Self-defense is not an uncommon topic of discussion in the world of martial arts. Many people perceive the goal of martial arts is to prime students in this fighting style as a defense mechanism. While self-defense is a countermeasure that involves defending the health and well-being of oneself from harm, it does not always have to be physical. As a matter of fact, the act of physical self-defense should only ever be used as a last resort, and only used when all other options have been exhausted.
Believe it or not, martial arts training teaches students how to defend themselves both non-physically and physically against an attacker.The real master of the practice never has to fight because he or she is in control of his or her emotions and can bring about a peaceful conclusion to the situation with other learned skills- respect, leadership and others.
Instructors of the practice teach students to let their words control their emotions and actions, instead of letting their emotions control their words and actions. However, should the worst happen, students are taught the concepts and theories needed to stay safe in any situation. Think of Mr. Miyagi and Daniel in the 'Karate Kid'... the basic principles of martial arts are not to punch and kick, but to understand your surroundings and control your situation.
Many different forms of self-defense are taught when a student enters a dojo. Avoidance and understanding are two major components that are imparted. Through martial arts training, students are taught to be aware of their surroundings and avoid potentially dangerous situations and confrontations. Understanding the mindset of a potential attacker is also extremely important to avoid or escape a potentially life-threatening situation.
As we all know, attackers typically select victims they feel are at a disadvantage, this could include size, sobriety, sex, age and even self-esteem. When avoidance is not possible, martial arts training arms students with methods that can be referred to as 'break away' techniques so that they can get away and not engage any further.
De-escalation or verbal self-defense - the use of words to prevent, de-escalate, or end an attempted assault are also taught. This type of defense uses words as a shield. Voice, tone and body language to calm a potentially volatile situation before it becomes violent are skills that can be learned through weekly training. Confidence can be key when learning to control a potentially dangerous situation.
Physical self-defense is the use of physical force to counter an immediate threat of violence. This type of force can be either armed or unarmed. In either case, the chances of success depend on a variety of things, including the severity of the threat, as well as the mental and physical preparedness of the defender. This sort of defense should only ever be used as a last resort to protect oneself or someone else.
Martial arts teaches students how to be mentally tough and be in the proper mindset to execute any type of defense technique should the need arise. It is great if you are skilled in the physical aspects of defensive techniques, but if you lack the mental toughness and tenacity to execute it, you will not be able to perform - especially under duress.
To provide more practical self-defense, Lehigh Valley Martial Arts uses a combination of martial arts styles and techniques, and customizes self-defense training to suit the participants' lifestyles, occupations, age groups and gender, and physical and mental capabilities.