We commonly get new students coming to training for the purpose of “self defense”. And one could easily imagine the volume of searches for self defense classes in San Diego. The question I ask first is what do you think self defense training is? Answers vary from the practical to the absurd, but here is our take on what self defense really is.
Self defense must be a practical approach to violent conflict that is adaptable to whomever is using it. The strategies and techniques for a 130lb woman will differ from those of a 210 lb man. Self defense should not be focused on winning fights, but should rather be focused on avoiding or surviving the confrontation.
“Winning” fights is for competition, these fights tend to be well organized, well matched, and well refereed. Without these safeguards fights most certainly will devolve into extremely dangerous contests with frequent injuries. So in self defense the focus must be avoidance of the confrontation itself, then shift to survival.
Self Defense training should focus on 3 primary elements:
- Technical performance: What technique should I use to counter which threat/attack.
- Psychological preparedness: What psychological and physiological responses does my body experience before, during, and after a violent confrontation? How will that affect my performance?
- Physical preparedness: Am I in good physical condition to counter a violent assault? Is my lack of preparedness here putting me in danger of a serious injury during training or the actual confrontation? Physical fitness is something developed DURING training, not something someone needs to achieve BEFORE training.
Any self defense program should address these 3 elements in training. Many martial arts offer “self defense” programs, and many are quite good, however they should be focused on realistic threats and not sport scenarios. Realistic means it may include larger opponents, more violent opponents, multiple opponents, and armed opponents. Make sure your self defense program addresses legitimate threats with legitimate techniques.
If you have more questions or you are ready to start training with us, please contact us.