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Self Defence

Choosing a program

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Self Defence

Would you like to get over the fear of attack or learn to act on your own behalf? These are just a couple of considerations that might motivate you to take up a self-defence program. Let’s face it–violence happens; therefore, self-defence is a life skill, not a luxury.

Would you like to get over the fear of attack or learn to act on your own behalf? These are just a couple of considerations that might motivate you to take up a self-defence program. Let’s face it–violence happens; therefore, self-defence is a life skill, not a luxury.

What do you need to look for in a self-defence program? This is one of the most common questions I’ve heard during my 28 years as a professional martial artist. Many people seem to think that the main goal of a self-defence program is to learn how to beat up an attacker; however, this is far from the truth. What you want to learn is how to create a window of opportunity for escape so you can get to safety with as little harm done as possible. A good self-defence program should teach you how to defend yourself in an attack situation and how to get into better physical condition to increase your chances of a successful escape.

Triangle of Repetition

Ideally, three methods of training should be included: air, pad, and simulated attack scenarios. Combining these three methods will help you develop proper body mechanics for each technique, maximize your speed and power, and increase your self-confidence. It is important to practise what you have learned over and over again until your reaction becomes second nature.

The CAAP Equation

I believe that an effective self-defence program includes an equation that encompasses four
components, which can be referred to as CAAP.

  • Confidence: Always portray a sense of self-confidence in the way you walk, in how you hold your posture, and in how you portray body language. Never let a potential attacker perceive you as a helpless victim.
  • Awareness: Be aware of your surroundings and circumstances at all times, so you are never caught off guard.
  • Avoidance: Learn what kinds of situations could potentially place you in danger and avoid them.
  • Preparation: Assaults can be quick and vicious. Learn to prepare yourself both mentally and physically so you’ll know what to do in the heat of the moment.

KISS and Escape

A self-defence program works best when it is set up in a realistic and practical manner. This theory is sometimes referred to as KISS–Keep It Simple Self-Defence–and the method of teaching is based on simple, straightforward techniques that participants can easily understand and learn. Participants are generally taught the same techniques, regardless of age. Different parts of the CAAP equation may be emphasized, but the same basic strikes are taught, giving an individual the best chance for a successful escape from an attack situation.

A commercial martial arts school usually offers classes for various programs and age groups. For example, they may have pee-wees (ages four to seven), juniors (ages eight to 12), teens (ages 13 to 16), and adults (17 and up). These groups are further categorized into beginner, intermediate, and advanced classes. The main reason to have different classes is to keep students of the same age, size, and ability levels together.

There are no secrets to learning self-defence. The more prepared you are mentally and physically, the better your chance of a successful escape from an attack situation. I hope you never find yourself in a situation where you’re going to have to use this, but if it does happen, you must be as prepared as possible.

Before enrolling in self-defence training, ask the instructor which components are included in the particular program. You want to make sure you’ll be learning individual and partner techniques, training in simulated attack situations, and incorporating the four components of the CAAP equation to ensure effective, all-around training.

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