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how to make your self-defence training more effective

Increasing personal safety always starts with awareness

It’s a dangerous world out there, and it gets more dangerous every day. When it comes to self-defence, how would you handle a ‘tricky’ situation? Would you even know what to do or where to start? Can you throw a punch or even stand steady on one leg? Do you know what a roundhouse is? Have you even heard of a combination?

I’d say the majority probably haven’t, but then unless you have studied some form of martial arts, your awareness of them probably starts with Bruce Lee and ends with the theatrically choreographed moves in The Matrix movies.

How helpful are those moves you’re learning?

You’ve been regularly to those martial arts classes that are brimming with people just like you, learning routine after routine. Maybe you’ve even taken your kids to help them learn ‘what to do’ if they should find themselves in a situation where they need to defend themselves.

But, and here’s the crux of the matter, when it comes to self-defence, if the only thing you have done in your class is trained against a heavy bag, or practised and rehearsed stylised self-defence drills, or indeed, as so many are, have been trained by an armchair instructor with no real fight experience, you’re going to be in big trouble.

This is because in a real-life fight situation, you take with you all the good and bad habits that you have learned in your training. And if your tactics consist of fancy high kicks and large movements which require a lot of room, you will instinctively do the same when the adrenaline kicks in in a real-life confrontation. This will seriously hinder you if you are literally fighting for survival in a confined area.

But what can you do? Find a class that specialises in real-life martial arts that are effective in any situation.

Self-defence is 90% mindset

It doesn’t matter how effective those moves are; if you don’t train your mind for combat, you will freeze in a real-life situation. Many people who have been to self-defence programs become overwhelmed when their environment changes from the large dojo/sports hall setting of their classes to the small confines of conflict. It gives them a feeling of being closed in on and makes them feel like they can’t move, so they stiffen.

This is why your training should always focus on the mind and spirit as well as the body.

Weird as it may sound, you need to be able to feel calm and relaxed while you are having your face hit, your wrists grabbed and being generally attacked. And the only way to develop this calm is through experience with a training partner in the studio.

Condition stimulus training is about making your training as real as possible. You need to feel the stress and pressure of engaging an opponent, feel the pain of being hit, and the stress of fists and kicks flying at you. All of it, so when your instincts kick in and take over in real life, high adrenaline, stressful situations, you can use the environment to your advantage and not be hindered by it.

Everyday clothes will restrict movement in real-life conflict situations

Remember, you fight how you trained, and most self-defence/martial arts class environments ask you to wear loose-fitting clothing to practice moves and tactics for the obvious reason of being able to move freely.

This is all very well and good in a class situation, but in the real world, when you move on the street wearing jeans, boots, a shirt and maybe even a jacket, your range of motion will be restricted. You will move much slower, and that kick might not have as much impact as it does in the training room! And for women, outside of the training studio, you may be wearing heels, which could also affect your balance. Something to think about, yes?

The benefit of training in ‘outdoor clothes’ seems obvious because it gives you more options, potential weapons and exits. Your mind is also more prepared and conditioned if you should ever be in a situation where you need to defend yourself.

This is because, the more the mind is shown a stimulus, the more it becomes accustomed to it, and the more normal it seems.

Improve your general fitness

The trouble is, most of us today are lazy, and many are overweight and unfit too.  

Obesity is one of the biggest health concerns in the world today. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the number of obese people has tripled since 1975. In 2016, 39% of the global adult population were overweight, with 13% being obese. Unfortunately, that trend is only set to rise further. It is estimated that one billion will be obese by 2025! Shocking.

So, how fit are you?

Go and look at yourself in the mirror, skip, or run on the spot for 10 minutes, then check your image again and what do you see?

For many people, when they reach ‘a certain age’, they tend to let themselves go a bit, with that strength and endurance of their youth vanishing, almost overnight.

Whatever your age, it’s important to maintain a good level of fitness, even if it’s just to run as fast as you can away from a confrontational situation. (There’s absolutely nothing wrong with avoiding conflict, in many cases the smart thing to do is run if you can.)

Remember, martial arts training is hard

As with anything, the hardest part is getting started, but the important thing is to get started.

Combat Arts training is martial arts (authentic and real), but it’s definitely NOT about the fight.

It’s about your own training, your body and your mentality.

Using the very best protocols and techniques from some of the best martial arts in the world including Thai Boxing, Pencat Silat, Kali and Jeet Kune Do (JKD) to:

  • help you learn how to train yourself
  • help guide you to your best shape ever
  • give you back your power, focus and intensity

You will be challenged, but always safely and in a controlled manner.

Are you a mature man who wants to get back into shape (before it’s too late) but is bored with a gym? Do you have a stressful job and are time short? Are you worried that the clock is ticking but you’re just unsure where to turn to get the right help, support and guidance?

Why not give Combat Arts a try? We will have a package to suit your needs. You can join our new live, online weekly class, or one of our small group training pods, or, if you want personal attention our 1-2-1 personal training is available both online and face-to-face. Email to discuss your needs today.

Post Author: Gordon McAdam

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