If you have ever thought of the concept of self-defense you have likely done one of two things. First, you acted on it, did some research, then found a class and checked it out. Second, you acted on it, did some research and decided it wasn’t right for you. There is a third option! Maybe you are still interested but just are not convinced it is worth your time!
Self-Defense? Worth your Time?
The answer to the question is YES! Keep in mind I believe that we are the sum total of all experiences we have in life. That means that even if you don’t initially get that silver bullet of perfect self protection, the simple experience of a self-defense class will help shape you, improve you and protect you!
Practiced at home and FAILED!!
You get started in a self-defense class and quickly go home and show your loved ones what you learn. Within seconds you find yourself stuck and unable to get away from the attack you felt your self-defense class had prepared you for. Total failure? Absolutely, one hundred percent, no question about; the answer is NO! Failure of the technique is guaranteed! Every technique you are taught has a failure expectation! So why bother learning self-defense?
I’d like to point one more thing out here. Keep in mind that in self-defense there ARE NO RULES. Well maybe one: Rule #1 is: There are no rules. You will be taught technique and then you will be taught how to make them work….this sometimes means doing mean nasty things to help ensure You are the One who walks away from an attack! So, when you go home and practice only to find out the technique did not work don’t panic. When you practice with friends and family you are not willing to break out a baseball bat to finish your pretend attacker, but in real life…..we will be sure to encourage you to use any tool and any means available. Don’t hurt your loved ones to make a point. Just remember to keep learning, it’s worth your time!
Keep Reading! It will makes Self-Defense-sense!
Self-defense classes should be taken with an open mind and willingness to keep learning. Never expect a single class to fix all your problems. Instead, let that single class fix one problem, like boosting your confidence. A good self-defense class will give you a plethora of small steps that will add up to a huge improvement. Embrace the small steps and you will never be wasting your time. The well designed class should start with things like situational and physical awareness. You should also expect discussion and even personal dissection of decision making. Learning to assess your own decisions in an effort to make better decision can be life saving alone!
Self-defense: “It is your body and your life!”
As you start to experience the mind opening and sometimes eye opening side of mental self-defense you should also be reminded of how important you are and valuable you are. Every person is valuable and should never accept that the negative actions of others are deserved or a foregone conclusion. It is your body and your life! You decide what happens to it!
Self-Defense: “Tools in the Tool-Bag”
The physical side of self-defense classes can become the most popular or at least most memorable at the moment. It is fun! Not always comfortable but an overwhelming sense of accomplishment is not uncommon. A good instructor will create a safe environment for you to practice the physical techniques and believe me repetition is key. If you learn a large number of fun “moves” you are not training your body to use them you are just entertaining your mind to stay motivated. Instead you should expect to use your strong side or your body and practice techniques to determine what truly works and works for you. We call this putting “tools in the tool-bag.”
Be willing to keep learning! Every Lesson Counts!
What I mean by putting tools in the tool-bag is to develop a collection of techniques you feel comfortable with. I said, above, that every technique is expected to fail. This is true! The point I did not make until now is that is precisely why you learn multiple techniques and specifically techniques that you have tried and know work for you. At the end of a single session you will not be ready to jump into the ring and fight a cage fighter! You will be able to recognize the threat faster, react better, escape or get help before needing to fight but you will also be able to attack your attacker in a life saving manner. Every lesson counts! Bad guys want victims not fighters!
Learning from contact
Your self-defense class should put you in situations that make you uncomfortable but always safe. You should feel completely welcome to voice how you feel about any technique or the way it is being taught. It is essential to experience some awkwardness and even light physical pain in a quality self-defense class.
Empowered through experience!
The first time someone sits on you and holds your hands down SHOULD NOT BE when a bad actor does it! Experiencing this in a safe environment of similar people to you will help you take the experience with you for the rest of your life, meaning that if you experience that same thing on the street your panic level will be less as it is no longer “new.” At the same time, holding a punching bag for someone to knee or doing the strike yourself helps your body feel the discomfort that is natural when hitting nearly anything. You want to know that if you strike someone, there will be pain involved for you as well as the person you had to strike. Experiencing this discomfort during self-defense training will help you not hesitate to react at the wrong time. Instead you will never realize you are stronger, but you will be, and you will survive and thrive!
Self-Defense is worth your time!
Is self-defense worth your time? Of course it is. If you need to I suggest you stop letting the negative opinions of what you have heard or the negative thoughts of yourself get in the way. Even a very basic self-defense or martial arts class can help you grow and maybe even save your life. More likely, however, the simple willingness to open your mind and keep learning will be the biggest deciding factor in a happier approach to self-defense and self-care. I hope you take the opportunity, where ever you find it, to act on your interest in self-defense, because you wouldn’t still be reading if it didn’t matter to you!