What to Look For In a Self-Defense Class
Everyone needs to learn self-defense. That may seem like a broad statement, but it’s true. Whether you live in the city or a remote corner of the country, at any given moment you may need to defend yourself. Self-defense training goes beyond fighting off an attacker, it begins with the skills to display confidence, recognize threat, and then respond appropriately before an event escalates or an unwanted person gets too close to you or those you love. Most importantly, if an attack does occur, self-defense techniques provide you with the tools to minimize your injuries, maximize the attacker’s injuries and end the situation as quickly as possible.
What to Look For In a Class
As beautiful as they are, most martial arts are just that: arts. They take years to master and adhere to a choreographed form that doesn’t allow for improvising based on unknown situations. Any instructor that is adamant that their method is the only way to defend yourself should be avoided! You want an instructor who will tailor your training to your fitness level, and prepare you for a wide range of situations, while allowing you to progress in your training. They must provide you with the tools to recognize threat and use your own body as your weapon. This is the best way to prepare you for real-life events.
A professional self-defense program should include security and safety principles. The program must help build your confidence in your abilities and reinforce your right to live, even at the expense of another. If the message being taught is that you “shouldn’t be walking alone” or “shouldn’t be working late hours”, that is NOT a professional program. You are not to blame for any violence that is directed at you (unless you start it). Training you to view your actions as a cause for violence is detrimental and more likely to make you feel like a victim.
Another necessary trait of a solid self-defense class is one that teaches you to recognize the stages of escalation and how to de-escalate before ever having to use physical force. This must include reality based scenarios.
Attending self-defense classes will provide you so much more than physical skills. It will give you the confidence in knowing that you are able to identify a potential violent event, the ability to attempt to remove yourself from a questionable situation, and if necessary to ability to fight back and make your attacker the victim!
A note from Celia Cortes, Founder of Seva 6 Consulting: While I believe that any self-defense is better than none, I’m a huge fan of Krav Maga. There is no better method of self-defense in the world. You just have to make sure that you go to a reputable school who cares about the training and not the number of students in the class. Contact us for more information on self-defense classes. We would be happy to discuss what you are considering, what the best programs are, or how we can organize a self-defense workshop for your workplace or your friends.