nationalized all of their very deadly ancient arts under the banner of TKD (and focus on sport, rather than combat) you wouldn't have the crap that you see today.
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      11-18-2010, 07:56 AM   #7
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I spent a few years training in Krav Maga and it honestly taught me a lot. The studio and instructors I had were very knowledgeable in all forms. Also, they were taught from the founders of Krav Maga. I also took a few lessons in BJJ which helped me a lot with grappling and defensive actions.

I would say take krav maga (but like someone stated, find a reputable instructor). Also, take BJJ to see if you like it or not.
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      11-18-2010, 11:05 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyoshi71 View Post
I'm a 20+ year veteran of martial arts. Here's the deal if you are looking to stay fit and defend yourself. (and I'll try to answer before all the video-game grandmasters comment)

Kick boxing and Muay Thai are geared for the ring, not self defense. The last thing you want to do in a SD situation is square-off with your opponent. Also, in Thailand, the average Muay Thai fighter has a ring-life of 1.5 years. That should tell you something about the training and how good it is for your body. A previous poster mentioned TKD. Tae Kwon Do is an absolute joke in any arena you put it in.

Considering you dont want to spend a decade or so learning Karate (it actually takes longer to really undertand) Krav Maga could be a good option. The one downside of Krav Maga is, because it really doesnt have a formalized system, instruction varies tremendously from teacher to teacher. Find one with a decent reputation and give it a shot.

Personally, I'm not down with anything MMA related and quite frankly, MMA & BJJ are horrible in a self defense situation (unless of course there are rules the next time youre attacked). What are you going to do, go to the ground in a bar while the guy's friend wastes you with a bottle? Also, unless you like tattoos, shaved heads and your family bowls a lot, MMA is a little WT.
I'm not a huge fan of kickboxing at all.

Muay Thai is not bad for self defense. Dutch Muay Thai is pretty dynamic compared to traditional Thai. They tend to move around more than just stand there and block kicks or punches.
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      11-18-2010, 12:10 PM   #9
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Thank you chaps for your insight.

Looks like krav maga is the one I should take. Pardon my ignorance, but KM is basically an Israeli jujitsu isn't it?
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      11-18-2010, 12:38 PM   #10
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Thank you chaps for your insight.

Looks like krav maga is the one I should take. Pardon my ignorance, but KM is basically an Israeli jujitsu isn't it?
Not Ju Jutsu. It's an eclectic Israeli Martial Art
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      11-18-2010, 01:28 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by TonyMeister View Post
Thank you chaps for your insight.

Looks like krav maga is the one I should take. Pardon my ignorance, but KM is basically an Israeli jujitsu isn't it?
More along the lines of self-defense in combat.
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      11-20-2010, 03:17 PM   #12
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i refer to it as kosher JKD.
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      12-03-2010, 05:14 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by TonyMeister View Post
I did boxing all my life, but now I want to try a martial art. Although, I did one year of karate once, but only one year of karate doesn't really count does it?

Krav maga and muay thai are "hot" right now and kickboxing is very much like muay thai (is there any difference???).

But which one of these three, would you chaps would recommend?

I'm not interested into spending a whole decade pursuing a black belt, I just want to learn how to defend myself and stay fit.
Any of them will be ok for fitness.

All will give you some form of skills for self defense; beware as many martial arts these days are taught more for sport more than self defense.

From you limited list above, KM probably best fits your requirements but it also depends upon the school, the teacher, ...

If you want hard core self defense, have a look for any CQC (close quarter combat) schools near you.

Check out http://www.faqs.org/faqs/martial-arts which will give you some more info on the arts in your list.
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      12-03-2010, 11:20 AM   #14
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Some good advice here and I will agree w/ a good amount of it.

First and foremost, always check out where you think you might train before committing to it. Even if there one golden, superior martial art, it wouldn't mean a thing if the master/sifu/instructor/etc... was crap and if the mindsets of the other students/trainees are wrong.

Second, find what works best for you.

Third, don't fall into the 'my martial art is the best' mind set. There are always elements of other martial arts that you can fold into your training/techniques to strengthen your offense and defensive capabilities. No one martial art is w/o flaw.

I've trained muay Thai for several years but stopped short of fighting amateur. I'd train w/ some of the fighters, but didn't feel I could commit enough time to train right to step into the ring. I've also tried "full contact" kickboxing, which is the same as Western, and it confirmed my distaste for it...partially because of my adherence to muay Thai but primarily because, as others have said, what I'll call 'regular' kickboxing is more sport. Also, I would disagree that muay Thai is not applicable to self defense on the street. There are many techniques from fighting in the clinch that translate well to street fighting. Combined w/ the OPs boxing background, I feel that would work well.

Likewise, I don't consider BJJ to be 100% effective in the street. I've trained in Pancrase and informally trained w/ friends who train in BJJ as well as BJJ instructors so I am not 100% ignorant. Before anyone tries to flame for the former statement, note that I do not consider any single martial art to be 100% effective. There are aspects of BJJ/LL/Pancrase/etc... that put you at great risk. Standing techniques fair better than ground techniques. Even still, I am always cautious that my opponent may be carrying a blade so I prefer to not stay tied up for long. BJJ/LL/Pancrase do have very useful techniques for controlling your opponents center/balance, though, and certainly any escape from a mounted position is well worth training. There are also some useful escapes from other common holds like headlocks and front chokes. I just don't see any validity to trying a helicopter armbar in a bar fight. lol (although that would be pretty frickin' cool).

Krav Maga rolls up various techniques to apply to different 'real world' defensive and offensive situations. I've never tried it, but people I know that have have liked it.

OP, FWIW, I think boxing is very worthwhile for self defense. Realistically, most people are not going to come at you w/ a roundhouse or tornado kick (although the latter is pretty awesome) in a street fight. If they kick, it's because they'll try to kick you in the balls (knowing how to catch a kick and use it to off-balance is worth knowing, though). I have always found the straight punch to be my friend given that most people favor the wide, looping gorilla punch. I also love a good shovel hook. Your assumed use of angles and knowing how to slip a punch also gives you an advantage over most.

All that said, I would actually recommend trying Krav Maga (even though that's largely uninformed advice since I haven't dabbled in it myself) or, to the chagrin of others, find a good school that trains MMA. Again, just my opinion, but I don't know that training in one particular martial art will get you what you want (if I understand it correctly). If just going for real world self-defense, it would make sense to be well rounded in different situations. To me, unless you specifically want to train in something directly, you're better suited to something/somewhere that can expose you to various disciplines/situations. A proper place that can do that is a place that can teach you either an all encompassing art or that offers multiple disciplines in one spot. Since you're not looking for a black belt, a "MMA school" can do that. I've trained at a couple places that trained MMA fighters (amateur and professional) and consider them to be worth that much. It all goes back to quality of instruction, though. I think aspects of clinch fighting (a la muay Thai) as well as some of the positional and control aspects of some grappling arts would work well for you given your boxing background. With some of the grappling/ground arts, though, note that striking is not allowed and therefore, in a self defense or street fight situation, can leave you open. If you do consider a MMA school, visiting and observing the instructors and students is very important. Ever since UFC gained popularity in the US, and especially after Lesnar signed w/ them, the # of schools increased ten fold. That made it harder to find good places to train. I would start looking in the Training subforum on Sherdog. Most of those people are competent and have actually trained to some degree. Most of the idiots tend to stay in the Fight Discussion section. Unless you want to lose brain cells, avoid the latter.

As far as MMA being WT, I disagree but can understand the viewpoint. Personally, I put a lot of blame on how it's marketing for how it is portrayed and generally perceived in the US. UFC, when owned by SEC, took the wrong approach and suffered for it. Fast forwarding to Zuffa, I see the same thing. It is a money market now w/ a generally uneducated public audience, poor marketing (as a sport), and a large audience going to get drunk & watch people 'beat each other up.'

Such ends my dissertation. Flame suit on.
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      12-03-2010, 01:36 PM   #15
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Quality of instruction and the gym culture are two very important things here. KM is a great art but there's a lot of McDojos out there. I would see if each gym offerrs free Intro classes and see which one you like and fit in the most.

Kyoshi71 - What do you train and what do you believe is best for Self-Defense?

Horrible for self defense? I love these arguments because just because you know how to grapple means you are going to sit there on the ground with the guy when he has friends around? Have a bit of common sense.
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      12-04-2010, 03:14 PM   #16
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I doubt Krav Maga has much to do with fitness tho,

I practice Muay Thai b/c I get a bit of both where I go (technique & fitness). Learning to do proper leg kicks can brutalize any pair of ribs :S Don't think I ever plan to compete tho
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      12-08-2010, 09:57 AM   #17
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Quote:
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Quality of instruction and the gym culture are two very important things here. KM is a great art but there's a lot of McDojos out there. I would see if each gym offerrs free Intro classes and see which one you like and fit in the most.

Kyoshi71 - What do you train and what do you believe is best for Self-Defense?

Horrible for self defense? I love these arguments because just because you know how to grapple means you are going to sit there on the ground with the guy when he has friends around? Have a bit of common sense.
That's why Bas Rutten said BJJ will never work out right in a bar fight. There's always people coming from behind or around you trying to get some licks in.
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      12-08-2010, 10:16 AM   #18
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I've always been interested in "proper" Akido- despite my thoughts on Steven Seagal.
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      12-08-2010, 10:54 AM   #19
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Quality of instruction and the gym culture are two very important things here. KM is a great art but there's a lot of McDojos out there. I would see if each gym offerrs free Intro classes and see which one you like and fit in the most.

Kyoshi71 - What do you train and what do you believe is best for Self-Defense?

Horrible for self defense? I love these arguments because just because you know how to grapple means you are going to sit there on the ground with the guy when he has friends around? Have a bit of common sense.
I trained for over 20 years in American Combat Karate (ACK) and became a senior instructor (Shihan). It's an ecclectic system geared toward street fighting & self-defense that was derived from several Asian arts and made very effective by eliminating the bullshit. It's probably 80% stand-up; 20% Grappling. Kind of exclusive to the East Coast though.

I believe there are many systems that can work great for self defense as long as the instructor has had some real fight experience and not tournament trophies. It may sound crazy but, most black belts in ACK had to gain experience by bouncing at a bar/club a few times. You then learn real fast, the difference between what works and "post-card technique." Meaning, "Send me a post card if you ever pull a bullshit technique like that off in a fight!" Post card tehniques are obviously those moves that are constantly practiced in the dojo that could never work in a street scenario.

Modern-day Korean martial arts are a joke for real fighting. What do you do in a self-defense situation...ask the guy to pause a second while you stretch your legs? Grappling-only arts will get your head kicked in by the guy's friend while you're rolling around on the floor. Not to mention, landing with your opponent on the concrete is not always the best idea. Mauy Thai's training methods are not only geared for competition but can also cause major nerve damage to the legs. Krav Maga is a good choice for self defense but like I mentioned before (or another post) it depends on the teacher because there really is no formal system.

Honestly, without knowing where you are and what schools exist by you, it's hard to make a recommendation. I can tell you this though, I have always been impressed by the Filipino martial arts. They utilize angle fighting, speed, ground work and are some of the best weapons fighters on the planet. That might also be something to examine. If you have any ideas for a place by you, PM me and I'll give you my opinion.
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      12-08-2010, 01:08 PM   #20
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That's why Bas Rutten said BJJ will never work out right in a bar fight. There's always people coming from behind or around you trying to get some licks in.
Yes, but you are not always fighting in a bar or against multiple opponents.

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I trained for over 20 years in American Combat Karate (ACK) and became a senior instructor (Shihan). It's an ecclectic system geared toward street fighting & self-defense that was derived from several Asian arts and made very effective by eliminating the bullshit. It's probably 80% stand-up; 20% Grappling. Kind of exclusive to the East Coast though.
How much live sparring do you guys do? How does it work? Do you have a video of you sparring sections online anywhere? All I could find were cheesy ones where you guys are breaking bricks and stuff like that. Is it point fighting? What do you guys do in sparring sessions?


Quote:
I believe there are many systems that can work great for self defense as long as the instructor has had some real fight experience and not tournament trophies. It may sound crazy but, most black belts in ACK had to gain experience by bouncing at a bar/club a few times. You then learn real fast, the difference between what works and "post-card technique." Meaning, "Send me a post card if you ever pull a bullshit technique like that off in a fight!" Post card tehniques are obviously those moves that are constantly practiced in the dojo that could never work in a street scenario.
Sounds like a bunch of marketing bs. Bouncing at a club? Seriously?



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      12-08-2010, 01:41 PM   #21
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Yes, but you are not always fighting in a bar or against multiple opponents.
Oh that's smart. So just train to fight one guy in the ring and when the bar scenario arises, press charges a sue.

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How much live sparring do you guys do? How does it work? Do you have a video of you sparring sections online anywhere? All I could find were cheesy ones where you guys are breaking bricks and stuff like that. Is it point fighting? What do you guys do in sparring sessions?
Probably half of any class is live, full contact fighting; no gloves.
Whatever pics or clips of breaks you found were probably of Barathy from 30 years ago. They were pretty cheesy but breaking 30" of granite really isnt a joke.

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Sounds like a bunch of marketing bs. Bouncing at a club? Seriously?
There is no marketing because they have no schools, simple. They just have people that want to learn, and like to fight. Research it, there's no gimmick.

By the way OC 335, what do you train in?
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      12-08-2010, 01:59 PM   #22
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Oh that's smart. So just train to fight one guy in the ring and when the bar scenario arises, press charges a sue.
No, it just means having common sense on not taking a fight to the ground when there are others around. Even in a bar fight a guy will grapple you. In the event he grapples you, having grappling experience gives you the opportunity to dictate where the fight will go.

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Probably half of any class is live, full contact fighting; no gloves.
Whatever pics or clips of breaks you found were probably of Barathy from 30 years ago. They were pretty cheesy but breaking 30" of granite really isnt a joke.
No gloves really? So full contact to the face in sparring all the time? Bare knuckles? I don't believe it. I don't believe you can do live full contact sparring all the time. That's just BS.

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There is no marketing because they have no schools, simple. They just have people that want to learn, and like to fight. Research it, there's no gimmick.

By the way OC 335, what do you train in?
There's plenty of marketing shown on the website.

I train in BJJ and have done Wrestling and dabble in MT.
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