Does Self Defense Need to be Complicated?


Yellow Belt
Nov 21, 2007
Reaction score
By Damian Ross and William Pehush of The Self Defense Company

Our society has turned into a culture where everyone wants everything right away, and yesterday isn't soon enough. But we all know good things take time, but do essential skills like real self defense training need the same time to master like martial arts training?

Real martial arts training can't be rushed, and despite what instructors who work for black belt mills and McDojos say, it takes years to understand a martial art. It can take up to five years for a student to earn their first degree black belt from a legitimate martial arts school. This is a worthy endeavor, but you might want to wait to learn only the essential self defense methods to prepare you for a street fight. Thieves, rapists, and murders aren't going to wait around until youre ready to fight back. While martial arts training can take years learning the fundamentals of self defense doesnt take very long at all while still allowing you to have time to train in whatever style you enjoy.

One of the dirty little secrets of the martial arts industry is that most people who learn martial arts aren't learning self defense. How can this be true you ask? After all most schools list self defense as one the many benefits to learning whatever styles is being advertised. Well, you're being lied too or at the very least being misled. Most people who take martial arts like Karate, Tae Kwon Do, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu are actually just learning a combat sport. Now sure some of then started of as styles meant for close combat and may have been used by soldiers, but many of them have been made safe for competitions and have lost their lethal edge. Now these sports are a lot of fun and are great for combat conditioning, but they don't replace basic self defense training.

A street fight is a raw primal battle where fighters act more like savage animals than rational and polite men and women. The first thing you have to do is throw sportsmanship out the window and learn how to bite, head butt, and eye gouge an opponent in a fight, and rest assured you don't have time for any complex techniques. There is even a right way and a wrong way to punch someone, and most people have no idea that the edge of hand does even more damage. When you're reacting to the stress of battle you won't be thinking straight so you need to use simple self defense techniques to survive.

Most martial arts styles are to complex to use in an actual fight so even trained martial arts instructors will often go back to the basics in a real fight. Breaking bricks and wooden boards is impressive, but do you think you will be able to concentrate enough to harness that power when youre ambushed in a parking lot? Do your techniques only work if youre in a gi or protective clothing, because chances are your attack wont be wearing a uniform. Also do you have all the knowledge you need right now? You cant tell an attacker that you havent learned how to stop a knife attack or how properly throw a kick yet. For a martial arts style to be effective in real combat it needs to work outside of the martial arts school.

You shouldn't stop training in your favorite martial arts style, but you do need to start learning self defense techniques that will work in the worst conditions. A fight is all about hurting someone badly enough so they wont hurt you, and you have to make your move fast. Your black belt might be years away, but that doesn't mean you can't learn what you need to survive right away. Real self defense training is about making the most out of your basic actions, and maximizing damage, and it should be simple enough for anyone to do.

Martial Arts | Martial Arts Training | Martial Arts Videos

Latest Discussions