Saturday, December 24, 2016

Why martial arts does not mean self defense

Most people (including myself at one point) have a mistaken assumption that to learn self defense, you must practice martial arts. Self defense and martial arts are almost two completely different fields. Here's a list of things that make self defense different from martial arts.

* Self defense is about survival, martial arts is about the art - Not every martial art was created for the purpose of self defense. Tai Chi for example was originally designed for health benefits. Self defense is about survival whereas martial arts is about the preservation of the art whether it's applicable in self defense or not.

* Martial arts has rules, self defense doesn't - Many martial arts practiced today such as Karate, Judo, Jiu Jitsu, Taekwon Do, etc. are being used for purposes other than what was originally intended. Many martial arts are sports based as they have point systems and rules such as no kicks to the groin. Self defense has no rules. That means anything goes such as biting, hitting below the waist, eye gouging, weapons, etc.

* Martial arts has form, self defense is fluid - In martial arts, instructors are concerned about you learning proper structure and technique in sparring. In self defense, you survive by any means necessary whether you perform techniques correctly or not. Many martial arts are bound by the limits of their art. If your martial art specializes in close range fighting but not in other ranges, you cannot go beyond those limits without breaking tradition. Self defense is about taking what works effectively and applying it to real combat.

* Martial arts training is unrealistic, self defense isn't - Many martial artists aren't prepared to deal with all sorts of encounters. They practice katas, drills, forms, and fancy techniques that are unrealistic in actual combat. They don't intensely train for armed robbers, weapons, bullies, rapists, killers, all the situations that our modern world faces. Martial artists use tradition or mysticism to come up with solutions for tradition's sake. For example, much of Kali knife fighting has no real world application but is practiced for the preservation of the art. In self defense, you find practical modern day solutions to real problems.

* Self defense teaches the dynamics of combat, martial arts doesn't - Self defense trains you to deal with many variables of combat such as situational awareness, avoidance of conflict, weapons, multiple attackers, stress, adrenaline, emotions, the environment, and so on. Traditional martial arts doesn't and if they do, it's not as extensive as it would be in a self defense setting.

* Martial arts has ranks, self defense doesn't - Many martial arts have a sash or belt system to identify the rank and skill level of it's practitioners. They also instill awards to those members who are most improved. While this is good for improving self confidence and esteem, it doesn't mean anything in the streets. Self defense is about reaching your uttermost potential with no regard for rank so you can survive.

Can you use martial arts for self defense? Yes but you must ensure that you are training for self defense and may have to modify the martial arts you practice for the streets. If you enjoyed this post, subscribe to my blog for updates, more advice, and exclusive content in the near future. I'm proud and excited to offer a FREE sample chapter of my E-book "Jeet Kune Do: How to build your own fighting system for self defense!" It's essentially a step-by-step guide on how to make your own self defense system suited to fit your own needs using Jeet Kune Do. If you would love to receive your FREE chapter of my e-book, click on the link below and share a post via. social media then it's yours for FREE! Be sure to also fill out the survey on the right and provide feedback on my blog. Leave questions, comments, and suggestions below.

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