Ringen: Is it practical for self defense?

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Ringen: Is it practical for self defense?

Postby Tim Hall » Mon Aug 16, 2010 11:50 pm

On another thread I read some opinions of ringen's use for self defense. I'm curious what eveyone else has to say about it.

To get the ball rolling, I'll post my view on it.
On the surface, I would say it looks as if it wouldn't be all to great in a street fight situation. Some negative points might be that you don't want to get caught up with one guy if there are others around, the risk of going to the ground with other attackers around, and that you don't want to get into a wrestling match with a possibly armed opponent, etc...; the usual points against a grappling art for self defense. I recently had the pleasure of watching a DVD by Pete Kautz of Alliance Martial Arts and feel that it presented a well rounded system for self defense(or atleast the beginning of it). Let me explain. He didn't open with the drei ringen or any other cool throws but instead with combinations of the murder stikes/death pieces (whatever you translate it to) which lead into the takedown. This is the same system we all study(I believe Fiore also advises strikes to vulnerable areas) but viewed from a different angle. Instead of tie-ing up with and attacker and trying to throw him down with the third ringen, why not stomp his knee as he rushes in, strike him in the throat and then throw him down once you've taken his strength away and move on the the next guy.

By combining the strikes and throws, would you have a practical self defense system? I'm interested to see what you all have to say about this.

- Tim
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Re: Ringen: Is it practical for self defense?

Postby Mark W » Tue Aug 17, 2010 5:51 am

FWIW, I know a person who used Ringen in a SD situation and came out without a scratch.

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Re: Ringen: Is it practical for self defense?

Postby John Harmston » Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:22 am

Do you know any details, Mark?
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Re: Ringen: Is it practical for self defense?

Postby Jon Wolfe » Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:29 am

No offense, but that always strikes me as rather funny when someone doesn't view ringen as effective for self-defence. Ringen/abrazare is the unarmed combative of Medieval and Renaissance Europe. It would be rather disappointing if the only material that survived from those eras only covered semi-sportive techniques that could not work in non-pressured environment, against a non-fully resistant opponent. Now, there is an obvious difference between the ringen used for schullefechten, and the kampfringen used for ernstfechten, with all of its small joint manipulation, pressure point striking, gouging, knee-stomping, and every other dirty trick in the book (literally). I make this comparison when I describe the historical unarmed European methods to prospective members of my club: the ringen for schullefechten is very easily compared to what you would see in a modern Judo or Brazilian Ju-Jitsu tournament, and the kampfringen used for ernstfechten would be more comparable to a combination of the military's combatives, the traditional styles of Ju-Jitsu from Japan, and the striking elements from martial arts such as Krav Maga or any of the arts from the South Pacific. Some folks tend to not like kampfringen/abrazare being compared to other martial arts, especially the Eastern martial arts, when demonstrating that the techniques are effective in a context outside of the salle/dojo, but my research has shown me that the more sources that I can find that demonstrate a technique described in kampfringen/abrazare, the more the individual technique is shown to be fully effective. More people that have developed the same or similar technique, in isolation from one another, the more it demonstrates how sound a technique would be.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.
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Re: Ringen: Is it practical for self defense?

Postby Mark W » Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:52 am

John Harmston wrote:Do you know any details, Mark?


Yes. Now, whether it was the Ringen or the agressiveness and overall martial experience (which was considerable) of the practicioner that made the difference I'm not sure, as I wasn't there. The incidents I'm aware of involved a Ringen practicioner versus an armed attacker. I don't want to violate the privacy of the persons in question. The techniques used were fairly simple as in "cover the knife attack, punch him in the face and run for your life" kind of deal (like the plate in Talhoffer IIRC), not using Ringeck's Unterhalten if that's what you mean. :) One involved a joint dislocation.

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Re: Ringen: Is it practical for self defense?

Postby Tim Hall » Tue Aug 17, 2010 8:52 am

Mark W wrote:FWIW, I know a person who used Ringen in a SD situation and came out without a scratch.

Best regards,

-Mark


That's interesting(but not surprising) to hear. I'm glad the person came out fine and glad to hear that ringen didn't let him down.

Jon Wolfe wrote:...and the kampfringen used for ernstfechten would be more comparable to a combination of the military's combatives, the traditional styles of Ju-Jitsu from Japan, and the striking elements from martial arts such as Krav Maga or any of the arts from the South Pacific. Some folks tend to not like kampfringen/abrazare being compared to other martial arts, especially the Eastern martial arts, when demonstrating that the techniques are effective in a context outside of the salle/dojo, but my research has shown me that the more sources that I can find that demonstrate a technique described in kampfringen/abrazare, the more the individual technique is shown to be fully effective. More people that have developed the same or similar technique, in isolation from one another, the more it demonstrates how sound a technique would be.
.


IIRC the Marine Corp Martial Arts Program(MCMAP) contains alot of grappling. In fact I seem to remember reading that the guy who created the program even took information from historical european sources but I'm not sure how reliable that informantion is, or if I'm even remembering that correctly. Anyways, I'm not surprised that an art that was likely used on the battlefield and in life or death dueling situations would be similar to modern military combat programs.

Thanks for the input so far.
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Re: Ringen: Is it practical for self defense?

Postby Mike Edelson » Tue Aug 17, 2010 11:13 am

I think asking if Ringen is practical for self defense is the wrong question.

I think the right question is, "Is Ringen practical for self defesense the way I practice it?"

Ringen is essentially the same as all the other various grappling/wrestling arts. There is one human body and it works the same way all over the world. Ringen has its own unique character, as does every martial art, and of itself, assuming it was recreated to its full potential (remember that we are building this from books) then sure, it's just as effective as every other grapping art in the world. Better than some, worse than others, as they all are.

How do you have to practice ringen for it to be effective? You have to practice it in the same way that all serious and effective martial artists approach their serious and effective martial arts, with an eye towards body mechanics, principles, muslce memory, etc. You also have to have a complete system, not a string of techniques. Seminaring your way through ringen ("now here' s a neat technique, now here's another, and another, aren't hey cool?") isn't likely to produce an effective fighter, anymore than seminaring through longsword techniques is going to produce an effective swordsman.
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Re: Ringen: Is it practical for self defense?

Postby Jake Norwood » Tue Aug 17, 2010 11:40 am

Tim Hall wrote:IIRC the Marine Corp Martial Arts Program(MCMAP) contains alot of grappling. In fact I seem to remember reading that the guy who created the program even took information from historical european sources but I'm not sure how reliable that informantion is, or if I'm even remembering that correctly. Anyways, I'm not surprised that an art that was likely used on the battlefield and in life or death dueling situations would be similar to modern military combat programs.


SFC Matt Larsen, of the Army's Combatives program, incorporated a little bit of HEMA...albeit not much. Matt's is (or was) an honorary ARMA member and taught a basic Army Combatives class at the ARMA 2003 International Gathering.

That being said, as a graduate of said program, there's really nothing from HEMA that we would immediately recognize in there. In the Army's case, it's Gracie BJJ, mixed with some Muay Thai, Boxing, Wrestling, and Kali.

I can't speak on the Marines.

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Re: Ringen: Is it practical for self defense?

Postby Tim Hall » Tue Aug 17, 2010 2:03 pm

Jake, that's what I was talking about. I'm not sure why I thought it was the marines. Do all members of the army go through this program?
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Re: Ringen: Is it practical for self defense?

Postby Jake Norwood » Tue Aug 17, 2010 2:25 pm

No, not everybody. Lots of folks, though.

It's in a few levels. Three back when I went through (I've heard they've added more). Level One is Gracie BJJ. Level Two adds in some Boxing and Kickboxing, and more BJJ. Level Three does more of that, and adds in weapons (Kali, and some HEMA...sort of). I went through Level One under SFC Larsen back in '05, before he retired. We trained longswords once in that time (just he and I...not the class...that would have been cool). I got to observe the Level Three guys in weapons sparring, and it was a lot of Kali--I didn't see any Lichtenauer in there, if you follow me.

Pretty much ever Officer and Combat Arms Soldier goes through at least an abbreviated version of Level One. Most Infantry Units have a requirement for everybody to do all of Level One, unless things have changed in the last few years.

BTW, SFC Larsen is retired and now helps run "Modern Combatives." http://www.moderncombatives.org/

Also see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matt_Larsen

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