With a group of fellow martial artists I've been working on training Rodney King's Crazy Monkey standup fighting method and have been finding it very useful.
Rodney King is the creator of a fighting method known as as 'Crazy Monkey' or non attribute based boxing.
The approach CM takes is to teach a primarily defence based system so that a person can gain confidence in their standup fighting to know they won't get hurt and from their launch an effective attack.
The 'non attribute' label is to differentiate between other boxing styles where to be effective takes a fairly long time as you need to become highly skilled and develop excellent attributes to be able to apply the technqiues without getting hit.
CM really becomes useful at the close range where your opponent can 'fire all guns' and you are in most danger of getting hit. It involves keeping the hands up high, on top of the head, and using arm and body movement to block and deflect the incoming punches using the forearms. By not getting hit you gain more confidence at that range to be able to fire back without getting hit, escape out to a longer range or to close to the clinch to take the fight to the ground. There's more to it than that of course but that's the basic idea.
So far I've found it to have greatly improved my confidence in handling an attack at that range. It's similar to learning grappling. I found that grappling improved my confidence in knowing that if the fight went to the ground I had more options, or I could take it to the ground if I was struggling standing. Rodney King's system has provided a similar confidence in me for the close range of standup in knowing that I can survive the flurry of attacks at that range and choose to fight back or change - making it my choice rather than the opponent forcing the choice upon me.
While I'm still a beginner at learning this stuff and still getting knocked around on occasion, I'm certainly doing better than in the past where I had no response whatsoever for this range. Hopefully as I continue to train it things will get even better.
If you're studying a martial art for self defence purposes I think it's very important to train at the different ranges. And specialist styles like BJJ to cover the ground work and CM for the close range standing make good options for covering those areas.
In the traditional martial art I do I've found that senior belts can sometimes be not very confident in the ranges we don't cover and even just a little training in the other areas can give a huge help. I encourage them to go out and try the specialist schools for doing this, for example the Grappling Studio in Wellington which does BJJ is excellent.
But for Rodney King's stuff there's no training center in NZ (that I'm aware of) so the options have been primarily DVD's in the past. This is what I've been working off. His Streetboxing and Sparring 101 DVD's are very good.
Recently Rodney has started a website, mymalife.com, which contains downloadable videos and information covering all you need to know about CM as well as a forum for discussing it. Registration for the forum is free and Rodney posts there giving lots of advice. Some of the information is available as free downloads but paid membership is required for the instructional videos. There's a wealth of information there and so far it's been very worth it.