Are martial arts good for Self-Defense?
Many people choose Martial arts so they can learn Self-Defense. It only seems natural that if the martial art has fighting techniques of any description that you automatically will have the upper hand in a self-defense situation. But this may not be the case depending on which martial art you are training in. Having said that, even a little martial arts training is better than non at all.
Hands on Experience
Regardless of whether you are a black belt in many systems of martial arts unless you have had hands on self-defense experience then you are unprepared. The only way to gain experience is by putting yourself in potentially dangerous situations, I did this by working as a doorman and security at various nightclubs. Other ways are police and or other security services. I would not recommend actually going out and tempting disaster by choosing to engage in street fights as a way to test your skills.
For your martial arts training to be suitable to prepare for self-defense it should include the following:
- Simple logical moves that work.
- Sound robust basics
- Punching and kicking the pads.
- Ground defense.
- Some form of free movement.
- Awareness training so as to avoid trouble at all costs.
Robust basics that you can fall back on
When I first developed Northstar Ju Jitsu in the inner west, I was experimenting with cross training kickboxing with judo. What I found was that by putting a left and right straight punch together with a hard low kick to the thigh, followed by a knee to the stomach, outside leg reap takedown, with the option to go to ground control, done on pads and with partners was just about all you needed to defend your self. Just as long as you have robust basics that you can fall back on when the more complex moves do not work. Martial arts that are designed around complex moves or are top heavy with patterns and set moves are courting disaster.