I've been teaching martial arts and self-defense classes and clinics most of my life, and I try to make my classes and clinics as entertaining as possible and focus on very basic techniques I know will work for anyone - simple things like defending with elbows, knees, the palm of the hand, car keys, a fork, spoon, pepper shaker, rock, magazine, pen, etc. So, when you are attacked on the street (no matter what your age), hopefully you will have had specialized training in traditional martial arts.
Learn self-defense, learn it well and practice every week for the rest of your life. To be successful in self-defense, it must become second nature. There are lots of crazies out there - not just the politicians, but you know the other types - they are everywhere - in congress, stores with transgender restrooms, etc. So, consider learning self-defense to help ease your mind. Here are a couple of things to think about before beginning a self-defense program:
This is not as bad as you might think! Actually, its great! It is a great exercise program and stress reliever. So, you will no longer have to go to a gym as you can burn lots of calories in your karate and self-defense classes and make new friends. The nice thing about 'traditional' karate as opposed to other forms of martial arts is that the Okinawan martial artists who developed the art focused on kata and bunkai. Kata are living encyclopedia of self-defense techniques - it is like dancing or shadow boxing, so you can practice most of the time on your own if you are so inclined. The bunkai are the self-defense techniques that make up the kata. So practice kata in your home and at the dojo and you will be learning self-defense.
You must learn to react to movement without thinking and you must learn to react using full force blocks and strikes with devastating focus we martial artists call ki. The reason for this is simple. During an attack, you will be under a lot of stress unless you well prepared. If you do not react to movement and instead try to judge which hand or foot a person is going to attack you with, you will be in a lot of trouble. For instance, imagine some thug is harassing you and you have to defend yourself. You stop and think "I'll block his RIGHT punch with my left hand and then kick". You are ready and then you discover he is left handed! If you were properly trained to react to movement, you would not be lying on the ground on your back with a broken jaw.
|Weekly traditional karate and kobudo classes at the Arizona Hombu dojo in|
Mesa Arizona provide adults (and families) with muscle memory through
kata (forms) practice and self defense comes naturally as the students are
all taught how to break down every kata so that every single movement in
every kata become a self-defense application that is known to Okinawan
karate practitioners as bunkai. When properly taught, according to Soke
Hausel, "these kata become living encyclopedia of self-defense applications."
If you are taking karate or taekwondo, and you do not understand what each
move in every kata is for, you may be in the wrong martial arts school. Nearly
all traditional Okinawan karate schools focus on the bunkai or self-defense
|Training in self-defense at the Arizona Hombu dojo - Suzette defends against an attack using her tonfa (side-handle batons).|
|Kobudo training at the Arizona Hombu Dojo - Dennis uses 3-sectional|
staff to defend against Gavin with his 6-foot staff.
|Self-defense training needs to apply kata (karate forms) and be realistic. At the Arizona Hombu dojo, students |
from around the world train in karate, kobudo, samurai arts, jujutsu and self-defense. The self-defense applications include defense against hand guns, rifles, clubs, knives, grabs, chokes, and punches.