Why learn a martial art for self defense?
The question seems quite silly but I have been asked that so many times. Every time it’s been said “well in a real fight the person won’t just stand there for you to do a fancy kick”. My response is “your right if all your learning is from watching what Hollywood shows you you are sadly missing allot”.
I have been studying a particular style of Karate for 30+ years now, I won’t mention it because I don’t want that to be the focus, but the martial arts came about for people to defend themselves against habitual acts of physical violence.
Bruce Lee is considered to be the best Martial Artist the world has ever seen. However, flashy self defense moves like flying kicks and back flips while taking out 10 opponents simultaneously may look good,but reality is very different.Despite his amazing martial arts prowess, Bruce Lee always advocated the use of very simple and effective moves to stop an attack.
Those of you already in training may know the term Kata. Since the beginning of martial arts, Kata was used as the only means of transferring the knowledge from teacher to student. Kata back then also was not as it is today. When Martial Arts were being taught in school to children, kata’s were changed to remove or hide the actual technique that was being performed so that no one was being hurt during practice. But if you look carefully, or are lucky enough to have it explained to you, there are a plethora of self defense moves inside every Kata being performed. What looks like a punch and elbow may be an arm break. A simple leg cross to turn a different direction may be a throwing of an opponent to the ground. Bringing your non punching hand into whats called chamber may be an elbow strike to someone behind you or simply pulling someones head down by their hair.
Don’t get fooled by Hollywood or Self defense guru’s. The Martial Arts have made it this long for a reason. They work. Don’t just join a Martial Art simply because it’s the closest to where you live. Take the time and research not only the style but the teacher and his lineage. Ask questions like how long does it take to make Black Belt ( which by the way is not the end but the true beginning of learning the art). If it is shorter than 5 years on average than you probably want to find another school they are more than likely interested more in your money than anything else.
Lastly train hard because as I said in another article Training hard now = being prepared later.