Tips for Learning and Using Self Defense Training
There is some controversy surrounding the employment of self defense techniques. With more states adopting a “stand your ground” law, there has been a significant rise in the number of incidents where individuals have used lethal force claiming they were merely defending themselves. In reality, there may genuinely be a few scenarios in which one may need to use deadly force in order to remain safe, but in most cases this is not necessary. Most self defense classes are designed to teach students not only how to defend themselves from an attacker, but also how to quickly identify safe places to run to and to have the confidence and quick-thinking to deduce the situation and to react. Defense training is not about abusing stand your ground laws or getting your own back on someone–attacker or not. It’s about learning how to react in a situation where you could be harmed or taken advantage of.
Is Defense Training Right for Me?
Whether you’re a lover or a fighter, you never know when a situation might arise in which a person (or even an animal) poses a serious physical threat to you. In times like this, defensive training can enable you to protect yourself. The primary rule with defense training is to use the minimum force necessary to enable yourself to get away. Realistically, you shouldn’t expect to take a few self defense classes and come out with the ability to reduce a gang of fully-grown men to a pile of groaning bodies on the ground. If that is your goal then defense training isn’t for you. If you have been attacked in the past, live in a rough neighborhood, are planning a trip to a dangerous area, or if you simply want to be prepared to protect yourself should the need arise, then defense training may be right for you.
Where to Gain Self Defense Training
Self defense training is available in many formats. The most successful and recommended format is through taking a class led by a qualified instructor. Many martial arts instructors also offer defense training classes that teach basic techniques that can be used to disable an attacker. If you’re on the search for a defense training class but you don’t have any martial arts schools nearby then call around to local fitness clubs or the nearest YMCA. Some colleges and universities also offer defense training courses that are open for public enrollment. Your local police station may also have a list of self defense classes in the area.
Another option, one which is rapidly rising in popularity, is online defense classes. Most of these “classes” are freely available in the form of instructional videos, pictures, and articles. Although online instructions have the benefit of being free and easy to access, there is one major downside: the lack of an instructor to comment on and correct your form. If you’ve never taken any martial arts or defense classes before then you are likely going to require a significant amount of practice in order to master defense techniques. You might also have difficulty gaining confidence in your abilities without the presence of an instructor. Without the proper equipment, practicing defense techniques unsupervised can lead to self-injury.
You could also enlist the help of a friend or family member who has already completed self defense training. He or she might be willing to show you what they’ve learned, help to correct your technique, and provide confidence-building encouragement. This can serve as a basic foundation of defense skills and, at the end of the day, is better than seeking no training at all.
When to Use Defense Techniques
The use of defense techniques does require that one exercise basic common sense. First, it’s important to identify the situation to determine whether any other means of escape may be possible. If the attack occurs in a public place then the victim should immediately attempt to make a scene to attract the attention of others. By raising one’s voice and using body language that clearly signifies unwanted contact, onlookers will be drawn to the scene which will hopefully send the attacker off running. One should assume that there will only be enough time to get in a few good strikes before the attacker manages to take the upper-hand, after all, most attack scenarios involve an attacker who purposely chooses a smaller victim who seems easy to overpower.
The definition of “self defense” varies from state to state. Because such, it is important to understand your state’s views on the actions that are appropriate as defense techniques and the situations that warrant such a reaction. In most states, the basic rules of defense allow individuals to physically defend themselves if an attacker attempts to or successfully enters a person’s home without permission. If the victim feels that the individual intends to cause harm to anyone in the home then the victim may react with force. When attacks occur outside of the home, state laws can become very different which is why it is important that you study your own state’s views on defense.