Self Defense


Karate, Aikido and Tae Kwon Do

The truth is much of what is taught in most traditional styles of Self defense training and street fighting techniques should be much simpler and more direct than what is taught in most dojos and dojangs. Just my opinion after over 36 years!

Many systems teach high kicking, complicated wrist maneuvers, hard to hit pressure points and other techniques that most likely would never work under the stress of a street attack. All the while giving their students a false sense of security.

I am not against traditional training. Not at all. But let's look at it for what it really is. Martial arts such as karate, aikido, kung fu and tae kwon do have a host of wonderful benefits for both children and adults. Some of these benefits include getting and staying in shape, developing self discipline, weight control, improving self confidence and learning some very important life skills.

I teach full time at my karate dojo five days a week. I see these benefits developing in my students every day. But let us not fool ourselves into believing that most traditional training would be effective on the street in the 21st Century. Here's why...

Martial arts were developed many years ago. During the times and in the existing cultures where they were developed and practiced the needs and civilizations were quite different than today. In some instances the training needed to be done in secret as not to allow the powers to be to know. Weapons were even made illegal in some cultures, necessitating the development of unarmed skills.

Katas (forms) were developed by karate masters so that students could practice on their own. These forms developed excellent focus, balance, speed, power, self discipline and form (and still do today). While they can help a martial artist improve their overall ability, they do very little to help their self defense skills. I know many will disagree with this but I really don't see much value in kata for the purposes of learning self defense!

Additionally karate masters (and masters of other arts) kept their most effective techniques secret and only taught them to a select few who were to carry on the system. Most of these hidden techniques are lost today, especially to westerners.

For self defense to be effective, we must deal with simplicity and directness, considering the effects of adrenaline stress. Systems must be easy to learn, simple to execute and easy to remember in order to be effective. Read more about this kind of self defense training at Street Self Defense.


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