In Defense of Self Defense

How many times have you been slapped across the face with that “uh oh” moment? You don’t really know how you got there but one bad decision, one lapse in judgement, one tiny mistake and now you’re in a situation you don’t want to be in. It’s dark, you’re alone, you don’t know where you are or exactly where to go but you know you don’t want to be there. The amount of bad situations one can end up in, even inadvertently, is overwhelming. Good judgement can lower your risk of being in danger, however everyone makes mistakes and no one’s judgement is perfect. Which is why I would argue that even more vital than good judgement is equipping yourself with the tools to remove yourself from danger. Self-defense is a contingency plan, but one that could be the difference between life and death.

Every two minutes in the United States a sexual assault occurs, every day in the US 44 people are murdered, and every minute in the US someone is mugged. Those statistics of course vary depending on things like location and time of day. However one of the most beautiful and dangerous parts of life is that you never know where you will end up at any given moment. The best you can be is prepared.

Here are some steps to get started:

  1. Do some research. Find a self-defense program that seems like it will work for you. You will attend more classes if the studio you find is nearby and affordable. Programs targeted for actual self-defense, Krav Maga being the prime example, are best but even boxing lessons, mixed martial arts, jiu jitsu or other combat sports could be valuable tools.
  2. Come up with a schedule. Self-defense classes are exercise, and much like exercise, motivating yourself to go can feel impossible. Set a goal of the number of days a week you want to go and stick to it. The progress shows through consistency.
  3. If you’re choosing between group lessons and private lessons, chose group! You learn much more studying with a variety of opponents of different sizes, shapes, experience level, and even level of aggression. It’s also a great opportunity to be social.

Marilyn Ferguson stated, “On the other side of fear is freedom.” The confidence to know that no matter where you end up at the end of the day, you will be alright is a unique and truly wonderful kind of freedom.

– Oliver