Is your martial arts or self defense program really teaching you the right lessons for self defense?

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Countless adults enroll in martial arts and self defense programs each year. Likewise, there seems to be an endless line of parents enrolling their children in martial arts schools. And while many of these people (adult students and parents alike) are looking for a sport or activity, most would say they are looking for self-defense.

So why do most adults who drop out of a martial arts program in the first hundred days say they did so due to a lack of real-world self-defense training early on? To whom do parents convey a sense of doubt that “Johnny” will be able to defend himself, despite the fact that he earned his black belt?

Why do most women, and many men, still express their own doubts so that they can use what they have learned under pressure if they are ever attacked by a real attacker in the real world?

While there are many factors that play a role in whether or not you learn a subject well enough, there are 7 areas you can control or consider when researching, choosing, and participating in a martial arts or self-defense program. ; especially if your goal is the development of real-world self-defense skills.

7 Ways To Know If Your Martial Arts Or Self Defense Class Is Worth Anything

Many people ask the question, “If I’m inexperienced and don’t know what a real street attack looks like, how do I even begin to know if the program I’m in is teaching me what I need to survive?”

And that’s a very good question.

Here are 7 things to look for that will help you gauge the value of any martial arts or self-defense program that promises to teach you real self-protection skills and abilities against a real-world attacker launching real-world attacks. YOUR!

1. The attacks you are practicing against are modern street attacks. You have seen what real and modern attacks are like. All you have to do is watch an action movie (non-martial arts), a boxing match on ESPN, or reminisce about fights you saw at school, the bar, or wherever.

Make sure you’re not defending against 16th century robotic attacks that you’ll NEVER see in today’s world.

2. The techniques EASILY work on bigger, stronger attackers. Not because you have to be the biggest and strongest fighter, or because your partner has fallen for you.

Lots of things will challenge you at first, like where to put your foot or which hand does what. Goal…

…in the world of self defense training, remember KISS – “Keep it simple, stupid!”

3. You don’t have to be a super fit athlete to do well. Again, self defense situations are very different from the sports and competitive world. In sports, you are always paired with someone who matches your size, skill level, experience, etc. However, in a real world attack scenario, you are almost always the underdog.

As I always tell my students, no attacker is going to look at you from across the street and think, “They can kick my ass. I’ll attack them!”

You should never have to be the biggest, fastest, and strongest fighter to win. Because, in a self-defense situation, unlike a sports-oriented tournament… YOU WON’T!

4. Your lessons are based on principles and concepts., not preset, stylized moves that always fit the “style” taught at that school. It is true that there will probably be “techniques” that you will learn. But these should be “models” or examples of an idea that is flexible and adaptable to the situation.

An example of a principle or concept would be, “remember that the thumb is the weakest joint in the hand.” So when you learn the technique to escape from a wrist grab, you know “what” you are doing to make the escape happen. Not just that “stick your hand out ‘this’ way.”

5. Your teacher has real world experience. Contrary to popular belief, a black belt around someone’s waist, or a certification in a particular training program, has NOTHING to do with whether or not the person has ever had to use what they are teaching in a war situation. real world self defense against a violent attacker.

Is it possible that a person with no real fighting experience could still teach viable and effective self defense?

The answer to that is, of course, “yes.”

But, and this is a BIG but (pun intended!), he or she will have to:

  • I have done a lot of research on what it is like INSIDE a self defense situation.
  • Learn about the body’s responses and limitations when under the fight-flight-freeze response, or…
  • Have a teacher who has the experience and makes sure you conveyed the correct lessons in the first place

6. You are seeing progress immediately and often. It’s one thing to learn something. It is something else entirely to KNOW that thing. And it’s still something else to be able to USE what you know, under pressure, when you need it most.

I have seen programs where beginning students are stuck at either extreme. While some are forced to endure classes where they do nothing but bows, locks, stretches, and exercises for weeks or months until they can move on to the “next lesson,” others are at the other end of the spectrum in they get so many different classes. techniques that cannot be good at anything.

In a robust program that teaches effective skill development and an understanding of self-defense principles, students are given time to develop the skills they are learning, while being given some options that will allow them to produce results in a short period of time. .

7. There is no part of your training, “just cause.” Many of the programs offered lack substance, either because the person teaching is not knowledgeable enough, or because the program itself consists of little more than a few “tricks” that are guaranteed to work against all attacks.

Many martial arts programs, in an attempt to stay connected to the fundamentals of the lineage and remain “traditional”, overload students with information that has absolutely nothing to do with the ability to defend oneself. This is in no way meant to detract from a student understanding the roots of the program she is learning. But, such information should be used to validate and add value to what you are learning, not add “fluff” and substance where little exists in the first place.

It’s up to you, and only you, to make sure you’re getting what you need from a program that’s supposed to teach you how to protect yourself and your loved ones. No amount of blind faith, discipleship, or blaming after the fact will take the place of learning good, solid, and effective techniques, tactics, and strategies that will enable you to be effective against a brutal aggressor looking to hit, break, or kill. your.

I know how easy it is to choose a school, a program or a teacher because they are…

  • close to home
  • a friend
  • cheap, or…
  • they are wearing a black belt

But, none of these things have anything to do with effective self defense. Choose wisely, and above all, look for value and the key points I outlined above. And, in the end, if you ever have to go through the hell of a furious assault, you’ll be glad you did what you had to do, not what was easy.

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