We are all learning about the importance of being responsible for ourselves and for inspiring that same level of autonomy in our families too. With recent events in the United States as a ‘yard-stick’, increasing numbers of minorities are taking lessons and so are women and older Americans too.
While it would be very easy to be cynical about this rise as it may indicate an underlying feeling of general fear and anxiety, it could also just as easily be viewed in a positive light, because even though the original intention to get trained might be rooted in a type of fear or feeling of helplessness, the (perhaps unintended) consequence, is a larger section of society that’s being active, being more mindful and experiencing greater levels of personal and situational awareness.
That, in and of itself has got to be a good thing. Now, there is a range of different methods from combative to non-combative, martial arts, specialist defense lessons for women, and the age-advanced and many people are choosing to learn self-defense over the use of firearms as these laws continue to evolve and some firearms carriers are experiencing legal issues as a result of weapons misconduct.
So with that in mind, we’re going to break down some of the more popular self-defense lessons that regular folks are taking to take greater control of their personal safety.
As a general rule, just about all types of self-defense for individuals are going to involve either a holistic approach grounded in some type of martial arts or a method that employs elements of martial arts and this is largely down to the fact that martial arts, in all of their guises encourage knowledge or skill involving the whole person. Mindfulness, discipline, and practical skill.
Now, we must mention that if you’re choosing to protect yourself using a firearm of a sort, then it is wholly your responsibility to ensure that you are not just trained in the responsible use of the weapon, but that you’re well versed in the legal ramification of carrying that weapon and what consequences you might face when you actually use it. Each state has its own laws regarding this so you’ll need to consult with a professional to determine what laws you’re under in your state, but there is some good general information, here.
Remember, that discharging a firearm could result in a loss of life and you need to be emotionally as well as physically prepared for that.
With all of that being said, let’s start breaking down the most popular methods of home self-defense.
Brazilian Jiu-Jutsu (BJJ)
BJJ is a great form of self-defense because, unlike some other versions, the size of the person doesn’t matter – either the attacker or the defender. The founder of the system had medical issues and was physically weak and quite small. He developed this method of self-defense because he was jealous of his brothers’ fighting ability and dexterity, so he took the lemons that life had given him and turned them into lemonade, developing a fighting and defensive technique that uses leverage instead of just strength.
This type of sport (because in its essence it remains a sport), was not meant to be played out exclusively in a gym setting. It is very useful when it comes to fighting on the street and thus the basis of its appeal for those who regularly have to walk home at night or through less than savory areas. BJJ teaches you how to take an opponent to the ground using throws and trips and you don’t need any prior experience in martial arts or fighting of any kind to get started.
A different form of combat martial art, Muay Thai is also known as “The Art of Eight Limbs”. It uses elbows, knees, fists, and legs, and using this method, students learn how to strike an opponent with awesome precision and intensity. As opposed to BJJ, this form focuses on standing techniques instead of ground techniques.
Students must know that the techniques they’re going to be taught in Muay Thai are devastatingly powerful, so a high degree of skill as well as discipline is absolutely intrinsic to the program.
Strikes start at the ground and even punches make use of power from the hips to generate even more power. One of the most powerful kicks in martial arts, the round kick, can be used to take out the legs of an attacker without allowing for them to get too close to you.
Now, this form of martial art may well be mostly about striking, you’ll also learn how to use trips and throws to knock a would-be attacker to the ground. The Thai Clinch allows you to hold an opponent close and land loaded knees and elbows which means that you can control his movement, even if he is bigger than you.
Now as far as fighting goes, the Israelis mean serious business and for that reason, you shouldn’t take Krav Maga lightly as this form of martial art was developed specifically for the Israeli military. The founder of Krav Maga as a combat form of defense is based upon a range of other martial arts, with techniques are taken from Jiu-Jitsu and boxing to name a few.
This form of self-defense is ideal for various situations because by design, that’s exactly what it is for. You’ll be taught to go for the most vulnerable parts of your attacker to immobilize them as quickly as possible and get yourself to safety. Attacks include eye gouging, foot stomps, kicks to the body as well as kicks to the groin are all taught and practiced and are highly effective techniques.
Where other forms of martial arts teach students how to earn points in competitions, the sole goal and purpose of Krav Maga are to defend yourself. There is an element of weapons training in Krav Maga, so if you are going to carry a firearm, then you would do well to enroll in Krav Maga training.
MMA for Self Defense
Mixed Martial Arts or MMA is a combination of many different styles of martial arts that are all put together to form a singular, very tough, very effective sport. This is a wonderful option if you want to be trained in a multitude of disciples and learn a little bit about everything. When using MMA as a form of self-defense, you have to also know that using deadly force when it’s not necessary can land you in hot water, so when choosing a school to teach you these skills you have to ensure that the school places a high store on discipline and self-control and not just defense and fighting.
You’ll learn how to defend yourself on the ground while standing and you’ll get loads of practical experience.
The majority of MMA gyms will focus on BJJ, Muay Thai, boxing, wrestling, Judo, and Taekwondo, and while it borrows freely from the different arts, as a standalone method is a comprehensive tool for ensuring personal safety.
There are many more variations of these forms of self-defense that you can learn, but whichever route you pursue, you have to be conscious of what your personal ability is, how much time you are prepared to invest in learning this new skill, and ensuring that you choose the right learning facility for you.
Learning how to defend yourself is an empowering and enriching personal quest and with the right attitude, discipline and practice you’ll feel more capable in many areas of your life, not just in defense.
We hope you never have to use it, but we’re thrilled that you’ll be able to if you need to.