Is Martial Arts Self-Defense Training Effective When It Counts?

Woman in alley with man following stalking self defense

One critique you may hear about martial arts’ self-defense training is that it is good in theory, but it doesn’t really work when push comes to shove, literally. However, the techniques taught at a reputable studio that focuses on training students to balance mind and body can be incredibly useful in many situations. It also depends on the amount of training and practice of a student in how effective their knowledge and ability to perform will be in a real-life scenario. Studios like SwiftKick teach students many effective self-defense techniques, including breakaway, self, and situational awareness. All training is age-appropriate, and younger and smaller students are taught how to get away from someone bigger than they are who is trying to cause them harm and how to find an escape route and get help from others.

Beyond Fancy Kicks, Self-Defense Training Should Be Practical

When martial arts moves are correctly executed, they can be very effective. Strikes kicks, and deflection moves provide a toolkit for martial arts students. Martial arts studios often have students breaking boards to practice their techniques. Some argue that breaking boards is not difficult, but the same moves can be used to break much heavier and more robust materials. Of course, the strength behind a strike has to do with size, age, and practice, which are all factors. Martial arts, and Karate specifically, were developed, so weapons were not necessary. Although martial arts started as a weapon-free way to defend, the arts have evolved, and some styles utilize weapons as part of their training.

Younger students should learn the basics and how to use their bodies instead of going straight into weapons training. Knowing your body’s abilities can be instrumental in advanced weapon training later down the road.

Controlled Stance and Strikes Are Effective

Martial arts training is all about control, which is a significant difference between it and other types of training. Control requires the mind and body to work together to control breathing and movement to be intentional and targeted. Stances in martial arts are deep and rooted, making it difficult for an opponent to take someone down with solid training.

What is unique about martial arts in self-defense is that instead of yelling, rage, and anger driving emotions and reactions, training is much more effective against an opponent driven purely by emotions. Control does not mean slow. Control does not mean weak. Control means having purpose and focus with every move.

When working with smaller students, experienced instructors, like those at SwiftKick, train to break away and use other skills to protect rather than trying to kick and punch a larger person. However, there are things that may bring an opponent to the ground, where a smaller person may have a greater chance of getting away and having a physical advantage.

Finding Martial Arts Training That Works for You

The most important thing when considering martial arts training for yourself or someone you love is that they feel comfortable and empowered by the experience. Find a studio that is welcoming and fits what you seek. Some martial arts styles are more combat-based; if that is what you want, find a studio that offers that. However, if you are starting or have a child you think would benefit from martial arts and self-defense training, call a local studio, and ask to try a free class or observe one. SwiftKick offers all interested students a free class!

It is critical that the instructors directing and teaching students are teaching the techniques correctly. Beyond the moves, the mind and breathing are vital to effectively delivering any defensive move. Martial arts are a mental sport as much as a physical one, maybe even more so. Reputable martial arts training includes elements of self-control, self-discipline, balance, honor, and respect. Many who have trained in martial arts claim it changed their lives for the better. Families claim their children became confident leaders with improved social skills and increased focus.

Of course, nobody wishes their child to get into a fight and test their martial arts skills, but feeling empowered and confident that you can break away and do some primary defense is an incredible boost of confidence! Additionally, self-defense training done correctly teaches martial arts students to be self-aware and situationally aware, how to identify escape routes, and recognize and avoid potentially dangerous situations. Many young students begin martial arts training and stick with it for years, finding it to be a significant part of their school, work, and life success! Be the best version of yourself and call today to try a free class – there is no downside to training in martial arts, no matter who you are!

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