Learning martial arts comes with many benefits. It teaches you all sorts of cool techniques, it improves your fitness levels, and it helps you to learn important attributes like self-discipline and perseverance.
One of the primary benefits of training martial arts is learning how to successfully defend yourself if the need ever arises. It is one of the most important skills a person could have. It improves your overall confidence, and it could help you to get out of a hairy situation someday.
Let’s take a closer look at the 5 golden rules for self-defense.
1) Don’t Be A Victim
The first step towards successfully defending yourself is reducing the odds of you being targeted in the first place. Predators tend to like easy targets. They are more likely to attack whoever they feel is the weakest on their “hunting grounds”. Don’t be that person.
That is why you are more likely to hear about an old lady getting her purse snatched than a buff bodybuilder suffering the same fate. It is the same reason why a small, quiet child may be more likely to be bullied at school than the kid who is the captain of the rugby team.
It is very important that you do not project weakness as you move about during the day. Walk around with your head up, speak assertively when approached by strangers and give clear verbal warnings when a potential attacker violates your personal space.
2) Stay Sharp
The element of surprise can make a huge difference when it comes to physical attacks. Most predators are well aware of this fact, so it isn’t uncommon for them to try to distract you right before they attack. For example, it is particularly common for muggers in big cities to approach their victims and ask for a cigarette or the time before making their move.
You take your eyes off the person while digging through your pockets and by the time you look back up, there is a weapon in your face.
Paying attention to your surroundings allows you to avoid confrontations before they even begin. It allows you to notice that one guy or girl who is clearly looking to get into a fight with someone at a party or the shady looking person that has been lurking around all day.
Keep your eyes open, especially when people who make your “spider senses” tingle approach you.
3) Exercise Restraint
When it comes to self-defense, it is extremely important that you understand it should only be used as a last resort. While it might be tempting to show some jerk that is being disrespectful to you or a loved one what Muay Thai is all about, there are no winners when it comes to street fights.
That is not something martial arts instructors simply tell their students just to scare them into avoiding fights, it is a proven fact. There are many variables during any confrontation, and there is no guarantee things will go how you plan. The person might have a weapon or some friends right around the corner who are eager to join in.
Then, there is the fact you might have to deal with the law after your confrontation. Being on the wrong side of the law can have serious consequences. You might find yourself having to use up all your savings on lawyer fees and court fines or, even worse, having to serve a jail sentence.
When you exercise restraint during a confrontation, you increase your odds of going home safely, and you also protect yourself from potential legal ramifications. Do not engage the person confronting you until it is clear conflict is unavoidable.
4) Practice Target Denial
Not giving criminals the opportunity to victimize you in the first place goes a long when it comes to your personal safety and that of your family. Make your personal safety a priority in all things that you do.
Avoid leaving doors unlocked and windows unattended. Make it more difficult for criminals to get to you in the first place. This also applies to when you are moving around during the day. If there is some shady person lurking in the alley on your way home, use the main street instead. It might be a longer journey, but it will also be safer.
Cross the street if you are not comfortable with the person approaching you. Wait for a second elevator if you do not feel safe with the person in the one available. These little things go a long way when it comes to keeping you safe.
5) Fight To Win
When you find yourself in a situation where you’ve been forced into a physical confrontation, it is important that you emerge victorious. Losing the confrontation is simply not an option at this point. Hit hard, attack weak points, and use only techniques that are part of your muscle memory.
Keep an eye on your opponent’s hands at all times and watch out for weapons. Feel free to improvise and use items in your surroundings as weapons if necessary. When a person violates your right to be left alone in peace, you have no obligations to fight fair.
The goal should be to end the fight as quickly as possible or create enough space to make an escape. Both outcomes are equally acceptable.
These are the five golden rules for self-defense. Learning these golden rules significantly reduces the odds of you getting into a confrontation in the first place. Keep up with your training and stay in top physical condition. You never know when you will have to defend yourself, and having a fit body and mind improves your chances of emerging victorious.
If you haven’t yet mastered techniques that can be used for self-defense, sign up for martial arts classes as soon as you can. You will learn how to defend yourself, get in in shape, improve your confidence and make lots of new friends.
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