This blog post is based on a Reddit thread seen on the r/martialarts subreddit by u/mma_boxing_wrestling. It has been edited and modified by the Dynasty Team.

The martial arts community on the internet loves to argue incessantly over what is truly "effective" and "realistic" martial arts training or training methods.

We've seen a lot of vocal people (traditional martial artists, self defense martial artists) dismiss combat sports for all their safety precautions - gloves, wraps, soft mats, padded walls, referees, banned techniques etc.

In fact, some people outright mock them:

"Is this the part where you challenge me to a "hard spar" or is it "medium spar" or sensitive spar? Do you need your pads, wraps, and gloves for your delicate little fingers? Do you need perfect lighting and a cozy building interior so you can see where to step and not trip on? My fists are honed on concrete, trees, and brick buildings, I'd fracture your skull like a hammer!"

Generally, there's a myth that training with less safety equipment makes your training "more realistic".

The reality is: Safety equipment actually exists to ensure you can train harder and more often without injury.

Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship

When you remove gloves and wraps, you can't hit a heavy bag and pads full power for 1-2 hours a day, 5 times a week. Sprained wrists and fingers are gonna take out half of your training partners.

Go ahead and spar hard with no gloves or head gear - broken bones and cuts are going to eliminate the other half of your training partners.

Feel free to compete in a ring with concrete floors, just get ready to bury the guys who hit their heads wrong on the way down.


In addition, proponents of "realistic" martial arts and self defense systems will tell you that they use techniques that are too dangerous to be used live - eye pokes, groin strikes, elbows to the back of the head and the like.

By removing certain techniques from the resistance training part of the curriculum, you ensure that fighters can train hard with practical, fight ending techniques consistently.


"Self defense" martial artists / teachers obviously haven't done their research or homework, because that's exactly the evolution that Judo went through when it evolved from Japanese Jiu-Jitsu. Judo removed all of the "deadly", untrainable techniques from Jiu-Jitsu and turned the martial art into a combat sport. Once it evolved into a sport, sport fighters started beating the living tar out of "self defense only" Jiu Jitsu guys.

An eye gouge will very rarely end a fight or even ensure victory in one - just ask Yuki Nakai or Anthony Johnson - but it can leave a fighter blinded for life.

Groin strikes hurt and can cause permanent damage, but pain compliance is completely unreliable in real fighting where the adrenaline can block the pain.

Elbows to the back of the head actually can end fights, but they also damage the brainstem and will end your training partners' lives.

Yuki Nakai blinded

Yuki Nakai blinded during the 1995 Vale Tudo Japan MMA event.

Removing these techniques makes it possible to fight full-contact for years and even decades.

If you think your training is more realistic because you have less safety precautions, it actually means you're training with less intensity and probably a higher risk of injury.

Combat sports fighters need safety precautions because they'd be killing and maiming each other every week without them.

The techniques are too dangerous to be used without the proper gear and supervision.

A basic right cross only doesn't kill more people because padded floors protect the head. A basic rear naked choke only doesn't kill more people because the referee is there to enforce the tap.

These "combat sport" arts are in fact too deadly to be used outside the ring - they're too deadly for the streets.

- Dynasty Team

June 23, 2022 — Dynasty Team

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