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I am a Marine myself and between extensive combat experience, close quarter, and hand to hand, I am well versed in a variety of disciplines. For me this comes naturally.

Now that being said, I am having a hard time figuring out what to teach my wife and daughter. What is overkill versus necessary to defend effectively without going overboard?

My wife is 5'4" and weighs 100 lbs soaking wet and my daughter is 5'7" and 100 lbs soaking wet. So I am looking for suggestions as to how to approach their training without inevitably treating them like Marines and turning them off because I am "too rough" or "too demanding" or "expecting too much"? I want them to have the best but I know it may not be a reasonable expectation, so I am content to having them learn what provides them the most comprehensive and yet relatively easy to learn while effective techniques.

{ asked by GµårÐïåñ }


I am afraid you are looking for a unicorn and you do not even know what a unicorn is.

There's a world of difference between giving your daughter enough training to "survive" a date and her surviving walking back to base after crossing Mogadishu. No Nonsense Self-Defense is a good place to start looking at these issues but is by no mean exhaustive. As for myself, I would suggest a few things.

First: What are your aims? Keeping them safe is unrealistic since it is so broad. Look at statistic of crime where you live. This will tell you what the most common things they might have to worry about. There is no need to train them for something that has no chance of happening.

Second: What do they want? Is this your mind set that want to keep them safe because you are so used to violence? Do they see the same world as you?... Ask them what they want. This will tell you what they want to learn. GµårÐïåñ has since said that his family is driving this. This is a good thing.

Third: Now, pick a system of self defence or a martial art or dancing or advanced driving... Whatever you pick, there will be good things and bad things. There are no ultimate system. just stacking the desk in your favour.

For example, in the USA, you are eight times more likely to be killed by law enforcements than terrorists. Thus a law degree might be more effective than a martial art. In the USA, you are as well about 150 times more likely to be killed in a road accident than in a terrorist attack. Thus a driving course is vastly more effective at keeping you safe than an anti-terrorist course. Now, if you live in Mogadishu, things might be different...

Edit after comments: In answer to

My immediate goals are: deal with a perp that has a knife, gun, or just physical force. Not necessary stay and fight it all the way but disable and disarm long enough to get out of dodge without being pursued.

I see where you are coming from and please read the rest as helpful, supportive suggestions as it is how it is meant. Self defence for you relies on surviving physical assaults. It's your job as a Marine to fight. Civilian self defence is about not being in a position to survive a physical assault. Those are totally opposite things. They are utterly different skills and you do not need to know anything about combat to be good at self defence.

As for being hard asses, any good teacher can do that, no matter the art. Look at this answer and question.

{ answered by Sardathrion }