There are many viewpoints as to the benefits of the martial arts in a practical self-defense situation.
This is how I feel about the topic.
Bottom-line; Even a little bit of training in any martial art for self-defense is better than no training at all.
We may never be 100% prepared for what might happen in the real world but donít get hung up about that. I am confident that verbal tactics can diffuse most situations and you donít have to be a great martial artist to talk your way out of a physical confrontation. You only need to be able to honestly not want to fight and convince your opponent that they have won alreadyÖ without being physical. Even if you have to run away, then run. The only bruise will be your ego and that is only if you let it.
A Situation of a mugging or sexual assault is different, but if you learn how to minimize the risk of putting yourself into these situations then most of them can be avoided.
If you are completely unable to avoid a physical confrontation then itís time to defend yourself. This is where basic training is advantageous. Even if you only understand a concept of strategy, this is better than not having a clue. Hopefully basic training will provide you with a bit of confidence that will allow you to successfully defend yourself enough to get away. Hopefully you wonít have to experience this.
The martial arts are what you make of them. If you simply want the enjoyment of the physical exercise, thatís fine. If you like the discipline and basic overall training, okay. If you want to train kata simply because you admire the form and grace, then enjoy it to itís fullest. If you want to learn how to defend yourself, then train diligently and pray you donít have to use it because no matter what, someone will get hurt.
I train hard and I love all aspects of martial training and I continue to do so because I love to do it. I am aware of the dangers that lurk outside the dojo walls and as long as I do everything possible to avoid them, there is nothing more I can do. So train because you like to. Train because it's good for you. But train most of all, because you want to.
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