What are the best skills to learn for self-defense?

Silver Moon

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Realistically speaking, I could know a hundred martial arts and yet not be able to defend myself(or others) when needed, because at the end of the day there is no martial art that is "the best" for self-defence.What there are are skills-that you might learn from some martial arts-that will help you defend yourself.

Of course, knowing a fighting style is still better than none, but I don't think that knowing a fighting style means knowing how to fight specially when it comes to those martial arts more geared to sport competition where rules set the conditions and restrictions for a "win".
Let me offer some examples of what I mean:
  • Situational awareness
  • Positioning
  • Able to maintain your cool under stress
What are the abilities necessary in order to be able to actually learn how to defen yourself, and where can a beginner seek to learn about them?
 

Kung Fu Wang

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Do you want to discuss how to

1. land your fist on your opponent's face, or
2. run away from your opponent's attack?

For 1, you need to train MA. For 2, you need to train running.
 

mograph

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Realistically speaking, I could know a hundred martial arts and yet not be able to defend myself(or others) when needed, because at the end of the day there is no martial art that is "the best" for self-defence.What there are are skills-that you might learn from some martial arts-that will help you defend yourself.

Of course, knowing a fighting style is still better than none, but I don't think that knowing a fighting style means knowing how to fight specially when it comes to those martial arts more geared to sport competition where rules set the conditions and restrictions for a "win".
Let me offer some examples of what I mean:
  • Situational awareness
  • Positioning
  • Able to maintain your cool under stress
What are the abilities necessary in order to be able to actually learn how to defen yourself, and where can a beginner seek to learn about them?
Situational awareness is big.
Knowing how to avoid the fight.
Knowing how to be invisible or at least non-threatening.
Knowing how to defuse a situation.
Not being attached to the idea of "being right" or "looking like a badass."
Being in excellent shape so you don't run out of gas.
Having fast reflexes.
Knowing what to hit, and what to hit it with.
Knowing when to run.
 

Hellabyss

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Realistically speaking, I could know a hundred martial arts and yet not be able to defend myself(or others) when needed, because at the end of the day there is no martial art that is "the best" for self-defence.What there are are skills-that you might learn from some martial arts-that will help you defend yourself.

Of course, knowing a fighting style is still better than none, but I don't think that knowing a fighting style means knowing how to fight specially when it comes to those martial arts more geared to sport competition where rules set the conditions and restrictions for a "win".
Let me offer some examples of what I mean:
  • Situational awareness
  • Positioning
  • Able to maintain your cool under stress
What are the abilities necessary in order to be able to actually learn how to defen yourself, and where can a beginner seek to learn about them?

You need to be more confident in yourself, martial arts are not only a set of movements, overpowering your own mind, making the path and dominating your enemy, if you think you know a martial art only by knowing his movements you are very wrong, it is more profound and complicated of what you think.

Abilities eh, it doesnt matter if you have the abilities, if you dont know how to use it of course you are courting death, since the beginning of the times battles for supremacy took place, you dont need to be in a battlefield to fight for supremacy, people will look at you like wolfs anywhere you go, but you need to be confident in yourself, relax beacuse you know you are steps ahead of them.

For a beginner and for defend yourself you only need to know one martial art, and the most important thing you need is real battle experience, you can adquire it with your master or mates of your martial art, you can get this knowledge yourself or someone can pass it to you, if the martial art dont train you for real battles it is only a joke, martial arts are created to fight, not to be a sitting duck spreading pacifism, and remember this, only when you dominate yourself you can dominate others, before that dont even think to be in a fight, you only will ashame yourself and get beaten, I hope this was of help.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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What are the best skills to learn for self-defense?​


If one just wants to learn "1 technique" for self-defense, I will suggest the "rhino guard".

It can give you:

- maximum protection for your head.
- minimum attack to your opponent's head and chest.
- a perfect set up for "head lock".



 
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Hot Lunch

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For me, being "grey" is the most important. In other words, wearing clothing and behaving in a manner that allows you blend in and avoid standing out. It also means carrying yourself in a way that lets others know that you're not a soft target, while also making sure that you're not perceived as threatening. Both extremes are equally dangerous.

As silly as this may sound, I'd also advise any man who doesn't have any natural bass in his voice to consciously add it. Within a matter of months, it will become natural. I think everyone has experienced dealing with someone who looked like a pushover, and then having to do a double-take when they hear that his voice sounds like anything but that of a pushover.
 
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Silver Moon

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Do you want to discuss how to

1. land your fist on your opponent's face, or
2. run away from your opponent's attack?

For 1, you need to train MA. For 2, you need to train running.
Both, actually.
Of course the best option is to never enter into a fight, but sometimes you might not really have that choice, so being able to end it quickly is the preferable option.

Learn how to de-escalate.
That's a hard one as I'm someone that at most can try to ignore, but once they hit my triggers it is over.
I'm a very confrontational person if someone really wants to make me their problem.

Knowing how to be invisible or at least non-threatening.
Which is better?Looking non-threatening so you might become invisible, or looking threatening so others won't try to "censored word" with you?

Not being attached to the idea of "being right" or "looking like a badass."
It's hard to not being attached to being right when you actually are right.I don't care much about "looking like a badass", probably because most people that seem to want to look like that, end up being jerks.

Being in excellent shape so you don't run out of gas.
Conditioning has become a big part of my workout.

Knowing what to hit, and what to hit it with.
This is something that I think not all fighting styles teach properly.They just seem to teach "hit this general area because there are fragile stuff here" and that's it.I'm learning about pressure points and accupuncture to see what are the "weak" areas of the human body.
Studying anatomy seems to work more in that regard than learning martial arts.

You need to be more confident in yourself
Already doing that by training my mind and trying to learn how to deal with stressful situations.Not easy though.

the most important thing you need is real battle experience
Unless I join the army or start street fights, I don't really think I'll have any "battle experience".I don't consider spars battle experience either, even if their purpose is to help you use what you learned in an actual fight(a fight with rules might I say).
The most I have going for me is learning chess and wargaming and that's more about strategy than actual battle experience.

What are the best skills to learn for self-defense?​


If one just wants to learn "1 technique" for self-defense, I will suggest the "rhino guard".

It can give you:

- maximum protection for your head.
- minimum attack to your opponent's head and chest.
- a perfect set up for "head lock".



I don't know...it seems like your ribs and lower body are too exposed.The guy attacking was mostly going for higher punches, if he tried to hit lower I don't know if that guard would've been that great.Plus, if the guy in gray had a knife, most of those "uppercuts" would've probably have hit the other guy's head, chest or neck.

wearing clothing and behaving in a manner that allows you blend in and avoid standing out
Funny you say that, I'm already like this due to my introverted nature.Honestly I don't really like to deal with people, but it is something I must do since I live in society.


It also means carrying yourself in a way that lets others know that you're not a soft target, while also making sure that you're not perceived as threatening.
Hmm, now this sounds like a conundrum.How can someone not look "easy" but also not look "threatening", it feels like you can't have both ways.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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That's a hard one as I'm someone that at most can try to ignore, but once they hit my triggers it is over.
I'm a very confrontational person if someone really wants to make me their problem.
This alone tells me that it's probably the most important thing for practical self defense for you to work on. If you can get triggered easily, and become confrontational, that's going to raise the odds of you ending up in a fight, which raises the odds of you getting injured. And at some point people will figure out what triggers you.

To work on the triggering aspect, it's pretty tough to give advice for that online. But it'll involve some self-searching to understand A) what your triggers are, B) why you get triggered by it, and C) how you can stop B.
An example: You might get triggered by someone calling you buddy, or pal. The reasoning for that is that it feels overly familiar, and a bit condescending. Your normal response is to get pissed off and yell at the person "I'm not your buddy guy!" You can stop getting triggered by learning to accept that people are sometimes just more comfortable with that familiarity, so there's no intentional malice towards you, or that they're doing it on purpose to get a rise, and by doing that you're actually doing a favor to the person pissing you off.

It's not going to be that clear cut, and the C can be pretty tough (and sometimes painful emotionally) to get to. But that's one way to change that about yourself, and the easiest one I can give to a faceless guy on the internet.

Regarding the confrontational aspect - standing up for yourself is absolutely not an issue. What matters is how you stand up for yourself. The best advice I can give for that is to look up communication styles and figure out how to be assertive, rather than flipping from passive to aggressive (which IMO is what most people tend to do). For a very high level overview, this is a good summary, but it's much more complicated and nuanced than this linkmakes it seem: The Passive Assertive Aggressive Continuum Making Conflict Suck Less: The Basics

Already doing that by training my mind and trying to learn how to deal with stressful situations.Not easy though.
Be careful with this. Role playing stressful situations, both with a partner and in your head, can definitely help you come up with a script to deal with stressful situations. But doing it too much can also just cause anxiety/more stress, and paralysis by too many choices in the moment (or in your head).
 
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Silver Moon

Silver Moon

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If you can get triggered easily
Not easily, but once someone hits my triggers I do go off on them verbally(I never hit first, that is my own philosophy, but I will hit back if they do attack me).
I can be quite cruel with my words if I really want to, or just be petty and keep it still "above board".

that's going to raise the odds of you ending up in a fight, which raises the odds of you getting injured
Yes, that's a fact that I have accepted and the reason why I'm trying to learn to not "blow up" once people hit my triggers.
people will figure out what triggers you
I don't make it a secret, if someone ask I'll tell them even to give them a head's up to not do that.If they know of that and knowingly do it though...that's when things can go wrong.I even give them a chance if they do it once, as a "watch out, you're on thin ice" reminder.
I don't want to fight but I am confrontational.

look up communication styles and figure out how to be assertive, rather than flipping from passive to aggressive
I've heard of something like that, how to use "non-aggressive communication" or something.I might need to check it.
It's just hard to change your way of acting when you've been like that for your whole life.

Role playing stressful situations
No role playing here, I'm not imagining stressful situations and "pre-planning"(although I do like to theorize about dangerous situations and what would be the best options in one), I'm literally trying to learn about stress in general and how to use my emotions to deal with it.How to deal with it in a healthy and safe way.
 

Hot Lunch

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Which is better?Looking non-threatening so you might become invisible, or looking threatening so others won't try to "censored word" with you?
You don't have to choose. You don't have to look threatening in order to not look like a soft target, or vice versa. The average off-duty police officer in plain clothes doesn't look threatening. But he doesn't look a soft-target, either. That's one example.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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if he tried to hit lower I don't know if that guard would've been that great.
If your opponent hits low, his head will be exposed to your head lock (your big fist is pointing right in front of his face). The beauty of the "rhino guard" is it's easier for you to use your

- left arm to separate your opponent's right arm and his head, and
- right arm to separate your opponent's left arm and his head,

so, you can control your opponent's center.
 

mograph

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Knowing how to be invisible or at least non-threatening.
Which is better?Looking non-threatening so you might become invisible, or looking threatening so others won't try to "censored word" with you?
The first one. It's too easy to be all show and no go on the second one.
Yep. It's really hard to look threatening enough to actually make an aggressive man back down. Most of the time, I'd wager, because they're looking for a fight, and they think they're badass, they see someone who (most people would think) is threatening as a challenge. "Oh, tough guy? Look at the tough guy! You got a problem, tough guy?"

Of course, if you're walking down a dark alley looking at your phone, then, hey. They're situationally unaware, which I think everyone here would say is bad.
But it all depends on the aggressor, and what they want, doesn't it? If they just want to snatch your phone and run, don't look like an easy, distracted target: be aware and look fit, walk with purpose. But if they want to look badass and win a fight, be invisible and blend into the background. Look boring, so as they scan the crowd for a worthy opponent, their eyes pass by you. Ideally, just don't be there.
 

drop bear

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Realistically speaking, I could know a hundred martial arts and yet not be able to defend myself(or others) when needed, because at the end of the day there is no martial art that is "the best" for self-defence.What there are are skills-that you might learn from some martial arts-that will help you defend yourself.

Of course, knowing a fighting style is still better than none, but I don't think that knowing a fighting style means knowing how to fight specially when it comes to those martial arts more geared to sport competition where rules set the conditions and restrictions for a "win".
Let me offer some examples of what I mean:
  • Situational awareness
  • Positioning
  • Able to maintain your cool under stress
What are the abilities necessary in order to be able to actually learn how to defen yourself, and where can a beginner seek to learn about them?

A combat sport will teach you those things.

Or it won't and you will be very bad at combat sports.

Otherwise a cash in transit and a sales course are probably the two easiest ways to access a method of moving from point A to point B without getting jumped and the the ability to convince people they want to do yhe thing you want them to do. Like not jump you.
 

Hot Lunch

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...they think they're badass, they see someone who (most people would think) is threatening as a challenge. "Oh, tough guy? Look at the tough guy! You got a problem, tough guy?"
Exactly. One of the most common pieces of advice that we hear is that if you ever go to prison, you should find the most intimidating convict in the cell block and split his wig. If you do this, no one will ever mess with you. I've heard several ex-cons say that this is definitely a myth, but there are people entering prison for the first time who actually believe this and will try.

Also, in the event of a natural (or man-made) disaster, the soft-target only has to worry about getting his resources taken from him. The intimidating guy will be seen as a threat that must be killed before can take anything from anyone.

Ideally, the best place to be is somewhere in the middle.
 

Instructor

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Growing up I was a target for bullies. I was a late bloomer so generally smaller than the other kids and my fathers job moved us around a lot so a lot of the time I was the new kid. I started martial arts because of a particularly bad *** beating my freshmen year. It didn't happen all at once but little by little I had fewer and fewer problems with bullies.

I think much of it was simply attitude, posture, and believe it or not a mixture of confidence and humility. Confident that I could take care of myself but humble enough not to advertise it. I think bullies prefer an easy win, it's not enough to just win, it must be guaranteed. If they have the slightest doubt of absolute victory they generally won't test you and will seek prey elsewhere.

I don't know if this translates to higher level threats like muggers and rapists etc. I've only had one person attempt to mug me and that didn't work out too well for them. It required surprisingly little action on my part, one swift move and they ran for it.

You don't need to be intimidating. In fact be open and approachable, friendly, confident, and strong. These traits will serve you best in life.
 

frank raud

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Hmm, now this sounds like a conundrum.How can someone not look "easy" but also not look "threatening", it feels like you can't have both ways.
If you are in shape and aware of your surroundings, you will be probably perceived as not an easy target. If you're not mad dogging someone ( staring them down) or being confrontational ( what are you looking at, bozo?) you probably won't be perceived as threatening.
 

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Think hard about what you'd fight for, run for, and how far you'd be willing to take/escalate things for certain situations. In advance. I think the important part is making some concrete decisions ahead of time and definitely being willing to carry through with those decisions if you have to. People can sense things.....I believe most people can sense when a person is able/willing to make and carry out hard decisions. I may not be a great fighter but there's a good chance the predator can sense when the prey has already made the decision to be the most expensive target possible. Even if I can't fight, if the guy can sense I'm really, honestly willing to pick up that piece of rebar over there and and try my darndest to wear him out with it.....the price to play may be too high for him. Not advocating actually beating someone with a piece of rebar lol, but the decision made in advance to be willing to take it that far if needed I think can be sensed by most.
 

HighKick

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Think hard about what you'd fight for, run for, and how far you'd be willing to take/escalate things for certain situations. In advance. I think the important part is making some concrete decisions ahead of time and definitely being willing to carry through with those decisions if you have to. People can sense things.....I believe most people can sense when a person is able/willing to make and carry out hard decisions. I may not be a great fighter but there's a good chance the predator can sense when the prey has already made the decision to be the most expensive target possible. Even if I can't fight, if the guy can sense I'm really, honestly willing to pick up that piece of rebar over there and and try my darndest to wear him out with it.....the price to play may be too high for him. Not advocating actually beating someone with a piece of rebar lol, but the decision made in advance to be willing to take it that far if needed I think can be sensed by most.
Well said.
 
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