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Navy SEAL on real martial arts

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Navy SEAL Jocko Willink, who is an expert in Brazilian Jujitsu, discusses the best self-defense methods and elaborates on what traditional martial arts can teach you.

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Willink got a question from Twitter asking him, “What self-defense training would you recommend for older guys?” Willink answers that if we’re going to be practical and honest about it, the best self-defense against evil people or potentially dangerous situations is a gun – conceal and carry. Find a gun that suits you, go to the range and practice shooting so you’re armed and ready if you get attacked. Assume that other people have guns or knives and other weapons and use the gun to defend and protect yourself.

When it comes to martial arts, Brazilian Jujitsu is his first recommendation, of course, because it teaches you how to handle yourself in combative situations, especially when grappling is involved and you need to get away. Western boxing teaches how to keep your distance from the enemy and Muay Thai is good for learning how to strike and clench. Wrestling is primarily for taking people down and avoid getting taken down. More advanced forms of self-defense would be those that involve knife fighting and sticks, or other weapons.

Willink says that the problem with a lot of people is that they think there is some sort of “magic instructor” that can teach them to defeat multiple attackers in a few days or weeks, when that’s not realistic. No one knows what’s going to happen tomorrow or a year from now, so it’s best to build a foundation on your choice of martial art and build from then, regardless of your age.

Also, he elaborates that martial arts isn’t just about self-defense. It’s also about discipline and humility – something the older, more traditional martial arts teach and something that younger martial artists may not quite understand or invoke when they begin training. To be good at any martial art, keep this tenets in mind and learn to use them to get better at your craft.

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