The real difference between Martial Arts and Self-defence

We often watch Martial Arts films and they always talk about using their Martial Arts skills for defence and never attack, if you go to a Martial Arts club the instructor will tell you the same thing. However, there are differences between self-defence and Martial Arts, for example most of us would have some ideas on how to try and hit someone if they attacked us, but might not always have the same impact as a Martial Artist. There will be some Martial Artists who would freeze if they were ever attacked outside a class.

The art of using your voice

When you take part in Martial Arts you are not encouraged or usually taught to use your voice when someone is attempting to attack, rob or mug you. By using a forceful tone you can sometime put an attacker of. You could use your vice to attack nearby attention by speaking loud or shouting which might scare of your attacker.

The other way to use your voice is to say things which will confuse your attacker. By saying something that will confuse your attacker it, affect their concentration and take their mind of you which might give you a few vital seconds to strike your attacker or start your get away.

You need to be able to strike an attacker

In Martial arts we teach you strikes and locks to put on an opponent, usually in the style or way you will compete in. However, when you’re on the street there are not rules and in theory anything goes, their maybe guns or knives involved depending on where you live.

The way you approach someone it class in a drill or sparring session is often very different to the way it is out on the streets. Therefore, you need to be adaptable to the situation and this is where you have the sort of anything goes. You can’t go to your attacker please come at me like this.

You need to be able to take being hit

A number of Martial Arts classes work on semi-contact or light training, some do work on full contact training. Yes getting hit can hurt a lot and repetitive hits can also hurt.

Your probably better conditioned being a Martial Artist to taking a hit, but you rarely in Martial arts get his by weapons which can hurt and cause more damage. The other issue is you won’t always be able to avoid getting hit even if you are a Martial Artist.

You need to be aware of your surroundings

When in Martial Arts training you’re not taught to be aware of your surroundings, such as choosing where to walk when, not to walk down dark allies. You don’t always learn to be aware of those around you and it’s common to bump into other class members when in a smaller space during sparring.

So as you can see there are some big differences between self-defence and Martial Arts training. On key issue I didn’t mention was that a Martial Artist could scare an attacker of with a hard fast strike which is pulled just short of contact. The strike would say to an attacker either you want to risk taking a beating or you want to get out of here. Physical Violence isn’t always needed.


Reasons why you should enrol your children into a Martial Arts Class

People are often advised to let or get their kids get involved with Martial Arts, and there are many of them and there isn’t a better one. Some people are afraid to let their child get involved because they may go round hitting people but it’s often found not to be the case. But there are many benefits not just those written about below.

Learn self-respect and respect for others
Learning respect for one’s self and for others is very high up on the list. We bow in Martial Arts as a mark of respect, but also to lose the negativity that is currently within us to empty it out so we can learn and become more positive.

The holding of pads for others is also a mark of learning respect, as the kid learn if they don’t hold pads for their partners, who will hold it for them properly. We also teach students to look after each other, as they will only achieve their goals and look good if their partner allows them to by following the rules, holding pads the way they should, and many more.

Motor patterns and co-ordination
Through Martial Arts we develop key motor skills, such as running, jumping, catching. These are often key to Martial Arts drills, balance improves due to kicking, as they have to stand on one leg a lot. Their co-ordination improves as they learn to target and control their kicks and punches to hit specific targets.

Learn how to overcome difficult situations
When a child struggles with a drill they begin to learn in Martial Arts that practice is the thing that makes it happen. Repetition helps kids improve, by doing activities again and again they begin to see improvements, and learn that they will improve and they will see others improve around themselves. With things like jumping higher, kicking higher, not always getting thrown over, or by making an escape when they usually get court.

Improved flexibility
Flexibility and stretching is a key aspect of any Martial Art, but it is something that is often neglected in other sports. So by encouraging your child to participate in Martial Arts you can help them remain flexible and supple. This can help reduce the risk of overuse injuries and growing pains in children in adolescence often brought on my bones growing quicker than muscle lengthen resulting it tightness and pain in areas of the body. However, being very flexible you can help reduce the tightness in muscles that can occur.

As Martial Arts coaches/instructors, we always look to praise students; from noting how much higher they are jumping or kicking to awarding a new grade and then setting a new goal. Kids love the achievement of passing their grading’s, and seeing new belts, trying to catch up to their friends levels and that of their instructors.

Often those who take part in Martial Arts are less likely to be bullied. You develop an ora around you which no one’s see’s but for some reason people stay out of your way when they want to pick on someone. Maybe it’s because their afraid of what the Martial Artist could do to them.

Those who learn Martial Arts learn to look after themselves, sometimes their taught the ways how not to get into a situation where they are attacked, but if someone tried to take your child, would you rather they knew some skills on how to escape better, than not knowing what to do at all?

Making friends
The kids and any person who starts Martial Arts, makes friends, most clubs are like a big family, and everyone looks after each other. If you don’t know one will hold pads for you, no one will want to spar with you. In Martial Arts you meet new people outside your club or school or in competitions and you build lifelong friendships.

In order to perform tasks in Martial Arts, to kick high, compete in the ring, pass a grading, allow someone to hit pads you need to concentrate. If you’re not concentrating there is a great chance you might fall over, hurt your partner. When you don’t concentrate you miss instructions and could look silly, so gradually the concentration improves because they understand the task you setting has a goal or rewards and if they don’t achieve they don’t achieve their goal or reward, such as passing a grading, or being able to try a new move or play a particular game.

When kids or any adult to be fair comes to take part in Martial Arts balance is always something that is about poor. However, when you consider performing any non-jumping kick, to spar well you need to and end up spending lots of time on one leg. Also the higher you want to be able to kick; a key aspect is being able to transfer your body weight without falling over.

Some of the biggest challenges a child will find in Martial Arts is coming through the door and joining in the first few times. Also before grading’s can also get a bit stressful, but through training, seeing improvements and having fun this all disappears very quickly. I don’t think I’ve ever met a Martial Arts student no matte their level who wasn’t nervous walking through the door and joining in not matter whether they are a beginner or a black belt, it’s always that step into the unknown,  but as we all know it I usually no that bad.

Leadership is something which develops do to kids bringing their friends and looking after them in class. It comes naturally as they will want to look after their friends or family members and ensure they perform well. So they naturally start teaching and ensuring their friend/family member gets all the help, support and advice they need and ensure they fit in well.

These are not all the benefits but just a few which your child could benefit from if you enrol them into a Martial Arts programme. Your probably thinking now why have we not done it sooner? Also the other question is which are is best for my child, to that there is no answer just one that they enjoy is the only answer anyone can give you.

Up coming seminars

I’d like to let people know about some up coming events. We have been invited on Saturday 14th May 2016, 2-4.30pm a seminar with Bill “Superfoot” Wallace, in Exeter, Cost will be £25.00

We have also been invited on the 26th September to a Hojo-Jutus Seminar near Worcester, if anyone would like to attend?

We have the next MAAS fight day and evening show at the Guilford Spectrum on 14th. Let me know if you’d like to compete.

Charity Fight Night

On Saturday the 27th June Steve travelled up to Illminster to take part in a charity fight night. The fight night was in aid of supporting hospitals neo-natal units on the South West and was a great chance for Steve to Network with other local clubs.

Steve helped judge the fights thought-out the night, which I haven’t heard how much we managed to raise. Steve also fought on the show in a points bout. Where their is no continuous fighting, going down 15-10 to specialist and expert points fighter Mark Fry from Exeter. It was a first bout for Steve as it was the first time he took part in a bout taking place in a fighting cage rather than a boxing ring or on matt’s.