Most of us have no intentions or plans to get into a fist fight with another person. But unfortunately, the onset of a physical confrontation is something that you cannot always control. As humans we all share different values – some people think its completely normal to use violence to solve a dispute, whilst you may think that such an action is frowned upon. Hence, the ability to be able to defend yourself is an essential life skill that everyone should possess.
Would you be able to successfully defend yourself, if you were confronted with an unexpected act of violence?
The first and most essential thing to know, is that whilst body size can play a role in some combative situations, most of the time defending yourself successfully relies on the execution of effective techniques, and knowing when to apply them. As such, absolutely anyone can learn how to properly defend themselves.
Training in martial arts teaches us what techniques we can use, and also gives us some exposure to the high pressure feeling of being confronted with violence, but in a controlled environment. So in short, the best way to learn practical self-defence skills is to start martial arts training.
In addition to learning how to defend yourself, martial arts also produces a few other benefits that are crucial to being able to defend yourself during a confrontation. These benefits are:
1) Improved confidence
Martial arts training provides a huge confidence boost. Every training session forces you out of your comfort zone as you practice various conflict scenarios. As you learn the drills and techniques, your capability grows and you soon realise that you have some valuable skills that are usable, and effective.
As your confidence grows you will look more confident from the perspective of other people; making you less vulnerable as a potential target and decreasing the risk of being a victim of an attack.
2) Improved problem-solving skills
One important aspect of martial arts is knowing when to execute a particular technique – part of this requires you to be thinking ahead of your opponent. It isn’t just enough to learn a bunch of techniques.
Hence, martial arts training provides us with an opportunity to improve our problem-solving skills. For example, sparring improves our analytical skills when under high pressure, as we are being forced to execute techniques on an opponent who has the same intention as you. As you become familiar with sparring, you will learn how to stay calm and control your emotions.
If you do end up finding yourself in a physical confrontation, you will be in a much better position and be able to bring the situation under control.
3) Improved physical fitness
Martial arts training will transform you into top physical condition. Muay Thai training is a full body work out, conducted at high intensity and burning in excess of 1,000 calories per hour. After 2-3 months of Muay Thai training you will be in excellent physical condition, and this will be noticed by others. As such, this will also serve as a deterrent for potential attackers.
Being able to defend yourself does not completely rely on physical fitness, but having a physical edge does help.
4) Improved social skills
One important aspect of self-defence is being able to use deescalation techniques to talk your way out of potential confrontations. Martial arts training involves interaction with others, which helps to improve your social skills particularly when you are trying to diffuse a situation.
Most attacks occur when you are vulnerable or least expecting it. Hence, if you are every confronted with violence, you must do whatever you can to ensure that you are able to successfully defend yourself. The best way is to practice your martial arts techniques, so that they are automatically executed from muscle memory, when the opportunity calls.