Anarchism and Martial Arts - Antifa fight club

The Left and Anarchists have usually had a strange attitude towards martial arts. Preaching 'revolution' and 'self help' on the one hand, whilst not actually being able to defend themselves, never mind fight in the streets. So we've got self help on one hand that strangely does not apply to people's own capabilities to look after themselves on the street. 

We are aware that macho sexist behaviour can be a problem, but people like the prominent activist Becca Kirkpatrick in Birmingham combine gym work with trade union activities (& there are more). They are not incompatible. There can be hierarchies between teachers and students in some martial arts clubs, but we aim to disolve these barriers and work in a supportive cooperative way. 

Throughout much of Europe there is a severe fascist/far-right problem, and in response anti-fascists organise training and popular MMA forms. In true anarchist fashion, makeshift gyms, classes and skill shares have pushed the anti-fascist scene in a truly new and professional direction. Self-defence has become a way of learning the street crafts of defending ourselves in dangerous situations. Using the DIY (Do it yourself) anarchist ethos, which is one of skill sharing without prejudice or hierarchy. 

Let's see videos: 





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It's always a very goog thing to know how to defend yourself. And Learning these skills in a radical left environment can be especially helpfull because it is possible to care about the specific situations we face.

Self-Organized martial arts training can also be a good way to learn how to fight in an environment you feel confortable in and don't have to hide, that you intend to use it to defend yourself against fascists or the police.

Sometimes it can be very frustrating though. I have left a regular martial arts club and joined a self organized training before only to find the same annoying structures and the same annoying behavior that I also had in the regular club. You mention this problem and it's very real unfortunately.

What could really be helpful, would be a guide on how to organize and structure training in a way that can actively fight against "macho sexist behaviour" within the training (or that doesn't let it emerge in the first place).


Fight on!

i personally find it very important to be have skills and experiences so that i can react with confidence when necessary.


fighting sports will always be in some ways "macho" as being "tough" is an important skill in physical confrontation. so its most important that the trainer/s set a good precedent and can identify "macho" and "negative" behaviour quickly and talk to the student. of course everyone is able to voice their opinion but martial arts needs the hierarchy and discipline for the trainer during the training period. they are their to instruct you and the environment you train in. ofcourse this then means the trainer must be a political and selfreflective person and within left wing structures it surely cant be that difficult to find such people.


and their are many instances where this is the case, so you shouldnt let one negative experience put you off. there is however a number of other problems that need to be considered, the trainers probably dont have too much time as they must better themselves, equipment needs to be provided, people who want such a training have to be consequent about it and actually turn up. the biggest problem of left wing skill sharing is regular attendance as mostly what starts off as a good idea tapers out or its different people every week which drives trainers insane and stunts development of students who actually attend regularly. and finally, when left wing skillsharing gyms are good and regularly attended sooner or later the cops or the state tries to shut them down.


about the videos, in russia most of the antifascist movement are straight edge due to their very dangerous living circumstances and due to these same circumstances must know how to defend themselves- that is why the intensity, commitment and abilities have been so well developed.


martial arts are not quick to learn, the more you learn; the more you know what you do not know. please have this in mind when anyone wants to start training