When I search for martial-arts terms in the search engines, a lot of ads appear along with my keywords. Lately, I have noticed advertisements for army-related martial arts. The general public needs to do more research, if they think these online pitches are the answer...
Martial Artists Don't Look to the Armed Forces
In over 40 years in martial arts, I have never seen a black belt seek instruction in the army way of hand-to-hand combat. It would be like a surgeon asking for operating advice from someone who only has a first-aid card. In fact, as you'll read in the Navy-Seals section of this article, it's usually the reverse. Army people get their instruction from martial artists, rather than the other way around.
In the U.S. army, you are lucky if you get even two weeks of hand-to-hand combat. Often it's just one or two sessions, at the most. Compare that to the years that a martial artist dedicates to his or her mastery.
In the Marines, it's a little better. There actually is more self defense taught. After all, these people are being taught to be our "roughest" branch of the army. Still, most people searching for practical self defense, probably wouldn't be satisfied with marine instruction. This is especially true, if you aren't as rough-and-rugged as a "leatherneck."
So, why are there so many marine self-defense courses offered?
My guess is because once they get out of the marines, some of them want to make money from what they learned. Also, it's the brand of fighting that they were exposed to. This isn't meant as a criticism; they just don't know the world of more efficient martial arts out there.
The Navy Seals
What about the Navy Seals? Aren't they known for their fighting prowess?
This is actually an interesting puzzle: You go to a Navy Seal looking for self defense, not realizing that the Navy Seal went somewhere else in order to learn practical application. Throughout the 1980s and some of the 1990s, some of my buddies were hired to teach the Navy Seals. Apparently, the S.E.A.L.s spent a lot of money on bringing in the best martial arts instruction that money could buy.
What kind of instruction you get from an ex-S.E.A.L. depends on what type of extra training he had. Just keep in mind that if your S.E.A.L. claims that it's "army training," it came from a third-party source. (It's probably not "Navy Seal born.)
Krav Maga Requisites
Even Krav Maga is the short and quick self defense taught by the Israeli army. It was designed for those in extremely good shape and those who didn't have a lot of time to learn a complete self-defense system. Sure, the Krav Maga organizations have progressed since then, inventing belts, and requiring more skillful perfection of the technique. Still, its army origins ...
Army Martial Arts
I am not suggesting that all instructors who advertise their army roots are martial klutzes - far from it. But it "is" important not to be fooled by the term "army training." To some people, it could imply ... amateur.