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- Do I have to learn martial arts to be safe?
No. Martial arts and martial sports have different focusses;
emphasising aesthetic qualities, sporting prowess,
health benefits, cultural disciplines incorporating
self-discipline and mental harmony, fun and
fitness. To be safe one needs to understand what
constitutes the threat to you, and then take
rational steps to minimise the risk. Learning, and
being willing to apply, physical techniques can be
beneficial - however the techniques must be based
on the kinds of attacks you will face. Also, avoidance is better than engaging,
especially if it's a dangerous, experienced and
potentially armed criminal.
- Do I have to be fit and conditioned?
If you look carefully at your
memories, do you recall how many street thugs were
at that gym that was going to make you fit and
tough? Yes, I can't recall any either.
"To live through an impossible situation,
you don't need the reflexes of a Grand Prix driver,
the muscles of a Hercules, the mind of an Einstein.
You simply need to know what to do." Anthony
Greenbank - The book of Survival
What kind of conditioning is really shown to be effective against street assaults?
A street assault is really about
sudden violence, and tend to be over in a matter of
4 seconds. While brawls do happen, as with any
violent physical conflict, the risk of getting hurt
(worse) increases as the length of the altercation
increases. Habitual users of violence know this,
and aim to prevent harm to themselves. Their focus
is on ending the situation immediately, as should
be your focus - end it now. The conditioning
best suited for this scenario is adrenal stress
conditioning and emotional acclimatisation to the
psychological and physiological stress of combat or
the threat of violence. This is learned through
being stressed by simulating the kinds of scenarios
you will face - which may include shouting,
swearing, blind side attacks which induce
confusion, hesitation, doubt, redirection of
attention and panic.
- What exactly is crime avoidance?
Avoiding crime and violence is often
a matter of basic people skills. It is knowing how
people think and act and how your actions will be
received. There are many reasons why violence might
enter your life. Usually, they involve you engaging
in some kind of "at risk" behaviour.
Knowing crime avoidance might acquaint you with
some of your unwitting "at risk"
- I'm a woman, what are some of the pitfalls of Women's Self-defence courses?
Often martial arts schools put on
self-defence courses. These classes are structured
around the school's primary focus and curriculum
rather than the realities of violence against
women. The incontrovertible issue that must be
addressed during women's self-defence class is that
you will be fighting superior male upper-body
strength (The average man is two to three times
stronger than the average woman). If this,
working real-life scenarios as opposed to
techniques, the psychological issues about using
violence and awareness and avoidance of violence
are not emphasised, keep looking.
- Why is a criminal assault or self-defence scenario always perceived as a fight?