Krav Maga. Karate. Tai Kwon Do. Along with a slew of others. It can all be a little confusing to decipher. The list of formal martial arts specialties seems to be growing year after year. But don’t let the foreign names and fancy moves overwhelm you when it comes to everyday self-defense. You are not going to need to whip out a Bruce Lee move, when a car jacker grabs you through the driver’s side window. Any and all effective self-defense training for the real world should meet these 4 Easy Requirements:
- Easy to Learn
- Easy to Recall
- Easy for Any Age
- Easy for Any Body Type
Let’s look at each of these in more detail, but it’s important to emphasize that any self defense training is only as good as the amount of practice you commit to. Practice. Practice. Practice.
- Easy to Learn fundamentally means that any self-defense move should be practical (to use in every day life) and simple (quite primal actually). It is not a complex sequence of motions that waste energy which could be more effectively transferred into your “strike” to the attacker. The goal of an effective self-defense move should be: maximum effect for the minimum effort required to execute the defense technique. Quite frankly, you can learn many of them just from studying YouTube videos.
- Easy to Recall is of life saving importance for self-defense training because it needs to be second nature in an emergency situation! I recommend that every woman start out by learning 5 or 6 fundamental self-defense techniques and learn them extremely well. That’s all your going to be able to recall in a panic situation when your adrenaline is rushing, your anxiety level is sky high and you are face-to-face with an attacker. The key to recall in an emergency situation is going to be practice, practice, practice. Just like anything else, repetition becomes a habit. You want your “spidey senses” to kick in when the crisis starts. You want these 5 or 6 self-defense techniques to be instinctual and automatic. Once they become automatic, simply “brush up” once every few weeks to keep them in the front cache of your brain.
- Easy for Any Age goes hand in hand with being easy to learn. Again, the fundamental self-defense techniques that you train, should be basic enough that they become an almost primal and instinctual reaction, when you are grabbed that way, or trapped this way. Their non-complexity can be taught to and trained by an 8-year old child or an 80-year old.
- Easy for Any Body Type simply means that you should not have to be physically fit to perform the self-defense technique and still have maximum impact. For example, whether I weight 110 lbs. or 210 lbs., when I administer a groin kick or throat jab- it’s going to be effective as hell on my attacker! I encourage you to learn long range (at arm’s length) and short range (in the touching zone) self-defense skills so that you are able to handle both scenarios in an emergency.
I encourage you to not over complicate your self-defense training. In fact, I strongly suggest that you call your local police department and find out if they offer a course periodically throughout the year. Many of them offer a basic self-defense class with training on techniques that are best for practical everyday life. You don’t need to pay hundreds of dollars for a complicated, 6-week course. Your mind can’t absorb that much and integrate it into practice at once. Many local police departments offer excellent self-defense classes for free or a very nominal cost. The challenge will be to make sure that you continue practicing the techniques after you take the class.
I challenge each of you to put a plan into action. Learn 5-6 easy self-defense techniques and practice them until they become automatic. And, as always- please remember that your #1 Self-Defense Tool Is Safety Awareness.